What a week, huh?
Updated: Mar 23
Since I wrote my last The Duchess Commentary post in the early evening hours of March 13, the coronavirus situation has rapidly escalated – more than I could have ever imagined. In the last week, we have gone from normalcy with a tinge of awareness of COVID-19 to what seems to be a completely alternate reality. You’d think, since I’ve been working from home since I left my office that Friday afternoon, that I’d have more time to devote to my hobbies like The Duchess Commentary – but you’d be wrong. I am working more for my actual job as a business journalist than maybe I ever have, working into the night and falling asleep with my laptop on my chest, thankful to be healthy and have job security but absolutely emotionally devastated for those – and there are many – who have lost, at least temporarily, their health or their job. I have cried many tears and said many prayers for those who are struggling.
So, yeah, as much as I love the Royal Family, they have not been top of mind this past week.
First and foremost – I hope that you and your family are well, safe, and doing as well as can be expected in these uncertain, unprecedented times. That is what matters most. Please, I beg of you – as difficult as it is – practice social distancing. The more all of us hop on board and do this, I believe, the faster we will get through this unsettling moment in our country’s history. Bored and sick of your quarantine? Feel free to submit a guest blog to The Duchess Commentary with your opinion on anything Royal Family-related! Reach out to me and let’s talk Royal Family! Submit a question for Royal Potpourri! But, whatever you do, please do it from inside the four walls of your own home.
The bottom line: We will get through this, and I believe we will be stronger for it. The only way out is through, and we must all do our part to get to the other side.
The Family has spoken out quite extensively about coronavirus – here is a statement from Her Majesty about it, released on March 19, shortly after she and Philip left Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle, where they are riding out the storm:
As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty.
We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them.
At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal.
We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals – today and in the coming days, weeks and months.
Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge. You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.
Harry and Meghan have spoken out about COVID-19 as well – mostly about the mental health impacts of this time – and William released an impassioned video statement about the crisis, in addition to, with Kate, visiting the London Ambulance Service 111 control room to thank the call center workers for their response to the pandemic. George and Charlotte are being homeschooled for the foreseeable future, Beatrice’s May 29 wedding has been postponed (can this bride catch a break? Sheesh), and many Royal Family events – including Charles and Camilla’s tour, which should be in progress right now – have had to either be postponed or cancelled.
But all that really matters is keeping everyone healthy, which, so far, everyone in the British Royal Family is. Especially with Philip and the Queen’s ages – he’s 98, and she’s 94 in a couple of weeks – this is especially frightening. Prince Albert of Monaco announced this week that he has tested positive for COVID-19, so, as a stark reminder, it is important to remember that royalty is not immune to this disease. No one is.
I’ll post more updates as I hear of them, but until then, stay healthy and safe, hug your loved ones a little tighter, and, if you’re bored, watch some Royal Wedding footage on YouTube. That’ll at least get you through an afternoon.
Today is also Mother’s Day in the U.K., so happy Mother’s Day to Kate, Meghan, and all of the other Royal mums who are doing such a great job.
Sending all my love today and in the days to come.