Generally I like to start posts on the Duchess of Cambridge’s engagements with a rundown of the charity itself, but I just can’t do that today. We have to start with the fashion because I am most perplexed. I don’t understand: If you own one thing, why would you buy an almost identical, but slightly altered version of it? Choose one! It’s bizarre!
Anyway, today Kate carried out at an engagement marking the opening of a new facility supporting the families of children undergoing medical treatment at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.
If ever there was a 20th century English princess that did things “correctly,” it would be George V’s daughter, Princess Mary. I say this mainly because the extent of what we don’t know about her could fill a book. She lived a life devoted to public duty, supporting her father, her brothers, Edward VIII and George VI, and later her niece, Queen Elizabeth. Today, however, marks the anniversary of her wedding to Henry Lascelles, Earl of Harewood in 1922, and so we’ll take this opportunity to take a quick look at her life.
Mary was born on April 25, 1897 to George, Duke of York and his wife, Mary of Teck, Duchess of York at York Cottage on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk. She was her parents’ third child, joining her elder brothers, Princes Edward and Albert in the York nursery. At the time of her birth her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, was still on the throne and her father was second in line to the throne, making her position mirror that of Princess Charlotte today. Notably, she was christened Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary, however Queen Victoria apparently proposed naming her “Diamond” in honor of her Diamond Jubilee which took place that year, marking her 60th year as queen.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for the UK-India Year of Culture 2017 event at Buckingham Palace this evening. High-profile guests from both countries dotted the reception space, which was full of Indian delicacies (a collaboration between royal chefs and chefs from the UK’s oldest Indian restaurant, Veeraswamy), entertainment, decoration and historical artifacts. The exterior of BP was even done up for the occasion:
According to Tom Sykes at the Daily Beast, there’s a plan in place to make Camilla queen and it will be implemented within 24 hours of Charles ascending the throne. Specifically, when Charles goes before the Accession Council and tells them what name he plans to take as king he will instruct them that Camilla will be known as “Queen Camilla.”
Today marks the anniversary of the announcement of Princess Margaret’s engagement to Antony “Tony” Armstrong-Jones, the photographer, who passed away earlier this year. Their marriage would famously end in divorce in 1978, the first for a senior member of the royal family in the House of Windsor, ironic only in that Tony would also be the first commoner in 400 years to marry a monarch’s daughter.
Tellingly, what would attract the couple to each other in the first place would, in many ways, be their undoing. And while they showed promise in the early stages of their marriage, and complemented one another when it came to tackling aspects of their public duties, they were wildly unmatched when it came to existing day-to-day, a fact that would become apparent within a few years of their wedding.
In honor of the Oscars red carpet, I give you my top 10 favorite Kate looks since her marriage:
Roland Mouret dress & Smythe blazer
She looks like Business Barbie in a good way. This is Kate about to board a plan to leave the UK for Canada for her first overseas tour as the Duchess of Cambridge and I loved that she essentially dressed like was going on a business trip. Kate has recycled this Smythe blazer many times since and each time I’ve been a fan. We haven’t seen the dress recycled in public, but I hope we do someday. It’s polished, young and there’s nothing quite like the structure of a Roland Mouret piece.
Alexander McQueen dress
This was Kate’s first public appearance after announcing her pregnancy with Prince George and so she gets some bonus points just for the sheer fact that she reappeared from suffering acute HG looking like this. But I also genuinely love the dress, though we didn’t get a great look at it. The dark green is gorgeous on Kate and, God knows, she has the legs the pull off a high slit.
Earlier this month we examined the case of Katherine Howard, Henry VIII’s unfortunate fifth wife, who was accused of adultery and executed in 1542. I highlighted recent scholarship which casts doubt as to whether she was guilty of infidelity during her marriage, however today we will be taking look at a union in which there is little doubt of mutual adultery. The events that transpired during the reign of Edward II in the 14th century, and the role that his wife, Isabelle of France, played in them are so fantastical as to be hard to believe. Put another way, when it comes to rebelling against the edicts of her husband, Isabelle puts her 16th century peers to shame.
Well, Melanie McDonagh at The Spectator certainly doesn’t think so. She argues that 2017 isn’t going to be a great year for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall as they wince their way through the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and all the re-surfacing of old stories emerges. Specifically, the re-hashing of the Wales’s famously unhappy marriage will undermine efforts to have Camilla named as queen when Charles eventually succeeds his mother on the throne.
Personally, I think the campaign to make Camilla palatable to the public since the events of 1997 has been one of most effective and ruthless displays of PR ever executed by the Royal Family, so let’s dive right in:
I came across this video from the Duchess of Cambridge’sWednesday engagement after I had written the post and decided it was worth sharing here. It includes an adorable interaction with two young girls towards the end asking after Prince George and Princess Charlotte, but the whole thing does a good job, I think, of showcasing how slightly awkward these engagements can be. That’s not a criticism of Kate at all, but rather an acknowledgement that the level of attention and scrutiny members of the Royal Family receive (obviously) when undergoing these looks daunting, so I can only imagine how it must feel, particularly when you’re first getting used to them:
On Monday the Daily Beast published yet another column arguing that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a work problem. This recent spurt in activity, it says, masked an otherwise unchanged rhythm of activity that sees a handful of engagements here and there before the couple retreats back to Norfolk where their country home, Anmer Hall, is located.
Further, it says that that William and Kate’s argument that their privacy is premised around spending time with their children is tone deaf to the reality of most working parents, and that William purposefully surrounds himself with “yes men,” who won’t stand up to him and/or lack the experience to point him in the right direction. The column ends by claiming William doesn’t listen to his father, the Prince of Wales, and the only member of the Royal Family that can guide him is the Queen herself.