As the Duke of Sussex took final leave of London and jetted back to Vancouver, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out a new milestone in their own royal careers: hosting their first reception at Buckingham Palace. The juxtaposition remains startling, but this engagement came as close to a response as we’re going to get from the rest of the Family – a display of unity. While William and Kate headlined Monday evening, the Palace announced that they were to be flanked by the Princess Royal and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
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.
It’s a big week for the Royal Family with the Queen in Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales on his annual trek to Wales, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex making their first trip to Forfar, Scotland. In a slight break from the Cambridges and Sussexes, I thought we’d check in with the other members of the family and get out of England for a quick minute.
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.
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.
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.
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.