The end of the year is always the perfect time for contemplation. It gives you the opportunity to look back over the last twelve months and see what went well, how much you achieved, and what you can improve in the following year. For a lot of people, 2018 was an action-packed year, although some had it far busier than others. One person who had a particularly full schedule was the Queen. With several royal weddings to add to her usual engagements, the monarch didn’t have much time to put her feet up.
However, that just meant there was more for her to be thankful for at the end of the year. In a video uploaded by The Royal Family on Twitter, a rundown of the Queen’s most memorable engagements from 2018 was broadcast to their millions of followers. While a lot of people enjoyed reliving the year through the monarch’s eyes, some people couldn’t help but notice there was something off about the clip. One of the Queen’s granddaughters-in-law was featured multiple times, while another only appeared once.
Hard to choose
She might be in her nineties, but that doesn’t mean Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t have a busy schedule. She has been leading a country for most of her adult life, after all.
The monarch probably does more in a week than the rest of us do in a month, so we imagine it’s hard for her to pick her favorite moments come the year’s end. However, as the video uploaded on Twitter suggested, maybe it’s not so hard for her to pick favorites after all.
Leaving them out
The minute-long video was posted to The Royal Family’s account on the final day of 2018, and it immediately attracted thousands of likes and retweets. Twitter pages, including Kensington Palace’s, shared the clip with their followers ensuring as many people saw it as possible. However, this came with its downsides. As more people watched the video, they started noticing something that took them by surprise. In all the photos featured in the slideshow, there was one person who was hardly featured at all.
That alone might not be shocking considering how many people the Queen meets on a daily basis. However, this person was a family member, someone you would expect the monarch to enjoy spending time with. Was this video Elizabeth II’s way of telling the world what she really felt about someone in particular?
Women at war
2018 was a happy time for the Queen, what with all the births, weddings, and pregnancy announcements. However, it didn’t end in the best fashion. For the last few months, speculation was rife about the relationship between two of her granddaughters-in-law – Kate and Meghan. The latter only became an official part of the family last May, but her presence has already made a considerable splash.
Her alleged diva behavior has apparently alienated her staff and driven a wedge between her and the other royals, although whether there’s any truth to this is yet to be seen. The media went crazy over the idea that Meghan and Kate were feuding and looked for all the evidence they could find to prove it was true. Was 2019 going to be the year that the two duchesses had it out with one another?
Standing with Meghan
The reportedly ongoing feud between Meghan and Kate led members of the public to pick sides. Some decided to back the former, believing that people weren’t giving her the opportunity to adjust to being a duchess. Ever since it emerged that Meghan and Harry were dating, she’d always been criticized for not being the perfect example of a royal. She didn’t come from a traditional background, nor had she had a career befitting of someone who might one day sit on a throne.
The world knew she’d have to go through quite a bit of training before she could seek the approval of her royal counterparts, yet that didn’t stop her from marrying Harry. Although she’s still a little rough around the edges, she’s come a long way over the last year. Unfortunately, that’s not quite enough for some people.
Believing in Kate
While Meghan had her share of supporters standing by her side, so too did Kate. The Duchess of Cambridge has had worldwide attention for over a decade, with her 2011 wedding being one of the biggest TV events in history. She might not be a fresh face in the Royal Family anymore, but she has a firm legion of fans who will always back her up.
These people were quick to criticize Meghan when it emerged that she was supposedly feuding with her new sister-in-law, calling her out for her alleged bad behavior. The criticisms were rife, with accusations of her being spoiled, demanding and rude frequently being tossed around. They believed she’d gotten too big for her boots given she’d only married Harry a few months earlier. She couldn’t do anything right, and nothing would change people’s minds.
Splitting up the family
It wasn’t just the public that was affected by the reported tension between Meghan and Kate. Their feud apparently caused a rift between their husbands, an unexpected reaction given how close the two brothers had always been.
With the family seemingly splitting apart, the Queen was understandably concerned about how this would make them look to public figures around the world. According to US Weekly, it reached a point where the monarch was fed up with the drama and wanted it to end. However, was she really so impartial?
If the video uploaded to The Royal Family’s Twitter account is anything to go by, the Queen might have had stronger feelings about the feud than she let on. Though she would never say anything to side with one woman over the other, actions often speak louder than words.
Despite how much happened in both Kate and Meghan’s lives throughout 2018, only one of the duchesses was featured multiple times in the clip. Was this the monarch’s way of showing whose side she was on in the supposed feud?
Hidden in the background
Throughout the minute-long video, Kate was only ever featured once, and it wasn’t a significant appearance either. She popped up in the family photo taken after Meghan and Harry’s wedding where her new sister-in-law took center stage.
With Princess Charlotte on her lap and a large hat partly obscuring her face, it was easy to miss Kate’s feature in the clip. Meghan, on the other hand, was impossible to avoid as she dazzled in her Givenchy wedding dress. What’s more, that wasn’t the Duchess of Sussex’s only appearance in the video either.
Making a reappearance
Several photos later, Meghan popped up once again, this time in a picture taken during her solo outing with the Queen. The pair visited Cheshire together in June less than a month after the American had tied the knot with Harry.
At the time, it was a remarkable moment because it was a vast contrast to Kate’s first solo outing with the monarch. The Duchess of Cambridge had been forced to wait almost a year for their trip, and she didn’t get to travel on the royal train as Meghan did.
At the time of the outing, it seemed the Queen was playing favorites by spending time alone with Meghan so soon. As a result, the inclusion of this photo in her most memorable moments of 2018 made a big statement.
Not only did the monarch include more pictures of Meghan in the video, but she apparently considered her time alone with the Duchess to be one of the best parts of her year. That sent a pretty big message to Kate who might have already felt pushed out by the new arrival.
Not that special
Although the video only lasts a minute, there are dozens of photos featured in the clip. The fact that Kate appears in only one is quite surprising, especially when you consider some of the other pictures used.
The monarch’s feelings towards the Duchess of Cambridge are apparently on par with meeting Anna Wintour and the current President of the United States. While family means everything to the Queen, Kate doesn’t seem to be that important to her. However, all might not be as it looks here.
The missing relatives
It appears there are plenty of other family members that only make one or two appearances in the Twitter video. Her granddaughters Beatrice and Eugenie only feature in a single photo from the latter’s wedding day, while Prince George and Princess Charlotte are only present in the two big family snaps.
Prince Louis, the monarch’s sixth great-grandchild, isn’t even featured at all in the short clip, despite being born in April 2018. Fortunately, there’s a perfectly good reason for this, which might explain a lot about Kate’s absence.
Didn’t make the cut
The caption for the video on The Royal Family’s Twitter account explained that the photos were taken from the monarch’s many engagements over the year. This included public appearances, meetings with foreign dignitaries, and other official business.
Although her relatives are often included in these matters, family matters don’t always cross over with royal duties. Had the Queen been pictured with Prince Louis at an event, the newborn probably would have made the cut. However, given there are no public photos of the Queen with the child, he was excluded.
Had her hands full
Prince Louis might also be the reason why Kate only featured once in the video clip. It’s safe to say that the youngster has been keeping his mom busy for the last year, so the Duchess of Cambridge hasn’t been out and about that much.
William and Kate prefer more of a hands-on approach when raising their kids, ultimately spending more time with their children than the Queen and her ancestors did. Due to this, the Duchess didn’t spend much time with the monarch last year, hence her notable absence.
A new addition
While there’s been a lot of talk about the Queen favoring Meghan in this video, that really isn’t the case. The Duchess of Sussex only features in two photos, one more than her sister-in-law.
Considering that Meghan became a part of the family in 2018, her multiple appearances shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. Her addition to the royal fold was one of the biggest events of the year, so it makes sense for the monarch to include more pictures of her in the clip.
Limiting the damage
Since this video was posted, others have been uploaded that showcase more of Meghan, Kate, and the rest of their royal relatives. This may have been a way to mitigate the damage caused by the first clip, especially after the controversy it caused.
The Royal Family’s twitter account posted another minute-long segment that looked back on 2018 with a focus on “all members” of the Queen’s extensive family. Whether this was intended to act as a distraction or not is unknown, but it does feature a lot more photos of Kate.
What the future holds
With a new year upon us, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with the two duchesses and their supposed feud. Some reports suggest that the pair is attempting to patch up their differences for the sake of the Queen, as well as their kids.
With Meghan due to give birth in Spring, the last thing they want is for relations between the new baby and their cousins to be strained. The question is, will the first Sussex child appear in the Queen’s most memorable moments of 2019?
Fergie makes a reappearance
In all the controversy surrounding the alleged feud between the sisters-in-law, one other important detail slipped the notice of even the most eagle-eyed royal watchers. In the photo from Princess Eugenie’s wedding, her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, is seen standing behind Philip.
The duchess, better known to Brits as Fergie, had not been photographed alongside her former father-in-law in more than a decade, as tensions between the two were reportedly high after her split from Prince Andrew. Could its inclusion in the video be a gesture of reconciliation?
The Christmas message
In the Queen’s traditional Christmas message, broadcast every Christmas Day since 1952, things were a little more equitable. Among many other topics the monarch chose to mention, including a stern warning against religious fanaticism, she also made some more personal remarks.
Talking about the “busy year” it has been for her family personally, she mentioned “two weddings and two babies, and another child expected soon.” At least that video couldn’t be drawn into the developing talk of a feud, as Meghan’s pregnancy and wedding and Kate’s birth got equal billing.
Courting controversy again
That isn’t to say that the Christmas broadcast was completely free of controversy, however, and that video raised an uproar online as well. The culprit? A golden piano, bought by Queen Victoria in 1856, that stood conspicuously behind the Queen.
The monarch was blasted for this ostentatious display of wealth while the country struggles with austerity measures. One commenter had a sense of humor, suggesting that she was merely “quietly hinting that all she wants for Christmas is a solid gold piano stool to go with her solid gold piano.”
Kate can’t seem to catch a break
In another Royal Family video summing up 2018, Kate once again got the short end of the stick. The video, released by Kensington Palace’s official social media account, showcased various moments from the passing year starring Princes William and Harry and their wives.
However, it made one embarrassing mistake. Making a note of the month in which each video clip occurred, it listed Kate’s first public appearance after giving birth to Prince Louis as having taken place in September. In reality, she only stepped out again publicly in October. Oops!
Taking over the Queen’s patronages
Whether or not this is yet another sign of how much the Queen favors her American granddaughter-in-law we’ll leave up to you to decide, but it has recently been announced the Duchess of Sussex will be taking over several of the Queen’s patronages.
In and of itself, the move is only natural, as the ageing monarch has some 600 patronages and is in the process of handing them out to the younger members of her family. However, the specific organizations that were passed over to Meghan are worth focusing on.
Coming to terms with Meghan’s past
Initially, it seemed as if the Royal Family’s public media presence had an uneasy time of reconciling Meghan’s past as an actress, and with good reason. The notoriously stodgy and conservative royals have viewed acting as a barely respectable profession, and not really an honest day’s work.
As evidence, Meghan’s initial biography to go up on the Royal Family’s official website, just hours after the wedding, made no mention of her past in Hollywood! It was eventually recognized, and Meghan received a very important patronage to reflect her acting past.
Near and dear to her heart
As part of a package deal involving four patronages, Meghan was made the patron of London’s renowned National Theatre. This is a big deal, as the Queen had been a patron of this 43-year-old institution since its inception, and it serves to finally honor and recognize Meghan’s career.
The other patronages include the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Mayhew, an animal welfare organization, and Smart Works, which helps vulnerable women find employment. All four reflect the Duchess’ values and priorities, as she’s an ardent advocate for animal welfare and female empowerment.
Keeping it up until the birth
It definitely seems as if the Duchess of Sussex will have plenty to keep her occupied, with her first patronages and other various royal engagements. She’s so busy, that it’s pretty easy to forget she’s now six months pregnant!
How long is she planning on keeping up her hectic schedule, which reportedly involves waking up every morning at 5am? As close as she can get to her due date, actually, according to palace aides. “Hurricane Meghan,” as they reportedly refer to her, isn’t going away anytime soon.
The public may be making a big deal about Meghan Markle’s new patronages, but what about Kate’s patronages? In fact, Duchess Kate’s first patronages have a lot in common with her sister-in-law’s.
Kate Middleton received her first royal patronage, for The Royal Foundation, just six months after she married Prince William, while Meghan was given her’s eight months after her wedding to Prince Harry. The Royal Foundation had previously been Prince Harry and Prince William’s foundation, and adding Kate to the mix was a sign of acceptance and approval.
Wide ranging interests
The next year, Kate Middleton was given four more patronages that reflected her interests and the causes that are close to her heart.
These include a patronage for The Art Room and the National Portrait Gallery, which reflects Kate’s love of photography and background in art history, and the Children’s Hospices and Scout Association, which shows her love of children. Since then, she has taken on a number of other patronages, and is known for her charity work.
The Queen’s initial opinion of Kate
We’re all so focused on the Queen’s current relationship with Duchesses Meghan and Kate, but let’s take a look back at how it all started.
There is speculation that when Prince William and Kate Middleton began dating, Queen Elizabeth wasn’t Kate’s biggest fan. She was even reported to have said that she thought that Kate “didn’t do enough.” Those are harsh words, but it’s always difficult to please your significant other’s grandmother, even when she’s not the Queen.
What the Queen thought of Meghan
Now, with all of the photos of Queen Elizabeth and Duchess Meghan smiling together, we are forgetting about the fact that it may not have always been so effortless.
Speculations regarding the Queen’s lack of enthusiasm about her grandson’s engagement to the former actress centered around the fact that the Queen’s statement about the engagement used less glowing language than it had with Prince William and Kate. And we can’t forget about the time that Queen Elizabeth didn’t let Meghan wear the tiara she wanted for her wedding.
So much in common
It sure seems like Duchesses Kate and Meghan have more in common than it seems on the surface. They are both very passionate about their charity work, they both enthusiastic about the arts, and they share a similar taste in fashion.
These two strong women are making steps to modernize the British royalty and are both ardent advocates for women and women’s rights. And of course, they both fell in love with princes, and had to make the transition to becoming British royalty.
Despite their similarities, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle come from very different backgrounds. Kate grew up a quintessential English girl from a close family with ties to the British royalty.
Meghan, on the other hand, grew up in the United States, with divorced parents, and had to fight her way to the top. She declared her feminism from a young age and has always been outspoken about what she wants. These differences in their personalities sound like enough to lead to disagreements.
Shaking up the royals
So, perhaps expectedly, when Meghan Markle joined the royal family, it led to a bit of a shakeup within the ranks. Meghan is older than Prince Harry, an American of mixed race, an outspoken feminist, a divorcee, and a former actress.
Her go-getter attitude has apparently been a surprise to some among the royals, and she seems to thrive in the public eye. Since she married Prince Harry, the couple has lost three royal aides, creating even more controversy.
Everyone is analyzing the clues, trying to understand what’s really going on between Duchesses Kate and Meghan. They seemed to have reconciled their differences on Christmas, when they were seen walking happily side by side as the family made their way to church.
However, less than a month later, Meghan and Prince Harry were noticeable absent from Kate’s 37th birthday party. Rumors started flying yet again. Was this another sign of a rift or was Meghan simply otherwise engaged?
What does 2019 hold?
With the Duchess of Sussex expecting her first child and the Queen preparing to hand over more roles to Prince Charles and the rest of the family, 2019 is likely to be a big year for the royals.
Prince William and Prince Harry are both developing their own spheres of influence and seem more dedicated to their work than ever. We don’t know what to expect when it comes to the relationship between Kate and Meghan, but both women will undoubtedly continue to make their marks on the world.
All’s well that ends well
Despite these unsure beginnings, it seems clear that Queen Elizabeth is very fond of both of her granddaughter-in-laws. And as long as her grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry are happy, she seems to be happy.
If the Queen does have a favorite, it’s impossible for us to determine who it is from secondhand reports and the brief glimpses we get in the media. The Queen has a lot to be thankful for this year, from the weddings of two of her grandchildren to the birth of a great-grandson.