As the Duke of Sussex took final leave of London and jetted back to Vancouver, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out a new milestone in their own royal careers: hosting their first reception at Buckingham Palace. The juxtaposition remains startling, but this engagement came as close to a response as we’re going to get from the rest of the Family – a display of unity. While William and Kate headlined Monday evening, the Palace announced that they were to be flanked by the Princess Royal and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
I remain unclear on whether this was the plan all along, or if the Palace added three other royals to the lineup post-Sussexit news.
Even if unintentional, it was an interesting response to questions over who would “replace” Harry and Meghan in the royal lineup. Right now? No one, because there are already figures like Princess Anne and the Wessexes working on behalf of the Queen. They may not be superstars, but they do show up for work.
I wouldn’t be shocked if we see more promotion of these three throughout the year, nor would I be surprised if they start to generate slightly more media attention. A silver lining to Sussexit is that it drove a lot of new attention towards the Royal Family, so they might as well make the best of it.
Anywho. The reception in question was in honor of the UK-Africa Investment Summit, during which African leaders have visited London to discuss trade and investment deals. Members of the Royal Family, including William (and Harry before he left), took meetings over the last few days, and there’s a line of thinking that the Cambridges’ prominent positioning may hint at a possible African tour later this year. I would personally be highly in favor of this, so fingers crossed.
My favorite part of the evening was watching the warmth and informality with which Kate, Sophie, and Anne engaged one another. A lot of hay has been made over the last couple weeks about the British Royal Family being toxic and cold, and while I’ll grant you theirs is a strange dynamic, several of its members do enjoy positive relationships and personal closeness. It’s not impossible. It exists. We can see it with our own eyes.
Kate wore a new red, sparkly dress by British label Needle & Thread. It appears to be a bespoke version of the “Aurora” dress that sells at retail. It’s certainly pretty. Hardly groundbreaking. Kind of reminds me of a scarlet version of the gold Erdem she wore back in 2017 for the UK-India Year of Culture event. Sorry, that’s not really a robust fashion analysis, but then, when do I ever really provide that? 😉
William delivered a lovely speech that referenced his proposal to Kate in Kenya back in 2010:
Finally, Kensington Palace has announced a new engagement for the couple on January 27 when they visit Westminster Abbey for the UK Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony. We have yet to see notice for Kate’s first solo engagement of the year, but as we’ve discussed, those have recently been “surprises,” so she could really turn up at any time!
6 thoughts on “The New World Order”
This post made me smile. I am so happy to see this family working together and supporting each other. Both ladies look fabulous in red.
Agreed – it was a great call to have all five of these working royals attend.
Let’s here it for Sophie. She’s “got the T-shirt!” A successful career woman who married in her 30’s into the BRF, made the adjustment (and not without some difficult moments), is halfway through raising two children, and clearly has a good relationship with her in-laws. Why oh why couldn’t Harry have chosen someone like Sophie! I do hope we see more of her now. I mean, someone has to give the overworked Princess Royal a break and let the woman semi-retire at her age. I bet she’d like to spend more time with Zara and her little ones.
I would definitely love to see Sophie get more attention for her work. Now that there will be less consistent Sussex news, I’m going to try to weave her in a bit more to posts. The hard part is that her media coverage is inconsistent, so there aren’t always great photos or reporting on her engagements and tours. Still, I’m going to see what I can do!
Perhaps a retrospective post on Sophie, right back to her career days. I’ll bet many of your readers are, understandably, not very aware of Sophie’s background and marriage to Edward just over twenty years ago.
I have actually done this! The post is a couple years old at this point, but I did write up a Wessex family backgrounder here: https://rebeccastarrbrown.com/2017/06/19/edward-sophie-the-wessex-family/. I’ll start linking to it when I reference her, though – you’re right that many are unfamiliar with their history 🙂