June 2020
Vol 41 No 6
Members of the royal family offer their support as the pandemic situation worsens; the Queen’s state visits to Scandinavia in the 1950s; Royal Ascot revisited.
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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

The Duke of Edinburgh’s 99th birthday is on 10 June. Reaching his 100th year apparently holds little joy for him, as he famously said to biographer Gyles Brandreth at the time of the Queen Mother’s centenary in 2000: ‘I don’t want to live to be a hundred, I can’t imagine anything worse.’

When questioned, Prince Philip always maintained he tries to live in the present and is not sure how useful it is to speculate about the future unless it is from a scientific angle. He still has strong views, of course, and felt moved to make a rare statement in April about the work being done in the medical and scientific communities to protect us all from Covid-19.

The usual round of royal engagements for June, including the splendid Garter Day at Windsor Castle, have had to be cancelled. The Derby and Royal Ascot meetings have been abandoned and although racing might continue in a limited form ‘behind closed doors’ at Ascot the Queen it seems likely that will remain well and truly shielded behind the castle walls.

She hasn’t even been able to enjoy her gentle rides near the bank of the River Thames with her Stud Groom, Terry Pendry, because of the pandemic. Terry, a former professional jockey, has worked for Her Majesty for 25 years and usually rides with her. Ordinarily he would be spotted deep in conversation with the Queen while they inspect her champion fell ponies about to go into the ring at the Windsor Horse Show – another lost event, which should have taken place in the castle’s Home Park last month.

Her Majesty’s Birthday Parade – Trooping the Colour – at which there is always a gathering of the extended royal family, had been scheduled for 13 June. It is the first time it has been cancelled since 1955, when there was a national rail strike and a state of emergency was called.

Before the Duke of Sussex left for the United States, via Canada, he was filmed at Buckingham Palace reading an introduction to a special TV programme to mark the 75th anniversary of the popular Thomas the Tank Engine children’s books. The episode, titled Thomas and Friends, also featured (with the permission of Buckingham Palace) the Queen and a young Prince Charles as characters. As a child, Harry was a huge fan of Thomas and carried his tank engine satchel on his first day at nursery school in 1987.

‘I certainly have fond memories of Thomas and being transported to new places through his adventures,’ the Duke recalled. No doubt his father, the Prince of Wales, also read him The Old Man of Lochnagar, which he wrote for his siblings Andrew and Edward, 12 and 16 years his junior. The book was published in 1980 in aid of The Prince’s Trust and was later made into an animated film with the voice of the old man narrated by Prince Charles.

A donation for Harry’s participation in Thomas and Friends was made to his sustainable travel initiative, Travalyst, which he continues to support from his Los Angeles base.

This Issue's Features

Members of the royal family offer their support in various ways as the pandemic crisis continues, says Victoria Murphy


The Queen’s state visits to Norway, Sweden and Denmark in the 1950s, by Trond Norén Isaksen


Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and their cousin Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, in focus and full of fun


Margrethe II’s 80th birthday was still a joyous occasion, despite the cancellation of the centrepiece events, by Joe Little


We’ll miss the elegance of Royal Ascot hats this year, so Ingrid Seward looks back at previous millinery masterpieces


The Duke of Edinburgh, although retired from public life, remains in contact with hundreds of organisations


Gustaf V, the Swedish monarch who for a time after the outbreak of the Second World War proved accommodating to Germany


In 2000 Majesty celebrated Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s centenary and Prince William’s 18th too


American women have been marrying European princes since the late 19th century, as Caroline Aston discovered

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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