Lili photo we should talk about

Now that the third day of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is over, something strange seems to be happening with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their family.

Welcome to the royal enclosure, Lindsay Wallace!

The House of Windsor has let a new bit player take the stage this weekend in the form of the Queen’s eldest grandson’s new girlfriend, Peter Phillips.

First spotted at the platinum anniversary celebrations at the Epsom Derby (her hat was suitably giddy) and later, Wallace and Phillips found themselves directly in the field of view of a 1001 cameras when sat behind his uncle Prince Charles at the party in the Palace Concert.

But the most interesting photo, the most fascinating photo of the Queen’s platinum anniversary yet, is the one we haven’t seen — that of the 96-year-old monarch meeting her one-year-old namesake Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

On Saturday, Lili, Harry and Meghan, the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, celebrated her first birthday in the UK with reports suggesting some sort of small family celebration would be held at Sussex’s Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage. .

Even more remarkable was that the same day was also set aside for the big introduction of Lilibet senior to Lilibet junior.

Some reports have suggested that the meeting took place on Thursday after Trooping the Color at Buckingham Palace, but this has not been confirmed. It would also have been an illogical way of doing things – why would Harry and Meghan drag a baby in the car for an hour into central London to meet her great-grandmother while they were less than a 10-minute drive from each other in Windsor?

The Queen’s Twitter accounts, Prince Charles and William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were all quick to catch up on Saturday morning, UK time, all sharing warm and nearly identical birthday wishes. In all the messages some image was shockingly absent.

So, why Lili’s media blackout?

After all, last December the world got its first glimpse of Her Majesty’s 11th great-grandchild when the Sussexes released a Christmas card starring Lili and her adorable big brother Archie, now three years old, the snap so perfectly styled and contrived that it could have doubled as a Ralph Lauren ad.

The most obvious argument against releasing a picture of Her Majesty and Lili goes like this: If the palace had released a photo of them together, the Queen says affectionately cradling the bub, it would kill all other anniversary coverage from the have blown water and off the front pages, undermining the relentless focus they try to keep on putting the history-making monarch and King Charles III in the public imagination.

That’s a rationale that doesn’t work for me in any case. Many of the UK front pages on Saturday featured the Sussexes’ turn in the service of thanksgiving to the Queen held at St Paul’s, although their newfound humbling status meant they were sent off to sit in the second row and behind the 31st row. sit on the throne, the Duke of Gloucester.

No matter how long the palace will put the duo in place and signify how expendable they are to the monarchy, the reality is Harry and Meghan could have been behind a pole at the very back of the church with bags over their heads, but the sheer fact that they were in the same room as Charles and the Cambridges again would always play a big part in the media spotlight.

This was the first time the two Sussexes had come face to face with the Windsors in public since the blast during their interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they made claims of institutional racism at the palace, with the Duchess revealing that the royal ranks had her. led to experiencing suicidal thoughts.

My point is, by just going back to the UK together, the presence of Harry and Meghan would always be a bit of a distraction, so why not use it to Buckingham Palace’s advantage?

I think courtiers and assistants really missed a trick here.

Imagine if we had seen this photo of the Queen and Lili – it would have been a forceful checkmate on Her Majesty’s part in the PR chess match that the Sussexes seem to be planning to play with the palace.

The most obvious message would have been that the Anniversary Girl was the bigger person and regardless of the sins of Lili’s parents, the Queen was and would always be a loving great-grandmother. She is said to have come across as forgiving and loving, which contradicts the image of the royal family as cold-blooded, as Harry and Meghan’s claims have made them appear.

This photo is also said to have served as a sort of line drawn under the Sussex-induced agitation and drama. People want to go further.

Basically, releasing a shot of Queen and Lili would have meant the royals would retake command of the situation and recapture the story rather than letting Harry and Meghan run the media as they were.

An added benefit of our imaginary photo here is that it would also have served somewhat as an antidote to the prevailing whiff of bitterness that seemed to hover over the Sussexes’ Jubilee performances.

So far Harry and Meghan have kept themselves pliable and tried their best – there are no public histrionics or attempts by a Netflix film crew to make their way to St Paul’s – and they don’t seem like much trouble.

Thursday, after Trooping, the entire royal family, working and non-working, descended on Buckingham Palace for a slap-up lunch. (I hope the Queen sent someone to her 38,000-bottle cellar to get some decent bottles of plonk for the occasion.) Some reports suggest Harry and Meghan didn’t go.

So are the events of Friday. After the thanksgiving service, “the Duke and Duchess of Sussex refused to attend the reception” at the London Guildhall, according to the Telegraph, even though the rest of the vast troop of Windsors had all rolled up. (We have to thank Princess Anne’s son-in-law, Mike Tindall, for sharing a cheeky and cute photo of his wife Zara and her cousin Princess Eugenie looking like they were having a ball over lunch.)

Ditto for the Saturday night concert in the palace where the Sussexes did not show up. (Yes, it was Lili’s birthday, but the outburst, starring Alicia Keys, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Lin-Manuel Miranda, started at 8pm, especially after the kids went to bed.)

The general impression is that the pair seem to be doing the very least of the bare minimum to qualify to participate in the event.

The question to be asked at this point is whether the fact that the Sussexes are keeping their distance from the royal family outside major official events has anything to do with Harry’s upcoming memoir and the reported “home” docu-series they’re filming. for Netflix ? Or are things just so toxic between Charles and Diana, the sons of Princess of Wales, that they can’t bear even being in the faintest of proximity?

When Charles took the stage at the Palace concert, he asked the 10,000-strong crowd to cheer so loudly that his “mom” could hear it at Windsor Castle, 21 miles away, and they agreed. Even the grittiest of hearts and the most ardent Republicans among us could not help but be moved by such an outpouring of warmth and gratitude.

While yes, the anniversary is essentially an elaborate marketing exercise, an opportunity for the palace to restore support for the crown and sell the monarchy to younger generations, but it is also about a nation saying thanks to the non-year-old who has been unwavering in her lifelong commitment to a job she never wanted.

And it’s exactly what seems to be missing from the Sussexes’ return to the UK: they don’t seem to have gotten into the Union Jack-wielding spirit of the four-day long weekend and have so far failed to get really excited in public. in the swing of this remarkable, historic moment.

One thing that Harry and Meghan have steadfastly maintained is their respect for the Queen and yet the Sussexes are in a frenzy right now, when the whole nation of Britain and much of the world shows their gratitude to Her Majesty. .

Where’s the enthusiasm? Where is a demonstrable expression of joy on their part that she has reached such a remarkable milestone?

On Sunday, the entire Royal Family, including their children, is expected to make an appearance for the afternoon Jubilee Pageant which will take place along the Mall and around St James’s Park. Will Harry and Meghan show up or will they continue to dodge optional outings that would mean close proximity to William and Kate? (The two couples could just keep a polite distance from each other anyway, and the princes have a lifetime of experience plastering a happy face in public.)

During Charles’s tribute, he said of the Queen: “You keep making history.” Unfortunately, so do the Sussexes and for all the wrong reasons.

Daniela Elser is a royal pundit and writer with over 15 years experience working with a number of leading Australian media titles.

#Lili #photo #talk

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