I am quoted in the final section of this week’s CBC Royal Fascinator newsletter, discussing Princess Patricia of Connaught’s time in Canada. Like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex), Princess Patricia and her husband Sir Alexander Ramsay enjoyed a royal romance that unfolded partly in Canada.
I will be teaching an eight week course about Queen Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies on Tuesdays in March-April 2019. Click here for more information and to register.
About this course:
More than 200 years after her execution, Queen Marie Antoinette is still one of the most famous and controversial figures in European history. In late 18th-century France, her reputation influenced debates about the role of women in politics, their families and the arts. Austrian-born, her position at the top of French society fuelled criticism of the monarchy and contributed to the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789. Her influence on popular culture continues today.
What You’ll Learn:
- Discover the real Queen Marie Antoinette behind centuries of myths in popular culture.
- Trace the reasons for her controversial reputation.
- Explore the clashes in the politics, culture and society of royal and revolutionary France.
- Look behind the legend and examine the controversial queen’s impact on politics, culture and society.
Click here to purchase my book Queenship and Revolution in Early Modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette
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.”
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
“In the 19th century, when foreign royalty was marrying into the Royal Family, sometimes political differences complicated personal relationships,” said Harris. Queen Victoria found herself banning dinner conversation about a conflict between Denmark and Germany because of personal tensions amid family members.
And then there’s the conflict that erupted with the arrival of Wallis Simpson, the twice-divorced American who was at the root of Edward VIII’s abdication from the throne in 1936.”
I recently discussed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Good Housekeeping. The royal couple will become parents in the Spring of 2019 and the interview focused on the traditions surrounding royal births including names, titles and announcements.
I discussed the current popularity of the royal family with Good Housekeeping in the UK. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
“Members of the royal family are certainly conscious of how they are perceived. The Queen reputedly once said ‘I have to be seen to be believed’ and remaining in the public eye through tours, charitable patronages and presence on major occasions in the life of the nation is certainly key to the monarchy’s popularity,” said Dr Carolyn Harris, historian and author of Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting.
Click here to read Why are we so obsessed with the royal family? in Good Housekeeping UK
I discussed protocol for meeting a member of the royal family with Lauren Cahn at Reader’s Digest. There are no obligatory rules but there are traditional forms. Individual members of the royal family such as Princess Anne and Prince Harry have also expressed their preferences, especially concerning selfies and intrusive photography by members of the public during royal walkabouts.
My latest article in the BBC History Magazine is about 7 royal babies who were born 7th in line to the throne. Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become parents for the first time in the Spring of 2019. The latest royal baby will be 7th in line to the throne. From the 17th century until the present day, royal children born 7th in the line of succession have pursued a variety of interesting careers including artist, consultant, jazz music expert, military officer and King of Hanover!
On Monday October 15, Kensington Palace announced that Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become parents in the Spring of 2019. Although the arrival of the royal baby is months away, there is already speculation concerning the decisions that Harry and Meghan will make as parents, including childcare. I discussed royal nannies and how they are chosen with Town and Country magazine.
“It’s bound to bring back royal wedding memories of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s carriage ride through the streets of Windsor.
Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie, 28, and Jack Brooksbank, 32, are planning a horse-drawn jaunt after their wedding in St. George’s Chapel on Friday, perhaps in a glass coach if rain seems likely.
But while much shorter than Harry and Meghan’s, Eugenie’s ceremonial excursion, and the security it will require, have stirred controversy over the nuptials of this more junior royal who seems to be aiming for a wedding to rival the one her higher-ranking relative had in May.
“Princess Eugenie … is a private citizen in many respects,” said Toronto-based royal historian and author Carolyn Harris. “She doesn’t have that range of public engagements, and so there’s some popular controversy about the perception that she’s trying to emulate the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.”