My latest article in the BBC History Magazine examines the reputation of Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, and grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. In the new Downton Abbey film, one storyline references a long-standing question: was Mary partial to stealing from the grand houses that she visited? Writing for History Extra, I explore the life of George V’s queen, and her habits as a collector of precious objects.
Click here to read “Was Queen Mary, wife of George V, a kleptomaniac?” in the BBC History Magazine.
I discussed the role of the Duchess of Cambridge with Janet Davison at CBC News. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
“For Kate, it’s been a “complicated transition,” said Carolyn Harris, a Toronto-based royal author and historian.
Kate came to public prominence once it was known she was dating William. She took part in a television interview at the time of their engagement, but didn’t make a public speech until 2012. In many ways, it seemed she was being eased into royal duties more slowly than previous generations.
For William’s mother, Diana, three decades earlier, “it was a very fast transition into royal life,” said Harris.”
Click here to read A ‘complicated transition’: How Kate is stepping up her public role for the royals at CBC News
I discussed the life, reign and legacy of Queen Victoria with Patrick Geoghegan on Talking History, Newstalk FM, Ireland.
The panel of historians and biographers on the program include A.N. Wilson, author of Victoria: A Life, Jane Ridley, author of Bertie: A Life of Edward VII and Queen Victoria: Queen, Matriarch, Empress, Jules Stewart, author of Albert: A Life and Christine Kinealy, author of A New History of Ireland.
Click here to listen to Queen Victoria: A Life
I discussed Queen Victoria’s legacy in Canada with Janet Davison at CBC News. While Queen Victoria never visited Canada in person, all four of her sons and her daughter Princess Louise spent time in Canada and set precedents for future royal tours. Queen Victoria also exerted political and cultural influence over the development of 19th century Canada and her birthday remains a Canadian holiday to the present day.
Click here to read How Queen Victoria made her mark in Canada — without ever visiting in the CBC News The Royal Fascinator Newsletter
In October-November, 2019, I will be teaching a new course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies – The Nordic Nations: From Vikings to Modernity. The course will take place on Wednesday afternoons from 2-4pm. Click here for more information and to register!
ABOUT THIS COURSE
The Nordic nations – Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway – are consistently among the top 15 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index. Their societies and culture are admired around the world. But prior to this success is a long, turbulent history. Learn about the history of the Nordic nations, including Vikings, warrior monarchs, the Second World War and immigration to North America. We’ll explore how the countries of northern Europe emerged from poverty and political upheaval to become some of the most successful countries of the 21st century.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
- Explore the cultural influence of the Nordic countries around the world.
- Learn about the unique histories of the Nordic nations.
- Discuss how successful societies can emerge from a difficult past.
Click here for more information and to register!
My latest article in The Canadian Encyclopedia is about Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey, Governor General of Canada from 1904 to 1911 (and the grandson of the British Prime Minister Earl Grey who reputedly received tea flavoured with oil of bergamot as a diplomatic gift, popularizing “Earl Grey” tea). As Governor General of Canada, the 4th Earl Grey established awards that honour Canadian arts, drama and sports. The Grey Cup is still presented to the winning team of the Canadian Football League championship.
Click here to read Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey in The Canadian Encyclopedia
I discussed the 50th anniversary of the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales with Janet Davison at CBC News.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
“What stands out to me about the investiture is how it resembled a medieval ceremony,” said Toronto-based royal historian and author Carolyn Harris. “But in fact, the investiture ceremony for the Prince of Wales was a 20th century invention.”
It was considerably more elaborate than previous investitures, and the first such ceremony to be broadcast via the increasingly popular medium of television.
Click here to read “What Should A Prince of Wales Do?” in The Royal Fascinator Newsletter at CBC News
My latest article on the BBC History Magazine’s website History Extra is about the 50th anniversary of Prince Charles’s Investiture as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle.
“Half a century ago, Queen Elizabeth II invested her son Charles as the Prince of Wales in an elaborate ceremony at Caernarfon Castle. But the ceremony was not without controversy, taking place amid the rapid social change of the 1960s and protest from a growing Welsh nationalist movement… “
Click here to read Charles, The Prince of Wales’s investiture at Caernarfon Castle, 50 years at History Extra.
My latest article on the BBC History Magazine’s History Extra website is about the history of State Visits to the United Kingdom.
Here is the introduction: “US President Donald Trump is expected to make an official state visit to the UK in June 2019, which will include a state banquet and ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. But who was the first American leader to make a state visit to Britain? Which two monarchs wrestled one another during a state visit? And how has Queen Elizabeth II welcomed world leaders in the past? Dr Carolyn Harris takes a closer look at the pomp and history of the state visit to Britain, and those of British monarchs abroad… “
Click here to read “From pageantry to controversy: a brief history of state visits” in the BBC History Magazine