Estelle & Oscar wish you a happy summer + Victoria interview

Estelle & Oscar wish you a happy summer + Victoria interview

The Swedish Royal Family dropped a nice little summer greeting of four new photos of Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar yesterday. I’m also including an interview with Crown Princess Victoria in here as well.

Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar Haga Palace summer greeting 2017
[Erika Gerdemark/]

The photos were taken at Haga Palace – the home of the Crown Princess Family – and feature Estelle and Oscar at the window overlooking a blossoming tree, and one of the two sitting on a couch.

Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar Haga Palace summer greeting 2017
[Erika Gerdemark/]

Ahead of her 40th birthday in July, Victoria has given a new interview to TT about her life. The interview was in Swedish; I’ve translated it via Google Translate.

    On living at Haga Palace: “I have never had the opportunity to meet my grandparents, so to come here to Haga, which I know meant a lot to them and their children, it feels incredibly special. It feels a bit like getting them closer. An attempt to get to know them perhaps.”
    On being a working parent: “There is a lot to keep up with in a day and I really want to be an available mom, present, and a mom who is a good model too. And of course it should be combined with a professional role and it is not always that easy. You miss a lot of nice moments with the kids. I belong to those who are careful to document the children’s upbringing. I’m really trying to actively observe and write down small things that happen.”
    On being more present in her kids lives than her parents were in hers: “It is a bit of a different time we live in. There is a greater expectation that you should be at home with the children more. It also helps us that there is an understanding that now that we have small children, we can not go away as much as we can when the children are older.”
    On Estelle and Oscar’s personalities: “Oscar is very calm. Observant to the highest degree. A little reserved but fearless. Social and loves his big sister. Estelle is so full of life. Loves people, confident, social, lovely humor, funny. And hugely caring. I have no boring children!”
    On visiting the site of the terror attack in Stolkholm in April: “I felt a huge sadness in that it had also hit Stockholm and the open and accessible society we wanted. It was an attempt to understand what it was that hit us. But also, of course, to show my truly sincere involvement in the sorrow that it means to so many people in place.”
    On growing up in the spotlight and dealing with anorexia: “It was a tough period. A fairly desperate period, not quite unusual for when you are in that age. I’m grateful that I got help, because it’s not so easy to get out of such a situation yourself, when you feel very bad and have a lot of anxiety.”
    On preparing to become Queen one day: “My whole life is about serving Sweden. It may sound pretentious in today’s position to say that. But that’s really how I feel.”
    Her parents are a huge inspiration to her: “I see my parents in their tireless work and with what joy they do, with a never-ending interest. I hope I can feel the same joy they do when I am in their age.”
    On turning 40: “Time is going too fast. That’s the gist of it. I do not feel at all like 40. But Princess Lilian always said it’s how you feel that counts. In this case, it’s positive, because I do not feel like 40.”


I hate to compare the British to the Swedes, but on the heels of Harry’s Newsweek interview where he basically complained the entire time about having to do royal duties and be a public person, it is so jarring to read Victoria talk about balancing being a parent with doing royal duties and how her whole life is about serving Sweden. There is such a huge difference in how the two think about their roles as royals and deal with those demands.

Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar Haga Palace summer greeting 2017
[Erika Gerdemark/]

Princess Estelle Haga Palace summer greeting 2017
[Erika Gerdemark/]

151 thoughts on “Estelle & Oscar wish you a happy summer + Victoria interview

  1. You’re right,KMR, there is a huge differnce in the approach of royal duties.
    I have never seen such beautiful photos of royal children, it brings tears to my eyes.
    I’m so glad that these children seem happy, have loving parents and family. And of course, Victoria is not only a great role-model for her children, but also for many other girls or women, she should not doubt herself in this!
    At least I can say, when I think about the british royals,that I feel sorry for Harry and William growing up in a much colder,disfunctional environment as children, they don’t have a clue about themselves until today,which is quite sad.

  2. I love when she states that she ends up missing a lot of nice moments with the kids. I mean it’s sad, but it’s part of life and we do what we have to do. This is what being “normal” feels like. Victoria sounds more grounded than any of the younger royals will ever be, specially when we think about William and Kate’s excuses that they can’t work more because of their children etc.

  3. The coincidental timing of Harry and Victoria’s interviews is a bit funny. Here you have Victoria literally saying the exact opposite Harry did. Like KMR mentioned, it’s hard not to compare them. The Swedish royals answer to every downturn the British royals (aka W&K) give. W&K close off their kids? Victoria regularly releases pictures of them and brings Estelle to some occasions. W&H disrespect their father’s efforts? Victoria lauds her’s.
    I don’t want to completely look at Victoria with rose-tinted glasses because she’s part of the same system we bemoan WKH of being, but man. At the very least she doesn’t take it wholly for granted and she treats her position with respect.

    1. Totally. Though I think the monarchy needs to be no more, I would begrudge less of my paycheque if I had someone like Victoria at the helm promoting my country and it’s citizens nationally and internationally. Personally for me, keeping an eye on Victoria this past year has made me want to visit Sweden.

  4. What a nice way to end the week with this post, thanks KMR 🙂

    Cute photos of the kids!

    Victoria is so thoughtful and respectful of her role, thanks for taking the time to translate and post KMR.

    Makes me proud of my Swedish heritage 🙂

    Happy MidSummer to those in the Northern hemisphere

  5. Victoria, who can be naive and a bit dim about things (shocked anyone would not want a monarchy, amongst other things), seems really content with her life, who she is, etcetera, and that is so great and I think a big influence from Daniel.

    Amazing royals who don’t complain about heir lot, know how privileged and lucky they are and want to work and know it is a privilege to serve. She admits she misses a lot and doesn’t have a normal life, nor will their kids; there’s no wallowing in self-pity because they can’t do things like us plebs.

    I like her a lot and think she will be amazing for Sweden. Though I do think Sweden will become a Republic in the near future… seems to be trending that way…

      1. Victoria has expressed utter shock about republicanism. As if nobody would ever, ever not want a monarchy! Why wouldn’t anyone want it? It’s great! That sort of thinking, and in interviews.

        I like her a lot but that struck me as very, very naive on a grown woman in her late 30s.

  6. Hi everyone,

    I am following this blog for last couple of years and this is my first time commenting here. There were many times when I wanted to share my opinions regarding work ethics of younger generations of British royal family. But never did.

    Whenever I read what William/Kate say or do in their charity events or interviews, it makes me feel that something is not right about it. They could have done better. They could be more involved or passionate about their causes like Victoria or Maxima. I think those two ladies give us a glimpse of how modern monarchy could be.

    I like the way Victoria appreciate and acknowledge her public role. I also admire how she thinks it is important for their kids to have a professional role model. I am sure she is setting a wonderful example for them. Her description of Estelle and Oscar’s personalities was lovely.

    The pictures of the kids are just beautiful. I have always loved the way they dress up their kids; elegant and age appropriate yet modern. Sharing pictures regularly makes them real and relatable to the people. This is a very smart move of them.

    Thank you KMR for translating this article and sharing with us. English is my third language and sometimes I struggle expressing my thoughts properly. I hope I made sense in my comment 🙂

    1. English is your third language?? It is very impressive!

      The pictures are charming and capture the children’s temperaments – as described by their mother – so well. You’re right about the gentle exposure of these children in both formal and informal situations; people see them grow and they become part of the cultural capital. Yes, it’s quite a different approach to the BRF but then, the Swedes privilege a more egalitarian society, monarchy being their odd exception. I think the Swedes do less engagements than the BRF and from that I gather the Swedish royals’ presence is not constantly written about as per the BRF’s publicity machine.

      1. Thank you, Jen. I totally agree with you on BRF having more exposure than the SRF. I also believe the younger generation of BRF is more reluctant to embrace their royal duties. Although that cannot be said about the perks they receive from being royal.

    2. Welcome to the community Shaziea. May you post plenty of comments 🙂

      Fear not, your English is very good. And I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion.
      Kate, William are missing something. To me, they’re lacking interest in what they do. Seeing as they were raised both everything presented to them, being entitled, and from what we’ve known from their private life, they are not going to be passionate about their work.

      Victoria is the best modern royal out there to me, which makes me hope the best for Sweden’s future.

      Thank you KMR for translating this.

      1. Thanks Ellana. I look forward to make many comments in future. You are absolutely right about them not becoming passionate about their work. They lack required level of compassion and willingness to do so.

        1. Hi, Shaziea and welcome. Your comments sparkle and your English is very good. Not to worry!

          Look forward to more comments from you and pardon my informal response. Busy here and not writing complete sentences!!!

  7. Now this is how you give an interview. Warm, personal, engaging. And the pictures make me smile. Especially the one with Estelle leaning down to look in Oscar’s eyes. You can tell she adores him.

    Harry’s interview really left a bad taste in my mouth. Victoria was able to talk about her difficulties with anorexia without sounding resentful or bitter. Harry’s interview convinced me that he is in fact very much like William with his “why me?” attitude. I was left disappointed with it.

    I also love the descriptions of the kids’ personalities that Victoria gave. So very sweet. Thano you KMR!

  8. They have an amazing queen…. she is class act.. and those pictures are just darling. The sweed are so open… I wonder if the British royals were that open, if it would water down the “magic” they speak of. PS the magic for me died after reading the “tampon gate” transcript years ago

    1. When W or H try to be open they just puke up verbal diarrhea, so I’d rather they not model themselves after someone like Victoria in that way. They aren’t as classy as she is and she doesn’t have all this resentful whining in her life despite her father’s attitude she is less than her brother, should not be his heir, and her anorexia problems.

    2. Victoria is not the queen yet. But she will be a great one when she is! ❤️❤️❤️ as always to those lovely Swedish babies

  9. You know while I really admire the Swedish approach to being Royal it’s like comparing apples with oranges. No offence but show a picture of Diana and her children anywhere in the world most people will know who they are. Not quite the same with Victoria and her family. There are times when it must be absolutely soul destroying to be British Royalty……there is just no off button. Even more so since mobile phones are in everyone’s hands. British Royalty is almost world Royalty. One could argue that they’re more than compensated but are they really? When did HMTQ ever ride a tube, got to M & S, book a holiday somewhere in the world she wanted to go, walk in the grass at a local park in bare feet?

    The ability to be spontaneous in the British Royal Family is removed at birth and sometimes they are little more than zoo exhibits. Swedish, Spanish, Dutch just don’t have the same pressure or constraints. I can understand the frustration and being forced into a job that you have know wish to do is depressing. Oh I know the argument ‘well stand out of the line of succession then’ but truely would they ever become a private person?

    Our Royals need to learn to shut up and stop feeling the need to explain and complain but to compare Victoria’s life with Harry’s or William’s is an injustice to them all.

    1. Yes, Victoria probably has had it a lot easier than any of the British royals will for all those reasons.

      I have a bit of sympathy for them as they can’t do normal stuff like you and I can and I think it’s one reason they glamorize this idea of normality, though it is far from what we’d consider normal, either.

      They can’t go anywhere or do anything without knowing people will be watching, which is why they should just put up and shut up in interviews. Probably be best if they just tried to live their lives and if people take pictures, oh well. though I can’t imagine them being allowed on he tube or whatever for security reasons, whereas Daniel is proud to talk about showing his kids public transport!

      1. As others have previously pointed out, I think that the lives of Caroline and John Kennedy Jr. are better to compare to William and Harry, in that they grew up in the worldwide public eye following an enormous private–yet still very public–tragedy. While they weren’t being forced into a job they didn’t want, I think they still faced enormous public and private scrutiny and pressures, were part of an incredibly public extended family with very publicized issues and trials, and, like William and Harry, were never able to enjoy anonymity. Yet they went on with their lives, carving out their own niches, remaining committed to public service and honoring their father’s memory, without ever once playing the victim card.

        1. Yes, Lizzie, but Jackie played such a strong role in raising her kids, both before JFK’s death and after. William and Harry did not have such a strong role model after their mother’s death. I find it telling that the Queen insisted all the televisions be turned off, so that the children didn’t have to hear anything of her accident. Also, the fact that the Church service they attended never once mentioned the Princess, and so Harry had to ask if it were really true that his Mum was dead.

          People do what they think is right when a death affects children, but mistakes can be made. I think William and Harry lack many things because they did not have a close maternal figure to lean on — especially in the time after their Mum’s tragic death.

    2. May I ask a hopefully not daft question? Is the media obsession with the Windsor’s because the BRF has over several decades had its PR juggernaut feed the beast so that it is central to British identity and therefore relevant? The BRF only undertook charity work relatively recently (20th century?) to keep themselves in peoples’ minds otherwise they would not be nearly visible enough. And now it’s become an industry in itself? I wonder if the European monarchies have this level of attention in their own countries; they certainly do not have the same attention globally.

      1. Hi Jen! Xxx

        Charity work was undertaken earlier in history but just not like a ‘full time job’ as it is to our Royals now. I think of my beloved Tudors giving alms to the poor, Maundy Sevices, making clothes etc…

        The media obsession started with the two young, beautiful princesses and then of course the whole Murdoch press thing realised that Royalty sold papers. And Royalty and scandal shifted copy like nothing else.

        Combine that with Diana’s stardust and her approach to the media, spin doctors, PR etc I think the whole thing has snowballed on both sides. It’s cheap, lazy journalism these days as every member of the public with a mobile is a potential paparazzo. And from the Palace side one has to counter some of the less positive journalism so they need PR and media. And of course they need to sing for their supper.

        I don’t believe anyone in the world not even the Kennedys endured what our Royals do. There is an insatiable thirst to know and see as much as we can about the Windsor’s from around the world. Whether it will be like that after HMTQ passes I can’t really say. But a Royal family with no interest from the public would be the quickest route to a republic.

        1. Thanks for your take Mrs BBV! With the need to fill a 24/7 media cycle, royal journalism (if you could call it that) is very poor quality. Is the need driven by media or fed by royals to keep their brand in front of people? A little of both resulting in frenzy, fancy and little true information on either side of the coin.

          Lillibet (below) makes a case that royals do have privacy when they want it and use the PR machine at will, giving solid examples. It seems out of control, with the UK people in particular being the losers: they are never in possession of the full truth, more’s the pity, and are too often strung along. My feeling is – and I admit it is naive – they need to do the work with the best of of their ability. This will garner good reactions and press. The need to invent fairytales and magic is not so much needed.

          1. Media has changed, but Royal PR, and public obsession and support for royalty has always been part and parcel of British life.

            It was used to support or remove a King and not just for patriotic reasons.

            Even before pagentry was invented it was there. The royals went to great lengths to promote themselves and to create that emotional investment. The Tudors were masters at this kind of promotion and why we know more about them than any other dynasty and or feel more invested in them.

            However, the specific obsession with the BRF worldwide started in the Georgian era with the accidental creation of a free press coupled with a complete lack of censure by the authorities on unauthorised imagery of the BRF which allowed mass saturation to occur.

            Print drawings of the king and the court misbehaving, posted in shop windows and public houses became very popular and sold out every day. People were eager to know more, so more were created and printed and sold everyday. Good, bad and ugly. Even the poor participated because they could go to a shop window and see the drawing and understand the message. They didn’t have to rely on official photos and outings and messages.

            Due to this type of press, Princess Charlotte became so popular compared to her disliked father that when she died, the country went into voluntary mourning on the Diana scale.

            In terms of the free press, other monarchies and countries’ govts controlled and limited how and where the monarchy could be showed or represented and any unathorised representations led to capital punishment.

            Meanwhile the British were free to draw cartoons, sing songs, write novels, merchandise and commercialise their royals, name buildings, roads etc with impunity. This they did around the world.

            And when the Victorian industrial age took off, the merchandising of the BRF went further than anything done officially. The list of goods that didn’t have an image of the Queen is shorter than the unadorned one. Everything from soap to biscuit tins to playing cards etc. Eg



            Random places around the world where named after her eg Victoria falls in Zambia.

            Victoria and Albert continued the tradition of royals playing out scenes from their private life to keep public interest in them. Eg that christmas card illustration of them decorating a christmas tree. That one card sparked the worldwide trend for christmas trees that until then was only a German tradition.

            Or this painting of their growing (wholesome) family which was part of a concerted effort to reverse the poor image George 4 and his brothers had created in the public’s mind:

            By the time we arrive at Elizabeth and Margaret, the world wide obsession was long complete.

            Of course Princesses are more interesting than Princes in terms of selling to the world, which means that the public seemed or seems much more invested when princesses are being sold to them from Matilda to our current Charlotte.

            However, the interesting thing about the Victorian merchandising BRF is that Victoria herself wasn’t seen in public for 40yrs. She refused to attend to any public duties and eventually it nearly caused a constitutional crisis where people thought there was no point of having a monarchy since they never saw them. Yet despite her absence, she still fed the merchandising machine by sending out photos of herself and her family and servants (and Albert’s bust) which were duly copied and shipped to the 4 corners of the world. She also sent her children on global tours to India, Australia, Canada and the USA. Pomp and ceremony and her image shown everywhere.

            After her death, one of the reasons they became so public again was to counter that seclusion that had made them seem irrelevant. Her son Bertie took the lesson of his predecessors of showing themselves to the public to create popular support. He co-opted or revived ceremonies like Trooping the Colour to popular acclaim. Of course he also kept the media and populace entertained with his numerous scandals and that kept up interest in him. He was never one to stay hidden and was often seen out and about amongst the population even if in 5star establishments only. Photos and early versions of PR newsreels were sent out globally. He enjoyed meeting people and was used in that sense by the British govt which also contrinuted to the PR on his behalf.

            His son added the charity angle as well as the bi-annual gongs given out to people eg CBE, OBE, Dame/Knight etc.

            Duke of Windsor was promoted as a matinee idol with regular newsreels about how fabulous and fashionable he was. And sent out on global tours with suitably fawning press and glowing reports whatever the reality.

            And so on until our present lot.

            Btw, compared to the rude cartoons about George 4 and his court, our current lot should count themselves lucky. And the rudeness was extended to foreign rulers we didn’t like eg Catherine the great or Napoleon. They are appallingly rude, sexist, racist, xenophobic, cruel and more. All endured by that era of royals complete with rude nicknames eg Goerge 4 aka Prince of Whales because he was so fat This is a mild example of a depiction of George 4:



      2. Actually it’s been an obsession from the very beginning. There are examples going as far back as Norman era where public interest and support was courted by both sides to steady the monarchy.

        Those monarchs who lost public support soon lost their thrones or had a hard time of it eg Matilda, Bloody Mary, James 2.

        The ‘industry’ as you put it really started in the Georgian era with the *accidental creation of the free press.

        * Parliament created a law setting out rules about publishing, but forgot to add any discussion about free press in the bill or during the debates. It was signed into law before anyone realised what had happened and the genie couldn’t be put back into the bottle so to speak.

        Unlike other kingdoms or countries, the British were allowed to say, sing, act out, paint, draw etc whatever they liked about their govt with inpunity and no fear of the law. Other countries enshrined censorship in law and used capital punishment and or punative fines to deter anyone speaking outside the officially sanctioned platforms and PR messages.

        One of the most popular forms of free press in that era became the daily cartoons lampooning members of govt, and in particular the King and his court.

        These were put up in the windows of shops and pubs and didn’t have to be very sophisticated for anyone to understand the message. The public flocked to these shop windows for the daily new installment and those who could afford them bought them.

        This created an interest in the court to unprecedented levels, and made fortunes for the cartoon publishers.

        The cartoons created a negative impression of the Georgian Kings, which the Duchess of Kent sort to counter by taking her little Victoria around the country to show her to the people so they could become invested in her as their future Queen.

        This type of PR was continued by Victoria and Albert who regularly sent out tableaus of their (wholesome) family in the form of their growing family, occassions such as christmas, birthdays, saw new images sent out. The family grew very popular as a result.

        The Victorian industrial revolution sent this into overdrive because not only could images be sent out in the usual way, but the BRF could be merchandised to the rest of the world without the bother of expensive oil paintings or other expensive representations. Pictures of the Queen and her family members painted on biscuit tins or soap or mugs etc as an example to be shipped to empire. And even when Albert died and she withdrew from the public for 40yrs, she never stopped the images or the merchandising.

        As her sons grew into men, they were sent on royal tours abroad. Famously her son Bertie was always getting into scandals or threatening to get into scandals and that kept the fledgling newspapers afloat in royal gossip.

        Unfortunately, her extended seclusion wasn’t a good move for the royals. Having not been seen in public for 40yrs, people began to question the point of the royals and a constitutional crisis was narrowly averted.

        When her son Bertie came to the throne, he reversed that unpopularity by making the entire royal family visible again. He co-opted or revived public ceremonies like Trooping the Colour for the specific reason of showing the family and he encouraged the family to show themselves in public.

        And of course he continued the tradition of family tableaus in photos and fledgling PR newsreels about the family which were very popular.

        His son, George V, continued this trend, though in his case there was also the urgent matter of ensuring the BRF didn’t topple like his cousins so he institutionalised the charity aspect of their operations and he started handing out *honours to the public to make them feel included.

        *honours = OBE, MBE, Dame/knight etc

        The duke of Windsor was sold as the most handsome, most fabulous, most eligible bachelor prince that ever lived. He was sent on royal tours abroad, complete with fawning press and glowing reports and newsreels. You can see the fawning newsreels on youtube.

        By the time Elizabeth and Margaret came along, the insatiable public appetite for royal news had long been established and it was fed by a well oiled Palace PR machine.

        And compared to the Georgians, it was positive and glowing because the Victorians had successfully rebranded the family as wholesome as opposed to those self-indulgent louche Georgians.

        Even with the war of the wales and paps galore, the press has been more complimentary, more positive and less intrusive than the Georgian era.

        William, Harry, Elizabeth 2 have been the luckiest heirs in that regard.

        1. Thanks for that consice explanation, Herazeus. I knew all this but I know I couldn’t put it in an articulate way like you can!

          I’ve read a fabulous biography about Bertie and recommend it. He really in many ways saved the monarchy after his mother, who was despite not being seen in public very politically active and astute; just had been so worn down by Albert’s genius and constant peppering her that as a woman she was not fit to be queen she lost herself in that, whereas before she was quite assertive, popular, went about people, defended her rights, etcetera.

          The biography, part of it, examines Bertie as king and just how good he was at it and how he revitalized the monarchy. A lot of this was due to stuff that had happened when he was Prince of Wales – Gladstone’s recommendations of a public monarchy to save it, but Victoria scoffed.

          Walter Bagehot’s The English Constitution has some interesting quotes about the monarchy and its place in society I feel are even still relevant today. He wrote during Victoria’s reign.

          “Royalty is a government in which the attention of the nation is concentrated on one person doing interesting actions.”

          “The mystic reverence, the religious allegiance, which are essential to a true monarchy, are imaginative sentiments that no legislature can manufacture in any people.”

          Also comments about the pretty ‘magic’ of the monarchy which Harry got slammed for a bit and how it provides pretty distractions for people with pomp and ceremony. (I doubt Harry has read Bagehot! William probably doesn’t even know who he is either.)

          1. Apologies for the double comment. My computer was playing up and it looked like comments weren’t taking, so i rewrote, got same response and logged off.

            On a different note, thanks for the recommend. Added to my reading list.

            As you know my primary interest in royals is social history and how they affect society. It shocks me how much i retain from reading so many books from different eras. I wish it were a useful skill for my real life.

          2. I know, right? This is why I did my history degree… I already read so much about these people, the time periods, social context, so it made school so much easier, but it was kinda useless! Lots of fun, though.

            It is Jane Ridley’s book. Also am reading Julia Baird’s Victoria, and have you read AN Wilson’s commanding biography on Victoria? Really sheds light on how politically active she was despite being a recluse and how manipulative she was in using being a woman which was extraordinary for these men to get her way!

          3. Have read both AN Wilson and Julia Baird’s books.

            I’m currently reading Simon Sebag Montefiore’s book on the Romanovs.

            I wish there were similarly detailed books on African royals. Then again, i wish there were detailed histories about Africa.

            If i hadn’t partially studied in Africa, there is so much i wouldn’t have known.

            The rest has been passed down in the aural tradition. I’m lucky because my family is directly descended from 2 African Kings of 2 different tribes so i was told so much at home that isn’t necessarily available in public.

            Perhaps when i retire i will write a proper history of both tribes.

          4. You should, that would be awesome – I know so little about anything other than the Europeans…
            How is the Romanov book? Used to be terribly obsessed with them – ran a website, colorized photos, have free books from the authors, etc. Not so much these days, though Helen Rappaport’s Four Sisters is fabulous (Helen herself is also fabulous!).

          5. I’m enjoying it so far, i’m at Catherine the Great stage of their rule. I had already read books about her in isolation, but it is much more satisfying to read their history from the beginning to put everything in context. For all his brutality, i find myself with a sneaky admiration for Peter the Great. Not so good for the Russian people or his son, but in terms of dragging the country into the modern era of his time, that was a single mindedness that is admirable. Yet the flipside, the people, does the result justify the means? That’s a question i always grapple with in history books.

            I am going through a Romanov phase. I think there was a BBC documentary about the 4 sisters which was sourced from Helen’s book.

            What struck me was the strange parallel between their family and WK. Absolute entitlement of the parents who were socially awkward, insular and retreated to the countryside effectively imprisoning their own children. Being completely out of touch with the people AND the court. Parents who reacted with absolute autocracy and entitlement when challeged by outsiders, surrounded themselves with yes people, but who had a loving, middle class style family life. It’s uncanny. I hope the kids turn out as well as the four sisters.

          6. Mrs BBV: i so want to meet you. It would be infinity hours of chat + lots of tea (coz tea is the great leveller and soother!!) ?

            Ellie: i always recommend literature as a starting point because there is so much history across the continent.

            Before i left Africa, we had to study history in sections because each section of Africa could keep you occupied for a lifetime in terms of it’s history.

            Back in the day, there used to be a writers series published by Heinman which curated African writers across the continent. One of the most famous books from this series is Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe. The series covers everything from poetry to literature to children’s books to history to politics from authors across the continent. It’s a good way to start to know more about Africa. Here is a wikipage about the series that includes lists of the books.

            It’s a pity the series was not continued after Heinman was bought by Pan, because the books stop at the 1980s. It’s much harder to search out current African writers unless you are actively involved in African affairs.

            I think the only current African writer who has achieved global success on a par with the authors in the African writers series is Chimamanda Adiche Ngozi.

            One of her books was made into a film starring Thandie Newton.

          7. I shall check all of that out, Herazeus, and the Romanovs as well! I am always curious to see the new things learned now that the archives are far more open re: the Romanovs. I was able to look at them digitally for an archival thing they did about Alexandra’s albums, look at letters, notes, their photo albums, it was pretty fantastic.

            I love these conversations, I’ve learned so much.

          8. For all those interested in the Romanovs, I highly recommend “Nicholas and Alexandra” by Robert Massie. It is heavily researched history that reads like a novel. It is an older book, but so is its subject. It is about the last of the Romanovs, and how monarchies, traditions, and nations were gobbled up and spit out during WWI and the Russian Revolution, and how history of Russia, maybe the world, hinged on one little boy’s illness. Im sure most people have read it, but for the few who haven’t, put it on your list. And don’t watch the movie.

          9. I love Helen rappaport’s books. I also enjoyed the Catherine the great book that came out a couple years ago.
            Hera I’m woefully ignorant on so much of African countries history. PBS did this excellent series called ancient African civilizations. I had pretty much made up my mind to take a trip to Australia and New Zealand, then I watched that series and now think I’m going to Tanzania. I have 2 wks to decide

          10. Sarah: what a decision. All fabulous countries. All worth a visit.

            The history is so vast that those books in the African writers series are only the tip of the iceberg.

            And looking through the lists again, i’ve realised that they only touch upon 50yrs or so of African history, culture, language.

            Perhaps what’s needed is a comprehensive cultural centre and hub.

            It’s difficult to research remotely because most borders are artificial such that searching by country may not be helpful unless you know for sure all of one particular tribe ended up within the borders of said country.

            I recently watched a similar show that touched upon what they labelled ‘lost kingdoms of Africa’ which i found to be incredibly superficial and also dumb in calling said kingdoms lost since they are very present today even if they aren’t called kingdoms in the European understanding of kingdoms. Culturally, spiritually and in some cases royal courts still exist.

            The place i want to visit urgently, before it’s destroyed by idiotic militants, is the libraries of Timbkutu.

            This place has existed since the 13th century, possibly older. It functions and functioned as a sort of literary archive of every book that was published in the region. Every written transcript that passed through the region was copied and put in the library.

            Somehow it has survived for centuries, but when militants briefly took over the city, they burnt over 4000books.

            Luckily the librarians had wind of their intentions and had buried many books, but it is still a loss to history.



          11. It was a 5 part series done by Henry Louis gated jr. and they did a part of the libraries at Timbuktu-which I didn’t know about until I watched. He talked about that he grew up hearing and teaching that Africa only had oral culture but when he saw the books-that put the lie to western claims about Africa’s lack of written hx and intellectual tradition, he started to cry.
            I learned about the one eyed warrior queen of Nibia I think her name was amenrenas(?), the kingdom of Axum, that Ethiopia was never colonized. And So much more! I decided on Tanzania becuase I want to go to zanizibar then down to the mosque at Kilawa. Plus I could probably mange a trip over to the Serengeti. Culture and wildlife. =)
            I wish he would do a book about it as a companion piece. Sometimes pbs will put shows on YouTube. There’s a ton of history on Egypt but the rest of the continent not so much

          12. I think i’ve seen that documentary unless he has mades others.

            With time i’ve come to appreciate that it is made for people without prior knowledge of Africa.

            I remember being shocked that a Harvard professor of African studies was apparently surprised at history and culture of Africa ie that it exists at all.

            It shows how effective the colonial prejudice about Africa prevails and is the default narrattive about Africa.

          13. I would fall into that category. That my hx of Africa was pretty much Egypt S. Africa and some basic Ethiopian hx and it was a good jumping off point! I mean, I’m now considering a trip to see some ancient places I didn’t even knew existed until I watched it. =)
            I didn’t take that gates was surprised that there was hx and culture in Africa
            That was the point of this series was to show people how Africa is rich in hx and culture, to disprove popular myths of yesterday and today. That there were art and sculptures, that sailors along the eastern coast had mastered the science of monsoon weather to aid in their trading w/ Middle East and India. That they were told Africa had no tradition of written hx yet the Timbuktu library finally disproved this theory, that there were African scholars and books, that Christianity had been in parts of Africa long before the Europeans came over. I’m sure there was more but it’s been a bit since I saw it.

          14. JET – Nicholas and Alexandra is woefully outdated. Massie didn’t have the resources to go to the Russian archives, considering when it was written. It’s a good book but is based on memoirs and sugar-coating from those who knew them.

    3. I don’t agree that the ability to be spontaneous is removed from the BRF. Even in Harry’s interview he says he does his own shopping. It’s a myth that they are constantly stalked by paparazzi. If they were, there would be a ton more photos of them. When Kate took George to the museum it was a passerby with a phone who got a pic of them, not the paparazzi and you didn’t see any other photos pop up either (so it wasn’t like there was a horde of people with camera phones). Harry was dating Meghan for a while before the press got wind of it. They do stuff outside of their home, lead lives, and we never see it because the whole “evil paparazzi” narrative is one they push to get us all to feel sorry for them and excuse their laziness. It doesn’t have basis in reality.

      Even Diana, the “most photographed woman in the world” could lead a private life. She had a two-year relationship with Hasnat Khan and no one really knew about it because she didn’t want them to. Yet she dates Dodi Fayed for less than 2 months and the whole world knew about it (before the crash). There were even rumors that he was going to propose! The paparazzi was following them because Diana wanted them to. She built the narrative of her relationship with Dodi and used the paparazzi to disseminate it. When she wanted a private life, she had one. When she wanted publicity, she got it. She was the one in control.

      As for the queen, she can go anywhere she wants. She does take vacations. When she was younger, she used to vacation in Kentucky to see horse breeding operations there. Now she doesn’t travel as much, but that’s because she’s older and has been everywhere. And walk barefoot in the grass in the park? She owns parks. If she wants to walk barefoot in them she will. Balmoral is a 50,000 acre estate. People go to parks because they don’t have access to that kind of land any other way. Why on earth would you go to a park if you everywhere you lived was a park?

      It just baffles me that people can seriously say the royals have it tough because they have a lack of choice because they are so privileged and rich. Meanwhile, most people have a lack of choice because they’re poor. Why don’t we take a moment to think of all the people who will never get to sleep in a castle because they’re poor? I’ll never get to pick up the phone and order a helicopter in order to save me a few hours driving. But I should feel bad that the queen doesn’t get to take public transportation?

      And most people who are lucky enough to have a job don’t love their job. Some people even get to have more than one that they don’t love! So I find it hard to say someone having a job they didn’t choose that will never, ever consistently involve 40+ hours of work a week and which will always not just provide for their needs, but provide for every wish and whim they could possibly have is a sad thing. And supposedly William did get his dream job flying helicopters and he still couldn’t stomach working anything that approaches the definition of full-time. Even if you combine the job he chose with the job he was born to you still don’t get anywhere near a full-time schedule.

      They have choices. They just get to be lazy if they can get you to believe they have no choices and feel sorry for them. William and Harry have crafted this narrative of the poor little princes and people have apparently bought it.

      1. I don’t buy the narrative and will whack them has hard as anyone when they step out of line but I vehemently disagree with you. I would not live in that goldfish bowl with my diary events mapped out until death for all the McQueen in the world. There is as much spontaneity in their lives as the Japanese Railway network. But the poor me narrative I won’t accept off anyone not even them when HMTQ has made more sacrifices than anyone in public life. A few holidays with the horsey set in Kentucky when she was younger hardly cuts it for me and yet she has never once been heard to complain. She just gets on with it as should William and Harry.

      2. Lilibet, I agree with you. The Queen and the rest of BRF have the distinct freedom of taking countless unpublicized holidays, shopping trips, helicopter rides, etc. They have extraordinary wealth and vast amounts of leisure time to live an unaccountable life unlike “normal” people who are held accountable every day by family, work, and other responsibilities. Even if they are the most photographed and well known royals in the world, they still get a pretty good deal compared to “normal” people in exchange for a life of privilege and ease. Now if H, W & KM would only do the work.

        What the poor young royals don’t get is that everyone makes tradeoffs in life (as Victoria says). And everyone has regrets about something regarding those tradeoffs. Understanding that is part of growing up. Obviously, Victoria is miles ahead of the young royals in the maturity department.

        For me, the Harry interview highlighted (once again) how utterly dysfunctional the BRF is (like many other families only with tons of money). And none of them seems especially bright or humble enough to try to correct their self-inflicted mistakes. Harry didn’t want to continue in the military because it wasn’t on his terms. Or Charles seems like an absent father. I ask where was he when Harry was looking dead eyed at Eton? Or when Nicholas Knatchbull was first giving Harry drugs at a young age? Why was Willie allowed to emotionally blackmail everyone in his family for money and every toy imaginable?

        When they cry foul they really come off as not wanting to be normal at all. Just “anonymous,” as Graymatters called it.

        1. A precedent exists to abdicate like Edward VIII did so William and Harry need to put up or shut up. Harry is unlikely to ever be king though, so I am really at a loss as to why he would give that kind of interview.

          Maybe Meghan can tell him what being ordinary is really like and he will learn. William never will though. Kate has no idea nor does she care to learn how the peasants live.

      3. Poll conducted this weekend by You Gov in the UK about the role of Monarch.

        What I really want is a history book on Iraq / Iran / Jordanian / Kuwaiti Royalty and it’s history. Well I mean Oyal families where they exist and how they were deposed where they no longer do.

        Hera…..when we’ve done our tea and history a bit of shopping in Knightsbridge I think. Claridges is my absolute favourite London Hotel. Xx

        1. You really speak to my heart. Love, love Claridges.

          Also, for all the hatred thrown at her, apparently Thatcher is the PM they trust to negotiate Brexit. That woman had balls!!

          1. Mrs Thatcher was what first stoked my love of politics. Oh I know it’s not fashionable to admire her but she was the first woman (age 9) who I wanted to emulate. Diana came next. And then HMTQ. As an impressionable teenager this trio of great women opened my eyes to the power of women.

      4. Perfectly said and cogently argued, Lillibet. Kudos! I have nothing to add except to reiterate and emphasise that they have choices, in fact, far more choices than someone living on the edge of poverty even middle class- anyone not loaded-, and that means millions and millions and millions of people. Yes, the younger Brit royals are self-indulgent and *choose* the PR narrative that will allow them to continue to *choose* a sybaritic and slothful and greedy lifestyle with little accountability except for engineered excuses and a burgeoning cynical blame game. I’ll save my sympathy for the great unwashed whose lives are truly toil and trouble yet still manage to live lives of strength and dignity.

  10. Compare these series of photos with the last photo issued by William and Kate. The lightness, both figuratively and visually between the images is stunning. We see the Swedish children interacting with each other along with some delightful photos of Estelle alone. The setting is simple and fresh, highlighting the personalities of Estelle and Oscar. ( I also loved the one from a few months ago, showing Estelle and Oscar on a white floor with scribble drawings.) The Cambridge shot just seems morbid.

    1. Yep, the Swedes have their photo game down. Beautiful, bright, airy, happy….these could be stock photos that come with a picture frame. And Victoria’s comments about her kids and her duty are perfect. She is an excellent example of how working royals should act. And she is still my all time best dressed royal for her attire at the 2016 Nobel Prize ceremony.

  11. What a lovely interview! Victoria is gracious and truly understands her role. I find her honest and refreshing. It is okay to understand and respect your role The monarchy has to change with the times. And Victoria is doing just that. I love that she’s open and gives us a glimpse of the kids and their personality.

    I love Harry, but his interview came off badly. He sounds just as petulant as William. He ought to be careful of those words as I fear it will come back to haunt him.

    Thanks for a lovely Friday post, KMR!

  12. Awww, thanks for posting these sweet photos KMR!!! Estelle and Oscar are just adorable and I love Victoria’s descriptions of them! I just love how the Victoria and Madeline release photos fairly frequently, I wonder why CP and Sofia don’t?

    I hope the Swedish people realize what a wonderful Queen Victoria will be and don’t jump to dissolve the monarchy there before giving her a chance. In some ways Victoria reminds me of a young Queen Elizabeth, when she made her speech about dedicating her whole life, wither it be long or short to her peoples service, Victoria seems to “get” that being a royal is about service and duty. Now would someone please sit down William, Kate and Harry and inform them of that??!!

    To be fair, since this was complained about when Kate released the photos of G&C right after Char was born, but the white on white on white is these photos is a bit glaring. Imo, since they are taken from a bit of a distance the glare isn’t quite as bad but still…

    1. Queen Lauri, I was thinking of those photos when I commented above. Because, due to the lack of much else showing the two together, they are now some of my favorites. I also liked Charlotte’s first birthday photos versus her second. My favorite professionally taken pictures are the ones taken during the Canadian children’s party and the lovely shot of George happily snuggling on Kate’s shoulder (as others have noted).

  13. The children are beautiful and the photos are just spectacular. Estelle is getting to be so tall and how lovely she is! Little Oscar is just adorable. I think Estelle is a great and loving big sister and I love the last photo of shot from behind on the balcony. She looks like a lovely dancer!

    Victoria speaks so well and has such a wonderful take on her unique role in life. The fact that she wishes to serve her country speaks volumes. She will also always make the best of time for her family.

    I imagine a lot of negative remarks when I say that I think many of William and Harry’s problems stem from their parents’ unhappy marriage and the untimely death of their Mum. The wounds are so deep and linger on . I did not care for much of what Harry said in his interview, but somehow, I still feel very sorry for him and for William.

    I think I feel sorry for Victoria, too. Her father always wishing that his son would one day be the monarch, and not his lovely daughter. Still, I believe Victoria’s mother was always — and still is — a shining star in her life, making her feel special and really listening to her (and all of her children).

    I’m feeling a bit low today, so this post is something I am thankful for.

      1. Thanks so much Rhiannon. Am sending the same back to you! How are things going for you? What a dear and special woman you are!

      1. AEllana, thank you, too. I hope your weather is getting better. Just horrible what you are all going through!

        1. We still have a heat wave sadly. The good news is that it will end by Monday at the latest. I can survive. Hope you’re feeling better.

    1. I’m going to make a sexist remark and wonder if female born-royals handle the pressure of royal duty better then males. QEII, Victoria, Princess Caroline, B&E, Princess Madeleine, others I don’t know about… even some of the married-ins are doing a good job: Maxima, Mary, Sophie, Sophia….

      Of course, there are examples of those who didn’t handle it well, so maybe this is moot: Diana, Margaret(?), Fergie, Stephanie. I think Kate is doing neither well nor terribly. She gets a barely passing grade.

      I guess my underlying thought is that so many of the British male royals seem to resent their position, and I wonder why.

      1. I have such a poor understanding about royalty compared to others on this site so I couldn’t respond in a historical light. But regarding Victoria and Madeleine I think they have had the benefit of their mother’s warm Latin personality (another stereotype, I know). If they’d had a mother like their self centered, dim, dour father I think both women would be different, less gracious people.

        1. I agree with both your takes. Victoria and Madeleine benefit from taking after their mother AND with few exceptions, female royals tend to do the job better.

          I think historically they’ve really had to fight for their position in a way the men have not.

          Primarily gender bias and even when they get the top job, have to prove themselves daily.

          Any mistakes are not so easily forgiven where male rulers got away with murder (literally) without tarnishing their reputations.

          Looking back in history, the famous Queens have been exceptional women whether you agree with their reputation or not, but they had to be to survive otherwise they ended up like Marie Antoinette.

          Or perhaps we’ve had so few female Queens that we haven’t reached that point where tmediocre is the norm just like the men.

  14. Estelle and Oscar are so darling! She is just a sweet little lady (in the first picture where she’s looking at the camera, it’s almost as if she’s giving a little curtsey!) and Oscar is a male-version of his big sis!

    Also, great interview! I can so relate to Victoria in the last part that’s highlighted. I’m in my (gasp!) late 30s but I honest-to-God don’t feel like I am in mind and soul (though my body feels much older but that’s a different story all together 😉 ). Part of me still feels like we should still be debating Team Brenda vs. Team Kelly or Team Brandon vs. Team Dylan (Team Brenda and Team Brandon for me!). Or that it’s still the early 2000s. Where the heck has the time gone?! Adding to it, I don’t have kiddos of my own (yet….I hope!) which might partially explain why I still feel so young inside.

    Last: guess who booked her flight for Chicago for 4th of July weekend? Yup, this girl! I’m going to meet my donor family!!!!!!!!!!! (I’m refraining from using all caps though I’ll use a ton of exclamation points ’cause I’m super excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!) 😀

    Also, my 18 year old cousin is moving up here today to start the summer session at FSU!! She’s only like, a mile or so away from me!!! I hope she is willing to sometimes spend time with her nerdy, much-older (though young-looking 😉 ) cousin. I *may* have made her a college survival kit as a high school graduation gift and I can’t wait to give it to her!

    1. An exciting time coming up, Kimothy. WIIshing you the best!!! A very emotional and dear time for all of you. How happy the donor family will be to meet you and know how well you are doing! I get chills thinking about this all!!!

      1. Lol! Well, when I said Team Brenda vs. Team Kelly, I was talking about Summer of 1992 when Brenda and Donna went to Paris and Kelly and Dylan hooked up. I still don’t blame Brenda at all for being PO’d at her best friend and boyfriend getting together! That’s just breaking one of the ultimate girl code/BFF rules!

        Also, I was just more of a Brandon than Dylan girl b/c I’ve never really been one to fall for the “bad boys” and I thought (still do, for that matter 😉 ) that Jason Priestley was/is extremely good looking. 🙂

        But I agree, Brenda and Dylan were one of the best couples on BH, 90210 (though Donna and David were definitely up there!).

        Last, thank you! I’m nervous but excited!

      2. I loved Brenda and Dylan together. I will never forgive spelling for breaking them up and setting Dylan up with Kelly.

    2. Good luck w/ the meet. I’m sure your and their emotions are running the gamut. Hopefully you get to visit some of the great museums Chicago has too!

    3. I’m sure they’ll love you, Kimothy. You’ve done so much with the gift they bestowed and that will give them so much joy and relief, if tinged with sadness. Enjoy yourself!

    4. That’s so so exciting!! I’m 30 so I know how you feel in he sense of not feeling very ‘old’…especially online where I remember always being the baby. 🙂

      It makes me laugh you talking about FSU because I wanted to go there, all my cousins go to school there or have graduated and so it makes me kinda nostalgic to visit again!

  15. One thing that struck me was her mention of Princess Lilian. I had to Google who she was. Reading about her place in the Swedish royal family and how she’s the aunt to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, it just reminded me that they’re really just all a big family. Yet, we never hear anything from William and Harry about anyone other than Diana. It’s like they’re completely disconnected from everyone else. They only mention the Queen when they’re directed there and they rarely mention Charles even when an interviewer goes in that direction. I can understand being closer to one side of the family than the other, but they also never mention the Spencers and I’ve never seen any indication that they’re close. It’s like they inhabit their own little bubble. It strikes me as sad.

    I think Victoria has her head on her shoulders and she’s my favorite royal. The way she carries herself is extraordinary and she’s very relatable despite the fact that she inhabits the most un-relatable position on earth. I’m so glad she’s willing to speak about her troubles with eating disorders and now looks so healthy and doesn’t chase after the smallest dress size. The way she’s raising her kids to embrace their future role and destiny is admirable. Her happy little family makes me so happy.

  16. What a sweet Midsummer gift to us. I love Estelle’s warm grin, and Oscar’s serious face, just as Victoria described them.

    I don’t know why we don’t want to compare them to the BRF. Making comparisons is how we evaluate: is this person a good role model; do we admire and wish to emulate them? I think the BRF has exactly the public life they aimed for. For years they were snooty about the “bicycle monarchies”. They still rarely interact with them, always sending Sophie, who I admire, but who is really a minor royal. They put themselves on a higher pedestal. Now those bicycle monarchies ride rings around them in terms of being in touch with and representing their citizens. The BRF could learn a lot from those they disdained.

    Of course I think Victoria is exceptional, and would be very hard to match.

    1. I think we can compare except in areas where we can not.

      The Swedes are navigating the public/ private life very well.

      The Brits, not so much.

  17. I love these pics and I don’t even mind all the white the swedes are loving at the moment! In these pics they come off as sweet and airy. I love the blooming tree in the background.
    I liked this interview and I did compare the two family’s just because it shows the differing mindset. She doesn’t look at her job/life as some great burden but a great privilege. The other comparison I made is that Victoria, who has every right in my mind, to hate her father-still says nice things about him. Yet William and Harry can hardly ever say anything nice about theirs, the nice comments seemed to be reserved only for Diana.
    I find it strange that Royals always talk about being away from their kids so much because of work. What do they think they mass majority of parents do? For family’s with two working parents, this what they miss about working-Key moments in their kids life. Yet the royals work way less than most family’s working 40+ hrs wk

    1. Exactly so I find royals waffling about being there for their kids even with their busy jobs, kind of patronizing. Even Victoria, who actually sees her job as a privilege, I had to laugh when she said she’s a professional woman along with a mother. No my dear, you and other royals just Swan about in fancy clothes, wave at the public a few times a year and take up public money and resources. Some royals put in a bit more work in working for charitable interests- but that about sums up the royals of today.

  18. Thank you KMR, for these wonderful photos, and the interview with Victoria. I really like the one of Oscar and Estelle on the sofa and the first one. The way Victoria dresses them is classy and the children look comfortable. Estelle is really looking grown up and seeing Oscar toddle around is cute.
    I didn’t know Victoria had an eating disorder. I am guessing that Victoria must have been very insecure at one point. I like the way Victoria focuses on her family life and public duty. A real role model as well as her sister especially to tweens and young adults.
    I also like the way that Victoria talks about her family and being there. Children do change but it is good that Victoria is taking time with them now before becoming Queen.

    1. Victoria said that being thrust into public life at 18, after a lifetime of being private, triggered her ED. Something about putting pressure on herself to be perfect.

      I tjink that’s why she’s easing her kids into the life. She doesn’t want them to be shocked like she was.

      1. I can imagine it was not an easy time. I think I read something about a guy at university. Who knows. That is Victoria’s business but I do like her honesty.

  19. What beautiful and happy kids! Thanks Victoria for sharing these pics with us! Moreover, who is their photographer? The Swede family photos always hit the mark- what with the lighting, the composition, how engaging the subjects of the photo are. Kate’s photos of her kids in comparison look completely lifeless- the photos of Charlotte do not show her personality and George looks reserved and worried in his.

  20. I think after Charles passes we will see a big reduction in the BRF carrying out public duties. Neither William or Harry seem to be as invested as Victoria in the future of their country and the interview that Harry gave just cements my opinion. Maybe they will only be involved in charities of their choice, but I see two youngish men ( who are quickly approaching middle age) who simply want to live the privileged life they were born into out of the public eye as much as possible. All this talk about being ‘normal’ is becoming a bunch of hooey. So disappointing.

    1. Harry said that plainly in jis interview. By the time of William, they will have reduced thevnumber of engagements to the very few that interest them that they can be handson. major eyeroll to the reasoning because that’s been their PR line since the beginning. ( i’m still pissed off by that interview)

      I think that intent explains why they do not take on more engagements no matter how much the media calls them workshy or embarrassing it is to be outworked by a bunch pof seniors many decades older than them.

      They are creating low expectations that will eventually lead to no more work by the time William is King except for stuff he can’t get away from eg state opening of parliament.

      1. I agree.
        For Harry, hands-on will mean taking a few trips to Africa each year or activities involving wounded veterans, which I have no problem with but as for William and Kate, who can even figure out what they are really interested in. Neither W or K seem to have any passion or curiosity about anything.

      2. Why do they think somehow it’s ‘modernizing’ when you ditch the bread and butter lifeblood of the monarchy by refusing to go out and meet people? It boggles the mind.

        I get it for William, he hates his life, he hates people, he hates meeting people and wants to lock himself, Kate and their kids in their ivory tower of luxury so they don’t have to deal with the world and can be seen on their own terms, rarely.

        It’s not like Charles would dump these things, instead he’s changing how they are done or focusing on certain initiatives and meeting people within those contexts… Why don’t they learn from their dad? Sigh. Charles should just fire all of their people considering he pays for them and make them hire real, legitimate staff… not these idiots…

        Like I said, to me, those engagements would be hell of a lot of fun!

      3. Herazeus, I don’t doubt your reasoning for a moment though other things will most likely have played out by then: Australia and maybe Canada will have their own Heads of State though still be in the Commonwealth; other countries may have gone down this route too. Older generations of UK monarchists will have passed away, not necessarily replaced by younger believers. Plus a raft of domestic and global politics also play into this too. The trio might have their clever plan to lower expectations but will the public wear it?

        1. I agree with you 100% Jen.

          I interpreted his comment in the context that he is assuming that all will remain the same in terms of number of UK realms and Commonwealth countries and number of organisations currently patroned or needing to be patroned by the royals.

          Setting aside the lack of foresight about the obvious signs that this will / may not hold past HM’s death, he sets out a work strategy that clearly says they will not attend to any of it. Only the parts that interest them in a personal way.

          It brings to mind their public self-congratulation after the positive reaction to HT marathon whereby they said that they were planning to commit long term only AFTER seeing positive reaction to their efforts.

          They clearly don’t have the backbone Charles had when everyone was making fun of him for championing the environment and organic farming.

          He also describes royal work as charity and clearly doesn’t understand other aspects of the job. He dismisses the ‘ribbon cutting’ aspects of it yet those ‘ribbon cuttings’ are the primary reason royals have held onto power for centuries.

          The charity stuff is recent, but that took precedent over the ribbon cutting because the Europe monarchies were falling. People didn’t need ribbon cutting as much.

          In the past ribbon cutting meant the royals were in effect showing themselves to the people.

          No one needs Trooping of the colour. Yet i bet he can’t see that this is also ribbon cutting, but on a bigger scale.

          Using lessons from history, The Tudors used to go on progress around the country to show themselves.

          Queen Victoria was paraded as a child around the country.

          These were grand gesture types of ribbon cuttings, but i can tell you, the communities and organisations around the country that receive royal visitors who drop in for a chat and a cuppa are the most loyal royalists in the UK. Not the grand gesture charity lot.

          During the Jubillee year 2012, the Queen made a stop in my dorset village on her UK wide tour of the country. My village is so tiny that the village post office is our social hub. It’s also the newsagent and supermarket. The village has 2 pubs and, wierdly, 5 tea shops. You have to take a 30min bus-ride to find the nearest big town.

          The Queen’s visit lasted about 2hrs. She met kids, villagers, her ladies accepted the flowers, dogs and horses were petted and off she went.

          On the few occassions i’ve gone to visit, the locals are still thrilled that she visited.

          This is what ribbon cutting means. I think people think about opening of shops or hospitals as the sum total of ribbon cutting and forget the other type.

          Having said all that, if WHK are this clueless about what it means, and the simmering undercurrents waiting to burst after HM dies, they are going to be shocked. In this age of the elites being shocked by the peasants wanting Brexit, voting in extreme politicians, wanting better politicians, it will be a rude awakening for them.

    1. What 4yr old is concerned with modesty?

      Who looks at a 4yr old child and immediately thinks they should be modest?

      Sexualising a 4yr old child is ergregious.

      Why would you even go there?

      1. Perhaps modesty was the wrong word. I am the mother of a young child, and also a student of social work. I tend to cringe when I see children running around in dresses and no leggings. I’ve worked in schools and see many arrive that day, and later want to play on the monkey bars, leaving their underwear showing. Some people do sexualize young children. I do not, but I know some do and I know that we need to protect children from predators. Yes, the girl in the photo is probably at home, and dressed only for a photo shoot, but that is still what I think when I see it. I go there because of my educational and work background.

        1. I also left out that the dress looks more like a nightgown to me, so the juxtaposition of her in pajamas and him in fancy clothes is rather odd to me.

      2. I’m with you, Herazeus. And in the context of these photos where they were obviously dressed to create a tableau? Much ado about nothing.

        I imagine if Estelle were going to play on the monkey bars afterward, she’d change into something a bit more easy to navigate in!

    1. No doubt it was planned a while ago, but it does speak to how his schedule is so… fluid. Harry does what he likes, it seems. No need to be anywhere in particular.

      1. Hi Jen, I agree that was probably planned some time ago but I’m just not sure how a third luxury vacation half way through the year fits into the whole “normal” and “ordinary” narrative the younger royals are trying to sell.

        1. Lauri, according to the article he’s there to work – but he’s doing it for the people, not for himself, obviously. He’s so normal he probably even set up his own tent, like we all do when we take a week off in a luxury trip to help care for elephants. Ugh.

        2. It doesn’t play well at all, Queen Lauri. Harry and William are used to having unpleasant things airbrushed from their histories by a phalanx of palace PR, not to mention compliant media, so no accountability needed. Until he’s scared he’s in danger of losing his cherished entitlements, he’ll carry on.

          1. I just returned from my local Stop and Shop (Supermarket) where the lines at the cash registers were longer than usual. As I waited rather impatiently and did my best to sooth my fussy daughter who was sitting so impatiently in the baby seat of the grocery cart, I tried to imagine what it must be like for Harry when he ventures out to grocery shop. Wonder if the lines are as long and tedious for him! Wonder if he ever has to put something back because he hasn’t brought enough money with him! I have so many questions. His normal life must pale in comparison to mine!

    2. It just reiterates his love for Africa and expensive holidays and his disdain for working in the U.K. Not a good move after the interview. Someone should have mentioned postponing it. Maybe they did and he didn’t listen or they think having him away until it dies down helps?
      The comments aren’t kind at all tho

      1. Hi Sarah, yeah the comments on the Express and Telegraph aren’t any kinder, most are of the mind set of if you don’t want the job, then don’t take it but get a “normal” job and leave your perks behind. And it does seem that folks are getting weary of the “poor me” routine.

      2. How the comments can be kind after what he revealed ? He has basically given republicans a goldmine of ammunition to use.
        Besides, the article states that he will stay in a luxury resort of 350£ the night. Guess, who is paying ? The taxpayer ! People have every right to be pissed.

  21. A late response to Harry’s interview; It’s quite clear he needs someone who’s confident and full of purpose to balance himself out. He’s obviously in a lost state and a strong woman can straighten him out like Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary.

    1. Frederick has been ‘straightened out’ by being made completely impotent by Mary who loves the fame and fortune and the life. Frederick who’s been caught cheating many times, and never works. I wouldn’t use them as an example…

        1. There is. He was snogging a gal before the twins were christened. Picture evidence.

          I mean, Mary is no better than Kate – stalked a man for a very long time. While Frederick was with somebody else.

          1. Again that Royal Dish rhetoric is crazy; how can she stalk him when she was living in Australia. He asked her to move to Europe to be with him; that’s not stalking that’s typically how intercontinental relationships work.

            Again where is the actual photo of him kissing this woman. And if he were to be cheating how is that a negative against her. She has 4 children and may not want to break up her family, that’s extremely common.

      1. Made impotent? Caught cheating? Mary obsessed with fame and fortune??

        How often do you visit Royal Dish? That website is not based in reality. Mary and Fred are a great example because he’s much more focused as a family man.

        1. I don’t agree with a lot of the OTT hatred of Mary there but there’s quiiite a lot of evidence Mary isn’t some saint and Frederik (I kept spelling it Frederick, whoops) is not. Pictures of him snogging other women don’t lie. And the fact Mary went after him after Felipe rejected her, during the Olympics. Chest-rubbing, anyone? That stuff isn’t some anti-Mary fantasy. I don’t think Mary is any better than Kate, though I don’t think she’s the anti-Christ or anything.

          Mary works sometimes, so that’s something and definitely more than her husband who is lazy; Frederik doesn’t really do much, and seems a depressed, lost soul. I feel for him as he doesn’t seem like a happy person.

          1. Again you read too much Royal Dish. Where are the pictures of him ‘snogging’ other women, where is the evidence of her chasing after Felipe and who said anything about her being a saint except you. I just think she balanced him out perfectly; it doesn’t mean she’s a perfect human. I have a lot of respect for Mary because of her work with domestic violence and curbing FGM and you clearly don’t. Whatever.

          2. Yes, I don’t like Mary because I don’t think she does any work at all with much of anything. She tries to make herself relevant and important; her husband does little work of note. (Then you have Joachim who acts like the heir and is far more dignified, though I hear he is not the nicest guy on the block. He works more!) All that spending as much money as she can. We think Kate’s bad? Whoo, Mary is a dozen times worse with all that Prada.

            Don’t be so nasty. We can dislike people. Shocking.

            I’ve seen photos of Frederik kissing other women – gasp – and this before I even read that forum, I didn’t have much of a good opinion of Mary. People who were with her said she went after Felipe first, and settled on Frederik, in that pub, and he was dating another woman. Pretty scuzzy of them both.

          3. Ok whatever you seem grossly negative but you can easily Google the work Mary has done for domestic violence. Again you can post pictures and links but you have none.

  22. Bit late, but how wonderful are these pictures! So simple and yet lovely and great! I really enjoy pictures of these two growing up… if it’s during official engagements or photoshoots, they always seem happy and enjoying themselves.

    I also really enjoyed Victorias interview. She’s intelligent, loving, caring… a real role model!

  23. In the d,m. it is Vicky in Sweden turn! Vic stated that she misses her kids important moments. If Harry & Victoria are that unhappy they can leave? This poor little me syndrome is disgusting!

    1. Oh, I don’t read it at all that way. You work, you miss important moments of your children’s lives; that’ s how it is. But she won’t give up the day job, so to speak, and seems to balance it quite well I think.

    2. So any working parent who says they miss their kids while at work should just quit working? Victoria didn’t do the poor me act, she said she misses some moments because she works, and then she talked about balance. Tons of working parents do the same without going poor me. Victoria’s interview is not the same poor me crap that Harry’s interview had.

      1. It seems to me that Victoria’s interview was a well written one where as the Harry interview was off balanced and I wonder if we are seeing more of the writer’s point of view than what Harry actually said?

        1. With both interviews, I only quoted Harry and Victoria’s actual quotes and left out what the authors wrote.

          1. Hi KMR

            Thanks for your response, I actually edited my comment but must have left it too long so it didn’t come through.

            I thought your posts of both articles are the fairest and most well balanced I’ve seen. It must get hard to pick the good bits out of all the crazy articles floating around? Hmm, I’m thinking of that one about Harry getting a ring made for Meghan out of a necklace, no a bracelet…

            I read some of these and think “Oh, what ever next?”

            How about you?

            Hope your day is going well?

        2. Cathy: +1

          “It seems to me that Victoria’s interview was a well written one where as the Harry interview was off balanced and I wonder if we are seeing more of the writer’s point of view than what Harry actually said?”

          I thought the same.

  24. Ellie i respect your opinion! I am just stating that they are very fortunate to have their privilege positions. They have good health, families & money! Some people are battling unemployment, abuse, homelessness, hunger & addiction. I think that they should be thankful!

    1. They definitely are, that’s for sure! Very lucky they can have more time with their kids than most of us can.

  25. KMr & everyone i respect your opinions! I just think Harry & Vic do not realize how lucky they are! Victoria should not get away with along Henry for whining. In stead of whining, take your self & your descendents & go live like every 1 else does! Let a relative take over problem solved!

    1. I don’t look at it as she’s whining about her lot in life like William and Harry do. William uses his issues against his parents working as a reason why he can’t work. Which is even more laughable when you consider he was at boarding school but whatevs
      In the same interview she says how she just wants to serve the people of Sweden.
      Up thread I said I find it laughable when royals complain how work keeps them away from their kids considering they’re not working 40+ hrs that many two income family’s are but regardless how many hrs you work, you never know if you’re going to miss some of those keystone moments. Almost all working parents I know have voiced the same complaint.
      To rub salt in the Harry comment wound the dm should have really gone with the header. I just want to serve my people =)

      1. I think such statements are made in an attempt to ‘relate’ to the average family. A bit like W+K recounting tropes about their children, or how they get takeaway food etc. It just backfires, with people bristling at being patronised.

        It gets closer to the bone when ‘royals’ claim missing family time is so awful. That makes people harden up even more since many have huge work commitments beyond the home just to keep afloat financially. Harry, William and Kate might think they are working hard, given no-one in the BRF works 40+ hour work weeks x 48 weeks of the year or anything even close to that. It’s clear the trio doesn’t do anything approaching full-time, or even part-time hours – more like casual hours.

        I’m guessing that this latest interview from W+H is one of several lead ups to Diana’s 20th anniversary. The public reaction is not what the brothers anticipated. They have failed to read the public mood; fewer people are touched by the ‘mummy card’ and see it for the manipulative gesture it is. Plus are just plain weary amidst the backdrop of current events and years of austerity. They have more important things to worry about. The ‘Diana pass to a life of pissing about’ is not bullet-proof. It will be interesting to see how the 20th anniversary plays out to the public; there will, of course, be many who remember Diana with great affection, and others – possibly even more – for whom she does not resonate at all.

        Does anyone recall a couple of years ago when W+K visited a charity and had their pics taken with a small group of young people in their late teens? When asked afterwards by press of their impressions of the couple, they were unmoved, cynically stating that W+K were only there for the photo op. In no way were they touched by the ‘royal magic’ and saw it for what it was – a PR exercise for the royal couple. I think their comments were later excised from the article. I’ll wager that millennials won’t have a bar of monarchy.

        1. May I just add something, Jen? The ones that W+H need to touch/reach out to won’t understand these interviews about their mother because they were either too young, just babies, or not even conceived when Diana passed away. They weren’t around during the whole War of the Wales, Diana’s Panorama interview and the nation’s/world’s reaction when Diana died. They can be told about her via parents/older siblings/grandparents but it just won’t register like it does with us and especially those who are even just a few years older than me and remember more details (I have a friend who remembers waking up early to watch Charles and Diana wed. I was almost 19 months old so way too young. 😉 ) than I do.

          Example: I was 11 months old when John Lennon was killed. Do I enjoy music by The Beatles and believe that their music is timeless? Sure but friends of mine who are in their 40s go on and on about John and the rest of the guys. I don’t get that intimate connection that they have with them and their music. Not the exact same thing but similar enough, IMO.

          1. I was 8 when Diana died and only learned about her after her death. So yeah, I don’t have any connection to her and don’t really care that much about her at all. I would think there are a lot of people like me who only learned about her after her death and don’t so much care. W&H should focus on building their own legacy, not reminding people of Diana’s.

        2. I agree with you both – Kimothy and KMR. Diana is a blind spot, though, for W+H. They assume (I suspect) that people are still in that 1997 place with memories of Diana. They have also learned to conjure their mother for their own personal good PR. People have come to see this, as well as see that the brothers are using their mother to air the dirty Windsor linen.

          As you both point out, times and people have changed. While some are looking forward to the commissioned statue being available to be visited, others consider W+H cheeky asking for contributions for essentially a private memorial they should have funded themselves. I don’t think people would have expressed the latter opinion a year ago. It will be interesting to see how 31 August plays out. People respect W+H’s grief, but also think this now needs to be private. The men (no longer boys) need to work on developing their own legacies, as you say KMR, rather than lean on their mother’s achievements.

          1. All I see is two guys pushing the Diana anniversary for who knows what reason. I’ve said before, why the 20th, and not the 25th? It’s not even a milestone. And these are two supposedly grown men who are milking her death for all its worth and oversharing like crazy. Too much freaking information. Go see a therapist. That’s all I see. It’s comes off as embarrassingly self-indulgent.

            I stayed up to watch her wedding, and remember her death, but honestly, enough is enough! Put her in the past as a blessed memory instead of raising her corpse again and again. What they’re doing seems pretty damned pointless to me.

            And in the end, it just looks like cynical and shallow PR to elevate them and justify their immaturity and unwillingness to grow up and be accountable. I think their motivation is pretty simple and it really shows in their inability to offer any cogent arguments. Adulthood is smacking them in the face now and demanding they step up and they don’t want any part of it.

        3. Jen, I think you are right on the money that W&H’s intent is to build up some sort epic homage to Diana as the 20th anniversary approaches. I wonder if the reason they are doing such a bad job of it with their silly, tone deaf soul bearing is because they have some ambivalence towards her. I believe they were both deeply unhappy and hurt by their parents. If you look at H at Eton he looks dead eyed and lost like easy prey for someone like Nicholas Knatchbull who thought it was funny to introduce H to drugs. Both boys seem easily influenced by opportunists.

          I agree with KMR that there is an entire generation that has no idea why she was such a sensation. That could be another reason they seem to be struggling to convey what their mother was to them. It seems that as much as Diana brought people together she was also equally divisive.

  26. These pictures are stunning!! I wish we would get this quality of photos of George and Charlotte. Reading about Princess Victoria’s sense of duty is really interesting. I agree with other comments that she seems to be a really grounded person. I also feel that she comes across as very relatable, particularly to other mothers like myself. Thank you for covering the Swedish royals KMR- I always love reading about what they are up to!

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