Friday, September 20, 2013

an Unofficial official visit ...

This is the Court Circular for the official royal engagements on September 19, 2013.

 BALMORAL CASTLE: Air Marshal Sir David Walker was received by The Queen this afternoon upon relinquishing his appointment as Master of the Household.

 BUCKINGHAM PALACE: The Duke of York today carried out the following engagements in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Sultan of Yogyakarta called upon His Royal Highness this morning. The Duke of York afterwards opened the new British Embassy in Mega Kuningan. His Royal Highness today attended the Closing Ceremony of the United Kingdom Indonesia Science and Innovation Conference at the Intercontinental Hotel. The Duke of York this afternoon attended a Lunch Meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel to discuss sustainable palm oil. His Royal Highness later called upon the Governor of Jakarta Capital City (Mr. Joko Widodo). The Duke of York this evening attended a Reception for the British Chamber Educational Alumni at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. His Royal Highness subsequently attended a Dinner given by Sinarmas Group at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

 BUCKINGHAM PALACE: The Earl of Wessex, Honorary Member, the British and Commonwealth Fire Company Foundation, this morning held a Meeting. His Royal Highness, Commodore-in-Chief, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, later received Commodore William Walworth upon relinquishing his appointment as Head of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Captain Robert Dorey upon assuming the appointment. The Earl of Wessex, Trustee, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award International Foundation, this evening attended the International Golf for Youth Dinner at Windsor Castle. The Countess of Wessex, Patron, Vision 2020: the Right to Sight, and Global Ambassador, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, this afternoon visited the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital at Kolkata International Airport, West Bengal, India, and was received by the Governor of West Bengal (Mr. M. K. Narayanan). Her Royal Highness, Patron, Vision 2020: the Right to Sight, and Global Ambassador, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, this evening attended a Reception in support of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital at the ITC Hotel, Kolkata. BUCKINGHAM PALACE: The Princess Royal, Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Corps of Signals, this morning visited Exercise Horseshoe Focus (South), Okehampton Camp, Dartmoor, Devon. Her Royal Highness, President, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, this evening attended the President's Annual Lecture and Dinner at 8 John Adam Street, London WC2.

 What's missing? HRH Princess Beatrice of York's official visit to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh is not mentioned in the Court Circular because the Princess is not an official working member of the Royal Family. She became Patron of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation in July. Princess Beatrice and her younger sister, Princess Eugenie, have been taking on duties on their own, but these duties are not official. In other words, they do not (technically) represent the Queen. Princess Beatrice is patron of at least five organizations, but she does not do them as a part of the Firm. The Royal Hospital for Sick Children was opened in 1895 by Princess Beatrice (Princess Henry of Battenberg), youngest daughter of Queen Victoria. Princes Beatrice is a definite asset to the Royal Family. There is a dearth of younger princesses to take on royal duties.

 The Princess Royal and HRH Princess Alexandra are the only two princesses of the Blood Royal who are working royals. Anne celebrated her 63rd birthday in August, and Princess Alexandra will turn 77 on Christmas Day. The Royal family can only benefit from including the York princesses in the roundup of official duties. There are no plans, however, to allow Beatrice and Eugenie to be official working royals ... and that's a shame.


evan said...

I agree that this is a shame, especially since the Princesses appear perfectly willing to work hard & keep themselves relatively tidy.
This business of a "smaller" Royal family just doesn't sit well with me. The family isn't THAT big compared to, say, the Dutch, Danish & Belgian royal families, & provide excellent value for the money. Not that I'm criticizing them, mind you.
I'm not sure if the reports are true, Marlene, but is The Prince of Wales really that opposed to the York Princesses being official working royals?

Gary said...

I agree with you entirely. I know their plan is to pare down the royal family, but there are many worthy causes - and the people who depend on those organizations - which will suffer from lack of royal patronage as the older generations eventually reduce their workloads.

John said...

That's unfortunate, because the princesses, particularly Beatrice, seem enthusiastic for these kind of duties. It would be so nice if they officially represented The Queen, but oh well. Does Beatrice have a regular job?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

at the time of her birthday, the papers reported that she had left her job in finance, and was looking for a new one ... but nothing else

Matthew Plooster said...

With your keen eye, Marlene, what do you believe the future holds for the York princesses (and, for that matter, the Wessex children)? It's no secret that the Prince of Wales wants a slimmed-down monarchy; however, a slim monarchy means slim results and weaker impact.

To add, once the Prince of Wales succeeds to the throne, he's leaving a huge network of charities behind him that he will no longer be able to support himself, and that, doubtfully, Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge will ever fully support between the two of them. Coupling this with impending retirements of the Princess Royal, Princess Alexandra, the Duke of Kent, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, this leaves a substantial gap in areas of measurable impact.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

it seems apparent that the York princesses will undertake duties, privately, taking on charity work as Princesses but not as working royals. Although legally royal, the Wessex children will live largely private lives, and probably do things on their own.