Last night the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the London premier of The Lion King, and in a moment made for the cameras, the couple came face-to-face with a different kind of royalty – Beyonce and Jay-Z. Meghan’s presence last night was long-expected despite still being on maternity leave, and last week it was confirmed. Given Beyonce’s work in the film, it was widely expected these two would finally meet, which was hotly anticipated given not only their mutual celebrity, but the fact that Beyonce and Jay-Z have long made clear their support for the new duchess.
I think a few of us were hoping that this would happen! To the delight of onlookers, the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex joined their husbands at the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day in Berkshire with their children. This is the first time Archie Mountbatten-Windsor has been photographed alongside his Cambridge cousins, and in fact it marks his first “appearance” outside of his formal presentation and christening. Even more, it was a nice and much-needed display of family unity following several months of negative reporting.
Ok, I usually hate articles that needlessly loop in Diana, Princess of Wales, but there were a few very apparent nods to her yesterday that I didn’t mention and I think are worth calling out.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, was christened in the private chapel at Windsor Castle this morning. The ceremony was officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury before 25 guests making up the couple’s closest friends and family. The Queen wasn’t able to attend due to a long-standing commitment with the Duke of Edinburgh at Sandringham, however the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall made it back from their week of engagements in Wales.
The Duchess of Sussex celebrated Independence Day yesterday by attending Wimbledon to watch close friend Serena Williams take the court. Flanked by two friends from her university days, it marked the third time we’ve seen Meghan since she gave birth to Archie two months ago. As was noted at the time, she will continue to pop up now and again for specific engagements, and given her friendship with Williams, and the precedent set forth by the Duchess of Cambridge during her own maternity leaves, yesterday’s attendance makes sense.
The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance on Saturday alongside her husband, the Duke of Sussex, ahead of Europe’s first ever Major League Baseball game. The MLB partnered with the Invictus Games for a two-game series in London, the first of which featured the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
As has been widely rumored and quasi-confirmed earlier this week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will undertake official visits to Africa later this year. Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that Harry and Meghan will together visit South Africa, and that Harry will travel solo to Angola and Malawi at the request of the Foreign Office. While in the region, Harry will make a “working trip” to Botswana, labeled as such because it’s not at the direction of the FO.
On Tuesday the 2018-2019 summary report of the Sovereign Grant was released, sparking a slew of news stories on how much money the Royal Family brought in and spent, and raising the age-old question of whether their expenditure is worth the monarchy’s cost.
As first reported by Emily Andrews a few weeks ago, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are indeed splitting away from the Royal Foundation. Per the official announcement, later this year, the Royal Foundation will be led by only the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, while the Sussexes will begin their own charitable foundation. The language also makes clear that the two couples will still partner on specific projects, including the successful mental health campaign, Heads Together.
Happy Friday! I thought we’d celebrate with a quick royal roundup on a few odds and ends going on with the Royal Family this week.