Royal Roundup: Keep Calm & Carry On

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Let’s not talk about Sussexit. Instead, let’s catch up on literally everyone else in the Royal Family, because surprisingly there’s been a fair bit going on. Most of what follows is from the last week, with a few tidbits that date back a little earlier but were lost in the Christmas shuffle.

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The Sandringham Summit

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Happy Monday, everyone. It’s been a very full four days since we last checked in here on Sussexit, so let’s get right to it. Following a meeting this afternoon at Sandringham between the Queen, Prince of Wales, and Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, the Queen released the following statement:

“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.

“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.

“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”

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Sussexit 2020

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Well. Wednesday was a crazy day. If you missed the drama, then you can catch up here on the initial wave of reporting. Today, we’re going to touch on some odds and ends that didn’t make it into my initial post because of all the information coming out, as well as weigh in on some of the reactions and narratives beginning to build.

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2019’s Engagement Numbers & What They Tell Us

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[N.B. The below post was written before the Sussexes’ news yesterday. Since it’s not overly relevant to this topic, I haven’t edited it, save one little note at the end.]

Before we get started, Happy Birthday to the Duchess of Cambridge, who turns 38 today! The occasion was marked at Anmer Hall last weekend, but I’m sure there are some day-of festivities planned now that the family has returned to London. We’ll next see her out and about on Wednesday when she and the Duke visit Bradford for their first engagement of the new year.

With that, let’s turn to the matter at hand: last year’s engagement numbers. If you keep up with royal news then you may have seen the end-of-year articles tracking who the “hardest working” member of the Royal Family was in 2019. If you read more than one, then you may have noticed very different statistics get reported. There’s no exact science to these tallies – what constitutes an engagement is in the eye of the beholder, however the most traditional approach is to count it if it made it into the Court Circular.

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George & Charlotte Make Their Christmas Debut

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Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is having a happy and relaxing holiday. As we speak, I am typing this next to my sleeping Cavalier King Charles, a roaring fire, and a very festive Christmas tree 🙂 With presents opened and an interlude before dinner, it seems like a good time to check in with the Royal Family. As many of you have no doubt seen, this was a big year over at Sandringham: Prince George and Princess Charlotte joined the Christmas Day walkabout.

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Four Generations, Three Heirs, One Monarch

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Well, now we know why the Duke of Cambridge and Prince George traveled separately from the Duchess, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis last week: they had to be at Buckingham Palace early to make puddings in the Music Room. More specifically, the Queen gathered her three heirs to film footage that will be aired during her Christmas broadcast this year. The four Windsors agreed to join The Royal British Legion’s “Together at Christmas” initiative, which launches next year and will help service men and women and their families during the holidays.

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Royal Roundup: The Queen’s Speech, Philip’s Hospitalization, & Beatrice’s Engagement Party

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Happy Saturday 🙂 Let’s catch up on some odds and ends from the week, starting with yesterday’s news that the Duke of Edinburgh is in hospital. There was some speculation earlier in the week when he was seemingly absent from the Queen’s luncheon at Buckingham Palace (given that he largely lives in Norfolk now, he, too, would have been seen arriving at some point), but now we know: he’s apparently been under the weather for a few weeks.

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The Queen’s 2019 Christmas Luncheon

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Every year the Queen hosts a luncheon at Buckingham Palace about a week out from Christmas. It’s an opportunity for the entire family to gather for the holidays and ensure that even those who don’t decamp to Sandringham have an opportunity to see everyone. The Queen herself is expected to head out to Norfolk on Friday, while I would imagine the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge won’t leave until the weekend. Today’s event is private, but every year we do get arrival shots of cars passing through the BP gates, which is always a bit fun.

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The 2019 Diplomatic Reception

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Last night the Queen hosted this year’s diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace, an annual to-do that convenes thousands of representatives from over 100 countries. Members of the Royal Family always attend, and given that the event is white tie, we are always gifted tiaras, family orders, and all the other royal trappings.

This is technically a private reception, and as such, historically, we have had to make do with arrival shots of family members going through the BP gates. Last year, however, photos taken from the party were shared, a shift the Palace has doubled down on this year. It’s a subtle change, but I think an important one – opportunities to allow access in a controlled way are almost always a smart move in the long run, in my opinion.

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The BRF Hosts NATO Reception at BP

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That’s a lot of acronyms in a title, but last night the Queen hosted a reception celebrating 70 years of NATO at Buckingham Palace. Guests included Presidents Trump and Macron, Canadian PM Trudeau, the UK’s Boris Johnson, among many others. And while the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall were in full host mode, the Duchess of Cambridge was the only representative of the “younger” royals thanks to the Duke of Cambridge’s visit to Kuwait and the Sussexes’ extended break from duties.

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