Queen Victoria was born 200 years ago today on May 24, 1819. Her sixty-three year reign had a profound impact on the history of the monarchy and her legacy endures to the present day. I discussed Queen Victoria’s legacy with Aurora Bosotti at the Daily Express along with other historians of the Queen’s reign including Marlene Koenig, author of Queen Victoria’s Descendants, Julia Baird, author of Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire and Helen Rappaport, author of numerous books about Queen Victoria and the Victorian era including Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert and the Death That Changed The Monarchy.
On May 18, 2019, Lady Gabriella Windsor (the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent) married Thomas Kingston at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. Lady Gabriella is the third member of the royal family to be married at St. George’s Chapel in the past year. Senior members of the royal family attended the wedding including the Queen and Prince Harry. In an interview with Janet Davison at CBC News, I discussed Lady Gabriella, her branch of the royal family, and her wedding.
I wrote a short history of the name Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor for the BBC History Magazine. I discussed the long history of the name Archibald or Archie among the Scottish nobility including an ancestor of the new royal baby, how Harrison mirrors Norse and Anglo-Saxon patronymics from before the Norman Conquest and the emergence of the surname Mountbatten-Windsor for junior members of the royal family from 1960 to the present.
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.
I discussed The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s newborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor with Janet Davison for the CBC royal newsletter, The Royal Fascinator. The interview includes the birth announcement, first photographs and the name that was announced today.
I discussed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s newborn son in a series of interviews on the CBC News Channel and CBC Radio on the day of the royal baby’s arrival, May 6, 2019.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed a baby boy today. The newborn is 7th in line to the throne after his grandfather Prince Charles, uncle Prince William, cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and father Prince Harry. Just before the birth, I discussed the historical significance of the royal baby in an extended interview with Natalie Escobar at The Atlantic.
I discussed the history of speculation and rumours surrounding royal births from the seventeenth century to the present day with Janet Davison at CBC News. The article also discusses the reports that that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may live abroad at some point in the future. The royal couple’s first child is expected to arrive in the next few days, prompting widespread conjecture concerning the young family’s eventual plans for travel within the Commonwealth.
My new article in the Historica Canada Canadian Encyclopedia is about
Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, politician and governor general of Canada from 1883 to 1888. Lansdowne was the first governor general to travel the entire length of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He also mediated a dispute with the United States concerning fishing rights. During his time in Canada, he enjoyed outdoor sports and social life, becoming the skip of the Rideau Hall curling team in the winter and salmon fishing on the Cascapedia river in the summer.
I discussed the history of royal parenting and how royal babies were fed over the past few centuries with Aly Walansky at Today. The debate concerning whether royal mothers should nurse their own children dates from the late eighteenth century when French Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau objected to the prevalence of wet nurses employed to feed and care for infants. Marie Antoinette briefly nursed her daughter Marie-Therese over the objections of her own mother, Empress Maria Theresa and Queen Victoria’s daughters nursed their children despite the Queen’s distaste for the practice. The controversy surrounding royal mothers nursing their own children continued until the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II’s children in the mid 20th century.