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Four generations of UK royal family pose for photo to mark new decade

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince William Prince George pose for a portrait to mark the start of a new decade, in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace in London, Britain December 18, 2019. Ranald Mackechnie/Handout via REUTERS.

LONDON (Reuters) – Buckingham Palace has issued a new photographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth, her son Prince Charles, her grandson Prince William and her great-grandson Prince George to mark the start of a new decade.

This is only the second time a portrait of the queen and the three future monarchs has been released, according to the palace.

In the photograph, the queen is wearing a white dress and has a black handbag on her arm. Prince Charles and Prince William are dressed in suits, while Prince George is wearing a white shirt and green tartan trousers.

The portrait was taken by the photographer Ranald Mackechnie in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace last month.

A previous portrait of the four generations of the royal family taken by the same photographer was released in April 2016 to celebrate the queen’s 90th birthday and was then used on special commemorative stamps.

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Nick Macfie

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In a bid to cheer up everyone’s dreary Januarys, the royal family treated us all to a brand new royal portrait over the weekend, featuring the Queen along with her three heirs. Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George can all be seen looking really rather chirpy as they pose alongside their monarch and matriarch in Buckingham Palace’s throne room, in the photo which was released to celebrate the start of a new decade.

The portrait is the second of its kind with this particular line-up; the first was released back in 2016 and featured a very cute three-year-old Prince George standing on a foam box to give him a bit of a boost. Bless. In the latest picture, the young prince’s transformation now he’s all grown up is pretty striking – but there’s another detail about George you might have missed.

The six-year-old Prince looks adorable as he stands on a step next to his grandfather, wearing a smart shirt and suit trousers. But the pattern on the trousers – a dark tartan – is thought to contain a subtle message. As the Sun’s Royal Correspondent, Emily Andrews, pointed out on Twitter, the trousers – with their popular Scottish pattern – may have been chosen by the royal family to reflect the strength of the United Kingdom’s union.

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🎉 Happy New Year! A new portrait of The Queen and The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George has been released to mark the start of a new decade. Wishing all of our followers a happy and healthy 2020! Photo 📷 by Ranald Mackechnie.

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Jan 3, 2020 at 2:06pm PST

“As with all royal iconography, the symbolism is clear. This is the future (plus George’s tartan trousers & PoW show Union strong),” the royal expert suggested.

With Brexit having famously divided much of the country, it’s possible that the royal family want to put on a display of union to the rest of the world through the medium of this portrait. Either that, or the fact the photo was taken just before Christmas and we know George’s mum, Kate Middleton, loves a bit of festive tartan.

We Three Kings👑…the Queen plus Princes Charles, William & George pose for a formal portrait in BuckPalace’s throne room to mark the new decade. As with all royal iconography, the symbolism is clear. This is the future (plus George’s tartan trousers & PoW🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 show Union strong).

— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) January 3, 2020

Andrews also had another thought about the symbolism of the picture: “Message of this picture: ‘Prince Andrew, who? Nothing to see here ladies and gents, THIS is the future of the British monarchy.'” she wrote. “I don’t think the timing of this picture, as with everything royal-related, is accidental.”

What the royal expert is referring to, of course, is the scandal surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s second son. Last year, Andrew received widespread backlash for an interview with BBC’s Newsnight, in which he was quizzed on his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. As well as maintaining contact with Epstein even after charges were pressed, Prince Andrew is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts (now Giuffre). The incident, Giuffre claims, took place in 2001 when Epstein was trafficking her for sex. Prince Andrew continues to strongly deny any sexual contact with Giuffre and says he does not recall meeting her, but did say in the interview he felt he had “let the side down” for being friends with Jeffrey Epstein.

Prince Andrew has stepped down from royal duties, but was photographed attending the royal pre-Christmas lunch in December. Max Mumby/IndigoGetty Images

While the Queen appears to be in very good health, especially considering her 93 years, there have been suggestions that she may retire when she reaches 95 – just as her husband Prince Philip did. If this is the case, it’s thought that Queen Elizabeth wouldn’t abdicate, but would give heir Prince Charles the new title of Prince Regent. In this role, he would serve in the capacity of a monarch in all but title, with ‘King’ being officially granted following his mother’s death. This is all speculation, however, as Buckingham Palace hasn’t confirmed whether it will be the case.

So for now, the next three in line to the throne will remain just as it looks in this lovely royal portrait. Let’s hope 2020 is a good year for us all, shall we?

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Catriona Harvey-Jenner Digital Features Editor Cat is Cosmopolitan UK’s features editor covering women’s issues, health and current affairs.


In October, Prince Harry admitted that he and brother William were “on different paths” and have “good days” and “bad days”, according to 7 News.

Harry and Meghan have repeatedly found themselves at the centre of unrelenting gossip with whispers of a rift between the couple and Prince William and Kate.

A “senior royal source” told The Sun that “given Harry is now permanently moving away, there was a realisation if they didn’t sort things out now, they never would”.

“Of course there have been serious differences in opinions but the family warmth is back. And they’re sad they’re going to be so far apart.”


Prince Harry broke his silence on Monday less than two weeks after he and wife Meghan Markle announced they would be stepping back as senior royals.

Harry told an audience at a dinner for his charity Sentebale, in London, he and Meghan had “no other option” and the move was a “leap of faith”.

“I want you to hear the truth from me, as much as I can share – not as a Prince or Duke, but as Harry, the same person that many of you have watched grow up over the last 35 years,” he told the audience, in a video posted to the couple’s Instagram page.

Harry said the decision the couple made to step is not one he takes lightly.

“It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges,” he said.

Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2007. (Getty Images)

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s road to happily ever encountered a brief detour in 2007. Four years before exchanging vows in a fairytale wedding at London’s Westminster Abbey, the college sweethearts split. With William being stationed outside of London with the Household Cavalry, on top of mounting media pressure, the young couple grew apart.

The future King’s behavior at clubs did little to help the pair’s strained relationship and ultimately they broke up in April that year. Rather than staying at home and mourning the end of her romance with the UK’s most eligible bachelor, Kate hit the social circuit prioritizing herself instead of William for a change. It would seem the future Duchess was showing the Prince what he was missing and he eventually realized it, too. In June, Kate attended a themed party at William’s barracks, and by the end of the night, the pair was back together for good. Three years later, the golden couple announced their royal engagement.

Since then, the now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have built a beautiful family together, welcoming son Prince George in 2013, Princess Charlotte in 2015 and Prince Louis in 2018.

RELATED: Everything You Wanted to Know About Kate Middleton

“My family makes me feel happy,” Kate told students in 2019. “We like playing outside together, and spending lots of time together as a family, and that makes me very happy.” Aw, there’s nothing we love more than a happy ending!

For those looking for a more in-depth look at why William and Kate broke up, below is an excerpt from Kate: The Biographyby Marcia Moody. Read a Q&A with the author here.

As 2006 came to an end, William and Kate’s four-year relationship suffered a setback when Kate’s family invited William to come and stay with them for New Year. The Middletons had booked Jordanstone House set in snowy countryside on the outskirts of Alyth, North of Dundee. William had originally intended to come, but then changed his mind, which upset Kate. They hadn’t seen each other over the festive season, as William always spent Christmas with the Queen and the rest of his family at Sandringham. Although certain things were changing with the times within the royal family, Christmas at Sandringham was still strictly a royal affair. It meant they would not be able to spend Christmas Day together unless they were married.

Unfortunately, the trend of their spending time apart continued into the new year. The day before Kate’s twenty-fifth birthday, William left to join his first regiment, The Blues and Royals, stationed with the Household Cavalry at Bovington Barracks in Dorset. He would be away for much of the following months, and the three-hour drive meant that he wouldn’t necessarily be returning to London every weekend.

In 2007, many had been predicting a royal wedding, and Woolworths were already stocking wedding paraphernalia. Just before Kate’s birthday, Diana’s former private secretary Patrick Jephson wrote a feature for the Spectator called ‘The Next People’s Princess’ about how she would be a glamorous and much-needed addition to the royal family. When Kate went to work on the morning of her birthday, she was swarmed with more aggressive paparazzi than ever before.

Interest in Kate had now crossed over into harassment, and the following day, William requested that his press secretary release a statement, reading, ‘He wants more than anything for it to stop. Miss Middleton should, like any other private individual, be able to go about her everyday business without this kind of intrusion. The situation is proving unbearable for all those concerned.’

The following month, William gave Kate a pre-Valentine’s present of a green enamel Van Cleef & Arpels diamond-framed makeup compact, featuring a polo player about to hit a pearl. Gestures were one thing, but the couple weren’t spending any time together and cracks were beginning to show, and then to deepen.

William was stationed outside London and they spent significant amounts of time apart over the next few months. They were also still young, and both figuring out what they wanted from life, but Kate felt like she had less of a say in their relationship and their future. Although she had her job at Jigsaw, she wasn’t sure it was what she wanted to do long-term.

Related: Duchess Kate Receives Special Honor from the Queen on Her Eighth Wedding Anniversary

William had to fulfill his duties – that was his destiny – but where did that leave her? She wasn’t sure herself which direction she would like to take – should she use her art history degree and go into a related field, should she pursue her interest in fashion or should she maximize her past experience and family contacts and go into the party industry like her parents? Or would all of it be moot? If they ended up getting married, she would be required to submerge herself fully in royal life, and this would take some time and preparation.

Additionally, William didn’t seem to be in any rush to head back to London at weekends. His quarters in his barracks were small, like those of the other men, fitted with just a single bed and not conducive to a couple staying for the weekend. So if they wanted to see each other, it would mean his making the effort to go to London or Berkshire. He started spending a lot of time with the rest of his barracks, going out drinking and dancing.

Then when he did make it back to London, on one occasion, he went out clubbing to Boujis with friends and flirted with another girl, which was in the papers the next day. Kate grew increasingly fed up, and felt his behaviour was disrespectful.

They attended the Cheltenham Festival together, but whereas the previous year it seemed that Kate could do no wrong as she hung out in the royal box with Charles and Camilla, this year she and William looked unhappy and out of sorts. Their matching decades-older tweed outfits were indicative of the rot that had set into their relationship. A few days later, William was back in his barracks and went out to nearby Elements nightclub in Bournemouth. The normally cautious prince was drunk and enjoying himself, surrounded by glamorous half-naked girls. In one picture he appeared to be holding the breast of Brazilian Ana Ferreira. Another clubber on the same night, Lisa Agar, said William was flirty – dancing and making suggestive comments. The pictures and quotes were in the papers the next day, and Kate and William were both embarrassed. However, there was no disguising the fact that William was unsure of their future together. When Charles was in a relationship with Diana and it reached a crossroads, Prince Philip said to him that he needed to take action one way or another and Charles proposed. When William was faced with a similar dilemma he went the other way.

The last time Kate and William went out together before they split was with their friends Hugh and Rose van Cutsem, whose wedding they had attended two years earlier. On 31 March 2007, the foursome had a quiet night out in the van Cutsems’ local the King’s Head pub in Bledington. By the time Kate flew to Ireland with her mum on 3 April, the relationship of four years was over. Kate was devastated, but instead of just weeping at home in a darkened room, she got busy. Nothing gives a problem some perspective than getting away from it, and flying to another country was even better. Kate and Carole had gone to Ireland to support Carole’s friend Gemma Billington, who was showing a private exhibition of her paintings. After viewing the exhibition, mother and daughter attended the champagne reception, and made the most of their visit by touring the National Gallery of Ireland.

William decided to celebrate the end of his relationship with a trip to Mahiki. The news of their split was not yet public, but those around him at the club were made aware when he leaped on to a table, shouting ‘I’m free!’, before slipping into his version of the robot dance, made famous by England footballer Peter Crouch, and suggesting to his friends that they drink the menu.

The following day the news of their split broke, but it wasn’t long before William was having second thoughts. Mindful, perhaps, of the decision his father had made when he was in his twenties and let Camilla go, William did not want to make the same mistake. Kate, however, needed some convincing. He had broken her heart, and she wanted to make sure that if they did get back together it would be for the right reasons, and that she would be assured things would change. She signed up for a charity challenge with an all-female dragon boat racing crew called the Sisterhood, who billed themselves, A-Team style as, ‘An elite group of female athletes, talented in many ways, toned to perfection with killer looks, on a mission to keep boldly going where no girl has gone before.’

William spent the summer at his barracks, and in his free time he fulfilled royal duties, played polo and enjoyed a few nights out with friends. Meanwhile, Kate said yes to a slew of invitations and in public was more sociable and vibrant than she had been for some time. She was soon joined in London by Pippa, who had just finished university and moved into the Chelsea flat with Kate. The two girls would have spray tans and blow-dries together, and decide which social events to attend. For some time, Kate had felt like she wanted to edge towards a more stable and mature lifestyle, favouring chilled nights at home and family events. However, she was still only twenty-five, and was now a single girl with the world at her feet – and a taxi waiting outside.

Although she was heartbroken, she wasn’t going to show it. For her breakup diary, her dresses were shorter, her tops lower and her outfits racier. There were numerous nights out to hotspots where she had been a regular with William, and her swirl of brunette hair and carefully folded bronzed limbs as she entered and exited taxis was a common sight throughout April and May. She attended some diverse events. She and Pippa were at luxury jeweller Asprey for the launch of Young Stalin – a biography written by Tara Palmer-Tomkinson’s brother-in-law Simon Sebag Montefiore. Kate also went to a party to promote the film Rabbit Fever, which was about women obsessed with the infamous vibrators. A world away from the frumpy ageing tweeds of two months ago, Kate wore a slinky off-the-shoulder top and silky skirt with a bare midriff, caramel tan and sunkissed hair. Inside the party she wore pink silk bunny ears, danced and ‘teased all the boys’.

Although Kate embarked on a breakup social whirl, inside she was in pain. Training with the Sisterhood helped distract her and also make her feel better. The twenty-one girls involved were aiming to row across the channel to raise money for the Ben Hollioake Fund, who raise money for the CHASE Hospice Care for Children, and another children’s hospice charity, Babes in Arms. Kate got involved through her old school friend Alicia Fox-Pitt, and fellow rower Emma Sayle recalls, ‘Kate was very down and I think the training became her therapy. Kate had always put William first and she said this was a chance to do something for herself.’

The team trained on the Thames in the leafy London borough of Chiswick from 6.30 a.m., and Kate threw herself into training. She very quickly proved herself. ‘It wasn’t a question of, “Oh, she’s Kate Middleton so she makes the team,”’ Emma told the Daily Telegraph. ‘She has had to prove herself. We launched the challenge in November and Kate joined in April. Our coach said she could only join if she was up to it.’ Thanks to years of sporting training, and an ongoing regime of tennis and swimming, Kate was more than up to the task. In her engagement interview, she said of the breakup, ‘I think at the time I wasn’t very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person, you find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized. I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you’re younger … I really valued that time for me as well, although I didn’t think it at the time!’

She was still licking her wounds when she headed to Ibiza for some sun and headspace with her brother James and friends, including Marlborough classmate Emilia d’Erlanger. Once more, they stayed at their Uncle Gary’s villa, and it was noted by Gary’s wife that Kate spent a lot of time on the phone.

Related: 14 Times the Royal Family Didn’t Act So Royal

Meanwhile, though William had wondered what other options he had out there, it turned out he’d had what he wanted all along. He and Kate secretly got back together on 9 June, when she attended a party at his barracks to celebrate the end of training. The theme was ‘Freakin’ naughty’ and William wore hot pants, vest and policeman’s helmet, while Kate was dressed as a naughty nurse. There were blow-up dolls hanging from the ceiling and sexy waitresses handing out lethal cocktails. Outside was a bouncy castle and plunge pool, but William and Kate stuck to the dance floor, and that night she stayed over at his barracks. William later said, ‘We were both very young … We were both finding ourselves and being different characters. It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up so it was just a bit of space and it worked out for the better.’

Excerpted with permission from Kate: A Biography by Marcia Moody, published by Michael O’Mara and distributed by Trafalgar Square Publishing/iPg

Love William and Kate as much as we do? Relive the royal couple’s first year of marriage.

Reaction to British royals Harry and Meghan stepping back from senior roles

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will step back from senior roles in Britain’s royal family and spend more time in North America, they have announced.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Canada House in London, Britain January 7, 2020. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Here are reactions to the news from Australia, a member of the Commonwealth and constitutional monarchy whose head of state is the British monarch.

Harry, sixth in line to the throne, and Meghan visited Australia in October 2018 on their first overseas tour as a married couple.


“I think it’s good what they’ve done. Personally, I don’t care much for royals and royal family and all the controversy that kind of surrounds the royal family but it’ll be interesting to see how and what they do after they’ve actually done this.

“Kudos to them to actually saying ‘We’re going to do our own thing and be independent’. But I’ll be, I’d be interested to actually see what they do in a year’s time.”


“They don’t fit into my life to any great extent, I’m afraid. They’re a very privileged couple who, like many other royal families, don’t appear to take their responsibility seriously, but they have a prime minister who doesn’t take his responsibility seriously either.”


“I think they probably have a limited role as the royals anyway … and I understand they want to concentrate on their charity and I think that’s probably the best thing they can be doing.

“It’s not like Harry’s going to be next in line to be king of England, so they need something to do and I think this sounds like them taking charge of that, think it will be better for the community.”


“It’s fine, I think they’re trying to concentrate on their relationship and their marriage … power to them, they should do that.

“I think their role in the royal family is small, anyway, and I think the royal family is losing a bit of its traction, anyway, so I think, ‘Well look, why not?’ You know, take charge of your own life and live it.”

Reporting by Stefica Nicol Bikes; Editing by Robert Birsel

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