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.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank are officially married! The Royal Family – and a slew of high-profile British guests – turned up in their wedding best for a ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor this morning. The bride wore Peter Pilotto, the Duke of York walked her down the aisle, Andrea Boccelli sang Ave Maria, Prince George was a ham and Princess Beatrice gave a reading from The Great Gatsby of all things.
Well, apologies again for being late to the party, but it’s been that kind of week…and it’ll be that kind of next week if we’re being really honest. HOWEVER, there’s no way I’m going to skip the opening day of Ascot, particularly when the Duchess of Sussex showed up for the first time, so let’s catch up!
Welcome to the Order of the Garter! Well, here, at least – the ceremony was cancelled last year and so it’s the first time I’ve had the chance to cover it. This very prestigious order has been around since the reign of Edward III when the king started it in 1348. To give you a sense of how few and far between the appointments are, the Duke of Cambridge was the 1,000th person bestowed the honor when he was invested in 2008.
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.
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.
Before we get into the day’s events, I want to call out that Kensington Palace has added another engagement to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s schedule next week, meaning that we are seeing them today, tomorrow, Saturday, Monday and now next Wednesday. That would be a lot even if the couple were married and Meghan was a full-time royal, but I honestly can’t recall a window that chock-full for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge save foreign tours. Between Meghan’s participation CHOGM, her full dance card and her presence at historically family-only events, this engagement really is the first of its kind for the BRF.
Anyway, let’s get back to today, which kicked off with Meghan’s first appearance at CHOGM when she accompanied Harry at the closing session of the Commonwealth Youth Forum at the QEII Centre.
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:
It was announced today that Princess Eugenie, younger daughter of the Duke of York and his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, is engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank. The couple are due to wed this autumn at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor – the same venue at which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry in May.
Oh, to be a son of George III – all of the perks, none of the restrictions. Unfortunately, there were a few other key characteristics missing and few from this batch of men particularly distinguished themselves as industrious, ambitious or responsible.