Kensington Palace announced today that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will host a reception at Buckingham Palace in honor of World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10). Recognizing the work of mental health advocates and organizations across the UK, the event is very much in line with the trio’s work on behalf of Heads Together. It will also mark Kate’s first public appearance since the announcement that she is pregnant with her and William’s third child and is suffering from HG.
Hopefully this is a good sign that she is feeling better and it certainly marks a slightly quicker return to work than we saw when she was pregnant with Princess Charlotte in the autumn of 2014. The timeline is more in line with what we saw in the winter of 2012/2013 when she was pregnant with Prince George, indicating that while she might not resume a heavy schedule in October, she may pop up for isolated, shorter events where she and her staff can better control the timing.
Regardless, an appearance the second week of October will mean she will have been out for just over five weeks, putting the announced trip abroad in November very much on the table. Still no word on what the destination would be, but the popular choice is somewhere in Scandinavia thanks to an offhand comment William made back in May.
As for Harry, he will be back in London by then from the Invictus Games in Toronto, which are due to begin in three days. Rumor has it the event, which is perhaps the crown jewel of Harry’s public duties, will mark Meghan Markle’s first appearance at an official engagement. Naturally there is some speculation as to whether an actual engagement will have been announced by then, but I think the window for that has likely passed.
One person who will most definitely be there is First Lady Melania Trump. Given the furor over the Trumps’ state visit earlier this year and its eventual delay, it’s interesting that Harry will be the first member of the Royal Family to actually work with one of them in an official capacity since Trump took office. As far as members of the family go, Melania is probably the most benign from an optics standpoint and it carries on the tradition of American First Ladies attending the games per Michelle Obama’s appearance last year.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will also be there.
Now, back to Meghan – it was reported over the weekend that she has given up her car lease in Toronto due to the fact she was planning on spending more time in London. Her filming schedule takes her through December, which is actually a pretty strong sign that no announcement would come until January at the earliest. While it’s not impossible for her to continue living in Toronto post-announcement, it would make everything a lot more difficult. That said, so many steps about this relationship have not followed previously-established norms, so it continues to be anyone’s guess.
But…a January announcement would leave you with a June-ish wedding, putting everyone well past the rather significant scheduling conflict of Cambridge Baby #3. We shall see.