- Rachel Burchfield
Royal Potpourri: Volume 7
I’m going to do Royal Potpourri a little differently today. Instead of answering your questions, I’m going to do a “Top 10 List” of all things Royal that fascinated me and piqued my interest this week. Without further ado…
1. Harry and Meghan are skipping Christmas at Sandringham. No more speculation needed – it has been confirmed that H & M will be no shows at the annual Royal Family Christmas gathering at Sandringham. In a statement, they said they would be spending the holiday with Meghan’s mother, Doria, though it seems they won’t be spending it in Los Angeles. Might they be opting, as many parents of young children do, to spend the holiday at their own home in Windsor? This move is not unprecedented – William and Kate have spent a Christmas or two with her parents, the Middletons. However, it comes at an auspicious time, right after Harry admitted in his ITV documentary that he and William were having issues and as the Sussexes seem more distant from the rest of the Family than ever. It is Harry and Meghan’s choice, and perhaps they are creating new traditions now, especially now that Archie is here. It was also speculated that even if they did attend Christmas, they would be met with a frosty reception, and not just because of the bitter English cold. My only beef is that Philip, who is 98 and someone Harry absolutely adores, might not have another Christmas. When you get to that age, you never know. Same goes for the Queen, who is 93. I’m sure Harry and Meghan have their reasons and I know for sure this decision was thought out. I just wish peace for everyone. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
2. Prince Charles turns 71 today, November 14. Another birthday, another year of Charles not being king. He is the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in British history. Though I am in no rush for the Queen to leave us (so please don’t misunderstand) I am excited to see what Charles does with the role he’s been groomed to do for nearly three-quarters of a century. At least I think I am. It will be weird.
3. William and Harry spent their first “official” time together since July. Remember that polo match in July that the brothers Wales played in together? The one where Kate and the Cambridge kids and Meghan and Archie popped open the hatch of a car, had a picnic, and Meghan got criticized for holding Archie “the wrong way”? Well, that was the last time William and Harry were seen together in an official capacity – until this past Sunday, when they participated in Remembrance Sunday at The Cenotaph, a war memorial on Whitehall in London. William and Harry, both veterans themselves, looked very serious and in the zone during their time together, but I hope for their sake that they shared a kind word in private.
4. The whole Family reunited at the Festival of Remembrance on Saturday. For the first time since Trooping the Colour in June, we saw the entire Family reunited last Saturday for the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. This was another stop on the busy week of Remembrance Week events, and this annual event commemorates the lives of servicemen and servicewomen lost during conflict and war. This year’s concert featured performances from Leona Lewis and James Blunt, and more or less the entire Family turned out. Kate took a page from Meghan’s stylebook and wore a navy boatneck dress, along with a headband that made her look chic, as opposed to when I wear a headband and look like a preteen. Meghan wore a black brocade dress from Erdem. Both donned poppy pins, honoring World War I veterans.
5. Don’t get caught up in where the Royals sit or stand. Much ado was made about how far away from William and Kate that Harry and Meghan sat on Saturday night at the Festival of Remembrance, and then much ado was made again when Kate stood on the same balcony at Remembrance Sunday as the Queen and Camilla while Meghan was relegated to another balcony with Sophie and Timothy Laurence, Anne’s husband. Now that William will very soon (let’s say within 10 years) ascend to the role of Prince of Wales, as ever protocol in seating and standing arrangement is vital. At the Festival of Remembrance William and Kate had front row seats because he is second in line to the throne. And Kate got the “better” balcony placement because she is a future queen consort, just like Camilla. It’s all about precedence and order. It has nothing to do with drama. Anyway, I’d rather be Meghan standing next to Sophie because…
6. Sophie is the unsung hero of the Royal Family. And reportedly one of the Queen’s favorites. Don’t sleep on the Countess of Wessex, y’all. She is the real damn deal.
7. The Crown season three drops Sunday. So you’ll know where to find me.
8. The Duchess Commentary celebrated six months yesterday! Thank you for being along for this wonderful ride with me. I feel as though 2020 will be even more wild, so stay tuned…
9. The Queen, who, let me remind you is 93 years old, was spotted riding horseback this week. Because, of course she was.
10. Kate tripped at an event this week. Royals – they’re just like us! While at an event for the Shout crisis text line that the Cambridges and the Sussexes launched earlier this year, Kate tripped. And she laughed. And she was tres relatable. Also, we learned via William’s big mouth yesterday that Kate’s obsessed with Strictly Come Dancing, the British version of Dancing with the Stars, making her my actual best friend even though she is not aware.
11. Bonus: Harry’s not on holiday – yet. He has at least one more engagement before the long-awaited Sussex holiday break. It’ll happen on Sunday and for it he’ll be back at Royal Albert Hall for the inaugural OnSide Awards.
Next week we’ll talk The Crown, the Queen and Philip’s seventy-second wedding anniversary (!), and why I think 2020 will be the year of the Royal Baby!