Top royal stories of 2019: Harry and Meghans media woes, Andrews scandal and more
It’s fair to say there’s never been a year in the last seven decades when nothing much happened of note in the British royal family, the world’s most famous, most storied royals in the history of modern monarchies. Queen Elizabeth II’s many descendants just can’t help but make news.
This year, 2019, was no different, with highs and lows in the fortunes of the Windsors occupying the news feeds of fans around the globe.
Perhaps the most surprising royal story of the year was the saga of the Sussexes: How did a royal marriage that started out on a super high in 2018 come to tears in 2019?
A year nearly to the day after Prince Harry married the former Meghan Markle –outspoken, biracial, American-born, divorced, a former actress – in a blaze of royal splendor and joy, she gave birth to Archie, the first baby of part African descent in the family.
How is the royal family adjusting to Meghan? How is she adjusting to them? As we learned this year, it’s complicated.
Here, in chronological order, are the top royal stories of 2019:
The then-97-year-old Duke of Edinburgh escaped injury although his Land Rover was totaled. A passenger in the other car was treated for a broken wrist, and a 9-month-old baby in the car was uninjured.
Aside from relief that he was pulled unscathed from such a mangled vehicle, there was widespread shock that the nonagenarian was still driving himself – and sometimes without security.
But maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise: Since his youth, Philip, now 98, collected race cars and loved to drive them – very fast, according to the often alarmed queen. A man who prizes his few opportunities for independence from royal restraints, he would not be happy giving up his car keys.
Maybe it’s because it’s his amateur photographer mum is behind the camera.
May 6: Royal baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is born
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan of Sussex’s much anticipated royal baby was born amidst confusion and mystery: The privacy-seeking couple did not release his place of birth or the circumstances, and palace plans to inform the media of timing went awry.
Later, we learned he was born at 5:26 a.m. local time in an American-owned London hospital to which she was rushed from Windsor in the middle of the night.
They met top royals like Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge and Prince Harry (but not Harry’s American wife, new mom Meghan, or the queen’s husband, Prince Philip).
There was a lavish white-tie state banquet at the palace and a reciprocal dinner for the royals at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence. The Trumps visited Westminster Abbey, took tea with Charles and his wife, Duchess Camilla, at Clarence House, met with Britain’s political leaders and took part in ceremonies commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
The news was greeted with incredulity by many tabloid columnists – a “snub” to the queen, they brayed – even though the palace insisted the queen approved of their Christmas plans. Besides, Will and Kate spent at least two Christmas holidays with Kate’s family away from Sandringham in the early years of their marriage.
So if Harry and Meghan just want to get away from all the negativity during the holidays, who can blame them?