In case there wasn’t enough going on this year, two couples within the Royal Family have announced their separations. This is obviously sad news, regardless of the circumstances, and unfortunately the timing of it all means that it’s fitting into a broader narrative that the Queen’s family is full of young people making her white hair go even whiter. Honestly, if the Queen was able to trudge through the 1990s, I think she’ll be okay.
Well, this was a surprise! On Feb. 15, a new interview aired after the Duchess of Cambridge sat down with Giovanna Fletcher of the Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast. Their conversation covered Kate’s national survey and her “Early Years” work, but it also marked a rather significant milestone in the Duchess’s career since it was her first in-depth solo interview. Hitherto, Kate has always been joined by William, and she’s tended to let her husband take the lead in answering questions. This particular endeavor was focused on Kate’s own work, and she was the only spokesperson for it.
The royal history buff in me sometimes can’t help but think about what moments and images from the day-to-day church of engagements will permeate the biographies a few decades from now. Realistically speaking, very few ever will. The major “firsts” will, of course, but when you consider a royal career as a whole, it becomes less about the daily/weekly work, and more about the scandals, the dynastic moments, and major state occasions.
February 11 was a big day for the Windsors, relatively speaking. Actually, as I type that and consider what else has already happened in 2020 for the Royal Family I guess it was pretty small potatoes, BUT it was a solid royal day for those missing some of the more traditional aspects of royal watching, so let’s enjoy it. The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined forces to visit the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Nottinghamshire, bringing quite a bit of star power to highlight an organization focused on providing medical care for members of the Armed Forces.
And in case that wasn’t enough excitement, before the engagement began, Kensington Palace announced that William and Kate would be undertaking a mini-tour of Ireland in early March.
Hello again! It’s late March now, but I’m going to tick through the last six weeks and catch up on all things royal. I’m going to back date posts covering specific engagements, but TBD on how I handle the more conversational/opinion posts (i.e. all things Sussex). With that, let’s get to it. On February 4, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent an away date in Mumbles and Port Talbot in South Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge once again attended the BAFTA awards on Sunday night. William has long served as the BAFTA president, and while he has attended the annual ceremony here and there over the years, it wasn’t until 2017 that it became a mainstay on the couple’s calendar. As such, it’s a fun event where we know we’re going to get a black tie ensemble, and the royal pair always hit the red carpet last, taking their seats in the theatre just before the show begins.
On Wednesday morning the Duchess of Cambridge turned up at the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) Stockwell Gardens Nursery School in support of her recently launched national survey on child development. Visiting around breakfast time, Kate met with kitchen staff about the importance of nutrition as they prepped a meal, as well as parents, educators, and students about the questions posed in her survey.
On Tuesday the Duchess of Cambridge carried out a solo engagement at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, a pretty straightforward outing if ever there was one. She was there to participate in an arts and craft session with children in her capacity as both the hospital’s patron and the National Portrait Gallery’s, which runs creative workshops for young patients throughout London.
On Monday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a memorial service in Central Hall commemorating the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation. This was a pre-announced appearance, but prior to the event, Kensington Palace shared that Kate participated in a Holocaust Memorial Day Trust project that had her take two photographs of Holocaust survivors with their families. The pictures will feature in a broader exhibit the Trust is putting on in coordination with Jewish News and the Royal Photographic Society, the latter of which Kate is patron.
Last autumn was a crazy time for the House of Windsor, so an update on Princess Haya that I had planned for November fell through the cracks. Now that the dust has settled on Sussexit, let’s catch up on where we left off. As background for those new to this issue, Princess Haya is the estranged wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. She “fled” Dubai for Europe over the summer and has subsequently settled in London with the couple’s two children where she’s now fighting for custody and other protections.