2018 was a banner year for the British Royal Family between two weddings, a baby and the Commonwealth’s succession secure in the Prince of Wales. It was not, however, a year in which there was much angst over engagement numbers. By now we well know that the Queen’s four children will carry their weight, while the Queen is ramping down her duties, her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, is retired, and her grandaughters-in-law found themselves pregnant and/or not yet full-time royals.
The Queen really knows how to hold a birthday party. While tonight she was the guest of honor at a concert featuring a number of British musical acts alongside members of her family, the day itself was full of festivities marking the Queen hitting the big 9-2.
Today marked the last day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), while tomorrow will see the Queen’s birthday concert celebrating the music of the Commonwealth at Royal Albert Hall. While the big win of the week – for the Royal Family at least – was confirmation this morning that the Prince of Wales will succeed his mother as the organization’s head in due course, I thought it appropriate we covered off on the last day and a few odds and ends that slipped through the cracks with everything else going on.
It’s that time of year again: annual engagement numbers are out and so now we look a what the statistics tell us about how the British Royal Family did. These numbers were released yesterday thanks to a list published by The Times every year courtesy of a veteran royal watcher, Tom O’Donovan, who has been compiling the statistics since 1979.
With the exception of one post when the Countess of Wessex attended a royal birthday party in Norway and a handful of mentions, I’ve rarely discussed the Wessex family, but their stock is rising within the Royal Family and today actually marks the couple’s 18th wedding anniversary. That their star, Sophie’s in particular, is waxing and not waning as the Queen grows older may be a bit counterintuitive; after all, while the Earl of Wessex is now the monarch’s son, he’ll eventually be the monarch’s brother and then his uncle – his profile, significance and responsibility will likely decrease over the years.
But the Wessexes are a unique example within the House of Windsor, perhaps because they are the most traditional family unit within it – indeed, it could be argued Prince Edward was the only one of Queen Elizabeth’s children who followed the model she would have expected all of her children to have done.
Last week I put this out a bit late and this week I’m putting it out a bit early, but in the interest of clearing the decks for Friday & Saturday’s Paris trip, here’s a quick rundown on what the rest of the Royal Family has been up to this week.
- I’ve not seen this reported elsewhere, but Katie Nicholl wrote an article for Vanity Fair in the Verbier aftermath claiming that the Duchess of Cambridge was none too pleased by news coming out of the Duke of Cambridge’s recent ski trip. According to an unnamed source:
“It was William’s choice to go away, but make no mistake Kate wears the trousers in their marriage, and she won’t be happy with William’s antics. She thought his partying days and larking around with the boys was a thing of the past. I imagine she’ll find this humiliating and William will have come in for a pasting.”
So, do with that what you will. I was skeptical up until the point I saw the byline; there are about five royal reporters that would get a solid source for that quote and Nicholl is one of them.