The Three Proposals of George VI to the Queen Mother

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Fun fact: It took George VI three tries to get the Queen Mother to accept his marriage proposal. Decades before the Queen Mother became synonymous with royal duty and the House of Windsor’s matriarch, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was a 20-something and unsure about a life in the spotlight.

Elizabeth first met the future king when he was still Prince Albert, Duke of York in June 1920. They met at a dinner party in London also attended by Queen Mary, Princess Mary and Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester on Derby Night, while George V hosted a lavish celebratory supper at Buckingham Palace. Later that evening, a ball was held with the same party and Albert went up to fellow attendee James Stuart and asked, “Who was that lovely girl you were talking to? Introduce me to her.”

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Philip’s Parents: Alice of Battenberg & Prince Andrew of Greece & Denmark

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Next month marks the 70th wedding anniversary of Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh and, as such, we’ll cover all that brought about the original 1947 pairing. But ahead of that I thought it was fitting that there was a post on Prince Philip’s parents, particularly since his origin story isn’t particularly well-known. His lineage is unique in the context of the British Royal Family and his entry into the House of Windsor was perhaps the most dramatic in its history, quite a bit of which had to do with his parents and siblings.

So, who were they? His father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and his mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg. A couple years ago a guest at Buckingham Palace remarked that, like Philip, they were also Greek, to which he responded that he actually didn’t have a drop of Greek blood. That started a question in the papers as to whether that was true and the answer is, well yes, but you’d be forgiven for not knowing that given the styling of his father’s name.

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Whatever Will Happen to Buckingham Place?

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I was going to tack on this weekend’s news about the Prince of Wales and Buckingham Palace to yesterday’s royal roundup, but as I dug into it I decided it deserved a post of its own. Long story short, there’s a rumor circulating that Charles is considering opening up BP for a longer portion of each year to increase the palace’s commercial viability and allow him to spend more time living elsewhere. BP would still be used for state occasions and serve as office space, as well as remain the monarch’s official residence.

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A Look Back at Kate’s Pregnancies

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After news broke Monday that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, there’s been a fair bit of activity. From Prince George’s first day of school to Meghan Mark’s Vanity Fair cover to William and Prince Harry’s follow up visit to meet with Grenfell Tower residents on Tuesday. Between all of that and some of the conversation that’s sprung up online, I thought it was worth taking a look back at the timeline of Kate’s pregnancies with her first two children. After all, it’s been three years since we’ve had an announcement like this from KP and it’ll be interesting to see what precedent can tell us and how some things might change.

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That Eulogy, 20 Years Later

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Last week I referenced Earl Spencer’s eulogy of his sister, Diana, Princess of Wales, and I think it’s a significant enough speech that it bears a closer look today, the 20th anniversary of its address and the Princess’s funeral. For those unfamiliar with it, at first blush it may seem fairly innocuous, albeit a fitting and lovely tribute, but there’s actually quite a bit going on here when you pull it apart.

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“The Royal Family Was Behaving as a Family”

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Having finally had the chance to watch the BBC documentary on the seven days between Diana, Princess of Wales’s death and funeral, it seemed appropriate to address the period now described as a crisis akin to the Abdication. And while that seems dramatic at face-value, the fact remains it was a moment of reckoning for the British Royal Family and the British people.

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The 20th Anniversary of the Death of Diana, Princess of Wales

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Today officially marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. There isn’t a lot left to say that hasn’t already been said this summer, but I thought I would cover off on the question of where Diana fits into the historical record at this point. Last month, her sons, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, spearheaded a documentary on her charity work and her role as their mother, indicating part of their efforts were meant to address the fact that younger generations didn’t really know her.

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The Implications of Charles & Diana’s Divorce

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We’re not going to get too in the weeds here on the actual divorce, because good God, I am starting to get burnt out by the ceaseless tabloid coverage of the late Princess of Wales. To be clear, I am all for commemorating her life as we approach the 20th anniversary of her death, but the dredging up of her marriage to the Prince of Wales and the constant speculation about her personal life – none of which is new – is a bit much. Nor can I imagine any of this is particularly helpful to her remaining family.

But the fact of the matter is, the attention Diana received stemmed from her marriage to Charles and that marriage ended 21 years ago today. Not all divorces are made equal and this one was certainly one of the most controversial of the last century. Simply put, it was unprecedented and you know how much I love unprecedented royal events, so here we go.

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The Death of George, Duke of Kent

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Through history, the British Royal Family has lost any number of men to active combat, but it’s a number that has dwindled considerably in more recent centuries. The last king to die in battle was Richard III in 1485; the last king to actively participate in one was George II in 1743. Since then, the trend has been to preserve monarchs and from there direct heirs to the throne. Younger sons have a bit more wiggle room, most recently evidenced by the top secret deployment of Prince Harry last decade.

The most recent war casualty of a senior British royal was Prince George, Duke of Kent, fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary, during World War II. Aged only 39, George died from an airplane crash near Caithness, Scotland on August 25, 1942 during non-operational duties.

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Is There a Regency Plan in Place?

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In the past two weeks the Duke of Edinburgh retired and a slew of new documentaries and TV specials on the late Princess of Wales debuted. These two seemingly parallel events have created a perfect storm of an intersection that lands smack dab on the head of the Prince of Wales – or rather, his place in the succession. Stepping away from the personalities at play here and it begs the question, how can a man who has been first in line for the throne since 1952 truly have his viability undermined?

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