At this point, August is really turning into a pick your poison proposition for the Royal Family…and us. Would you rather talk about private planes or the Duke of York’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein? (If your answer is neither, well, my apologies). Let’s start with the positive.
Happy Friday, everyone! I promise we are returning to history (in fact, there are two posts on Richard III scheduled for Saturday and Sunday), but in the meantime I wanted to wrap up some smaller news items from the last few days.
Following the release of video footage and photos by the Mail on Sunday depicting the Duke of York saying goodbye to a young woman from the door of Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan home, the Palace finally issued a statement responding to increased demands for an explanation of the Duke’s behavior.
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.
As I suspected, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge turned up at the Queen’s garden party this afternoon alongside other members of the Royal Family. This the Queen’s second garden party of the season, but the first she attended in person. A third is scheduled for Thursday, with a fourth on Wednesday, May 29.
While George III is most famous for his “madness,” he was in fact better-renowned in his younger days for being almost annoyingly upright and fastidious. He married responsibly, embraced a quiet family life, and was usually quite horrified when scandal touched any of his relations. Unfortunately for him that happened rather frequently, and while his children’s exploits are more famous, his siblings also gave him a run for his money. We’ve discussed before his younger sister, Queen Caroline Matilda of Denmark & Norway, as well as his brother, William, Duke of Gloucester and his marriage to Maria Walpole, but today we’re going to turn to the eldest of his younger brothers, Edward, Duke of York.
The Royal Foundation, led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, launched a new 24/7 textline to support people in crisis. The service, Give Us a Shout, was quietly rolled out earlier this year on a trial basis and has reportedly already served 60,000 people. It’s also based on volunteers, of which it has amassed 1,000, with William calling for another 3,000 in the video share by the organization this morning.
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.