Hello, and welcome to this roundup of royal news from the last few weeks or so. Let’s get into it!
We’ll see Kate at Wimby soon
For the people reading this who aren’t tennis fans, Wimby, aka Wimbledon, is currently upon us! Wimbledon is the annual Grand Slam tournament based in London. It’s the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world and Kate is its Patron (Katron? Sorry, I’m an idiot.), which means she is the royal ambassador for the tournament and hands out the trophies to the men’s and women’s singles winners. Kate is a great Wimbledon
Katron patron because she genuinely loves tennis, looks great in an A-line dress, and is happy to make small talk with ballkids and players and guests invited to sit in the Royal Box – yes, Wimbledon has a Royal Box. It looks like this.
So we will see Kate at some point in the next week, probably once during the week and then again next Saturday and Sunday for the handing out of the women’s and men’s singles trophies. The awkward part of this year’s Wimbledon, which no one will tell you if you watch the actual Wimby broadcast, is that Wimbledon has banned Russian players from competing at the tournament this year due to the ongoing Russia-fueled war in Ukraine. The British government and Wimbledon agreed that Russian and Belarussian players would not be eligible to compete this year, given that it would be a bit of a diplomatic shit show if a Russian player ended up winning and Kate had to give him or her the trophy. It sucks to be World #1 men’s singles player Daniil Medvedev, whom this decision has most impacted. Daniil probably would have made a deep run into the tournament, and he was banned from playing just because of where he was born. Sucks. Now you’re up to date on your tennis drama – please thank me when you win your pub trivia night because I kept you up to date on tennis/diplomatic updates!
Prince Charles has a habit of accepting millions of pounds, sometimes in grocery bags, from political people
Prince Charles really can’t catch a break (and by “can’t catch a break” I mean “he keep doing things he knows are shady and then facing justified criticism for those things”). It recently came out that Charles accepted a gift of £3 million from a former Qatari Prime Minister. The money was given between 2011 and 2015 and about £1 million of it was given directly to Charles in Fortnum and Mason shopping bags.
Clarence House has stated that it followed all rules in place on acceptance of gifts because the money given to Charles was intended for, and given to, one of his charitable foundations. Someone went through the official rules about financial donations to royals’ charities and the wording explicitly states that a cheque can be given to a royal if it is going to be used for their charity. There’s no wording about bundles of cash in grocery bags, which now obviously seems like an oversight.
Even if this “donation” can be explained away as technically legal/above board, that is not the bar of trust that the future King of the United Kingdom needs to meet. The bar of trust would be “none of his dealings look incredibly shady/could put him at risk for undue influence by foreign and/or political entities.” Wimbledon BANNED ALL RUSSIAN PLAYERS FROM THE TOURNAMENT THIS YEAR because they were afraid of Kate possibly handing a fairly-won trophy to someone with the same nationality as Vladimir Putin. But Charles is like, “Sure, this bag of cash is technically legit, give my best to your family in Qatar and let me know if you need anything.” The difference in risk assessment is UNREAL.
PS: this weekend news broke that a watchdog is looking into how Charles made a Tory peer Commander of the Victorian Order and a trustee of The Prince’s Foundation after the peer gave £1.5 million to save a flailing charitable cause of Charles’s. Lord David Brownlow is most famous for being the Tory donor who privately paid for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s flat at 10 Downing Street to be redecorated (which was a violation of political donation rules in the UK). CHARLES, PLEASE STOP ACCEPTING MONEY FROM POLITICAL ACTORS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
Prince Andrew continues to demonstrate traits of narcissistic psychopathy
Not going to get super into it – why ruin a perfectly good post by talking about this monster for longer than we have to – but here are your updates: Andrew keeps trying to make his way back into public life and then getting rightly bodyslammed back into the dark halls of Royal Lodge before it can happen. He tried to attend the Order of the Garter ceremony at Windsor Castle in a very public way, but Charles and Will shut that down the evening before the ceremony. He has been photographed looking happy while riding horses on the Windsor estate. Not a care in the world, that one. Oh, one more thing: his close friend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was just sentenced to 20 years for offenses relating to sex trafficking. It would appear that Andrew’s defense of his friendship (“Jeffrey and I were only friends through my close personal friend Ghislaine”) wasn’t quite as smart as he had thought it had been, now that she is also a convicted sex criminal.
Meghan Markle admitted that she tracked Gloria Steinem down to be pro-choice friends with her
I’m writing a separate post about this. I’m hoping to get it to you ASAP. The only issue is that I keep getting so angry about Roe that I have to take a walk around the block, so it’s taking a long time to write (good for my step count, though). But though I will be getting into this Vogue piece about Gloria Steinem, Meghan, and the repeal of Roe v Wade soon, I thought this one part was funny and wanted to point it out: Meghan and Gloria state several times that Meghan basically tracked Gloria down through sheer determination during the spring/summer of 2020, and that since then she has insisted that they be friends/that she and Gloria work on political issues together. Quotes:
Markle: Women matter. And this is one of the reasons that I called Gloria immediately.
Markle: That’s another reason why I called Gloria, because I knew what I was looking for. What do we do? How do we do it? How do we support each other? How do we get the necessary changes across the line? What we need, in this moment, is to start with hope.
I want to point out this section of the story from Jessica Yellen, the interviewer of Steinem and Markle for this piece, because it seems to be directly refuted by Steinem later in the article:
Yellen: After Steinem learned that they were both sheltering in place in Montecito, California, she asked if Markle wanted to help her make calls thanking voter-registration organisers. Markle agreed.
Direct quote from Steinem later in the piece:
Steinem: Meghan, I owe this friendship to you because I did not realise that in California, where I was sheltering on a friend’s ranch, we were neighbours – or at least what is called neighbours in California, which means you’re, what, a half-hour away. [Laughs.] It was you who realised that and came to the farmhouse where I was. Then we sat at the dining room table and made cold calls together.
Who called who? Did Meghan just show up to Gloria’s farmhouse, lol? But good on both of them for speaking out on the repeal of Roe (though the things they said are somewhat problematic, which I’ll be getting into in my separate post.) Points for effort!
That’s it for now!