Garter Day 2022 (& Some Random Historical Musings)

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In case you missed it, Garter Day was held at Windsor yesterday – an event so English it makes the Jubilee pageantry seem quaint 🙂 There’s both good and bad to cover (per usual these days), so let’s dive in…but before we do, for the good of the order, let’s quickly review the context for Garter Day since it’s been a [pandemic-induced] minute since this ceremony was held.

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The Palace Papers: Part One

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Back in 2007, Tina Brown, former editor-in-chief of Tatler, Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker, wrote what I consider to be the definitive biography on Diana, Princess of Wales. The Palace Papers, released on Tuesday, is essentially its sequel. It picks up where Diana’s life ended, in the late 90s, but it spends the first few chapters strategically weaving around to cover the Diana-adjacent figures and relationships that are informing the current House of Windsor.

So far, I’m only about 150 pages in, but I would say the focus of the attention thus far is on capturing the broad trajectories, relationships, and emotional realities of two rather important royal women today: Queen Elizabeth and her daughter-in-law, The Duchess of Cornwall. There’s also a solid dash of Princess Margaret, the Queen’s late sister, and The Earl and Countess of Wessex (Edward and Sophie). I don’t have a precise agenda for how I’m going to cover this book, but for the purposes of this post, I want to capture the quotes and tidbits that I’ve found the most informative.

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BRF Attends Duke of Edinburgh Memorial at Westminster

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This morning saw the British Royal Family turn out for a service of thanksgiving honoring the late Duke of Edinburgh. Held at Westminster Abbey, the event not only saw a full array of Windsors, but several visiting representatives of Europe’s royal families as well. With the ceremony lasting roughly 40 minutes, Queen Elizabeth then returned to Windsor Castle.

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BRF Responds to Oprah Interview

A few hours ago, Buckingham Palace released a statement on the Queen’s behalf that read:

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”

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A Slightly Different Fab Four

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February 11 was a big day for the Windsors, relatively speaking. Actually, as I type that and consider what else has already happened in 2020 for the Royal Family I guess it was pretty small potatoes, BUT it was a solid royal day for those missing some of the more traditional aspects of royal watching, so let’s enjoy it. The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined forces to visit the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Nottinghamshire, bringing quite a bit of star power to highlight an organization focused on providing medical care for members of the Armed Forces.

And in case that wasn’t enough excitement, before the engagement began, Kensington Palace announced that William and Kate would be undertaking a mini-tour of Ireland in early March.

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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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