The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in Birkenhead, Merseyside, for a day of engagements today. As the drive to Birkenhead from London is a bit over 4 hours long, I guess they either took the train from London and traveled the last bit by car or took the helicopter. They will first visit Hamilton Square where they’ll view a new sculpture to mark the centenary of war poet Wilfred Owen’s death. The sculpture was erected in November.
Wilfred Owen was an English poet and soldier. He is one of the lead poets in the First World War. His poems are world-famous. His war poetry described the horrors from the war, unlike many other more patriotic poetry that was written in the time. Among his most famous works, many of which were published posthumously, are ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’, ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ and ‘Futility’. Owen was killed in action shortly before the end of the war in France. He died exactly one week before the signing of the Armistice at the age of 25.
Editor’s Note: I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Things are horribly behind schedule on the blog – I am hoping to catch up with everything before the new year starts – definitely stay tuned!
The British Royal Family is traditionally celebrating Christmas at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. The Royals are attending a church service this morning at St. Mary Magdalene Church. Most Royals walked from Sandringham Estate to the small church, while the Queen traveled by car with the Duke of York. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex walked with the Prince of Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are attending the 2018 Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium Theatre tonight. It has long been tradition for members of the Royal family to make an appearance at the Royal Variety Performance – it dates back all the way to 1912 when the inaugural performance was watched by King George V and Queen Mary. It is the first Royal Variety Performance that the Duchess of Sussex attends, but we can be sure that many appearances at the event will follow in the future.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex (now with the Duchess of Sussex) have been alternating the attendance at the Royal Variety Performance over the past few years. The Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge attended in 2014 and 2017, the Duke of Sussex attended in 2015 and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended in 2016. It will be their turn again next year.
The event is held in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, formally, the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, of which the Queen is patron. The money raised from the show helps hundreds of entertainers throughout the UK, who need aid and assistance as a result of old age, ill-health or hard times. Since it was founded in the early 1900s the charity has had an unbroken line of patronage from the sovereign.
After being received at the London Palladium Theatre ahead of the show, the Duke and Duchess took their seats. They will no doubt enjoy their night together with a wonderful show! Among the performers tonight is Take That!
Her Majesty the Queen is throwing the Prince of Wales a reception and a dinner at Buckingham Palace on occasion of his 70th birthday tonight. Beside the Royal Family, members of other European Royal Families are also attending the event tonight.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Buckingham Palace from Kensington Palace by car, after spending the day with engagements in South Yorkshire. The Duchess is wearing a pink gown and her gorgeous big mystery earrings set in gold and diamonds (first worn in 2011 and again in 2017). Her hair is styled into a fabulous updo!
The Prince of Wales is celebrating his 70th birthday today. For the occasion, two new photographs of him and his family were released last night. The photographs were taken by photographer Chris Jackson in September in the gardens of Clarence House, the official residence of the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall in London. The first photograph is a more formal shot of the Prince, his wife and his sons with their respective wives and his grandchildren. The photographs will become historic, as this will be the Royal Family as we are to know them for many many years to come.
The second shot however features everyone laughing about something clearly very funny. It is very nice to see Prince Louis again, he has changed so much since we last saw him at his christening in July! Note: as the photograph was taken early September, when Meghan was already pregnant (early stages), it actually features the Prince’s fourth grandchild too!
The Duchess of Cambridge is wearing a dress by Alessandra Rich (which has been seen on several other famous women already in the past few months) and her sapphire and diamond earrings, while the Duchess of Sussex is in bespoke Givenchy.
Happy birthday, Your Royal Highness!
Tonight, the Queen will host a reception and a dinner for the Prince on occasion of his birthday. The party, which presumably is a black-tie affair, will be attended by members of the Royal Family and foreign Royals. We will probably get the infamous ‘car shots’ from the arrivals, but it is also very much possible that one or two photographs from inside will be released! The party will be covered live on this blog tonight. Stay tuned!