What to Expect From Autumn 2018

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It’s gearing up to be a particularly  busy autumn for the Royal Family this year, between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first long-term tour abroad and the Duchess of Cambridge’s return from maternity leave. September through early December always tend to be the busiest months, with a particular uptick in the number of engagements and appearances in the second half of October and November.

With that in mind, here’s a little bit about what’s on the horizon – and what you can expect here on this site.

Last week saw Kate’s return to work following the birth of Prince Louis in April, while this week we are expected to see her three times. Tomorrow she and William will attend the first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit, likely marking World Mental Health Day on October 10, while on Wednesday, she will visit the V&A Museum, of which she became patron last year. Friday will see her at Princess Eugenie’s wedding, but more on that later on.

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Kate took a solid six months off of work with Louis, making it her longest maternity leave yet with any of her children. I don’t begrudge her that in the slightest – in fact, I think it’s a sign of her confidence in her role that she held firm to it, and I think it sets an excellent example for how working parents should be given that private time with their families. What it does mean, though, is that we are in for a busy autumn with Kate now also in the mix.

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In addition to engagements associated with her own patronages, we will also see her join the Royal Family for Remembrance ceremonies and the celebration of the Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday in November. Later this month, we are in for a state visit from the King and Queen of the Netherlands, for which one member or couple from the House of Windsor acts as the day-to-day host. This year, that couple will be the Earl and Countess of Wessex, however it’s entirely possible that we will catch a glimpse of William and Kate attending the State Dinner on the evening of October 23.

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One more highlight on the Cambridge side of things is the impending birth of Pippa Matthews’s first child, due any day now. It’s unclear how soon we’ll learn of the birth, hear a name or see any photos, but it’s certainly welcome news in Middleton World.

As for Harry and Meghan, this is going to be a big month for them. Their upcoming tour will span over two weeks, take them to four countries and include the opening and closing ceremonies for this year’s Invictus Games. It will include Meghan’s first formal remarks, as well as an afternoon of solo engagements for HRH coming on the afternoon of October 24. Their schedule is jam-packed, and while I broke it down here, it’s also worth noting that it will overlap with the Netherlands State Visit and, likely, regularly scheduled programming from Kate – a lot of royal news, in other words.

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Given how fond people still are of images from William and Kate’s North America tour – their own first tour as a married couple – these engagements, moments and memories will establish the Sussexes’ own sense of the new normal and how they engage with the public and media. Expectations are high, but this is a couple that thus far has yet to disappoint.

Overshadowed by all of this is, quite frankly, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, but I’m not too worried. They have spent a considerable portion of this season with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Balmoral, which is time well spent, and they too have a busy several months ahead of them. In the first two weeks of November, they are due to visit Ghana, Gambia and Nigeria, for which I’m very excited. I probably won’t cover it every day, but my goal is to cover it most days. When they get back, it will be time for Remembrance Day ceremonies and then Charles’s 70th birthday, which will reportedly see a number of celebratory events, including a black tie dinner.

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Last but not least, Princess Eugenie’s wedding is nearly upon us – four days! I’ve shared before that I think this event is a little larger than makes sense, and a bit more of a spectacle than what is in good taste, but here we are. It will, at the very least, summon the Queen from Scotland and give us yet another opportunity to see Prince George and Princess Charlotte. On this final point, I also think it’s worth noting that we’ve seen both children a lot this year – far more than we have in previous years. Some of this has to do with luck of the draw – there have been two royal weddings and their younger brother’s birth – but I also think William and Kate are showing a higher comfort level with when and how they intend to display their children to the public.

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Finally, history – I try to keep a balance between the amount of modern coverage and historical posts, understanding that it shifts back and forth depending on the news cycle, but for the next couple of months I think we’re in for a heavy modern push. I will still try to get a few historical posts up this month and next, but they will be dwarfed by the tour(s) and all the news coming out of London. My apologies in advance, and I hope to reach more balance towards the end of the year!

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