The Sandringham Summit

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Happy Monday, everyone. It’s been a very full four days since we last checked in here on Sussexit, so let’s get right to it. Following a meeting this afternoon at Sandringham between the Queen, Prince of Wales, and Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, the Queen released the following statement:

“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.

“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.

“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”

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Sussexit 2020

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Well. Wednesday was a crazy day. If you missed the drama, then you can catch up here on the initial wave of reporting. Today, we’re going to touch on some odds and ends that didn’t make it into my initial post because of all the information coming out, as well as weigh in on some of the reactions and narratives beginning to build.

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2019’s Engagement Numbers & What They Tell Us

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[N.B. The below post was written before the Sussexes’ news yesterday. Since it’s not overly relevant to this topic, I haven’t edited it, save one little note at the end.]

Before we get started, Happy Birthday to the Duchess of Cambridge, who turns 38 today! The occasion was marked at Anmer Hall last weekend, but I’m sure there are some day-of festivities planned now that the family has returned to London. We’ll next see her out and about on Wednesday when she and the Duke visit Bradford for their first engagement of the new year.

With that, let’s turn to the matter at hand: last year’s engagement numbers. If you keep up with royal news then you may have seen the end-of-year articles tracking who the “hardest working” member of the Royal Family was in 2019. If you read more than one, then you may have noticed very different statistics get reported. There’s no exact science to these tallies – what constitutes an engagement is in the eye of the beholder, however the most traditional approach is to count it if it made it into the Court Circular.

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The Nuclear Option [UPDATED]

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex just announced on Instagram that they are stepping back from the Royal Family and, beginning this year, will split their time between England and North America. Per their statement, they still intend to support their patronages, but their charitable foundation sounds like it will be separate, and they will be working towards becoming “financially independent.”

Apparently they chose the nuclear option.

*Updated portion at the end of the post.

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Will Harry & Meghan Move to Canada?

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[Note: This post went live two hours before the Sussexes’ announcement about their 2020 plans. You can catch up on that here.]

British tabloid The Sun is reporting that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are seriously considering a more permanent move to Canada after the success of their six-week break. According to sources on background described as “friends,” the couple might leave the UK while still carrying out royal duties and maintaining staff based at Buckingham Palace. On the table is the possibility that they will drop their HRHs.

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Harry & Meghan Return to Royal Work at Canada House

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Yesterday it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would carry out an engagement today at Canada House. The press release shared advised that the couple planned on thanking the High Commissioner for Canada’s “warmth and hospitality” during their roughly six-week stay, as well as viewing a new art exhibit on display and meeting with staff who work on UK-Canada partnerships.

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A Year in Review: Meghan in 2019

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Happy Monday, everyone! We’re due to see Meghan for the first time in 2020 tomorrow, so today we’re going to take a look back on her 2019. Before I write these posts, I like to look back on what I wrote the previous year and I was semi-surprised to see that I concluded my 2018 recap for Meghan with a warning that the hardest bit was still to come. I think we’ve seen that play out over the last 12 months, and it’s been at times frustrating and difficult to watch.

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William & Kate Host Anmer Hall Weekend

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It’s that time of year again – after the din of Christmas and New Years falls away, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge host friends and family at Anmer Hall the first weekend in January ahead of Kate’s birthday. We know this because, like clockwork, the Cambridges and members of their party are photographed walking to church on Sunday, so we usually have a good sense of who’s attended.

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A Year in Review: Kate in 2019

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Last week I named the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge the Royal Family’s MVPs of 2019, so it stands to reason this was a big year for Kate. Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that I think there’s been a Cambridge renaissance this year in the court of public opinion, but no, in the sense that I don’t think either they or Kensington Palace did anything drastically different. But what 2019 proved to be is the first year Kate was as a full-time working royal without interludes away due to pregnancy and maternity leave, so it was a significant one by that alone.

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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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