A version of this story appeared in the June 18 edition of CNN’s Royal News, a weekly dispatch bringing you the inside track on the royal family, what they are up to in public and what’s happening behind palace walls. Sign up here.
London (CNN) — Death brings the living together, they say. It was at their grandfather’s funeral that we last saw William and Harry together and it will be at the unveiling next month of a memorial to their mother — Diana, Princess of Wales — that we see them reunite once more.The brothers co-commissioned the statue from British sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley — whose portrait of the Queen appears on all British coins — to “allow all those who visit Kensington Palace to remember and celebrate her life and legacy.” It’s been given prime position in the palace’s Sunken Garden, which Diana enjoyed when she lived there. That quote was from 2017 — in the days when the princes were still issuing joint statements. Nobody could have predicted how their relationship would break down to the point where they now live on separate continents and are barely on speaking terms. Ahead of the unveiling there will be much talk of the body language between the two, how Meghan couldn’t make it and what all of it may or may not mean for the monarchy. But these are two men who know the media better than anyone, having grown up in the shadows of the most famous women in the world. Read MoreTheir position is unenviable. They blame the media for their mother’s death. Yet, they have to allow cameras in to capture the moment the statue is revealed for the first time. That’s because they also accept, and indeed celebrate, their mother’s legacy and public role. She wasn’t just a celebrity, she was for many years a senior royal who leveraged her profile for her philanthropic efforts, particularly for her work on raising awareness of AIDS and the scourge of disused landmines. In that 2017 joint statement, the princes said, “it is clear the significance of her work is still felt by many in the UK and across the world, even 20 years after her death.” The brothers look upon flowers, photos and other souvenirs left as a tribute to Princess Diana near the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace in London on August 30, 2017. It’s now almost 24 years since Diana died, and while the brothers’ relationship is not what it once was, they still agree on one thing: the importance of keeping her memory alive. That’s what the July 1 unveiling is about. The princes will use their profiles to bring attention to the event, before using their experience of being in front of the cameras to keep attention focused on Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Several memorials have been erected around London since Diana’s death in 1997, including the White Garden at Kensington Palace and the nearby Diana Memorial Playground, as well as the Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, and the Diana Memorial Walk at St. James’s Palace. Ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral, there was much written about the tension between the pair, and they managed to take the air out of that by entering the church separately and exiting it chatting. Nobody expected that, and it meant they didn’t draw focus away from the event. There is nothing you can teach these brothers about optics, and they will find a way to keep the attention away from themselves at the unveiling and on their mother. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any tension between them, just don’t expect to see it. THE ROYALS HIT THE G7.When Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was welcomed to Windsor Castle on Tuesday for a rare in-person engagement with the Queen, he declared she had been “quite the hit” at the recent G7 summit. As the pair posed for photographers, he added, “Everyone was talking about you at dinner the next night.” To which the monarch joked, “Oh Lord, were they really?” The exchange at the top of their meeting may have seemed like benign small talk but this was yet another example of the Queen doing what she does best — putting people at ease while delivering a masterclass in soft diplomacy.The Queen and other senior royals attend a reception with G7 leaders at The Eden Project in southwest England on June 11. With the UK playing host to the world, the Queen — joined by Prince Charles and wife Camilla as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — made an appearance at a welcome reception on Friday night. Rolling out the royals in this way is a tactic many British prime ministers have used to curry favor with world leaders — and once again the charm offensive seemed to tick all the right boxes. Displaying her dry wit, the 95-year-old quipped, “Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself?” while taking the obligatory G7 family photo. Her joke drew chuckles from US President Joe Biden and his French and German counterparts, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel. Earlier on Friday, the Queen delighted onlookers at a charity lunch by using a ceremonial sword to cut a cake, saying “this is something that is more unusual” in response to being offered a knife. And then, of course, there was the highly anticipated afternoon tea Biden and his wife, Jill, shared with Elizabeth at Windsor on Sunday. The red carpet was rolled out for their arrival and the occasion was sprinkled with a bit of pomp and circumstance in the form of an honor guard. The moves left a good impression on the new US President. Before departing the UK, Biden told reporters the Queen was “very generous” and that she “reminded me of my mother.” He also revealed his wish to have spoken with her for longer and that he had invited her to the White House. A busy weekend for Her Majesty but one in which she displayed the power of the monarchy. Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenBritain’s Queen Elizabeth II, center, poses with US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden in the Grand Corridor of Windsor Castle on Sunday, June 13.Hide Caption 1 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenHarry Truman: She wasn’t Queen yet, but during a state visit to the United States in 1951, Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, were received by former President Harry Truman and his wife, Bess. Truman is the only US President that Elizabeth met while she was a princess.Hide Caption 2 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenHerbert Hoover: Hoover finished his tenure as President long before Elizabeth ascended to the throne. However, the opportunity for a meeting between the two arose in 1957 during the Queen’s royal tour of the United States. Hoover is seated here to the Queen’s right.Hide Caption 3 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenDwight D. Eisenhower: Eisenhower was the first serving President who Elizabeth met during her reign; he was also her host during her first state visit to the United States in 1957. They also met during a visit to Canada two years later in 1959. The Queen welcomed Eisenhower to the country before they formally opened the St. Lawrence Seaway with a short cruise aboard the royal yacht Britannia.Hide Caption 4 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenJohn F. Kennedy: Amid much fanfare and huge media interest, Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, were dinner guests at Buckingham Palace in June 1961. He later wrote that he would “cherish the memory of that delightful evening,” in a birthday letter written to the Queen. He added: “The people of the United States join with me in extending to your Majesty and to the people of the Commonwealth best wishes and hearty congratulations on the occasion of the celebration of your birthday. … May I also at the same time say how grateful my wife and I are for the cordial hospitality offered to us by your Majesty and Prince Phillip during our visit to London last Monday. We shall always cherish the memory of that delightful evening.”Hide Caption 5 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenRichard Nixon: Nixon met Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace shortly after becoming the 37th US President in 1969. The Queen prepared signed photographs of herself and Prince Philip as a small memento of the meeting. Nixon also brought a signed headshot. “I didn’t bring my wife along this time, ’cause this trip was so hurried,” he said. “But we just had a picture taken of the two of us. I would like to send you one of that because it would be much more pleasant to look at the two of us.” Laughing, the Queen responded, “That’s very nice of you.”Hide Caption 6 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenGerald Ford: Ford and the Queen dance during a state dinner at the White House in 1976.Hide Caption 7 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenJimmy Carter: During a 1977 dinner at Buckingham Palace, Carter described the home of the British monarch as “one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. And I think the whole royal family was there. … I had a good place to sit — I was between the Queen and Princess Margaret, and across the table was Prince Charles and Prince Philip and the Queen Mother.” He continued: “One of the things I told Queen Elizabeth was how much the American people appreciated her coming over last year to celebrate our 200th birthday. And she said that it was one of the warmest welcomes she’d ever received.”Hide Caption 8 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenRonald Reagan: The Reagans were the first US family to be the Queen’s overnight guests at Windsor Castle in 1982. In his memoirs, “An American Life”, the former President recalled his visit with the British royal family: “The highlight of our stay there came when the Queen and I went horseback riding together and Nancy and Prince Philip took a horse-drawn carriage ride. I must admit, the Queen is quite an accomplished horsewoman. We will always remember our visit to Windsor Castle because of the Queen’s and Prince Philip’s warmth and welcoming hospitality — they could not have been more gracious.”Hide Caption 9 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenGeorge H.W. Bush: Bush visited the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 1989, and in May 1991, she was guest of honor at a state dinner in the White House. The pair exchanged toasts about the legacy of human rights and the rule of law bequeathed upon the United States by Great Britain. Meanwhile, the Queen spoke about her previous visits to the White House and the history of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Bush said during his welcome address: “We have got a lot of things in common. Americans share the Queen’s love for horses. … Most of all what links our countries is less a place than an idea. The idea that for nearly 400 years has been America’s inheritance and England’s bequest: the legacy of democracy, the rule of law and basic human rights.”Hide Caption 10 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenBill Clinton: Clinton met the Queen more than once during his tenure. He said: “She’s a highly intelligent woman who knows a lot about the world. … I always marvel when we meet at what a keen judge she is of human events. I think she’s a very impressive person. I like her very much.” During a trip to Europe in 2000, Clinton said he noticed that although the Queen’s hair had turned gray, she had what he described as “youthful eyes.” He added: “She has these baby blue eyes, just piercing.”Hide Caption 11 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenGeorge W. Bush: Bush visited Britain on an official state visit in 2003, and the Queen went to the United States in 2007 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. During his welcome speech, Bush fluffed his lines and said: ”You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17–. ” Realizing his mistake of suggesting the then-81-year-old queen had been on the throne since the 18th century, Bush turned to the monarch and winked at her. Later Bush said she gave him “a look that only a mother could give a child.” Here they are pictured in June 2004 watching a flyover in Arromanches, France. It was the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings.Hide Caption 12 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenBarack Obama: “There’s one last thing that I should mention that I love about Great Britain, and that is the Queen,” Obama said at the end of his joint press conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a visit to the UK in 2009. “And so I’m very much looking forward to meeting her for the first time later this evening. … I think in the imagination of people throughout America, I think what the Queen stands for and her decency and her civility, what she represents, that’s very important.” Later, during a reception for G-20 leaders, Michelle Obama was seen to take the unusual step of putting her hand briefly on the back of the Queen. This was against protocol, but the monarch seemed to have reached out her hand first and didn’t appear bothered by the first lady’s gesture.Hide Caption 13 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenDonald Trump: In 2019, the Queen hosted the Trumps for an official state visit that included dinner at Buckingham Palace. In a Fox News interview just after the trip to London, Trump called the Queen an “incredible lady” and said they had a lot of fun together. Some members of the British public and press were not amused, however, when Trump briefly walked in front of the Queen during a ceremonial inspection of the troops at Windsor Castle. The monarch had to do an awkward sidestep around him.Hide Caption 14 of 15 Photos: All the Queen's presidents: From Truman to BidenJoe Biden: Biden first met the Queen as a young senator in 1982. He returned nearly 40 years later, after his first G7 summit as President. They held private talks inside Windsor Castle, and Biden later said he wished he could have spoken to her longer. “She was very generous,” Biden said. He said he did not think she’d be insulted if he said she “reminded me of my mother in terms of the look of her and the generosity.”Hide Caption 15 of 15WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING?Kate launches early-childhood center.On Friday, the Duchess of Cambridge launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. In a video announcing the center’s creation, the duchess said the goal was to “raise awareness of why the first five years of life are just so important for our future life outcomes.” Kate has campaigned for years on how instrumental psychological, social and emotional support can be for early childhood development. The subject is a key focus of her public work as a royal. “By working together, my hope is that we can change the way we think about early childhood, and transform lives for generations to come. Because I truly believe big change starts small,” the duchess added. Last week, she joined US first lady Jill Biden at a school in Cornwall to discuss early childhood development and wrote a joint op-ed for CNN. Meghan is now a New York Times best-selling author. The Duchess of Sussex’s debut book, “The Bench,” has cracked the New York Times best seller list in the children’s picture book category a week after it released. The book, which has watercolor illustrations by Christian Robinson, was inspired by a Father’s Day poem for Harry. Meghan thanked fans for their support in a message published on the couple’s Archewell Foundation website. “While this poem began as a love letter to my husband and son, I’m encouraged to see that its universal themes of love, representation and inclusivity are resonating with communities everywhere,” she said.Philip’s death has left ‘giant-sized hole.’ Sophie, Countess of Wessex revealed the royal family is still grappling with the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh. Speaking to the BBC this week, she said Philip’s death had “left a giant-sized hole in our lives” before adding that the pandemic had “slightly skewed” the grieving process. She explained coronavirus had made it “hard to spend as much time with the Queen” and how “the immediate loss isn’t felt in the same way as if somebody was in the house with you all the time.” She added: “It’s only when you do the normal things that you would have done with them and you suddenly realize that they’re not there.”ANNOUNCEMENTSFile photo of Peter and Autumn Phillips at Royal Ascot in 2019Royal divorce finalized. Queen Elizabeth’s eldest grandson, Peter Phillips, and his wife, Autumn, have officially gone their separate ways after finalizing their divorce settlement this week. “Mr Peter Phillips and Mrs Autumn Phillips are pleased to be able to report that the financial aspects of their divorce have been resolved through agreement, the terms of which have been approved and ordered by the High Court,” according to a statement provided to CNN by the former couple’s spokesman, Gerard Franklin. “Whilst this is a sad day for Peter and Autumn, they continue to put the wellbeing and upbringing of their wonderful daughters Savannah and Isla first and foremost.” The pair announced their intention to divorce in February last year, after agreeing to separate the year before. Peter is the son of Princess Anne — the Queen and Prince Philip’s daughter — and Mark Phillips. He is the older brother of Olympic equestrian Zara Tindall.FROM THE ROYAL VAULTFor only the second time in her 69-year reign, the Queen has missed the first day of the Royal Ascot horse race meeting. The racing festival is one of the highlights of Britain’s social calendar. It’s also said to be one of the Queen’s favorite fixtures in her diary — so much so that she writes a message in the five-day event’s program for racegoers every year. Last year, the Queen missed out entirely on Ascot, when the meet was held without spectators amid the escalating pandemic. This year, the Queen instead met in-person with Australian leader Scott Morrison on Tuesday.Wondering why it matters that Elizabeth couldn’t make it? Well, in her role as head of nation, the Queen needs to be part of the rhythm of British life. Ascot is one of those usually immovable events where we expect to see her, as we do when she opens a new Parliament or at Christmas for her annual message. When she doesn’t appear as expected, it can feel unsettling. In normal times, at 2 p.m. sharp on each day of the meet, the Queen undertakes the Royal Procession in a horse-drawn carriage to the racecourse’s Parade Ring. She would usually be accompanied by royal family members in the four-seat vehicle and it is a chance for racegoers to get a glimpse of the monarch. The Queen at Royal Ascot with son Prince Andrew in 2019 The Queen’s racing manager, John Warren, confirmed the monarch’s absence, telling the BBC’s Today radio show: “Obviously the Queen would love to attend, as you know she’s fanatic about racing, watching racing and breeding horses, and has been going to Ascot all of her adult life. “So, it’s a shame to miss an event. The plan at the moment is to see how it goes towards the latter part of the week and if the Queen’s able to come because she’s got runners, then, fingers crossed, it will happen.” Warren said the monarch has a “deep fascination” with the breeding of horses and will be keeping across all the races by reading the Racing Post newspaper each morning. “It’s a deep fascination or a very broad escapism for all the other things that the Queen has to deal with in her life,” he explained. Then-Princess Elizabeth, left, and her sister, Princess Margaret, arrive at the grandstand at Royal Ascot in 1949. PHOTOS OF THE WEEKRoyal Ascot usually hosts more than 300,000 visitors at its location in Berkshire, England. The event was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 and has been regularly frequented by members of the royal family ever since. This year will be a bit different, with attendance capped at 12,000 people as part of pandemic measures. While the Queen wasn’t in attendance on the first day this year, several other royals were able to enjoy the races, including Charles and Camilla, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne and Zara and Mike Tindall. The royal presence at Ascot has meant those who wish to cheer at the sidelines must stick to strict sartorial codes. In recent years, hats — mandatory for attendance — have become a conduit for creative expression. Read more on the fashion on display as this year’s event kicked off.Prince Charles and Camilla amid a sea of guestsPrincess Anne wore a deep blue ensemble with a bespoke face covering on the first day of Royal Ascot. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for day two of Royal Ascot.
“The fight against this terrible pandemic provides, if ever one was needed, a crystal-clear example of the scale, and sheer speed, at which the global community can tackle crises when we combine political will with business ingenuity and public mobilization. Ladies and gentlemen, we are doing it for the pandemic, so if you don’t mind me saying so, we must also do it for the planet.”
Prince Charles called on the international community to unite to tackle the climate crisis in a speech at the G7 summit in Cornwall, England.
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