A Year In Review: The BRF in 2019

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Happy (almost) New Year, everyone. I didn’t write one of these posts last year, but I did in 2017, and I think they’re worth doing as we level-set before 2020. Royal watching is fun for history and fashion lovers (and maybe gossip lovers?), but it’s very easy to get bogged down in the minutia and lose the forest through the trees. The last three years have been eventful for the British Royal Family, but I think it’s worth recognizing that so many of the micro-dramas we’re watching play out are dictated by a macro- one: we’re in the last years of Elizabeth II’s reign and the family is positioning itself, organically and otherwise, for what will likely prove one of the most momentous occasions in its history.

And I say that, yes, with full knowledge that kings and queens have lost their heads, civil wars have been fought, and England has occasionally conquered the better part of France.

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Part Seventeen: Lambert Simnel & the Battle of Stoke Field

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Aaand, we’re back at it. To note, this will be my last historical post before the New Year due to travel, but we’ll reconvene the second week of January. (In the meantime, of course, if you follow the modern stuff , there will the traditional end-of-year wrap-ups next week.) Anyway. The Princes in the Tower. Henry VII. Rebellions. Before we start, if you missed the last post on evidence for the Princes’ potential survival, you can catch up here. I recommend making sure that you’ve read it since I’ve written the below on the assumption you’re clear on those events.

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George & Charlotte Make Their Christmas Debut

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Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is having a happy and relaxing holiday. As we speak, I am typing this next to my sleeping Cavalier King Charles, a roaring fire, and a very festive Christmas tree 🙂 With presents opened and an interlude before dinner, it seems like a good time to check in with the Royal Family. As many of you have no doubt seen, this was a big year over at Sandringham: Prince George and Princess Charlotte joined the Christmas Day walkabout.

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Part Sixteen: Francis Lovell, Colchester & Gipping Hall

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Ok! Part Sixteen! If you missed the most recent post in our Richard III series, then you can catch up here. Today we’re going to discuss evidence that the “Princes in the Tower” may well have survived. I feel fairly confident that the evidence for why they didn’t has been well-covered, and frankly the most glaring piece of it is that they disappeared during Richard III’s reign, so…let’s just go ahead and wade into the murkier territory.

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Four Generations, Three Heirs, One Monarch

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Well, now we know why the Duke of Cambridge and Prince George traveled separately from the Duchess, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis last week: they had to be at Buckingham Palace early to make puddings in the Music Room. More specifically, the Queen gathered her three heirs to film footage that will be aired during her Christmas broadcast this year. The four Windsors agreed to join The Royal British Legion’s “Together at Christmas” initiative, which launches next year and will help service men and women and their families during the holidays.

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Royal Roundup: The Queen’s Speech, Philip’s Hospitalization, & Beatrice’s Engagement Party

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Happy Saturday 🙂 Let’s catch up on some odds and ends from the week, starting with yesterday’s news that the Duke of Edinburgh is in hospital. There was some speculation earlier in the week when he was seemingly absent from the Queen’s luncheon at Buckingham Palace (given that he largely lives in Norfolk now, he, too, would have been seen arriving at some point), but now we know: he’s apparently been under the weather for a few weeks.

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Part Fifteen: Richard III & the Elizabeths

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Better late than never? Let’s hope so. In the late summer and early autumn, there were 14 blog posts dedicated to Richard III, and then…time got away from me. Apologies. But, we’re back at it, and today we’re going to pick up with the fifteenth, covering what Elizabeth Woodville and Elizabeth of York can tell us about Richard III’s reign and the fate of the “Princes in the Tower” – Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York.

As a catch up, the first 11 posts in the series covered Richard’s life from birth until 1483, and then there were two timeline posts that laid out the events of 1483-1485 without commentary. We’re now zooming in on specific people and events, with today’s post starting to really dig into the question of the “Princes.” So, if you want to catch up, here’s a link to the first post in the series, and if you’re good to go, then here’s a link to the timeline of 1484-1485, to which I’ll be referring throughout.

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The Queen’s 2019 Christmas Luncheon

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Every year the Queen hosts a luncheon at Buckingham Palace about a week out from Christmas. It’s an opportunity for the entire family to gather for the holidays and ensure that even those who don’t decamp to Sandringham have an opportunity to see everyone. The Queen herself is expected to head out to Norfolk on Friday, while I would imagine the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge won’t leave until the weekend. Today’s event is private, but every year we do get arrival shots of cars passing through the BP gates, which is always a bit fun.

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The 2019 Diplomatic Reception

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Last night the Queen hosted this year’s diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace, an annual to-do that convenes thousands of representatives from over 100 countries. Members of the Royal Family always attend, and given that the event is white tie, we are always gifted tiaras, family orders, and all the other royal trappings.

This is technically a private reception, and as such, historically, we have had to make do with arrival shots of family members going through the BP gates. Last year, however, photos taken from the party were shared, a shift the Palace has doubled down on this year. It’s a subtle change, but I think an important one – opportunities to allow access in a controlled way are almost always a smart move in the long run, in my opinion.

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