20 February 2021

UK: Name of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's son has been announced

Buckingham Palace issued the following statement through social media today concerning the name of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank's child:

Princess Eugenie and Mr Jack Brooksbank have announced that they have named their son August Philip Hawke Brooksbank. 

The couple have been touched by the well wishes they have received on the birth of their first child, and are delighted to share this first photo as a family.

The photo can be viewed by following the link above.

Baby boy August Brooksbank was born at the Portland Hospital in London on 9 February 2021. The name August might come as a surprise, but not the second given name Philip after his great-grandfather. According to Peerage News, the name Hawke is from the Brooksbank family. It should be added that there are quite a few members of the British royal family named Augustus throughout history, and I guess that could be one explanation? The other would of course be that the parents just happen to like the name!

Postscript 20 February 2021 at 5.55 p.m.): Princess Eugenie has been quoted as writing that her son was named after «both of his great x5 grandfathers», i.e. Rev. Edward Hawke Brooksbank, as mentioned by Peerage News, see link above, and Prince Albert (Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel), husband of Queen Victoria. It seems that the quote was posted on Princess Eugenie's Instagram account as an «Instagram Story». I have seen the quote, but have no idea how to make a link to it. However, a screenshot has been published at among others  Gert's Royals' Twitter account

Updated on 20 February 2021 at 5.55 p.m. (postscript added).

UK: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be returning as working members of the royal family

Buckingham Palace issued the following statement yesterday, 19 February 2021:

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family. 

Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family. 

While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.

In a note to the editors, Buckingham Palace added that 

Following The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step away last year as working members of The Royal Family, a 12-month review was agreed. A decision has now been made after conversations between The Duke of Sussex and Members of The Royal Family. The military, Commonwealth and Charitable associations which will revert to The Queen are:

    The Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving.

    The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, The Rugby Football Union, The Rugby Football  League, The Royal National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities.

The decision to step back as senior members of the British royal family was announced on 8 January 2020. Yesterday's statement informing the public that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who currently live in Los Angeles, USA, will not be returning as working members did not come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the developments during the last year. I still feel sad about the decision, but I both respect it and understand it well. It should be added, as Michael Rhodes of Peerage News has pointed out, we will most likely still on various occasions be seeing the Duke of Sussex in uniform. He can not wear those uniforms of the regiments of which he was honorary colonel or captain general, but he will retain the right to wear those of the regiments in which he served. 

Last Sunday (Valentine's Day) it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting their second child later this year. Their first child, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, was born on 6 May 2019.

12 February 2021

Norway: King Harald's sick leave extended

The Norwegian Royal Court announced today that King Harald's sick leave has been extended to 14 March 2021. The king was expexted to resume his duties on Monday 15 February, but his medical team has recommended further rehabilitation before he gets back to work. The king was operated for a torn tendon above his knee on 30 January.

King Harald is currently staying at the Royal Lodge at Voksenkollen where he will continue to receive physiotherapy. Crown Prince Haakon will in other words remain Regent until 14 March 2021. 

9 February 2021

UK: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's first child

In the early evening today Buckingham Palace announced the birth of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank's first child:

Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie was safely delivered of a son today, 9th February 2021, at 0855hrs at The Portland Hospital. Jack Brooksbank was present.

The baby weighs 8lbs 1oz.

The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of York, Sarah, Duchess of York, and Mr and Mrs George Brooksbank have been informed and are delighted with the news.

This is Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s first child, The Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York’s first grandchild, and the ninth great-grandchild for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.

The baby boy, whose name has yet to be announced, entered the world as no. 11 in the line of succession to the British throne.

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank were married at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on 12 October 2018.

30 January 2021

Norway: King Harald admitted to hospital

The Norwegian Royal Court announced on Thursday 28 January that King Harald was put on sick leave for the remaining days of the week due to pain in his leg. This meant that Crown Prince Haakon had to take over his father's duties and thus presided over the Council of State at the Royal Palace on Friday at 11 a.m.

The court followed up later on Friday 29 January by informing that the king was admitted to the National Hospital (Rikshospitalet) in order to have surgery in the morning of Saturday 30 January. The king was operated for a torn tendon above his knee. The operation has been described as successful.

The king is expected to return from his sick leave on Monday 15 February 2021.

20 January 2021

King Harald V of Norway's congratulations to President Biden

King Harald of Norway has offered his congratulations to President Joe Biden on the occasion of his inauguration today:


The Honorable
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.
President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington D.C.

Your Excellency,

On the occasion of your inauguration as President of the United States of America, I wish to extend my warmest congratulations and my best wishes to you personally and to your family, and my hopes for the welfare and prosperity of the American people.

Harald R

Joe Biden took the oath just before noon today local time and became the 46th President of the United States, while Kamala Harris became the 49th Vice President.

13 January 2021

Norway: King Harald, Queen Sonja and Princess Astrid vaccinated against Covid-19

The Norwegian Royal Court announced in the afternoon today that King Harald and Queen Sonja were vaccinated against covid-19 earlier in the day. Their Majesties will receive the next vaccine in 3 weeks. NRK.no quoted assistant information director Sven Gjeruldsen as saying that the king and queen were in the risk group and that they were vaccinated following advice from the doctors and health authorities. Also King Harald's elder sister Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner received her first shot today.

At a press conference today the Minister of Health and Care Services, Bent Høie, stated that he was pleased that the king and queen had received the vaccine. Obviously an exception was made for Their Majesties, as they are only in the third priority group. Høie said: «– The Government has offered the royal family vaccination due to their role. We are pleased that they accepted the offer, that our royal couple today has got the first vaccination dose. This I think the Norwegian people will show an understanding for, and it was also something the government has offered the royal house.»

On Dagbladet's question on what it would take for individuals to get an exception from the ordinary order of vaccination, Høie answered: «– The fact that they are in the royal house, and it is not many people who are, but I think the Norwegian people will show an understanding for it. We have persons in the royal family who belong to a high risk group among others because of their age, so it is important, Høie explained.»

For the record, King Harald and Queen Sonja, both 83, belong to the royal house, while Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner, 88, is a member of the royal family. There will always be people who will complain about the royals receiving privileges, but if the various comments made in the social media today should be regarded as representative, the vast majority seem to accept the reasons why an exception was made.

Other royals who have been vaccinated are Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of the United Kingdom.