2016 in Review: Royal Event Highlights

2016 in Review: Royal Event Highlights

Barring anything major happening, for the rest of the week and into 2017 I’m going to do year end reviews for 2016 – taking a look back at the major highlights both events and fashion, British royal engagement numbers, Kate’s fashion, etc. I’m kicking this year end review off with a look back at some of the royal event highlights of this past year.


The Gyalsey 2
[His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck Facebook]

2016 saw multiple royal births, starting in February with the Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel to King Jigme Khesar and Queen Jetsun Pema on February 5.

H.K.H. Prins Oscar / H.R.H. Prince OscarSweden

The Swedes welcomed two babies this year: Prince Oscar – the second child of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Danielon March 2; and Prince Alexander – the first child of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofiaon April 19.

Prince Alexander first photo
[Prince Carl Philip/Kungahuset.se]

And finally, Prince Liam was born to Prince Felix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg on November 28.

[Grand Ducal Court/HRH Grand Duchess]


Prince Oscar's Christening CP Family Godparents s
[Anna-Lena Ahlström/Kungahuset.se]

I just love Swedish Christenings. I love that they are televised, I love that the whole family comes out including the children, and I love baby sashes. 2016 gave us two Swedish royal Christenings – double the fun!

Prince Oscar was Christened on May 27, and Prince Alexander was Christened on September 9.



Queen and Philip Service of Thanksgiving

This year saw two big birthdays from two long-reigning monarchs: Queen Elizabeth II and King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Elizabeth was celebrating her birthday for months. She officially turned 90 on April 21, her actual birthday. But other 90th birthday celebrations included: the Royal Windsor Horse Show, a Service of Thanksgiving, Trooping the Color, and the Patron’s Lunch.

Carl Gustaf turned 70 on April 30 with several big, royal-filled events, including a tiara-filled gala.

Royals at King of Sweden's 70th bday s


Royal Family of Norway official portrait Jan 2016 s
[Jørgen Gomnæs / The Royal Court]

King Harald celebrated his Silver Jubilee on January 17.

Princess Madeleine fairytale party 1

My favorite engagement this entire year came from Princess Madeleine when she invited kids from Min Stora Dag for a fairy tale party on February 22. Maddie went Full Princess in tiara and everything. It was great.

George meets Obama
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]

Prince George got to meet President Obama on April 22 while rocking a bathrobe, like a BOSS. And Princess Charlotte attended her first Trooping the Color on June 11.

The British royals released a posed photo from inside the Diplomatic Reception for the first time, featuring three generations of royals: The Queen and Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, and Prince William and Catherine.

The Annual Diplomatic Corps Reception At Buckingham Palace

The Blog

The top five most commented on articles in 2016 were: The Cambridges’ skiing photos (549); Kate wearing the Lover’s Knot Tiara for the second time (371); The Cambridges’ Christmas walk to church (369); William and Kate’s India/Bhutan itinerary release (360); and The Cambridges’ landing in Canada (353).

The top five most viewed articles were: William, Kate, and Harry at Team GB reception; A random royal round up; The Cambridges’ skiing photos; Kate’s wardrobe malfunction in India; and William and Kate attending Ascot for the first time.

Thank you guys for making this a great year!

UPDATE: I know the BRF engagement numbers came out today. I already have most of a detailed post written about Kate’s engagements numbers which I had planned for a few days from now as I did not expect Tim O’Donovan’s numbers to come out until the 1st. I will have a post on the engagement numbers tomorrow.

124 thoughts on “2016 in Review: Royal Event Highlights

  1. Do you know the cost of William and Kate Indian/Bhutan tour cost was?
    Also 2016 has been a horrible year for both William and Kate. Mostly negative images. Kate worked 63 days through 365 days of the entire year!
    Harry ended 2016 with negative press.

    1. What negative press for Harry? The press is in love with him they are sick of the cambridges… I think that people are projecting their own feelings about who Harry is dating and summarizing it as negative. The subtle racism from some of the headlines have slowly faded away to basically nothing…

      1. I don’t think his press coverage wrt to Meghan was all that negative either. His statement caused a bit of a furor but it was brief and it’s over now. And today, it seems the media is (mostly) putting a very positive spin on Harry’s engagements this year – saying he’s travelled more than any other senior royal.

    2. Harry has had negative press all his life until he left the army.

      His press started to be less negative after he completed his first tour representing HM in 2012ish – the one that took in Jamaica.

      Before that tour, the public hadn’t really had a proper look at him since Diana’s funeral which had allowed the press to report on his wild partying and teen / young adult mistakes and paint an extremely negative picture of him.

      After that tour and the positive results of it that caught everyone by surprise, the public started to vocalise their support for him.

      As an example, whilst the internet went crazy about Vegas, he had huge public support in Britain. Half the army created a facebook page and posted naked salute pictures to it in solidarity – to counter conduct unbecoming an officer accusations, 3800 members of the public wrote to the press complaints commission on his behalf, people called into daytime talk shows to complain on his behalf.

      And after he came back from Afghanistan, he immediantely campained and participated in WWTW and help for heroes.

      Each step created more positive public support and eventually the media was forced to change their tone and to stop calling him a wastrel party prince.

      The snarking gradually stopped, and the focus on his private life also stopped because every time an article or pictures appeared about his private life, the comments were supportive rather than negative. And i’m not talking about girlfriends. I’m talking about pics of him at clubs or pubs or out with his friends.

      When he unveiled the first IG in 2014, and was so open, so public, and so involved, that sealed his image as a positive, popular royal.

      Meghan statement was the first mis-step since that IG games and for the most part he has managed to shrug off except for dissappointed people who think Megan stole their internet boyfriend. Like those fans of Benedict Cumberbatch who dislike him now that he has a wife and kid or Twihard fans who think Rob and Kirsten have a secret daughter.

        1. Well, look at a lot of the comments not on DM but elsewhere which have barely disguised hatred for Harry now with his silly statement whereas before everyone was pretty glowing about him. KP’s PR still pushes the dutiful royal William vs the partier Harry who is so so lonely.

          I find him heck of a lot more palatable and relatable than W&K, for sure, with more promise as a working royal if he’d get off his duff to do it.

  2. It was kind of a fun year, at least in royal life. I loved Trooping the Color and all of the Queen’s birthday celebrations. And those baby blessings were fantastic. And in spite of the eyebrow raising moments, I thought there were some solid engagements from both of W&K’s tours. And Harry got a girlfriend!

  3. Thank you for providing your perspective on all things Kate and for including very interesting articles on all other Royals.

    May you and yours have the best remaining days of this year and a productive successful New Year.

  4. Oh KMR, I loved this post. I’m down today and as always when I saw your blog I smiled again. Thank You Very Much. Have a great day.

  5. This is a nice way to end the year. The babies have been so cute, but I must admit that anything Swedish Royal makes me smile, especially that Princess tea party. Did you notice that Maddie got Leonore involved with the meet and greet? Leonore may be little but her Mum was still showing her the ropes as much as she could.
    My personal favourite Royal moment was when the Dutch royals were in Auckland. I happened to be in the right place at the right time when their car went passed on the way from their hotel to the airport. So I started waving, and Maxima waved back!
    Made my day!

      1. As a former MAW kid, I LOVED that Maddie went all out for those children *and* that she included her daughter to show her what others are experiencing.

        And yes, I’m baaaaack!!

        Got my tattoo on the 16th and OMG!! It HURT!!! (yes, caps are necessary 😉 )

        Remember when I said that my sisters had a surprise for me for the 17th? We went to WDW’s Magic Kingdom!! I hadn’t been there in 15 years!! My youngest sister (Sam, I’ve been calling her Pickle or Picklepuss since forever) got us pins saying “we’re celebrating Kim’s 20th transplant anniversary” (of course, mine said “MY 20th transplant anniversary”). We got there just when the park opened (8 in the morning) and left around 6!! Had lunch at Be Our Guest (Belle is one of my favorite Disney princesses so a plus) and the food was yummy!! Got Fastpasses for Peter Pan, Pirates (family favorite ride) and Haunted Mansion (first-and last-time on that ride). Also went on “It’s A Small World” ride (sentimental; it was our Abu’s favorite ride) and Buzz Lightyear (Sam hated that I kicked her butt though she claims that my laser was broken haha!) and just walked around A TON!!

        My annual check-up was on the 20th and (woo hoo!!) kicked butt again!! Lung function is down a teeny, tiny bit (75-76%) but still pretty good for someone over 20 years post-transplant. Compared to almost three years ago (January of 2014, when it was at 80%), my lung function has been declining over the years but, thankfully, it is on a very slow decline so my doctors aren’t so worried. Whew! Speaking of doctors, mine is leaving the hospital, and starting his own private practice, so I have a choice whether to stay with TGH or go with him. I’ve decided to stay with TGH because he was being rude during clinic. How? He kept on checking his phone while I was trying to talk to him!!

        Anyway, Christmas was early at the house so I came back on the 22nd and on the 23rd and 24th, Mom, Dad and I (mainly Mom and I haha) just packed, threw stuff away or gave it away to Goodwill. They left on Christmas morning and we now have about 80% of my stuff packed up in boxes, bags and whatnot. Whew!

        My birthday is next Tuesday (eek!!) and I’m getting back into the groove at work.

        I tried to comment earlier (and even had a long post typed up) but my iPod Touch decided to act up. I’m so glad to be back!!

        P.S. Guess who has put on 8 lbs. compared to last year’s check-up? UGH!!! (again, justified because I hate that I’m putting on weight but I’m trying to remind myself that I had those foot ulcers to deal with for a good chunk of the year which prevented me from walking to/from work)

        1. Woohoo! Sounds like you’ve been very productive Kimothy. Great that you have a new place all settled. And congratulations for hitting that 20 year mark, big minus marks for the doctor checking his phone during your appointment though.

        2. Great news, Kimothy, So happy for you!

          And, Cathy, your waving at Max and her waving back! Would have been magical for me, too.

          I love looking back on the year and all those cute babies. But, all boys! Time for another baby girl in a Royal Family.

          I think Madeleine’s tea party counted as one of my fave moments, too.
          Those kids won’t forget that day and I hope each of them has a good and happy life, like you, Kimothy. Continued good health to you.

      2. I loved that event! Made,wine looked spectacular and I looked how she brought leonore. It’s a great introduction of she doesn’t have to be afraid of sick people.

  6. What do you think of Annie Liebovittz saying in an interview with Amanpour that the Queen does her own hair and makeup?

  7. I just found your blog and am thoroughly enjoying it. Can someone tell me what “+1” means? Thank you and best wishes in 2017 to all.

    1. It’s like Liking a post on Facebook or Twitter or up-voting something on Reddit or Imgur. Since I don’t have that sort of thing on here, a +1 is a simple way of saying you agree with the comment. It’s like a thumbs up in real life.

    2. I too stumbled across your blog recently and have become a regular visitor. As an avid collector of majesty & royalty magazines back in the 80’s & 90’s, its lovely to see how those young royal children & teens have grown & blossomed into monarch’s in waiting or monarch’s with families of their own. What is happening with the Spanish princesses, Elena & Christina these days?

  8. I am still not sure why Britain didn’t send a decent minor royal to the Carl’s Bday? Or did they and I can’t see them?

    I get the impression that the British royals think they are a bit above the Euro ones.

    Princess Mary is my win for the year – never a foot wrong.

    1. I think of how the BRF were so snooty about the “bicycle monarchies” in the past and now they should be taking notes on those same monarchies (especially the Swedes) to stop the downward spiral they’re in.

    2. It does seem that the British royal family thinks itself better than the European ones, who seem so close and supportive of each other. Other than Charles and Diana holidaying with Juan Carlos and Sofia, I can’t think of seeing any other “off-duty” photos of British and European royals together. Felipe and Letizia certainly don’t seem to have continued that close relationship with Charles and co.

      The christening photos KMR posted here made me look for a list of godparents for the royal children, and I couldn’t find where the British royals have served as godparent for any European royals in recent years (1990ish on), while the European royals are frequently listed for each other.

    3. I’m surprised they didn’t at least send Edward and Sophie, as they are the ones who “do” those types of events. Philip was originally scheduled to attend a big event for Margrethe (birthday, Ruby anniversary?), but was stopped by Icelandic volcano ash causing havoc with flights.

    4. Privately, Princess Beatrix ( formerly Queen Beatrix) of the Netherlands and Queen Margarethe of Denmark visit the Queen all the time. A weekend here and there throughout the year.

      No publicity. They are great friends. Because of her age, the Queen doesn’t do overseas travel anymore which plausibly explains why she doesn’t reciprocate, but it won’t be surprising to find that she did in the past.

      When Prince Frisco was in hospital in London, Princess Beatrix lived with the Queen when she came to visit him.

  9. I hope you didn’t bait 2016 with this post! There are still 3 days left for 2016 to surprise us and deal us another blow! It’s been a fun eventful year and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog! Thank you!

    1. The way this year has gone, what something truly horrible happen in the next three days.

      1. I just heard that Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fishers mother, has passed away today. I can’t believe how much that family has suffered in the last week. My sympathy and condolences to their families.

        1. I just saw that, too. UGH! Poor Billie Lourd, losing her mother and grandmother in two consecutive days. This sucks. Out of all of the celeb deaths this year, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (and Alan Rickman) have hit me the hardest. I’m actually very sad about this.

          1. Harper lee makes my list. To kill a mockingbird is just as poignant now as it was when I read it the 1st time. Can’t say that about many books. It’s also one of my 3 just as great in movie form books. Gregory peck is the Atticus finch just as much as Colin firth will always be mr.darcy.
            This wk proves the death comes in 3 myth. Maybe that means the queen, Philip and Betty White are safe for awhile.

          2. I am so, so sad for Billie and for Carrie’s brother Todd.

            I hope they both, especially Billie, have a very strong, loving support network to look after them.

            I don’t generally get upset by celebrity deaths but Carrie’s hit me. 🙁

          3. Debbie Reynolds, too! How very sad. She wanted to be with her daughter!

            When you look back at Reynolds’ career, she was quite the trooper. She worked at a time when the Studios had favorites and kept them in films. The way she bounced back after losing Eddie Fisher to Liz Taylor really showed a brave and tenacious woman. And, oh that scene splashing around in the puddles in Singing in The Rain! One of my fave Hollywood moments of all time!

            I think I admitted on this blog that I have never seen any of the Star Wars films. Just not interested in them. I was frankly, surprised initially by all the hoopla surrounding Fisher’s death. I am sorry that she passed,l but to be honest, I think her mother’s career was far more extensive and deserves as much mention. Debbie Reynolds and the other female stars of her generation were ahead of their time. They paved the way for other women in the film industry and kept going and going!

            That’s not to say that Carrie Fisher wasn’t a hard-working woman, too. I don’t mean to imply that. I realize she struggled with many health issues, and know she was a gifted writer, too. I hear she was called in often to pump up many a Hollywood script over the years. Still, her mother’s life seemed to touch me more as I am a fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the films of the 50s and 60s, too. I can imagine that those who loved Star Wars felt that Carrie Fisher represented women well in films that were mostly male dominated. SHe was their role model and made a huge impact on so many people. too. I’m just saying that I am a bigger fan of her mother’s film career.

            Mother and daughter are together again and able to bypass the struggles that challenged them here on earth. Rest in Peace, ladies. So many incredible lives were lost this year. So many people, celebrities and regular folk, have left their marks on this world.

  10. So many babies!! Looking at these pics made me happy.

    Once again thank you for the hard work, KMR. It was a joy finding your blog.

    Wishing everyone here a happy 2017!

  11. Thank you, KMR, for your hard work on this enjoyable, lovely blog. I’m happy to have it as my daily escape and to be a part of a caring community. I look forward to your take on all things royal in the new year. I wish you and yours a wonderful 2017!

  12. Princess Madeleine’s Prince/Princess party is my favorite royal event of all times!!! Followed closely by the SRF christenings. I know they don’t loom very large on the world stage but the SRF are fast becoming my favorite royal family!

    Happy New Year to you KMR and to all of your wonderful readers!!

    1. Let’s not forget the Invictus Games. Although it seems too big to count as a single engagement, and too big in scope and impact to be considered”royal”, it was a great event.

      1. Yes, i am impressed by the strengh of the competitor, the organization of this big event! And the stories of these veteran

      1. That would be awesome!! And maybe do updates on some of the kids or, if they’ve passed away and have siblings that are of appropriate age, include them the following year.

  13. Wow! Fantastic review, KMR. Thank you for all your careful crafting and stellar reporting.

    My hands down favourite event also is Madeleine’s fairy princess party. The children got to experience the insanely opulent real deal as well as learn that even real princesses can be truly kind (and fun) despite the wealthy trappings. Camilla’s Christmas party for the kiddies ties for first place, even though less blingy.

  14. You’re the bomb.com KMR! Thank you for hosting this blog where we can freely share our ideas, ask questions and vent our frustrations with the Cambridge’s and the BRF in general. It’s rare that you can find a space online where you can post without being attacked for your ideas.

  15. KMR, although I don’t comment very often, I check the blog everyday, even when I’m thinking, “KMR can’t possibly have posted something new already” – and then you have. Thank you for the in-depth research and always interesting posts. Today I was happy to see that King Carl Gustav managed a smile on his birthday – and I wondered if Chris O’Neill ever does. (As I also turned seventy on April 30, it was fun to make a comparison – where were the tiaras? 🙂 ) Happy New Year to you and to the commentators!

    1. Re: Chris O’Neill.

      Watch the Scavlan interview on Youtube. Chris is wonderful and Madeleine and he have great chemistry. They both come off as grown ups who love as well as like each other. That interview sealed the deal for me as Maddie and Chris as favorite royal couple.

    1. I hope that both are keeping their private lives to themselves. Their public roles require spruiking – that’s fine, everyone gets that – but keep it separate from the personal. No need for bracelets, bananas or anything else. No-one needs to know. Hopefully, they’ve worked that out and are just getting on with things in their own time and privately.

    2. Yeah, her last social media post was published a week before her visit to London. She has updated her blog (the tig), though. Not sure what it means for her and PH. I suppose any New Year’s Eve sightings (or lack there of) will tell the tale.

      Very unpopular opinion: I hope they haven’t broken up. I’d like to believe that her absence on social media is down to her being too busy with the holidays and whatnot. And She’s turned down several interviews recently – so maybe she’s gone quiet having realized that media outlets turn every Instagram post/tweet into a story.

      1. I’d like to think they are (a) working out whether it’s real or not, and (b) someone with sense has sat them down, advising (a) without unnecessary theatrics. They need to get beyond the thrill of exposure to see what’s really there. No-one’s business until/if they make their relationship more permanent.

        1. Yes, if they’re going to make a proper go of it, they need to screen out the media as much as possible – Meghan, especially.

  16. Babies and baptisms are definitely my favorites of the year!! Thanks for your reporting and sharing on all things Kate and the other Royals.

    Off topic: I was surprised the engagement numbers made it onto my local news today and they excused the younger royals as having lower numbers bc they have to tend to their young family.

    1. I hate that people excuse their laziness to child rearing. It would be one thing if they were private citizens, able to afford their lifestyle off one income or inheritance but they aren’t. They are funded by the taxpayers and I would think said taxpayers would like to see more work for their money.
      My mother was a stay at home mom when my sister and I were younger. The difference is, she worked up until she had me and when we were older, was a school board member, Girl Scout leader and on some public foundations. So she was still busy and involved in the community. Then went back to work when we were in high school/college.
      It’s also a disservice to all the working moms and dads out there who don’t have nannies at their beckoning. Even with will’s supposed schedule with eaaa (and I doubt that he works as much as reported with them)and her doing nothing, it would be easy for one of them to be home with the kids while another was doing an engagement and switch off.

      1. Totally agree, many families have to have both parents working full time to make ends meet, and have to pay for childcare.
        This lazy duo don’t, and for kate to do 63 engagements in a year she didn’t give birth is appalling, especially since I found out most visits they do don’t last that long, so it isn’t even 63 full days.
        I feel like writing to them to protest.

          1. Do you know how many of those are from their two tours? They usually did several a day. So I actually like they day vs engagement calculation better. Just becuase most of us usually work 8-12 hrs a day so their 1 engagement that lasts 15-30 min is better seen as an average day wise when on some days they did multiple engagements.
            I know you said you were doing a post on this later so no worries if you want to answer then. I just had to get my I hate the kids as an excuse not to work off my chest now and I’ll probably do it on the actual post too =)

          2. 59 are from foreign visits which also includes the trip to the Netherlands. So 55 from the two tours.

          3. The use of ‘days’ to measure work is misleading. It’s not so much 63 days as measured by an 8-hour day, which is what most people would understand by that term. Kate’s engagements each span just 20-40 minutes on average. It’s fair to consider multiple engagements grouped together as a day’s work or half a day’s work but unless Kate is personally interested, these also tend to be short in duration. Using time as a measure of interest we can conclude not much interests Kate at all, except Ben Ainslie (many engagements, each several hours long).

            There is so much deliberate obfuscation of royal activities by the weak press; it’s really brought to light when picking apart W+K’s contribution (Harry’s too, for that matter) when they try to spin gold from dross.

          4. Jen I agree 100% if you counted hours worked into an average workers hrs, you could probably cut their days down by at least 1/3 if not 1/2.
            I don’t like how they calculate their engagements, especially since WK will do multiple some days (especially on tours) which makes them appear busier than they actually are. At least when you calculate days, you get a real view of how often they are actually out.
            Pretty soon they’ll start counting the letters kate sends as engagements.

        1. I used to scoff at people when they said they couldn’t afford to work and pay for child care. Then family/friends started having babies and I realized that it’s true, the cost of daycare is astronomical! I don’t see how people making minimum wage can afford it.

          1. Which makes a Kate and her nanny and staff even more offensive because there are many mothers with far less who manage to raise kids and give back to the community.

            If she had had high numbers prior to having kids then maybe this would be a plausible excuse she never did. She is just lazy and so is her husband.

          1. Well 63 days is just over two months worth of work and most of that was done on the tours. Since finding this blog I have truly had my eyes opened. I am appalled at how little they have done.
            I do think this may be a reason for the froideur between W&K and rest of family, perhaps they have been called out on the lack of work and told to buck up.
            I saw the report in the papers about moving to London and working more so let’s see. I think the clamour of criticism is getting too loud to ignore now.
            I shall write expressing my disappointment and see what response I get, though I doubt I will get one.

          2. Don’t believe that article about WK wanting or rushing to work more in the new year.

            It’s an annual tradition. Like clock work.

            It comes out every year, and every year not much happens on the work front.

            If anything, they are both worse on the work front because they’ve figured out that no consequences for not working, so they can skip more events and only do the things that truly interest them.

            That means their engagements are shorter, sometimes as short ad 20mins, and the press is locked out which is ridiculous since their presence is required for the attendant publicity NOT their contribution.

          3. That’s why I didn’t bother to write a whole article about it – I just posted it on social media. Because I could literally copy and paste my thoughts from last year and not add anything new. Instead I decided to not bother changing my post schedule for that nonsense.

      1. It’s that old chestnut trotted out to support his brother, as requested by Diana. Not sure how that morphed into doing less work than his brother? And if Harry has to do less not to outshine the Golden One, why don’t the other royals follow suit? As mentioned here on more than one occasion, each royal decides the extent of his/her workload. It’s really important that the trio steps up, big-time. They’ve had and have every advantage. Time to pay if forward. Now. They should be called out until they do and allowances from Charles (courtesy of the taxpayer) adjusted accordingly.

      2. Good question. I can’t help but wonder about the politics behind these engagements. The older royals have been on the “engagement circuit” for decades, and there are only so many to go around, right? – So, I wonder if H, W, and K taking on more engagements means that Anne, Edward, Andrew, et al would have to take on less (?)

        I admit I’m looking for reasons to justify the discrepancy between the workloads of the older and younger royals lol! I don’t care much about Will and Kate, but Harry has such a great work ethic, it seems (his military career is a testament to that work ethic; imo) – I just have a hard time believing that he’s actively eschewing engagements oI of sheer laziness. I also wonder about his “uncredited” work with Sentabal and the Invictus Games – how
        Many days of work would that amount to, I wonder.

        Haha my Harry bias is pretty extreme!

        1. Also – replying to my comment to add that I don’t have a real problem with Will and Kate’s schedule either tbh. I just don’t feel that I know enough about the processes that drive these engagements/patronages to say whether they are shirking their duties – or working with the status quo. And while I can understand why folks are so critical of Kate’s light schedule, I am mother to a toddlers as well and think that, even if she’s got nanny’s doing all the heavy lifting, I can’t fault her for wanting to spend as much time as she can with her babies. I don’t believe that she’s a hands off mom at all. Another unpopular opinion!

          1. She is spotted shopping a lot though and the time it would take to shop could be used for an appearance, which usually amounts to under an hour. We are not talking days away from her kids, but maybe an hour or two per week. Even a mom with toddlers can spare that, especially if she has a nanny and staff to clean and cook for her. Most moms would welcome a little break and chance to spiff up.

          2. And when Kate is spotted shopping it’s often when she’s canceled an engagement. ie Irish Guards, she was getting her hair done. Way more important than honoring the army regiment. you know.

        2. I wouldn’t necessarily say he has a better work ethic. Just that he’s more engaging/likeable than the other two.
          This from someone who used to really like Harry (I still find him engaging) just that he has no real reason not to do more if he so chose to do so.
          Plus with invivtus and senteble you can see real progress/meaning behind those two charities.
          The “end stigma of mental health” seems to be chosen becuase there can be no quantifiable success/failure associated with it. IMO

          1. Thank you for your reply! I do think the fact that he’s developed and launched two charity organizations (sentabal and invictus) outside of his “royal workload” as well as his full time military career speaks to a strong work ethic. But I agree that he’s more engaging than his bro and sister in law – and that Head Together, though well intentioned is far too ambiguous in its objectives.

          2. I think Harry is more like William than many people want to believe. Harry is just way better at hiding it. Clearly he goes on just as many, if not more, vacations as William does since he’s travelling countries to visit his girlfriend.

          3. Oh I think Harry and William are very similar – but then I don’t think that William is as terrible a person as many seem to think he is. He’s super privileged, acts all put upon, and is a giant charisma vacuum, but he’s not evil imo.

      3. Obviously, I don’t think the (improper) influence of his late mother is an old chestnut. Harry seems to still be in the worshipping his mother phase, instead of moving to the criticizing phase like William. His late mother drilled it in to him that William’s role was going to be so much worse, he needed to support his older brother no matter what.

        I suspect this came, as many other things did, from her childhood and her experiences with the royal family. Her sense of betrayal that her own younger brother turned his back on her when she needed an escape from the royal family. She let her own personal feelings extend into imprinting the idea on her younger son, for better or worse.

        With these royal engagements, as others have said, they’re not telling the whole tale. 63 days of work from Kate Middleton, when she spends 20-40 minutes tops at an engagement. It really roughs out to less that two weeks of work total. Contrast Harry spending several days with MapAction, which counted as one event. Unless Tim O’Donovan is going to start keeping track at that level, the numbers will always be used to obfuscate. They all, as Bolland said, know how to make it look like they’re working much more than they really do.

        I think Harry needs to make his MOD work official, a real job. That 3 times a week gig is never covered by the press, only shows up in twitter sightings online. Makes it much easier to pretend it isn’t happening. He needs to wise up and make it official.

        1. I agree with most of your points: the 63 days isn’t really 63 x 8 hour days, just 20-40 minute bursts of activity, sometimes in multiples (Netherlands day, overseas tours). I’d question whether some should be counted at all eg getting off a plane, getting on a plane.

          Harry, despite his charm and affable manner, needs to be held to account as much as William and Kate. It’s no accident that the trio has the lowest engagement figures year in, year out. I agree that the MOD work could be ‘counted’ if it is indeed performed each and every week for 3 days. I just sense a reluctance to settle down to something on a regular basis and be accountable. It’s made more difficult because he has been allowed to flit from project to project rather than hanging in to do the grunt work. It’s harder to know what he’s doing and when, which suits him when he wants to duck away.

          Re. Diana’s request/command that Harry support his brother, I don’t know if that support had to demonstrated in a very specific way ie doing less royal work than his brother. It seems a convenient excuse to do less ‘work’ and disappear under the radar, which is why I called it a chestnut. It falls into the category of Kate saying that BP wouldn’t let her work. Other royals well down the pecking order work rings around William. The Windsor boys (and now Kate) obfuscate and as you say, are well-schooled in such tactics by their elders, as Bolland also opined. They are more alike than not. I think they’ve been allowed to get away with doing little for a lot of reward and have gotten used to it.

          1. In that family, PR is everything. Harry was said to be furious that his father used him for PR, but also said to accept it as the status quo. That is how he was raised, and he toes their party line much of the time. If it is his brother doing the leaning and pressuring, he’s going to cave. Stupid and naive, but that’s the way it is. Maybe he will mature out of it if he marries and has kids, maybe not. He seems to confuse loyalty to the crown with loyalty to his brother, instead of seeing that William way is damaging the crown.

    2. I was rather surprised that the DM posted the number of days each royal worked as opposed to engagement totals only. Prince Philip worked 110 days in 2016 while Kate managed to only “work” 63. When their numbers are shown by days worked the results are truly dismal. By comparison most folks working an 8 hour shift work 260 days in a year.

      1. It’s an interesting tactic by the DM. But those days are not full days, just half an hour here and there. I’ve always had a problem with numbers being racked up without looking at the point of the engagement and what value the royal brings to it. Lately W+K have closed off a few engagement to the press which denies the charity much-needed publicity.

        1. I just don’t understand the mostly sycophantic press. Are newspapers like the DM the equivalent of celebrity mags? Are royal reporters the equivalent of court hangers on? Is the way they reported the number of engagements meant obfuscate the real laziness of W. KM, H? What does the press get out of this?

          And it seems the really reputable Brit newspapers don’t even mention the royal family and obvious graft of public funds. Why don’t they report on this? I don’t understand the British press’ responsibilities to the public regarding the Windsors.

          I wonder if the gloves will come off after Elizabeth is gone.

          1. I imagine it is part royal/establishment control over media and getting access to royalty? The journalists working the royal beat seem to be hangers on, mouthpieces for a particular royal.

      2. There is a study published by a Republican in Denmark about who works the most. He uses days instead of engagements. It might be the DM wanted to both show how little W&K work, but also to make it easier to compare that to other royal families in Europe.

        1. That makes sense. You could drill down further to add (1) types of engagements – official state, patronages etc (2) length and (3) benefit to the people. It’s been noted here that several engagements on both the India/Bhutan an Canada tours were just entertaining W+K; that is a personal value to them but nothing more.

          1. The problem is, we can’t always tell how long an engagement actually is (with Twitter we can get an estimate but it’s not exact), and the benefit to the people is so subjective that there really isn’t much of a way to count that.

          2. I can see the difficulty though, where possible, engagements could be rounded up in half-hour blocks. Usually an engagement has an expected start time; exits are usually noted by someone.

            The value of the engagement is also hard to pinpoint. What I’m getting at is eliminating the padding (airport arrivals/departures, and events staged to entertain royals eg India/Bhutan and Canada tours. Or, at the very least, separate these activities from ‘doing something.’ Engagement comprising the opening of something, presenting prizes, attending local fairs seem clear. So are state occasions. It’s the ‘becoming aware’ and ‘learning’ engagements and just turning up for no apparent reason that puzzle me.

  17. I’ve only recently discovered this blog and have really enjoyed it – it’s by far the best online space for discussion of the royals. Thank you so much, KMR, for creating this platform for royal watchers! Happy New Year, all!

    1. Ines, I’d prefer that William and Harry were expected to live off their inheritance and then receive a nominal free for appearances. It probably would be the last we see of W.

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