New Canadian Encyclopedia Article: Lady Lansdowne

My latest article in the Canadian Encyclopedia is about Lady Lansdowne,
viceregal consort of Canada from 1883 to 1888 and Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Alexandra. Lady Lansdowne was an active and popular viceregal consort who became an accomplished figure skater during her time in Canada. Her eldest brother was an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales and Lady Lansdowne was therefore a great-great-great-great grand-aunt of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the newborn son of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Click here to read my article about Lady Lansdowne in the Canadian Encyclopedia

Today Interview: Royal parenting over the years: From distant and lonely to loving and hands-on

I discussed royal parenting over the past century with Laura T. Coffey from Today. One hundred years ago, King George V’s and Queen Mary’s youngest son Prince John died following an epileptic seizure. While his parents grieved his loss, his daily care had been entrusted almost entirely to his governess Charlotte Bill, and he resided in his own residence, the Wood Farm cottage on the Sandringham Estate. Royal parents are far more involved in the daily care of their children today, a trend that will continue with the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby.

Click here to read Royal parenting over the years: From distant and lonely to loving and hands-on

New York Magazine Interview: Inside the Royal Gossip Machine

Diana, Princess of Wales at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987

My recent interview with Lisa Ryan for The Cut, New York Magazine, examines the history of royal reporting including how the royal family has shaped its own image over the centuries from the reign of King George III to the present day.

Here an excerpt from the interview:

“This isn’t a new game; reporting on royal gossip has been happening for a while, though it’s certainly evolved under different monarchs’ reigns. “It’s varied over time, as there’s a balance between maintaining the mystique of the monarchy and ensuring members of the royal family have a private life to some degree, but also responding to a very strong public interest in royalty and life behind palace doors that has existed for centuries,” royal historian Carolyn Harris, the author of Raising Royalty: 1,000 Years of Royal Parenting, told the Cut.”

Click here to read “Inside the Royal Gossip Machine” in New York Magazine

 

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

 

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

 

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.

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 

 

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:

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

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.