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  • Rachel Burchfield

Royal Potpourri, Volume 4

There’s some seriously exciting news buried in today’s Royal Potpourri…

Question: Do you ever take a vacation?

Answer: Well, actually, yes. Funny you should ask that. I/The Duchess Commentary will be on summer vacation from July 1 to July 15. The last post will be tomorrow, honoring Diana, who would have turned 58 on Monday had she lived. Then we’ll be off until Monday, July 15, and when we come back from break, we’ll dial down to three posts a week, usually Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Use the two weeks we are off to catch up on any posts you might have missed! While on vacation, I will be reading the book Kate: The Future Queen by famous Royal journalist, author, and broadcaster Katie Nicholl. Which is a happy coincidence, considering…


Question: Do you have any INCREDIBLY EXCITING news?

Answer: I DO! Our post-summer break return kickoff post will be none other than an exclusive interview with Katie Nicholl! She has written six bestselling books about the Royals, is a commentator on pretty much every Royal documentary there is, and is famous, famous, famous. If you are a Royal Watcher, you know Katie’s work. And her aforementioned book was sitting on my dining room table, waiting to be read, and I thought Hmmm. I’d like to know Katie. So I reached out to her and literally within a couple of hours, I’d heard back. She is lovely. I will be interviewing her on Monday, so readers, send me your questions for Katie! All of you that do will be entered into a drawing for one of my favorite Katie Nicholl books, William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls. Make sure to get your questions in by Sunday night! This photo of Kate taken this week accurately represents my mood right now.

Question: What if I want to send a letter to a Royal? Like, a birthday card?

Answer: The great thing about the Royals is if you send them mail, they always reply! So get your stamps out and send mail to these addresses:

This address is where to send mail for Charles, Camilla, William, Kate, George, Charlotte, Louis, Harry, Meghan, and Archie:

Clarence House

London SW1A 1BA


This address is for the Queen, Philip, Andrew, Fergie, Beatrice, Eugenie, Jack, and Anne:

Buckingham Palace

London SW1A 1AA


Here’s a cheat sheet for their birthdays so you know when to send cards:

January 9: Kate

February 19: Andrew

March 23: Eugenie

April 21: The Queen

April 23: Louis

May 2: Charlotte

May 3: Jack

May 6: Archie

June 10: Philip

June 21: William

July 17: Camilla

July 22: George

August 4: Meghan

August 8: Beatrice

August 15: Anne

September 15: Harry

October 15: Fergie

November 14: Charles

And their wedding anniversaries, because why not:

April 9: Charles and Camilla

April 29: William and Kate

May 19: Harry and Meghan

October 12: Jack and Eugenie

November 20: The Queen and Philip

Question: Do certain Royals have to bow or curtsy to other Royals?

Answer: Yes. Everyone (even Philip!) must bow (if you’re a male) or curtsy (if you’re a female) to the Queen. And you always curtsy (I’m assuming 99.9 percent of people reading this are female, so we’ll just stick with curtsy for this answer for ease’s sake) to the Queen first. (See the protocol post from earlier this week on how to curtsy.) Then you curtsy to the next highest-ranking Royal in order from oldest to youngest until you get to, well, yourself I guess. Blood princesses – Anne, Beatrice, Eugenie, Charlotte – are considered of higher rank than someone who marries into the family. So, even though Camilla is married to the Prince of Wales, the heir presumptive, Eugenie, let’s say, doesn’t have to curtsy to her. However, that all changes if Charles is present with Camilla. Then she does. An easy way to remember it: Wives of Royal men, if their husband is present, take on the rank of their husband when he is present. But when he is not, they go back to their own rank. So, in this example, if Camilla and Eugenie are greeting each other and Charles is not there, Camilla must curtsy to Eugenie. But if Camilla and Eugenie are greeting each other and Charles is there, Eugenie must curtsy to Camilla.

So, when Meghan is in a room with Harry, every woman “beneath” her in the line must curtsy to her – Anne, Beatrice, Eugenie. This makes history: It’s the first time ever that British royalty must curtsy for an American. But take Harry out of the room, and Meghan has to curtsy to everyone. And yes, Meghan has to curtsy for Kate every time.

As a reminder, the line of succession:

· The Queen (and Philip)

· Charles (and Camilla)

· William (and Kate)

· George

· Charlotte

· Louis

· Harry (and Meghan)

· Archie

· Andrew

· Beatrice

· Eugenie

And then after that it’s pretty irrelevant because ain’t nobody gonna be king or queen after the tenth person deep.

Question: What’s the protocol if a commoner like me meets the Queen?

Answer: I mean, other than try to not pee your pants? Men do a slight head bow, women do a small curtsy. On first address the Queen is “Your Majesty,” and afterwards, “Ma’am,” rhyming with “jam.” (If you’re meeting male members of the Family, on first address it is “Your Royal Highness” and then “Sir”; for female members of the Family other than the Queen, on first address it is “Your Royal Highness” and then “Ma’am.”) And you never turn your back on the Sovereign. If you must walk out of the room, do so backwards.

Kate in Catherine Walker at Order of the Garter. CREDIT: GETTY

Question: Last week Kate attended Order of the Garter and Royal Ascot. What are those two events?

Answer: According to the Royal Family’s website, “In medieval times, King Edward III was so inspired by tales of King Arthur and the chivalry of the Knights of the Round Table that he set up his own group of honourable knights, called the Order of the Garter. Nearly 700 years later, the Order is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain. The Knights, now both male and female, used to be limited to aristocracy, but today they are chosen from a variety of backgrounds in recognition for their public service…Today the Order includes the Queen, who is Sovereign of the Garter, several senior members of the Royal Family, and 24 knights chosen in recognition of their work. Knights of the Garter are chosen personally by the Sovereign to honour those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life, or who have served the Sovereign personally.” Every June there is a Garter Day procession, where people like Charles and William dress up in funny-looking (but meaningful) velvet robes at Windsor Castle. And this year Kate slayed her look while she watched William walk in his robe.

Kate in Elie Saab at Royal Ascot. CREDIT: GETTY

As for Royal Ascot, every June there is a special week of races at one of Britain’s most well-known racecourses, Royal Ascot. The Queen, who loves horses and has since she was a little girl (horses are right up there with corgis for her favorite animal!), always attends, as do many members of the Family. Kate’s outfit at Royal Ascot this year was a dream. Maybe one of my favorite looks she’s ever worn. What a week in fashion for our duchess.

Question: I know what HRH means, but what does TRH mean?

Answer: “Their Royal Highnesses.” So, let’s say you’re talking about William and Kate – instead of saying HRH and HRH, just use TRH.

Question: Are you #TeamKate or #TeamMeghan?

Answer: I’m pretty sure it’s painfully obvious to you if you’ve read even one of my posts that I am squarely in the #TeamBoth camp, and I hate that I even have to answer this question. Women should not be pitted against each other like that. If you’re looking for that kind of narrative, find another blog to read. xoxo

Don't forget - you can win this book!

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