Posts Tagged "the Royal Family"


The Queen admits to ‘bumpy’ year in annual Christmas speech – National

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In her annual Christmas speech, Queen Elizabeth II will acknowledge that both Britain and her family have had a “bumpy” time this year.

Released excerpts of the Queen’s speech, which was pre-recorded and will be broadcast on Christmas Day, nod to the difficulties of 2019. It was recorded before the monarch’s husband, Prince Philip, was hospitalized in London on Dec. 20 as a precautionary measure.

Buckingham Palace released the clips on Christmas Eve. The Queen’s speech reflects on the past year and shares wishes for the year ahead.

READ MORE: From babies to scandal, the Royal Family’s biggest moments of 2019

“The path, of course, is not always smooth and may, at times this year, have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference,” the Queen said while talking about the need for reconciliation and forgiveness.

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She is thought to be referring both to Britain’s tortuous path out of the European Union, which led to a lengthy political stalemate broken only earlier this month when voters gave the pro-Brexit Conservative Party a comfortable majority in Parliament, and to the Royal Family’s setbacks.

This year has no doubt been challenging for the Royal Family.

The Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, stepped down from his royal duties after a disastrous BBC interview in which he defended his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and denied having sex with a woman named Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

Prince Philip leaves hospital in time for Christmas

Prince Philip leaves hospital in time for Christmas

Giuffre says she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with the prince in 2001 when she was only 17. Prince Andrew denies these allegations.

The family has also endured a public rift between Prince William and Prince Harry.

The Duke of Sussex is celebrating Christmas with wife Meghan Markle and son Archie in Canada this year rather than spending the holidays at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate — a long-standing royal tradition.

Kensington Palace also released a photo from the Queen’s speech on Instagram. In the picture, Queen Elizabeth II is sitting at a desk with framed photos around her.

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Commenters were quick to point out that Prince Harry, Markle and Archie were absent from the photo collection. The family was featured on the Queen’s table in her 2018 Christmas speech.

READ MORE: Buckingham Palace releases photos of Royal Family members making Christmas dessert

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released their own Christmas card on Monday, featuring a seven-month-old Archie up close to the camera.

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— With files from the Associated Press 

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Prince Andrew may have ‘valuable information’ on Epstein sex offences: lawyers – National

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Britain’s disgraced Prince Andrew is facing mounting calls to provide information to U.S. law enforcement agencies and lawyers who are investigating crimes committed by American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his associates.

Lawyers for Epstein’s victims believe Prince Andrew may have valuable information about the late financier’s sex offences. When Epstein died in August, he was facing charges of trafficking in underage girls who provided sexual favours to the powerful men visiting his luxury properties in the Caribbean and elsewhere.

The 59-year-old prince stepped down from his royal duties on Wednesday with the approval of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, after a weekend interview in which he tried to justify his well-documented ties to Epstein backfired spectacularly.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew steps down. The duke’s history with Jeffrey Epstein explained

Charities and British educational institutions that had fundraising ties to Prince Andrew — the royal website lists dozens — had quickly begun to question if he could actually hurt their brands.

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Prince Andrew still may face legal questioning about allegations that he had sex with a girl provided by Epstein when she was just 17, a charge he has denied and that she insists is true.

LISTEN BELOW: Global News Europe correspondent Redmond Shannon joins the Ryan Jespersen on 630 CHED to discuss the impact of Prince Andrew taking a step back

U.S. attorney Gloria Allred, who represents some of the women abused by Epstein, said Thursday that Prince Andrew should contact American authorities “without conditions and without delay.”

Prince Andrew announced in his statement Wednesday that he is “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required” but did not volunteer to provide evidence.

Prince Andrew is stepping down from public duties

Prince Andrew is stepping down from public duties

It is not clear if U.S. authorities are investigating Prince Andrew for any possible wrongdoing. Many of the court papers related to the Epstein case are still sealed and unavailable to the public.

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British legal experts, meanwhile, are divided over whether Prince Andrew enjoys immunity from prosecution as a senior British royal.

Some say Prince Andrew should reach out to U.S. officials in an effort clear his name rather than wait for a subpoena or legal action that would force him to testify, which could happen if U.S. officials working through the U.S. embassy in London ask Britain’s Foreign Office to secure Prince Andrew’s co-operation.

British lawyer Mark Stephens said Prince Andrew will eventually have to testify under oath to answer Virginia Giuffre’s charge that she was encouraged to have sex with Prince Andrew three times when she was 17.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew to step down from public life amid Epstein scandal

“The question is where he answers,” Stephens said. “There is no reason why the FBI or, indeed, the lawyers for Virginia Roberts [Giuffre’s name before she was married] couldn’t come to the U.K. to take his evidence.”

Stephens said it was doubtful that Andrew could provide useful evidence on other cases related to Epstein’s crimes, which have led to a number of civil suits against his estate.

“There are much better witnesses,” he said. “What could he say that couldn’t be said by witnesses that went more frequently, the staff at any of his homes, for example, and the people close to him, the fixers? Those are the people with really probative evidence.”

Epstein, 66, died on Aug. 10 while in jail on sex-trafficking charges in what New York’s medical examiner ruled was a suicide.

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Charities, firms cut ties with Prince Andrew amid Epstein scandal

Charities, firms cut ties with Prince Andrew amid Epstein scandal

France also has an open investigation into sex claims against an Epstein associate.

In his interview with the BBC on Saturday, Prince Andrew denied having sex with Giuffre, saying he didn’t remember meeting her despite a published photograph that appears to show the prince with his arm around her.

He said he regrets not cutting ties with Epstein after the financier pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida under a deal that required him to serve 13 months in jail and register as a sex offender.

But the prince notably failed to express any sympathy for Epstein’s victims. And he defended his previous friendship with the billionaire investor because of the contacts it provided when Prince Andrew was preparing for a role as Britain’s special trade representative.

READ MORE: ‘Like watching a man in quicksand’ — Prince Andrew interview panned in U.K. press

The scandal over Prince Andrew’s ties to Epstein has blossomed into the biggest challenge for Britain’s monarchy since the 1997 death of Princess Diana, when the Queen was accused of appearing aloof and out of touch amid an outpouring of national mourning for the popular royal with the common touch.

Prince Andrew’s decision to withdraw from public life came after he consulted his mother, the 93-year-old monarch, who has not commented on the matter.

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Andrew is the Queen’s third child and second son. His older brother, Prince Charles, is heir to the throne, but Prince Andrew is eighth in line, after Prince Charles’ sons and grandchildren.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said it’s possible that Prince Andrew may be rehabilitated in the future if he is able to establish his innocence beyond any shadow of doubt.

“Clearly, this has to take a legal route, some sort of consultation with the FBI or somebody in an attempt to clear his name,” Little said. “It remains to be seen if that will ever be possible, and that process could take a very long time.”

Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Jeffrey Epstein accuser

Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Jeffrey Epstein accuser

He said in the meantime, Prince Andrew will continue to have a place at family events like the Queen’s Christmas celebrations at her rural retreat in Sandringham. He does not expect Prince Andrew to be strapped for cash because the prince is expected to continue to receive funds from the Queen’s private accounts.

“It’s unprecedented,” Little said of the scandal. “It’s a big deal for somebody so close to the Queen to be humiliated and disgraced in such a way.”

Prince Andrew has served as a patron or been involved in dozens of charitable roles that will now be eliminated as he begins a new phase without royal duties. He is also expected to give up his ceremonial military posts.

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READ MORE: Prince Andrew denies any knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes

Buckingham Palace said Prince Andrew will continue to work on his flagship [email protected] project but will do so on a private basis without financial help from the palace.

Prince Andrew’s woes have provided plenty of fodder for Republic, an anti-monarchist movement that wants Britain to elect its head of state rather than put the monarch in that role.

“This whole episode shows why the monarchy is not fit for purpose,” said Graham Smith, the leader of Republic.

“Andrew is the worst example of a long tradition of bad behaviour. We need a democratic alternative to the monarchy sooner rather than later.”

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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Prince Andrew steps down: The duke’s history with Jeffrey Epstein explained – National

by BBG Hub

Prince Andrew confirmed on Wednesday that he will be “stepping down” from public royal duties just days after he spoke publicly about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

“It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein [have] become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support,” the 59-year-old said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.”

READ MORE: Prince Andrew to step down from public life amid Epstein scandal

The third child of the Queen recently spoke to the BBC about accusations surrounding his own allegedly sexually predatory behaviour and the nature of his relationship with Epstein, the disgraced financier who died by suicide in August while in custody awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.

A woman named Virginia Roberts Giuffre has said Epstein forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew in 2001 when she was only 17.

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Prince Andrew denies these allegations.

So when did Prince Andrew’s relationship with Epstein begin, and what are the allegations he is facing? Here is a timeline of their friendship.

How did Prince Andrew meet Epstein?

The prince said he met Epstein in 1999 through his friend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. At the time, Maxwell was dating Epstein and introduced the money manager to many well-connected people.

In speaking to the BBC, Prince Andrew confirmed Epstein was a guest at events he hosted, including a surprise party he threw Maxwell in 2000. The party was held at the Queen’s estate, Sandringham.

A few years after Prince Andrew and Epstein first met, then-teenage Giuffre said she was introduced to the royal in 2001.

Charities, firms cut ties with Prince Andrew amid Epstein scandal

Charities, firms cut ties with Prince Andrew amid Epstein scandal

Giuffre says she was 15 and working at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club when she was recruited by Maxwell and Epstein to perform sex acts. She claims she danced with Prince Andrew at a nightclub in London.

She then alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew at Maxwell’s house in the London neighbourhood of Belgravia when she was 17.

Giuffre says she had sexual encounters with the prince in London, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands and that Epstein flew her around the world on private planes to have sex with other powerful men.

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Prince Andrew has denied these allegations.

A photograph of the prince with his hand around the waist of a teenage Giuffre standing next to Maxwell has been widely circulated.

The prince told the BBC he has questioned the legitimacy of the photo and says he does not recall it being taken.

Epstein and Prince Andrew’s friendship

In speaking with the BBC, Prince Andrew said he saw Epstein when he went to the U.S. but met him no more than three times a year. He would visit or stay with him out of convenience, he said.

READ MORE: ‘Like watching a man in quicksand’ — Prince Andrew interview panned in U.K. press

“Going to Jeffrey’s was not about partying,” Prince Andrew said.

The royal also confirmed to the BBC that he has been on Epstein’s private plane, stayed on his private island and stayed at his home in Palm Beach.

Prince Andrew maintains he did not know of Epstein’s sex-trafficking behaviour at the time.

“When I was staying at his houses in the United States, there was no indication,” he said.

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Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Jeffrey Epstein accuser

Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Jeffrey Epstein accuser

In 2005, Epstein first came under investigation by Palm Beach police after they received reports he had sexually abused minors in his Florida mansion.

While he was being investigated by the Palm Beach police, Epstein and Maxwell were invited to Prince Andrew’s daughter Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday at Windsor Castle in 2006.

Prince Andrew told the BBC he was unaware of the allegations when he extended the invitations.

In 2008, Epstein reached a non-prosecution deal to secretly end a federal sex abuse investigation involving at least 40 teenage girls that could have landed him behind bars for life.

According to court documents, Epstein had a Palm Beach home where underage girls were brought for what they were sometimes told were massage sessions, but which often turned into sexual encounters.

READ MORE: A look at Jeffrey Epstein’s Caribbean cove, known to locals as ‘Pedophile Island’

As part of his deal, Epstein pleaded guilty to lesser state charges, spent 13 months in jail, paid settlements to victims and registered as a sex offender.

What else is Prince Andrew accused of?

Despite Epstein’s sex-offender status, he and Prince Andrew were photographed together in 2010 in New York City.

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In 2011, Vanity Fair ran an article titled “The Trouble With Andrew,” which highlighted the prince’s friendship with Epstein and the allegations around his behaviour.

The magazine wrote that according to a sworn deposition by a former Epstein employee, Prince Andrew attended “naked pool parties and was treated to massages by a harem of adolescent girls.”

“At least three of the girls were questioned under oath about whether Andrew had had sexual contact with any of the masseuses,” Vanity Fair reported.

Britain’s Prince Andrew denies any involvement in Epstein sex scandal

Britain’s Prince Andrew denies any involvement in Epstein sex scandal

“One of them, Sarah Kellen, refused to answer, citing her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Another, Adriana Ross, was asked, ‘Has Prince Andrew ever been involved with underage minor females to your knowledge?’ She reportedly replied, ‘I refuse to answer.’”

Prince Andrew denied attending naked pool parties to Vanity Fair. He also told the outlet he was unaware of such parties altogether.

The royal stepped down as U.K.’s “special representative” for trade and investment following public criticism of his friendship with Epstein in 2011.

Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, once borrowed money from Epstein, which she later said she regretted.

The royal has also been accused of receiving a foot massage from a young woman in Epstein’s house.

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Allegations have dogged Prince Andrew for years

Prince Andrew’s sex abuse allegations resurfaced in 2015 when Giuffre filed a claim alleging she was trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell to powerful politicians, lawyers, academics and government leaders when she was underage, the Miami Herald reported.

READ MORE: Britain’s Prince Andrew denies any knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes

Prince Andrew has continued to deny the allegations he had sex with a minor and maintains he did not know about Epstein’s alleged pedophile ring.

Giuffre has since called out the prince, saying he “knows exactly what he’s done.”

In his BBC interview, Prince Andrew said he stayed at Epstein’s house out of convenience and maintained he did not know what was going on in the financier’s private life.

He addressed the photographs that showed him and Epstein walking outdoors together in 2010 and told the BBC he was meeting with Epstein to end their friendship.

“I took the judgement call that because this was serious and I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it, I had to go and see him and talk to him,” he said.

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The prince also maintained during his interview that he and Epstein were not “that close.”

— With files from the Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle won’t spend Christmas with Royal Family – National

by BBG Hub

It’s official: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex won’t be celebrating Christmas with the Queen this year.

A spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle confirmed to CNN that the royal couple will spend the holidays with Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, instead.

The decision is a break from tradition as the Queen typically hosts Christmas at the Sandringham estate every year. The monarch is joined by other members of the Royal Family, and everyone attends a Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church.

READ MORE: Who pays for the Royal Family’s lavish lifestyle?

For the last two years, Markle and Prince Harry have joined the Queen at her country estate.

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As reported by CNN, the spokesperson said the couple’s decision “is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the Royal Family and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen.”

The spokesperson would not confirm where Prince Harry and Markle would spend the holiday season, citing privacy reasons. This means they could spend time with Ragland in the U.S. or the U.K.

Markle’s mom is currently based in L.A.

READ MORE: Queen will no longer wear real fur: Buckingham Palace

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not the first royal couple to spend Christmas without the Queen.

In 2016, Prince William and Kate Middleton spent the holidays with Middleton’s family. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought along their young children, George and Charlotte.

There’s been speculation that Markle and Prince Harry may be planning a move to the U.S., which has been fuelled by rumours that the couple isn’t close with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Meghan Markle opens up about the stress of being in the spotlight as a new mom

Meghan Markle opens up about the stress of being in the spotlight as a new mom

In a recently released documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, Prince Harry addressed his relationship with his big brother.

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“Inevitably, stuff happens, but we’re brothers. We’ll always be brothers,” the 35-year-old said.

“We’re certainly on different paths at the moment. I’ll always be there for him, and as I know, he’ll always be there for me. We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy, but I love him dearly.”

READ MORE: Prince William concerned about Prince Harry after TV interview

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex formally parted ways from the charity foundation they shared with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in June, just months after they created their own household.

The couple has also been vocal about the pressures of living in the spotlight as members of the Royal Family and have even taken legal action against British tabloids.

It is unclear if they plan to spend more time in the U.S., where Markle was raised, in the near future.

— With a file from Global News’ Meaghan Wray 

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Who pays for the Royal Family’s lavish lifestyle? – National

by BBG Hub

The Royal Family has a comfortable existence, from lavish properties to designer clothes and a significant team of staff.

But since they do not hold regular jobs, who pays for their fancy lifestyle?

Here, a dive into the Royal Family’s finances and sources of income.

Public funding

When it comes to official duties, like public outings and events, the Royal Family is funded by something called the Sovereign Grant.

The Sovereign Grant is supported by the government and covers things like royal travel, communications and information, and the maintenance of all royal palaces, the according to the family’s official website.

READ MORE: Why Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s ‘maximum’ 2-kid plan won’t help the environment: expert

This means when Kate Middleton and Prince William perform official royal duties, they are paid by the public fund. The same goes for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The family acknowledges this public funding, and says they are committed to “ensuring that public money is spent as wisely and efficiently as possible, and to making Royal finances as transparent and comprehensible as possible.”

For the 2018 to 2019 fiscal year, the royals reported their annual Sovereign Grant was just over £82 million, or roughly $131,850 million. The royals note this amount is equivalent to £1.24 per person in the U.K., or $2.

WATCH BELOW: ‘Any longer and I would’ve been burnt out’: Former aide to the Queen shares difficulties of job

So where does the money for the grant come from? A percentage of the profits from the Crown Estate revenue, a collection of property managed by the British government, go into the Sovereign Grant.

The Crown Estate portfolio “has a value of over £7.3 billion, from beef farms in the north of Scotland to Portland stone mining in Dorset,” the Royal Family’s website says.

(Every year the royals publish a report that breaks down how much they spent, and on what. You can read those here.)

Private assets

The royals have private sources of income outside of the publicly-funded Sovereign Grant. The Duchy of Lancaster is one such source.

The Duchy of Lancaster is the Queen’s private income used to pay for things that the Sovereign Grant does not cover, including both official and private spending by the monarch.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s pregnancy wardrobe cost more than $800K — here’s who pays for it

This fund is also used by other members of the Royal Family, and consists of a portfolio of land, properties and other assets that have been in the family for decades. It is separate from the Crown Estate.

When it comes to Prince Charles, who is next in line to the throne, he is largely bankrolled by a fund called the Duchy of Cornwall. The Duchy of Cornwall is an estate that includes land in 23 counties, mostly in the South West of England, which includes agricultural, commercial and residential property.

Prince Charles’ fund also includes a financial investment portfolio.

The Duchy of Cornwall “funds the private and official expenditure” of the Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. The fund also covers expenses related to Prince Charles’ sons, Prince Harry and Prince William.

WATCH BELOW: Meghan Markle to release her own clothing line

When Prince Charles partakes in official duties, however, the Sovereign Grant may also cover his costs.

Royal expert Victoria Arbiter previously told Global News that the Duchy of Cornwall also covers things like clothing — including Markle‘s pregnancy wardrobe.

“Prince Charles pays for the wardrobe of (him) and Camila, as well as William, Kate, Harry and Meghan,” Arbiter said.

The Queen’s own wealth

The Queen’s personal income is used to pay for her private expenses. She has money from her investment portfolio and private estates, including the Balmoral and Sandringham Estates. These properties were passed down to the Queen from her father.

What the Queen doesn’t own, however, is official royal residences, most of the art in the Royal Collection, and the Crown Jewels, her website points out. These expensive items cannot be sold and are passed down to her successor.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Prince George hits the tennis court with pro Roger Federer – National

by BBG Hub

Prince George may only be five years old, but he’s already working on his tennis swing — and learning from the best.

Swiss professional tennis player Roger Federer said he gave the young royal a private lesson recently when he visited Bucklebury Manor, the home of Kate Middleton’s parents.

Speaking to reporters at Wimbledon, 37-year-old Federer said that “cute” Prince George is already making progress, ATP Tour reported. Federer is reportedly the child’s favourite tennis star.

Prince George departs from Hamburg airport on the last day of their official visit to Poland and Germany on July 21, 2017.


READ MORE: Kate Middleton shows off newly designed garden with Prince William and kids

“At that stage, it’s all about just touching the ball; it’s already good. Same with my boys,” Federer said to the press.

“I think I have a little advantage that I actually spent some time with him. I’m the only player he’s ever met. Then you have a little head start in who your favourite player is.”

The Duchess of Cambridge attended Wimbledon earlier this week to watch Federer play and take in a match between British player Harriet Dart and American Christina McHale.

Swiss Roger Federer celebrates after winning the tennis ATP final against Belgium David Goffin in Halle, Germany, Sunday, June 23, 2019.


While attending Wimbledon in 2018, Price William told tennis star Novak Djokovic that he’s trying to encourage his children to get into sports and get a “tennis racket in their hand — and a football.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are not the only royals who love tennis.

READ MORE: Kate Middleton’s brother, James, opens up about ‘crippling depression’

Meghan Markle attended Wimbledon to watch her friend Serena Williams play against 18-year-old Kaja Juvan on Thursday.

Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian are friends of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and attended their wedding in 2018.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry announce first royal tour ‘as family’ – National

by BBG Hub

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex just announced they are heading to Southern Africa this fall for their first official tour since welcoming their son.

On Thursday, details of their trip were shared to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s official Instagram account, revealing that the royals will head to multiple countries later this year — and hinted that Archie will join them.

READ MORE: Prince Harry, Meghan share new photo of baby Archie for Father’s Day

“This will be their first official tour as a family!” read the announcement on Instagram.

According to their social media post, Markle and Prince Harry will travel to South Africa, and then the duke will visit Malawi and Angola.

“His Royal Highness will also do a short working visit to Botswana en route to the other countries,” the post said.

Royal officials also said that Markle and Prince Harry are “really looking forward” to meeting fans on the ground, and are excited to continue to raise awareness “of the high impact work local communities are doing across the Commonwealth and beyond.”

While the date of the trip has not yet been announced, Archie will be around six-months-old this fall.

WATCH BELOW: Meghan Markle debuts new ring

Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their first child early this May, and have revealed a few photos of him since his birth.

Botswana is a place Prince Harry and Markle have visited before together. In 2017, the couple travelled there to assist help with elephant conservation efforts.

The couple previously shared private photos of themselves from their trip to Instagram in April.

Prince Harry and brother Prince William have travelled throughout Africa and both are involved in efforts to protect wildlife there. The Duke of Sussex is also patron to a charity helping children in Lesotho.

On June 20, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they had formally parted ways from the charity foundation they shared with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Markle and Prince Harry’s charity work will continue through their own foundation, royal officials said.

— With a file from the Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Kate Middleton’s brother, James, opens up about ‘crippling depression’ – National

by BBG Hub

The younger brother of Kate Middleton is opening up about his personal struggles with mental health.

James Middleton, 32, recently told Tatler magazine that after his sister married Prince William in 2011, he was thrust into the limelight and struggled with fame. His battles with anxiety and depression — which he described as crippling — heightened, and he eventually “shut” out his family.

“Suddenly, and very publicly, I was being judged about whether I was a success or a failure,” he told the outlet in an article published on Monday.

“That does put pressure on you. Because in my mind, I’m doing this irrespective of my family and events that have happened.”

READ MORE: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry split from joint charity with Prince William, Kate Middleton

Middleton, who was 23 years old when Kate married the Duke of Cambridge, said he struggled with dyslexia at school. As he became more famous, his personalized gift business, Boomf, became under public scrutiny and he questioned his career abilities.

The entrepreneur said being famous wasn’t the reason he developed depression, and explained that he felt guilty for even struggling when he had so much.

“[Depression] is what keeps you in bed, while anxiety makes you feel guilty for being there,” he said.

“I thought, ‘What do I have to be depressed about?’ I’ve been so lucky with my upbringing, I had all the things I wanted. It’s not that I wanted more, but there was something that wasn’t always there… And the more I ignored it, the more it was taking over.”

WATCH BELOW: How cooking helps ease symptoms of anxiety and depression

As his mental health worsened, Middleton said his family grew concerned but he didn’t want them “anywhere near” him. Middleton is the youngest child behind Kate and Pippa Middleton.

“I shut myself off, I didn’t communicate with my family at all,” he said. “But there’s only so long you can hold your breath.”

Prince William’s brother-in-law finally got help in 2017 when he called his doctor, unable to go to work. His doctor referred him to a specialist and he began intensive therapy.

This isn’t the first time Middleton has opened up about his mental health issues.

READ MORE: Prince William, Kate Middleton royal convoy hits, injures 83-year-old woman

In January, Middleton wrote an essay in the Daily Mail about his depression which he called a “cancer of the mind.” He also discussed his Attention Deficient Disorder (ADD), which he was diagnosed with in 2018.

He said that his depression, at times, was so debilitating he could hardly complete daily tasks.

“I barely functioned, stopped talking to my friends, went through the motions of living and working but achieved nothing at all,” he wrote.

“I came very close to shutting my company down. And still my heart was thudding as if it was straining to leap out of my body.”

WATCH BELOW: Lifelong skills to overcome & manage anxiety

Middleton said that depression can be hard to understand in people who seemingly have so much, and live luxurious lives.

“I know I’m richly blessed and live a privileged life. But it did not make me immune to depression,” he wrote. “It is tricky to describe the condition. It is not merely sadness. It is an illness, a cancer of the mind.”

He said he was inspired to speak out after seeking treatment and realizing he has a platform to help others. Middleton credits cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and his dogs for helping him get through his hard time.

“The stigma attached to mental illness is lessening,” he wrote.

“If I could leave you with just one thought, it would be this: ‘It’s OK not to be OK.’ That is the mantra that gave me the strength to speak out. Having done so here, it feels as if a great weight has been lifted.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry split from joint charity with Prince William, Kate Middleton – National

by BBG Hub

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have formally parted ways from the charity foundation they shared with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Royal Foundation announced on Thursday that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will form their own charity organization, and Prince William and Kate Middleton will stay on as the foundation’s leads.

“These changes are designed to best complement the work and responsibilities of Their Royal Highnesses as they prepare for their future roles, and to better align their charitable activity with their new households,” the foundation said in a statement.

READ MORE: Prince Harry, Meghan share new photo of baby Archie for Father’s Day

Even though they’re parting ways, the foundation said that both couples will “continue to work together on projects in the future, including on The Foundation’s mental health programme, Heads Together.”

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are incredibly proud of what they have achieved together through The Royal Foundation,” the foundation said.

“They are especially proud to have established a charity that has had, and will continue to have, significant long-lasting impact, changing lives for the better.”

WATCH BELOW: Meghan Markle debuts new ring

The Royal Foundation was created by Prince Harry and Prince William in 2009. Middleton joined the foundation after marrying into the Royal Family, as did Markle.

The charity champions for causes including mental health, environmental conservation, youth and social empowerment.

The decision to split charitable efforts comes after Markle and Prince Harry created their own household in March, breaking away from Prince William and Middleton’s headquarters.

READ MORE: Prince or earl? What royal title will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son have?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s primary residence is Frogmore Cottage, and have an office at Buckingham Palace. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have their office at Kensington Palace.

The couples were most recently seen together earlier this month to celebrate the Queen’s birthday at the annual Trooping the Colour parade.

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Trump family’s ‘garish and superficial’ U.K. outfits, explained – National

by BBG Hub

U.S. President Donald Trump and his family spent the last few days in the U.K., visiting Buckingham Palace, dining with the Royal Family and wearing lots of fancy outfits.

While the official state visit wrapped up on Wednesday afternoon, America’s first family made an impression with their wardrobe choices.

Social media erupted with remarks about the Trump family, some celebrating Melania’s hats while others asked why the president doesn’t have a nicely tailored suit.

“In truth, the British press is going to be critical of the Trumps’ ensembles no matter what, given their lack of political popularity in the U.K.,” said Rebecca Halliday, a lecturer at Ryerson University’s School of Fashion.

“[But] what we see in the Trump family is a display of wealth that is often opulent and garish and superficial.”

Here are some of the most talked-about outfits worn by members of the Trump family and how they were received.

Trump’s white-tie look


What he wore: A white waistcoat with matching white bow tie under a black tailcoat.

Where he wore it: Trump donned the look at the Queen’s formal state banquet, which was hosted at Buckingham Palace on June 3.

Social reaction:

Many people took to Twitter to comment that the president’s suit was ill-fitting and poorly tailored.

Bette Midler tweeted that the suit’s proportions were so bad Trump’s tailor should be fired.

Others said Trump looked like “the butler.”

Cultural context: 

When the royals host state banquets, a “white-tie decorations” dress code is mandatory.

“The white-tie dress code is used for the most formal state dinners and affairs,” Halliday said.

“For men, [this is] centred around the wearing of the white waistcoat and bowtie with the tailcoat over top — and this seems to be the area that Trump has problems with.”

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Halliday says that a waistcoat should fit snug at the waist but not be too tight.

“Trump’s seems a bit too snug,” she said.

“His tailcoat is too short in the front and doesn’t cover the waistcoat enough, which accentuates his stomach.”

GQ agreed and pointed out that Trump’s waistcoat was too long for this black tailcoat.

READ MORE: Donald Trump says ‘nasty’ comment about Meghan Markle was taken out of context

While people have been commenting on Trump’s ill-fitting suit, Halliday says it’s important to not let his style choices distract from his politics.

“We shouldn’t look at criticism of politicians’ fashion choices as a distraction from ‘real’ political issues but should read them as a reflection of politicians’ social values,” she explained.

“The Trump family’s opulent fashion choices on their U.K. visit should also be read alongside the Trump administration’s callous decisions back home.”

Melania’s landing outfit and matching hat


What she wore: A custom white dress from Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana paired with a custom hat made by designer Hervé Pierre.

Where she wore it: Melania sported the white ensemble on June 3 when landing at Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen.

Social reaction: 

Some said Melania’s outfit looked like it was inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s character in My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney girl who tries to fit in with high society.

Others compared her look to an outfit from the 1980s show Dynastywith the Cut drawing reference to Joan Collins.

Cultural context:

The Royal Family often sport fancy hats, and as Vanity Fair points out, Melania’s hat may signal that she is adopting the tradition.

“There seems to be an attempt to select and emulate specific upper-class notions of Britishness and British dress in the most expensive manner possible,” Halliday said, highlighting the fact Melania also wore an expensive Gucci shirtdress as she headed to London.

The silk dress was covered with images of Tower Bridge, Big Ben and double-decker buses. (The first lady has been criticized in the past for matching her wardrobe to her travel schedule.)

Ivanka’s white-tie dress


What she wore: A blue Carolina Herrera gown with three-quarter-length sleeves and “floral sparkle embroidery.” The dress currently retails for US$10,990.

Where she wore it: Ivanka wore the dress to the state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

Social reaction:

Some people on Twitter said Ivanka’s outfit was too casual and not white-tie.

Cultural context:

For white-tie events, women wear floor-length dresses, ideally ballgowns, Halliday says. Ivanka’s dress does not convey the right formal tone.

“While Ivanka dress is from a noted American designer who has dressed several important political women — and is floor-length — the fact that it seems to be cotton and has buttons lends to an odd shirtdress appearance, which comes off as too informal,” she explained.

READ MORE: The feminist significance of Meghan Markle’s post-birth dress

Elle UK points out that women often wear dresses with a fitted bodice and full skirt.

“Traditionally, long gloves have been worn, however, this is not seen as essential at modern white-tie events,” the outlet adds.

Ivanka’s belted skirt suit and fascinator


What she wore: A white, pleated knee-length skirt with a white jacket cinched at the waist with a bedazzled belt. Ivanka completed the outfit with a fascinator.

Where she wore it: Ivanka wore this outfit on June 3, the first day of the state visit. She was spotted watching her father and stepmother greet members of the Royal Family through a window of Buckingham Palace in the outfit and later added her hat for a visit to Westminster Abbey.

Social reaction:

People mocked Ivanka’s fascinator, while others accused her of unsuccessfully copying Meghan Markle‘s style.

Cultural context:

Fascinators and decorative hats are staples of British royal culture, as they are common at formal events and weddings.

The conservative nature of her outfit is likely out of respect for royal dressing customs, as women often wear skirts or dresses that hit the knee. Still, Halliday says Ivanka’s outfits may miss the mark.

“Even Ivanka’s more appropriate and contemporary British looks are still not well received by fashion critics because she comes off as even more as classist and distant,” she said.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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