My BBC History Magazine article: The 8 most famous royal weddings in British history

Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales on their wedding day in 1981

In honour of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend, my feature article in the BBC History Magazine is about the 8 most famous royal weddings in British history. I discuss what each bride wore on her wedding day, guest list complications, wedding cakes and the variety of popular responses to royal weddings over the centuries from Tudor times to today.

Click here to read The 8 Most Famous Royal Weddings in British History

 

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E News Interview: Who Could Walk Meghan Markle Down the Aisle in Place of Her Father, According to a Royal Expert?

Meghan Markle

There have been conflicting reports this week concerning whether Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, will attend the royal wedding on Saturday May 19 and escort his daughter down the aisle to marry Prince Harry. The latest news indicates that he will be undergoing heart surgery later in the week and be unable to travel to the United Kingdom for the wedding.

I discussed the history of royal weddings with Lindsay Good at E News online. Although the most famous recent royal brides, Catherine Middleton and Lady Diana Spencer were accompanied by their respective fathers on their wedding days, there are numerous royal brides who have been escorted by other relatives including mothers, uncles, brothers and brothers-in-law. As a widow, Queen Victoria escorted at least two of her daughters, Helena and Beatrice, down the aisle when they married.

Click here to read Who Could Walk Meghan Markle Down the Aisle in Place of Her Father, According to a Royal Expert

 

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CBC News Interview: All about the dress

Charles and Diana, The Prince and Princess of Wales, on their wedding day in 1981

I was interviewed by Janet Davison at CBC News for The Royal Fascinator newsletter concerning the history of royal wedding dresses including the voluminous dress and train worn by Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

Click here to read “All About the Dress” at CBC News.

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CBC The Goods Interview: Royal Wedding Quiz

The wedding of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert

I discussed the history of royal weddings on The Goods on CBC (Season 2, Episode 97). The audience participated in a royal wedding quiz with questions about royal wedding gifts, dresses and balcony appearances!

Click here to watch the episode 

 

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My January-February 2018 course at University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies: Family Life from Medieval to Modern Times

On Wednesday afternoons in January and February 2018, I will be teaching an eight week history course about Family Life from Medieval to Modern Times.

Click here for more information and to register.

Course Description:

Our views on marriage and childrearing would seem very strange to families of past centuries. We’ll see the influence of romanticism on the current understanding of family life, the changing role of grandparents in relation to family traditions, and the emergence of a distinct children’s culture including the birth of children’s literature, due in part to the expansion of formal education. Join us for a look at marriage and parenting customs and advice through the centuries, and the surprising influence of history on family life today.
Learning Outcomes:
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University of Toronto News Interview: Diana’s legacy, 20 years after her death

The Prince and Princess of Wales on their wedding day in 1981

I discussed the life and legacy of Diana, Princess of Wales with University of Toronto news on the 20th anniversary of her death.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

How has the U.K. media been covering the anniversary of her death?

“There are two main components to British media coverage of Diana’s death: new insights about Diana’s life and legacy and reflection on the impact of Diana’s death on British society. During her lifetime, Diana was one of the most famous women in the world and spoke openly to the press about the difficulties she faced as a member of the Royal Family and during the breakdown of her marriage. The media today is therefore fascinated by new information, including new insights from her sons and the controversial tapes recorded for Diana’s voice coach.”

Click here to read the full interview: U of T expert on Diana’s legacy, 20 years after her death

I also discussed Diana’s advocacy for victims of landmines with the Kingston Whig-Standard. Click here to read the interview: Diana Advanced Land Mine Ban

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CBC and Canadian Press Interviews about Diana, Princess of Wales

Lady Diana Spencer surrounded by photographers immediately prior to the announcement of her engagement to the Prince of Wales

I discussed the life and legacy of Diana, Princess of Wales with the CBC and the Canadian Press for the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death in 1997.

Click here to read “Canadians reflect on Princess Diana with 20th anniversary of her death nearing” in the Canadian Press

Click here to read “The Diana myth: Why she haunts us still — 20 years after her death” at CBC News. 

I will be interviewed about Diana on CBC Alberta at Noon on Thursday, August 31.

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CBC Interview: History repeating itself: How the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death put her back in the spotlight

Diana, Princess of Wales at the Cannes film festival.

I discussed Diana, Princess of Wales with Janet Davidson at the CBC, leading up to the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death on August 31, 1997. Here’s an excerpt from the interview.

“Anniversaries of historical events often offer an opportunity to look back and reflect on them, says Carolyn Harris, a Toronto-based royal historian and author of the recently published Raising Royalty: 1,000 Years of Royal Parenting.

But Harris sees more in play here.

“It’s not simply a matter of looking back at how things were 20 years ago but that we’re seeing new perspectives on Diana’s passing, particularly the views of her sons.”

Click here to read the full article, “History repeating itself: How the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death put her back in the spotlight.”

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New Quartz Article: The history of British royalty proves raising a kid is always a group effort

Princess Charlotte, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and the Duke of Cambridge in Victoria, British Columbia (Photo Credit: The Canadian Press)

My latest article in Quartz Magazine discussed the role of the extended family in royal parenting over the centuries.

“As I discuss in my new book, Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting, the upbringing of a royal child has always included a wide circle of people including grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, tutors, nannies and governesses. In fact, royal parenting has acquired a negative reputation over the centuries because of how often kings and queens delegated the daily routine of childrearing to their extended family and household. But there’s another way of looking at this tradition: Royal children have had a large support system during both good times and difficult times.”

Click here to read “The history of British royalty proves raising a kid is always a group effort” in Quartz Magazine

Click here to purchase my book, Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting

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Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting now available for purchase

My 3rd book, Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting, has been published by Dundurn Press in Canada. (The USA and UK release date is May 2).

Click here to purchase your copy of Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting

How royal parents dealt with raising their children over the past thousand years, from keeping Vikings at bay to fending off paparazzi.

William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are setting trends for millions of parents around the world. The upbringing of their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, is the focus of intense popular scrutiny. Royalty have always raised their children in the public eye and attracted praise or criticism according to parenting standards of their day.

Royal parents have faced unique challenges and held unique privileges. In medieval times, raising an heir often meant raising a rival, and monarchs sometimes faced their grown children on the battlefield. Conversely, kings and queens who lost their thrones in wars or popular revolutions often found solace in time spent with their children. In modern times, royal duties and overseas tours have often separated young princes and princesses from their parents, a circumstance that is slowly changing with the current generation of royalty.

Click here to purchase your copy of Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting

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