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s Prince Harry celebrates his 30th birthday on 15 September he should congratulate himself on finding another role within the military that he appears to enjoy. His desk job at Horse Guards, where he has helped to organise an international competition for wounded servicemen and women, has not proved too daunting and his dream is about to become a reality: the Invictus Games will take place in London between 10 and 14 September.

   Harry’s street cred is huge. He can crack open a bottle of beer on a chair, blow smoke rings and ride a horse like a knight into battle. On top of that he is a dab hand at polo. His enthusiasm for his chosen causes makes him an impressive fundraiser and when representing his grandmother the Queen on foreign trips he is welcomed like a superstar. He is also a good foil for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and their joint official appearances are extremely effective.

   All eyes are on Scotland this month. The court is at Balmoral, where the Queen and those members of her family in residence at the time will be waiting with bated breath to find out if the Scottish people will vote to break from the United Kingdom on 18 September. The independence referendum is a major topic of royal conversation: although Her Majesty will be Queen of Scotland whatever happens, she does not want to see her kingdom disunited. The Scots like and respect the Queen and positively love Princess Anne, but according to polls they are not particularly pro-monarchy. That was hard to believe hearing the rapturous applause that greeted the Queen as she arrived at Glasgow’s Celtic Park for the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

   The handover of the baton containing her message, after travelling some 118,000 miles, almost ended in farce when Malaysia’s Prince Imran, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, struggled to open it until Sir Chris Hoy came to the rescue. The Queen remained deadpan, but must have been trying not to laugh. Her Majesty loves little disasters as they provide much-needed light relief in her regimented life.

   The Duke of Cambridge is to become a helicopter pilot with East Anglian Air Ambulance and starts his training this month. His royal duties will continue, however. Based at Cambridge and Norwich airports, William begins flying both day and night shifts in spring 2015. Working for Bond Air Services, he is the first future King to sign a contract with a civilian employer. His salary will be donated in full to charity.

   When refurbishment work at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk is completed the Cambridges will be able to enjoy country life, although Kensington Palace will remain their official residence.

   On 20 September the Duchess of Cambridge will make her first solo overseas trip, representing the Queen in Malta at events to mark the 50th anniversary of independence. It may be for less than 48 hours, but nevertheless it is an honour for Kate as Her Majesty has fond personal memories of the Mediterranean island.


 
 
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