It was a busy week in royal land. That, combined with the fact that I sent out last week’s roundup on Friday (I thought it would be a slow news weekend and I was WRONG) means that this week’s roundup includes stuff from a full seven days ago and is more jam-packed than normal. Let’s go:
Queen Elizabeth marked 69 years on the throne
On February 6, 1952, King George VI passed away in his sleep at Sandringham House and Princess Elizabeth, then on a trip in Africa, became Queen Elizabeth at the age of 25. What a bittersweet thing, to have becoming monarch tied to your parent dying. Her Majesty marked the day quietly yesterday at Windsor Castle (in non-pandemic times, she would be at Sandringham). February 6 is usually the end of the Queen’s Christmas season, and she would be back on her way to Buckingham Palace. However, due to COVID, she will remain at Windsor and continue to work safely there.
Kate took a selfie video, wore a fun hat
For Children’s Mental Health Week in the UK, Kate took a selfie video encouraging children and their caregivers to lean into creativity during lockdown.
This is objectively cute and nice. It’s also peak Relate-y Katie. She’s going for a walk in a field (desired PR: she’s going crazy in lockdown too! Aaagh, she has three kids! She needs to sneak out for a moment’s peace just like you do!) . She’s wearing a puffer coat and a silly, fluffy hat (desired PR: the coat is only $400! She’s a duchess but she’s also just a mom who gets cold! She and you are more alike than you think!). And, the most surprising: she’s taking a selfie video! All of us have taken selfie videos, especially in lockdown! No one does normie culture like Kate does. (Which is fair, since until about 10 years ago she was a middle-class commoner and not the future Queen of the United Kingdom.)
The thing that shocked news outlets was the fact that Kate took a selfie video. It’s one of the cardinal rules for members of the BRF that you aren’t allowed to take selfies/pictures of yourself. Anti-Kate people and diehard royalists were up in arms. But I think this selfie video from Kate gets a pass. Here’s why:
- Kate would have gotten permission from Buckingham Palace to do this. So she’s definitely not in any kind of trouble.
- It’s a video supporting one of Kate’s patronages and supporting children’s mental health. Leeway on the rules can be given when it benefits a philanthropic endeavour.
- Y’all, the UK is in a severe pandemic-related lockdown. The “no selfies” rule was created by the BRF before a virus killed 2 million people and made being around people dangerous. Times have changed, and the royal family has to change with it sometimes. Additionally, by doing a selfie video, Kate is showing that she is following the UK government’s lockdown rules and encouraging safe lockdown behaviours to her followers.
It’s cute and it’s nice. Moving on!
Will vocally rejected racism in UK football
Will put out an unprecedented social media statement (the same one on Instagram and Twitter) condemning the racist abuse that has been hurled at football players in the UK. Which football players? Three guesses.
This was an interesting combination of professional and personal on Will’s behalf. He was speaking, one can assume, in his capacity as President of the Football Association (FA). Will has been vocal in the past about issues of mental health in sport, especially in football. This all makes sense.
But what’s kind of different and interesting is that Will posted this statement personally (both the Tweets and Instagram posts are signed with a “W”). He could very well have had his office send out an official press release saying exactly what was said in his social media posts. However, if it had been released via press release, it probably would have gotten less traction. This more personal style is much, much rarer than a press release and the more personal tone indicates that Will is extremely invested in 1) as many people seeing his comments as possible and 2) seeing racism in the FA end. The medium and the message are equally important in this instance. Good on Will.
Harry and Meghan did a bunch of stuff
I’m going to get into Harry and Meghan’s very busy week in a separate post, but here is a Coles Notes version:
- Harry and the Mail on Sunday settled Harry’s lawsuit re: TMOS saying that he had abandoned his military charities when he moved to America. Harry’s lawyers asked for 35,000 pounds from TMOS and the judge awarded 2,500 pounds. The judge also said (paraphrasing), “Harry’s statement came in way too hot, chill out a bit.”
- Harry and Meghan leaked to Page Six that they had an introductory video call meeting with Governor of California Gavin Newsom. This is both planting the seeds for future political involvement and clearly telling the royal family to eff off and that H&M can do whatever they want to.
- Harry was spotted with James Corden and a camera crew on a double decker bus in Los Angeles. Has a more cursed sentence ever been written?
- Harry had to announce the cancellation of the 2021 Invictus Games in the Netherlands. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion as the COVID situation is still very bad in Europe and the games were due to start in May. Still sad, though.
Samantha Markle’s memoir was finally published
Listen, I know that people are having fun reading Samantha Markle’s memoir, The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister: Part 1: A Memoir. But here are the problems with Samantha and her book:
- She’s a pretty crappy person. She’s a MAGA Trumper.
- She’s a pretty crappy sister. Instead of being happy for Meghan and wishing her well, Samantha chose the path of “hate on her for financial gain”. And sure, that’s valid. But shouldn’t she have just stopped saying awful things about Meghan out of the goodness of her heart/some form of sisterly duty? And if those weren’t enough of a reason, she would probably have received a lot of favour from Meghan and Harry/the general public if she had stayed neutral or positive about Meghan in the press, regardless of what she thinks in person? But it’s probably more fun to set things on fire and watch them burn.
- She doesn’t know Meghan that well and has never been in contact with Harry or his family. So I don’t really trust her stories about Meghan generally, let alone in the last five or so years. She admittedly has no relationship with Meghan now. So why pay money to read her book?
- The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister: Part 1: A Memoir is an objectively insane title for a book, let alone this book. The Part 1 is totally redundant because it implies that Samantha Markle has enough stories about a half-sister with whom she’s been estranged for a decade to write a second book about her. She barely has enough to have written the first one! Whichever editor let that be a part of the title is a bad editor. Ditto with whoever designed the cover art. Give me half an hour and Microsoft Paint and I can come up with a better one.
- And, finally, Samantha’s book isn’t really available in Canada. It’s not for sale at Chapters or available via any audiobook or ebook service. Technically, I could get it on Amazon, but I don’t like to support Amazon. It’s full price and it’s not readily available, so I’m going to pass. If you have read the memoir and want to tell me the juicy bits, feel free! I just feel like Samantha doesn’t have much to say that is a) true or b) something we haven’t heard before.
Odds and ends
- Michelle Obama is going to release a special for Black History Month. Some guests for the special have already been announced, but other announcements will be made “soon”. Wouldn’t be surprised if Meghan made a special appearance.
- Princess Anne and her husband watched Scotland beat England in the Calcutta Cup rugby tournament. Princess Anne is Patron of the Scottish Rugby Union. Her living room is achingly normal. Look at the knickknacks! Look at how medium-sized the TV is! Look at the cluttered coffee table! The stacks of books! The dog bed! It’s perfection and I like The Princess Royal and her husband very much.
I have a question for you and I’d really like your opinion on it! I’ve been thinking about sending out the Weekly Royal Roundup to my email subscribers every week, as well as posting it on the blog. Or I could send a list of the previous week’s posts via email every Sunday. What do you think – would that be something that you’d like? Please vote below or send me a message about it!