0737/The Queen’s children help to carry the load with 675 days of royal duties
The Queen’s children have shouldered the greatest burden of Royal duties this year, analysis of palace statistics has shown, as three generations of working royals settle in to their new responsibilities. The Prince of Wales, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex and Princess Royal have undertaken official duties on a combined 675 days in 2018, significantly more than the younger generation. Analysis of the Court Circular, the official list of royal engagements which are published in the Telegraph, shows that Princess Anne worked more than 180 separate days making her the hardest working royal, followed by her siblings. The Duke of Cambridge is recorded on at least 120 days, while the Duke of Sussex is down for just over 90. Both are understood to have done around 20 per cent more engagements than they did last year. While the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex provided much of the public face of the Royal Family thanks to global press interest, their total recorded working days were 100, compared with the total 218 carried out by their husbands. The analysis of how the Royal Family is dividing its work is particularly striking thanks to the addition of the Duchess of Sussex to “Team Windsor”, with the Queen now having two full generations of younger adults – her children and grandchildren and their partners – to help her. While the four siblings of Princes Charles, Edward and Andrew and Princess Anne still do many of the “traditional” duties, from plaque unveiling to community lunches and charity visits, the younger royals have tended to swap that quantity for fewer, more involved projects on key topics such as mental health, sport or support for Grenfell Tower survivors. The Duchess of Cambridge’s duties were obviously reduced following the birth of Prince Louis in April, taking maternity leave until September. Despite attending several events with Prince Harry ahead of her wedding, the Duchess of Sussex was added the Court Circular in May. Next year, the on-record work of both Duchesses is likely to increase significantly, with Catherine focusing on child development, and Meghan’s private meetings translating into a much-anticipated announcement of her patronages. The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, who did at least 170 days of royal work having taken on his father’s role overseeing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. He also regularly attending events at the University of Bath where he is Chancellor, opens business and supports British sporting initiatives. The Prince of Wales performed more than 160 days of duties, increasingly stepping in to perform investitures and receive overseas visitors in support of the Queen. He is well known for working privately every day – Prince Harry recently said of his father: “The man never stops.” The Duke of York worked more than 140 days, often promoting British businesses at events abroad – he was in Australia and Vietnam this year – and receiving dignitaries in London. However, the Queen carried out more than 120 days of duties, meeting heads of state, including President Trump, visiting charities and welcoming dignitaries to the UK. The Duke of Edinburgh, who is now retired at the age of 97, kept his hand in with six recorded official engagements in 2018, most notably his grandson’s summer wedding, as well as meeting senior military personnel. While key events of the Royal year have been personal, it has also seen new work commitments. The Duke of Cambridge made a landmark visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the Sussexes began their work in the Commonwealth with a successful tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand, and the Prince of Wales used a tour of the Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria to further his case for the environment and acknowledge Britain’s role in the slave trade. While the analysis of Court Circular reports shows roughly how many days each member of the Royal Family attended an official engagement, it does not reflect the number of separate engagements they had in that day. It also does not measure the wider public impact of each day’s work or the extent of arrangements to prepare for them, with some appearances from the Cambridges and Sussexes requiring heavier security and planning due to the crowds attending. The Royal Family will finish their working year at Sandringham for Christmas this week. The four young in-laws will join the extended family on their annual public walk to St Mary Magdalene Church, where they were last year photographed together for the first time.
0736/HM Elizaabeth II, Queen of England
0735/HM Willem Alexander, King of the Netherlands
0731/Duke of Edinburgh, Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Cambridges arrive at Queen’s annual Christmas lunch
The Duke of Edinburgh was among the first members of the Royal family to arrive for the Queen’s annual Christmas lunch. Prince Philip was pictured sitting in the front passenger seat of a car arriving at the lunch, which is an annual fixture in the royal calendar with the Queen inviting large numbers of her family to her official London home before the festive break. The Duke of Sussex was seen behind the wheel of a with his wife, who is expecting their first child in the spring, sitting beside him. The Duchess of Cambridge was also seen arriving for the festive royal lunch sitting in the front seat of a car with the Duke behind the wheel. She waived to the crowds and sitting behind her could be seen Prince George with his nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. Also spotted arriving at the palace gates was the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Autumn Phillips, the wife of the Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips, Mike and Zara Tindall and the Countess of Wessex alongside her daughter Lady Louise Windsor. The Duke of York was another guest seen driving himself to the event and his daughter Princess Beatrice arrive separately.
0730/Duchess of Sussex could work with British theatres amid fears ‘royal’ titles are putting off new audiences
When the heads of both the Royal National Theatre and Royal Opera House raised concerns about having the world “Royal” in their titles, it seemed the world of stage could be turning away from its association with the monarchy for fear of putting off new younger audiences.
News of a private meeting between the Duchess of Sussex and Rufus Norris, the artistic director of the National Theatre, has inspired hopes that the Duchess may take on a patronage in the theatre world, in a boost for the industry’s drive for inclusion. Doing so would mix the Duchess’ former career as an actress with her new role as a working royal, with directors saying her background could help bring in diverse new communities to arts organisations. Norris, who has been the director of the National Theatre since 2015, is a staunch advocate for broadening theatre audiences, pledging to increase diversity on stage and off as well as promising a 50-50 gender balance. The Duchess has twice undertaken public engagements relating to the theatre in the last month: attending the Royal Variety Performance with her husband, and making a solo visit to a care home for retired actors.
In the new year, she is due to announce her patronages, expected to name a number of organisations she will build a lifelong relationship with. At least one will be handed over to her by the Queen, it has been reported. Palace aides have previously emphasised how the Duchess has been at work behind the scenes, claiming she has been undertaking numerous and regular private meetings to establish how she could best make a difference to charities in Britain and the Commonwealth. Last week, the official record of the Royal Family’s work reported: “The Duchess of Sussex today received Mr Rufus Norris (Artistic Director, the National Theatre).” She is also known to have met with representative from the Campaign for Female Education, which works to empower young women in Africa, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. The Duchess of Cambridge already holds patronages in the visual arts, at the V&A and National Portrait Gallery, while the Prince of Wales is the patron of the Georgian Theatre Royal, the Mariinsky Theatre Trust, the Theatre Royal Bath and Unicorn Theatre for Children. The Queen herself is patron of the Royal National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Earlier this year, Rufus Norris suggested the National Theatre had deliberated eschewed the “Royal” from its title for fear of putting new audiences off. “This country is still very class divided and anything that adds to that perception, that this place is not open to everybody, could be a downfall,” he said. “I fear that for some people that [the ‘Royal’ prefix] adds to that perception.” Alex Beard, the chief executive of the Royal Opera House, shared similar sentiments in September, telling a newspaper that the “royals are by definition ‘other’” and that the use of the word could be “a bit off-putting”. Alex Clifton, artistic director of Storyhouse, which the Duchess of Sussex visited with the Queen during a visit to Chester in June, said yesterday that “any arts organisations would really benefit from having her on board as an advocate”. “As an artist and actor herself, she understands the practice and can speak with authority,” he said. “She’s an accessible, dynamic, modern-facing presence: it’s impossible to overstate the impact that someone with her authority can have on people’s lives. “As an industry we speak very easily and confidently to existing audiences. The challenge is to reach new, more diverse, more traditionally marginalised communities. “The Duchess provides extraordinary leverage into a massive range of communities. She’s a really powerful voice and can help any theatre achieve more of its mission, in terms of telling stories to as many and as broad a range of people as possible.”
A spokesman for the National Theatre said they would not comment on private meetings.
0716/Joke gifts and afternoon tea: how the Sussexes and Cambridges will spend their frost-free Christmas
How fitting that Prince Charles is to deliver a “reflection” on forgiveness and reconciliation at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday. The trivial matter of his offspring’s domestic disharmony will no doubt be far from the heir to the throne’s mind as he takes to the pulpit to deliver what promises to be a heartfelt speech on Christian persecution in the Middle East. But in this time of peace and goodwill, the so-called Fab Four would be wise to “reflect” on the central theme of the future king’s message. For if anyone understands the consequence of family friction it is Charles, whose difficult relationship with his parents, his brother Prince Andrew and indeed his ex-wife have been well documented. Not that a comparison to the so-called War of the Wales is merited in relation to recent reports concerning a froideur between the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex. As the Telegraph reported last week, while a postnatal Kate was left in tears following a bridesmaids fitting with Princess Charlotte in the build-up to May’s royal wedding, reports of a “ghastly row” with Meghan last Christmas appear wide of the mark. Now the royals’ Christmas is already looking far less frosty than had been billed after palace sources confirmed that the Cambridges and the Sussexeswill spend Christmas together at Sandringham. The Telegraph can further reveal that the couples are both expected to stay at Anmer Hall, William and Kate’s Norfolk bolthole on the Queen’s Sandringham estate, suggesting that any feud is fast fizzling out. An insider said: “Harry and Meghan really enjoyed staying at Anmer Hall last year, especially spending quality time with Prince George and Princess Charlotte and there’s no reason why they won’t want to do the same this year, especially as Meghan is going to be heavily pregnant. It’s the best of both worlds in that they can take part in all the festivities at the big house, while retreating into their own space when needed. There would be total astonishment if Harry and Meghan don’t stay with William and Kate.” Another source said: “No one is going to be kicking up a fuss about Christmas. Both couples know how important it is to HM and Prince Philip for the whole family to be together. Now they are in their 90s, the festivities tend to revolve around the Queen and the Duke spending as much time as possible with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.” There is also a practical reason why the Sussexes may want to spend a second year running with Kate and William: space. Sandringham House is small by royal standards and its quarters are said to be “cramped”, with sources likening Christmas guests to being “packed in like sardines”. With more than 30 attendees this year thanks to many of the younger royals starting their own families, some will be told they have to share bedrooms, move to cottages on the estate or even sleep in servants’ quarters. Much like the Victorian splendour of the house itself, the traditions of the royal Christmas have changed little since Sandringham first became the private home of Edward VII, then Prince of Wales, in 1862. First, guests are told what time they should arrive at Sandringham — most junior royals first, most senior last — with everyone expected to be changed into suitable outfits for afternoon tea in the White Drawing Room at 4pm. The Queen then invites her great grandchildren to add the final decorations to the Christmas tree as the royals enjoy home-baked scones and a cup of Earl Grey. This is the moment they also exchange presents — not on Christmas Day, which the Queen regards as a religious festival. Trestle tables are laid out in the nearby Red Drawing Room, with sections marked off with tape showing where each family member’s gifts should be placed — again, laid out in order of precedence.
0715/Palace fears for Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s safety after BBC publicises ‘neo-Nazi propaganda’ calling for Harry to be shot
The BBC has been accused of compromising the safety of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after it shared neo-Nazi propaganda calling for the death of “race traitors” on its website. An image, featuring the Duke and published uncensored in an online news story, has now been taken down from the BBC website after a direct complaint from the Royal Household.
Prince Harry and Prince William, who has recently campaigned for online safety, are both aware of the picture and understood to be very concerned about its content, with aides deeply worried about the security implications. The image, a poster in stark red and black, shows the Duke of Sussex with a gun pointed to his head, a swastika, and the words: “See ya later, race traitor”. It was published on the BBC News website as part of an investigation into a far-Right underground group called the Sonnenkrieg Division headlined “British Neo-Nazis suggest Prince Harry should be shot”. Three people were arrested over the incident, with properties in Bath, Leeds, London and Portsmouth being searched. On Friday, police confirmed an 18-year-old man from Portsmouth had been charged with five offences related to encouraging terrorism and three offences relating to dissemination of terrorist publications under the Terrorism Act. A 17-year-old boy from London has been charged with five offences related to encouraging terrorism, while a 21-year-old man from Bath, has been released on bail pending further enquiries.
The image has now been shared widely around the world, being reproduced on websites and in several tabloid newspapers on Friday. It was taken down “several days” after it was put up by the BBC, with a spokesman saying it had “served its purpose in highlighting the nature of the group”. A palace aide confirmed that the image was removed following complaints from the Royal Household amid “very real concerns about the security impact of the decision to publish”. There will now be “ongoing conversations to clarify what happened,” he said. Staff are now consulting with social media companies to find and remove the image in an attempt to stop it spreading further. “This is propaganda that was designed to spread online,” a source said, pointing out that other extremist material, such as that produced by Isil, would not be published on a mainstream news website. “That is what they [those who made it] wanted to happen, and it has now been more successful than they could ever have imagined.”
It comes less than a month after the Duke of Cambridge chose the BBC as a venue for a landmark speech about the unforeseen consequences of the internet, in which he was unusually critical of web giants for their lack of action over its dark side. He warned that internet platforms were being used “to organise violence”, to spread “misinformation and conspiracy to pollute the public sphere” and “normalise speech that is filled with bile and hate”. A spokesman for BBC News said: “This image was used in a report of a long-running BBC investigation into a group of British neo-nazis. “We used the image after careful editorial consideration, and added an online warning to audiences given the sensitivities around the story. “Since our online story is now several days old, we have removed the image as we feel it has served its purpose in highlighting the nature of the group.” It is not the first time the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have endured threats relating to race. In February of this year, it was reported that a package containing a white powder and “malicious communications” was sent to St James’s Palace, allegedly intended for Meghan Markle. No arrests have yet been made over the incident, with police treating the message as a “racist hate crime”.
0704/Duchess of Cornwall pays glowing tribute to Prince Charles at 70 as she hails his kindness and good humour
The Duchess of Cornwall today leads tributes to the Prince of Wales ahead of his 70th birthday, as she hails her “incredibly kind, very funny” husband in a fond portrait of him as mimic, workaholic and grandfather. The Duchess has spoken frankly about the Prince ahead of his birthday next week, sharing the endearing traits she sees behind closed doors. She is joined by leading figures across Britain’s public life, from the Prime Minister to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in a celebration of the Prince’s life and work as he celebrates the landmark birthday. In an amusing insight, the Duchess admitted she has not yet found a suitable present for him, disclosing she has learned not to deviate from his own “birthday list” of requests, with previous bright ideas of her own “not being a huge success”. “He’s incredibly kind,” she told the Telegraph. “I don’t think people see his incredible kindness and the things he does behind the scenes. “People who worked for him years ago will write to him and if they’ve fallen on hard times he’ll do everything he can to help them.” Saying he has a particular talent for accents and mimicry, she added: “The other thing, which probably doesn’t come over as well as it should, is that he has got a very good sense of humour. He’s very funny. “And, of course, he’s wonderful with children. “He doesn’t mind crawling about on the floor for hours with them. We had a picture the other day with Louis pulling on his hair, and he’s not one of those people who says ‘take your hand away’. He loves it. “He’s exceptionally good with very small children and babies.” In a balanced description, the Duchess also reveals her occasional frustrations with the workaholic Prince, saying it is “very hard to get him to relax and drag him away from his letters and boxes”. Asked whether he would be persuaded to slow down at 70, she replied: “You must be joking! There’s no way that he will slow down.” On the subject of whether she had found a suitable present yet, she admitted she was still praying for a “brainwave”. “He has a list of presents and every time I’ve veered off the list it’s not been a huge success,” she joked. “So I think I’m going to have to go back to the list and buy him something he really wants. The Prince is understood to be particularly fond of trees and shrubs, as well as collecting Weymss Ware pottery. The Duchess leads tributes from leaders across the breadth of British public life, from the Prime Minister and Archbishop of Canterbury to Lord Lloyd Webber and the editor-in-chief of British Vogue. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, praised his “tireless” and “exemplary service that he has given to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth for his whole adult life”. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, speaks movingly about the Prince’s “deep personal faith” which “allows him to be generous, hospitable and courageous in defending the rights of all people to peacefully prac-tise their religion without fear”. Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of British Vogue, hailed his contribution to the UK fashion industry, while Alan Titchmarsh sings the praises of the gardener Prince’s devotion to the “green and pleasant land” and Sir Barry Gibb celebrates the “sense of fun” he attributes to “your love of The Goons and, of course, the fact that you’re always smiling”. Lord Lloyd Webber, the award-winning composer, has praised his passion for arts education and the British architectural vernacular, saying: “Be it the too little sung glories of our unique parish churches, be it the English church choral tradition or his concern that not enough young people are learning to play the church organ, his love for less than headline grabbing causes is palpable.” He adds: “What I admire about Prince Charles is his outspoken passion for subjects that people either pay lip service to or are so downright unfashionable that few champion them. “We should be profoundly grateful that our future King speaks out so passionately about causes and values that as a nation we too often ignore at our peril.”
Next week, the Royal Family will celebrate the birthday with a party thrown by the Queen at Buckingham Palace for family, friends, and an expected glittering array of foreign royalty.
0702/Prince Harry and the traditions of royal tour style
While all eyes have been firmly trained on the Duchess of Sussex and her emerging baby bump, you may have noticed that that fellow beside her has been busy too. On the Duke and Duchess’s first official tour, spanning Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, his wife’s outfits may garner the most attention – particularly if you happen to leave the label on – but it took an eagle-eyed Instagram user to note one remarkable point about Harry’s look. The post, which swiftly went viral, highlighted the astonishing similarity between the Duke in his Tropical Dress of the Blues & Royals regiment, and his grandfather Prince Philip from 1957 on the cover ofParis Match magazine in that same uniform, their ginger beards and grins almost identical. Will he one day inherit the Duke of Edinburgh’s sense of style? The patriarch of The Firm has always looked appropriate and pin sharp, but never at the expense of the main attraction, the Queen. His wardrobe – still polished as he approaches 100 – melds handsome Savile Row tailoring with sportsman vigour. It’s a lesson that Harry might look to; like the Duke of Cambridge’s total tour of India in 2016, Harry unerringly plays it safe in the style stakes. Which is entirely the point; as a royal on a taxpayer-funded tour of duty, he can’t well break out the camp collar shirts and micro shorts as if he’s posturing for Instagram in #Positano. His easy “nothing to see here” style – navy chinos, linen shirts, desert boots – are all well and good (actually, the desert boots are a little bit too rustic to wear with smart tailoring, but let’s revisit) but perhaps his wife’s stylish has led to a few style adjustments along the way. Firstly, the introduction of workwear in to his wardrobe, by way of a chambray, button-down shirt. British men in hot climates can find themselves cast adrift style wise, particularly if they spend much of their time in office attire, but a utilitarian chambray shirt is a halfway point between casual and smart. And it seems Harry’s taken some tips from BFF Barack Obama, with smart tailoring in a light dove grey shade to suit the tropical climes. And in Fiji this week, he donned a jolly blue Hawaiian shirt. He perhaps has a way to go until he grows into his style legacy and follows in the footsteps of Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh. The desert boots are best for summer BBQs, not meetings with Heads of State, the Hawaiian shirt with smart trousers is a curious mishmash and he’d do well to crop his beard short and trim his hair to disguise his thinning patch – but the Duke’s wardrobe while on tour is a welcome respite from the restraints of the (albeit beautifully cut) blue navy suit he’s so fond of usually. And as we eye up winter breaks in the sun, the workwear, jaunty shirting (worn with casual chinos, not formal trousers) and lightweight, pale tailoring isn’t a bad formula to work from. Just opt for some deck shoes next time, Your Highness.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands have wrapped up their UK state visit with a meeting in Downing Street hosted by British Prime Minister Theresa May and a formal farewell with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. It was the first UK state visit by the Dutch monarchy in 36 years. The last state visit from the Netherlands was by Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus in November 1982, while Queen Elizabeth and her husband Philip paid a state visit to Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in March 1958.
0697/Queen speaks publicly on Brexit for first time during Dutch royal visit
The Queen has spoken publicly about Brexit for the first time, telling the King of the Netherlands that “as we look toward a new partnership with Europe” the values shared by the UK and Holland “are our greatest assets”. Speaking at a state banquet in honour of King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima, the Queen added that as “innovators, traders and internationalists we look with confidence to the future”. The Queen, who remains impartial in political matters, chose to emphasise the qualities needed by the UK and one of its closet European neighbours going forward. The women of the two Royal Families, including Queen Maxima, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall, put on a dazzling display of royal tiaras during the white-tie dinner. The Duchess of Cambridge wore the Royal Family Order, awarded to her by the Queen last year. It is understood to be made from glass rather than the traditional ivory, after the younger members of the Royal Family campaigned against the illegal wildlife trade.
King Willem-Alexander reiterated comments made before about regretting the UK’s decision to leave the EU, but he respected the decision of the British people. He went on to personally praise the Queen, highlighting her now famous appearance in the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, describing her as the “most fearless Bond Girl ever” for her role alongside 007 played by Daniel Craig.
Queen Maxima brings regal glamour to the state banquet dinner at Buckingham Palace
0695/Duke of Sussex tells of joy at pregnancy while Duchess promises to bring ‘little one’ back to Australia
The Duke of Sussex has spoken of his joy at being able to announce news of the new royal baby in Australia, saying he could not think of a better place to tell the world. After a wet and windy start to their time Down Under, the sun was shining for the royal couple as they enjoyed the sights of Sydney on the first official day of their tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. Much of the attention was on the Duchess after the couple revealed on Monday they were expecting their first baby. Sporting a cream dress by Australian designer Karen Gee, Ms Markle also wore a touching tribute to her late mother-in-law – a pair of jewel-encrusted butterflies which once belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. She also wore a bracelet from the same collection, assumed to be a gift from Prince Harry in celebration of a new stage in their lives. The Duke, who seemed to hesitate as he spoke of the baby in public for the first time, faltered as he told a small reception of his delight “whether it’s a boy or girl”. At an afternoon reception at Admiralty House in Sydney, hosted by the Governor General and his wife, the Duke delivered a short speech detailing how thrilled he was to return to Australia, and to introduce his wife to the country for the first time. “We genuinely couldn’t think of a better place to announce the upcoming baby, whether it’s a boy or a girl,” he said, looking at the Duchess with pride. “It is great to be back in Australia,” he said. “And especially even more so as this is my wife’s first visit here, so I’m very excited to show her this incredible country of yours, perhaps not Kangaroo Flats military training area in Darwin though!
0686/Prince Harry: I panic at the sight of my grandmother
Prince Harry has revealed he still “panics” when he bumps into the Queen walking along the corri-dors of Buckingham Palace, despite being her grand-son. Speaking in a new documentary that explores behind-the-scenes moments of the Royal family, the Duke of Sussex recounts to visitors that he still gets nervous when he sees the Queen coming. Addressing a group of hospitality professionals from the Caribbean, who are spending time at the palace as part of a new scheme headed up by the Queen, the newlywed Duke offers some words of encouragement. “You guys have spent way more time in Buckingham Palace than I ever have – and you’ve only been here two weeks,” he says. “Have you bumped into the Queen yet? If you suddenly bump into her in the corridor, don’t panic. I know you will. We all do!” The two part ITV series, Queen of the World, also gains exclusive access to a collection of private home films to show the Queen’s role as head of the Commonwealth. Claudine Jeffrey is one of the group visiting from Antigua to work in Buckingham Palace. Speaking in the documentary she says: “It’s a fun place to work. I say it’s an adventure every day because every day it is always something different. “You never find that you are doing the same thing so that’s really amazing because I love a challenge and I don’t like to be bored…to find myself in Buckingham Palace, it is beyond my wildest imaginations.” Anthony Johnstone-Burt, Master of the Royal Household, added: “Our Caribbean scholars are eight fabulous young people. This very much was an attempt to reach out and see what more we can do to involve the Caribbean realms particularly in the royal household, so it’s very, very special.” During the show The Duchess of Sussex is reunited with her wedding gown and veil for the first time since her wedding day as Royal Collection specialists prepare the dress for a new exhibition. HRH The Princess Royal also reminisces on her first trip on the Royal Yacht Britannia with her brother Prince Charles, after six months apart from their parents during the great post-Coronation Commonwealth tour.
0659/Meghan at 37 – and why it’s a crucial age for Royal women
Among rock stars, there is something called the ‘27 Club’. Its members are the poor souls who, for various reasons, never make it to 28. They include Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. Within the Royal family, there is also something of a 37 club – though, mercifully, for very different reasons. As the Duchess of Sussex, who turns 37 today, will be glad to learn, it’s the age at which female members of the Royal family are finally able to relax. The path of a Royal woman is not easy. Your late teens, 20s and even early 30s will be a maelstrom of insecurities and anxieties, made worse by unflattering pap shots and intrusions into your love life. But by the time you hit 37, you generally have your ducks in order and life is about to get a lot easier. Take Zara Tindall, who, aged 37, has just given birth to her second daughter, Lena. She recently told a newspaper she had had two miscarriages between the births of Lena and her first child, Mia, in 2014. Heart-breaking, and enough to make her beat a retreat from public life. Now she is back in the riding saddle, with a husband, two children and a home on the Gatcombe Estate. Sorted, as those maddening train station announcements like to say. The Duchess of Sussex has spoken of her keeneess to start a family, and 37 is an age at which Royal women often give birth. Queen Victoria was a month shy of 38 when she had Princess Beatrice, her ninth and final child, in 1857. As was our own Queen when she gave birth to her fourth and final child, Prince Edward, in 1964. It’s hard to deny there would be a neat symmetry for the Duchess of Cambridge – who was 36 when she gave birth to Prince Louis in April – if, like the Queen, she were to have a fourth aged 37. There’s also something symbolic about the number 37 for Royal women. Victoria became Queen in 1837, only a month after turning 18, and went on to reign for 64 years. nother long-timer, The Queen Mother, was crowned in 1937 – also becoming the last Empress of India – and turned 37 a few months later. Incidentally, she shares a birthday with Meghan, and would have been 118-years-old today. Princess Anne, the most senior female Royal by blood after the Queen, was only awarded the substantive title of Princess Royal the year she turned 37. Why did the Queen wait so long to grant it? After all, it had been available since the death of the previous Princess Royal, Mary, Countess of Harewood, who died in 1966 (she was the eldest daughter of George V, younger sister of both Edward VIII and George VI, who married Henry Lascelles, Earl of Harewood). It is possible that the title didn’t pass to Anne sooner as Princess Margaret was, in theory, also entitled to it. But she has certainly earned it in the years since, becoming the hardest working Royal: last year she clocked up more days’ service than anyone, and she is on course to do the same again this year. So what is 37 likely to look like for Meghan?
For most Royal women, it is a period of domesticity. Princess Anne was not doing nearly as much work when she was 37. She was still married to Captain Mark Phillips and had two small children, though she did join the International Olympic Committee at that age. Princess Margaret was also in a period of relative calm at that age. It was 1967, she had two young children and her marriage to Lord Snowdon was going well – so well that she allowed him to take that notorious portrait of her, in which she appears to be naked. The Queen was pregnant with Prince Edward for most of her 38th year, though as fans of The Crown will recall, she wasn’t exactly able to enjoy her maternity leave: Harold Macmillan was gravely ill for much of 1963, which required her to appoint a new prime minister, Alec Douglas-Home, in October of that year. She was also 37 during the turbulent events of the Profumo affair and the JFK assassination. Indeed, 37 hasn’t always been a good year historically for Royal women. Queen Elizabeth I was 37 when she learned of the plot to kill her by a Florentine banker, Rodolfo Ridolfi, and replace her with the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots. This led to the execution of Mary’s suitor, the Duke of Norfolk, and years later, that of Mary herself. In more recent times, though no less sensationally, Sarah, Duchess of York, was stripped of her HRH title in 1996, shortly before her 37th birthday. This was easily the most hurtful part of her divorce from Prince Andrew that year. Alone among Royal women, she probably doesn’t look back at 37 with much love. Which leads us to the most significant Royal we have yet to consider. For Diana, Princess of Wales, 37 was an age she would never know. It was two months after her 36th birthday when she died in that Paris car crash, nearly 21 years ago. Looking back, it’s almost incredible to consider how much she packed in to so short a life, and what a lasting effect she had – and yet, in many ways, she remains the benchmark for Royal brides, up to whom we hold Meghan and Kate as comparisons. Prince Harry has said he thinks of his mother every day. “Depending on what I’m doing, I wonder what it would be like if she was here, and what she would say, and how she would be making everybody else laugh. Who knows what the situation would be, what the world would be like, if she were still around?” Today, as he and Meghan celebrate her turning 37, Diana will doubtless be more present than ever. The good news is that Harry is finally sorted, and that for Meghan, 37 could be a year of peace and joy that Diana never had.
0656/Princess Eugenie follows in footsteps of Harry and Meghan with golden tickets and carriage ride for her Windsor wedding
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank are to invite members of the public into Windsor Castle for their October wedding, as they follow in the footsteps of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The couple, who will marry on Friday, October 12, are to use a blueprint of the last Royal wedding to shape their day, adopting the same key elements as the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Inviting 1,200 members of the public into the grounds of the castle to watch guests arriving, Princess Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank will also ask representatives from their favourite charities to catch a glimpse of the happy couple. Each ticketholder will be able to see the senior members of the Royal family walking into the church, as well as any celebrity guests. The newlyweds will also undertake a carriage ride through the town, slightly shorter than the route taken by Prince Harry and Ms Markle to take into account the different scale of the wedding.
Announcing details of the wedding, a spokesman for Buckingham Palace said the couple would be inviting members of the public to share their day. “The couple are delighted to announce an opportunity for 1,200 people from across the United Kingdom to be invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle to share the experience of their special day,” a spokesman said. “The attendees will view the arrival of the congregation and members of the Royal Family, listen to a live broadcast of the marriage service and watch as the bride and groom depart St George’s Chapel at the end of the ceremony.” Like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the couple will invite members of the Windsor community, residents of castle and some Royal Household staff to stand in the grounds, along with children from the local schools which Princess Eugenie attended. The newlyweds will undertake a carriage ride through Windsor High Street, but will not travel down the Long Walk, tactfully avoiding any visual comparison between the number of admirers who turn out to celebrate their day with the crowds on May 19.
The plans echo the successful elements of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and also follow a pattern set by the wedding of the Earl and Countess of Wessex at St George’s Chapel in 1999. It was announced in January that Eugenie, the Queen’s granddaughter, and Mr Brooksbank had become engaged in Nicaragua during a private holiday. The 28-year-old princess began dating the 31-year-old brand ambassador of Casamigos Tequila about seven years ago after they met while skiing near the Swiss resort of Verbier. Eugenie, eighth in line to the throne, said she cried when Mr Brooksbank went down on one knee to ask for her hand in marriage, and she revealed the proposal was a “complete surprise” but the “perfect moment”.
Who is Jack Brooksbank, the wine merchant fiancé of Princess Eugenie?
He was working as a waiter in a cocktail bar when he met her. But it was no rags to riches story for Jack Brooksbank, whose engagement to Princess Eugenie was announced earlier this year. Educated at Stowe School in Buckingham, where boarding fees are currently almost £12,000 per term, Brooksbank, 31, is a descendant of the Brooksbank baronets and reportedly a distant cousin of Eugenie’s. (Her mother, the Duchess of York, is the great-great-granddaughter of Lady Julia Coke, who is the daughter of Jack’s great-great-grandfather, Thomas Coke.) Son of George Brooksbank, 68, a chartered accountant and company director, and his wife Nicola, 64, Jack has a younger brother called Thomas, 29 – a possible candidate for best man. Since 2001, the family address has been an apartment in a gated period conversion in Wandsworth, not far from Battersea Park. Brooksbank was introduced to Eugenie, the younger daughter of Prince Andrew, during a ski holiday in Verbier, Switzerland and the couple have been together for more than six years. Back then, Eugenie was studying English literature, history of art and politics at Newcastle University and Brooksbank is said to have been waiting tables and serving drinks at Devonshire Terrace, a bar and restaurant near Liverpool Street in London. Having left school in the mid-noughties, he had given university a miss, choosing instead to launch himself straight into a career in hospitality. He went on to work at Chelsea’s Admiral Codrington pub, from where he was poached by businessman and nightclub owner Piers Adam and employed by the Markham Inn nearby. “At the Markham Inn, I had to deal with lots of strange people, and everyone was demanding,” he once said of his experience there. “I also got to know the locals, which I loved.” These included Prince Harry and his close friend Guy Pelly who, according to Tatler, “pulled him into the Mahiki set”. He went on to manage the Mayfair nightclub, a favourite among royalty and celebrities, and also owned by Adam. Then, in August 2016, he set up his own company, Jack Brooksbank Limited, a wine wholesaler. He is described by those who know him as “kind and selfless” and a perfect match for Eugenie. Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, a friend of the couple, tells the Telegraph: “Never have I known a couple with so much lust for life, who light up every room they enter with joy, laughter and unprecedented warmth. I’m sure you’ll hear this a lot but Jack possesses one of the most infectious laughs you’ll hear, and you will hear it!! “It has been a pleasure watching their relationship grow over the years, two people who enjoy each other’s company so much. They are two of the kindest, [most] selfless and sensitive people I know. In that they have met their match.” But Brooksbank hasn’t entirely avoided scandal. In 2013, a tabloid newspaper reported that explicit photographs of him touching the naked breasts of a stripper while blindfolded and covered in candle wax during his 21st birthday celebrations had been leaked online. The pictures were quickly removed from the internet after they had been discovered.
0649/Duke and Duchess of Sussex consider major US tour next year
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex could make their first visit to America as early as next year, as aides consider a Royal stop-off at Meghan Markle’s former home. The couple, who will undergo their first major tour to Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji this autumn, are understood to be working towards a trip across the Atlantic next year. While no plans have yet been finalised, with staff concentrating on the South Pacific tour before any details of an American trip can be discussed, sources said it had been pencilled in for 2019. The Duke has visited America before, including trips for his Invictus Games in Florida, holidays and an official tour in 2013. The Duchess was born in California, living in the US until she moved to Toronto, Canada, to work on the Netflix legal drama Suits. Her mother Doria still lives there, with her father Thomas, who missed her wedding and has undertaken a string of unflattering interviews about her, based across the border in Mexico. The trip, which like all Royal tours would be organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, would leave the Duke and Duchess facing questions over whether they would meet President Trump and the First Lady. They did not spend time with the American couple during their non-State visit to the UK this month, with the Duchess previously calling the president “divisive” and “misogynistic”.
The Duke has a famously friendly relationship with Barack and Michelle Obama, and has been photographed with them on several occasions. A trip to America would likely see the Sussexes attempt to avoid politics altogether, focusing instead on favourite causes including young people, sports, technology and military veterans. The couple are likely to spend time in New York, Washington DC and California, US Weekly magazine reported, quoting a source saying: “They are so excited…Meghan is looking forward to introducing Harry to everything she loves about the U.S.” The US is understood to be one of several destinations being considered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for 2019 tours, with plans for Royal visits often changing at the last minute. If a trip to the US were to go ahead, it would likely be aimed at further securing the “special relationship” with a Royal charm offensive and a show of so-called “soft power”. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a short visit to America in 2011, tied into a long Commonwealth tour to Canada when they were newlyweds.
A spokesman for Kensington Palace declined to comment.
0648/Prince Charles refused to give formal statement to sex abuse inquiry
Prince Charles refused to provide a formal witness statement to the child sex abuse inquiry, lawyers told a hearing on Monday. The inquiry is currently hearing evidence relating to abuse carried out by Peter Ball, the former bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester, who knew the prince and exchanged letters with him. Lawyers for the Prince of Wales used human rights law to object to block efforts to compel him to send a witness statement in the format used by the inquiry, instead sending a signed letter. Fiona Scolding, lead counsel to the investigation into the Anglican church, said that his lawyers had previously argued that compelling him to give evidence was outside its powers. Ball was convicted in 2015 of misconduct in public office after admitting abusing 18 teenagers and young men between the 1970s and 1990s. His abuse had first been reported to the church in 1992, but police and CPS decided to give him a caution, and he was stripped of his role as bishop. He was later allowed to officiate at events including at schools and confirmations. Ms Scolding said there would have been “no doubt” about what the inquiry’s lawyers were asking for, as they sent a template for the document and used the word “statement” five times in one letter asking for the document to be signed. “Despite lengthy correspondence, including assertions from the Prince’s solicitors that the Inquiry’s requests for evidence were outside its powers, i.e. ‘ultra vires’, there was never any suggestion at any point that the statement would be provided by letter,” she said. The inquiry made several attempts to compel the lawyers to provide a witness statement with a formal statement of truth, which is essentially equivalent to swearing on oath. The prince’s law firm Harbottle & Lewis also tried to argue that asking for a witness statement was “unfair”, and constituted a request for “intensely private and confidential” personal data. Following “lengthy and extensive correspondence” an agreement was reached and the inquiry has decided to treat the letter, which ends with a sentence saying that its contents are true, as equivalent to a witness statement, she said. The Prince will not give evidence in person but will have the statement read out at the hearing on Friday. Earlier in the hearing Richard Scorer, of law firm Slater and Gordon, who is representing victims and survivors, expressed “surprise and concern” at the decision.
0644/THE NETHERLANDS HOST THE AIDS-CONFERENCE 2018
HRH Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, is attending the meeting on Tuesday 24 July; with him Sir Elton John.
0625/HRH George of Cambridge with Louis
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share two photographs of Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, taken by The Duchess at Kensington Palace. This image was taken on 2nd May, on Princess Charlotte’s third Birthday. The Duke and Duchess would like to thank members of the public for their kind messages following the birth of Prince Louis, and for Princess Charlotte’s third birthday.
0622/State visit to United Kingdom | News item 03-07-2018 | 13:17
His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima, at the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, make a state visit to the United Kingdom. The visit will take place on 23 and 24 October 2018.
The King and Queen are accompanied on their visit by Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs.
The state visit reconfirms the excellent ties between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as ‘North Sea Neighbors’, based on shared values in the past, present and future.
RVD, no. 170
0621/State Visit by The King and Queen of The Netherlands
Their Majesties The King and Queen of the Netherlands have accepted an invitation from The Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom from 23rd to 24th October 2018.
The King and Queen of the Netherlands will stay at Buckingham Palace.
The Queen has hosted two previous State Visits from the Netherlands during her reign: the last State Visit from the Netherlands was by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands in November 1982.
In April 1972, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard paid a State Visit to the United Kingdom.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh paid a State Visit to Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in March 1958.
0616/Prince Harry sparks beard renaissance as sales of facial hair care products soar