The Death of Elizabeth II

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Buckingham Palace announced this morning that Queen Elizabeth II is under medical supervision at Balmoral, her Scottish estate near in the Highlands. This news was soon followed by a statement from (new) Prime Minister Liz Truss and confirmation that all four of the Queen’s children were traveling to her bedside, or were already at Balmoral (in the case of The Princess Royal), as well as The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle interrupted an energy debate in the House of Commons to inform the MPs about the state of the Queen’s health. Since then, numerous MPs and the Archbishop of Canterbury have released statements offering thoughts and prayers.

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Meghan in The Cut

Hi, everyone. August was a busy month of travel, but I’m back now. Today I want to dive into The Cut’s cover story on The Duchess of Sussex, but I know that I still owe recap posts on the rest of Revenge (which I’m going to intertwine with The Palace Papers since they start to cover similar ground) and we’re overdue a round-up post on the rest of the British Royal Family (the Berkshire move, Balmoral, etc.). I’ll knock that stuff out as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, let’s turn to The Cut article.

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Royal Roundup: American Audiences, Donations & Only Children

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On July 20th it was announced that this year’s Earthshot environmental prize will be held in Boston, Massachusetts in early December. The timing of the announcement corresponded with the anniversary of the moon landing on July 20, 1969, while the location is an homage to the Kennedy family since the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is serving as a host partner alongside Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. As President Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, currently the U.S. Ambassador to Australia said:

“There is no more important Moonshot today than repairing the planet and no better place to harness the Moonshot spirit than the City of Boston. It is a great tribute to President Kennedy that The Earthshot Prize will partner with the JFK Library Foundation to host the 2022 ceremony in Boston and inspire a new generation with the possibility of a sustainable future.”

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Revenge Recap: Chapter 12–14

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Here’s the recaps for Chapters 1-5 and 6-11 if you missed them.

Ok, we are officially in the spring of 2016. I may slow these down a bit as we move through the rest of the book – as of writing this on Thursday, I made it through Chapter 22 last night and there are a few bits that I think I’ll want to zoom in on. So, just a heads up.

According to Bower, here is the gist of what was going on with Meghan as she went into her first meeting with Harry:

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Revenge Recap: Chapters 6-11

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If you missed it, you can read about Chapters 1-5 here.

Moving right along, the next few chapters we’re going to cover are basically the three years in-between Meghan’s divorce and the beginning of her relationship with Prince Harry. Admittedly, I made it into Chapter 18 last night before I absolutely had to go to bed, so I’ve seen a bit how the beginning of the Sussexes’ relationship is portrayed and read the rundown on the basic Windsor background. I’m flagging that because there are inaccuracies, some of which are minor and some of which are dangling rumors that can be easily disregarded. As such, it’s important to take what Bower is writing with a grain of salt because I’m not in a position to fact check the minutia of the pre-Harry years in Meghan’s life.

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Revenge Recap: Chapters 1-5

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Well, I finally have the book, so let’s dig in. I made it through the first five chapters late last night, so in order to make this doable, I’m going to go ahead and just get posts up when I have a chance. Broadly speaking, what I will say is that there is new information in Tom Bower’s account that we haven’t received via other recent royal biographies, however as of Chapter 6 we are only in 2014, so there’s still ways to go before we’re in the well-trod Windsor territory.

Whether or not you put stock in Bower’s sources or the extent to which you think his bias has poisoned his objectivity is up to you, of course. I’m basically going to work that out for myself as I recap these chapters.

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Balmoral, Memoirs & the BBC

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Let’s do a quick round-up of royal news. It’s been reported that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as well as their two children, have been invited by the Queen to visit her at Balmoral over the summer. It’s unclear when this would occur, whether the couple accepted, or even whether an invitation was actually offered. If it did and they do, it’s equally as unclear whether their visit would overlap with that of any other members of the Royal Family.

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These Ridiculous Bridesmaids Dresses

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Back on November 26, 2018, The Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey wrote an article that in the lead-up to the Sussexes’ wedding, The Duchess of Sussex made The Duchess of Cambridge cry. The incident was described as having taken place at a dress-fitting for the bridesmaids, but the why or how was not included. All that was noted at the time was that Kate was particularly “emotional” because she had only given birth to Prince Louis a couple weeks before.

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Tom Bower Alleges That Camilla is the “Royal Racist”

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There are a few more tidbits coming through as Tom Bower’s book on The Duchess of Sussex hits the shelves (so to speak). Of what I’ve seen, I feel comfortable waiting until I’ve had a chance to read myself…with the exception of one. Bower has claimed that The Duchess of Cornwall is the “royal racist” Harry and Meghan alluded to in their March 2021 Oprah interview.

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Meghan, Tom Bower & Vanity Fair

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Ok, well, even before I’ve finished getting up posts on The Palace Papers, a new book is rocking the royal ecosystem. This one is by Tom Bower, a writer and former BBC investigative journalist who is famous for his notably critical biographies of major figures. Earlier in his career he published one on The Prince of Wales that was apparently rather ruthless, though I’ve admittedly never read it.

His latest is – surprise, surprise – on The Duchess of Sussex, was published today. In anticipation, The Times ran five excerpts that are pretty savage. I’m absolutely planning to read the book, but given shipping times, etc. I think getting actual recaps of it up is going to have to be an August project.

In the meantime, I want to dig into the back and forth over one of The Times’s recaps so we can level-set on how to view the conversation.

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