OK, a quiet week then. I mean, apart from the total panic that something awful might have happened when an emergency staff meeting was called at Buckingham Palace on Thursday. And the fact that Britain's longest ever serving royal consort is stepping down from public duties after seventy years of dedication and service. Really quiet. I've been thinking about bring back this Saturday slot on the blog for a while, a wrap of what the Windsors have been up to and somehow this week seems kind of right. So, here we go, a look back at the last seven days for the Queen and her family. Guess what's first on the list.....
Prince Philip, 95, at Lord's cricket ground, uttering one of his favourite lines: pic.twitter.com/pltAwfbhai— Peter Hunt (@BBCPeterHunt) May 3, 2017
Prince Philip announced his retirement on May 4th 2017 in a short statement which said he would step back from the autumn after completing his current promised engagements (we don't know what all of those are yet but the last one is in August, we're told). Hindsight is a marvellous thing but his decision to repeat one of his most famous lines during a visit to Lords of May 3rd was clearly a clue....watch Peter Hunt's video above.....
Guest: “I’m sorry to hear you’re standing down”— 5News (@5_News) May 4, 2017
Duke of Edinburgh: “Well I can’t stand up much longer”#BuckinghamPalace #PrincePhilip pic.twitter.com/OP5phPUtgt
Philip's got enough of a sense of humour and a big enough arsenal of quips in his back pocket to make the repetition of that line seem rather odd, really. But given the statement that followed it made sense, a royal way of saying get ready for goodbye. On the day of the announcement itself, the Queen and Prince Philip attended a service and reception for Members of the Order of Merit at St James' Palace. Philip was ready for the comments bound to come his way (see the video from 5 News above). See what I mean about the arsenal of quips.
The same statement told us that the Queen will continue her own engagements as before and so followed all kinds of chat about whether other members of the House of Windsor would spend more time at Elizabeth II's side. As though feeling the weight of millions of stares following a few months where he's been criticised for his workload, the Duke of Cambridge dutifully appeared at his grandmother's side on May 5th to welcome Aun San Suu Kyi to Buckingham Palace. He appears to have the Prince Philip look down to a tee already judging from the photo above.
OK, before we all start feeling too sentimental let's get on with other news. The Queen went on to hold an investiture at Buckingham Palace which saw Anna Wintour pick up her Damehood soon after meeting Aun San Suu Kyi who also had a chat with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House on Friday. Camilla was packing in all the big meetings on May 5th, having bumped into Blondie at Radio 2 just hours earlier when she popped into the Chris Evans Breakfast Show to talk about the 500 Words short story competition and join other judges in reading the shortlisted entries.
Prince Harry had a very special meeting of his own when he paid a secret visit to Great Ormond Street to see Ollie Carroll, the six year old boy who won his heart at last year's WellChild Awards in London. Ollie, who has Battens Disease, walked towards Harry for a hug then. The prince has kept in touch with his family and this week it was revealed he had visited them at the world famous hospital where he was pictured cradling Ollie in his arms. Harry also attended the 100th annual Army v Navy Rugby Match, this year played in support of the Invictus Games and announced he was off to Sydney this summer to help them start the countdown to the 2018 games being held there. He's also off to Singapore for his other charity, Sentebale. That's all taking place in June which means there is at least one whole week coming up when we can all take a break from engagement announcement fever.
Meanwhile, Kate came over all rural on us, posing Princess Charlotte in front of some bales of hay for her second birthday portrait (no, still no clue why) and then heading off to Gloucestershire to find out more about the organisation Farms for City Children where she ended up bottle feeding a lamb called Stinky.
The Duke of York headed to San Francisco to talk about Pitch at the Palace with Princess Beatrice lending a hand. The Countess of Wessex was also overseas as she spent a few days in Estonia on an official visit where she met the country's Prime Minister, Juri Ratas. There was a chance for Sophie to see work in special needs education in the country and she also spent some time with the Girl Guides as well as the 5th Batallion The Rifles - she's their Royal Colonel. Sophie was straight back to work on her arrival home, visiting the Abbey School in Reading on May 4th which brings us back to where we started. It's gone down in royal history as the moment time was called on a regal career like no other. Prince Philip, bedrock of a royal dynasty, will take a much earned rest from this autumn. What a way to start the Windsor Wrap. I hope you enjoyed it, there's more to come next week.
Photo credit: Wiki Commons
The Duchess of Cornwall meets some of this morning’s guests @BBCRadio2 Breakfast Show, including @BlondieOfficial. pic.twitter.com/jb7ch4hByv— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) May 5, 2017
Prince Harry reunited with terminally ill boy in surprise hospital visit https://t.co/as0jscepdE pic.twitter.com/ujrCkjFnGm— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) May 5, 2017
The Countess joins Estonian Girl Guides for a spot of Marshmallow toasting - HRH is the President of @Girlguiding #RoyalVisitEstonia pic.twitter.com/bp4eyLpTVv— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 2, 2017