0777

An artists impression of the Duchess of Cambridge's Chelsea Flower Show garden

This week, Kensington Palace released previously unseen images of the Duchess of Cambridge putting the finishing touches on her designs for her debut Chelsea Flower Show garden. Over the past few months, Kate has been working with the Royal Horticultural Society and award-winning landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White to design a woodland wilderness “Back to Nature” garden for families with children. Until now, the details have been kept under wraps – shrouding the most eagerly anticipated attraction of the 2019 show in mystery ahead of its grand unveiling next week. However, we know that the garden is designed to “inspire families to get outside and explore nature together”, and to promote the benefits the natural world brings to mental and physical well-being. And we can now reveal that among the many child-friendly, playful features, the 37-year-old’s magical garden is set to boast both a stream and Enid Blyton-esque, high-platform tree house, clad in stag horn oak and whimsically reminiscent of a bird’s nest. The pictures here show just how hands-on Kate’s creative input has been into the garden, which will also feature a swing seat, a campfire and a rustic den, similar to one used by her own children Prince George (5), Princess Charlotte (4) and Prince Louis (1) in the grounds of Anmer Hall, their beloved countryside home in remote north Norfolk.

When she and Prince William were based there permanently, they planted extra trees, saplings and shrubs to create a natural retreat from the outside world, and in many ways, this is to be a garden shaped by the Duchess’s own first-hand experiences of the joys of playing outside and escaping into nature. Lift the tree stumps, stepping stones and a hollow logs we now know that she will present next week for children to play on at Chelsea, and you will likely find not just ants, worms and woodlice, but an insight into the Duchess’s family values and the causes that make her tick. The Duchess of Cambridge is understood to have been a “tomboy” as a child, has always spoken fondly about her childhood, saying she used to love spending time outside with her parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her siblings Pippa and James in the village of Bucklebury in Berkshire, where you will find the Bucklebury Farm & Deer Safari Park and the pretty River Pang, a gently tinkling chalk stream. And outdoor playtime is exactly what Kate and Prince William want for their own children, too. “As a mother, it is the simple family moments like playing outside together that I cherish,” she wrote in an open letter to support Children’s Hospice Week. It’s no coincidence that the day care she chose for Prince George in Norfolk was a modest Montessori nursery, Westacre, where the emphasis was on “free play”, often outdoors, getting stuck in and getting messy.

The Duke and Duchess of CambridgeRecently, the Duchess also got stuck into the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, helping a group of children to plant spring-flowering bulbs, including daffodils and snake’s head fritillaries. According to Kensington Palace, Kate’s ‘Back to Nature’ garden “hopes to trigger memories of time spent in nature” – but it’s not only nostalgia for an idyllic childhood driving Kate’s appreciation of the fun to be had in green spaces, but also her ongoing campaigning for mental health awareness. Kate is seen as the driving force behind Heads Together, an ongoing campaign she fronts with her husband Prince William and her brother-in-law Prince Harry, who opened up to The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon last year about his own battles with mental health issues as part of their #oktosay campaign. Fresh air, exercise and natural surroundings contribute to both mental and physical health, which the young royals believe are of equal importance. The benefits are proven, and the effects can be immediate: one recent study even found that birdsong can boost mental well-being for up to four hours.  This week, Prince William launched a new ‘Head’s Up” men’s mental health campaign at Wembley Stadium with the Football Association president. Both Kate and William have worked continuously to end the stigma around mental health and “open up the conversation” as a whole. Kate’s focus has increasingly been on children’s mental health, in particular. In February, she visited a number of school’s for Children’s Mental Health Week. “Childhood is an incredibly important moment in our lives,” she said at the time. “It is the time when we explore our personalities, discover the potential that lies within us and learn how to be ourselves. Our experience of the world at this early stage helps to shape who we become as adults, how we begin to feel comfortable in our own skin.” Earlier this month, she also gave a heartfelt speech at the opening of a new children’s mental health centre, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in King’s Cross.  “We are all here today because we care so much about transforming the mental health of children, young people and their families. I have learnt so much about early childhood development and the importance of support from parents,” she said. In her Chelsea garden, interaction with the natural environment will be encouraged through the garden’s “multi-sensory” green and blue plant scheme to offer serenity away from screens and stress, set within a bosky environment traversed with paths. This in itself is revealing of Kate’s concern over the impact of technology on modern childhoods. Apparently, during early discussions between the landscape designers, it emerged that she had been reading Last Child in the Woods, the 2005 book in which author Richard Louv first coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder” (£10.99, Waterstones).

In the book, Louv attributes such ills as the rises in childhood obesity, attention disorders, and depression to this deficit – but also offers practical solutions, many of which can be found just beyond the doorstep. Since its first publication, Louv has launched a growing “Leave No Child Inside” movement, and has published updated research confirming that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. According to the palace, the Back to Nature garden “seeks to recapture for adults the sense of wonder and magic that they enjoyed as children, in addition to kindling excitement and a passion for nature in future generations.” Like Anmer Hall, her garden will offer rural respite from urban living as well as an antidote to increasingly sedentary, indoor lifestyles. “The challenge we all have is to make it feel like visitors are in the middle of a woodland,” said Adam White of the design, which the Duchess suggested should incorporate elements of forest bathing, the Japanese practise of immersing yourself among trees for wellbeing, otherwise known as shinrin-yoku.

In many ways, Kate is following in the footsteps of her father-in-law Prince Charles in this respect. A passionate gardener who has long campaigned for environmental causes, Charles has also previously exhibited at Chelsea, designing two gardens in 2001 and 2002, and winning silver both times. Notably, he worked with garden designer Jinny Bloom to create a “Healing Garden”, which featured 125 varieties of medicinal herbs, shrubs and kitchen plants to help with everything from bruises to stress. While cynics may see the Duchess’s debut as a cleverly plotted marketing exercise executed by the Firm, surely anything that aims to get us away from computer screens and paddling in streams or climbing trees again for a dose of “nature medicine” can be no bad thing.

0775

Prince Harry says fatherhood has given him ‘new focus and goal in life’ as he speaks of loss of his mother

The Duke of Sussex has spoken of how his three-day-old son Archie has “given him a new focus and goal”, teaching him the “miracle” of new life after the challenges he faced following the loss of his mother. The Duke, who was in The Hague for the launch of the one year countdown to the Invictus Games, told of his pleasure in knowing his baby had made “a lot of people happy”, saying he was still “very quiet” at just a few days old. Having left Archie at home in Windsor with the Duchess to return for one day of work, he spoke of the joy his baby son has brought but advised a fellow father-to-be to learn his lessons and not plan too much after the baby’s arrival.

During a bike ride around the Zuiderpark, the Duke had a candid conversation with former soldier Dennis van der Stroom, 31, about mental health and parenting, speaking poignantly of the loss of Diana, Princess of Wales. Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born on Monday morning, with the Duke appearing to abandon the idea of paternity leave with one engagement today another already announced for Tuesday.

“Above all, he said he was just The Duke of Sussex (R) makes a bike ride with Dutch athlete Dennis Van Der Stroom (L)  by the miracles in the world, and how his child has made a lot of people happy,” said Mr Van der Stroon. “He also told me he’s really happy that his son is so far very quiet.“ But he also told me not to make too many plans and that there’s no way you can plan for when the baby arrives. The Invictus athlete, who served in the army from 2006 until 2011, described his conversation with the Duke as “amazing and emotional”. “At a certain moment, we just got connected on this level,” he said. “We talked about how my wife, Mireille, is 20 weeks pregnant with our first child, a girl, and he told me how special it was that his son has just been born. “Harry talked about how having a small child was his new focus and new goal and I told him how a couple of months ago, I was struggling with my mental health but my wife’s pregnancy has given me a goal.”

Van der Stroon was a Corporal First Class and served on operations in Uruzgan, Afghanistan. In 2014 his mother, Marion, died aged 58 from chronic lung disease, and in 2015 he was diagnosed with PTSD, triggering what he described as a “domino effect” of mental health issues. “I told Harry about my mother and we talked about our shared experience of missing a mum,” he said. “He said missing a mother is like missing some kind of security, how you need that as a son and it falls away when you lose your mother.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is presented with an Invictus Games baby grow by Princess Margriet of The Netherlands during the launch of the Invictus GamesThe Duke, who had pretended to prop his eyes open with tiredness as he arrived at a sports stadium in The Hague, will travel home with a new soft rattle toy, a stuffed bird, some newborn socks with “I love Daddy” written on them, and a special Invictus Games babygrow for Archie. His branded jacket was embroidered with the word “Daddy”. Chatting to a friend in the arena, he discussed how fatherhood was the “best thing he will ever do”.

JJ Chalmers, a former Invictus star and broadcaster who has become a friend of the Prince, disclosed: “He said it’s amazing but it’s hard work. He said that Archie slept for the first 24 hours like all babies do… and then he woke up.”

0774

Prince Harry leaves royal baby Archie just three days after birth to head to the Netherlands

The Duke of Sussex will travel to the Netherlands today, just three days after the birth of his son Archie. Harry will visit The Hague to launch the one-year countdown to the Invictus Games 2020, after introducing Archie to the world alongside Meghan in an eagerly anticipated photocall on Wednesday. Leading parenting expert Suzie Hayman said Harry is likely to find leaving his baby son so soon after his birth “agonising”, and said he would feel a “pang” to be leaving his wife and child. But Meghan is likely to still have the company of her mother Doria Ragland at their Frogmore Cottage home while Harry is away on the short trip.

Ernstig gewonde oorlogsveteranen kunnen niet meer vechten in het leger, maar nog wel strijden voor een medaille tijdens de Invictus Games.

0773

Baby Archie Harrison: Duke and Duchess of Sussex announce royal baby boy’s name – but no title

After months of speculation about the royal baby’s name – we finally have the answer. The Duke and Duchess’ boy is called Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. But the newborn will not be given a courtesy title after his parents decided they would like him to be known simply as Archie. The baby will have the title “master” for formal correspondence while a child, instead of being an earl or a lord. The Sussexes could have chosen to give him the title of Earl of Dumbarton, one of the Duke’s subsidiary titles available to his firstborn boy. They could also have opted for Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor to ensure gender equality with any future sister. But he will be known as Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex take their first steps toward giving the seventh-in-line to the throne the most normal upbringing they can muster.

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is introduced to the world for the first timeA spokesman for Buckingham Palace said that, while there were titles that Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could apply to their son, “they have chosen not to give him a courtesy title at this time”. This could be revisited when the Prince of Wales one day becomes king, under a 1917 convention allowing the grandchildren of the monarch to be known as HRH Prince or Princess. He will also be entitled to succeed Prince Harry as the Duke of Sussex. The Duke and Duchess’s decision is understood to be their own, with the Queen happy to allow them free choice over their children’s names. The Duke has previously spoken frankly about the difficulties he experienced while growing up as a member of the Royal family, with the title carrying responsibility as well as rights.

In 2015, he disclosed he had once felt so disillusioned he “wanted out”, considering giving up his title before conceding he could use it for good. Being in the Army as Captain Wales or simply “Harry”, he has said, was the “best escape I’ve ever had”. He has since appeared to embrace the benefits of his royal platform, using his position to further an array of charitable causes on the world stage. The Sussexes’ decision also reflects the choice made by Prince Harry’s aunt, the Princess Royal, whose children were known from birth as Peter and Zara Phillips. Zara, now Mrs Tindall, has embraced the freedom, which has required her and her brother to forge their own professional paths and enabled her to earn a living via sponsorship as a sportswoman. “I’ve been very lucky,” she has said in an interview. “My parents didn’t give us titles so we’ve been able to have a slightly more normal upbringing. “As soon as you’ve got a title, it’s difficult to shed it. My brother and I have been very lucky like that, being able to find our own way.”

As Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, Baby Sussex is free to do the same, joining his parents on the global platform they have cultivated. By actively announcing the decision to eschew all titles, the Duke and Duchess have also neatly avoided the inevitable comparisons with the Cambridge children, who were all named HRH Prince or Princess at birth. Some had feared the Earl of Dumbarton title would prove confusing for fans of the Sussexes around the world, who could perceive it as a snub owing to the disparity in rank. While unlikely to have been a primary consideration for the couple, the lack of a traditional British title will also serve to simplify matters for the American media which already persists in referring to “Duchess Meghan” and may have used “Earl Archie” for ease. The Duke of Edinburgh, who met Archie at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, may have been pleased to learn that he is taking the surname Mountbatten-Windsor after he famously insisted his descendants bear the family name. He joins Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, the daughter of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, in the style. Penny Junor, a royal biographer, said: “It’s exactly what I would have expected from Harry. He would have dearly liked to have been a normal boy growing up and found his title very difficult.”

0772

Royal baby Sussex: Harry’s reaction was unbuttoned, excited and gloriously himself. I know he will make a wonderful father

It was just after 2pm when the “It’s a Boy” announcement came on Instagram, swiftly followed by a beaming Prince Harry speaking to cameras outside some stables near Windsor Castle. It was classic Harry: unbuttoned, excited, gloriously himself. No formalities here. He was almost boyish himself in his enthusiasm, and here was a reminder of why the public love him so much, why we feel so invested in his story. “I’m very excited to announce that Meghan and myself had a baby boy earlier this morning, a very healthy boy.” His happiness almost radiated through the TV. “Mother and baby are doing incredibly well. It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined.” And then came the moment that cemented his position as prince of all our hearts – the recognition of the awesomeness and amazingness of childbirth. “How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension,” he almost gasped. “But we’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful to all the love and support from everybody out there. It’s been amazing, so we just wanted to share this with everybody… “As every father and parent will ever say, you know, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to-die-for, so I’m just over the moon.” The television and radio talk shows had frothed themselves into a rage in the last week, caterwauling about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s insistence on having a private birth, as if this might mean we wouldn’t get news of the new baby until it set off for university at 18.

0768

Welcome to Frogmore Cottage, Meghan: a locals’ guide to fitting in with the Thames Valley Toffs

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are just days away from welcoming their first child and they have now moved into their new home, Frogmore Cottage, on the grounds of the Windsor Estate. Here we look at what life will be like for Harry and Meghan as they start their new life in Berkshire with royal baby Sussex. So, the Sussexes have made the Big Move out of London. Whether this is a result of the rumoured froideur with the Cambridges, or simply that they want more space, it is only natural for the newlyweds to want to do their own thing – this is, after all, exactly what Wills and Kate did when they shot off to Amner Hall, their Queen Anne country house in Norfolk, following the birth of Prince George. The Sussexes have made a very different lifestyle choice, however, by opting to settle in the Stockbroker Belt, only an hour from Kensington Palace, where both are keeping offices.

The move to the Thames Valley is perhaps more forward thinking than fleeing to the provinces: Meghan and Harry could make Frogmore Cottage their forever home, commuting to their day jobs and never needing to uproot again. Not only is the area blissfully accessible but they also have connections to it – Harry boarded at Ludgrove in nearby Wokingham from the age of eight and then at Eton, just across the river. And of course, the pair had their engagement photos taken in Frogmore’s grounds, returning there for their wedding reception, after the ceremony at Windsor Castle. Sue Barnes of Lavender Green Flowers, a Windsor local who regularly does the flowers at events at the Royal palaces, believes the area is the perfect fit for the Sussexes. “Windsor is the most homely of all the Royal palaces, and people here feel hugely protective over the family,” she says. “They will be well looked after.” Plus, this part of Berkshire offers the best of everything, she adds. “When you’ve spent a day in the Big Smoke, it really feels like coming home – you can pull up the drawbridge and enjoy being together.” Which is, presumably, precisely what the Duke and Duchess are planning to do.

The house

Frogmore Cottage sounds decidedly modest – which it is, compared to Amner Hall, which has a swimming pool, tennis court and 10 bedrooms. Yet Harry and Meghan’s new digs – originally a gardener’s cottage and then used to house Queen Charlotte’s unmarried daughters – are a considerable notch up from Nottingham Cottage, where they’ve been housed at KP. Set in complete privacy in the undulating landscape of Frogmore Park, itself part of the Norman hunting forest of Windsor Great Park, Harry and Meghan will be able to enjoy more privacy than they have ever had in London. The cottage is white-painted and gabled, with an understated “private” sign on the gate; and now that the Sussexes have souped it up, it is a modern family home with at least five bedrooms and all the usual Home Counties creature comforts, such as open plan living spaces, a wine cellar and gym – and, of course, a nursery large enough to house all Baby Sussex’s official gifts (Prince George received 774). The couple is also rumoured to be creating a granny annexe for Meghan’s mother, Doria, who is expected to make regular visits from America once her grandchild arrives.

The locale

Outside the Arcadian tranquility of the Frogmore Estate, the Windsor area is awash with fancy hotels, golf courses and polo clubs – perfect for Harry, who is no longer allowed to participate in field sports. This corner of Berkshire is not dissimilar, according to Barnes, from the Cattle graze on the Queen's Windsor estate outside the New York, a highly accessible playground for those who enjoy the high life. While some (Kate perhaps?) might argue that this is not real countryside compared to Norfolk or Anglesey, where the Cambridges lived as newlyweds, Barnes insists that the area is perfectly rural. “You do get a bit of plane noise but you get used to it. It’s smart country – but proper country.” Indeed the Queen’s 3000-acre farm has 200 pedigree Jersey milking cows, a pedigree Sussex beef herd, 140 breeding sows and 1500 Lohmann Brown hens. “Wherever you look there are farms and Pony Clubs and landed families that have lived here for generations,” Barnes says. “That’s why it’s always been so popular.” And, presumably, why it has become so expensive – those aspiring to join the Thames Valley Toffs will be disappointed to discover that £2 million (the price of a Georgian rectory and 100 acres in Norfolk) buys nothing more than a four-bedroom mock Tudor, here.

The locals

There will be no stilted dinner parties in freezing ancestral piles for the Sussexes. The Home Countries set is altogether flashier than the Turnip Toffs of Norfolk – as Kate knows this only too well, having grown up 15 miles away at Bucklebury. (In fact, the Cambridges were tempted to move out west themselves, in 2011 reportedly looking round Kingston Lisle Park, which used to belong to Prince Harry’s godmother, Laura Lonsdale.)  Meghan can look forward to film screenings in the private cinema (complete with popcorn machine) at George and Amal Clooney’s £20 million pile near Sonning, and lavish parties chez Elton John, who has a house in Old Windsor and holds Gatsby-esque balls with Oligrachs and sports stars on the Wentworth Estate. The area is surrounded by landed families: there are the Oppenheimers at Waltham Place near Maidenhead, which they run as a biodynamic and organic farm, and the Benyons at Englefield on the other side of Reading, where Pippa Middleton married James Matthews. And then there are the Phillimores and Schwarzenbachs at Henley, who host enviable garden parties. The area is increasingly attracting young guns from the Gloucestershire set, who are now embracing a Staines postcode. “It suits young parents,” says a source, “they can make big bucks in the City, yet still be back home for bath time.”

Sentebale Polo CupThe lifestyle

Much of the local social scene revolves around polo, with regular play-offs at Guards Polo Club and the Royal Berkshire Polo Ground, where in June, Meghan cheered Harry on in the Sentebale Polo Cup. Golf is another big feature; Harry can work on his handicap at Sunningdale and Wentworth, while Meghan, like every other local golf widow in Henley-shire, heads to one of the area’s five star spas – Clivedon, perhaps, or Coworth Park, where she stayed before her wedding, and which is more opulent than the Hurlingham Club in London where Kate has her tennis lessons. There is no Bond Street equivalent in Windsor – no bother when Knightsbridge is near enough – but as a keen chef Meghan will enjoy having the Windsor Farm shop down the road, which sells fresh produce from the Royal farm.

0765

Inside a royal rift: what’s really going on with William and Harry?

Inside a royal rift: what's really going on with William and Harry?

When they were boys, Prince William and Prince Harry were travelling to Highgrove with their mother, when they began bickering in the back of the car. An increasingly irritated Diana, Princess of Wales, finally snapped and told the squabbling pair that they would return to Palace if they did not stop misbehaving. It was Harry who piped up first. “I don’t care what you do,” he retorted, in front of nanny Olga Powell and Ken Wharfe, the princess’s bodyguard. “I’m not going to be king so I will be able to do whatever I like!” exclaimed the mischievous youngster. “All the adults in the car looked at each other and thought, where the hell did that come from?” Wharfe has recalled. “There was a sense that from a very young age Harry thought he could do whatever he wanted, while his brother had to shoulder all the responsibility.” Fast forward 30 years and the once inseparable royal brothers are forging separate paths. William, 36, is preparing to realise his fate as the next Prince of Wales and future king, while a newly married Harry, 34, is carving out the latest phase in his role as the ‘spare’.

Much has been written about a supposed rivalry between the siblings, as they set out on the next chapter in their royal lives. Indeed, to onlookers, their appearance alongside the Queen at an Easter service at St George’s Chapel Windsor on Sunday – also the occasion of the monarch’s 93rd birthday – appeared somewhat strained. It coincided with reports that Harry and Meghan, 37, plan to live abroad, in Africa, following the birth of their first child – due any day now. In what should be a momentus week for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with the pitter patter of tiny feet fast approaching, the headlines are once again rife with reports of rifts and tensions at the heart of the House of Windsor. Eyebrows were raised when the @RoyalSussex Instagram feed released seven previously unseen wildlife photographs, taken by Harry, just hours before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge published new images – taken by Kate – to mark Prince Louis’ first birthday on Tuesday. Just a happy coincidence? Or an ominous sign of the kind of oneupmanship Diana was determined to avoid when she insisted on bringing up her two sons as equals? The late princess made no secret of the fact that she lavished attention on Harry to make sure he didn’t feel overshadowed by William. “I have to,” she once told a friend. “Charles and I worked so hard to ensure both boys receive equal amounts of our time and love; others in the family seem to concentrate on William.”

As a child, Harry reportedly complained to his mother “it’s not fair” that William was “made a fuss over” when visiting their great-grandmother – so much so that Diana was forced to confront the Queen Mother over her alleged favouritism. The friend added that Harry used to love it when he was alone with Diana at Kensington Palace. “Once, when home ill from boarding school, he gleefully told one of Diana’s friends: ‘I have got Mummy to myself… and I don’t have to share her with William!’” No wonder then that a source close to both Princes recently told The Telegraph: “Harry has always complained about being sidelined by William, but now I think they see this split as an opportunity to really spread their wings.”

Explaining the recent separation of powers – which has seen Harry and Meghan move their court from Kensington to Buckingham Palace, following the £3 million renovation of their new Windsor home Frogmore Cottage – the source added: “There is a sense that sometimes the Sussexes think the world is against them.” Hence why they are reportedly planning a long stint abroad? Although reports of them living overseas for several years appear wide of the mark, Buckingham Palace has not denied speculation that they are eyeing up a bespoke international role for the next stage of their work in the Firm.

As president and vice-president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, the royal couple are determined to make a positive impact on the world in a bid to harness their star power. But where would such a lengthy secondment leave the Cambridges, Prince Charles, now aged 70, the 93-year-old monarch and Prince Philip, who turns 98 in June? As one insider put it: “In the old days the Queen would have put her foot down. But at her age, and with the Duke of Edinburgh now retired from public life, they haven’t really got the energy to put up a fight.”

The Telegraph understands that Kensington Palace was left ‘bemused’ by reports that William’s private secretary Simon Case would play a As they set out on the next chapter in their royal lives, much has been written about a supposed rivalry between Prince William and Prince Harry‘pivotal role’ in negotiating the proposal, along with Sir David Manning, the princes’ former special advisor, and the Queen’s former private secretary Lord Geidt, who is chairman of the Commonwealth Trust. A source close to the Cambridges said: “In the end this is what the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex want – they commissioned the work and something for them to work through with Buckingham Palace and Clarence House [Prince Charles’s office]. “Although William will have views, he is not the decision maker.” Another source was keen to scotch rumours of a serious fall out between the siblings, pointing out that they were both “laughing and joking” outside the church on Easter Sunday and revealing that they sat next to each other in the pews. “It was the Queen’s birthday,” added the insider. “Everyone was in good spirits”.

And what of that unfortunate photo clash? According to insiders, the Sussexes’ new PR guru Sara Latham had not expected the Instagramming of Harry’s amateur photography to have quite such an impact on Earth Day – although having reached one million followers in a record-breaking five hours and 45 minutes, they were always likely to make a splash. Suffice to say feathers were severely ruffled at Kensington Palace. Likewise, the Sussexes ‘freelancing’ on the issue of mental health – which seen Harry join forces with Oprah Winfrey for an Apple TV documentary on the subject – has not gone unnoticed, not least as the original seeds for the Heads Together campaign were sown by the Duchess of Cambridge, 37. News of Harry and Meghan’s planned secondment undoubtedly piles more pressure on the Cambridges’ to ‘step up’ at a time when they are desperately trying to get the balance right between their private lives and public duty. Kate’s private secretary, Catherine Quinn, reportedly wrote to a Lord Lieutenant who had requested a royal visit by the Duchess, saying that she was being increasingly “selective” when planning engagements in a bid to be as hands-on as possible with her three young children. That delicate balancing act was in evidence on Tuesday, when William spent the morning having a family birthday breakfast with little Louis, before flying out to New Zealand in the afternoon to represent the Queen at meetings with those affected by last month’s Christchurch mosque shooting.

As William increasingly finds himself standing in for Her Majesty, will Harry – once his brother in arms – still be around to fill the void?

0759

Meghan Markle home birth: Will Meghan give birth at Frogmore Cottage?

Meghan Markle, 37, and Prince Harry, 34, have taken the “personal decision” of keeping their birthing arrangements for the royal baby under wraps. And it seems that decision has fuelled rumours the former actress has opted for a home birth in order to keep the magical experience private. Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby. Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.” Bookmakers have slashed the odds on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opting for a home birth at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor from 5/1 to 7/4 following the palace announcement. Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Harry and Meghan want all things Royal Baby to be kept private, and you can’t get much more private than a home birth – so we’ve taken the scissors to the odds of exactly that happening as a result.” A home birth led by a midwife is believed to be the “favoured choice” of the royal couple, a source told the Daily Mail. But the same source added Meghan and Harry not had totally ruled out a hospital delivery, however.

Meghan Markle and Prince HarryHarry and Meghan’s child will be seventh-in-line to the throne once he or she is born, meaning there is less pressure on their arrangements. At present, an announcement is expected to be made once the Duchess has gone into labour. A second one should then follow after the arrival of the newborn. This will include details of the baby’s weight, gender and place of birth. Meghan and Harry are believed to want to escape the media spotlight and royal photocall that accompanied all three births of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Kate posed outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in London with blowdried hair and immaculate makeup hours after giving birth to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Harry and William’s mother Princess Diana also participated in the same tradition after having both her sons inside the west London hospital.

There is still a strong chance Meghan might opt for a birth at a hospital but one located much nearer to her home than the Lindo Wing. The most obvious choice is the Mulberry Centre at the NHS-run Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. Frimley Park is located 15 miles away from Frogmore Cottage, compared to a 23-mile journey to St Mary’s. Ladbrokes has current odds of 4/1 for St Mary’s and 8/1 for The Portland Hospital.

0753

Teacher Jade Groves explained that it was when the children practiced their balance by standing on one leg with a plastic disc on their head. “Do you guys want to show him?” she asked the children, as Prince Harry gamely joined in on one leg for a pose onlookers likened to the yoga move “tree pose”.

“You wobbled,” one child pointed out.

The Duke, who introduced himself to the children’s parents, crouched down to chat to three-month-old daughter baby Naz, just a few weeks ahead of the birth of his first child. Maria Ahmad, the baby girl’s mother, said: “He was so excited and happy about the baby. “He was asking about her sleeping. I think he’s worried about that – if the baby sleeps at night time.”

Prince Harry meets children at a ballet class YMCA South Ealing

The Duke also spoke of the necessity of charities telling their success stories, giving others inspiration that their lives can improve. “Most of the people I’ve met who’ve been through a really dark place, 99 per cent of them have come through it and found mechanisms to carry on with their normal life or have made serious adjustments in their life to be able to cope,” he said. “You, as charities, I don’t believe necessarily put those people forward. Those are the icons, the people that young people need to see and hear their stories.

0746

Buckingham Palace has a way of dealing with family feuds… and ‘emotional’ royals never fare well

The Royal family watch a military fly-past to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force

As Tolstoy famously opined: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” It’s a jolt to consider that the royal family are actually just like us – unhappy in their own way. We want to buy into the archetypal myth of the fairy tale: that the palaces, privilege and pomp lend themselves to living happily ever after. Tonight’s documentary, The Royal Family At War, debunks this myth: navigating the marriage break-up between Prince Charles and Diana,Princess of Wales in 1996; revisiting the abdication crisis of 1936, when Edward VIII renounced the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, and the current rumoured feud between the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex.  Members of the royal family may marry for love – “whatever in love means”, as Prince Charles questioned in his engagement interview to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 – but history and tradition regularly conspire against them. Monarchy depends on continuity, conformity and the cult of the court. Familial conflict is not part of the regal code. The big business of The Firm requires that it operates as a diplomatic, rational machine. What is not tolerated, far less understood, is emotion. Those that heed the unspoken creed – duty over emotion – fare well. This week, unflappable Kate, who undertook her first public engagement with the Queen, fully cemented her position as a failsafe support to the monarch. Smiling and relaxed, her sunny self-assuredness must have been a balm to courtiers prickly over rumours of her rift with Meghan.

The news that Queen allegedly vetoed the Sussexes’ plan to set up a separate court and be “entirely independent” underlines the essence of a constitutional monarchy. This is an institutional structure to support the monarch, which doesn’t allow for that kind of rogue independence. The fact that William and Harry are splitting courts, as Meghan and Harry move from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage next month,is unsettling enough with its potential for further rifts and rivalry.  History shows that the more colourful, excitable characters in the royal family who try to steer their own course tend not to reign triumphant. Consider the fates of Edward VIII, Princess Diana and Sarah, Duchess of York: all anathema to the British old school, stiff upper lip modus operandi. Which makes me anxious for Meghan and Harry.

The sixth-in-line to the throne is clearly more volatile and openly expressive than his elder brother, while Meghan has the double impediment of being not just emotional but an outsider. Worse, an American outsider who must quickly learn that the British way of coping can appear game-playing and manipulative; what is unsaid is often more significant than what is. Like her predecessor, American divorcée Wallis Simpson, of whom her friend, Nicky Haslam said: “To be an American was against her then, almost more than the divorce.” Fortunately, The Firm has modernised in part, and it seen as an advantage to our special relationship that Meghan has become a part of British royalty. Her gushingly demonstrative nature, however, penning positive affirmations on bananas and describing the feeling of her baby moving as the “embryonic kick of feminism,” must be raising eyebrows sky high in Court.  Hopefully, after the unfortunate loss of three palace aides, Meghan is now astute to the fact that it is the courtiers who hold real sway. The Men in Grey, as Diana called them, have successfully ensured the survival of the House of Windsor. As Queen Mary’s biographer, James Pope Hennessy, warned: “it is courtiers who make royalty frightened and frightening.” They maintain control by undermining power with gossip and setting up rivalry between courts. Clarence House took on Kensington Palace during Charles and Diana’s acrimonious divorce in 1996.

As early as in 1932, Edward’s equerry, John Aird, railed against the courtiers at York House who were briefing King George V against his son, lamenting “all the nasty gossip, which is very wrong of them and does no good.” At the time of the abdication, Wallis Simpson had realised that the courtiers wield tremendous influence, writing: “I became obsessed with the notion that a calculated and organised effort to discredit and destroy me had been set afoot.” She was right. The mantra for an effective monarchy may be duty over emotion but sadly, this is antithetical to harmonious family life. As Edward VIII said of his childhood, “Christmas at Sandringham was Dickens in a Cartier setting.” He considered his upbringing to be devoid of emotion; his mother, Queen Mary, could never understand nor forgive him for what she saw as the greatest dereliction of his duty when he abdicated. She wrote to her son in July 1938: “All my life I have put my Country before anything else, and I simply cannot change now.”

The Queen has followed suit and is a brilliant monarch, though fallible mother. Like the savvy Duchesses of Cornwall and Cambridge, she has never openly bleated about her position, nor given friends the green light to mutter to the media. Camilla, a true blue blood, has kept her feelings tightly and admirably to herself. From being a reviled figure at the time of the Wales’ divorce in 1996, who could have been crushed by the avalanche of opprobrium, she has become the nation’s favourite grandmother, proving herself to be the mainstay of Prince Charles’s happiness and an ideal consort.

Having written books about two controversial royal women, Princess Diana and Wallis Simpson, it is clear to me that emotion is the enemy of monarchical longevity. Drawing attention to fragility is viewed as nauseating weakness, while openly addressing conflict is simply bad manners. Diana became the victim of her emotional life. Ill-equipped to cope with her outbursts, such as confronting Camilla at a party at Annabel Goldsmith’s about her affair with Charles, the Palace found her irrational and difficult to deal with.  The same could be said of Edward VIII. After the abdication, his torment that his wife would not be received by his family, nor given the HRH title, caused him to further alienate himself. His obsessive and pushy tendencies regularly undid whatever miniscule steps had been made towards familial rapprochement. “If you gave the Duke of Windsor an inch, he took a mile,” said royal biographer Hugo Vickers. “He could be hugely whiney, especially to Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.” If only the Duke of Windsor had been as patient and strategic as Camilla has been. I believe that eventually he could have returned to live in Britain with his Duchess, which he longed for. In terms of true grit of character, Wallis understood – and ironically had the requisite inner discipline to survive – court life. After the abdication, when she received trays of vicious hate mail each morning, she schooled herself to control her inner world. She developed an implacable façade to conceal the extent of her suffering. Unlike her husband, she predicted that the conflict with the royal family was unlikely to abate. During the Second World War, she wrote: “We had two wars to deal with – the big and still leisurely war – in which everybody was caught up, and the little cold war with the Palace, in which no quarter was given.” And never was.

0743

Prince Charles, William and Harry take on rare engagement as a trio: a night out to watch Sir David Attenborough’s new Netflix show

The Prince of Wales and his sons, William and Harry, are to team up for a family Netflix viewing session, as they lend their support to Sir David Attenborough’s new documentary. The trio will attend the premiere of Netflix’s Our Planet at the Natural History Museum on April 4, in a rare family outing for the Prince with both his sons. The Duke of Cambridge has already been involved in the show, interviewing Sir David about the environment on stage in Davos in an event which saw clips of nature footage screened. The event will highlight the topic close to the hearts of all three men, with each of the Princes regularly speaking about their concerns about the future of the planet. Although they appear together in family events, including the recent Commonwealth Day and Buckingham Palace reception celebrating the 50th anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales, this will be a rare public engagement starring just the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex. A spokesman said the night would see the princess “continuing to use their unique positions to help highlight the threat of climate change and the multi-generational effort required to maintain our natural environment”. In 2014, they appeared together at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference at Lancaster House, where Prince Charles warned: “There is not a moment to lose if we are to save the species whose loss will not only diminish us all, but also expose their abandoned habitat to ever greater risk of destruction, with dire consequences for humanity.” The Duke of Cambridge has since focused on the illegal wildlife trade, speaking, writing and holding meetings to combat the global problem of the continued sale of ivory. The Duke of has recently turned his sights to the environment more broadly, imploring young people to save the planet. In a speech made during his tour of Australia, he acknowledged the dedication of the Prince of Wales’s campaigns on plastics and climate change. “My father and others have been speaking about the environment for decades – not basing it on fallacy or new-age hypothesis, but rooted in science and facts, and the sobering awareness of our environmental vulnerability,” the duke said. “And while those speeches would sometimes fall on deaf ears, he and others were unrelenting in their commitment to preserve the most valuable resource we have – our planet.” It will not be the first time senior members of the Royal Family support the work of Sir David. His working relationship with the Queen dates back decades, recently culminating in a documentary about trees. The Duke of Edinburgh supported his 2015 programme about the Great Barrier Reef, while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have attended screenings of his documentaries at the Natural History Museum. In an on-stage interview at Davos, the Duke of Cambridge and Sir David highlighted the environmental issues facing this generation as showcased in Our Planet.  “Care for the natural world,” Sir David told an audience. “Not only care for the natural world but treat it with a degree of respect and reverence.”

0733

Queen speaks of ‘greater confidence and optimism’ thanks to stable links with Commonwealth on 70th anniversary

The Queen has spoken of the “greater confidence and optimism” Britain can have thanks to its stable links with the Commonwealth, as she marks the 70th anniversary of the “family of nations”. In a message delivered ahead of Commonwealth Day on Monday, the Queen has given thanks for the ” networks of cooperation and mutual support to which we contribute, and on which we draw”. Saying the “enduring commitment” of the 53 countries is intangible, she added that nevertheless “its impact is very real”. In what is scheduled to be her last Commonwealth Day message before Brexit on March 29th, the Queen emphasised the element of “belonging” in a modern, connected organisation.

On Monday, she will be joined by members of her family including the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for a Westminster Abbey service celebrating its 70th anniversary with music from Clean Bandit and tenor Alfie Boe, and a reflection by Lewis Pugh on ocean conservation. This year, the Queen’s message contains a plea to protect the planet, following her Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy tree project and a new focus on the ocean environment. “Com-monwealth Day has a special significance this year as we mark the 70th anniversary of the London Declaration, when nations of the Commonwealth agreed to move forward together as free and equal members,” the Queen said. “The vision and sense of connection that inspired the signatories has stood the test of time, and the Commonwealth continues to grow, adapting to address contemporary needs. “Today, many millions of people around the world are drawn together because of the collective values shared by the Commonwealth. “In April last year, I welcomed the leaders of our 53 nations to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and we all witnessed how the  Commonwealth vision offers hope, and inspires us to find ways of protecting our planet,  and our people. “We are able to look to the future with greater confidence and optimism as a result  of the links that we share, and thanks to the networks of cooperation and mutual support to which we contribute, and on which we draw. “With enduring commitment through times of great change, successive generations have demonstrated that whilst the goodwill for which the Commonwealth is renowned may be intangible, its impact is very real. “We experience this as people of all backgrounds continue to find new ways of expressing through action the value of belonging in a connected Commonwealth. “I hope and trust that many more will commit to doing so this Commonwealth Day.”

The Commonwealth Day service will be broadcast live on BBC One and across the BBC World Service. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who lived in Canada while filming her television show Suits, will spend part of the day with young people at Canada House making  maple taffy and watching dance performances. Later on Monday evening, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be guests of the Commonwealth Secretary-General at a reception at Marlborough House.

0729

Duchess of Sussex makes surprise appearance at Prince Harry’s speech to students

The Duke of Sussex has urged the “greatest generation” of young people not to feel frustrated with their elders who seem “like they don’t care”, as he brings his wife onstage for a “surprise” appearance in front of screaming fans. The Duke told youngsters at the annual WE Day conference they were the “most engaged generation in history”, as he quoted the Duchess’ favourite mantra from Martin Luther King. After delivering the speech, he told an audience of thousands that he would “try and drag” his wife on stage, before the couple stood with their arms around each other and told them: “Guys, I am with you. We are with you. Get to work.” In an address based on tackling two “absolutely crucial” causes the Duke identified as mental health and saving the planet, he urged youngsters to be “mindful” of their own feelings and surroundings. “To be amongst all of you progressive, motivated, open minded, change-makers, is what gives me hope for the future,” he said.  “Your optimism is inspiring – you see opportunities where other people see challenges; you seek solutions when others just focus on problems. “You are the most engaged generation in history. You care about values, doing the right thing, and championing the causes that will shape your future.

“You don’t judge someone based on how they look, where they’re from, or how they identify. “In this room, you see the world for what it is – vibrant, colourful, mixed and full of promise. “That is who you are, and that is what makes me feel proud to stand in your presence as you tackle the world’s greatest issues.” Saying he knows “it can feel challenging sometimes” he added it is “your role is to shine the light”. “You aren’t always going to agree, you may find yourselves frustrated with the older generation when it seems like they don’t care,” he said, “But try to remove that judgment. “Try to remember that not everyone sees the world the way you do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care.” The Duke, who has regularly shared his concerns about social media, also urged his audience to have “less screen time, more face to face time”. “Every day you are inundated with an overexposure of advertising and mainstream media, social media and endless comparisons, distorting the truth, and trying to manipulate the power of positive thinking,” he said: “But you don’t let them sway you. “Because you don’t need to hide behind your device to share your voice. You confidently voice your opinions because you can embrace them proudly.

“As my wife often reminds me with one of her favourite quotes by Martin Luther King Jr. – ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that’.” Ending his address with a to-do list, the Duke, who is now a Commonwealth youth ambassador, told them: “Be braver, be stronger, be kind to each other, be kind to yourselves, have less screen time, and more face to face time, exceed expectations, eliminate plastics, conserve water, protect wildlife and their unique habitat, keep empathy alive, ask your friends how they are doing and listen to the answer, be honest, take risks, change your thoughts and change the world.

“Dare to be the greatest generation of all time.”

0727

Prince Harry pays tribute to victims of the 2015 Tunisia terror attack

Prince Harry has officially dedicated a memorial to the British victims of the 2015 Tunisia terrorist attacks. The Duke of Sussex attended the ceremony at Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park, alongside the families of the victims, on Monday. The memorial will be a focus of remembrance for those killed in two separate attacks on the Bardo Museum in Tunis on March 18, and a hotel beach resort in Sousse on June 26. ddressing an audience of about 200 family and friends of those who died, Prince Harry said: “In memory of all those who lost their lives.

Image result for Tunisian memorial

0726

Royal baby 2019: The Duchess of Sussex’s due date, possible names, and all the latest news

The Duchess of Sussex once described motherhood as being on her “bucket list”, while the Duke of Sussex has frequently confessed he would love to have children. And now the newlyweds, who married in Windsor last May, are just weeks away from welcoming their first child. As the nation waits for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s eighth grandchild to arrive, here’s everything we know about royal babySussex.

When is the Royal baby due?

Although Kensington Palace has only said the royal baby is due in the spring, six-month pregnant Meghan let slip during an engagement in Birkenhead earlier this year that she is due at the end of April or early May. The couple announced their pregnancy to family and friends at Princess Eugenie’s wedding in October, just days before their royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. This means he or she could easily be born on the same day as great-grandmother the Queen, who will celebrate turning 93 on April 21. If the couple do know the gender, they’re keeping it very quiet. They recently said they’d be “thrilled” with a baby boy or girl.

Where will the Duchess of Sussex give birth?

No one knows for sure, but staff at the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, have been advised not to take holiday in the spring, sparking speculation the Duchess plans to give birth there. Contrary to earlier reports the former American actress plans to give birth on the NHS, she may instead follow in the footsteps of the Duchess of Cambridge, who had her three children at the same private maternity unit. Princess Diana also.

Giving birth in the Lindo Wing

The £6,000-a-night Lindo wing offers a “five-star” birthing experience with expectant mothers accommodated in spacious private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Patients are invited to pick their meals from lavish a la carte menus – including a wine and champagne list – and are offered a celebratory post-labour afternoon tea. The first night in Lindo wing costs £5,900 for the normal delivery package and then every additional night is charged at £1,175. Patients can pay extra for a deluxe package, where the rooms are slightly bigger, which costs £6,275 for the first 24 hours and £1,550 for extra nights.

What will the royal baby be called?

There will be much suspense as to what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will call their baby. The youngster will be born into the British royal family, where tradition is an intrinsic part of the Windsors’ lives. If they go classic, something like Alice, Mary, Elizabeth or Victoria for a girl, and Philip, Frederick, Charles, Arthur, Edward or James for a boy are possibilities. But the pair are also forward-thinking royals, and the duchess has her own American upbringing to draw on. Canadian-born Autumn Phillips, and husband Peter Phillips, opted for a non-traditional name for their daughter Savannah – the Queen’s first great-grandchild – in 2010. In the US, the most popular name for a baby girl is Emma and Liam for a baby boy. In the UK, the most popular name for a girl born in 2017 was Olivia, and for a boy Oliver. In short, it’s anyone’s guess.

 

Where will the baby fall in the line of succession?

Seventh in line, which means it’s highly unlikely the child will ever be monarch. The baby will have three cousins: Prince George – a future king – and Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who are further up the line of succession, so it is a safe bet that the throne will stay on the Cambridge side of the family. The baby will bump Harry’s uncle, the Duke of York, into eighth place in the line of succession. His daughter’s Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie move into ninth and 10th place, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex – the Queen’s youngest son – drops out of the top 10 for the first time to 11th in line.

What title will the new royal baby have?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby will not be a prince nor a princess unless the Queen steps in. King George V – Harry’s great great grandfather – limited titles within the royal family in 1917. This means the couple’s first born, as a great-grandchild of the sovereign, is too far down the line of succession to be an HRH. George V declared that: “the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms.” The eldest son and heir apparent of a duke can use one of his father’s lesser grade peerage titles by courtesy, according to Debrett’s. So a first son of Harry’s would become Earl of Dumbarton – one of the subsidiary titles Harry received from the Queen on the morning of his wedding. A daughter would be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor, and any subsequent sons Lord (first name) Mounbatten-Windsor.

Will the baby have dual citizenship?

The Duke and Duchess could apply for their child to have dual US-UK citizenship. The Duchess is in the process of becoming a British citizen – but it is not known whether she will hold dual nationality, and at present is still a US citizen. According to the American Embassy in the UK, a child born outside of the US and in wedlock to a US citizen parent and a non US citizen parent, may acquire US citizenship at birth if the US parent lived in America for five years – two of which were after the age of 14.

Where will the family live?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are due to move into Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle this year, however the property is still under-going extensive refurbishment. Since 2017, the couple have been living at Nottingham Cottage, in the grounds of Kensington Palace near the Duke of Cambridge and his family, but the move means they will be 20 miles away from them.

0717

Sandhurst cadets charged with battery against trainee after reports of water-boarding

The Royal Military Police launched an investigation after the alleged incident last year at the Royal Military Academy in Camberley, Surrey Sandhurst cadets have been charged with battery against a trainee army officer after prosecutors investigated reports of waterboarding. The Royal Military Police (RMP) launched an investigation after the alleged incident on August 7, 2018, at the famous Royal Military Academy in Camberley, Surrey. The Service Prosecution Authority today charged the two cadets, who will appear at Bulford Military Court near Salisbury, Wilts on Feb 26. They were alleged at the time to have pinned down the victim before pouring water over a cloth covering his face, in an act that was said to induce the feeling of drowning, but have instead been handed a lesser charge of battery. The Telegraph understands that the incident did not take place during training. The cadets involved are understood to be in the same all-male platoon and no instructors were involved. The three cadets involved were moved on to different platoons as the allegations were investigated. An Army spokesman said: “Following an RMP investigation two service personnel have been charged with battery in relation to an incident at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. This case is now with the Service Prosecuting Authority”. Speaking at the time of the alleged incident Brigadier Bill Wright, Deputy Commander  of the Royal Military Academy, said: “The Army and I expect the highest standards of behaviour at Sandhurst; anyone found to have fallen short is dealt with robustly, including dismissal, if appropriate.” All British Army officers are trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhust on a year-long commissioning course. Both the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex are former graduates, with saying that although he felt he had been “treated like dirt”, he had enjoyed the experience.

0715

Prince Harry dishes up a hot lunch for children as he warns closure of ‘vital’ youth clubs leave them socially isolated

The Duke of Sussex dishes up pasta and salad to feed children at the half term club

The Duke of Sussex has warned that the closure of youth clubs is leading to the “social isolation” of modern children who are already on their phones all day. The Duke, visiting a Fit and Fed youth club in Streatham, said adults had underestimated how “vital” community hubs were to young people, calling them the “one place” many could have “a normal conversation”. As he met children aged seven to 16, the Duke asked children attending the club about what it has brought to their lives, as he donned rubber gloves to dish up pasta and salad for their lunch. The Fit and Fed programme, at Streatham Youth and Community Trust’s John Corfield Centre in Streatham, caters for youngsters during the school holidays, making sure they have a hot meal and sports clubs to keep them occupied. The Duke attended a morning sessions, watching trampolining and jiu-jitsu before being presented with a large teddy bear named Ted to take home. He spent time quizzing teenagers about what they would be doing if they were not at the club, miming playing on their phones and computer games. “I bet it’s given you a whole load of confidence to fulfil your potential,” he said. “It’s so easy to sit and play games or be on your phone.

“Can you do this anywhere else?” The Duke watched a group of youngsters play games on a trampoline, asking girls how long they had been going to the club and what they liked best about it. At the jiu-jitsu class, he talked to sports coaches about the importance of both the sports and the food, saying: “For some families, it’s a real problem to put food on the table.” Speaking to Tiana Baptiste, 19, the Duke listened to her share memories about attending the youth club as she grew up, adding: “Those experiences you’ve had, especially the negative ones, you know you can turn them around, right? “By talking to other people here? That’s the really nice thing. This place that has helped you, and now you can help others.

The Duke of Sussex speak to participants during a Jiu-jitsu session

“There’s this whole cycle of citizens. I love that.” He then put rubber catering gloves on to serve food through a hatch, offering cucumber, and tomato to go alongside pasta and garlic bread.  Summoning them with a cheerful “It’s getting cold!”, he told children: “You need good food guys, you’re growing.” Invited to join a meeting of adults to discuss the scheme, the Duke said he hoped people were “becoming more and more aware” of the difficulties faced by families in providing full meals during the school holidays. As he heard about the challenges facing the modern generation, he added: “We’re adding to social isolation, whether it’s the nine-year-old on the phone, or on computer games or whatever it is, for young people nowadays to be caught up in a world like this, we are adding to a whole list of issues that already existed. “And then by closing places like this down – the one place which they really have to come and have a normal conversation, be it about mental health, their lifestyle, issues at home, whatever it is. “We all understand it, we all get it, but these places are literally a community hub, and I don’t think people over the years have actually understood or realised how vital this is to the younger generation.”

The Duke of Sussex is given the gift of a large teddy during a visit to Streatham Youth and Community Trust's John Corfield Centre 

Fit and Fed is a campaign led by StreetGames which aims to tackle the holiday gap of hunger, inactivity and isolation. The project offers activity sessions and a nutritious meal every day for local children and the duke has visited a number of the projects in recent years. Chuka Umunna, the local MP, said the youth centre was providing a vital service to young people in his community and added: “We have amongst the highest rates of child poverty in the country. “We are the eighth most deprived local authority in London, we’re in the top 30 most deprived in England, and around 35-36 per cent of our young people are children living in poverty. “So this particular programme here is absolutely vital and makes a real difference.” The Duke’s visit, he said, would “shine a light on all the good work that’s being done, in order to attract funding”.

Prince Harry jokes troops are ‘weirdos’ for Valentine’s Day ‘shrine’ of Meghan inside igloo

The Duke of Sussex visited Exercise Clockwork in Bardufoss, Norway
The Duke of Sussex in the igloo

The Duke of Sussex has celebrated Valentine’s Day 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle, in an igloo decorated with photographs from his wedding. The Duke, who made a flying visit to Bardufoss in north Norway without the Duchess, was greeted with candles, mood music and pictures of his May ceremony as he was shown around a snug snow shelter used by the military to survive in the extreme cold. Checking that the British troops stationed at the base had remembered to send cards and flowers to their wives at home, he teased them about getting into trouble as he reminisced about his days as a pilot. In a three hour visit, in his role as Captain General Royal Marines, he admitted he misses his days as an Apache helicopter pilot as he was shown Commando Helicopter Force train to survive in the extreme cold weather. For 50 years, the Navy, Army and Air force have been undertaking training in Bardufoss to provide aviation support to those who operate and fight in temperatures as low as -30C in what is known as Exercise Clockwork. The Duke landed in a charter plane flown directly from the UK in temperatures of around -10C, greeted by Richard Wood, the British ambassador in Norway, Lt Col Dave West, officer commanding Exercise Clockwork, Lt Col Andy Walker, the UK defence attache, and Col Eirik Stueland, Bardufoss station commander. Taken inside immediately for a briefing, he met senior personnel from the base before sitting down for a lesson in the history of Exercise Clockwork and a video of the modern day training programme. It included footage of servicemen undergoing their grueling ice water plunge, which sees them drop through a hole in the ice into freezing water to learn how to climb out again. Afterwards, the Duke joined the troops for a hot buffet lunch in the mess, away from the cameras so he could meet men and women of all ranks to speak frankly. As the snow fell, he was then invited to inspect the four-man, ten-man and 16-man tents used during training, with avalanche rescue gear and a 45kg Bergen backpack ready for inspection. Spotting Chris Anderson, a corporal in the RAF, dressed in a white, snow-camoflaged suit over his uniform with a mask, the Duke joked: “You look as though you’re loving it.”  Inside a tent, he was invited to lift the heavy bag containing rations, emergency clothing, snow shovel, survival knives, hot flask, cooking equipment and sleeping bags, torch, goggles and gloves. “I’d like to but I’m not sure…” he said, making a quick attempt before dropping it. “When you’re out here, what do you guys look forward to the most?” he asked, quizzing servicemen on how long they had served and how long they are based in Norway. “Look after yourself,” he told them. “How’s morale been?” he asked, before indulging in some military banter as Captain General Royal Marines by joking: “The RAF guys will be struggling the most, will they?” Referring to his own time in the army, where he served as an Apache pilot, he empathised with the need to constantly update their training, usually waiting until it was down to the last moment to do so.

The picture of the Duke and his wife on his wedding day inside the igloo

The Duke was then invited inside the Quincey Shelter, a version of an igloo dug out and used in emergencies to stay alive in the snow. This time, the shelter had been decked out to welcome Prince Harry, with pictures of the Royal Wedding printed out and pinned on the walls, candles and ambient mood music. Spotting the photographs, the Duke laughed: “You weirdos! Nice. It’s very kind of you to invite into your private, err, shrine,” he added, proclaiming it “romantic”. “Homely in there isn’t it,” he said, as he stepped out into the fresh air. “It starts to get a little bit weird after a while.” “They’re not always that comfortable,” he was told. Sergeant Ads Lesley said the Duke had asked some practical questions about the shelters, before moving on to personal questions about the troops’ welfare. “He was really keen to engage,” he said. “He asked if they had got their girlfriends or wives or partners flowers for Valentine’s Day – he was keen to make sure no-one was in trouble. “He liked to compare what we’re doing out here, how amazing it is, with what we’re doing back in the UK. He was really happy that we’re in a beautiful environment and to see how happy we are. “There was a little light humour: he saw people in sleeping bags and said ‘oh, have you just woken up?” In the shelter, Sgt Lesley said, “he had a smile on his face. We had some chill-out music on, just to show how creative you can be.” The wedding photo decorations, he said, seemed “almost a bit of a shock” for the Duke, who “had a chuckle to himself”. Moving into a large hanger, where the Wildcat and Apache helicopters were on show alongside their pilots, the Duke confessed: “I miss my pilot days.” “How is it?” he asked young pilots, noticing they were reticent. “You can be honest with me. I’m not going to get anything out of you, am I? Guys, well done. Make the most of it.”

Duke of Sussex speaks with British and Norwegian troops 

Major Huw Raikes, from the Army Air Corps, said the Duke had spoken of how he misses flying the aircraft. “It was a fun period for him,” he said. “He misses the experience he had flying it, he misses the brotherhood. It’s quite poignant to have him here, he’s got a very special relationship with the Army Air Corps.” Offered a chance to get in, the Duke resigned himself to patting the Apache fondly before moving on to meet the teams with the Wildcat and, back outside in the snow, the Merlin. “Did you all get your other halves a card and some flowers?” Prince Harry checked, as he was introduced to a group of Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel. Mock-grimacing, he added: “There were a few guys out there who said they don’t bother any more…” Before leaving, the Duke was asked to cut a cake celebrating the 50th anniversary of Exercise Clockwork, which featured a helicopter made from rice crispies and marshmallows. Quizzing Leading Chef Matt Roberts, he learned the troops in Bardufoss had a larger daily food budget to account for the extra calories they need in the cold, joking: “No wonder you’re all so happy.” Wielding a sword, he ceremonially cut the cake, shouting “Happy Birthday” to dozens of men and women gathered in the hanger.”It’s really nice to see you all and know that you’re having a good time out here,” he told them. “Use every single day as an experience, and bring that back. I hope you can make the most of it. “I know lots of you have left your families at home to be out here. It’s hugely appreciated. And you still have a smile on your face.  Congratulations on your 50th anniversary.” After the three hour visit, the Duke climbed back into the small charter plane to fly home: back at Kensington Palace in time for the Valentine’s dinner. Prince Harry’s trip marked the 50th anniversary of Commando Helicopter Force and Joint Helicopter Command deploying to the remote base, where military personnel are taught how to survive, operate and fight in the sub-zero conditions, as well as gaining experience of operating aircraft in severe cold weather and mountainous environments. The multinational exercise, hosted by the Norwegian Armed Forces, comprises environmental flying qualifications, cold weather survival, and snow and ice driving courses. The Duke was appointed Captain General Royal Marines in December 2017, taking over the role from his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh, who held the appointment for 64 years.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (left) during a visit to Exercise Clockwork in Bardufoss, Norway

The Duke already has experience of colder climates, facing temperatures as low as -35C on charity expeditions to the North Pole in 2011 and South Pole in 2013 with Walking With The Wounded. Lieutenant Colonel David West, Officer Commanding Exercise Clockwork, said: “We are celebrating 50 years of Exercise Clockwork today and are honoured to be able to welcome the Captain General of the Royal Marines to Bardufoss to mark the occasion. “Clockwork continues to deliver vital training for our people. It provides essential experience in flying and surviving in the extreme cold hundreds of miles inside the Arctic Circle. “For 50 years Commando Helicopter Force and its predecessors have operated in this region and the skills learnt here are more relevant than ever.”

The Duke of Sussex pips the Queen to take ‘Most Popular Royal’ crown, according to survey

Prince Harry at a dedication of the Colo-i-Suva forest to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy in Suva

Prince Harry is the most popular royal, according to a new You Gov survey. The Duke of Sussex beats the Queen to first place, with 77 per cent of the public having a positive opinion about the father-to-be, ahead of 74 per cent for the monarch. Prince William is in third place with 73 per cent. The Duchess of Cambridge is the second most popular woman in the Royal Family, with 64 per cent, while the Duchess of Sussex came sixth with an approval rating of 55 per cent – a percentage point less than 97-year-old Prince Philip, in fifth. Kate proved more popular with both men and woman than Meghan, with 72 per cent of women and 55 per cent of men approving compared to 61 per cent and 50 per cent for the former American actress. Baby boomers prefer Princess Anne to both of the younger Duchesses, with 68 per cent of over 55s approving compared to 64 per cent for Kate and 51 per cent for Meghan. While William’s wife may be more popular than Harry’s, the The Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II laugh during their first engagement together in June, where they attended a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway bridge.’ own popula-rity is not based on their rank in the royal pecking order with the Duke of Sussex proving more popular than his older brother. Eighty six per cent of women and 69 per cent of men approved of Harry, with just seven per cent of having a negative opinion of either Harry or William, compared to nine per cent who disapproved of the Queen and Kate, and 10 per cent who didn’t like Meghan. While Harry was the most popular royal among women, the Queen was the most popular among men, with 71 per cent approving. Both princes were much more popular than their father, Prince Charles, who marks his 70th birthday on Wednesday. Almost half of the nation (48 per cent) said they had a positive opinion of the heir to the throne, putting him in seventh place overall. A further 20 per cent have a negative view of him, while 30 per cent have a neutral view. Charles’s wife Camilla is far less popular than he is. Only 29 per cent of Brits have a favourable view of the Duchess of Cornwall, putting her 10th on the list of 15. The 36 per cent of people who say they dislike her is the joint-highest of any member of the royal family – putting her popularity on a par with her brother in law, Prince Andrew. Princess Anne came eighth on 47 per cent, followed by her daughter Zara Phillips on  43 per cent. The Countess of Wessex came 11th in the popularity poll on 28 per cent followed by her husband Prince Edward on 27 per cent. Sophie Wessex proved to be the least famous royal with only 74 per cent of the public having heard of her compared to 99 per cent who recognised Prince William – regarded as the “most famous” royal of all. Princess Beatrice proved slightly more popular than her younger sister Princess Eugenie on 25 per cent and 24 per cent respectively while the Duke of York came bottom of the league in 15th place with an approval rating of 22 per cent.

By royal appointment? Prince Harry and the rise of jewellery for men

The Duke of Sussex wearing a chunky ring and bracelet

The roving Eye of Sauron that lasers in on the Duchess of Sussexand every nuance of her style rarely comes to rest on her beau, a certain chap who’s sixth in line to the throne. This is partly because Prince Harry – as with most men of the royal household – toes the path classic and familiar with regards to his style. Which is as it should be; no-one expects the Duke of Sussex to embrace Gucci’s directional new florals. But there’s one glitch in the matrix with Prince Harry – aside the classic Savile Row tailoring when on duty and standard shirts and chinos on his down-time, he likes a touch of jewellery. Attending the Commonwealth Youth Roundtable last night at Pall Mall’s Lancaster House, the Duke opted for a striking black and gold bracelet, as well as a black ring on his right hand. This ring has been something of a feature in the past – it’s been reported it’s a sleep tracker by wellness brand Oura – and acts as a counterbalance to his wedding band, a minimalist platinum design by court jewelers Cleave & Company. The bracelet has been a feature of his wardrobe since his days at Eton, cropping up at the polo as a late teen and in Africa in his 20s. It’s all the more telling that the Duke opts to wear these decorative pieces in a formal set up, with an elegant black suit and ice blue. Granted, his jewellery clearly has meaning for him – he has long worn beaded bracelets that signify his love of Africa – while his father has been known to wear the same signet ring for decades. Which – as a glut of Tom Woodmale contestants arrive for new series of Shipwrecked decked in cork necklaces – begs the question; should men’s jewellery be entering your wardrobe any time soon? For the naysayers – and I put myself front and foremost of that crowd  – it’s worth considering that men’s jewellery is historically the most aristocratic and establishment type of dress. Signet rings were an integral part of noble lineage long before men’s jewellery became synonymous with Boogie Nights and, later, the cool young waifs of east London. Perhaps to tackle it best is to take it back to those more stately examples. A host of brands now create signet rings in minimalist, pared-back designs instead of the florid and ornate versions of old. That less-is-more approach should parlay into bracelets too. Invest in masculine and discreet versions in sleek steel or rhodium that will complement slate-shaded suits, as opposed to beaded numbers that make you look as if you’ve just landed from your gap year (sorry, your Royal Highness). And that should be the extent of your jewellery drawer – necklaces dangling across tropical print shirts, earrings at Coachella and ankle bracelets should be kept firmly for the millennials and their #summerstyle.

0705

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived in a snow covered Bristol for a day of royal engagements which will begin with the couple meeting the public in the heart of the city.

The royal couple will also tour the Bristol Old Vic theatre and travel to the Empire Fighting Chance, a charity using boxing to support children failing at school. There were fears the visit may be called off because of the Arctic conditions, but organisers of the couple’s first engagement – a visit to the Old Vic, which is undergoing a multimillion-pound restoration – said they were still expecting the duke and duchess. A Bristol Old Vic spokeswoman said: “We are still going ahead so far, there have been no messages to say otherwise.” The Duke and Duchess will be taken on a guided tour of the revamped theatre, which has been entertaining audiences for more than 250 years. During the day the couple will also meet well-wishers on a walkabout and travel to Empire Fighting Chance, a charity using boxing to support children failing at school and in danger of drifting into a life of unemployment or even crime. The Bristol Old Vic was built in 1766 and has a unique place in British theatre history, having nurtured the talents of countless famous actors from Daniel Day-Lewis and Greta Scacchi to Peter O’Toole and Jeremy Irons. Stirling Prize-winning architects Haworth Tompkins led the theatre’s redesign, which Duchess of Sussex arrives in Bristol as the snow continues to fall a full-height timber and glass-fronted foyer that reveals the original audito-rium facade to the street for the first time. The internal layout has been trans-formed, with the restoration of the Georgian Coopers’ Hall, a new studio theatre created in the old barrel vaults and mezzanine galleries. The project is the second stage of a 10-year, £26 million programme to completely overhaul and safeguard the future of the theatre. During the visit, the duke and duchess will drop in on a workshop attended by local schoolchildren, which is part of Bristol Old Vic’s outreach .

0695

The Queen’s children help to carry the load with 675 days of royal duties

The grandchildren of the Queen and their spouses are expected to take on great duties in the next year
 

 

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 Members Of The Royal Family Attend Events To Mark The Centenary Of The RAF 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.

0690

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.

Joke gifts and afternoon tea: how the Sussexes and Cambridges will spend their frost-free Christmas

Anmer Hall, Norfolk, Britain
05qe1

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.

0670

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.

dg3

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”.

Prince Harry and the traditions of royal tour style

Prince Harry
a

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 Gant 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.

Duke of Sussex tells of joy at pregnancy while Duchess promises to bring ‘little one’ back to Australia

Prince Harry greets people outside of Sydney's iconic Opera House
hm

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!

Prince Harry: I panic at the sight of my grandmother

07qe3
hb
13qe&h1

Prince Harry has revealed he still “panics” when he bumps into the Queen walking along the corridors of Buckingham Palace, despite being her grandson. 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.

Meghan at 37 – and why it’s a crucial age for Royal women

m2
The Duchess of Sussex is 37 today

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?

Diana And Charles in Germany
03harry-invictus

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.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex consider major US tour next year

a

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 The Sussex at a Commonwealth youth event this monthtrip, 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.

Barack Obama and Prince Harry in Toronto