Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is having a happy and relaxing holiday. As we speak, I am typing this next to my sleeping Cavalier King Charles, a roaring fire, and a very festive Christmas tree 🙂 With presents opened and an interlude before dinner, it seems like a good time to check in with the Royal Family. As many of you have no doubt seen, this was a big year over at Sandringham: Prince George and Princess Charlotte joined the Christmas Day walkabout.
Well, now we know why the Duke of Cambridge and Prince George traveled separately from the Duchess, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis last week: they had to be at Buckingham Palace early to make puddings in the Music Room. More specifically, the Queen gathered her three heirs to film footage that will be aired during her Christmas broadcast this year. The four Windsors agreed to join The Royal British Legion’s “Together at Christmas” initiative, which launches next year and will help service men and women and their families during the holidays.
Every year the Queen hosts a luncheon at Buckingham Palace about a week out from Christmas. It’s an opportunity for the entire family to gather for the holidays and ensure that even those who don’t decamp to Sandringham have an opportunity to see everyone. The Queen herself is expected to head out to Norfolk on Friday, while I would imagine the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge won’t leave until the weekend. Today’s event is private, but every year we do get arrival shots of cars passing through the BP gates, which is always a bit fun.
If you enjoy royal watching and are a fan of The Great British Baking Show, then I hope you caught last night’s Christmas special with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Mary Berry. I only watched snippets of it, but it was full of family tidbits, festiveness, and of course, baking.
Last night the Queen hosted this year’s diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace, an annual to-do that convenes thousands of representatives from over 100 countries. Members of the Royal Family always attend, and given that the event is white tie, we are always gifted tiaras, family orders, and all the other royal trappings.
This is technically a private reception, and as such, historically, we have had to make do with arrival shots of family members going through the BP gates. Last year, however, photos taken from the party were shared, a shift the Palace has doubled down on this year. It’s a subtle change, but I think an important one – opportunities to allow access in a controlled way are almost always a smart move in the long run, in my opinion.
The Duchess of Cambridge inherited the patronage of Family Action from her grandmother-in-law, the Queen, it was announced earlier today. Queen Elizabeth served as patron for 65 years, but transitioned the organization to Kate as part of her ongoing efforts to divvy up portions of her work commitments to the younger generations. Given the charity’s focus on children, it’s a perfect fit for Kate given the rest of her portfolio.
That’s a lot of acronyms in a title, but last night the Queen hosted a reception celebrating 70 years of NATO at Buckingham Palace. Guests included Presidents Trump and Macron, Canadian PM Trudeau, the UK’s Boris Johnson, among many others. And while the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall were in full host mode, the Duchess of Cambridge was the only representative of the “younger” royals thanks to the Duke of Cambridge’s visit to Kuwait and the Sussexes’ extended break from duties.
A significant piece of the York puzzle last week was the absence of the Duke’s elder brother, the Prince of Wales. Charles was in the midst of a long-term tour of India, New Zealand, and the Solomon Islands with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, while Andrew sat down for his disastrous BBC interview that roundly ended his royal career. An interesting narrative is now emerging from the fallout – amidst the rubble of whether Andrew will be roped in by the FBI, or whether his daughter’s wedding will be downgraded, and who exactly from his camp should be blamed, Charles’s hands are remarkably clean and his popularity is on the rise.
As some of you may have noticed (and for those who follow along on Instagram, I posted to stories about this), the Duchess of Cambridge pulled out of the annual Tusk awards event last night. The reason given was something due to the children, with the general consensus being that there was a last-minute childcare issue.
That might sound strange from a household that obviously contains a multitude of staff, but in reality, the Cambridges employ only one nanny, and my guess is that she was unexpectedly pulled away and given the timing, William and Kate were unable to find backup. Given that the Tusk organization is William’s and Kate joins him only in a supporting role, it made sense for her to stay behind.
Well. Let’s start at the end and work our way back, shall we? A couple of hours ago the Duke of York released a statement that the Queen gave her assent to a request that he be allowed to step down from royal duties for the foreseeable future. This news comes on the heels of several days’ worth of blistering coverage of his recent sit-down interview with the BBC on his former friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
My thought? Good.