Prince Philip's Death Adds New Urgency to U.K. Monarchy's Transition Plans


Yahoo News 26 April, 2021 - 02:16pm 20 views

Will Prince Charles become king?

No: Charles will become King the moment the Queen dies. The Accession Council merely acknowledges and proclaims that he is the new King, following the death of the Queen. It is not necessary for the monarch to be crowned in order to become King: Edward VIII reigned as King without ever being crowned. the next Accession and Coronation: FAQs | The Constitution Unit - UCL – University College London

Philip’s death has given new urgency to a transition already underway in the House of Windsor. With the queen’s reign in its twilight, Charles has moved to streamline the royal family and reallocate its duties — a downsizing forced by the loss of stalwart figures like Philip, as well as by the rancorous departure of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, and the messy internal exile of Prince Andrew.

Buckingham Palace is conducting an after-action report on Philip’s funeral ceremony, people with knowledge of the palace said, applying lessons from it to Operation London Bridge, the long-in-the-works, minute-by-minute blueprint for what will transpire in the days and weeks after the queen dies.

By all accounts, Elizabeth is in good health, bothered only by stiffness in her knees, which makes it hard for her to climb stairs. Royal watchers point out that her mother lived until 101. Buckingham Palace is busy planning her platinum jubilee, a four-day celebration in June 2022 to mark the 70 years since her accession to the throne.

Still, the poignant image of an aging, isolated queen, grieving alone in a choir stall at St. George’s chapel during the funeral because of social distancing restrictions, drove home to many a sense of her vulnerability and fragility. It also raised questions about how active she will be, even after the pandemic ebbs.

“Fundamentally, the queen will fade away gracefully,” said Peter Hunt, a former royal correspondent for the BBC. “COVID has helped in the sense that it has accelerated what any sensible 95-year-old woman would want to do, which is not stand on your feet all day long.”

As always with the royal family, details about its internal deliberations are elusive and befogged in speculation. Reports that Charles and William would hold a summit meeting to hash out the transition are pooh-poohed by people with ties to the palace.

The royal family, Hunt noted, rarely telegraphs such moments, leaving outsiders to read the tea leaves. Yet a few things seem clear.

While the queen has gone back to work since Philip’s death, she is never going to return to the hectic schedule of meetings, receptions and garden parties that she plowed through for decades. She may come to Buckingham Palace only two days a week for meetings, these people said, preferring to stay at Windsor Castle, where she and Philip quarantined during the pandemic.

The queen conducted multiple meetings by video calls over the last year, showing off a wry wit in some of those virtual encounters. Like others who worked from home, she adjusted to the new environment, a person with ties to the palace said, and is not reflexively returning to the office just because it is reopening.

Charles, as Prince of Wales, had already taken over some of his mother’s duties, including overseas trips and investiture ceremonies, in which people are granted knighthoods. He accompanies her to the state opening of Parliament; the next one is scheduled for May. And he spoke up after the furor over his brother Andrew’s ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, pressing to have him banished from public duties.

The biggest challenge for Charles is reconciling the family’s workload with its reduced ranks. He has long favored a slimmed-down monarchy, built around him and his wife, Camilla; Prince William and his wife, Kate; and Harry and his wife, Meghan. Princess Anne, his younger sister, also remains a full-time royal.

But the decision of Harry and Meghan to withdraw from their duties and move to California blew a hole in those plans. There was no sign of a change of heart from Harry, or even much hope for a reconciliation with William, when Harry attended his grandfather’s funeral. The brothers chatted briefly as they left the service, but Harry flew home before the queen’s birthday on Wednesday.

There is also little prospect that Andrew will ever return to the fold. If anything, the palace is girding itself for further embarrassing disclosures this July when his friend Ghislaine Maxwell goes on trial in New York on charges that she trafficked underage girls on behalf of her employer, Epstein. Andrew has been accused of sexual misconduct by one of Epstein’s victims, an accusation that he denies.

“You’re not going to get a situation on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, where people are pushing and shoving for a place,” said Andrew Morton, a royal chronicler whose latest book, “Elizabeth & Margaret,” explores the relationship between the queen and her sister. “It’s going to be down to just a handful of people.”

Royals carry out more than 2,000 official events a year, many of which involve charity groups. About 3,000 philanthropic groups list a member of the family as their patron or president, according to the palace. Family members also take part in dozens of military and diplomatic ceremonies a year.

With so many events and fewer working royals, Morton said to the Foreign Press Association, the family will have to pick its shots. Given its commitment to the military — showcased by the troops at Philip’s funeral — and its diplomatic responsibilities, he predicted that the family would scale back its charity work.

But that would raise a separate set of problems. The modern royal family, experts said, has defined itself and justified its taxpayer support largely through its public works. Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, maintained ties to hundreds of charities until he retired from official duties at the age of 96.

“The key development of the monarchy in the 20th century is the development of the welfare monarchy, without which it won’t survive,” said Vernon Bogdanor, a professor of government at King’s College London who has written about the role of the monarchy in Britain’s constitutional system.

The short-term fix for the workload problem, people with ties to the palace said, is to elevate another royal couple, Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, also known as the Earl and Countess of Wessex. Edward, 57, the queen’s youngest son, and his wife emerged as prominent figures after Philip’s death, speaking about his legacy and how the family was dealing with its grief.

Edward and Sophie had their own scrapes two decades ago when their private business activities — her public-relations firm and his television-production company — came under criticism for conflicting with their royal status. But they gave up those ambitions and submitted to the rigors of royal life.

In the process, Sophie, 56, forged close ties with the queen and her husband. On the eve of Philip’s funeral, with the blessing of Buckingham Palace, Sophie released a private photo she had taken several years earlier of a beaming Elizabeth and Philip at ease in the Scottish countryside, not far from the queen’s estate, Balmoral.

Charles found his stature enhanced by the funeral, according to royal watchers. Some pointed to the dignified way he carried himself as he headed the procession behind Philip’s coffin. Others noted his unselfconscious display of grief. At 72, they said, Charles had finally emerged from the long shadow of his father, with whom he had a complicated relationship, to be the family’s patriarch.

“He’s looking like a much more confident character, happier in his own skin,” said Penny Junor, a royal historian. “He is now the paterfamilias of the family, which means he has new roles and responsibilities.”

Charles, however, must also reckon with his elder son, William, 38, who is in line to be king after him. Royal watchers said William had strong opinions about the structure of the family and how its duties should be reallocated. And he and his father have different views on how to conduct philanthropy, they said.

While Charles has built a sprawling portfolio of charities, William has preferred to devote time to a few favored causes. As president of the Football Association, he spoke out last week against an unpopular plan to create an elite soccer Super League, which would have pulled in several of the top clubs in Britain.

“There is a difference between the way Charles envisages things and William envisages things,” said Valentine Low, the royal correspondent of The Times of London. But he added, “Charles acknowledges and even welcomes that William should have a role in these conversations.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

© 2021 The New York Times Company

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American mothers have always been sorted and divided — deemed worthy of aid or not — by race, by class, by marital status, by what their husbands do, by whether they have had too many children or not enough. All these fault lines, though, will be ignored by the federal government this summer when it begins delivering a monthly check of $250 to $300 per child to all but the richest families in the United States. It will go to families whether they have one parent or two, and whether their mothers have an income or not. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The benefit, an expansion of the child tax credit, is in place through the end of the year. It would be locked in through 2025 as part of the American Families Plan that President Joe Biden is expected to unveil this week, the next step in what proponents hope will be a permanent expansion of the American safety net for families. The simplicity of the plan cuts through old ideas of who’s deserving, “narratives that we know are grounded in stereotypes and moral measuring sticks,” said Celeste Watkins-Hayes, a sociologist at the University of Michigan. Instead, the proposal “just makes sure parents have the resources they need to raise their families.” Yet the thing that makes the Biden child credit so revolutionary, its universality, is also what makes it controversial. Policymakers disagree on whether all families merit direct financial assistance from the government, or whether it should be reserved for parents — including single mothers — who work for pay. The debate over time has not been about whether mothers should work or stay home with their children, but which mothers should work or stay home. The answer, in American policies, has long depended on characteristics like their income, family structure and, especially, race, researchers said. “What it means essentially is that when white women stay home and work without pay for the family, that’s a great thing,” said Jacqueline Jones, a historian at the University of Texas at Austin. “When Black women attempt to stay home and care for their children, if they don’t have the means or the husband to do so, they’re vilified.” The question of work could be the largest obstacle to reimagining federal support for families. It adds to a growing tension on the right between promoting work and promoting traditional families: While some Republican policymakers, including Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, support a near-universal child credit, others, like Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah, believe it should have a work requirement. A divide on the right More Republicans have recently joined Democrats in agreeing that families with children need government support, as the problems families face have shifted. Teen parenthood has sharply declined. But the opioid crisis has ravaged rural families. Wages have stagnated for many families even whey have two working parents. “That’s definitely created a degree of working-class consciousness on the right,” said Samuel Hammond, director of poverty and welfare policy at the Niskanen Center. “Maybe in the ’90s, when you talked about single moms, that was disproportionately a dog whistle for Black single moms. Now, if you’re a Republican, you have plenty of single moms in your constituency.” The pandemic has further made clear how much parents rely on outside support when raising children, and how quickly any family can fall into an economic or health crisis. A deeper divide has also emerged on the right between social conservatives, who want to preserve traditional families, and economic conservatives, who want to limit government spending. “There’s always been a lot of overlap between social and economic conservatives: Two-parent families are better off economically,” said Angela Rachidi, who studies poverty and safety net policies at the American Enterprise Institute. “But the last few years, social conservatives have become more open to using government spending in ways that make economic conservatives uncomfortable.” She aligns with the economic conservatives, who cite evidence that work requirements can decrease child poverty and model a strong work ethic for children. She does not want government aid to encourage people to forgo work. (The previous child tax credit was not available in full to families with no or low income; the earnings threshold to start benefiting from that credit was $2,500 when the tax law passed in 2017.) “By lessening the importance of work,” she said, “we’re harming the most vulnerable families.” Social conservatives have become more open to government spending if it encourages more women to have children and enables them to stay home with them. They cite research that children benefit from strong attachment to their parents. “The right has dropped the ball on family policy,” said Brad Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia, in a recent panel at AEI where the divisions on the right were on full display. “I’m not looking for more measures that will put parents into the labor force than spend time with their kids. We need less workism and more familyism.” This is also why social conservatives generally do not support government funding for child care, while some economic conservatives do — child care makes it easier for mothers to work. The history of who’s deserving Debates over American motherhood, amplified by the pandemic, have deep roots. “It really does go back to this idea that there’s this assumption that certain women should work, and that Black women in particular should work,” said Elisa Minoff, a senior policy analyst with the Center for the Study of Social Policy who has researched the history of work requirements. Slavery laid the groundwork for the stereotype that Black people do not want to work, Minoff said, and helped establish a narrow conception of work: as servants, domestics and field hands. Throughout this history, Black women have been viewed more as laborers than as mothers, said Cornell historian Louis Hyman (any virtue attached to the title of “mother,” he adds, invariably vanishes when a Black woman is a “single mother”). Black mothers were largely excluded from the earliest experiments in welfare after the Civil War, with widow’s pensions specifically designed to keep women at home with their children. (If they were found to be working, they lost the benefit.) In the 1930s, a federal program, Aid to Dependent Children, extended help to more mothers and replaced those pensions. But Southern Democrats demanded that states run the program, allowing them to set rules effectively barring Black mothers from benefits. State caseworkers would spot-check whether women were keeping their homes clean enough, or keeping a man around. Some states automatically kicked women and children off benefit rolls during picking seasons when they were needed in the fields. Such standards, many enduring until the 1960s, were not applied to white women. And it was only after they were struck down, and more Black mothers began to rely on the aid, that political momentum grew to attach work requirements. “It’s a response to the program doing more to actually serve families of color that people start to say, ‘These women should be working,’” said H. Luke Shaefer, a professor at the University of Michigan who studies poverty and social welfare policy. The typical mother getting government help became, in politicians’ telling, a “welfare queen,” with too many children and not enough personal responsibility. That stereotype led to the 1996 welfare reform law that attached time limits and stricter work requirements to cash assistance. Employment of single mothers increased, and child poverty decreased in the following years. But both effects were helped by a booming economy in the late 1990s. And many mothers were left without jobs or government benefits, or in jobs that were precarious and poorly paid, while their children were often in low-quality child care. In the debate over the Biden child allowance, policymakers have focused on its potential to decrease child poverty, a goal with support on both the right and the left. A variety of research shows that growing up in poverty has long-term consequences for children’s physical and mental health, family stability, and educational and career outcomes. “If this expanded child tax credit becomes a permanent policy, it would really serve as a pillar of a reimagined social safety net, and one that actually is focused on promoting the well-being of children and families, not just increasing the number of hours parents worked,” Minoff said. Much of the debate, though, still reflects these old divides. Rubio and Lee, who have supported expanding the child tax credit, want a work requirement because, as they said in a statement, “an essential part of being pro-family is being pro-work.” Many progressives, in addition to supporting a universal child benefit, say they also support work — but that the way to encourage work and decrease poverty is to improve jobs, such as by increasing the minimum wage and providing predictable hours. “I would say to those who want to see work requirements as part of this benefit, move that impulse into building a stronger labor market,” Watkins-Hayes said. “The universal child credit was a way to acknowledge the reality that the labor market isn’t able to support families to make sure their kids are happy and progressing well.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company

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The United States currently has the largest immigration detention system in the world. On any given day, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, holds tens of thousands of people in about 200 facilities across the country. And throughout the pandemic, these facilities have become some of the most dangerous places in the United States when it comes to COVID-19 outbreaks. Our analysis compared estimated infection rates in ICE detention centers with infection rates in prisons and in the general population. As COVID-19 cases rose last June, ICE detention facilities had an average infection rate five times that of prisons and 20 times that of the general population. To understand the risks the ICE facilities posed, we talked to former detainees, data scientists, lawyers, county officials and the family of a former ICE contractor about the spread of COVID-19 inside and outside ICE detention centers. We also reviewed court documents, medical records of detainees and government inspection reports from June 2020 to March 2021. Here’s what we found. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times 1. Detainees have little protection from COVID-19 in custody. There are a number of reasons COVID-19 hit ICE detention sites particularly hard, including spotty implementation of the agency’s own pandemic guidelines in its facilities. At the La Palma Correctional Center in Arizona for example, a recent government inspection report found repeated violations of mask-wearing and social-distancing protocols. According to the report, detainees staged peaceful protests to draw attention to these conditions, and were violently punished by detention center staff. Another problem is the lack of testing. At a Senate hearing last June, Henry Lucero, ICE’s executive associate director of Enforcement and Removal Operations, testified that anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms in custody would be tested for the coronavirus. But that wasn’t always true. Sandra Esqueda, an immigrant without legal status from Mexico, was detained at the El Paso Service Processing Center in Texas from April to November 2020. Her medical documents show that after going to the facility’s medical care unit with symptoms, she wasn’t tested until five days later. She tested positive, and dozens of other detainees were infected around the same time, according to Esqueda. At another detention center in Farmville, Virginia, ICE’s failure to contain the virus last summer led to an outbreak of about 250 cases, out of roughly 300 detainees in the facility. One later died of COVID-19. 2. Infections inside detention centers have ripple effects in surrounding communities. Not all ICE facilities have been hit equally hard by COVID-19. A New York Times database analyzing reports from federal and local agencies found that larger outbreaks in ICE detention have tended to be concentrated in southern-border states. Take Frio County, Texas, for example. This rural county of around 20,000 people is home to two large ICE facilities run by private prison companies. On May 5, 2020, there were 10 known cases in the county, all of them linked to the South Texas ICE Processing Center. Three days later, the number of positive cases had tripled countywide. That trend continued for several more months, according to data analysts. Early findings from the UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project show that throughout the pandemic, infections inside the detention facility in Frio County have typically been followed by infections in the general community. Researchers found the same pattern at nine other ICE facilities that experienced large outbreaks — in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana and California. In Laredo, Texas, local health authorities issued mandatory quarantine orders for two ICE detention centers in late July. Still, within the next few weeks, hundreds of new cases were reported at the detention centers, straining the city’s already overwhelmed hospitals. A spokeswoman for ICE told The Times in a statement that the agency had “taken extensive steps to safeguard all detainees, staff and contractors, including: testing upon intake, reducing the number of detainees in custody, placing individuals on alternatives to detention programs.” 3. Lack of consistent COVID-19 data from ICE makes it difficult to track community spread. Every day, ICE posts the numbers of active infections among detainees, as well as deaths from COVID-19. But they don’t maintain a running record of daily infections since the start of the pandemic, making it difficult to understand the extent to which the virus has spread in ICE detention over time. Another major limitation is that the agency does not release data on infections of staff members, information that is vital to understanding community spread. Experts say that staff movement is a major source of transmission of the virus from ICE detention centers to the general population. The data is also obscured by the fact that a vast majority of ICE detainees are held in facilities run not by the agency but by private prison companies, which are not required to share information with the public. At a House hearing on oversight of ICE detention facilities in July 2020, Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York asked the chief executives of four ICE private contractors to release data on employee infections. All four said they would release the information with authorization from ICE, but to date there is still no systemwide data on infections among ICE contractors. In a statement to The Times, the agency declined to comment on how the pandemic has affected its staff. 4. ICE could be releasing more people to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As an agency, ICE has wide discretion over who gets detained and released. Immigration detention is civil detention, meaning that people in custody are not there to serve time for committing a crime, but to wait for an immigration court to decide whether they can stay in the United States. In April 2020, a federal judge in California ordered ICE to “identify and consider releasing detainees who are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19,” regardless of legal status. Nearly a year later, the same judge found that the agency had “failed to substantially comply with the court’s orders.” In the past year, more than 3,700 people have been released from ICE detention, and the total number of people in ICE custody has been cut in half due to court orders and the Trump administration’s coronavirus border restrictions. But the current average infection rate inside ICE detention facilities is still about 20 times that of the general U.S. population, according to the UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project. This means ICE detention facilities are still hot spots of infection that pose risks to anyone who comes into contact with them. And unlike the Federal Bureau of Prisons, ICE does not have its own systemwide plan to vaccinate people in custody. Instead, it is leaving COVID-19 vaccinations for ICE detainees in the hands of state governments, to be administered at their own discretion. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company

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Kate Middleton's awkward first meeting with William - and how she won his heart

Mirror Online 27 April, 2021 - 03:00am

St Andrews’ university principal was in a teasing mood when he gave his speech at a particularly noteworthy graduation ceremony on a sunny day in 2005.

As well as securing their degrees, he told bright-eyed students, “you may have met your husband or wife.”

At least two shy young faces in the audience, equally known for their modesty, no-doubt blushed fiercely, perhaps slyly locked eyes, and then quickly glanced to the polished floor.

On April 29, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will celebrate ten years of marriage as a couple who know each other completely - now careworn parents as well as slick professional partnership, recognised the world over.

But who knows whether back then, a besotted Kate Middleton and William Wales, collecting 2:1s in History of Art and Geography respectively, dreamt they would ever tie the knot?

For middle-class Kate, still with a hint of childish chubby cheeks, her chestnut fringe uncoiffed, her black skirt more than a tad too short by royal standards, a picture of herself walking a Westminster Abbey aisle festooned with maple trees, watched by 2,000 - and two billion around the globe - would have been wild fantasy.

For youthful, blond-haired William, haunted by recollections of his parents’ pernicious break-up, perhaps marriage was an idea nervously shelved for now.

But certainly, the university had proved the safe arena for the blossoming of something special.

For while they have been married ten years, it is almost 20 since the pair – cheekily rumoured to use the pet names Babykins and Big Willie - first met as St Andrews’ freshers.

According to Dr Brian Lang, former vice chancellor of the university, being there gave them a sense of normality instrumental in providing firm foundations.

He said: “We gave them four years in which they could find themselves and find one another.

“Four years in which they could get to know one another, free of intrusion, glare and publicity.”

But first and foremost, the university also allowed two very different worlds to collide.

Although educated at the elite public school, Marlborough College, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton is the descendent of coal miners, not kings.

Her parents Carole and Michael are new money, school fees earned from their own celebration mail order business, Party Pieces, run from their pleasant but regular village home in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

Carole had once been a flight attendant, Michael an airline pilot turned flight dispatcher.

If Kate hoped she might meet Prince William when she went to St Andrew’s – rumour had it she had his picture on her wall as a teen, although she later laughed this off in their engagement interview with: “He wishes” - 19-year-old William certainly wasn’t snobby.

“I just hope I can meet people I get on with. I don’t care about their background,” he said.

Their meeting in 2002, both fresh from gap years, wasn’t love at first sight.

Some reports claim Kate awkwardly curtsied in the first year dormatories when they met.

She later admitted: “I actually think I went bright red when I met you and sort of scuttled off, feeling very shy.”

Both had other partners initially, and were just good friends.

William started studying History of Art with Kate, but had a “wobble” and swapped to Geography. Reportedly, it was trustworthy Kate who helped him through his worries.

William later recalled: “We spent more time with each other, had lots of fun and realised we shared the same interests.

“She’s got a really naughty sense of humour, which helps me because I’ve got a really dry sense of humour, so it was good fun.”

Historian Robert Lacey, in his book Battle of Brothers, has described one humerous encounter.

He writes: “Just a month or so into their first term together, they attended a party at which William was getting seriously hit upon by a pushy female student. The prince was being polite, but he couldn’t shake her off, and the girl didn’t get the hint — until Kate appeared out of nowhere behind him and put her arms around William.

“‘Oh sorry,’ he said, ‘but I’ve got a girlfriend,’ and he and Kate went off giggling together.”

Notoriously, history has it “things happened” precisely after a certain underwear flashing incident in spring 2003, their second year, when they already lived together with pals.

Modelling for a university charity fashion show, Kate, who waitressed in a restaurant in the local town, was handed a slinky, £30, see through number to wear.

William, in a £200 front seat, was sunk.

Apparently, he exclaimed to Etonian pal Fergus Boyd, now godfather to Prince George: “Wow! Kate’s hot!”

His move may or may not have been made shortly afterwards.

In their third and fourth years the pair continued to live together with friends in a cottage just outside town.

The relationship was kept under wraps, helped by agreed rules of privacy for the prince.

But on holiday skiing in Klosters in April 2004 they were snapped kissing, their relationship became public, and frenzied speculation of pending engagement spiralled.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl said William started feeling “claustrophobic” and there are reports of a brief split at this time.

Robert Jobson, in his book ‘William’s Princess’, writes a palace source told him: “Prince William thinks the world of Kate Middleton but he has confided to at least one of his best friends that the relationship has been getting a little stale and he thinks they may be better suited as friends.

“He has been unhappy in the relationship for a while...

“The truth is he thinks that when they graduate in the spring they’ll go their own ways.”

But afraid of history repeating itself, knowing full well his father Prince Charles had been pushed into marrying his mother Diana, William snapped at the growing pressure.

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the Queen, Charles, William, Kate, Harry, Meghan, George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and the rest of the family.

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“Look, I’m only 22, for God’s sake. I am too young to marry at my age. I don’t want to get married until I’m at least 28 or maybe 30,” he impatiently told one TV interviewer.

However, a wait wasn’t so easy for Kate.

After university, she and William were often apart.

He on his first solo royal tour abroad to New Zealand, and beginning his officers training at Sandhurst, while she returned home to her parents.

The Duchess of Cornwall reportedly advised her working around a prince’s schedule was the best way to keep him.

She took a job as an accessories buyer with fashion company Jigsaw, run by family friends, and was always available for William.

But as the nickname ‘Waity Katie’ was coined, and without the security afforded to a royal fiancée, she couldn’t be free of the limelight.

Reportedly, society gossips were scathing about her background, too, whispering “doors to manual” when she entered a room – a reference to Carole’s flight attendant career.

When sister Pippa joined her to live in a London flat, they were rumoured to be cruelly labelled the “wisteria sisters”, a reference to their desire to ‘climb’.

In February 2006 whispers Kate might be receiving royal security sent the rumour mill into overdrive. Woolworths started producing wedding memorabilia.

Meanwhile William, based in barracks near Bournemouth, was snapped on a boozy night out clubbing, captured seemingly holding the breast of another reveller, Brazilian Ana Ferreira.

It was whispered again he felt the fun had gone out of his relationship.

In April 2007, it was reportedly at work Kate received a call from William that would leave her heartbroken.

Royal historian Robert Lacey described: “She shut the door for more than an hour. When she came out, she was single.”

Why Prince Harry Was Shocked About How His Family Treated Him At Prince Philip's Funeral

Nicki Swift 26 April, 2021 - 02:25pm

Though rumors of tension between Harry and Meghan and the royal family ran rampant for months, things came to a boiling point when the couple sat down for a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. The duo dropped a number of bombshells, and seemingly painted the royal family in an unflattering light. While the royal family has issued statements about the interview, they've been relatively vague, so no one knows for sure how they feel behind closed doors.

After Prince Philip's death on April 9, 2021, and his subsequent funeral on April 17, Harry reunited with his family, an event that many anticipated would be tense and awkward. As it turns out, Harry may have gotten the cold shoulder from his family.

Keep reading to learn why he was "shocked" by their alleged treatment.

"I read that some quarters of the royal family literally just blocked him and didn't even talk to him," O'Sullivan said to Myers, adding, "I think he may have been a bit shocked by the cool reception he got from his family." While Harry may have had an icy reunion with his family for Philip's funeral, all eyes are on his next planned trip home, which is set for the unveiling of a Princess Diana statue in July. "Will [Harry] come back for the unveiling of the Diana memorial with his brother in July? Or will he pull out of that?" O'Sullivan questioned.

"I'm told he is still committed to coming. Both camps are," Myers explained, adding that "certainly Kate and William will welcome him if he wants to come back."

Because Harry and Meghan Markle's second child is due around the time of the unveiling, O'Sullivan and Myers speculated whether it would serve as a "convenient excuse" for Harry to avoid going home. Only time will tell if Harry cancels the trip, or if his family warms up to him over the coming months. 

Royals news April 2021: Prince Louis turns 3, Jordanian brothers clash, more

Wonderwall 26 April, 2021 - 12:18pm

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On April 17, Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was laid to rest inside St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in a ceremonial funeral full of military touches, though it was wildly scaled back due to coronavirus restrictions in Britain. It took place eight days after his death at 99. In the lead-up to the sad day, British tabloids reported on some of the dramas unfolding, including how the queen ultimately decided that no one in the family would wear military uniforms — which was regarded as a wise choice by many considering it would have meant that the only two family members who actually served in the British armed forces (Prince Harry and Prince Andrew) would not be in uniform, as both had been forced to step back from their roles as senior working royals, albeit for very different reasons. Keep reading to see a few of the personal touches Philip requested for his funeral, including that his casket be transported atop a customized military green Land Rover that he helped design beginning 18 years earlier. See the best photos from his funeral here.

Prince Philip's widow, Queen Elizabeth II, was one of just 30 masked mourners on the guest list at his April 17 funeral due to COVID-19 restrictions, though hundreds of soldiers and musicians participated outdoors. She sat alone during the service, which saw the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin lowered into the Royal Vault below St. George's Chapel as Royal Marine buglers played action stations per the Royal Navy veteran's wishes — it's a signal given at sea to summon all hands to their battle stations.

Despite a royal family feud that's been going on for years — which was recently exacerbated by Prince Harry and wife Duchess Meghan's March interview with Oprah Winfrey in which they revealed the reasons they left Britain amid ongoing strife with his family — Harry and brother Prince William were united by grief at their grandfather Prince Philip's funeral on April 17. They walked in the processional with cousin Peter Phillips between them — a move reportedly requested by William himself amid Harry's frosty homecoming — but after the service, BBC cameras saw them amiably speaking to each other, first with Duchess Kate, then together as they walked back to the private apartments at Windsor Castle. However, reports that emerged in the days that followed revealed that the brothers — as well as Harry and father Prince Charles — still have quite a ways to go if they are seeking a reconciliation. Harry's wife — who's in her third trimester with a daughter due this summer after suffering a miscarriage last July — was unable to get medical clearance to fly to Britain for the funeral. The trip, during which Harry was required to quarantine and test negative for COVID-19, was his first trip back to Britain in more than a year.

Britain's Prince Philip — Queen Elizabeth II's devoted husband of 73 years — died on April 9, 2021, at 99. "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss," read the statement released by Buckingham Palace. Over the next few days, Philip's four children, several of his grandchildren and dozens of celebrities and world leaders paid tribute with heartfelt statements and reactions on social media. Read them all here. Following Philip's death, the queen released this personal photo with her beloved, which was snapped by daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex, at the top of the Coyles of Muick in Scotland in 2003.

Ouch! In a new U.K. poll that made headlines on April 6 and 7, Deltapoll — which interviewed 1,590 British adults — found that more people believe Prince William should leapfrog his father to become king, The Mirror reported, than believe Prince Charles should take the throne. According to its findings, 27% of Britons want the Prince of Wales to become king, as is his birthright, after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, while 47% think he should be passed over in favor of his eldest son, the Duke of Cambridge. On top of that, the poll found that the youngest respondents (people between 18 and 24) actually prefer Prince Harry — who last year left as a senior member of the royal family due to issues with his relatives, though he remains sixth in line to the throne — to become king over William: Harry got 23% to William's 21%, Page Six reported. Of course that youngest age group also showed the most support for abolishing the monarchy altogether, with 19% indicating they'd like to see the institution go away. Another takeaway: 51% of the respondents, who took the poll between March 31 and April 1, believe Harry and wife Duchess Meghan have damaged the monarchy's ­reputation.

In early April, what The New York Times characterized as "a long-simmering rift" between King Abdullah II of Jordan and half-brother Prince Hamzah bin Hussein — the former crown prince — erupted spectacularly. The Jordanian government on April 4 accused Prince Hamzah of "destabilizing Jordan's security." Further accusations from the country's foreign minister claimed he'd sought to target "the security and stability of the nation" and hinted the former crown prince, who shares the same father as the current king, and others were involved in — as the Times put it — "a failed palace coup that had foreign backing." Hamzah released a video claiming he'd been put under house arrest and said he would defy orders to not communicate with the outside world, The Guardian reported. He denied any involvement in a plot against the king but was critical of the government. His mother, American-born Queen Noor, who is King Abdullah II's stepmother, said her son was the victim of "wicked slander." Abdullah — who became king upon the death of their father, King Hussein, in 1999 — had initially decreed that his half-brother Hamzah would later succeed him, but six years later in 2004, he removed him as crown prince.

Kate Middleton and Prince William's royal wedding had secret nods to Princess Diana

HELLO! 26 April, 2021 - 12:06pm

The grand venue of Westminster Abbey has been home to many special royal weddings, including that of the Queen and Prince Philip, however, it was also the place where Princess Diana's funeral took place. Clearly this historic venue would hold tear-jerking memories for Prince William who said goodbye to his mother there in 1997, when he was just 15, but being here perhaps meant that they could feel near to her on this momentous occasion.

Close friend of Princess Diana, Elton John touched on the subject in an interview, saying: "I can't imagine at that young age having to walk in the public, following your mother’s coffin… And the next time we're in the Abbey it's to see him walking up the aisle with a beautiful woman, the love of his life. I think it's the most joyous result and I'm sure Diana would be very, very happy about it."

Once the incredible ceremony was underway, the world watched on as everyone sung the hymn Guide me, O though great redeemer, a song which was sung at Diana's funeral 14 years ago as well as at the memorial service to mark the 10th anniversary of her death.

Kate Middleton walked the incredibly long aisle within the abbey to the sound of The Introit, which was a piece of music used in Prince Charles and Diana's 1981 wedding. It was actually one of several pieces of music taken from William's parents' nuptials.

After the vows, the couple departed the venue in an open-top 1902 State Landau carriage, which was the same iconic vehicle that William's mother and father were in on their wedding day.

Even Kate's mother Carole Middleton wore an outfit made by Catherine Walker, who was one of Princess Diana's favourite designers.

The late Princess of Wales was explicitly mentioned during the wedding speeches. Best man Prince Harry said his mum would have been "proud" to witness the marriage of her son to "beautiful" Kate. Aww!

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Prince William and Kate Middleton are hiring a new addition to their team

HELLO! 26 April, 2021 - 09:08am

The successful candidate will be tasked with leading all communication plans for Their Royal Highnesses' engagements and also fielding questions from the press regarding Prince William and Kate as well as their family.

If you have a love for the Royal Family, a passion for charitable work and sharp communications skills, this role is perfect for you.

The job, which will involve managing daily news flow to the press and communicating with audiences on traditional, digital and social media, guarantees every day to be different - one day you may be assisting a high-profile charitable engagement and the next sipping high tea in Buckingham Palace!

The position is a permanent contract and will require 37.5 hours of work per week, so what qualities is the royal household looking for in a candidate?

The job advert on LinkedIn states that they are looking for someone with "excellent interpersonal skills" and "strong written communication skills across a variety of mediums".

It adds that the successful candidate should have the "ability to think creatively, coming up with new and innovative ways to communicate activity. Good awareness of the media landscape and experience of news handling".

They also require "good project management skills, attention to detail as well as strong organisational skills and the ability to work proactively and flexibly" and will have the "ability to handle sensitive information with tact and discretion at all times."

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Prince Philip's unexpected visits to palace kitchens revealed by chef

HELLO! 26 April, 2021 - 08:16am

Speaking in a YouTube tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, former royal chef Darren McGrady has shared several memories of when Philip used to join the chefs in the kitchens - be it at Buckingham Palace, Sandringham or Balmoral Castle.

Darren recounted a funny story of how he mistook the Prince for a gardener the first time he met him in the kitchens at Balmoral; Philip was dressed in a 'tatty sweater' and was looking for the head chef late at night.

"After that, he came into the kitchen four or five times a week," tells Darren. "He'd often come in and just discuss the barbecues. He loved to cook, loved to cook on the grill. Prince Harry called him the 'master of the barbecue' and he really was.

"He'd come into the kitchen after afternoon tea and the chefs would be shouting all the way around: 'The Duke's down, the Duke's down',  just getting ready to discuss with him what he wanted for dinner that night."

"He walked and he'd checked everything. Were there lots of strawberries ripening, were the vegetables ripe? He had these plums that grew at Balmoral that were just amazing and often you'd see him in the garden stood there picking these gorgeous Victoria plums."

Darren explained: "You had to stay on top of everything. When he came into the kitchen and said: 'What are we having tonight?' and: 'Are there any strawberries in the garden?' that was a loaded question (laughs). He knew there were strawberries in the garden if he was saying that, and you'd better know as well. He didn't suffer fools gladly."

Darren recalls: "He came into the kitchen and said, 'What have we got for dinner tonight?' and I said, 'Your royal highness it's the lamb, the noisettes of lamb.

"I opened the fridge and he pulled them out and he said, 'Well what about these, what are these?' I said, 'Oh that's leg of lamb steaks, that's for the staff'. He looked at the tiny little noisettes and the big leg of lamb steaks and he said, 'We'll have those.' So I had to thaw some chicken really quickly for the staff!"

MORE: Revealed: The simple dessert that Prince Philip adored

Philip was also a dab hand at preparing fruit, as Darren remembers.

In the video, he says: "Once at Sandringham, we had Mango Melba on the menu for royal dinner. The Duke came into the kitchen and I was just peeling and slicing the mangos, and he just stood there and watched.

"He said: 'That's not the proper way to peel a mango'. Then he came over and said: 'Give me a knife, give me a spoon,' and he took the mango and cut around the edges. Then he scooped in with a spoon on both sides and opened it, and did the same the other side around the stone.

Darren talked about Prince Philip's sense of humour, too. "He was cheeky, like Prince Harry said," he remembers.

"He just stuck his head round and I said, 'Oh I'm sorry your royal highness, I thought someone was stealing the fruit'. He just looked back, smiled, and said, 'Well I am'."

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Today marks 98 years since the Queen Mother wed the future King George VI

Tatler 26 April, 2021 - 12:00am

Prince Albert, Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on their wedding day in 1923

He was the second son who was never supposed to be crowned as King, so when Prince Albert, Duke of York, wed Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on 26 April 1923 (after asking her three times to be his wife), the ceremony was lower key than those of previous future monarchs. Even Bertie's younger sister, Princess Mary, had received publicly funded street decorations for her nuptials the year prior.

It still took place at Westminster Abbey with 1,800 guests, on a typical spring day of intermittent sunshine and April showers, with royal guests from across Europe, many of whom were related to the Windsors, including King Alfonso XIII and Queen Ena of Spain, King Haakon VII and Queen Maud of Norway and Queen Marie of Romania.

Elizabeth leaving her home on Bruton Street for her wedding to Prince Albert, Duke Of York

Crowds lined the streets to see the royal couple arriving, with Bertie accompanied by his Best Man, his elder brother, and future King, Edward, Prince of Wales. Meanwhile the bride arrived with her father and eight bridesmaids, who were a mix of relatives from both sides of the family as well as aristocratic ladies: Lady Mary Cambridge, Lady May Cambridge, Lady Mary Thynn, Lady Katharine Hamilton, The Hon Diamond Hardinge, The Hon Cecilia Bowes-Lyon, The Hon Mary Elizabeth Elphinstone and Miss Betty Cator.

A sweet new birthday photograph of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s youngest son showed him nursery-bound on a smart red bike

Lady Elizabeth's dress was made by Queen Mary's dressmaker, Madame Handley-Seymour, and was reportedly inspired by one by Jeanne Lanvin, to look like a medieval Italian gown. The fashionable design featured a drop waist silhouette and very discreet chain, and was embroidered with pearls and silver thread, and included a lace insert that was a family heirloom. She eschewed royal tradition and chose not to wear a tiara, while her veil was borrowed from her mother-in-law, Queen Mary.

Left to right: the Earl and Countess of Strathmore, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Prince Albert, Duke of York, Queen Mary and King George V

Two royal wedding traditions have their origins at these nuptials. Firstly, that wedding rings are made from Clogau Gold, and secondly, that royal brides leave their bouquets at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The latter was an off-the-cuff gesture by Lady Elizabeth, who left hers in honour of her brother Fergus, who had died in World War I, prior to the ceremony.

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