I’m afraid it’s my final decision. It took me a long time to come to this place and accept this fact, but here it is.
If you want to tackle issues like women’s empowerment, equality and support system for those who are being ignored, then be inclusive to everyone.
You do not cut the wings of the one person who supported you without any hidden motives, with utmost respect, and who did a Diamond Challenge as THE ONLY royal blogger and received a Diamond Pin to support causes close to your heart.
I wanted to thank all my readers, who’ve been with me for all this time and read and supported me in this task. Which, as you know, was at times very difficult. I did my best for more than 5 years but my pink glasses has been lost and I cannot find them no more.
Thank you to THE ONE person who fully grasped what I was trying to do and achieve and supported me in this task, for as long as could…
But, all good things come to an end.
If you don’t want to part ways with me, my style of writing and be a bit closer to my inner world, do check my LP Blog, dedicated to an artist I’ve been admiring for a long time. This admiration lead to better understanding of who I am and what I want to do with my life and free time that I’ve been so generously giving away.
I’ve closed all my royal social media even though they were close to 10.000…
For now this blog will stay online, but I’m going to close it at some point as well.
On the 25th April, it has been announced that The Duke of York joined The Earl and Countess of Wessex as new Vice Presidents of the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Their Royal Highnesses were photographed in the private grounds of Windsor Castle earlier this week as they posed for an official photo to commemorate their new roles, with two of The Queen’s Highland ponies, Lomond and Jubilee, who will take part in RWHS Pageant that will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.
For the first time in its 76 year history, Royal Windsor Horse Show announced the appointment of three Royal Vice Presidents; HRH The Duke of York and TRHs The Earl and Countess of Wessex who will play a significant part in the event which takes place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle from 8 – 12 May. They join HM The Queen, Patron of the Show, and its President HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Simon Brooks-Ward, show director, said:
We are thrilled and honoured to announce our three royal vice presidents. Their active interest and participation in Britain’s largest horse show will be appreciated by all on the showground.
RWHS is located in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, the only time of year the grounds are opened up to the public. The annual Show combines the highest level of sporting action with an unforgettable shopping and gastronomic experience, and a host of thrilling live entertainment.
On the 11th March 2019, people in Commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific and Europe observed the Commonwealth Day. The day was celebrated with a broad range of activities, including faith and civic gatherings, debates, school assemblies, flag raising ceremonies, street parties, cultural events and a multicultural, multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey.
The theme for 2019 is ‘A Connected Commonwealth’, which offers opportunities for the people, governments and institutions of this richly diverse family of nations to connect and work together at many levels through far-reaching and deep-rooted networks of friendship and goodwill. This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Commonwealth.
Since HRH couldn’t attend the service as she travelled to New York to take part in Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, The Countess of Wessex has written a letter to the people of Malawi – congratulating them on removing the risk of trachoma. HRH is Vice-Patron of Queen Jubilee Trust, which works across the Commonwealth to end avoidable blindness.
Today marks two years since Queen Jubilee Trust’s Vice-Patron HRH visited Malawi to see the work of the Trust’s Trachoma Initiative in action. During her visit, The Countess met Safira, now aged 14. Like many school children across Malawi, Safira has played a significant role in the country’s efforts to eliminate trachoma by teaching her community about the dangers of the disease and how to prevent it. To learn more about Safira, and her story since meeting HRH, click here.
Malawi is the first country within the Trust’s Trachoma Initiative to have reduced the prevalence of the disease to under 5% of the population – a huge milestone in its journey to wipe out the disease in its entirety. In her letter, The Countess wrote:
I am delighted to hear the news that it is now official: Malawi has removed the risk of trachoma across the country.
For millennia, trachoma has blighted the lives of millions. Slowly and painfully, people lose their sight. They become unable to leave their homes, go to work and provide for their families. Children miss school as they have to stay at home to care for their relatives. Communities are trapped in a cycle of poverty, moving from one generation to the next.
But now trachoma is preventable and treatable. With leadership and a concerted effort over several years, it can be eliminated.
Also today, an interview with The Countess of Wessex on her work to champion the elimination of avoidable blindness across the Commonwealth was aired as part of A Service of Celebration for the Commonwealth on BBC One. You will fine the video on The Commonwealth official website, click here – it’s titled Commonwealth Day BBC One feature. For video of the service attended by the Royal family, click here. For press release by the Trust on HRH’s letter, click here.
On the 30th December HM The Queen took part in the Sunday Service at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham. This time HM arrived to the church accompanied by her Lady-in-Waiting, while members of her family walked the short distance.
Again we saw The Wessex family, including The Earl and Countess of Wessex with Lady Louise (Viscount James was absent). We also saw, Princess Royal and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence. There weren’t many photographers that day, so not sure who else attended.
Like mentioned above photographic coverage was poor, Daily Mail did manage to publish few pics of the Wessex family, and you will find those by clicking here. Sadly I don’t have any that I could use on my blog.
Outfit & jewellery:
Fedora most likely by Jane Taylor.
Loewe Collarless V-neck coat.
Some black boots.
At last, after a looong week I was able to update every entry on my blog. I needed a break, honestly I was certain I won’t be able to do this again. But your messages, understanding and other factors, made me re-think my decission. I know it will be hard. LP starts a half year long tour in January, so I will have plenty on my plate, but we shall see. Maybe I will manage to work it out somehow.
But let’s get back to the Royals. On the 25th December we saw united family front of royals attending Christmas Mass at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham. The Wessex family arrived altogether, walking side by side, shortly after the ‘fabulous four’. Sophie looked elegant as always in her new, bespoke coat by Suzannah and another bespoke creation from her favourite milliner, Jane Taylor.
Lady Louise looked very pretty in her beige coat and beautiful animal print beret hat also by Jane Taylor (wouldn’t mind owning one myself as well), while Viscount James seemed to refuse wearing any coat whatsoever. I was wondering what wacky tie Prince Edward wore for this occasion, but whatever he has chosen, sadly it was hidden underneath his thick shawl.
HM The Queen arrived to church with The Duke of York, while his daughters decided to walk. Prince Charles along with Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge arrived hand in hand with The Duke and The Duchess of Sussex. Peter Phillips walked with his both daughters, Savannah and Isla. Autimn Phillips (in a stunning green coat-dress by Clare Mischevani) arrived with Princess Beatrice.
Newlyweds, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank walked shortly afterwards, followed by The Wessex family, and Princess Royal with her husband Sir Timothy Laurence. Last ones to arrive were Zara and Peter Phillips. This year we haven’t seen The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duchess of Cornwall. For coverage of that day you may want to check the Daily Mail, click here.
Here, I would like to give my huge thanks to Geoff Robinson (News Photographer based in Cambridge), who each year, since we’ve known each other (online) is sharing his royal Christmas pictures with me – thank you!
Outfit & jewellery:
New, Jane Taylor Millinery bespoke wet look velvet cocktail hat with vintage veil.
New bespoke blue cashmere coat by Suzannah.
Erdem Paisley Vine-print silk-crepe de chine dress.
New, CHAiNGING Berlin Earrings | g o l d by Lucia Odescalchi.
Black suede pumps by LK Bennett.
New pochette (#lunatic #caviar #snake) by Sophie Habsburg.
On the 21st December, The Countess of Wessex accompanied by her daughter, Lady Louise, attended the International Horse Show at London Olympia. Judging from the few pics released by the PA Agency, Sophie & Louise attended day five of the show and she and her daughter observed The FEI Driving World Cup Presented By Dodson & Horrell.
I have searched internet for a long time but I cannot find a single “official” word on HRH’s participation in this event, perhaps she and Louise were there privately, since Lady Louise herself is learning a carriage driving, it’s a passion she inherited after her grandfather, The Duke of Edinburgh. For coverage of the event, check Daily Mail article by clicking here.
Embed from Getty Images
Olympia is the only UK Show to host all three FEI World Cup Qualifiers in Dressage, Show Jumping and Driving. Each performance includes an equestrian competition along with a variety of displays from around the World. Held in the Olympia Exhibition Centre, the London International Horse Show celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2007 as ‘one of Europe’s oldest equine competitions’.
Outfit & jewellery:
Sweater possibly by Max Mara.
Gabriela Hearst Spencer Skirt
Hippo splat necklace by Patrick Mavros.
Some black boots.
On the 24th November, The Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise surprised TV watchers with an unexpected appeareance during the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing programme. HELLO! Magazine, who spoke exclusively to the show’s presenter, Tess Daly, revealed the special meaning behind the duo’s surprise visit.
After Hello – Tess explained: “It was lovely to have them there, we are very fortunate we have a few fans in the royal household… They did absolutely [get a backstage tour]. Lady Louise was celebrating turning 15 and she said it was a treat to come and visit the show. She’s a big fan, herself and her mother. They enjoyed all the action from the front row and they had a great night. It was great to welcome them.”
Full article can be found here. Daily Mail also had coverage, including tiny video – for article, click here. You will also spot the royal duo in the video I linked to.
So we are starting with covering HRH’s engagements on this new platform, with a bit of a surprise. Not sure if most of you were even aware of The Countess of Wessex’s involvement in the visit of India’s based OSCAR U-17 girls football team to England. There was a tiny mention in the press ahead of their arrival, but I’m sure to most of you it will be something quite unexpected.
The tour is the first of its kind for the girls’ football team, after the boys’ team toured the UK in 2017. Both teams were set up by The OSCAR Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation based in Mumbai that uses football to encourage underprivileged girls and boys towards completing their education. A U-17 girls football team is comprised of girl players from Mumbai slums and rural parts of Jharkhand.
Girls left India for their OSCAR #kicklikeagirl UK Schools Tour 2018 on September 30, 2018. The team, along with support from the British deputy high commission in Mumbai, already played (since their tour has started on Monday) & will play against some of the top UK schools like Malvern College, Bradfield College, Downe House, St Mary’s Calne, Heathfield Ascot, and the Cheltenham Ladies’ College.
Ashok Rathod, Founder, OSCAR Foundation: “Young girls from India’s low-income communities face all kinds of discrimination. Since their parents are uneducated, they are often forced to leave school or are married off at a young age. OSCAR wants to empower these girls and change the mindset of their parents. We want these girls to believe in themselves, give them opportunities to showcase their talent, and let them dream big.”
British Deputy High Commission Mumbai who has been supporting the Kick Like A Girl project for the past two years, said: “I want to thank all the schools hosting the girls from Mumbai’s OSCAR Foundation. The UK government supports empowering of young girls and giving them opportunities to succeed. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for the girls and staff of the host schools — I hope you will find it an enriching opportunity and the one that stays with you for all of your lives.”
Yesterday (5th October) girls from The OSCAR #kicklikeagirl UK Schools Tour 2018 team had a private tour of Windsor Castle with HRH Sophie, The Countess of Wessex. They also had fun while exploring “Go Ape” – UK’s number one forest adventure, based in Swinley Forest, Bracknell. “Go Ape is all about getting out into the great outdoors and having fun with friends and family – enabling visitors to unleash their inner Tarzan!”
After @oscarkicklikeagirluktour18: “The @oscar_foundation girls were treated like royalty for a day at Windsor Castle. Sophie, The Countess of Wessex treated them to a private tour. The girls loved every minute and learnt a lot of history. Later they switched saris for harnesses and set off to @goapebracknell Photos coming….”
After Ashok Shankar Rathod: HRH “organised private Windsor Castle tour. The OSCAR team got a chance to go in one of the Queen’s beautiful private rooms which is not open to the public. This made us feel very special. Windsor Castle is the most beautiful place, with 950 rooms. It’s easy to get lost. I feel very proud and happy that Windsor Castle have many beautiful Indian Artefacts.”
“After Windsor Castle, Princess 👑Wessex invited OSCAR team for delicious Indian Lunch at Bagshot Park. And not only did she invite us to her home but she also she joined us at Go Ape Adventure activities like Zip line, climbing and many things. Princess Wessex made OSCAR Kick Like A Girl team feel very special and this day will stay with them forever, a treasured memory.”
OSCAR #kicklikeagirl UK Schools Tour 2018 also marks 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote in the UK. If anything else – inlcuding pictures – will be shared, I will update my post. To learn more about this tour, I recommend articles at Indian Express, click here & Cheltladies College, here.
The United Kingdom hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018) from today, Monday 16th, to Friday 20th April, with events taking place across Royal Palaces. The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, will be welcoming the Commonwealth leaders into Her Majesty’s homes in London and Windsor. The Queen and the Royal Family have a deep affection for, and enduring belief in the Commonwealth, its values, and what binds it together as a global network of 53 countries and almost 2.4 billion people, of whom 60 per cent are under 30 years old.
To mark the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting taking place in London this week, today on the 16th April, The Countess of Wessex planted a White Elm tree. The ceremony was also in honour of the Commonwealth Canopy initiative. The Countess was joined by Eamonn Holmes – ITV’s This Morning presenter, and the ceremony was broadcast live on This Morning programme. If you are in the UK, you can watch it by clicking here. Scroll down a bit. The event was very funny, Sophie has made some hilarious remarks about tree planting as a member of royal family.
Commonwealth Canopy initative was launched at CHOGM 2015. It is a unique network of forest conservation initiatives across the Commonwealth. So far 40 countries have committed to the Commonwealth Canopy, which will protect forests for future generations. The tree planting ceremony was also ahead of a very interesting documentary that will be shown this evening at 9.00pm BST on ITV. The Queen’s Green Planet tells the story of the Commonwealth Canopy as The Queen and Sir David Attenborough walk through the Buckingham Palace Garden. For trailer click here.
Also yesterday, Buckingham Palace has been transformed with a rainforest design in honour of the Commonwealth Canopy. The design has been projected onto the building as part of the global conservation initiative in The Queen’s name. The projection comes at the start of CHOGM 2018 – when representatives of 53 countries will gather in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Summit where they will discuss environmental themes and other issues of common interest.
There are more events planned for this week, I will be keeping you up to date via my blog posts & social media. Today in the evening, The Countess of Wessex as Vice-Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust will attend a Reception at Tower Bridge, London.
Outfit & jewellery: Analena Dress Hibiya Orchid by Erdem. Wedges by LK Bennett. Style called Bayleen. Maison Birks maple pendant.
On the 19th February, The Countess of Wessex (Debra‘s Patron) met with very inspirational young man, James Dunn. James suffers from severe skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa. Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a rare genetic connective tissue disorder with no treatment or cure. There are many genetic and symptomatic variations of EB, but all share the prominent symptom of extremely fragile skin that blisters and tears from minor friction or trauma.
Internal organs and bodily systems can also be seriously affected by the disease. EB is always painful, often pervasive and debilitating, and is in some cases lethal before the age of 30. EB affects both genders and every racial and ethnic background equally. Daily wound care, pain management, and protective bandaging are the only options available for people with EB.
Very recently James had to undergo an operation and had his left hand amputated due to cancer, it was to stop the cancer growing and spreading. Sadly, only few weeks after the amputation James learnt that the cancer was back. But nothing will stop this young man, James is fulfilling his dream to take portraits of famous people to raise money to help find a cure for his own deadly skin condition.
print screen of video
This past Monday, James was invited to Buckingham Palace to meet with Sophie and to take her portrait. James, alongside other members of the EB Community, is taking part in DEBRA’s #FightEB campaign, which aims to raise £250,000 by Rare Disease Day on 28 February. He hopes that this portrait will help him achieve this target. So far, the campaign has raised over £230,000. If you would like to help, go to http://fighteb.org.uk/
print screen of video
On the very next day, James joined Good Morning presenters, Kate Garaway and Susanna Reid, to share his experience by discussing his recent surgery to combat cancer caused by his EB, the #FightEB campaign and a DEBRA funded clinical trial that could offer new hope for the future. If you missed this programme, you can still watch it by clicking here.
If you would like to learn more about James, I recommend his website at http://wheelygoodphotography.co.uk/, you can also follow him via Twitter (here), Instagram (here) & watch his vlogs via Youtube, here. I also recommend reading this article by Liverpool Echo. For Debra’s press release, click here.
On a private note, I had & have some battles to fight, but his battle makes you put everything into a very different perspective. Seeing him and his incredible attitude is a real eye opener. James – You keep on fighting! Do not give up.