March 2020
Vol 41 No 3
Shaping a queen; Victoria and the Romanovs; an unwelcome start to 2020 for Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor; Hitler’s man in Stockholm.
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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 question everyone is asking now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have stepped back is who is going to cover their royal duties? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are obvious candidates but their schedules, worked out months in advance, are already almost full.

No doubt things will be divided across the family, but no one is sure about Prince Harry’s military appointments, in particular his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines, which was approved by the Queen after the Duke of Edinburgh retired from public life in 2017. Prince Philip had held that position since 1953, succeeding his late father-in-law, King George VI. Harry was proud to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps, although he had personally never completed the famous commando course.

Senior Royal Marines officers are reportedly dismayed that Harry had to walk away from his position and would like to see Prince William or the Princess Royal in the role. Prince Harry’s other appointments – Commodore-in-Chief of Small Ships and Diving (Royal Navy) and Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington – were bestowed on him by the Queen in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

On Harry and Meghan’s wedding day all three of these units lined the streets of Windsor and considered it a great honour to do so. They subsequently said ‘it bolstered the great relationship between the royal family and the military’.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s self-imposed exile from royal life comes into official effect this spring, which is also the time they hope to be able to unveil their charity plans. They want to set up their non-profit charitable organisation in a style similar to those run by Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Bill and Melinda Gates. Philanthropic Americans get favourable tax deductions on monies ploughed into charitable ventures, which is why they are so generous. This is exactly what Harry and Meghan are hoping for to kick-start their venture.

The Queen and Prince Philip’s first grandchild, Peter Phillips, has made a foray into the world of celebrity endorsement with an advertisement on Chinese television. The shot shows Peter in evening dress looking out of a window over a grand estate sipping a glass of milk served by a butler from a silver platter. He talks of his childhood and recalls enjoying the milk from the Windsor royal dairy.

It is quite harmless as Peter has no royal title, was never dependent on public funds and has always had a career, but it is rather embarrassing. It is unfortunate the Queen and Prince Philip’s ‘favourite’ grandchild should feel the need to do something like this, though understandable if Peter was offered a considerable sum of money for the appearance.

This also applies to Harry and Meghan. They will be able to command vast fees for all kinds of endorsements, but will they look tacky and tasteless? To secure their services would be a major coup for any corporation and therein lies the danger. They need to be financially independent and yet must be circumspect about what they decide to do. It is a worry for all parties concerned, but the couple will go to great lengths to avoid upsetting anyone as they carve out their new life.

This Issue's Features
SHAPING A QUEEN: Elizabeth II was a teenager during the Second World War, the impact of which remains with her, says Jane Dismore
BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER: The life and times of the progressive but still powerful Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman, by Trond Norén Isaksen
QUEEN VICTORIA & THE ROMANOVS: Coryne Hall’s just-published book tells the fascinating story of family relations played out on the world stage
HELL ON EARTH: Phil Dampier is in Poland for a moving ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau
HIGHS & LOWS: A surprisingly bumpy start to 2020 for our resilient Queen and some of those closest to her, says Ingrid Seward
NOTEBOOK: Spectacular South Asian paintings and manuscripts in the Royal Collection will soon go on display in Edinburgh
TO HAVE & TO HOLD: Our 40th anniversary retrospective this month looks at a series of royal betrothals and what happened next
HITLER’S MAN IN STOCKHOLM: Prince Viktor of Wied, the meek German diplomat with impeccable connections to the royal houses of Scandinavia
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 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
Vol 44 No 11
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