The Independent Beauty: Mary, Duchess of Gloucester

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Like all the daughters of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Princess Mary’s life was a little bit tragic and a little bit mundane. Born in April 1776, Mary was the first of her parents’ children to arrive in the middle of the American Revolution. Ten other children preceded her in the royal nursery, but few of them would be able to match Mary in confidence or spirit, both of which may very well have stemmed from the fact she was early on considered the most attractive of her siblings.

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Harry & Meghan Take Cardiff

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s day started with, well, a delay. Thanks to an issue with the train, the couple was about an hour late when they finally arrived in Cardiff, Wales. Even that – or the slight rain that started – couldn’t put a damper on the crowds who assembled to greet them, many of them who started gathering as early as 6 am.

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Tennis in the Afternoon: the Kate Edition

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If you missed it, you can find coverage of today’s morning engagement at Great Ormond Street Hospital here. Otherwise, let’s get into it: the Duchess of Cambridge spent her afternoon at Bond Primary School in Mitcham to highlight the work of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative (WJTI).

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Kate’s in Boden for a Visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital

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Another day, another color. Earlier today (much earlier, actually – apols for the delay), the Duchess of Cambridge carried out two engagements in London. We’ll cover them in separate posts, so let’s jump right in to her morning.

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William & Kate (in Mulberry) Visit Coventry

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out a handful of engagements in Coventry today, including visits to the local cathedral, university and a youth organization. As with the couple’s recent day in Birmingham and their attendance at the media summit in Manchester, it represents a renewed focus on ensuring the two are a presence throughout Britain.

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Henry VIII’s Last Execution & His Daughter-in-Law

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About a year ago we covered the early Howards, including John, 1st Duke of Norfolk who saw his rise through the Yorkist kings, and his son, Thomas, Earl of Surrey, who managed to work his way into the favor of Henry VII. The family’s ascent was solidified by the 1495 marriage of Thomas’s eldest son and heir to Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister, Anne. Unfortunately the only product of the marriage was a short-lived son who passed away around the age of 10. Anne herself died of unknown causes in 1511 and her widower found himself in need of another wife.

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Victoria S2: Yes, He Would Know, But I Will Not Ask Him

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And so we are back for another season of Victoria. This aired in the UK this past August, but only today made its debut here in the U.S. It’s been nearly a year since the first season wrapped and I’ll confess that I didn’t give myself a refresher by re-watching or even scanning the recaps. I found myself remembering plot lines as they were re-introduced tonight, but it’s safe to say we’ve picked up where we left off.

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The Last Plantagenet: Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury

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The life of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury is likely familiar to those who enjoy studying the Tudors, but for those who don’t, it is a story that perfectly exemplifies several realities of life outside the very center of the Royal Family. Margaret was born a niece of a king and ended up the daughter of a traitor, the wife of an unknown entity and the mother of a papist in the middle of the reformation. She managed to survive until the third act of Henry VIII’s reign, but by then she stood for something else entirely as one of the last Plantagenets to have made it that far in Tudor England.

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Kate Makes a Surprise Visit to the Anna Freud Centre

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The Duchess of Cambridge turned up unexpectedly at the Head Start Learning conference today held by the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Familes (AFCCF). Kate has been patron of the centre for a few years now and it aligns nicely with her focus on early intervention and childhood development. Reportedly, the visit wasn’t announced so that Kate could eschew media attention to focus on the conference itself, which included myriad speakers and presentations.

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George II & Caroline of Ansbach’s Hatred for Their Eldest Son

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Few dynamics within the Royal Family are as strange as that between the monarch and heir. Never was this more abundantly clear than when George I came over from Germany in 1714 and established the House of Hanover. From that day on, a reliable tension has nearly always existed and arguably strains of it have been felt as late as the 20th century. To-date, the most chilling example of it has to be the relationship between George II and Caroline of Ansbach with their eldest son, Frederick, the Prince of Wales.

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