Where in the World (er, England) are the Royals Living?

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Ok, so this is going to be one of those speculative posts where I *could* just wait a few days or weeks for the actual answer, but instead I’m going to write a few hundred words wondering, in this case, what’s going to happen to the traditional royal residences in the reign of Charles III. A few years back I wrote a post on whether or not Charles would take over Buckingham Palace from Queen Elizabeth based on the fact that there were a few news stories out at the time that reported he was considering keeping Clarence House as his home and converting Buckingham Palace only into office space and, of course, using the State Rooms for official functions. Unfortunately I can’t find it anywhere, and the issue seems to have evolved since.

So, let’s get into it, starting with what everyone’s current arrangements are.

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Operation Unicorn

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The plan for Queen Elizabeth’s death has famously been known as “London Bridge,” however the specific contingency plan for what happens if she died in Scotland is known as Operation Unicorn. As such, Operation Unicorn is well underway. While King Charles takes on the business of sovereign in London, details of which you can read here, his mother will embark on her last journey this weekend.

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The Accession of Charles III (Sept. 8-10)

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The day isn’t over yet, but as we move into what are essentially logistics, I want to leave the previous post as is – a short capsule of a few tension-laden hours. King Charles is expected to make a statement shortly, as is Prime Minister Truss. At 6:30 PM GMT, as the official statement announcing the Queen Elizabeth’s death was released, the Union flags were lowered to half-mast.

Within minutes of the announcement, William and Kate’s social media accounts were updated to read “The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.” The Clarence House accounts, belonging to Charles & Camilla, still read – as of me writing this – “The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.” The official accounts for The Royal Family are now theirs. It’s unclear whether they will archive, etc. Frankly, I don’t really care about that right now. Even more, I would have preferred that the Kensington Palace team waited a beat longer. The security of the accession doesn’t rest on social media. Perhaps I will feel differently tomorrow.

As background, Charles’s elevation to king is automatic. As such, so too is William’s elevation to Duke of Cornwall, as the monarch’s eldest son. In order for William to become Prince of Wales, he will have to be formally invested as such. That *usually* comes after the coronation, but it bears repeating that after a 70-year reign, there is no such thing as usual anymore. Or, more accurately, “usual” is a less stringent guidepost than it would once have been.

Needless to say, amidst the sadness, this is all going to be fascinating to watch.

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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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