My latest article in the Canadian Encyclopedia is a profile of Lady Dufferin, viceregal consort while her husband, Lord Dufferin, was Governor General of Canada from 1872 to 1878. Lady Dufferin transformed Rideau Hall into a social and cultural centre. She was the first Governor General’s wife to tour Canada and became one of the most well-known and popular viceregal consorts. Lady Dufferin wrote extensively about her time in Canada. The letters she wrote to her mother from Canada were published in 1891 as My Canadian Journal: 1872–8.
My latest interview with the Toronto Star discusses recent royal princesses. The last princess to be born in the United Kingdom was Princess Eugenie, the younger of the two daughters of the Duke and Duchess of York. Eugenie was born in 1990. In 2003, the Countess of Wessex gave birth to a baby girl but she was styled Lady Louise rather than Princess Louise as the Earl and Countess of Wessex wished for their children to be styled as children of an earl. The newborn Princess of Cambridge is therefore the first princess to be born in the United Kingdom in 25 years.
I am quoted in this Toronto Star article “Prince William tells crowd family is ‘very happy’” about the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s second child. Prince William left the hospital a few hours after the birth to collect his son Prince George and bring him to St. Mary’s hospital. As I discuss in the article, there is immense public interest in Prince George’s appearances because there are so few of them. Prince George was seen leaving the hospital the day after his birth in 2013, at his christening that same year and on the 2014 Australia and New Zealand tour but this is his first official public appearance as a toddler.
My 1st book, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights is now available in bookstores across Canada just six weeks before the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and the start of the Magna Carta Canada 2015 touring exhibition.
My latest interview for CBC.ca discusses “The risks and rewards of being ‘the spare’ to the throne.” For recent “spares” such as Princess Margaret, Prince Andrew and Prince Harry, there has been the challenge of carving out a meaningful role in public life. Both Andrew and Harry experienced success in their military careers but Andrew has faced criticism since leaving the military and there is speculation that Harry may face challenges finding a new role once he finishes his secondment with the Australian forces.
For the Queen’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, life as “the spare” initially seemed glamorous but she was discouraged from marrying the man she loved and, like Prince Andrew, was criticized for her travel and spending. Before the current reign, however, “the spare” had a good chance of succeeding to the throne. George VI, George V, Charles I and Henry VIII were all second sons while Elizabeth I and Queen Anne were second daughters. There have been other monarchs were born even further down the line of succession. Henry I, King John and Richard III were all fourth surviving sons and Queen Victoria was the daughter of King George III’s fourth son.
My latest interview on the history of royal baby names, “Alice’ and ‘Arthur’ lead the pack as Royal baby name game heats up at U.K. bookmakers” is in the National Post. There is widespread speculation that the royal baby will be a girl. Both of the names favoured by the British bookmakers, Alice and Charlotte have royal antecedents. Queen Victoria’s second daughter was Princess Alice of Hesse-Darmstadt and her great-granddaughter was Princess Alice of Battenberg, the mother of Prince Philip. One of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone was the consort of the Governor General of Canada during the Second World War.
Charlotte was a popular royal name in Georgian England as it was the name of George III’s queen, Charlotte of Mecklenberg, her daughter, Princess Charlotte of Württemberg and her ill fated granddaughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales, who died in childbirth in 1817, giving birth to a stillborn son. Princess Charlotte of Wales was second-in-line to the throne at the time of her death and her pregnancy was the first instance of bookmakers taking bets on whether a royal baby would be a boy or a girl.
My latest article in the Canadian Encyclopedia discusses the 1939 Royal Tour of Canada by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The 1939 royal tour by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was the first time a reigning Canadian monarch had stepped foot in this country. It was the most successful royal tour in Canadian history, with enormous crowds greeting the royal couple as they crossed the country by train. The tour, which included a four-day visit to the United States, also reinforced critical Anglo-Canadian and Anglo-American relations on the eve of the Second World War.
My interview with Katie Daubs in the Toronto Star discusses the role of “the spare” in recent royal history from the future King George V to Prince Harry today. Younger royal children are often portrayed in the press as more spontaneous and fun-loving than the eldest sibling who is destined to reign. There are times, however, when the spare becomes the heir. Both Queen Elizabeth II’s grandfather, George V, and father, George VI, were second sons who became monarchs due to unexpected circumstances.
Click here to read “British royal ‘spares’ seldom reign, but they do seem to have more fun.”
My latest CBC interview compares the more subdued popular interest in the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s second baby with the media frenzy that accompanied the birth of Prince George in 2013. In 2013, journalists were camped outside the hospital for nearly a month before the arrival of the royal baby and the final weeks before the birth were known as “The Great Kate Wait.” In 2015, the second royal baby has been overshadowed by British politics: the announcement was made just before the Scottish independence referendum and the birth will take place just before the United Kingdom general election.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s second child is due later this month and speculation continues regarding possible names. My most recent interview about the history of royal baby names discusses some of the possible contenders including Arthur, which is one of Prince William’s middle names and Charlotte, which has a royal pedigree and has been used by the Middleton family. The article also mentions my forthcoming book, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights