A Year in Review: The BRF in 2017


This was certainly a pivotal year for the House of Windsor, from retirements to anniversaries to new babies to engagements. It’s also yet another year in a pretty interesting time period because we’re certainly towards the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign and there is more and more focus on the transition of the future and shifting responsibilities. In light of this, here on this site I pretty much focus only on the members of the Royal Family who will continue to play important roles. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the big moments from the past year.

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2017’s Engagement Numbers & What They Tell Us


It’s that time of year again: annual engagement numbers are out and so now we look a what the statistics tell us about how the British Royal Family did. These numbers were released yesterday thanks to a list published by The Times every year courtesy of a veteran royal watcher, Tom O’Donovan, who has been compiling the statistics since 1979.

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A Clash of Church & State: The Murder of Thomas Becket


“Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest,” said Henry II to his councilors. And with the alacrity of men whose fortunes rose and fell with the pleasure of their king, they leapt at the chance to murder Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury one December night in 1170. The phrasing gave Henry plausible deniability, or the so the legend goes, for it allowed him distance from the crime – offered him room to say his words were misinterpreted. Today the words are held up as an example for how leaders have a responsibility to wield their power responsibly.

The phrasing reaches us thanks to the oral tradition of storytelling in subsequent centuries and the chances of those exact words coming from Henry’s lips are slim. Even so, the fact remains that at one time the King of England had the Archbishop of Canterbury assassinated, ushering in a violent clash between the state and the church and calling into question who was more powerful, king or pope?

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A Year in Review: Kate in 2017


Today we’re going to review the Duchess of Cambridge’s past year. Month by month we’re going to walk through the most memorable moments of 2017, review the fashion and discuss the highs and lows of Kate’s engagements, foreign tours and public appearances. Ideally what we’d like to see each year is growth as Kate evolves within her role as a member of the Royal Family and personalizes her position. In order to gauge that, we’re going to (briefly) cover where we ended in 2016 and then work our way through the highlights of the past 12 months.

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Prince Harry Interviews Obama & Prince Charles + That Wedding Guest List


Today Prince Harry guest edited BBC 4’s Today programming, including headline-grabbing interviews with President Barack Obama and his father, the Prince of Wales. We’re going to focus this post on these two segments, but there were other compelling spots on conservation efforts in Africa, as well as issues concerning the armed forces and mental health, for those that are interested.

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The Queen’s Christmas Message 2017


Happy Boxing Day, everyone! I didn’t have time to write up two posts yesterday, so in a choice between the church walkabout and the Queen’s televised Christmas message I chose the former but we’re circling back today. The speech reflected on the passage of time on multiple fronts, beginning with the Queen’s first televised Christmas message which saw its 60th anniversary this year. The tradition of a holiday address dates back to the reign of the Queen’s grandfather, George V, however up until 1957 the medium by which the monarch reached the public was radio.

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The Debut of the “Fab Four”: Royal Christmas 2017

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Nothing about today was unexpected, but even so, it was still incredibly exciting to not only see Meghan Markle join the Royal Family at Sandringham, but to see the first photos of her and the Duchess of Cambridge together. And if that wasn’t enough, the lineup of her, Prince Harry, Kate and the Duke of Cambridge finally gave us a visual of what has already been deemed the “fab four” by the press – the new normal for the royal trio, if you will.

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What to Expect at the Queen’s Christmas


As we all know by now, Meghan Markle is due to join her first holiday with the Royal Family tomorrow. We don’t know for sure whether she’ll be staying at Sandringham House with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh or at Anmer Hall with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but the best guesses are for the latter. Regardless, we’ll see her on Christmas Day alongside the rest of the Royal Family.

So, what exactly is she in for? Luckily, thanks to holidays traditions not having changed too much in the last several decades, we have a pretty good sense.

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How Does Our Heroine Fare in The Crown’s Season Two?


Before the premier of The Crown’s second season, I addressed some of the controversy caused by its first, primarily criticism that the show didn’t focus enough on Queen Elizabeth, but rather went off on tangents on the men in her life. And while it’s true that Season One spent a lot of time covering Prince Philip, George VI, Winston Churchill and Edward VIII, I also argued that the split in screen time was mostly logical and Elizabeth was still well-covered.

I stand by that when it comes to the first season, but I’m feeling a little less charitable about Season Two.

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