Happy Sunday, everyone. After a week of straight history, I thought I’d round up some of the news that’s come in over the last several days before the year’s first engagements kick off. Today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were snapped walking to church at Sandringham with the Duke of Edinburgh (the Queen drives from the house).
Thanks to the presence of Kate’s sister, Pippa, and her husband, James Matthews, it seems likely that the Middletons have joined the Cambridges at Anmer Hall to celebrate Kate’s 36th birthday on Tuesday. We don’t know how the couple spent the rest of break, but rumor has it that Pippa and James were spotted flying to Mustique, a traditional Middleton getaway spot. It’s entirely possible that William and Kate joined the extended family and have since returned to Norfolk, but there’s no confirmation. This also marks the second year in a row that the family has celebrated Kate’s birthday from Anmer Hall and made their way to church with the Queen and Prince Philip, still in residence at Sandringham.
I was unclear around Christmas when the Cambridges were to return to London now that Prince George is enrolled at school, but it’s been reported he is not due back until Tuesday, the 9th, still allowing for a sizable break. This comes on the heels of the announcement that Princess Charlotte is enrolled for nursery school at Willocks in Kensington. Their term began on Thursday, Jan. 4, leading many to wonder if we would be gifted pictures of her starting school akin to what we received in January 2016 when George began nursery. We haven’t yet, so the new theory is that she’s not starting until this Tuesday when the family is back in London.
Kate is wearing her brown Moloh coat, which she wore for Christmas in 2014. She’s paired it with a new brown fur hat and Tod’s heels. Her handbag is the same small Chanel bag that she debuted in Paris back in March, a surprising choice given Kate usually opts for clutches.
In other holiday news, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle flew to Monaco to ring in the new year. They apparently “partied like tycoons” (sure) with friends, including Prince Albert and Princess Charlene. Their destination and ramped up security ensured that no photos have been released and it was a private holiday. They have since returned to the UK and the couple are scheduled to carry out their first engagement of the year on Tuesday in Brixton, which we’ll cover here.
And finally, it was announced that Mike and Zara Tindall are expecting another child in 2018. Zara, of course, is the Princess Royal’s only daughter and the Tindalls are probably closest to the Cambridges out of William’s Windsor cousins. Their daughter, Mia, was born just a few months after George, so this marks the second time that the two women have had overlapping pregnancies. The news also follows last year’s sad announcement that Zara suffered a miscarriage right around the four-month mark, so it’s a relief to hear they’re expecting again. The Tindalls were absent from Sandringham for Christmas, instead celebrating the holiday in Australia.
The first round of engagements have been scheduled for the Kensington Palace crew. Following Harry and Meghan’s day out on Tuesday, William and Kate will carry out their first engagements (separately) on Wednesday. Another away day was also announced for them on Tuesday, the 16th. I would imagine at least one more event will be squeezed in for Kate between then and the couple’s departure to Oslo and Stockholm at the end of the month.
A full itinerary for the tour has yet to be announced, but it’s been reported that the couple will spend most of their time in Sweden with Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel, although a formal dinner with the King and Queen is on the books. I’ll do a rundown of the Swedish Royal Family before they depart to help put names to faces for those who don’t follow them, but all told, it’s beginning to sound like a very exciting two days for royal watchers.
And that, my friends, is that (for now). In addition to covering the two new engagements this week, we have four historical posts scheduled. Starting next Sunday we’ll also cover the second season of Victoria, so for those in withdrawal from The Crown, well, it’s not the same, but it’ll have to do.