Royal Roundup: Autumn is for Scandinavia

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Just a few days after the Duchess of Cambridge re-emerged post-baby announcement, royal reporter Emily Andrews tweeted that, Kate’s health permitting, the Cambridges are expected to visit Sweden and Norway in November. News of a potential abroad trip was first announced in late August, but the location had never been identified. Confirmation, dates and specifics are still pending from Kensington Palace.

The two countries make sense and correlate with an offhand remark William made in the spring about a potential trip to Oslo, so here we go. While we’ve never covered the Swedish Royal Family here, they’re quite popular with royal watchers and include three sets of couples all roughly the same age as William and Kate, one of which recently gave birth and another of which are expecting their own third child this spring. Oh the photo-op possibilities…

As far as timing, Prince Harry is making a two-day trip to Denmark the last week of October, which is followed by 10-day trek for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to Malaysia, Singapore and India until November 9. I’d be surprised if they had William and Kate travel before Charles and Camilla were back in the UK so as not to split attention, so my guess is we’re looking at mid to late November.

And while “health permitting” was used in the phrasing, I’d say it’s a fairly safe bet that they’ll make a go of it. According to Andrews, Kate is in the 13th week of her pregnancy now, so even accounting for a rougher bout of HG than with Prince George or Princess Charlotte, Kate should be in okay shape by next month. But, of course, fingers crossed and such.

The other news swirling this week is that Meghan Markle’s television show, Suits, wraps filming next month and she has told her bosses that she won’t be returning next season. We’ve been hearing iterations of this for months, of course, but I’d say this sounds about right. Frankly, I thought filming didn’t wrap until December, so this is more fodder for those (hint: me) who think a December/January engagement announcement is in the works.

In other Harry news, he is due to travel to Chicago on October 31 to attend the inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation. KP sent out the following tweet, further underlining the friendship between Harry and the former first family, firmly on display during the Invictus Games:

And finally, earlier this week, Harry accepted an award from Attitude magazine on behalf of his mother, the late Princess of Wales, for her work with HIV/Aids in the ’80s.

His full speech is well-worth a read:

In April 1987, my mother was only 25 years old.

She was still finding her way in public life, but already she felt a responsibility, to shine her spotlight on the people and issues that were often ignored. She knew that AIDS was one of the things that many wanted to ignore and seemed like a hopeless challenge. She knew that the misunderstanding of this relatively new disease was creating a dangerous situation when mixed with homophobia.

People were ostracized from their communities – and sometimes from their families – simply for being ill. Staff who treated the ill, were themselves often turned away from local barbers and restaurants, even though it was proven that HIV could not be passed on from casual contact.

And we faced the very real risk that thousands would die in the UK – including many young gay men of her generation – without making any progress towards treatment of the disease.

So when that April, she shook the hand of a 32-year-old man with HIV, in front of the cameras, she knew exactly what she was doing. She was using her position as Princess of Wales – the most famous woman in the world – to challenge everyone to educate themselves; to find their compassion; and to reach out to those who need help instead of pushing them away.

In the years that followed that famous handshake, her work continued, both in public and private. When she visited Mildmay Hospital and the London Lighthouse hospice, she wanted the world to learn the stories of those who were dying. She wanted people to demand action towards treatments that would save lives. And she wanted to get to know those who were dying not as statistics or patients, but as people.

In the year before my mother’s death, the first truly effective anti-retroviral treatments were developed for HIV and AIDS. She did not live to see this treatment become widely available and save countless lives in the UK and around the world.

I often wonder about what she would be doing to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS if she were still with us today.

I believe that she would be telling everyone across society – not just those most at risk – that with effective treatment being free and available in the UK, that we must all embrace regular testing – both for our own sake and for those that we love.

She would be demanding that same access to treatment and testing for young people in Africa and across the world. And she would of course be standing alongside those who are living openly, as healthy, happy and HIV-positive.

William and I are incredibly proud of what our mother achieved. And we thank you for awarding her the Legacy Award.

Oh! And I almost forgot one last bit: the BIG news of the week is that the Queen won’t be laying a wreath during the Remembrance service this November. This is a duty she has carried out nearly every year of her 65-year reign, but it’s thought that she is choosing to forgo it this year in solidarity with the Duke of Edinburgh, who cannot.

It’s a long ceremony, windy and requires quite a bit of standing – in short, this is a concession to age. Instead, the Prince of Wales will lay two wreaths – one for himself and one for his mother.

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Everyone’s freaking out about this, but I’m not quite sure why. This isn’t particularly surprising and we’re going to be seeing more of this trend over the next couple of years as the Queen hands off more and more of her public responsibilities. For more, I would direct you here.

That’s all for now – there’s another historical post scheduled for tomorrow and I plan to cover a few of the engagements announced for Monday, so see you then.

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