The slow few weeks that used to make up the royal calendar as the family returned to work after the Christmas holiday are more and more a thing of the past – at least for the younger generation. The Duchess of Cambridge has already carried out four solo engagements in London and one away day in Coventry with the Duke of Cambridge, while Kensington Palace announced at the end of last week that she’s due to launch a new mental health project for children with Place2Be, the Anna Freud Centre and Young Minds UK on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she’ll follow that up with an engagement focused on her new area of interest: maternal mental health. And all of this comes before she and William carry out their tour of Stockholm and Oslo at the end of the month.
As a point of comparison, in January 2017, Kate appeared in public a total of three days, and only one of them was dedicated to solo engagements.
In case you haven’t seen, I’ve changed the landing page for “the Duchess of Cambridge” to list out upcoming engagements, including tour dates and itineraries, while the new running list of her appearances with links to corresponding posts can be found under “the Duchess of Cambridge: 2018.” A similar landing page appears for Meghan, but since this is year one for her, it’s thus far confined to a single space.
To cover off on Kate news, she was spotted driving through London on Friday, ostensibly to pick up one of her children from school. As has been widely reported, whenever possible William and Kate prefer to handle the school runs for Prince George and Princess Charlotte themselves. You can see the rest of the photos here.
And while Christmas might seem like it was ages ago at this point, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh remain at Sandringham per tradition. They are due to return to London after Accession Day (February 6), while the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are returning to their own engagements this coming week. A few members of the RF were photographed attending church this morning through a smattering of snow. The Queen and Prince Philip were joined by their son, the Duke of York, and their two granddaughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
This easily takes photo of the week:
Back in London, Meghan Markle has reportedly chosen a maid of honor…and a wedding gown. Her close friend, Jessica Mulroney, was spotted arriving in London on January 10 and is believed to have stayed with the couple at Nottingham Cottage through the 14th. The theory is that she was there for the first fitting, indicating Meghan has chosen a dress and the wedding party is shaping up. As for who the designer is, as with Kate back in 2011, we likely won’t know for sure until the day itself.
And finally, there’s been a theory floating around for the last several months that Kate would like a home birth with her third child, forgoing the trip to hospital. The Express quoted a “royal source” with:
“Catherine has said she would love to have her baby at home,” said a royal source in London.
“She has discussed it with William and he is being very supportive. They both think it would be lovely for the family to have a home birth, particularly for George and Charlotte.
“Above all they both agree that having a home birth would save a massive intrusion into the day to day running of any hospital where she gave birth.
“They were very concerned about the chaos caused with the first two children as hundreds of press and public camped outside for several days, and they would like to avoid a repeat if they could.
“They don’t think it’s fair on other patients at the hospital and people visiting their relatives.”
We probably won’t know until we know on this one, though I will say when I first heard these rumors I dismissed them as unlikely, but am slightly more inclined to believe them now since they haven’t evaporated. While I suppose I can understand it may be easier logistically to deliver at home, I do find myself a little disappointed that we won’t get the traditional shot of the two leaving with their new baby. The idea makes me a little nervous, too, that it will be seen as yet another example of the couple shutting the public out. So, this one is both a “maybe” and a “hope not” in my book.
And with that we’re all wrapped up. I’ll post a recap of the latest Victoria episode later this evening or early tomorrow morning, we’ll cover Kate’s two engagements and I’ll squeeze in one more historical post before we’re pretty much in non-stop Scandinavian tour coverage the week of 1/29. See you then!