James Middleton Gets Married

This past Saturday, The Duchess of Cambridge’s younger brother, James Middleton, married Alizée Thevenet in Bormes-les-Mimosas, where the bride’s family currently resides. The couple announced their engagement in September 2019 and were due to marry last year, but those plans were postponed due to the pandemic.

Details are sparse, and so far the only photo the public has seen came from James himself when he posted the above pic to his Instagram account. However, courtesy of the town mayor, we do know that William, Kate, and their three children were in attendance along with the rest of the Middleton family.

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The Edinburgh Question

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As we’ve discussed here many times – and as has been widely reported for years, if not decades – The Prince of Wales’s vision for the British Royal Family is a smaller one. That means fewer royals empowered to represent the monarch and the institution, less expense, and fewer titles. This last issue is our topic for today, because the question of whether or not – and when – Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor would become HRH Prince Archie raised by The Duchess of Sussex in March has had an interesting domino effect.

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Sussex Stuff

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So, a million years ago I promised a follow-up to the Oprah/Meghan interview, but that particular week got away from me and then, well, the Sussex news never really abated. I thought about doing a bunch of mini-sections on various royal activities, but honestly, most of them ladder back up to the same issue: Harry and Meghan won’t stop talking. Since I last chimed in on them, the couple has threatened more news organizations with legal action, briefed the press in direct contradiction of the Palace, sat down for more celebrity interviews that insult the Prince of Wales, and now Harry is apparently writing a memoir. The only positive item there is to report is the birth of a daughter last month – Lilibet Diana – but even that news was blighted by a ridiculous back and forth with Buckingham Palace and the BBC over her name.

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A Royal Family After Philip

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When I first started writing here in January 2017 I was a little mad at myself for not having started sooner. The year felt so random at first, coming on the heels of the relatively quiet 2016 and well after the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. In retrospect, that year was the beginning of a new royal era – William and Kate moving back to London, William beginning as a full-time royal, the introduction and then engagement of Meghan, and, of course, The Duke of Edinburgh’s retirement.

His final engagement that summer was one of the more moving I’ve covered here and the images captured during it (such as the one above) were incredible. Philip retiring from public life was in and of itself historical – as has been captured in countless headlines and articles covering his life and death over the last few weeks, he was the longest-serving consort in British history. For the three years after his retirement he remained primarily at Wood Farm, a smaller residence on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, while the Queen split her time between Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Last March, so as to ensure safety during quarantine, Philip joined his wife at Windsor.

His presence has thus been behind-the-scenes, of late. Very much a part of the family, but not necessarily the institution. Decisions and machinations that will drive how the Royal Family functions going forward have fallen to the Queen and The Prince of Wales – we saw this with how the two handled The Duke of York and The Duke of Sussex, the latter situation also roping in The Duke of Cambridge. Philip’s death, therefore, feels even more so like a family’s private loss. He took his leave of us, the public, a few years ago now.

With that, let’s turn to the funeral and what’s come out of it.

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William Defends the BRF

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out an engagement at an East London school today. Candidly, I haven’t been closely tracking their schedules since everything shut down and the Zoom photos don’t do much for me, but I *think* this is their first live joint appearance since their mini-domestic tour a couple months ago. Whatever the case, they were out and about today and it was good to see something normal-ish in the royal world.

I heard a wildly unsubstantiated rumor that I will go ahead and repeat that this was originally meant to be a Kate only appearance, but once it became clear when the Sussex interview would air, it was re-calibrated to include William so she wasn’t handling awkward questions on her own. If true then fair enough because exactly that happened.

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BRF Responds to Oprah Interview

A few hours ago, Buckingham Palace released a statement on the Queen’s behalf that read:

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”

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Tin Hats On

Yes, I’m back. How could I not be after that? We’ll do a proper catch up some other time because we need to turn to what I’m going to go ahead and decree the cultural interview of the decade and it’s only 2021. I’m not going to give a lot of grounding context – unless you’re living under a rock (and clearly you’re not because you’re reading this!) you’re well aware that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Harry & Meghan) sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey and it aired in the U.S. this evening in a two-hour special. I had anticipated recapping while also touching upon the buildup this past week (the bullying claims, etc.) but I’m going to have to save that for another post. There. Was. No. Filler. We have much to cover.

I’ll try not to be long-winded, but if you’ve been reading here for a while then you well know that’s not really my forte, so here we go 🙂 [Edit: Now that I’m done writing, of course this is long. Of course! Tomorrow I’ll go back through and copy edit, etc. Apologies in advance for typos but I wanted to get this up tonight since my God, what else are we going to talk about??]

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All Green Everything

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Shall we pick up where left off? Let’s. February feels like a billion years ago now that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, but at the same time, writing about this winter is nearly long enough to be nostalgic, so let’s go with that. On February 26, the Duchess of Cambridge attended a SportsAid event in London where she joined a foot race and tried her hand a taekwondo.

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William & Kate Attend Theatre On Behalf of The Royal Foundation

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On February 25, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a showing of “Dear Evan Hansen” on behalf of The Royal Foundation at the Noël Coward Theatre in Covent Garden. The musical raises the topic of mental health and Kensington Palace noted in its social media posts that it’s been credited with encouraging parents and teenagers to better communicate.

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RIP Sussex Royal

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Well, the time has come to catch up on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Obviously by now their “farewell tour” has come and gone, and we’ll get to that as we delve into March, but for the purposes of this post I want to focus on the news that came out at the end of February re: the use of “Sussex Royal” for the couple’s branding in their new non-royal, North American life. God help us all.

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