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.
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.
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.
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.
Well, that’s a weird title, but I think it hits the highlights. Where to begin with the last few days? Let’s start outside the UK where the Danish Royal Family has been dominating headlines. Denmark’s monarch, Queen Margrethe II has reigned for 45 years, is enormously popular and is supported by her two sons and plethora of grandchildren. That support does not, apparently, extend to her husband, Prince Henrik, a Frenchman to whom she has been married since 1967.
Henrik boldly stated that he had no desire to be buried alongside his wife at Roskilde, the traditional resting place for Danish monarchs and their spouses, because he had never been granted the title of “king.” His argument is that his prevention from receiving the title is 1) his wife’s fault and 2) sexist, because female consorts are given the title “queen.”
This past week Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Philip will be retiring from public duties at the end of August. While he will remain patron of his 700+ charities, he will not carry out engagements unless he so chooses and he has left the door open for the organizations to choose a successor – a member of the Royal Family or not – if they wish. The Queen, the Palace stressed, will continue working as usual, though in the past few years she has scaled back certain duties by relying more heavily on her eldest son, the Prince of Wales, and curtailing overseas travel.