Hello again! It’s late March now, but I’m going to tick through the last six weeks and catch up on all things royal. I’m going to back date posts covering specific engagements, but TBD on how I handle the more conversational/opinion posts (i.e. all things Sussex). With that, let’s get to it. On February 4, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent an away date in Mumbles and Port Talbot in South Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge once again attended the BAFTA awards on Sunday night. William has long served as the BAFTA president, and while he has attended the annual ceremony here and there over the years, it wasn’t until 2017 that it became a mainstay on the couple’s calendar. As such, it’s a fun event where we know we’re going to get a black tie ensemble, and the royal pair always hit the red carpet last, taking their seats in the theatre just before the show begins.
On Wednesday morning the Duchess of Cambridge turned up at the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) Stockwell Gardens Nursery School in support of her recently launched national survey on child development. Visiting around breakfast time, Kate met with kitchen staff about the importance of nutrition as they prepped a meal, as well as parents, educators, and students about the questions posed in her survey.
On Tuesday the Duchess of Cambridge carried out a solo engagement at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, a pretty straightforward outing if ever there was one. She was there to participate in an arts and craft session with children in her capacity as both the hospital’s patron and the National Portrait Gallery’s, which runs creative workshops for young patients throughout London.
On Monday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a memorial service in Central Hall commemorating the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation. This was a pre-announced appearance, but prior to the event, Kensington Palace shared that Kate participated in a Holocaust Memorial Day Trust project that had her take two photographs of Holocaust survivors with their families. The pictures will feature in a broader exhibit the Trust is putting on in coordination with Jewish News and the Royal Photographic Society, the latter of which Kate is patron.
Last autumn was a crazy time for the House of Windsor, so an update on Princess Haya that I had planned for November fell through the cracks. Now that the dust has settled on Sussexit, let’s catch up on where we left off. As background for those new to this issue, Princess Haya is the estranged wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. She “fled” Dubai for Europe over the summer and has subsequently settled in London with the couple’s two children where she’s now fighting for custody and other protections.
I wrote this morning’s post yesterday, noting at its end that we were still waiting for the Duchess of Cambridge’s first solo engagement of the New Year, but cautioning it could come at any moment. Well, indeed! A couple hours later Kensington Palace had a big announcement for us – Kate has unveiled a national survey asking five “big questions” to help improve early childhood. To mark the occasion, she is now undertaking a 24-hour “tour” of the UK, carrying out engagements in Birmingham, Cardiff, and Surrey.
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.
Well. It’s been three days since the Palace announced a Sussexit decision. On the day-of I did an informal chat with a few of you on Instagram, but I ended up holding off on a full post since details were still emerging through the evening and into the rest of the weekend. I’m glad that I waited, because I think we have a fuller picture of what’s happening now, but thank you for your patience as the dust settled!
Let’s not talk about Sussexit. Instead, let’s catch up on literally everyone else in the Royal Family, because surprisingly there’s been a fair bit going on. Most of what follows is from the last week, with a few tidbits that date back a little earlier but were lost in the Christmas shuffle.