From the Royal Archives: Henry VIII’s Break-Up Letter

I suspect we’ve all been plagued with a passive aggressive break-up text or two in today’s day and age. I most definitely have. But unlike the following scenario, I doubt the guys in my life who chose such a cowardly approach to do it would thought more than 5 seconds about what to write.

Unlike… King Henry VIII who called a counsel to craft the perfect break-up letter. (And I’m not sure which is the worse of the two, calling a council or firing of a text with little to no thought at all.)

[The following takes place during the divorce of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.]

Catherine waited a few days; then, as more and more of the courtiers that remained rode off to join the King, she wrote her husband a letter. She was sorry she had not been roused before he left to bid him Godspeed. She would be happy to know that he was well.

Back came a curt and querulous reply. Little she cared about his health or peace of mind. Her obstinacy was destroying both. He was better when he did not see her.

Catherine wrote again, submissively, but with a dignified hint that if this was good-bye, at least their long life together made it only decent that good-bye should be spoken face to face.

This time Henry chose to treat his wife’s letter as a state document. He made it the subject of a council meeting which consumed several days in drafting a short, harsh answer, the gist of which was that the Queen’s disobedience in refusing the neutral court at Cambrai had so displeased the King that he did not wish to see her again.


Source:

Mattingly, Garrett. “Part III: The Divorce of Henry VIII (1527-1536); Chapter Three, Section iv” Catherine of Aragon. New York: Quality Paperback , 1990. 334. Print.

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Royal Protocol: ‘The Duchess Slant’

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When your brain is full of really obnoxiously random royal facts such as mine, it takes all I have not to scream when coming across headlines as those that were floating around yesterday after the Queen’s Young Leaders event.

No, no, the majority of headlines were not about the aforementioned young leaders, rather the fact that Meghan…

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The time I chatted with Will & Kate in Hamburg

Yes! It’s true! I met and chatted with both! But first we must rewind…

In the middle of June, the royals announced a seemingly spontaneous tour of Poland and Germany. My sweet coworkers, knowing my love of royals, began emailing me and stopping by my office to alert me of the news. And after a few strokes of the keyboard, I was able to verify.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

It was true. The British were, in fact, coming! But I didn’t let myself get my hopes up too much. You see, I’ve seen the Danish royals when the visited in May of 2015, and I didn’t manage to snag so much as a wee wave. So getting to even talk to William or Kate? “Yeah right,” I thought.

And, as my father so lovingly reminds me often, “Keep your expectations low and you’ll never be disappointed.”

Armed with my father’s wisdom and the reality that Kate fans can be a bit… pushy, I wasn’t hoping for more than a photo up close.

Fast forward a few weeks to the day of…

I’m lucky in that I live near the Elbphilharmonie, one of their stops on the tour, as well as the fact that I get that generous, European amount of vacation days, and as an American who still feels guilty for taking time off, well I had more than enough left over to use a half day.

So I hoped on my bike around 12 to head that way. They were due to arrive at 2:40 p.m. As I rode down that way I couldn’t help but be a bit disgruntled with myself that I hadn’t managed much earlier. I was expecting a crowd of thousands already set up.

I was pleasantly surprised when I came upon a mere hundred, leaving me plenty of time to post up.

First, though, I’d have to strategize where to stand. So I found a news anchor who was preparing herself and asked where she was planning to get the shot. (As a journalism major, I knew she had the best insider scoop.) She was super kind and explained that the majority of the crowd was near the entrance as Kate & Will were due around 2:00p.m. to enter the concert hall… BUT(!), if I was willing to wait, and wanted a more “personal” experience, she recommended  I stand at the hardly crowded exit, as they would take time after the concert for a walkabout.

So I found a spot that, admittedly, was almost too good to be true. And I waited. My good friend met me on her lunch break and was patient enough with me to put up with my competitiveness with the crowd for a good position.

The crowd made for some grand people watching as we waited.

There was the Kate Middleton lookalike — there were many actually, and I kind of loved the amount of reporters even trying to replicate Kate’s style.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

There was the lady who was PISSED that the royals were even there. (Purposely cropped out.)

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

There was a royal pup! IMG_6764

And the people opting for a birds-eye view… IMG_6776

Then before we knew it, was time. (Quick side note: there was a woman there determined to get the books she wrote into Kate’s hands. At first it was endearing. Then it became… intense. But her determination meant that Kate stopped and chatted with our portion of the crowd, so I guess that’s a plus!)

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Kate in HamburgIMG_6799Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Kate very graciously accepted the books as the woman gave her the books for George’s 4th birthday. It was very sweet actually. And Kate was so kind and patient. It is worth noting that Kate does seem rather shy. I don’t know how she managed the crowd. I was overwhelmed and no one was hollering my name or shoving things my direction. She was so graceful under pressure.

My journalism instincts must have kicked into high-gear next, as I somehow managed to catch this exchange between Kate and the girl next to me (whom I did not film for privacy reasons).

The girl told Kate how much she appreciated the work they’ve done for mental health with Heads Together (which they have done wonderfully, and something I’ve been meaning to write about on here for a while). Kate took the time to be so incredibly kind and thoughtful in her response. It was truly amazing how she managed to stay focused with many other people in the crowd.

Bravo Kate. Bravo.

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(A selfie! I couldn’t help but think back to this post. And I couldn’t dare ask her to pose with me. I actually became surprisingly tongue-tied upon actually meeting her!)

I was so starstruck after saying hello and shaking Kate’s hand (not captured on film, of course), that I almost nearly forgot William was coming as well.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in HamburgMeeting Wills and Kate in Hamburg

William was asking people if they spoke English, and somehow I managed to think quick and use this to my advantage. I piped up, “Greetings from America, Will!” To which he immediately came our way and shook my hand, asking, “Whereabouts in America are you from?” “Kansas!” I replied, the shock clear in my voice. “Kansas! What a beautiful spot,” he replied.

My mind was blown. I had just spoken with Prince William. THE Prince William whose name adorned my sister and my’s custom “I LOVE PRINCE WILLS” pencils throughout elementary schoool… THE Prince William whose photo I had affixed to my wall for most of my adolescence. THE Prince William whose wedding my sister and I woke up at 4 a.m. to watch. THE Prince William who is third inline to the throne. THE Prince William who will one day be the King of England.

It was clear. I had royally peaked.

Part II. soon to follow, wherein I start to get rude DMs from people across the world for my royal posts. 😉

13 ‘new’ facts: Vogue’s Insight to the British Royals

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With the new Prince Charles biography, Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Lifewe’re sure to get some new information about the British Royals. Vogue gives us glimpse inside with 13 facts revealed by author Sally Bedell Smith. 

Here are three I found particularly interesting

After Prince William and Kate Middleton got married, the dynamics within the royal family changed
Besides Prince Charles, the Queen and Prince Philip have three other children—Princess Royal Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. They’re a nuclear family, but since Prince William and Kate Middleton have added to the next generation in line for the throne, the royal family has become somewhat two-tiered. An example of this came during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee during a flotilla on the Thames. Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry joined the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles on their boat. Princess Anne, Princes Andrew and Edward, and their families rode down the river separately.

Prince Harry participated in at least one missile attack against the Taliban while he was deployed in Afghanistan
Prince Harry has done a fair amount of service, including being deployed to Afghanistan for a 4-month stretch. He was an Apache helicopter pilot and served as a copilot gunner in a missile attack on the Taliban.

The Queen’s death is now more of an open topic
A recent long-form article in The Guardian discussed the secret plan for what will happen when the Queen dies. But among the royal household and the royal family, the Queen apparently believes that an open discussion is “healthy and important.”

Getting serious with Harry & Meghan

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As you all know, I love a good theory, especially when there are legitimate clues involved. So last night, while perusing the old Instagram, I decided to check Meghan’s. I was surprised to see her latest post about shutting down her blog, The Tig. What would normally be of little interest to me, this news actually piqued my interest. Because for me, this points to things getting serious for her and Harry. I know that many people expect her exit on Suits to be the ultimate sign — and which I expect to inevitably happen within the next year — but I think this is a sign as well.

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While I understand that running a blog is actually a lot of work, cough cough this blog is a prime example, I don’t think she was doing it all herself. And I have a sneaking suspicion she has  lot of down time while holed up at Harry’s Kensington Palace apartment. So why shut it down? Or why not just put it on a hiatus? Something bigger is at play here, and I for one really really hope we have news of an engagement soon because I am beyond intrigued to see how their relationship can bring some life to the British Royal Family. And because we all want Harry to be happy.

Though, of course, this will break my Harry + Chelsy-loving heart… le sigh.

What do you think? Am I reaching or is there something to be said about the shutting down of “The Tig”?

British Royal Lineage: A Brief History

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The lineage of the British Royal Family is hairy and hard to follow. I must admit, up until a few days ago I was hardly able to begin to explain it. But earlier this week I came across this summary and thought it was incredibly informative and well done. Perhaps you’ll feel the same.

 

More than anything, it truly shows just how fateful it was for Queen EII to end up on the throne. Plus, how lucky are the Windsors to have a family tree with so much detail! I would love to have libraries full and dedicated to my family’s heritage! 😉

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle: A love match at last?

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I had no idea who Meghan Markle was until a few weeks ago when her name started popping up in headlines across the web. I googled her a bit, was stunned by her beauty, and found the fling to be rather believable. Emphasis on fling. Then the palace released a statement on Harry’s behalf pleading to leave his new lady in peace, and I knew she must really be something. (Side note: I also thought that must really irk Kate seeing as how she waited for William for ten years during which she was hounded by the press, only William hardly spoke up for her…)  And William just released his own statement on the matter…

Speaking of Kate, the Kate and Meghan comparisons are in full swing. And there’s already rumor aplenty that Kate is already feeling threatened by Meghan (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course).

It’s pretty incredible, to say the least, how far the royals have come in such a short time (relatively speaking), it was only 60 years ago that Princess Margaret was denied her love, Peter Townsend, something worth bringing up because Meghan is a divorcee as was Peter Townsend. But thankfully the Queen seems to have come around, seeing as how Prince Charles married not only a divorcee, but his mistress.

It will be interesting to see how this relationship continues to unfold, I for one hope it ends with the ring, as Harry does seem over the moon, and we’re all hoping Harry finds happiness at last.

What do you think? Should we dust off our fascinators and get ready for a royal wedding?

 

Chelsy Davy talks ‘regrets’ with Town & Country Magazine

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It’s no secret that I still hope Harry & Chelsy work things out; those kids have something special. So when I read this headline I wept a little inside. And I have a sneaking suspicion had Harry read it as well, he probably had a similar reaction…

Chelsy was interviewed for the print edition of Town & Country Magazine (UK edition), and had this to say upon being asked if she had any regrets about not becoming a princess:

“Oh, goodness! No, I’m very happy with that I’m doing right now,” she says fervently. “I’m very sure of who I am and what I want out of life.”

I mean, I’m not sure what they expected her to say? Then again, she does come off rather confident in her answer.

I was shocked to learn she was living back in Africa and not practicing law. Celebitchy explains:

After she graduated from law school, Chelsy worked for a few years in London, but she returned back to her homeland in Africa to start her own business. The business is called Aya Africa, and it’s all about non-conflict jewelry.

That seems pretty cool. And it sounds right up Harry’s alley.

I hope these crazy kids work things out.