New Quartz Article: The history of British royalty proves raising a kid is always a group effort

Princess Charlotte, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and the Duke of Cambridge in Victoria, British Columbia (Photo Credit: The Canadian Press)

My latest article in Quartz Magazine discussed the role of the extended family in royal parenting over the centuries.

“As I discuss in my new book, Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting, the upbringing of a royal child has always included a wide circle of people including grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, tutors, nannies and governesses. In fact, royal parenting has acquired a negative reputation over the centuries because of how often kings and queens delegated the daily routine of childrearing to their extended family and household. But there’s another way of looking at this tradition: Royal children have had a large support system during both good times and difficult times.”

Click here to read “The history of British royalty proves raising a kid is always a group effort” in Quartz Magazine

Click here to purchase my book, Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting

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CBC News Interview: ‘Protector of the Royal Family’: How Prince Philip helped modernize the monarchy

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on the Balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

My latest CBC News interview discusses Prince Philip’s role in modernizing the monarchy including his support of the Queen’s decision to invite television cameras into Westminster Abbey for her 1953 coronation.

Click here to read ‘Protector of the Royal Family’: How Prince Philip helped modernize the monarchy at CBC News

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University of Toronto News Interview: Prince Philip rumours go viral

Prince Philip in 2008.

Before the announcement that Prince Philip would be retiring from public life at the end of the summer, there was widespread speculation on social media that Buckingham Palace would be announcing his death on the morning of May 4 as members of the royal household gathered for an “eleventh hour” meeting.

There were also more optimistic theories including the idea that forthcoming renovations to Buckingham Palace would prompt an announcement that the Queen and Prince Philip were moving to Windsor Castle or Balmoral for an extended period of time. In an interview with University of Toronto news, I discuss the timeless fascination with events behind palace doors and how the internet has accelerated the spread of royal rumors.

Buckingham Palace, London

Click here to read “Prince Philip rumours go viral: U of T expert talks about centuries of royal gossip” at UofT news

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Canadian Press Interview: Remembering Prince Philip’s glamour and gaffes as he retires from public life

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in Canada in 2010

Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Philip will retire from public life at the end of the summer. I discussed his decades of official engagements in Canada with Michelle McQuigge in the Canadian Press. In the 1950s, the Queen and Prince Philip were the royal couple poised to modernize the monarchy. As the decades passed, Prince Philip became known for his extensive philanthropic efforts – and occasional off the cuff remarks.

Click here to read Remembering Prince Philip’s glamour and gaffes as he retires from public life

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Smithsonian Russian Revolution Series: April 1917: The Provisional Government

Prince Georgy Lvov, 1st Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government in 1917

The April 1917 article in my monthly Smithsonian Russian Revolution series examines the struggles faced by the new Provisional Government after Czar Nicholas II abdicated. The new Prime Minister, Prince Georgy Lvov, a Russian nobleman, found himself politically isolated and unable to reconcile the competing demands of conservative and socialist political factions.

The rising star in Lvov’s government was Alexander Kerensky, Minister of Justice, whose first order of business was investigating former Czar Nicholas II. When Lvov’s government faced protests because of its determination to fulfill Czarist diplomatic and military obligations including Russia’s participation in the First World War, Kerensky orchestrated a coalition government with socialist parties and became Minister of War, events that became known as the April Crisis. Vladimir Lenin’s Bolshevik party, however, remained in opposition to this government, demanding an immediate end to hostilities on the eastern front.

Click here to read “In a Czar-less Russia, Winning was Easy. Governing was Harder” in Smithsonian Magazine

Click here to read my entire Russian Revolution series (so far) in Smithsonian Magazine

Sources and Further Reading:

The quote at the beginning of the article is from Leo Tolstoy’s celebrated novel, Anna Karenina. Tolstoy and Lvov had been neighbours and shared a common disdain for the ostentatious lifestyle expected of members of the Czarist nobility before the Russian Revolution.

Lvov’s early life and career are discussed in detail in Orlando Figes’ history of the Russian Revolution, A People’s Tragedy. The book also discusses the difficult position faced by the Provisional Government in the Spring of 1917.

Accounts of celebrations of the establishment of the Provisional Government across Russia are included in War and Revolution in Russia 1914-1922 by Christopher Read.

Documents related to the Provisional Government’s arrest and investigation of the former Imperial family are translated and reprinted in The Fall of the Romanovs, a collection of primary sources about the Romanovs during and after the Russian Revolutions of 1917.

The memoirs of Alexander Kerensky have recently been reprinted in e-book form as The Catastrophe: Kerensky’s Own Story of the Russian Revolution

Lenin’s return to Russia is the subject of a recent book, Lenin on the Train by Catherine Merridale, author of Red Fortress, a history of Moscow’s Kremlin. Lenin’s writings and speeches are also available online.

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Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting now available for purchase

My 3rd book, Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting, has been published by Dundurn Press in Canada. (The USA and UK release date is May 2).

Click here to purchase your copy of Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting

How royal parents dealt with raising their children over the past thousand years, from keeping Vikings at bay to fending off paparazzi.

William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are setting trends for millions of parents around the world. The upbringing of their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, is the focus of intense popular scrutiny. Royalty have always raised their children in the public eye and attracted praise or criticism according to parenting standards of their day.

Royal parents have faced unique challenges and held unique privileges. In medieval times, raising an heir often meant raising a rival, and monarchs sometimes faced their grown children on the battlefield. Conversely, kings and queens who lost their thrones in wars or popular revolutions often found solace in time spent with their children. In modern times, royal duties and overseas tours have often separated young princes and princesses from their parents, a circumstance that is slowly changing with the current generation of royalty.

Click here to purchase your copy of Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting

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Review of Queenship and Revolution in Early Modern Europe in the Canadian Journal of History

My 2nd book Queenship and Revolution in Early Modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette has been reviewed by historian Sharon Jansen in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of the Canadian Journal of History. Jansen describes the book as “An excellent example of careful archival scholarship and thoughtful gender analysis.”

Click here to read the review in the Canadian Journal of History

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Open History Interview: Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting

I discussed the research and writing of my latest book, Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting, with Open History. The interview includes how the book came together, why I decided to write about the history of royal parenting and the impact of the history of royal parenting on modern Canadian culture.

Click here to read “Open History – Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting”

Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting is currently for sale in Chapters/Indigo bookstores and will be available across Canada on April 8. The USA/UK publication date is May 2.

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