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Royals’ surprising trips
It's been a week of headline journeys for Charles, William and Anne
They’re used to travelling, but not like this. It’s been a surprising week for the senior royals. King Charles’ first state visit to France was dramatically postponed on Friday, because of violent protests taking place in Paris and other cities.
“The King and the Queen Consort’s state visit to France has been postponed,” said Buckingham Palace. “Their majesties greatly look forward to the opportunity to visit France as soon as dates can be found.”
Graffiti in Paris read, “Charles III do you know the guillotine?” and there have been riots, strikes and protests across France, over plans to raise the pension age. Charles and Camilla will still travel to Germany as planned, next week.
Back home, the King opened the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s new Headquarters in London on Thursday, where he met staff, including many from Ukraine, who were evacuated last year. The monarch said he would like to return to the Ukraine, “I must go again before I get too old. I would like the chance to see Ukraine again.”
Prince William goes to Poland
Meanwhile, Prince William made a unannounced visit to Poland this week, to thank British and Polish soldiers for “defending our shared freedoms.” He said, “Everyone back home thoroughly supports you.”
On Wednesday, he joined palace staff at Butero Bistro in Warsaw, for a pulled pork sandwich and chips, discovering it was an LGBT-friendly restaurant, on arrival. One local posted on social media, “Warsaw can surprise. I ate dinner today with the Prince.” The following day, he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, writing a note for those “who made the ultimate sacrifice”, and met with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda.
Anne visits Coronation St
Meanwhile, Princess Anne also took a surprise trip this week, when she visited Coronation Street, on Monday. She talked to the cast filming an acid-attack storyline. The Princess Royal is patron of the Acid Survivors Trust International, which has worked on the storyline with the soap.
The late Queen famously visited the Manchester set in 2021, when the-then 95-year-old was advised not to tackle its iconic cobblestones. “You’re like a ray of sunshine and you’ve given us all such a lift with you coming,” said actress Barbara Knox.
Kate Blazes a trail
The Princess of Wales launched a Business Taskforce for her early years’ initiative Shaping Us, in the City of London, on Tuesday.
Nine big businesses have signed up, including Unilever, Ikea, Aviva, Deloitte, Co-Op and Lego, pledging to develop well-being measures for staff. The princess said she wanted early years to be the next “climate change” and for society to radically change its approach to social skills, in order to nurture a better generation of adults. “The healthy development of our children relies on healthy adults,” she said.
Catherine looked the business, as always, in her signature style of a white Alexander McQueen blazer and tailored black trousers.
Fergie’s new romance
Well, Sarah’s new fiction that is. The Duchess of York is on a literary roll as a novelist, with her second historical romance, A Most Intriguing Lady, out this Thursday.
Prince Andrew’s former wife, who still lives with him in Royal Lodge, Windsor, has recently described herself as “deeply romantic” while promoting this book, the sequel to bestselling Her Heart For A Compass, her first Mills & Boon novel published in 2021.
This time, we’re following Lady Mary Montagu Douglas Scott, the crime-solving younger sister of Lady Margaret (the flame-haired protagonist in Sarah’s first bodice-ripping yarn), as she teams up with Colonel Trefusis and they, of course, fall in love. You can preorder a copy here.
…and a new memoir from Harry?!
Another book caught our eye this week: Spare Us! A Harrody. This cheeky spoof of Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, is out 6 April, and its publicity blurb echoes last month’s South Park episode. “All I had ever wanted was privacy. In order to get it, it seemed that an exceptionally detailed 500,000-word book was in order…” If you fancy it, preorder here.
Sign up for The Big Help Out
If you’re inspired by King Charles’s decades of charity work and want to volunteer in The Big Help Out initiative on 8 May Coronation bank holiday, it’s time to sign up to The Big Help Out app (it’s free from the App Store on all smartphones).
You’ll find thousands of charities (over 1,500) offering thousands of volunteering opportunities - from the Scouts, to the RSPCA and the National Literacy Trust (of which Camilla is patron) on this “one stop shop” for lending a hand and making a difference.
Search for opportunities near you by typing in your postcode, the type of activity you want to do and the organisation you’d like to volunteer with. You never know, you may find yourself next to a royal, as many of them will be taking part in the big day’s charitable activities up and down the UK.
Corgis and their secret superpower
It’s April Fool’s Day next Saturday, but we’re not joking when we say, corgis really do have a superpower. What is it, we hear you beseech. Well, corgis are so adorable and now even more so since we learnt their bottoms actually float in water. True fact. Apparently, unlike other doggies, their cute bubble behinds are about 80% fat, so coupled with their thick double coat of fur they’re basically born with a built-in floatation device. But don’t take our word for it, check out this video.
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