Decked out in athletic wear, the Duchess of Cambridge visited the National Tennis Centre in London on behalf of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), one of her newer patronages today. It marked her first solo engagement since she turned up for a reception at the Natural History Museum in mid-July during the Spanish royal visit, though she and William did take in a day at Wimbledon the day before they left for Warsaw.
Group Captain Peter Townsend once wrote of Princess Margaret:
“Behind the dazzling facade, the apparent self-assurance, you would find, if you looked for it, a rare softness and sincerity. She could make you bend double with laughing; she could also touch you deeply. [She was] a girl of unusual, intense beauty, confined as it was in her short, slender figure and centred about large purple-blue eyes, generous, sensitive lips and a complexion as smooth as a peach. She was capable, in her face and her whole being, of an astonishing power of expression. It could change in an instant from saintly, almost melancholic, composure to hilarious, uncontrollable joy. She was, by nature, generous, volatile […]”
Like I mentioned in the post on Philippa of England, we’re continuing our coincidental trend of covering Britain’s ties to Sweden. Today we’re taking a look at a much more recent individual: Margaret of Connaught, Crown Princess of Sweden. A granddaughter of Queen Victoria and first cousin of the more famous Queen Maud of Norway, Margaret’s tenure in the Swedish Royal Family was tragically cut short by her early death before World War II, though her husband remarkably married yet another British woman, Lady Louise Mountbatten.
Both this post and tomorrow’s tie in Sweden, which is very apropos in light of recent news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to visit the country. It’s a coincidence since these posts have been on the books for a while now, but a happy coincidence. Today we’re taking a look at Philippa of England, daughter of Henry IV and sister of Henry V.
As I noted in yesterday’s post, the Duchess of Cambridge is due to undertake her first solo engagement since her third pregnancy was announced on Tuesday, October 31. After disappearing from public view for all of September, she’s popped up on three separate occasions this month, each time accompanying the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry for joint engagements.
The timing of this particular pregnancy announcement was a bit of a double-edged sword. While news of a baby is always happy news in this context and many royal watchers were hoping William and Kate would expand their family, it also came just as Kensington Palace announced that William, Kate and Harry would be doubling down on their royal roles. While William and Harry have absolutely been out and about much more so than they previously would have been in the same time span, Kate’s HG has kept her at home.
And so it is done. Prince Harry wrapped up his second day in Denmark today and returned (ostensibly) to the UK. This morning kicked off with a visit to a bakery where Harry met with volunteers of the mental health organization “One of Us.” He spoke about the dangers of constant social media use, noting:
“People are spending far too much time online and it’s like a mental running machine that they can’t get off. You wouldn’t put your body through such a workout. I’m the last person to say ban it but people are suffering from mental fatigue and getting burnt out. We all need to talk to each other more.”
Now, all of that is fair, but what it really does is beg the question, what is Harry doing on social media? We know he uses Instagram, and we know that he used to have Facebook at one point, but what else is he up to? Your guess is as good as mine.
Prince Harry arrived in Denmark today for the first of his two-day visit to the country, carrying out a slew of engagements in Copenhagen. This mini-tour is seen as yet another stop of the Brexit “Charm Offensive” in which members of the British Royal Family are turning up in various European countries to ensure the seamless continuity of friendly diplomatic relationships.
In October 1660, rumors began swirling that the child Anne Hyde was carrying was fathered by the King’s brother, James Stuart, Duke of York. Even worse, the child wouldn’t be a bastard because the couple secretly married the month before. James’s mother, Henrietta Maria of France, was enraged; Anne’s father, Edward Hyde, a councilor to Charles II, stated publicly that he would rather his daughter was James’s whore than his wife. In short, it wasn’t well-received.
Curiouser and curiouser: The Sunday Express reported yesterday that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary privately. This will be a marked change of procedure from how they celebrated their prior anniversaries, which all saw a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. This is particularly notable because it’s just been made clear that the Queen won’t lay a wreath on Remembrance Day this year; instead, she’ll stand next to Prince Philip on the Foreign Office balcony.
Not too long ago there was some furor (which we briefly covered here) when Queen Margrethe II’s husband, Prince Henrik, announced his decision to forgo burial next to his wife in the traditional resting place of the Danish Royal Family. Instead, he made it clear that his decision was directly tied to the fact he had never been made king, which he viewed as unfair given that female consorts are named queen. A few weeks later it was made clear that Henrik is suffering from dementia and perhaps those strongly-worded statements can be attributed to his health.