Weekly Royal Roundup

Welcome to September! The royal calendar is humming along again after the cursory break that members of the British Royal Family take between late July and mid-September. There are photos and events and announcements (and court cases) to get into, so let’s not waste any time.

Prince William announced the first Earthshot Prize finalists

The whole rollout of Earthshot has been spot-on. It’s been a masterclass in branding and PR. I might even have a podcast guest lined up for next week to discuss Earthshot’s PR successes in detail (eyes emoji!). The 15 finalists for the Earthshot Prize are very impressive. One of the finalists is a 14 year old girl, Vinisha Umashankar, who is using solar energy to power a mobile ironing station!!!!

If you want to feel hopeful about the future, you can read more about the finalists and their submissions here.

It was announced that Prince Philip’s will, per royal tradition, will be kept secret for 90 years

It was ruled by a UK court this week that Prince Philip’s will should and will remain secret for the next 90 years. This is the usual course of action for senior members of the British Royal Family. I received a few messages asking if anything suspicious was afoot with this news – the answer is no. It’s par for the course. It also doesn’t mean that the will can’t be executed for 90 years. The will’s wishes will be done (ie, the money and possessions will be distributed) as soon as feasibly can be done. It’s just the contents of the will (ie. the list of who got what) that will remain secret for 90 years.

Per the BBC, “Lawyers for Philip’s estate argued that news of the hearing and the application “might generate wholly unfounded conjecture” which would be “deeply intrusive” for the Queen and the Royal Family.” In other words, the lawyers argued that the public and the media would make a story out of basically anything in the will (Example: what if Philip gave a sum of money or prized possessions to Will and not Harry/Kate and not Meghan? What if he bequeathed something to a member of his German family who has even tenuous ties to the Nazis? That sort of stuff.) The best way of killing this type of “unfounded conjecture” is to keep the contents of the will secret to the public until most of the people listed in the will are dead, hence the 90 year rule.

Multiple Prince Charles scandals are unfolding

Prince Charles keeps sliding deeper and deeper into a pile of bad headlines about he and his staff possibly giving access to unsavoury characters in exchange for financial contributions to Charles’s charity, The Prince’s Trust. That’s the short version. For the long version, check out these articles from The Guardian and The Times. Not a good look for the future king. Will it be enough to thin out Charles’s staff and make a bunch of new hires? Or will this become less of an issue of staffing and more of a lasting question about Charles’s integrity? Only time will tell.

Harry turned 37, he and Meghan appeared on the cover of Time Magazine

Here are the main points from this Time cover:

  • Harry and Meghan were widely mocked for how photoshopped they look in the three photos released by Time.
  • The cover story about Meghan and Harry’s dedication to service was written by Jose Andres, founder of World Central Kitchen. Harry and Meghan’s Archewell charity has worked with World Central Kitchen several times. Both Andres and World Central Kitchen are represented by Harry and Meghan’s public relations firm, Sunshine Sachs.
  • Meghan wasn’t styled by her best friend, Jessica Mulroney. This is terrible news for Jessica Mulroney, who still wants us to know that she and Meghan are definitely as close as they have ever been and that Meghan definitely still answers her calls.

Prince Andrew is desperately trying to stop Virginia Guiffre’s civil suit from moving forward

This is a gigantic mess and I will be writing about it in a more in-depth post once I feel I’ve researched the whole case more thoroughly. However, for now, here are the main points:

  • Virginia Guiffre’s lawyers have launched a civil suit against Prince Andrew in the United States. This was done for several reasons: 1. The statute of limitations was about to run out, so it was now or never; 2. The criminal trial against Jeffrey Epstein’s girlfriend and co-conspirator, Ghislaine Maxwell, is about to start, so it’s a maximum PR hit for Andrew and more damaging info about Andrew could come out from the Maxwell case while the civil Guiffre case proceeds; 3. It was filed on the first official day of the Queen’s official vacation at Balmoral Castle, which is the quietest time of the year for royal news (thereby making the civil case a massive news story); and 4.. It proves that, as much as Andrew says that he wants to cooperate with law enforcement and has nothing to hide, he is literally in hiding, trying to avoid being served legal papers related to the civil case.
  • Because Andrew has been in hiding, moving back and forth between Royal Lodge on the Windsor estate and Balmoral Castle on the Balmoral estate, Guiffre’s lawyers have found it difficult to serve legal papers to Andrew (these papers must be served in order for the case to move forward). Andrew is essentially refusing to answer the door and is telling security not to let the lawyers get near him.
  • Guiffre’s lawyers delivered a copy of the legal papers to the head of Andrew’s security at Royal Lodge, and the head of security said that he would deliver them to Andrew and/or his lawyers. Guiffre’s lawyers are arguing in court that, under international law, this does qualify as Andrew having been “served” the papers. It’s my understanding (if you’re a lawyer, please correct me!) that the UK High Court has confirmed that it will abide by international legal precedent and endeavour to serve Andrew if Andrew refuses to accept papers from Guiffre’s lawyers. It’s also my understanding that this type of action by the UK High Court can’t be refused in any real way by Andrew. So it appears that, sooner or later, Andrew WILL be served with notice of the civil suit.
  • Andrew’s US lawyer is throwing everything he can to make sure that this lawsuit does not move forward. And he is failing. I’m sure there will be many more twists and turns surrounding this case in the future, but it looks like the case is moving forward, full steam ahead.

For an in-depth conversation about the issue surrounding Andrew being served specifically and the court case generally, I recommend this podcast episode on it from the Daily Mail’s crime reporter.

Kate thanked servicepeople who helped evacuate people from Afghanistan last month

Kate is back at work after summer vacation. Her first public engagement of the fall was a visit to servicepeople who helped evacuate people out of Afghanistan before the final withdrawal of US troops last month. When I saw these images, the first thing I thought was 1. Yay, Kate is back at work; and about 0.1 seconds later, 2. Wow, this would have been a perfect engagement for Harry. Do you think he was upset when he saw the photos and videos of Kate comforting and engaging with servicepeople who have specifically been deployed to Afghanistan, as Harry was? I wonder if he misses being able to represent the Crown and the armed forces in this way.

Thank you, supporters!

I want to send a quick thank you to the people supporting me on Square and Patreon. Karen and Eric specifically, thank you for your recent support! It means a lot and it really helps.

Thanks for reading. You can subscribe to my weekly newsletter below and/or support me on Square or Patreon. Thanks so much for your support, and for reading. Stay safe, wear a mask, and get vaccinated!!

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Royal Roundup

  1. Hi, I know I’m a week late writing this and a lot more has happened. For example, in the case of the Earthsot prize, a new video was released announcing William will present a program that involves Sir David Attenborough, and that is linked to the prize. Not linked to the prize but linked to climate change initiatives is a series that prince Charles will introduce in Discovery +

    The announcement that prince Phillip’s will is sealed to the public for the next 90 years has been very educational, I was one of those who when first heard the news thought the BRF was trying to hide something, but later learned the story behind this tradition (which started with Queen Mary taking action to seal her brother’s will just before her and her husband’s coronation, due to family jewels on her family’s side being disputed with the mistress of her deceased brother, this case was happily resolved later).

    Prince Charles and The Prince’s Trust scandal calmed down this week but it was a hot topic the week before. Like I’ve said before, sadly he isn’t the brightest bulb in the room and it probably causes him to place his trust in the wrong people, which is not great when you’re going to inherit a throne. There is a long time aide of his involved in this scandal who in the past temporarily resigned twice due to other controversies, but then always came back not much after the “resignation”. Charles should think long and hard about not bringing that guy back now that he’s closer to the throne than ever before, but it seems he’s really dependant on this person who started working for him decades ago as his valet. So only time will tell what Charles is going to do, but he should really cut off links with these guys.

    The Time cover caused a great stir, I myself wrote a comment online about the mag choosing them for the cover that had people agreeing and disagreeing with me. Bottom line, some people think this magazine lost credibility decades ago due to other editorial decisions (such as Hitler in the cover in like 1938). Honestly I thought people in the Northern Hemisphere specially in the USA had it in higher regard but it seems that’s not totally the case. Anyways regarding the cover itself, I also read many of the criticism about the Photoshop (it truly is too obvious), the pose (comparisons to H looking like a hairdresser showing a client how he style her tresses), the clothes and whatnot. What Jose Andres wrote also received some criticism but there is no denying his charity and Archwell are heavily intertwined by now, I hope this doesn’t come back to bite him a few years from now because I like the concept behind his charity.

    But the one thing that stuck with me is something the Daily Mail has grabbed as his new weapon to call out M, and that is the pinky ring in her right hand, done by Lorraine Schwartz with diamonds gifted by an unknown Middle East “friend”. Now it turns out the earrings she used during her second and last Trooping the Color after giving birth to her son were also made using diamonds from that same lot misteriously gifted to her. Her office tried to deflect the pinky ring situation by giving an explanation to the ring that then they had to correct because it applied to the pinky ring in her left hand, which apparently was a borrowed ring brought by the photoshoot stylist. I was about this close to believe she dismantled the MBS earrings to use the diamonds to make these new pieces, except I think the diamonds’ shape in those earrings doesn’t match these diamonds’ shape, I haven’t checked it. Best part of the pinky ring story is that despite the media inquiries, she keeps wearing it, she wore it this week in the NYC visit (great Insta stories about that hot mess btw).

    About prince Andrew, he truly was stonewalling by hiding in Balmoral and with his lawyers manouvers, it was all for naught because at the end his US lawyers were served the papers and they and him had to admit he was legally served. I also understood that the UK High Court was saying they would comply with international law anyways. Now his team is asking extra time to respond, but it seems the other part is willing to agree to that, so probably we won’t see any hearing in October like it was originally programmed. The funny thing now, is that Andrew hasn’t left Balmoral even after accepting the papers were served and not even because of the birth of his grandaughter by Princess Beatrice (unless he has done so this weekend and we’ll find out later, I’m also waiting to hear the name of this baby).

    That engagement Kate had was the first of several, she seems to be coming back to royal engagements in full force, other european ladies seem to be doing the same after so many months. Kate had 3 other engagements this week and next Tuesday we have the premiere for the latest James Bond film. I don’t know if H is truly paying attention to the royal agenda in the UK (except, perphaps, to overshadow it maybe?), or if he misses it when it involves military related events, considering the NYC visit and all the planning that must have gone into it, which we know must have taken several weeks and a lot of his and M’s time. Then again, last week we didn’t know about H and M’s tour, so one could only wonder how he feels when and if he sees photos of this sort of engagements.

    Like

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