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.
Indeed, this was actually their first walkabout full stop. While George has joined his parents on engagements before, and both children have participated in the arrivals and departures of foreign tours, their direct interaction with the public has been limited. They both did very well, though I think it’s fair to say Charlotte stole the show, which is just as well, since George’s big moment this holiday came with the pudding-making footage with his great-grandmother, grandfather, and father.
The two children walked with both their parents, and the Prince of Wales, for the majority of the trek; however, when it came time to peel off and shake some hands, George paired off with William, while Charlotte joined Kate.
And while both seemed a tad shy, it looks like Charlotte ended up mixing it up a bit more. She accepted a doll from the same royal fan who captured that famous shot of the “Fab Four” in 2017, and when presented with a flamingo from one onlooker, she responded by giving the woman a hug. Hands down, the most heartwarming moment from the day.
On the fashion front, it looks like Kate once again indulged in some light color-coordination. Her forest green hat matched Charlotte’s coat, while William and George were in blue-grey color schemes, and Kate picked up the grey in her own coat. And George was in trousers! He’s growing up!
Speaking of which, I think this is my favorite of all of the Duchess’s Christmas looks over the years. Featuring a faux fur collar and cuffs, the coat is by Catherine Walker, a mainstay of Kate’s wardrobe over the years, while her heels are Emmy London and her earrings are Kiki Mcdough. Big win in my book.
As for other royals on hand, Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Princess Royal and Timothy Laurence, and the Wessexes all turned up. Per usual, Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips, and his family joined as well; her daughter, Zara Tindall, usually spends the holiday elsewhere.
The two big question marks this year were the whether the Duke of Edinburgh would have recovered from his hospital stay and if we’d see the newly retired Duke of York. The answers were yes and sort of, respectively. Philip joined his family at Sandringham on Christmas Eve, while Andrew eschewed the walkabout, but was spotted joining the family when they took in an earlier 9 am service.
Both of his daughters attended with their partners. Princess Eugenie was hand-in-hand with her husband, Jack Brooksbank, and Princess Beatrice was escorted by her fiance, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Btw, in case you’ve missed it, we’re still waiting on final word for the official wedding date, but it’s expected that it will take place in June. Venue and scale are still very much up in the air, but I would guess it will be smaller and more private than Eugenie’s day at Windsor.
Notably, when Andrew was photographed earlier this morning, he was walking alongside Charles. There’s been much speculation as to what role Charles played in his brother’s sacking – indeed, as I’ve said before, I think he did encourage – but today was a good optics move that there’s no bad blood between them, at least publicly. Once again…William and Harry, take note. It is possible to put on a happy face.
Anywho, all in all, a solid turnout and I think it’s a safe bet that George and Charlotte will continue joining these walkabouts every year, giving us one more anchor on the calendar when we’re guaranteed to see them.
Now, let’s catch up on some other holiday odds and ends. The image of all five Cambridges leaked earlier this month has faded into oblivion. In its place, Kensington Palace posted a photo taken of William, George, Charlotte, and Louis taken by Kate. It’s adorable, though I can’t really glean at what point in the year it’s from – all five are wearing jackets, but George is also in shorts, so…your guess is as good as mine.
The Sussexes meanwhile, released a photo of them with Baby Archie. The parents are posed in front of a tree, looking on as Archie crawls towards the camera. Eagle-eyed viewers recognized the carpeting as that in Soho House Toronto, so I guess we know where they’ve been staying over the last couple weeks. There’s been a little kerfuffle in the media over whether the image was photoshopped, as one version circulating has Meghan’s face in focus, while Harry’s is blurred. There’s no mystery here – the original image has only Archie’s face in focus, while the tabloids ran a fan-photoshopped version. Le sigh. No wonder they’re hiding out in Canada, tbh.
Last but not least, the Queen’s Christmas address. There was some ridiculousness over the last 36 hours when stills shared showed images of the Cambridges, Charles and Camilla, and George VI (the Queen’s father) in frames on her desk – Sussex fans took this as a “snub” of the couple. It’s not. It changes every year, it’s not a big deal, and Charles, William, and George are future kings. People need to chill.
Here’s a quick summation of the Queen’s end-of-year wrap up:
- She acknowledged the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, funnily enough an event captured by The Crown’s third season. She also noted it was a big step for “womankind,” in addition to mankind. Love it.
- She referenced her father in a section nodding to the 75th anniversary of D-Day. It allowed for a segue between how once-opposed parties overcame differences to how people could stand to take that lesson to hear today. Indeed.
- She then noted that the generational differences all families are experiencing are also reflected within her own, but that she is personally inspired by young people’s passion for combatting climate issues. This is being taken as a reference to Harry and Meghan, though it should be noted William and Charles are also active on sustainability and environmental issues.
- She also noted the birth of her and Prince Philip’s eighth grandchild – Archie.
- Last but not least, the speech concluded with the most Elizabeth statement of all time: “And, as we all look forward to the start of a new decade, it’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.”
So, there you have it. On Friday another Richard III post is scheduled for publication, and during the last three days of December we’ll have a few EOY wrap-ups, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your holiday, and have a Happy New Year!