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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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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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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The Royal Family at Ascot Over the Years

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I thought about covering subsequent days this week of the Royal Family at Ascot, but then thought…nah, let’s go back in time. Honestly, so many of the shots of today’s RF on Tuesday looked like stills from a period film, that I thought it would be fun to go back and actually see everyone over the years. So, a random sampling and a touch of history below…

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The Duke & Duchess of Sussex One Year Out

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On the one hand, it’s hard to believe it’s been a full year since Meghan Markle officially joined the Royal Family as HRH The Duchess of Sussex, but on the other, so, so much has happened since then. Last spring was all babies and wedding galore, and royal news seemed to sprout up multiple times a day thanks to Markle family drama, Prince Louis’s debut, new tours, and speculation over how Meghan (an American! an actress!) would fit in.

Things are quieter now, for sure, but also a little uneasier, no? And we still don’t have a firm answer on the last question, though I do believe that Meghan has done a fantastic job with her work thus far. The dust, however, has still not quite settled.

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The Household Split…And All That Entails

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So, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have officially taken up residence at Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor estate, and with that has come the already-announced division of their household from that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace. As discussed here, their operation falls under the umbrella of Buckingham Palace, and as discussed here, there’s nothing inherently shocking about this split.

But of course, it has provided plenty of fodder for gossip and tabloids thanks to the now long-rumored animosity between William and Harry, and the launch of the Sussexes’ independent Instagram account.

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A Year in Review: Meghan in 2018

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Akin to what I do for the Duchess of Cambridge, what follows is a review of the Duchess of Sussex’s 2018, but with a few key differences. This is of course Meghan’s inaugural year as a member of the British Royal Family and so what follows will be a little less about her clothes and patronages (of which there are none of the latter to-date) and more taking a look at how she – and the BRF – have handled her entry.

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A Year in Review: Kate in 2018

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Today we’re going to review the Duchess of Cambridge’s past year. Month by month we’re going to walk through the most memorable moments of 2018, review the fashion and discuss the highs and lows of Kate’s engagements, foreign tours and public appearances. Ideally what we’d like to see each year is growth as Kate evolves within her role as a member of the Royal Family and personalizes her position. In order to gauge that, we’re going to (briefly) cover where we ended in 2017 and then work our way through the highlights of the past 12 months.

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A Household Divided

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I’ve stopped and started writing this post a few times over the past month, with a lovely combination of my schedule and actual news coming out of London wrinkling my focus. What started out as a closer look at the Oceania tour was to become a look at the Duchess of Sussex’s first six months within the BRF…which was then to cover projections that the Cambridges and Sussexes would divide their household in 2019.

And now: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will leave Kensington Palace next year for Frogmore Cottage (not to be confused with Frogmore House) at Windsor.

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