Royal news – live: Kate Middleton portrait splits opinion as Harry and Meghan’s next tour ‘revealed’

A new portrait of the Princess of Wales is continuing to cause controversy after some criticised the work upon its release for looking nothing like her.

The painting, by British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor, features on the forthcoming edition of Tatler magazine and was created in honour of the Princess’s “courage and dignity” when announcing her cancer diagnosis.

Other criticisms include claims that the painting does not do the princess justice, with some commentators believing that a true likeness could not be captured in a portrait that the princess did not sit for.

This comes amid claims that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s next unofficial tour will reportedly take place in Ghana.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now allegedly in talks about an invitation to the country following their recent three-day tour of Nigeria.

A source told The Mirror: “There is already a lot of talk and excitement in Ghana, everyone is so keen for Harry and Meghan to come and experience the great culture and warmth.”

The portrait has been critcised by some for its likeness to the Princess of Wales (Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA Wire)
The portrait has been critcised by some for its likeness to the Princess of Wales (Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA Wire)

Key Points

  • New portrait honours Kate Middleton’s ‘courage and dignity’

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s latest tour location ‘revealed'

  • Royal family postpone engagements following general election announcement

  • Kate Middleton hints at return to duty following cancer diagnosis

Actor James Martin bonds with Prince William over football

17:00 , Emma Guinness

The actor James Martin and Prince William bonded over their love of football at Windsor Castle.

The An Irish Goodbye star was made an MBE for Services to drama in Northern Ireland at the castle yesterday and said it “means a lot not just for people with Down’s Syndrome, but a lot of people in that particular area”.

He later PA News Agency that he and the Prince of Wales “have something in common: we both like football”.

Martin said they discussed this shared interest and “things in the movie”, which won various accolades including the 2023 Bafta for Best Short Film and the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

The actor has now become an inspiration for others with disabilities.

“It doesn’t really matter what disabilities, people come up to me,” he said.

“Whether it’s hidden disabilities like autism or physical disabilities like hearing or blind, they will still come up to me and say ‘aren’t you the one with the Oscar and the Bafta?”

He added: “It’s really lovely to have.”

James Martin was made an MBE by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
James Martin was made an MBE by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

King formally approves proroguing of parliament ahead of general election

14:38 , Emma Guinness

King Charles has formally approved the proroguing of parliament ahead of yesterday’s general election announcement.

The Monarch, 75, met with the Privy Council at Buckingham Palace this morning and undertook the necessary duties head of this summer’s election.

As published on the council’s website, the King ordered that parliament be “prorogued on a day no earlier than Friday the 24th day of May 2024 and no later than Tuesday the 28th day of May 2024, to Friday the 31st day of May 2024, to be then holden for the despatch of divers urgent and important affairs.”

The King with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace in February (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)
The King with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace in February (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)

Princess Beatrice praises mother on school visit

13:55 , Emma Guinness

Princess Beatrice took the opportunity to praise her “incredible mum” on a school visit.

This comes after Beatrice, 35, announced that Sarah Ferguson had recovered from her second cancer diagnosis earlier this year.

The royal read from the picture book When Dinosaurs Walked The Earth, written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Zehra Hicks, at West Thornton Primary School in Croydon.

She said: “I grew up with an incredible mum, as a children’s author, so stories really created that sense of imagination.

“I really appreciate what stories can do, that special quality time, that moment at the end of the day, but also how important it is for reading in general for young people to make sure that we can do everything we can to make sure that these books really get into the hands of those that need it most.”

Princess Beatrice praised her mum on a school visit (PA)
Princess Beatrice praised her mum on a school visit (PA)

New Princess Diana exhibition arriving in London

11:45 , Emma Guinness

A new exhibition featuring photographs of the late Princess Diana is opening in just two days’ time.

Taken by Anwar Hussein, now 86, and his sons Samir, 44, and Zak, 43, Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition is set to be a must-see for fans of the late Princess.

It contains “larger than life images, bespoke art installations and first-hand narration” that give viewers a unique glimpse into the royal’s life.

The exhibition is opening on 25 May at St Katharine Docks in London after being met with critical acclaim in Melbourne, South Carolina and Las Vegas.

The exhibition will open on 25 May (John Nguyen/PA Media Assignments)
The exhibition will open on 25 May (John Nguyen/PA Media Assignments)
It features key moments of royal history (John Nguyen/PA Media Assignments)
It features key moments of royal history (John Nguyen/PA Media Assignments)

Inside Meghan Markle’s trip to Malta

10:00 , Emma Guinness

Following Meghan Markle’s recent revelation that she is 43 percent Nigerian, it has now emerged that she took a trip to Malta to explore her ancestry.

This took place in 2015 shortly before she met Prince Harry and she chose to visit the country as it is “the land from which my great-grandmother hailed.”

“Before I came, people were telling me, ‘When you go to Malta, everyone will look like you,’ and I started to say, ‘Oh my gosh I do sort of blend in,’ and it’s the loveliest feeling,” she remembered.

The Duchess of Sussex experienced a similar sense of belonging on her recent trip to Nigeria with Prince Harry, which she described as “my country” and thanked locals for “welcoming me home”.

Meghan Markle also visited Malta to explore her ancestry (Getty Images for The Archewell F)
Meghan Markle also visited Malta to explore her ancestry (Getty Images for The Archewell F)

The events King Charles will still attend after election annoucement

08:13 , Emma Guinness

Buckingham Palace has announced that King Charles will not attend any upcoming events that could “distract” from the general election campaign.

He will, however, still attend major events including the D-Day commemorations and the ongoing series of garden parties at Buckingham Palace will be unaffected.

It has been reported that all upcoming engagements will now be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in light of yesterday’s general election announcement.

The change comes after the King made it clear that he wanted to throw himself back into public life after he was forced to step back earlier this year following his cancer diagnosis.

He has been so keen to work that he attended five events in 48 hours last week.

The Buckingham Palace garden parties will be unaffected by the election campaign (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
The Buckingham Palace garden parties will be unaffected by the election campaign (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Recap: Kate Middleton makes ‘return’

07:00 , Jane Dalton

Kate Middleton issues first major update on project since cancer diagnosis

Sunak and King met at Buckingham Palace

04:30 , Jane Dalton

Rishi Sunak revealed he spoke with the King on Wednesday to inform him of his decision to have a general election, and the King had agreed to the request for the dissolution of Parliament.

The Palace said Charles met Mr Sunak in person at Buckingham palace in London on Wednesday afternoon, following Charles’ Prince’s Trust Awards engagement.

They spent around 15 minutes together in the King‘s private audience room, in place of their normal weekly meeting on Wednesday evening.

The King, who is still undergoing treatment for cancer, has carried out a flurry of engagements since restarting public appearances in April and now has a number of duties ahead of him after the Prime Minister announced his plan for the country to go to the polls.

Prince of Wales also pulls out of engagements

02:00 , Jane Dalton

Heir to the throne the Prince of Wales has also pulled out of a day of previously unannounced engagements for Thursday, after Kensington Palace received updated guidance from Buckingham Palace following the announcement of the general election.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution garden party on Thursday, marking the 200th anniversary of the lifesaving charity, will still go ahead, with thousands of guests set to descend on the Palace.

Charles, who has only just returned to public-facing duties after his cancer diagnosis, and Camilla never were due to attend the outdoor gathering.

But the King‘s public engagements for the rest of the week are now off - including a visit to Crewe on Friday to tour a Bentley factory and a community centre which supports people struggling financially, and another as yet-not publicly announced event that was due to happen elsewhere on Thursday.

It is understood the move is not a blanket approach to future events, and engagements will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

King to dissolve Parliament on 30 May

01:00 , Jane Dalton

The King will dissolve parliament on 30 May, 25 working days before the 4 July general election.

King Charles to dissolve parliament for his first general election as monarch

A week for royal portraits

Thursday 23 May 2024 00:00 , Emma Guinness

It has been an interesting time for fans of royal portraits, following the release of new depictions of King Charles and the Princess of Wales.

Both paintings, which are abstract in their own ways, received mixed reactions online.

They come amid the opening of a new exhibition of royal portraits, Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography, which opened on Friday last week at the King’s Gallery in London.

The exhibition celebrates over 100 years of royal portrait photography and features previously unseen images.

A new royal portrait exhibitoin has opened in London (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
A new royal portrait exhibitoin has opened in London (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
Kate Middleton’s new portrait features on the cover of Tatler magazine (Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA Wire)
Kate Middleton’s new portrait features on the cover of Tatler magazine (Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA Wire)
The King was painted with a butterfly landing on his shoulder, reflecting his commitment to the enviornment (His Majesty King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo 2024/PA Wire)
The King was painted with a butterfly landing on his shoulder, reflecting his commitment to the enviornment (His Majesty King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo 2024/PA Wire)

King and Queen apologise as they postpone engagements

Wednesday 22 May 2024 22:06 , Jane Dalton

The royal family has postponed engagements “which may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign” after Rishi Sunak called a surprise summer General Election.

Buckingham Palace said the King and Queen sent their “sincere apologies” to those affected, after Charles agreed on Wednesday to the Prime Minister’s request to dissolve Parliament for an election - for the first time in his reign.

The King and Queen’s D-Day 80th anniversary appearances in Portsmouth and Normandy in June are expected to go ahead as scheduled, but the announcement of a 4 July vote disrupted other events in the carefully planned forthcoming royal diaries.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “Following the Prime Minister’s statement this afternoon calling a General Election, the royal family will, in accordance with normal procedure, postpone engagements that may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign.

“Their Majesties send their sincere apologies to any of those who may be affected as a result.”

Dec ‘breaks’ royal protocol to explain why Ant is missing to King Charles

Wednesday 22 May 2024 22:00 , Emma Guinness

Declan Donnelly “broke” royal protocol when he told King Charles why Ant McPartlin was not present at today’s reception for Prince’s Trust award winners.

Ant recently became a father for the first time, and Dec, also 48, couldn’t help but joke that he was “at home breastfeeding”.

“I don’t know whether I broke royal protocol by giving that information,” he laughed.

The King meets Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall during a reception for Prince’s Trust Award 2024 winners, supporters and ambassadors at Buckingham Palace in London (Chris Jackson/PA) (PA Wire)
The King meets Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall during a reception for Prince’s Trust Award 2024 winners, supporters and ambassadors at Buckingham Palace in London (Chris Jackson/PA) (PA Wire)

England star says she did ‘first curtsy’ for Prince William

Wednesday 22 May 2024 20:00 , Emma Guinness

England footballing star Lauren Hemp has revealed that she did her first-ever curtsy for Prince William.

Hemp, 23, was made an MBE at Windsor Castle today for her services to football, having served on England’s Lionesses team when they emerged victorious at the 2022 women’s European Championship.

“It was nerve-wracking, to be honest,” she told PA News Agency.

“We sat in a room and we got taught how to curtsy and what we needed to do to greet the prince, and I think just standing there and seeing him and being the next one to go was pretty scary.

“I managed to do my first-ever curtsy.”

The footballer, who also plays for Manchester, said they had a “really good” conversation about the sport.

“He’s really interested in football which is obviously great,” she said.

Lauren Hemp (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
Lauren Hemp (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

Damehood recipient says arts are ‘integral to everyday life’

Wednesday 22 May 2024 19:00 , Emma Guinness

Sonia Boyce was made a dame at Windsor Castle today (22 May) after becoming the first black woman to be elected to the Royal Academy of Arts.

While accepting the honour, she took the opportunity to praise the arts as being “integral to everyday life”.

She told PA News Agency: “It’s (the damehood) a recognition of work that not only myself have done but has been done over the decades to just acknowledge and, I suppose, reward the contributions that many have done.

“So I feel very privileged – slightly shocked still – to be in this position and also to be an advocate for the arts.

“We so need that at the moment – the arts are just incredible, they’re not an add on, they’re integral to everyday life.

“The arts is really about if you’ve got something to say, or you’re envisaging something you’re in a dialogue with everybody about it, and so it really is about ‘Come and take part, come and add to the conversation, come and dream your dreams’.”

Professor Dame Sonia Boyce after being made a Dame Commander by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle, Berkshire (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
Professor Dame Sonia Boyce after being made a Dame Commander by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle, Berkshire (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

Bad weather fails to dampen spirits at Buckingham Palace garden party

Wednesday 22 May 2024 17:00 , Emma Guinness

The poor weather in London did not dampen spirits at the most recent Buckingham Palace garden party.

It was attended by the Prince of Wales, who hosted, alongside other royals including Princess Beatrice and Eugine.

The guests included farmers from the Dutchy of Cornwall, Julie and Matthew Hall, who Prince William sheltered under his umbrella.

Mrs Hall, from Bloomers Farm in north Dorset, later said: “We’re farmers, we’re used to the rain, and when we left this morning Dorset was in sunshine. It’s all the seasons in one day sometimes.”

Prince William helped shelter guests from the rain at yesterday’s garden party (AP)
Prince William helped shelter guests from the rain at yesterday’s garden party (AP)

Artist opens up about new Kate Middleton portrait

Wednesday 22 May 2024 15:51 , Emma Guinness

The artist behind the newly unveiled portrait of Kate Middleton has explained why it has a blue background.

British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor said the new portrait, which features on the upcoming edition of Tatler magazine, has a blue background to reflect the colour of Kate’s eyes.

The Princess of Wales is also a keen rower, and Uzor said this was something she also wanted to reflect in the painting.

“All my portraits are made up of layers of a personality, constructed from everything I can find about them,” she said.

The Princess of Wales’s eyes inspired her new portrait (Chris Jackson/PA) (PA Wire)
The Princess of Wales’s eyes inspired her new portrait (Chris Jackson/PA) (PA Wire)
The painting has had a mixed reaction online (Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA Wire)
The painting has had a mixed reaction online (Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA Wire)

Kate Middleton’s new portrait receives a mixed reaction online

Wednesday 22 May 2024 14:45 , Emma Guinness

The new portrait of the Princess of Wales from Tatler has had a mixed reaction online.

Painted by British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor, it features the Princess in the white dress and accessories she wore to King Charles’s first state banquet.

The portrait is said to be inspired by the “courage and dignity” Kate showed when announcing her cancer diagnosis in March.

“Doesn’t look like Catherine at all,” wrote one Twitter (X) user. “[If] she wasn’t wearing that dress I’d have no clue as to who it’s meant to be.”

A second added: “This is dreadful - somehow, I’m not sure the artist is a fan of the Princess - it looks like a bad GCSE project!”

“I agree with the sentiments of strength and dignity but the portrait lacks any resemblance to the Princess of Wales,” wrote a third.

The new portrait of Kate Middleton has had a mixed reaction online (Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA Wire)
The new portrait of Kate Middleton has had a mixed reaction online (Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA Wire)

New portrait honouring Kate Middleton’s “courage and dignity” revealed

Wednesday 22 May 2024 14:29 , Emma Guinness

A new portrait of the Princess of Wales has been unveiled on the cover ofTatler magazine.

Kate, 42, is depicted by British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor in the clothes she wore to the first state banquet of King Charles’s reign.

The artist said he was inspired by Kate’s poignant video announcing her cancer diagnosis in March.

 (Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA Wire)
(Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA Wire)
A photo of the Princess of Wales during the first state banquet of the King’s reign, which inspired Hannah Uzor’s portrait of Kate for Tatler (Chris Jackson/PA) (PA Archive)
A photo of the Princess of Wales during the first state banquet of the King’s reign, which inspired Hannah Uzor’s portrait of Kate for Tatler (Chris Jackson/PA) (PA Archive)

Queen Camilla refuses to ‘interfere’ with one of King Charles’s hobbies

Wednesday 22 May 2024 11:40 , Emma Guinness

Queen Camilla has revealed that King Charles has one hobby she refuses to interfere with.

The admission was made by royal biographer Angela Levin and relates to the King’s lifelong passion for the environment, which has extended to a love of gardening.

“They love going to garden centres and they do it a lot during the year,” she told GB News. “Camilla doesn’t interfere with [Charles’s] garden at Highgrove.”

This comes after the couple recently visited the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday ahead of its official opening yesterday.

Camilla refuses to ‘interfere’ with the King’s gardening hobby (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire)
Camilla refuses to ‘interfere’ with the King’s gardening hobby (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire)

Prince William highlights homelessness problem at Garden Party

Wednesday 22 May 2024 11:00 , Emma Guinness

Prince William has highlighted the ongoing homelessness problem in the UK by inviting members from his homelessness project to the latest Buckingham Palace garden party.

Rowan Aderyn, a member of the Homewards team, took the opportunity yesterday (21 May) to gift the Prince of Wales a self-penned children’s book about a boy called Jack who finds himself experiencing homelessness.

William said: “This is great, so inspirational. I’ll read this to Louis tonight at bedtime.”

The book was one of only 10 copies ever printed.

Prince William founded the Homewards project in 2023 (Getty Images)
Prince William founded the Homewards project in 2023 (Getty Images)

Prince William hints at Prince George’s career aspirations

Wednesday 22 May 2024 09:00 , Emma Guinness

Prince William has hinted at Prince George’s career aspirations at a rainy Buckingham Palace garden party.

The Prince of Wales, 41, joked that it was “good weather for swimming” as he met his guests from the military, his patronages, and the homelessness charity Homeward.

While chatting with Squadron Leader Chrissie Lacey, a padre serving at RAF Coningsby, William revealed that his eldest son and third in line to the throne has expressed an interest in the military.

He said that George,10, would love to visit the base in Lincoln as he is a “potential pilot in the making”.

Should George become a pilot, he would be following in the footsteps of not only his father but his grandfather King Charles and uncle, Prince Harry.

Prince William revealed that Prince George has an interest in the military yesterday (AP)
Prince William revealed that Prince George has an interest in the military yesterday (AP)
Yesterday’s Buckingham Palace garden party was a washout (AP)
Yesterday’s Buckingham Palace garden party was a washout (AP)

Prince Harry ‘turned down’ reunion with King Charles

Wednesday 22 May 2024 08:30 , Emma Guinness

Prince Harry reportedly was the one who “turned down” a meeting with King Charles on his recent trip to the UK.

Despite reports that the pair, who have not seen each other since February, did not meet because of the King’s busy schedule, it’s now been claimed that it was a result of Harry’s ongoing personal security concerns.

As reported by The Telegraph, the Prince was offered the chance to stay at a royal residence on his brief visit but turned it down because it had no security provision.

He therefore opted to stay in a hotel where he “could come and go unseen” instead of staying at a “visible location with public entrance and exit points and no police protection”.

However, this “visible location” would have likely given the Duke of Sussex a chance to meet with his cancer-stricken father, who he last saw when he learned of his illness.

Prince Harry did not see any members of his immediate family on his recent UK visit (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Prince Harry did not see any members of his immediate family on his recent UK visit (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Prince William attends rainy garden party at Buckingham Palace

Wednesday 22 May 2024 08:20 , Emma Guinness

Prince William attended the latest summer garden party at Buckingham Palace yesterday.

The Prince of Wales, however, was comparatively unlucky when it came to the weather and was photographed talking to guests huddled beneath a sea of umbrellas.

This was a far cry from the glorious sunshine enjoyed by King Charles and Queen Camilla at the previous two events.

William joked that it was “good weather for swimming” as he met the quests from the military, his patronages, and the homeless project he launched in 2023, Homewards.

The Prince of Wales uses an umbrella during the Sovereign’s Garden Party (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
The Prince of Wales uses an umbrella during the Sovereign’s Garden Party (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

King Charles jokes about being locked in a ‘cage’ amid cancer battle

Wednesday 22 May 2024 06:00 , Emma Guinness

King Charles joked about finally being “allowed out of my cage” after returning to public duty.

The Monarch, 75, took an extended break from public-facing duties after being diagnosed with an undisclosed type of cancer earlier this year.

He made the lighthearted comment at a surprise army barracks appearance earlier this month.

The King told Lieutenant Colonel Robert Grant: “When this opportunity appeared and I had been allowed out of my cage, I wanted to come to have a look.”

The Monarch has been determined to attend as many engagements as possible since returning to work last month.

He attended five engagements in 48 hours last week, culminating in an appearance at the Royal Opera House, which was also a surprise.

King Charles has made more than one surprise appearance since returning to work (Getty)
King Charles has made more than one surprise appearance since returning to work (Getty)

Prince Edward says Queen’s death was ‘far more emotional’ after the loss of Prince Philip

Wednesday 22 May 2024 01:00 , Emma Guinness

Prince Edward has given a rare insight into the loss of his mother Queen Elizabeth.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 60, said the experience was made “far more emotional” than it may have otherwise been because she passed away just 17 months after Prince Philip.

Edward made the comments on Saturday (18 May) while standing in for King Charles as Lord High Commissioner at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

“There have been moments recently where I have been lucky to have sensed God’s care and love,” he said.

“And who could forget the scenes that followed the passing of my mother?

“The outpouring of emotions, the demonstration of respect, love and grief was overwhelming and a privilege to experience and behold.

“I think I can speak for my whole family when I say we will remain forever grateful for that support.”

The Duke of Edinburgh addressed the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland on Saturday (Jordan Pettitt/PA) (PA Wire)
The Duke of Edinburgh addressed the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland on Saturday (Jordan Pettitt/PA) (PA Wire)

Anne Robinson opens up about relationship with Queen Camilla’s ex

Tuesday 21 May 2024 22:00 , Emma Guinness

Anne Robinson has opened up about her decision to date Queen Camilla’s ex-husband.

The Weakest Link presenter, 79, confirmed that she is in a relationship with Andrew Parker Bowles, 84, who was previously married to the Queen for 22 years.

Addressing the rumours of a romance between the pair, Robinson said “yes” and then opened up about how her lifestyle choices have impacted her love life.

“If you don’t drink, you’re not as reckless, are you?” she told Saga Magazine.

“I’m a great believer in surprising yourself by taking risks.

“Personally and professionally. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

“If the worst that can happen is you get some egg on your face, that’s not terrible is it?”

Anne Robinson is dating Queen Camilla’s ex-husband (PA Archive)
Anne Robinson is dating Queen Camilla’s ex-husband (PA Archive)

Unseen pictures of royal family on display for the first time

Tuesday 21 May 2024 20:00 , Emma Guinness

Previously unseen portraits of the Royal family have gone on display for the first time.

The images were opened to the public on Friday (17 May) at the new Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography exhibition in The King’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

“For centuries, portraiture has played a vital role in shaping the public’s perception of the Royal Family,” the exhibition explains.

“This exhibition charts the evolution of royal portrait photography from the 1920s to the present day, bringing together more than 150 photographic prints, proofs and documents from the Royal Collection and the Royal Archives.”

Current royal portrait photographer Hugo Burnand exclusively told The Independent that it is of special significance for him as it features “the first photographs that were taken of the members of the royal family in the Victorian era”.

The exhibition features members past and present members of the royal family (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
The exhibition features members past and present members of the royal family (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Kate Middleton the ‘driving force’ behind first royal project since cancer diagnosis

Tuesday 21 May 2024 18:00 , Emma Guinness

The Princess of Wales has been described as the “driving force” behind a new project released today.

The early years report, which was reviewed by Kate at home, examines how the economy could be boosted by businesses adopting more family-friendly policies.

A senior royal aide said: “The Princess of Wales was the driving force behind the business task force. She has been kept up to date since the inception of the task force and she has read the report and been briefed on it.

“This is a clear commitment she has made that, throughout her life of public service, this will be [the] focus.”

The aide stressed that Kate will not return to public-facing duties until she has had “the green light” from her doctors.

The Princess has not been seen in public since Christmas Day last year (REUTERS/Hannah McKay)
The Princess has not been seen in public since Christmas Day last year (REUTERS/Hannah McKay)

Prince Harry fails to name Rupert Murdoch in phone hacking case

Tuesday 21 May 2024 17:00 , Emma Guinness

Prince Harry has been unable to name Rupert Murdoch in his ongoing case against the publisher of The Sun.

Judge Timothy Fancourt ruled today (21 May) that Murdoch and other executives alleged to have covered up evidence of phone hacking cannot be named in the case.

The ruling was made on the basis that the Duke of Sussex was trying to pursue a political agenda.

“There is a desire on the part of those running the litigation on the claimants’ side to shoot at ‘trophy’ targets, whether those are political issues or high-profile individuals,” Fancourt wrote.

“Tempting though it no doubt is for the claimants’ team to attempt to inculpate the man at the very top, doing so will add nothing to a finding that Ms. Brooks and Mr. James Murdoch or other senior executives knew and were involved, if that is proved to be the case.”

Britain Royals Invictus (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Britain Royals Invictus (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Queen Camilla reveals she dreamed of royal life as girl

Tuesday 21 May 2024 15:04 , Emma Guinness

Queen Camilla has revealed that she dreamed of royal life as a young girl.

She made the admission on The Queen’s Reading Room podcast, where she said she got the idea from the first “grown-up” novel she ever read, Angélique.

“I can remember a book called Angelique which was written by a woman called Anne Golon, which is about this beautiful French woman who went through a series of completely mad adventures,” the Queen said.

“At one point she landed up in the court of the Sun King Louis XIV. I think I must have probably been about 11 or 12. It was incredibly exciting.”

Camilla dreamed of royal life as a young girl (Victoria Jones/PA Wire)
Camilla dreamed of royal life as a young girl (Victoria Jones/PA Wire)

Portrait of Kate Middleton goes on display in London

Tuesday 21 May 2024 12:10 , Emma Guinness

A portrait of the Princes of Wales has gone on display in London.

The greyscale image, which was released to celebrate Kate’s 40th birthday in 2022, is now a part of Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography.

The new exhibition opened its doors on Friday (17 May) and features portraits of the royal family dating back to the Victorian era.

The portrait of Kate was taken by Paolo Roversi and is a part of the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection.

 (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
(Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Windsor Castle ends free entry for locals

Tuesday 21 May 2024 11:04 , Emma Guinness

Locals will no longer be able to visit Windsor Castle for free in a move that has left many furious.

The perk, which is offered by The Royal Collection Trust, will end on 1 June.

From then on, residents with a Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Advantage Card will have to pay to enter, although they will receive a 50 percent discount.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Julian Tisi slammed the move and said that locals deserve free access.

“Windsor, and specifically the castle, is visited by millions of people from around the world,” he said.

“During the season, residents gladly welcome tourists to their shops and restaurants, they drive them around in taxis and are happy to give directions in the street.

“In return, we get to live and work near one of the most iconic buildings in the world – and visit when we choose.”

Windsor Castle in Berkshire is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)
Windsor Castle in Berkshire is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)

King Charles prefers home grown fruits and vegetables

Tuesday 21 May 2024 10:00 , Emma Guinness

King Charles has said that homegrown fruits and vegetables taste “so much better”.

The Monarch made the revelation while speaking to children at the Chelsea Flower Show’s “no adults allowed” garden.

“There’s nothing more fun than eating the things you’ve grown,” he said before adding: “It tastes so much better”.

King Charles thinks homegrown food tastes better (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
King Charles thinks homegrown food tastes better (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Queen Camilla reveals she’s a Bridgerton fan

Tuesday 21 May 2024 09:30 , Emma Guinness

Queen Camilla has revealed that she is a fan of the hit Netflix show Bridgerton.

The Queen Consort made the revelation at the Chelsea Flower Show while touring a garden inspired by the show, which has just released its third season.

“I watched the first lot,” she admitted as she looked around a garden inspired by one of its characters, Penelope Featherington.

Queen Camilla makes Bridgerton admission during Chelsea Flower Show visit. (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire)
Queen Camilla makes Bridgerton admission during Chelsea Flower Show visit. (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire)

King Charles and Queen Camilla given brilliant new nicknames

Tuesday 21 May 2024 09:00 , Emma Guinness

King Charles and Queen Camilla were given brilliant new nicknames by children when they visited the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday.

In honour of his environmental work, the Monarch was renamed the “King of the Compost”.

Meanwhile, the Queen Consort was renamed the “Queen of Bees” after visiting the Bees For Development garden party, which highlighted the importance of bees at the event.

The couple were given the names as they visited the “no adults allowed” garden, which was designed in collaboration with primary school children to highlight the importance of giving young people access to the natural world.

The King and Queen were given badges to commemorate their honourary new titles.

Charles is reported to have taken one look and said: “Oh, hahaha. Quite right!”

The King and Queen were given new nicknames at the Chelsea Flower Show (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire)
The King and Queen were given new nicknames at the Chelsea Flower Show (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire)

Kate Middleton gives her first major project update since cancer diagnosis

Tuesday 21 May 2024 08:44 , Emma Guinness

The Princess of Wales has given her first major project update since beginning her cancer treatment.

Her Royal Foundation Business Taskforce for Early Childhood has released a report today that has been personally reviewed by Kate from home.

It suggests that if businesses adopt more family-friendly working practices, £45.5 billion could be added to the economy a year.

A spokesperson for the Princess said: “The work of The Prince and Princess’ projects is ‘always on’… early childhood is a huge priority for The Princess and so she has been kept fully updated throughout the development of the Taskforce’s work and she has seen the report.”

The Princess has not undertaken any public engagements this year after undergoing planned abdominal surgery in January.

She later revealed in March that doctors had discovered cancer and asked for space and privacy as she undergoes “preventative chemotherapy” in private.

The Princess has not undertaken any public facing duties this year (Independent TV)
The Princess has not undertaken any public facing duties this year (Independent TV)

Artist reveals why his portrait of the King is so red

Tuesday 21 May 2024 06:30 , Barney Davis

The artist who painted the King’s latest portrait has revealed why the artwork is so red.

The painting by Jonathan Yeo, which was unveiled by the monarch at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, depicts the King wearing the uniform of the Welsh Guards against a red backdrop.

The unusual portrait has divided opinion amongst royal fans and social media users, with some saying the large swathes of red made them “uncomfortable” and that it looked like the monarch was “in hell”.

As for why he chose to use so much red in the portrait, the 53-year-old said he wanted it to tone and distract from the King’s brightly coloured uniform.

“I thought the red will really distract,” he told the paper, adding that his solution was to instead cover the whole painting in crimson.

“That may also have had psychological backing, because I had a heart attack [in March 2023] when I was painting this,” he says. “But certainly none of that I was conscious of – it was just: I like this colour.”

 (PA)
(PA)

Prince Harry recalls William's blunt response to Meghan Markle's pregnancy announcement

Tuesday 21 May 2024 05:30 , Barney Davis

Prince Harry’s memoir reveals Prince William’s response upon learning of Meghan Markle‘s pregnancy.

The couple announced they were expecting their first child together, Archie, on the eve of their Royal tour of Africa in late 2018 a few months after their Windsor wedding.

Harry reportedly discloses in his book Spare that the couple shared their joyous pregnancy news at Princess Eugenie’s wedding in October 2018.

Hello! Magazine reports Harry told his brother the news during a reception at Windsor Castle, and William responded exactly as Harry had expected, saying “we must tell Kate”.

Harry and Meghan spotted celebrating anniversary

Tuesday 21 May 2024 04:30 , Barney Davis

Prince Harry and Meghan stepped out for a double date to celebrate their wedding anniversary over the weekend.

On Saturday evening, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were spotted at Lucky’s, an upmarket steakhouse in Montecito, California.

The couple were joined at the local restaurant for dinner by Brian and Tracy Robbins, according to Tatler.

Harry and Meghan (Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan (Getty Images)

Kate Middleton completes ‘crucial’ milestone from home

Tuesday 21 May 2024 16:24 , Emma Guinness

Kate Middleton has completed a “crucial” milestone in her early years childhood work while undergoing her cancer treatment.

Her Royal Foundation Business Taskforce for Early Childhood yesterday released a new report on the impact of family-friendly working policies.

It suggests that £45.5 billion could be added to the national economy a year if family-friendly policies are embraced by employers.

Christian Guy, executive director of the early childhood centre, said: “This is another crucial moment for HRH’s early childhood work...its impact, and the work of her Centre for Early I know, having briefed The Princess on this, that she is enormously grateful to the members of the Taskforce who have made such fantastic progress on this work over the past year.”

The report was reviewed by the Princess at home as she undergoes preventative chemotherapy, it has been confirmed.

The Princess of Wales is working behind the scenes (PA)
The Princess of Wales is working behind the scenes (PA)

Queen admits she binges Bridgerton

Tuesday 21 May 2024 03:30 , Barney Davis

The Queen admitted she had watched Bridgerton as she toured a garden inspired by the television show during a royal visit to the Chelsea Flower Show with the King.

Camilla said “I watched the first lot” during her visit to a garden based on the Penelope Featherington character from the hit Netflix Regency-era show.

The royal couple were accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester as they visited the world-famous Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show on a sunny Monday afternoon in London.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Kate Middleton hints at return to duty following cancer diagnosis

Tuesday 21 May 2024 02:30 , Barney Davis

Kate Middleton has shared her first project update since stepping back from her duties in January to work on her health.

Taking to Twitter (X), the Princess of Wales, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment, shared a video showcasing the challenges British farmers can face with their mental health.

The Kensington Royal account, which represents Kate and Prince William, wrote: “This #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek we’ve brought together the inspirational Sam Stables from We Are Farming Minds and the brilliant Farmer Will for a very special film.

“Spending a day together on Sam’s farm in Hereford they chatted about mental health in the farming community, finding support and the Duchy of Cornwall’s Mental Health Strategy.”

The full film is available to watch on YouTube.

Kate Middleton appears to have hinted at a return to duty (Independent TV)
Kate Middleton appears to have hinted at a return to duty (Independent TV)

‘Uncomfortable’ and ‘innovative’: King Charles’s first portrait draws mixed reactions online

Tuesday 21 May 2024 01:30 , Barney Davis

King Charles’ first official portrait as King has been met with mixed reactions from the public.

The abstract painting by Jonathan Yeo was unveiled by the monarch at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to show the King wearing the uniform of the Welsh Guards against a red backdrop.

It went down a storm with Queen Camilla, who is reported to have looked at the portrait and said: “Yes, you’ve got him.”

Read more here:

‘Uncomfortable’: King Charles’s first portrait draws mixed reactions online

‘Nothing better than eating things you’ve grown’ King says

Tuesday 21 May 2024 00:30 , Barney Davis

Charles said “there’s nothing more fun than eating the things you’ve grown” as he toured the Chelsea Flower Show’s first “no adults allowed” garden with Camilla.

The royal couple both received a badge from children from Sulivan Primary School in London who helped design the garden – with Charles being given a “King of the Compost” one and Camilla receiving a badge which called her “Queen of the Bees”.

The King joked “quite right” after being presented with his badge.

Charles, wearing a navy blue suit with a flower on his lapel, said to the children at the garden: “There’s nothing more fun than eating the things you’ve grown.”

He added: “It makes such a difference. It tastes so much better.”

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Dismay over Windsor Castle decision to end free entry perk for local residents

Monday 20 May 2024 23:00 , Barney Davis

Windsor Castle is bringing an end to free admission for the town’s residents, in a move criticised by locals who say they see those in the “big house on the hill” as their neighbours.

The Royal Collection Trust is halting the long-established perk, which offers free entry to local people who have a Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Advantage Card, from June 1.

Cardholders will now have to pay for a ticket to world’s oldest and largest inhabited castle, but will receive a 50% discount, costing £15 in advance or £16.50 on the day, with free entry for one child up to the age of 17.

The King uses the 1,000-year-old fortress in Berkshire as one of his official residences and it is a working palace, often staging investitures and state visits, but remains open to the public throughout the year.

When Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, she introduced tickets for visitors which could be obtained from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office or from select London booksellers.

Windsor Castle in Berkshire is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)
Windsor Castle in Berkshire is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)

King and Queen meet given tour of Chelsea Flower Show by Alan Tichmarsh

Monday 20 May 2024 22:00 , Barney Davis

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
The Queen during a visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (Adrian Dennis/PA) (PA Wire)
The Queen during a visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (Adrian Dennis/PA) (PA Wire)
 (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire)
(Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire)
 (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire)
(Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire)