About Majesty
Current Issue
Editor's Letter


tate visits to the United Kingdom seldom make headline news, especially when so much else is going on in the world: the trial of Oscar Pistorius, the missing MH370 plane and the phone-hacking case at London’s Old Bailey have all taken centre stage. But the historic visit of Ireland’s president, Michael D. Higgins, at the beginning of last month undoubtedly captured the public’s interest.

   There under the gabled roof of St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle was former IRA commander Martin McGuinness dining at Her Majesty’s table (see page 24). In 1982, when a bomb blew up the Queen’s horses and men near Knightsbridge Barracks, she was outraged. More pertinently, people remember the pointless murder of Lord Mountbatten and others by another IRA bomb three years earlier.

   Although the Queen had met McGuinness, now Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, in 2012, his presence at the banquet, though not her personal decision, is a tribute to her deep religious power of forgiveness. The timing is also a tribute to the newly revamped Royal Communications system. By ensuring the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a day off to recover from the journey as they began their tour of New Zealand and Australia, due to an 11-hour time difference Prince George’s first public crawl-about at Government House in Wellington did not steal his great-grandmother’s thunder back at home.

   When the eight-month-old Prince attended a playgroup with six boys and four girls of roughly the same age, it was revealed he had four teeth and is, according to one of the mothers present, ‘quite a bruiser’. George loves playing with Kate’s long tresses and tugs at them to get her attention.

   For us at Majesty things have come full circle. In 1983 we reported that Prince William was crawling across a rug in the garden of Government House in Auckland. He had even managed to stand for a few shaky seconds with the help of Prince Charles, who revealed his son’s interest at the time was crawling into wastepaper baskets. William and Kate are a little less forthcoming, but they did reveal that George was such a big and hungry baby they had had trouble settling him. He is now a much better sleeper.

   Prince Harry never had as much media coverage as his brother, but he has made up for it since. His triumphant Walking with the Wounded expedition late last year has resulted in him becoming a spokesman and fundraiser for wounded servicemen everywhere. I saw him at the Royal Geographical Society recently and although his South Pole colleagues were doing the talking he was there without publicity or fuss to support them. The evening raised £16,000 from ticket sales. Harry travels to Estonia and Italy this month for a series of military engagements, his strength being a genuine wish to help with the repatriation of soldiers wounded in battle.

   Meanwhile his aunt, the feisty Princess Royal, has said in a television interview that she is in favour of eating horsemeat to discourage people from abandoning horses otherwise regarded as worthless. She has made her point and, like her father, is not afraid to do so.

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