Let’s start with the surprise news today: Princess Beatrice is engaged! The eldest daughter of the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York became engaged to her boyfriend, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi earlier this month while the two were spending a weekend in Positano. At this time, a wedding date hasn’t been set, save that it will occur in 2020.
By now I hope most of you have read Thursday’s post that covers how I’m approaching Richard III. If you haven’t, I recommend starting there. Going forward, while I will be providing some basic context on people and events, my aim is to keep these relatively tight biographical posts so the links I include in the text will direct you to older posts that delve more deeply into various topics.
We just did a roundup on Monday, but in the interest of covering off on the week with a few stray stories (none of which really warrant their own post), I thought I’d do another before the weekend. We left off with the Prince of Wales and Duke of York both visiting the Queen at Balmoral last weekend, but since then the Queen’s second son departed Scotland for a holiday in Malaga with his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York.
This is proving an odd summer for the British Royal Family. Per tradition, members of the family pack it in for the month of August, engagements slow (in some cases to a screeching halt), and holidays are taken by not only the royals, but their staffs and the reporters who cover them. The risk with this schedule is that when there is news it has a way of dominating attention because there’s nothing else going on with which to distract. Such is the case this week, so let’s get into it.
I tend to stay away from the York family, and for good reason. With the exception of Princess Eugenie’s wedding last year, all too often the stories swarming around them are pretty negative. This week is no different in light of news that disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein was arrested, bringing back into the spotlight his longstanding relationship with the Queen’s second son, the Duke of York.
Happy 92nd Birthday to Queen Elizabeth! Later today the Royal Family will all descend on Royal Albert Hall for a concert to mark the occasion and conclude the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), but in the meantime let’s take a look back at April 21, 1926 when HRH Princess Elizabeth was born to the then-Duke and Duchess of York.
I have gone out of my way to mostly ignore Sarah, Duchess of York (Prince Andrew’s ex-wife) due to the old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” Indeed, it’s for this same reason that I usually only reference Andrew when he happens to have attended a large family event. The only exception to this is a post from early last year that covered memorable public statements made by Andrew pertaining to the roles of his daughters in the “slimmed down” monarchy model that the Prince of Wales is said to favor.
My reason for writing that post was that it was particularly newsworthy and it is for that same reason I find myself circling back to the York family again today. So, here we go:
In October 1660, rumors began swirling that the child Anne Hyde was carrying was fathered by the King’s brother, James Stuart, Duke of York. Even worse, the child wouldn’t be a bastard because the couple secretly married the month before. James’s mother, Henrietta Maria of France, was enraged; Anne’s father, Edward Hyde, a councilor to Charles II, stated publicly that he would rather his daughter was James’s whore than his wife. In short, it wasn’t well-received.