February 2022
Vol 43 No 2
The king is dead: long live the queen; platinum jewels in the royal coffers; Princess Margaret remembered; the early days of Elizabeth II's long reign.
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Ingrid Seward
Editor-in-Chief of Majesty Magazine
Ingrid is acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent writers and commentators on the royal family and has published over 15 books and contributed numerous articles to publications worldwide. Ingrid is in the unique position of knowing many members of the royal family personally and through Majesty enjoys a special relationship with the Royal Household.
Letter from the Editor

Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee year begins this month. On 6 February 1952, her father King George VI died in his sleep at Sandringham and Princess Elizabeth, thousands of miles away in the Kenyan bush, became queen. 

During her 70-year reign Queen Elizabeth II has witnessed some of the greatest changes in history with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, by her side. Last February he was admitted to hospital and stayed for a month before returning to Windsor Castle, where he died on 9 April. His funeral was scaled down because of the pandemic restrictions, but this spring there will be a thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey to commemorate his extraordinary life.

In her annual Christmas message, the Queen paid a deeply personal tribute to her ‘beloved Philip’. She explained how she and the rest of the family had readied themselves for their first Christmas without him and that his familiar laugh would be sadly missed. 

‘His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation were all irrepressible. That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him. But life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings; and as much as I and my family miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas.’

With Sandringham cancelled at the eleventh hour, the Queen spent Christmas with several members of her family at Windsor Castle. Among others she was joined by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, all of whom attended a Christmas morning service at St George’s Chapel. The Princess Royal, however, was at Gatcombe Park as her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, had contracted Covid-19.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remained in California but there is no doubt that, however troublesome sections of the media perceive them to be, the Queen will welcome Harry, Meghan and Archie and the great-granddaughter she is yet to meet, Lilibet, in due course. It is nearly two years since they ceased to be working members of the royal family in their quest for an independent life. Last year they signed a four-book deal with Penguin Random House worth a potential £29 million. Meghan is said to be writing a ‘wellness guide’ as part of the contract, while Harry’s book, about which there has been much conjecture, will be published this autumn. It may be uncontentious, but is unlikely to make comfortable reading for the royal family. 

Meghan, meanwhile, has spent much of the past two years locked in a bitter legal battle with Associated Newspapers following the publication of extracts from a letter to her father. She won the case in December when Sir Geoffrey Vos, Master of the Rolls, decreed that ‘the duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter. Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.’ Meghan hailed the ruling as ‘a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right’.

As 2021 drew to a close Buckingham Palace announced that the Duchess of Cornwall had been chosen personally by the Queen to become a Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. All being well, we will see Camilla take part in the Garter Day procession at Windsor Castle in June.

This Issue's Features
TREETOP TO THRONE: Princess Elizabeth was thousands of miles from home when her beloved father died, Trond Norén Isaksen recounts
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: The Duke of Cambridge confides in his podcast audience as he traverses the Norfolk countryside, by Ingrid Seward
GRAND DESIGNS: As Her Majesty’s jubilee year begins, Caroline Aston looks at a selection of magnificent platinum sparklers
MARY: To mark the Crown Princess of Denmark’s 50th birthday this month Coryne Hall recalls her recent achievements
NEW REIGN: Queen Elizabeth II’s first years as monarch were fraught with difficulties beyond her control, as Ingrid Seward explains
PRINCESS MARGARET: 20 YEARS ON: To mark the 20th anniversary of the princess’s death, Christopher Warwick highlights the support Margaret gave to her elder sister
BREAKING AWAY: The Prince of Wales travels to Barbados for its transition from realm to republic, accompanied by Richard Palmer
GREEK TRAGEDY: The peripatetic life and times of Prince Andreas, whose son, the Duke of Edinburgh, thought had been all but forgotten
Our round-up of photographs shows royal families of the world at work and play
Robert Golden reflects on various aspects of regal life, both ancient and modern

See more issues

Vol 45 No 7
Vol 45 No 6
Vol 45 No 5
Vol 45 No 4
Vol 45 No 3
Vol 45 No 2
Vol 45 No 1
Vol 44 No 12
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