Royal Roundup: Budget Flights & Instagram Stories

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Happy Friday, everyone! I promise we are returning to history (in fact, there are two posts on Richard III scheduled for Saturday and Sunday), but in the meantime I wanted to wrap up some smaller news items from the last few days.

We’ll start with yesterday’s “news,” which is that the entire Cambridge family was spotted flying commercial to Scotland on Thursday morning. This timing was expected for their annual trek to Balmoral, and it’s almost certain that we’ll see William and Kate with the Queen on Sunday morning when the family attends church.

In the images published by the Daily Mail you can see William walking ahead with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, carrying luggage, while Kate trails behind holding Prince Louis. Nanny Maria and Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton, are also with them. You can view the photos here.

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Obviously this come on the heels of bad press for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who were accused of hypocrisy for repeatedly flying private this summer after Harry made comments about climate change in the September edition of British Vogue (edited by Meghan). I’ve seen a couple reactions online that run the gamut of claiming the publication of these pictures “proves” the Sussexes’ “point” that flying commercial leads to unwanted attention, to accusations that the Cambridges are purposefully undermining the Sussexes.

I suppose it bears repeating that the Cambridges fly private when necessary (including in their personal time), and that the Sussexes have also flown commercial. I don’t know how William and Kate have previously traveled to Balmoral – and this is the first year I remember seeing such images – but I’m going to err on the side of no one’s being unduly petty. I think this is more a matter of unfortunate timing and heightened scrutiny on how royals are traveling.

Chris Ship over at ITV wrote a good piece on the situation.

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Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Sussexes shared video of Meghan attending a photo shoot for the upcoming capsule collection she’s helped develop for her patronage, Smart Works. The videos were posted with music, so there’s no audio of the Duchess, but you can see her greeting the models and assisting with the photo shoot.

Royal reporter Omid Scobie shared the videos on Twitter:

ICYMI earlier this week, the Palace issued a strong statement protesting the Duke of York’s innocence in the wake of Epstein-related allegations and describing him as “appalled” at his former friend’s behavior. I noted on Monday that such finality doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for a sensitive situation…and the media has underscored that by digging up evidence of flight logs that show Andrew had many opportunities to meet with one of the young woman claiming to have had an inappropriate relationship with him. You can read more about it here.

We’ll get more information about the Sussexes’ new charitable foundation this autumn, but in the meantime:

I’m going to hold off on digging into this until everything is officially rolled out.

Last but not least, Clarence House announced that the Prince of Wales will attend Emeror Naruhito of Japan’s enthronement ceremony on October 22nd solo.

I’ll follow up on Monday with any church photos released, and then keep an eye out next week for the first engagement announcements of September. It’s entirely possible that we’ll get more details on the upcoming Pakistan and South Africa visits.

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