Maria Fitzherbert, George IV’s Catholic Wife

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Before George IV married Caroline of Brunswick and embarked on one of the most disastrous and humiliating royal matches in British history, he took another wife, one of his own choosing. The problem was that she was Catholic, and not of the Stuart variety, but rather a nice Englishwoman who was only noble adjacent. Neither her social position nor her financial situation made her a viable contender for a royal marriage, and the prince who fell in love with her was none other than the heir to the throne.

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The Royal Family Attends the Queen’s Christmas Luncheon

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Annual events always provide a solid anchor on the royal calendar to which we can look forward and the Christmas traditions are particularly festive. Each year the Queen hosts a luncheon at Buckingham Palace the week before the holiday, just before she and the Duke of Edinburgh leave London for the Sandringham estate in Norfolk. The entire Royal Family turns up for the meal, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte, so it provides a reliable moment at which we can see the children. Even more, it’s a moment when the RF is truly acting like a family in a way with which most of us can relate.

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Elizabeth of Lancaster & Her Three Marriages

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Elizabeth of Lancaster, granddaughter of Edward III and sister of Henry IV, was a bit of a royal rebel back in her day. Married three times, she has garnered herself a reputation for being a headstrong and difficult young woman whose character was reportedly the complete opposite of her elder sister, Philippa. But as one must ask themselves when a historical female figure is brandished “problematic,” is this unfair?

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Royal Roundup: Royal Wedding on May 19, King Michael’s Funeral & Camilla’s Christmas Party

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It’s been a while since we’ve done a full-blown royal roundup of news, but with a few odds and ends popping up over the past week or so, today is as good a day as any to touch base on what’s been happening. The most important announcement is perhaps that Kensington Palace released a wedding date for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Mark your calendars for May 19, 2018!

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The Crown S2: Mystery Man

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This was a strange episode, but one whose point, I think, was captured in its final moments. Philip and Elizabeth face off at Balmoral for yet another Come to Jesus, only this time a little older, a little wiser and by far more tired. It’s a parallel, presumably, to the opening scene of the series, one whose ending we finally saw in the third episode, during which the two strike a deal for how to stay married – elevate Philip’s rank and, apparently, give him control of the children.

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The Crown S2: Paterfamilias

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This episode was easily the series’ most heartbreaking – and also quite possibly its best. Elizabeth was all but a nonentity in it, save one rather tense scene, but Charles springs forth for the first time as a central character, albeit not one who reflects on his parents well. As we have done for the last few recaps, we’ll capture the gist of what happened and then delve into how much of this is accurate. Spoiler alert: this episode and the next one have garnered some of the series’ most significant criticism for its depictions of moments involving Philip.

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The Crown S2: Dear Mrs. Kennedy

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So, here we are. The episode that has garnered so very many headlines in the last couple of weeks – the arrival of John and Jackie Kennedy at Buckingham Palace. Once again, however, we are playing it fast and loose with the timeline. Ostensibly a year has passed since the last episode and we are in June 1961 when the Queen and Prince Philip actually hosted the first couple, however by the end it’s November 1963 and the Royal Family is watching the aftermath of Kennedy’s assassination.

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The RF Attends Grenfell Tower Memorial Service [UPDATE]

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Members of the Royal Family turned up for a memorial service at St. Paul’s Cathedral earlier today. Held in honor of those who lost their lives during the Grenfell Tower fires earlier this year, the Cathedral was packed with about 1,500 people, including the families and friends for those affected, and other residents who lost their homes.

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The Death of Prince Albert

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Irony of ironies, but the very date that Queen Victoria branded a bad omen and which holds a very fraught history within the Royal Family is in fact my birthday: December 14. I’ve never known quite what to make of that, especially since Queen Victoria was the first British monarch I took a particular interest in. But there’s a reason she hated the day – and a few reasons why she became quite superstitious about it – her husband died on December 14, plunging her into a 40-year widowhood at the age of 42.

Not only that but 10 years later, her eldest son nearly died of the same disease (Typhoid) on the very same day – when the 14th rolled around, however, he miraculously began to recover. Seven years after that, Princess Alice became the first  of Victoria’s children to die on, you guessed it, December 14, 1978. Even as late as 1895 the date had resonance – Mary of Teck, then Duchess of York, gave birth to her second son on December 14th of that year and her husband was afraid to tell the Queen lest she be somehow offended. She wasn’t, but she did note his birth date was “unfortunate.”

So, on this most unfortunate of days, but one on which I get to eat cake and open presents, let’s go back to the OG and take a look at Prince Albert’s death.

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