The Matriarch: Cecily Neville, Duchess of York


One of my favorite figures from the Wars of the Roses is Cecily Neville, Duchess of York who came very close to becoming England’s queen through her husband and ended up mother to two, Edward IV and Richard III. She was grandmother to the Princes in the Tower, mother-in-law to Elizabeth Woodville and Anne Neville, mother to a Duchess of Burgundy and rival to Marguerite of Anjou. In short, she was something to almost everyone and while we know where she was and what she did more often than most women of her time, we know remarkably little about who she actually was.

If you’re familiar with her, it’s actually a bit astonishing given the wealth of information we have to parse through and the level of fame that her family achieved. We have flashes of activity over the course of several decades, but only two real moments of humanity shine through, both of which relate to her children. We know that she was beautiful, though it’s unclear to what extent that was exaggerated given her rank. We believe that she was religious based on her increasingly public piety and retirement to a convent. We assume she mourned the loss of her husband and children.

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A Tale of Two Duchesses

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The Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex are in the midst of a busy November – one that unfortunately I’m only able to circle in and out of here. As we speak (I type), both women are carrying out engagements in London, but before we get there, I want to catch up on the last seven days. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Duchesses”

The Prince of Wales Turns 70


Today is the Prince of Wales’s birthday, marking 70 years since he made his debut at Buckingham Palace just 11 months after his parents’ famous post-war wedding. By the age four he would become the heir to the throne, by 11 he would be created Prince of Wales, by 21 he would be invested with the title and before he turned 30 he would found the Prince’s Trust, a charitable organization that grew from strength to strength and is still flourishing.

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Let’s Catch Up on Kate

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I missed two engagements for the Duchess of Cambridge over the past ten days, but before we turn to that I want to note that a name was finally released for Pippa Matthews’ son: Arthur Michael William. Funnily enough, Arthur and Michael were favored names by the public for Prince Louis. Anyway, Pippa and her husband have been seen around London with a pram/stroller in tow, so it’s safe to say they’re settling into their new normal.

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The BRF Attends Armistice Day Centenary Service at Westminster Abbey

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Following today’s ceremony at the Cenotaph, the Queen led the British Royal Family at a remembrance service at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day at the close of World War I. Personally I love it when the family gathers at the Abbey – even if it does often signify a solemn occasion – as the optics do such a good job of representing the continuity of the monarchy without saying a word.

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Remembrance Sunday 2018

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For the second year in a row, the Prince of Wales was deputized to lay down a wreath on the Queen’s behalf during Remembrance ceremonies at the Cenotaph. Indeed, this mainstay of the royal calendar has essentially become Charles’s show now that his father is retired and his mother has deemed this event too physically exerting (presumably – we don’t actually know why).

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Remembrance Festival 2018

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I’ve been out of the loop for the last 10 days, but if ever there was a moment to circle back, it’s in time for the annual Remembrance ceremonies. This evening, the Queen led senior members of the British Royal Family at the Royal Festival of Remembrance at Royal Albert Hall in London to commemorate those who lost their lives during World War I. This year is particularly significant given that tomorrow’s Armistice Day will in fact mark the anniversary’s centenary.

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A Wrap Up on the Oceania Tour

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This was a long tour, y’all, and its pace finally got the best of me these past two days. So, with that in mind, below is a very brief recap of the last 36 hours of engagements carried out by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

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William & Kate Carry Out Coach Core Engagement

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I’m keep this brief, but to catch up on today: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out an engagement in Essex on behalf of Coach Core yesterday. A part of the Royal Foundation, the initiative helps young people build a career in coaching via apprenticeship.

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