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Royal News Round Up – 7th December

Nigel Brown
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In the first week of December, there is already a palpable air of Christmas excitement making its way to the Royal Calendar. The Royals’ more workaday duties are not forgotten amid the festive philanthropy, however, as evidenced by The Prince of Wales’ dedication to his patronages. Meanwhile, a former First Lady has words of advice for the Duchess of Sussex…

A festive party and a flying visit

Having served with the RAF as a Search and Rescue pilot, the Air Force is an organisation extremely close to Prince William’s heart.

On Tuesday 4th December, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted a Christmas party at Kensington Palace for the partners and children of military personnel from RAF Coningsby and RAF Marham serving in Cyprus. The couple brought some Royal cheer to those who will be separated from loved ones over the festive period, with stalls for children to decorate stockings and snow globes or make Christmas crackers.

 

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The following day, William and Kate flew out to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to meet with service men and women – even bringing presents they had collected from relatives who had been at Kensington Palace the previous day; the Duchess was heard joking that their delivery “really was Royal Mail.” As Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Coningsby, Prince William was eager to deliver a message of support to a small number of the 11,000 military personnel who will be deployed over the Christmas period.

The Queen’s biggest party of the year

On Tuesday the Queen hosted her largest and most formal party of the year at Buckingham Palace: the annual Diplomatic Corps Reception.

 

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Every single state room of the Palace was opened in order to accommodate the 1000 dignitaries who were in attendance, including government officials, ambassadors, high commissioners and senior members of the Royal Family –  including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. The Royals entered the lavish reception via the great north doors of the Picture Gallery, proceeded through all of the state rooms to greet guests adhering to the strict “white tie and decorations” dress code that showcased a dazzling array of medals, tiaras, diamonds and Royal Orders.

The Clarence House Christmas tree
On Thursday 6th December, The Duchess of Cornwall invited children from two of her patron charities to help decorate the spectacular Christmas tree at Clarence House. Helen & Douglas House is a charity providing hospice care for babies and children in Oxfordshire and its surrounding countries, while Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity provides children’s nurses and the families of seriously ill children.

 

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This is the eighth time that families have been invited to help decorate the Christmas tree at Clarence House, which Camilla said is when she always feels Christmas begins. She then surprised the children by introducing them to two reindeer who had been invited to Clarence House especially for the occasion, all dressed up in their Christmas finery.

The Prince of Wales goes to the cinema

After returning on Thursday 6th December from his first trip to America in nearly four years – to attend the funeral of former President George H W Bush – Prince Charles visited the British Film Institute, of which he has been patron for 40 years. He met with actors Hayley Atwell, David Oyelowo and Tom Hiddlestone, and was shown rare archive footage of his great-great-great grandmother Queen Victoria’s final public appearance before her death.

 

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The following day, Prince Charles travelled to Cardiff , where he visited two more of his patron organisations. At the City Hospice in Whitchurch Hospital Grounds, the heir apparent spent time with patients and their families as well as staff and volunteers.

Later, the The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff hosted a special performance to celebrate the recent 70th birthday of His Royal Highness. Students and graduates of the college will be performing a selection of musical and dramatic works, and Prince Charles will meet harpist Catrin Finch ahead of the World Harp Congress taking place in Cardiff in July 2020.

Michelle Obama’s advice for Meghan Markle
From one woman thrust dramatically into the glare of publicity to another, former First Lady of the US, Michelle Obama, has offered up some sage words of advice for her fellow American, The Duchess of Sussex. In the process of promoting her bestselling book, Becoming, Michelle Obama drew parallels between herself and the newest member of the British Royal Family.

 

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“Like me, Meghan probably never dreamt that she’d have a life like this,” said Michelle in an interview with Good Housekeeping Magazine. “The pressure you feel – from yourself and from others – can sometimes feel like a lot, so my biggest piece of advice would be to take some time and don’t be in a hurry to do anything.” The pair went on to have a private meeting in London on Monday night.


Image courtesy of Kensington Palace / Twitter

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