There’s obviously a LOT going on between the Cambridges and the Sussexes right now – or, at least, there’s a lot being speculated about tension between the two couples. I’m definitely going to get into that when we get to Easter and the actual household division, but for the purposes of this post on the Anzac Day ceremony I’m just going to offer a bit of context for those who haven’t been following this closely.
Basically, on April 25, the Duke of Sussex joined the Duchess of Cambridge for a service at Westminster Abbey in honor of Anzac Day. His appearance was a surprise and came just days after the family appeared in public with the Queen for Easter – an appearance, I should note, that was marred by a perceived chilliness between Harry and his brother, the Duke of Cambridge.
The narrative of ill-feeling between the two couples has been ongoing for the better part of a year now and when it flares up, there’s usually an upcoming public engagement at which the family tries to put a good face on the story. We certainly saw that at Christmas last year when Kate and the Duchess of Sussex were all smiles during the walk to church, and there was somewhat of a showing of that during Commonwealth Day in March.
So, yes, it’s entirely possible that Harry’s attendance for this event was a reaction to the news coverage at Easter. And if ever there were two people fit for friendly spin control, it’s Harry and Kate, who have always had a good relationship. Indeed, these two have always gotten on so well there was a brief period c. 2012/2013 when they were accused of flirting during engagements at which William was present. That’s obviously ridiculous, but they clearly have a sibling-esque bond, as evidenced by their clear affection for one another and the fact that they’re constantly cracking each other up.
I would also point out that there’s another poignant note on display here, which is that this time last year, Kate had just given birth to Prince Louis and it was Harry and Meghan, just weeks before their wedding, who carried out this engagement. And it was in fact William who made a surprise appearance, unexpectedly joining the couple for the service. At the time I enjoyed that simply because for years it was Harry playing the third wheel, but I like the optics of Kate now stepping up while Meghan is out on maternity leave and William out of the country.
I think it’s important, too, that we consider whatever else may be going on behind the scenes (and again, we will be covering that in more detail), there is still a long history and considerable love between Harry and the Cambridges…even if we have less evidence from William of late.
With that, let’s talk Kate’s clothes. She debuted a blue coat dress from Catherine Walker and a new (very bold!) hat from Rosie Olivia. The real twist was that she paired the blue color scheme with green heels and a clutch by Emmy London – hey, that is pretty bold for K Midz! I’m not in love with this coat dress, which is obviously very reminiscent of blue and red Catherine Walker pieces we’ve seen in the past, but there’s nothing about it to actively dislike in my book. I’m a fan of the hat because I am always pro-feather, so I’m going to go ahead and call this a tepid win 🙂
Finally, a quick note on precedence because I saw some conversation about this at the time. Usually when we see Kate and Harry together, William is also present – whether that’s engagements the three of them attend or larger family gatherings. As such, William and Kate usually take precedence together as the future king and queen. During the Commonwealth Day service, for example, you saw Harry and Meghan sitting a row behind William and Kate. That was why. However, because nothing is simple, the precedence actually shifts for Kate when William isn’t present.
In other words, when William is there, she assumes his position as his wife. When he isn’t, then she is essentially outranked by a prince of the blood (I hate that term, but here we are). During the Anzac Day ceremony, you will see that Harry sat closer to the altar, while the man in-between him and Kate is none other than the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Gloucester (another prince of the blood since he’s a descendant of George V). Had Meghan been present, she would have assumed Harry’s position and Kate would have been in fourth place.
(And people wonder why there’s often been tension between royal families throughout history…)
Anywho, it’s a bit ridiculous, but it’s how it’s done, and now you know!