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: Pomp, pageantry and the PR spectacle of the royal wedding

George Hayter’s painting of the wedding of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert

I discussed royal wedding traditions and preparations with Janet Davison at the CBC News Channel for the latest edition of the CBC Royal Wedding newsletter, the The Royal Fascinator. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Jump back to the 19th century, and you’ll see that royal weddings were riveting the public throughout Queen Victoria’s reign. She had nine children and they all married. She also lived long enough to attend the weddings of several grandchildren, says Toronto-based royal historian and author Carolyn Harris. After Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, died in 1861, Victoria lived a relatively secluded life, says Harris, “so a royal wedding was a rare public opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Queen.”

Click here to read The Royal Fascinator: Pomp, pageantry and the PR spectacle of the royal wedding

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 lectures about Royal Tours of Toronto at Market Gallery on November 17 and 24

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh leaving the Royal York hotel in Toronto on a tour of Canada in 2010.

I will be giving two Friday afternoon lectures later this month at Market Gallery in Toronto about royal tours of Toronto, complementing the Maple Leaf Forever exhibition currently on display there. Afternoon tea will be served at both events and my books Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada and Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting will be for sale.

On November 17, I will be discussing the 1860 royal tour of Canada by Queen Victoria’s eldest son, the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII), which set key precedents for subsequent royal tours. More details about the talk are available here.

On November 24, I will be discussing Queen Elizabeth II’s visits to Toronto from 1951 to 2010. More details about the talk are available here.

Tickets for each lecture and afternoon tea are $20 and are available from Market Gallery.

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:

New Canadian Encyclopedia Article: Prince Arthur, 1st Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

Prince Arthur, 1st Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

My latest article in the Canadian Encyclopedia is about Queen Victoria’s 3rd son, Prince Arthur, 1st Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (1850-1942), Governor General of Canada from 1911 to 1916.

As Governor General, Connaught was involved in military recruitment and philanthropy in Canada during the First World War. He also established the Connaught Cup for marksmanship in the RCMP and made extensive renovations to Rideau Hall. His daughter, Princess Patricia, was the first honourary Colonel-in-Chief of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

Click here to read Prince Arthur, 1st Duke of Connaught and Strathearn in the Canadian Encyclopedia

 

My October-November 2017 course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies: Women In Power

“Boadicea Haranguing the Britons” by John Opie

In the Fall of 2017, I will be teaching an eight week course about the history of Women in Power at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. Click here for more information and to register:

Time and Date:

03 Oct 2017 – 21 Nov 2017 
Tuesdays 
7:00PM – 9:00PM

Course Description:

Powerful women have presented themselves as warrior queens, rulers by divine right, wives and mothers and, most recently, as elected officials. We’ll examine the most significant female political figures in history, including Boadicea, Queen Isabella, Queen Elizabeth I, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton. Through lively lectures and discussions, you’ll learn the story of women in political life. Why are women still underrepresented in political life? Join Carolyn Harris for a fascinating look at the often-neglected place of women in power from Cleopatra to Angela Merkel.

Learning Outcomes:

 

New Canadian Encyclopedia Article: John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, Marquess of Lorne

John Campbell, , Marquess of Lorne

My latest article in the Historica Canada Canadian Encyclopedia is about the Marquess of Lorne, Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883.

As Governor General, Lorne founded the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and the National Gallery of Canada and undertook extensive tours of western Canada, proposing the names Alberta and Lake Louise in honour of his wife, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta. Lorne’s patronage of Canadian artists set precedents for future Governors General and his books promoted Canadian landscapes, culture and history to a wide international audience.

Click here to read my article on John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, Marquess of Lorne in the Canadian Encyclopedia.

I have also written articles about the Marquess of Lorne’s wife, Princess Louise and mother-in-law, Queen Victoria in the Canadian Encyclopedia.

For more about the Marquess of Lorne, Princess Louise and their reception in Canada, read my chapter “Royalty at Rideau Hall: Lord Lorne, Princess Louise and the Emergence of the Canadian Crown” in Canada and the Crown: Essays on Constitutional Monarchy

Canada’s History Magazine Feature Article: The Queen’s Land

My latest feature article for Canada’s History Magazine is entitled “The Queen’s Land: The colourful stories behind the royal names embedded in Canada’s geography.” I discuss the royal personages who gave their names to Canada’s cities and landscapes, revealing the fascinating historical figures behind Canadian places such as Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia; Fredericton, New Brunswick; Prince Edward Island; Lake Louise, Alberta; and Prince George, British Columbia.

The August-September issue of Canada’s History Magazine will be available on newsstands in the coming weeks.

Click here to read the Table of Contents of the August-September Issue of Canada’s History Magazine