Two days out from the birth of Prince [TBA] of Cambridge, the Duke has emerged from Kensington Palace to join Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for an Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey. This is the second time we’ve seen him play third wheel this week and I like it.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arrived in India yesterday for a quick trip at the tail end of a tour that also included stops in Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia. It was just last year that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge completed a high-profile visit to India, but the timing of Charles and Camilla’s presence aligned with the Queen’s announcement that 2017 would be celebrated as a “year of culture” for the UK and India.
It would be hard to top the pageantry of yesterday’s procession and banquet, but the schedule was chock full of engagements for King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain as they embarked on the second day of their state visit to the UK. This morning, Felipe accompanied the Duke of York, the Queen’s second son, for a UK-Spain Business Forum at Mansion House. Apparently Felipe made a speech, however, I’ll be honest with you, I can’t find coverage of this engagement anywhere, which is a bit strange as I don’t recall seeing that it was a private event.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended a “Service of Hope” at Westminster Abbey earlier today in honor of the victims and first responders affected by the recent terrorist attack in London. The three laid a wreath in remembrance and met with members of the Abbey’s clergy and London Mayor Sadiq Khan before joining the congregation of 1,800 people by way of a formal procession down the aisle.
The execution of Mary, Queen of Scots on February 8, 1587 was a landmark moment in the reign of Elizabeth I and history has often given the English queen a bit of a side eye for her handling of it. Likely there would be more sympathy for Elizabeth’s position if Mary hadn’t, at face value, appeared so sympathetic – a beautiful woman, a mother, a widow, a deposed queen, a Catholic punished for her faith.
But Mary certainly isn’t without detractors. Though she ascended the Scottish throne as an infant after the premature death of her father, James V, she would only directly rule Scotland from within its confines for less than seven years. Raised in France as a Catholic, Scotland and its increasingly Protestant people were wholly foreign to her when she returned to it as an adult in 1561. Her rule was clumsy, her government fractured, her personal life scandalous and she continued to make herself a thorn in the side of England and her cousin, Elizabeth. What helped to solidify Mary’s legacy as a martyr-like figure is, in fact, her behavior during her execution.
On this day, January 14, in 1382, Richard II, King of England and his first wife, Anne of Bohemia, were married at Westminster Abbey in London. The wedding was the fifth royal wedding to take place in the Abbey and, coincidentally, the last until Lady Helena Cambridge, a niece of Queen Mary, was married to Major John Gibbs in 1919.
At the time of the wedding, Richard II was 15-years-old and had been king since the death of his grandfather, Edward III, five years before. Due to his minority, however, he only held power nominally, governing being led by various councilors, marked by growing unpopularity that culminated in the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381. Richard II emerged from the Revolt defiant and ready to rule, and one of his first acts was to marry Anne of Bohemia, the 15-year-old daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and his wife, Elizabeth of Pomerania.