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.
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.
Royal news was dominated this week by the wedding afterglow and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first engagement as a married couple on Tuesday. Even so, there was actually a good bit activity from other members of the Royal family, so I’ve decided to wrap it up here!
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.
While we were busy covering the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Sweden and Norway last week, the rest of the British Royal Family was still conducting business as usual. We had television interviews, other foreign tours and wedding dates set while the rest of us were busy tracking Kate’s battle against floral Erdem dresses, so let’s catch up.
First and foremost, as we’ve discussed, this was a very busy January for Kate. Even taking away the tour, she carried out more engagements this month than she ever has for the month of January in the past. But more importantly, the entirety of the BRF’s workload is on the upswing.
A week out from the Invictus Games, the Royal Family has racked up a fair bit of international news thanks to the international travel of the Queen’s children. Let’s start with the Prince of Wales’s visit to Malta for the 75th anniversary of the George Cross, with which the island was awarded in 1942 by George VI for Malta’s heroism and service during the Siege of Malta from 1940-1942.
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.