Heavy lies the crown, but it isn’t easy being married to a monarch either. When Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, married Queen Elizabeth II in 1947, he accepted a public lifestyle unlike any other. Luckily, Philip was just the man for the job. Royal family fans have looked up to him for generations, though there’s much about the Duke that most people don’t know. Between his complicated family legacy and his unusual interests, Philip sometimes surprised the Queen herself!

It might surprise you to learn that Philip was born far from London. Born a Prince of both Greece and Denmark, he spent his earliest days on the Grecian isle of Corfu. His family, however, soon had to flee their posh villa.

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After his father made poor tactical decisions during the Greco-Turkish War, the Prince had to leave his homeland behind for good. He spent his youth educated in schools across France, England, and Germany, and Philip often saw little of his family. But on his own, he thrived.

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But Philip’s ties to other European royal families kept him in good company. In fact, at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark to Prince George, Duke of Kent, the teenager met an 8-year-old Princess Elizabeth. They would reunite years later, but not before a string of tragedies.

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Philip’s family fell to pieces. His father was distant, while his mother was committed to a mental hospital. His sister, two nephews, and dear uncle all died within succession of each other. A lesser man might’ve fallen to pieces, but young Philip gave himself over to a higher cause.

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Joining the British Royal Navy in 1939, Philip sprinted into the belly of beast that was World War II. Aboard various battleships, he defended the Mediterranean against Italian invaders. His superiors lauded the intrepid sailor, and a 21-year-old Philip reached the rank of first lieutenant.

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He’d already steered the future course of the United Kingdom, but Philip was far from done. That much was clear when he reentered the orbit of the charming Princess Elizabeth. The two fell for each other, though there was a snag in their romantic plans.

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Because Elizabeth was first in line for the British throne, the Windsors didn’t want any outside influences — namely those of Greece or Denmark — creeping into Buckingham Palace. Philip learned that if he wanted Elizabeth’s hand in marriage, he’d have to make a great sacrifice.

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Philip had to renounce his royal titles in Greece and Denmark; that was an easy choice for him. But the royal family also refused him the traditional right of having his children bear his own last name — House of Mountbatten — and specified that he could never become King.

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He settled for the title of Consort of the Queen, but Philip still looked to make his mark. He proudly accompanied Elizabeth all over the world, though his international visits often came with embarrassing gaffes. These includes refusing to pet a koala out of fear and asking a Kenyan lady if she was a woman.

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But the Prince still cut a gallant figure. When his foot wasn’t in his mouth, his hands were on the throttle of a plane — his favorite hobby. The sporting fellow taught himself to pilot all manner of aircraft. However, Philip’s life couldn’t be all fun and games.

As kids came into the picture, Philip was not what you’d consider a warm and fuzzy father figure. The naval veteran and avid sportsman was particularly prickly around the boy who would one day be King.

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Philip and the sensitive Prince Charles were just different, and that didn’t make their relationship easy. According to royal expert Penny Junor, Philip “has no patience with his eldest son’s soul-searching” and “has spent a lifetime criticizing him and quietly undermining his self-esteem.”

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On the other hand, Philip supported his son’s life decisions by welcoming Princess Diana with open arms — unlike some other royals. She even referred to Philip as “Pa.” He grieved her shocking passing, and when Charles remarried years later, Philip neglected to attend.

That isn’t to say that Philip ever shirked his royal duties. Over the course of 50 years, he delivered about eight speeches per month at large-scale events and galas. He also became president of the English Speaking Union, which promotes public speaking about international youth.

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His efforts have earned Philip serious admirers too. The residents of Tanna, an island in the South West Pacific, actually worship the Prince as a divine being. They believe he fulfilled an ancient prophecy and is responsible for all kinds of key world events, including the elimination of Osama Bin Laden.

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But even gods get tired after a while. At the age of 96, Philip announced in 2017 that he was retiring from royal duties. Even then, he still appeared at select military and family ceremonies. He had bigger priorities at his age.

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The Duke wanted to spend more time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he had an easier time understanding than he did with Charles, by most accounts. His guidance and care for them means that Philip’s influence will remain in the royal family for generations to come.

Most importantly, he will go down in history as the longest serving consort to a British monarch in history. Most people couldn’t stomach being married to a Queen for over 70 years, but Philip shared some surprising relationship advice.

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“Tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage,” he revealed in 1997. Even in rough patches, the Duke and the Queen know they’re on the same side. Also, they have separate — but connected — bedrooms, which can’t hurt. Still, they harbor questions about the family’s future.

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Philip and Elizabeth are notably worried about the possibility of Charles making shocking alterations to the British Monarchy. The Prince is not one to blindly follow tradition and has a reputation for stepping over boundaries set by his mother, especially when it comes to doing the right thing.

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He believes that the monarchy should be pared back and that royal expenses should be paid for privately, not out of public coffers. He’s lobbied against genetically modified foods, and has called for climate change action, so there’s reason to believe Charles might act on other tough topics.

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Charles is also in favor of turning the palace into an accessible space for the public, and situating the smaller Windsor Castle as the main dwelling-place of the monarchy instead. And, given his predisposition for shake-ups, it’s no surprise that he might choose to investigate a long-hidden cold case.

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You see, in the bowels of Westminster Abbey, the royal church that’s stood in London since 1245, there’s an urn that contains human bones. It’s long been suspected that those remains might belong to two murdered princes.

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In 1483, the princes Edward V and Richard, Duke of York went missing. The boys were 12 and 9 years old, respectively, and were under the guardianship of their uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester, after their father had suddenly died.

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Edward V was in fact no longer prince at that time, as he had automatically succeeded as king once his father died. His brother, the Duke of York, was second in line to the throne, and their uncle was third…but he wanted the boys out of the way.

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After the boys began to fade from public view, and disappeared entirely in June 1483, Richard was the number one suspect. This did not prevent him from ascending to the throne, however. His royal title was King Richard III; the public called him Richard the Usurper.

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All seemed lost until 1674, when workers discovered two small skeletons in a box buried under a staircase in the Tower of London. There was no inscription on the box, but tellingly, the Tower was exactly where the two missing princes had lived.

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Back then, there was no way to know who the remains belonged to. Nobody knew for sure whether they were the lost Edward and Richard — and if anyone had a hunch, they weren’t telling. So, the bones were interred in Westminster Abbey, and mostly forgotten.

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That all changed in the summer of 2012. In August, the University of Leicester assembled a team of archaeologists to search for, and finally find, Richard III’s remains, because they too were missing.

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After Richard III died, the English royalty scrubbed him from many records. His burial had been unceremonious, in a tomb under a church that had been destroyed by Henry VIII, and there was only one clue that remained.

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The best hint to the Usurper’s whereabouts was an old map of the church, which matched a site map of a modern London parking lot. Figuring they had a good shot at finding something, the archaeology team got to work digging up the lot.

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It wasn’t long before they were rewarded. Slowly, the excavation unearthed a human skeleton. It bore severe injuries, undoubtedly sustained in battle, that matched historical descriptions of Richard III’s body and wounds.

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Researchers were able to obtain a DNA sample from the bones, and traced the old king’s relatives to find Michael Ibsen, who descended from Richard’s sister Anne of York. Michael’s DNA swab matched the other sample enough to determine that the body was Richard’s. The historic moment wasn’t over, though.

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The Richard III Society, which is devoted to bringing truth about the old king’s reign to light, called for the bones to be DNA matched with the remains found in the Tower of London all those years prior.

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They asked Westminster Abbey to give permission, since that’s where the urn is housed, but after the Queen herself was personally consulted, the answer she gave was that testing wouldn’t be allowed.

It wasn’t the first time Westminster Abbey had been entreated to put the matter to rest. During renovations in the 1990s, permission had been asked to examine some old vaults by fiber-optic camera, to see if those remains could be linked to the lost princes…but the Queen said no.

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There’s cause to believe that when Charles’ time comes, he may be more accommodating to this request than his mom. It’s clear he cares about opening up the monarchy more to the public, but there’s another reason.

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When Charles studied at Cambridge University from 1967 to 1970, he studied archaeology, anthropology, and history. Given those interests, it’s highly likely he’d be down to unearth the truth behind the royal remains.

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And while we can understand the queen’s desire for ancient remains to be left undisturbed — they’re her distant family, after all — we can hold out hope that Charles might allow testing, out of love for history and science.

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As he prepares to become king, though, archaeology is far from the only question Prince Charles has spent recent years answering. Besides his historical interests, his views on one scientific topic seem to be a sore spot.

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It’s taboo for the royals to publicly discuss “party politics,” and Prince Charles’ lifelong interests sometimes ride that line a bit too closely for comfort. Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams disclosed that Prince Charles may be “pressured” into abandoning, or at least watering down, said hobbyhorse in the future.

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Though you’d think Charles having to reduce his hold on his passion projects would be a future dilemma, officials have reportedly been concerned about this in the past as well, as royals aren’t supposed to meddle in global, contested issues.

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Certain members of parliament are dreading having an “activist king,” and Prince Charles’ forthright views regarding architecture, planning, and genetically modified crops show he’s willing to speak out. But didn’t take that criticism seriously at first.

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Amazingly, Prince Charles responded to such concerns, saying “If it’s meddling to worry about the inner cities as I did 40 years ago, then if that’s meddling I’m proud of it.” By mere contrast, he stands out.

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Considering Queen Elizabeth II has stuck to the safety of traditions and neutrality for the entirety of her reign, it seems as though the idea of Charles shaking things up is alarming the UK. Likely with an eye roll, Charles made it a point to clear things up in 2018.

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Though clearly sometimes snarky, the Prince clarified in a BBC documentary, aired in honor of his 70th birthday, that reports of him carrying on with his “interventions” once officially donning the King’s crown were “nonsense.”

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“You only have to look at Shakespeare plays, Henry V or Henry IV part one and two, to see the change that can take place. Because if you become the sovereign then you play the role in the way that it is expected.” He continued.

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“So, clearly I won’t be able to do the same things I’ve done as heir. So, of course, you operate within the constitutional parameters. But it’s a different function,” Charles continued.

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“I’m not that stupid. I do realize that it is a separate exercise being sovereign. So, of course, I understand entirely how that should operate.” It became clear that Prince Charles was almost insulted but such assumptions that he would violate the monarch’s rules and traditions.

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But Prince Charles has been enthusiastic about saving the environment for decades. More specifically, he’s a climate change activist who’s promoted environmental and sustainable causes. Some of his accomplishments, though, have the courts concerned.

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“The Prince has promoted sustainability to ensure that the natural assets upon which we all depend among other things soil, water, forests, a stable climate and fish stocks endure for future generations,” his official website details. And therein lies the problem.

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Though he was awarded with the GQ Editor’s Lifetime Achievement Award For Services To Philanthropy in 2018, critics felt the difference between simply offering an opinion and downright campaigning for change should be noted. Charles’ comments in 2020 had officials reeling.

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“We are in the midst of a crisis that is now, I hope, well understood. Global warming, climate change, the devastating loss of biodiversity are the greatest threats that humanity has ever faced and one largely of our own creation,” Prince Charles stated in a 2020 speech before the World Economic Forum.

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“What good is all the extra wealth in the world, gained from ‘business as usual,’ if you can do nothing with it except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions?” his speech continued. Charles chooses to travel via electric car rather than helicopter when possible.

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He’s even met with the famous Swedish teen environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, to discuss their common goals regarding saving our planet. “Everything I have tried to do, and urge, over the past fifty years has been done with our children and grandchildren in mind,” Charles stated.

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“I did not want to be accused by them of doing nothing except prevaricate and deny the problem. Now of course, they are accusing us of exactly that,” he continued. His words clearly ring with disappointment and sorrow, and Charles had no plans of halting his activism.

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Richard Fitzwilliams explained that Charles won’t have to keep his lips completely zipped about environmental issues once he becomes king. “He would read the speech from the throne, he would give his Christmas message which might very well have a flavor of that in it.”

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“But remember it isn’t a party political issue, it is something that almost all governments in the world now support. That is the reduction of carbon emissions.” Richard continued. So there’s a figurative range to which the Prince could speak on environmental issues without being considered controversial.

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It sounds like, when the time finally comes, the Prince of Wales will make a fine king, tastefully balancing tradition and acceptably advocating for what he believes in. However, some are worried his declining health may put a cork in that fantasy.

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Though this wouldn’t be the first time the country was thrown into a tizzy on account of the prince’s health. Despite an active lifestyle, the septuagenarian royal has begun to show his age in recent years.

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In early 2018, Charles made headlines after taking a tumble while touring the Larrakeyah Barracks in Darwin, Australia. Though the fall was later attributed to the intense Australian heat, royal watchers couldn’t help but feel a little nervous about their aging prince.

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Things only grew more concerning in November 2019, when Charles arrived in the Indian capital of New Delhi with his hands and feet swollen like ripe tomatoes. Once again, Clarence House expressed there was no cause for concern — at this point, though, who were they trying to convince?

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Charles, of course, dismissed the rumors of his failing health, and images of the prince attending his usual slate of public events seemed to imply that things were just fine. But in March 2020, news about the future king’s health emerged that just couldn’t be ignored.

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In a matter of 24 hours, Charles had developed a nagging cough that not even a spot of tea could soothe. Normally, Clarence House would’ve written this off as the product of allergies or a mild cold — these, however, were not normal times.

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By this point, the COVID-19 pandemic had already begun ravaging countries like China and Italy, sending many of the world’s nations into lockdown. The U.K., having only a few hundred confirmed cases, decided against enforcing strict social distancing measures, though Charles knew it was better to be safe than sorry.

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As he continued carrying out his royal duties, Charles decided against shaking hands, instead choosing to bow or touch elbows with those he met. All the while, the prince’s cough only continued to grow worse.

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No one wanted to admit it, but by the now the possibility that the 71-year-old had contracted the novel coronavirus was a very real one. The fear weighed heavily on the royal family, especially on Prince William.

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“I have to admit at first I was quite concerned,” William shared. “He fits the profile of somebody of the age he’s at, which is you know fairly risky, and so I was a little bit worried.”

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With the future of the monarchy hanging in the balance, Clarence House had no choice but to request COVID tests for both Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. The protocol was swift, and after a sleepless night, Charles awoke to devastating news.

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He’d contracted coronavirus. While the Duchess’ results had come back clean, Charles’ presence on the grounds of Buckingham Palace now jeopardized the entire royal family — then 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth included. Charles’ health was in question, though one thing was for certain: he needed to leave now.

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Leaving Camilla to self-isolate in Clarence House, Charles retreated to his Scottish residence of Birkhall in Aberdeenshire, nestled on the Queen’s Balmoral estate. Recovery was his top priority, though another troubling thought weighed on him.

Charles was concerned he might’ve passed the virus to the many individuals he’d interacted with prior to his diagnosis, including his parents, children, and grandchildren. And even if they managed to stay healthy, what of his own fate? He feared he might never see his family again.

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The people of Britain also feared for the prince’s well-being, worried that their future king might be taken from them before even reaching the throne. Yet despite all the hysteria, Prince William remained optimistic about his father’s condition: if there was ever a fighter, it was the Prince of Wales.

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“My father has had many chest infections, colds, and things like that over the years,” William explained, “and so I thought to myself if anybody is going to be able to beat this it’s going to be him.”

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Sure enough, Charles emerged from his seven-day isolation completely COVID free. His symptoms had been mild throughout, though, according to William, the biggest toll the virus took was on his mental health.

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“I think the hardest thing he found was having to stop and not being able to go and get a bit of fresh air and go for a walk,” William shared. “I think he found it quite difficult. Especially also with his mental heath — being sort of stuck inside and not being able to go for walks.”

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Along with being unable to venture outside, Charles also admitted that the lack of social interaction was especially difficult. But even in such dire times, the Prince of Wales had some wise words for his fellow Britons as the world prepared to face its new reality.

“None of us can say when this will end, but end it will,” Charles said in a video released by Clarence House. “Until it does, let us try and live with hope and with faith in ourselves and with each other. Look forward to better times to come.”

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Charles is certainly looking forward to reuniting with his family, though the rest of the royals aren’t exactly staying put. While the Queen and Prince Philip hunkered down within the walls of Buckingham Palace, Prince William and Duchess Kate had other plans.

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In early March 2020, William and Kate made the decision to keep their family safe by packing their bags and leaving for Norfolk. They have a second home there, called Anmer Hall, on the Queen’s 20,000-acre Sandringham Estate.

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Fortunately, George, Charlotte, and Louis weren’t strangers to the place. They actually grew up there! From 2013 to 2017, William and Kate paused their royal duties while they raised the youngsters at Anmer Hall — which has no shortage of activities to do.

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When William and Kate got married in 2011, the Queen gave them the house at Anmer as a wedding present, and they spent 1.5 million GBP to bring it up to date. Among the amenities added: a heated pool, a conservatory, and a tennis court.

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The Duchess of Cambridge happens to love tennis, and has been spotted many times taking lessons. It’s said that her older children can play, too, and it’s a good guess that they’ll be practicing together while in Norfolk. That is, when Kate isn’t busy working from home.

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As a matter of fact, William and Kate are now busier than ever. Since the elder members of the Royal Family are more at risk of catching coronavirus, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have stepped up to be the royal face of the crisis.

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From their offices at Anmer, the couple have been releasing statements, having remote meetings with government officials, and keeping public spirits high. They also visited NHS 111 in early March to pay respects to the staff for their efforts.

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More recently, both William and Kate took time to make a series of video calls to schools, farms, and charities throughout the UK. They thanked these essential businesses for their work, and even cracked a few Easter jokes, with Kate remarking that William was “eating all the chocolate.”

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Also on their check-in list: mental health charities. William put in a call to Paul Farmer, CEO of the organization Mind, and Kate rang up Place2Be CEO Catherine Roche to see how they might need government assistance.

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The other major new task William and Kate face is that of homeschooling their children. Thomas’s Battersea, George and Charlotte’s school, closed its doors and switched to remote learning mid-March — much to students’ joy, no doubt!

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Although typical curriculum is important, the Cambridge parents also value hands-on learning. According to a source, Kate takes her kids to the pond to collect water samples and record their findings, and George and Charlotte also enjoy birdwatching.

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But it hasn’t been all schoolwork. The source also said the young royals are loving the time away, “relishing their freedom in [Anmer Hall’s] spacious gardens,” and they’re getting some quality fun playing on “climbing frames, a climbing wall, and swings” on the grounds.

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And the royal kids might be getting to spend more time outside than anyone else! According to sources, Kate loves spending hours in the garden with George and Charlotte, hunting for spiders and interesting flowers.

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The Duke and Duchess even shared an unprecedented candid video of their children at Anmer. Citizens across the UK shared videos of themselves clapping for healthcare workers, and the three royal kids sweetly did the same.

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Prince George in particular has been showing a lot of appreciation. For Britain’s Mother’s Day, he made a beautiful card for Kate. The family posted it on Instagram, giving the world a peek at the young artist’s talents.

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It’s safe to say the Cambridge children are having the time of their lives these days! The same can’t be said for Prince William’s beloved brother. He and Meghan are dealing with their own unique problems in 2020.

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After their big announcement, one major consideration kept resurfacing for Harry and Meghan: money. The two have plenty of funds to blow through, but they’ll need a source of income to maintain that cash flow.

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And the two aren’t poor to begin with. Princess Diana left Harry tens of millions after her death, and Meghan was earning about $450,000 a year for her role on Suits. But they have one additional place to turn to for some quick cash.

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Prince Charles has reportedly considered transferring some money from the Duchy of Cornwall to help with the couple’s expenses during the transition. But it might be chump change compared to what they’re used to.

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Up until now, the royal couple was receiving $6 million a year from Prince Charles. He hasn’t finalized how much he’ll be giving them now, but bet on it being much less than that. The Queen had other words for the couple, though.

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See, once Harry and Meghan made their announcement, the Queen called Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and Prince William in for a surprise meeting. And once she heard them out, she had a public announcement of her own to make.

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The Queen stated clearly that she supported Harry and Meghan’s choice to step down as public members of the Royal Family. But she, too, had some words about their financial situation.

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“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives,” read the Queen’s statement. But one Royal Family member was less than thrilled by the decision.

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According to some sources, Charles was “livid” when he learned about the couple’s decision. Apparently, Charles blamed Meghan for pushing the move, and he had some concerns about the costs of their new life.

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When Harry and Meghan move to Canada, they’ll need a new home and private security — all of which will cost millions. But their decision to be financially independent from the Crown has caused some controversy.

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See, their big move has left some members of the public irked. To them, “leaving” the Crown but continuing to reap some of the benefits felt hypocritical. Still, Harry and Meghan have big plans for their financial future.

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In 2019, Harry and Meghan left William and Kate’s organization, The Royal Foundation, to start their own: Sussex Royal. And now the couple has some big plans in store for their brand.

Under the umbrella of their Sussex Royal brand, Meghan Markle has already signed a voice over deal with Disney, they’ve launched their official website, and there are rumors floating around about a Netflix deal. But Charles had one warning for the couple.

A source close to the Royal Family reported that Charles warned Harry and Meghan not to be so freewheeling with their trademark, especially with the Sussex name attached to it.

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“There will be strict instructions on branding,” claimed one source. “For example, no one wants to see the Sussexes’ name on a tub of margarine.” Specifically, they want to prevent one key thing that happened after Diana’s death.

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See, after Diana passed away, her memorial foundation started making some deals that didn’t reflect well on the Royal Family — like Diana-branded tubs of Flora margarine. Charles wanted to make sure something like that didn’t happen again.

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Some people have believed up until now that Harry’s fraught relationship with William might have been the cause of his and Meghan’s departure, but this new information suggests it might have been something else entirely.

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According to some sources, Harry and Charles got into an argument about the couple’s departure; Charles worried that Harry hadn’t thought his plans through fully. So Harry took things one step further.

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When Harry tried to secure a meeting with the Queen, Charles’ advisers prevented it. That was when Harry knew he had no choice but to take their decision public on his own. But some members of the public aren’t wild about their future endeavors.

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Back in June of 2019, Harry and Meghan officially filed the trademark for “Sussex Royal,” but in January of 2020, they received a “notice of threatened opposition.” Even their personal brand might be in jeopardy.

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Although it likely won’t affect any of Meghan’s upcoming projects, this complaint is just another in a long string of setbacks for the Duchess of Sussex. And before her departure, some of the Windsors’ staff spoke up about her behavior.

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Some staff members aired their grievances about the new boss, pointing to cultural miscommunications, which was the polite way of saying Meghan’s abrupt. Brits mince pies, not words. Meghan’s directness when speaking to employees was something the high society wasn’t used to. 

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Word traveled throughout the royal woodwork that the disgruntled employees had given Meghan Markle an unflattering set of nicknames. The first, Duchess Difficult, was rather self-explanatory. The second, Duchess Me-Gain, was a comment on their perception that she’s always looking out for number one.

Meghan holds her staff to the same high level of expectation that she has for herself. The former actress realizes the value of her position and wants to pack as much into her schedule as possible to contribute to the royal legacy.

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Her position is groundbreaking after all. As the first American and the first black woman in the British Royal family, she’s living every day as a paver of history. Meghan is hyper-aware of the importance of her representation for minorities who’d remain systematically blocked from such circles.

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Anytime people get a new boss, there’s going to be smatterings of gossip. New management styles and personalities to understand can make workers tense and resentful. Now imagine being the new person in charge, and you’re expected to exude total perfection on the world stage. Anxious yet?

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In falling in love with a prince, Meghan signed up for a life of luxury with limited control. For example, the wedding she’d always fantasized about had to fit within the frame of royal etiquette. She never got to call the shots typical of a bride.

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When Meghan voiced her desire to wear a larger statement-making tiara on her walk down the aisle, her request was rolled back by the big dog, Queen Elizabeth herself. A source revealed her highness retorted, “she gets what tiara she’s given by me.”

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Trying to bring a certain freshness to the ceremony in the most literal sense, Meghan floated the idea of installing air fresheners in St. George’s Chapel on her big day. That idea was slammed down faster than a cup of Twinings earl grey. 

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Despite her attempts to rebrand her role as a royal into something entirely unique, her reputation amongst the rest of the employees continued to suffer. Unnamed sources admitted it’s commonly said the worst job in the palace is working for Meghan.

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The rumors are supported by a fairly high turnover rate. Meghan cycled through 5 personal aides since officially joining the royal family in 2018. Granted, some of those were pre-planned career moves; others scooted out the door quickly.

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Amy Pickerill curtseyed out of her aide position shortly after the birth of Meghan and Harry’s son Archie. She’d given notice far in advance and planned to stay in touch with her boss and friend. Another trusted advisor parted ways with the family in the Age of Meghan. 

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Longstanding courtier Samantha “The Panther” Cohen exited her post after 17 years with the royal family. Her decision to leave was longstanding; she’d taken the spot with the Sussex camp to guide Meghan through her transition into nobility.

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It was the hasty exit of Melissa Touabti from her personal assistant spot after 6 months that raised several eyebrows. According to court members in Meghan’s periphery, the Duchess and Melissa butted heads, which resulted in a tearful choice to bow out. 

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Personal assistants to Meghan started their days at 5 am, waking to an inbox full of emails listing an “incessant stream of ideas.” That’s right, Meghan Markle is the Don Draper of next generation of royals, hoping to squeeze in innovation in appropriately stylish ways.

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Luckily, Meghan’s found several employees that share her level of passion and energy. A few sources mentioned Meghan’s frustration with the slow-moving normal of the royals. She wants to get her hands dirty and make some formative change.

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Meghan’s perspective as a former showbiz figure and blogger rubbed off on the Windsors. Before she arrived, there was a strict no social media policy. Once an active online influencer, Meghan must have convinced somebody to wade into the 21st century because the House Sussex joined Instagram.

IOL

It helps that her husband is her biggest cheerleader. Castle insiders say Prince Harry acts as a vocal supporter of Meghan. He reportedly won’t allow any insinuations that Meghan’s desires are less than the top priority. 

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With her man by her side, Meghan continues to ignore the haters. Not engaging in late-night name googling or tabloid reading, Meghan stays unphased by the downpour of media criticism. Her close-knit circle of family and friends have carried her above the media smears.

Meghan has famous friends who’ve faced criticism as black women stamped with the label of a diva. Tennis legend Serena Williams befriended the Duchess after recognizing the drive to surpass people’s expectations. Both women share a deep love of traveling and joke about their addictions to hot sauce.

Popsugar

In her transition to public life, Meghan had to give up so much about the life she’d built for over 30 years. Friends like Serena and Beyonce share a similar perspective of chaotic level of fame, while allowing her to remember where she was before the cameras flashed.

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Growing up in Los Angeles, Meghan was surrounded by showbiz from a young age. After school, she’d hang out with her dad, Thomas Markle Sr., on the set of Married… With Children where he was the lighting director and director of photography.

Daily Mail

Most evenings she spent on a bustling film set, but by day, her nose was to the grind at a textbook Catholic school: all girls, uniforms, the whole nine. But there, a somewhat nerdy Meghan found a true passion she’d develop for years…

Vanity Fair

Meghan’s school made the students tackle the dreaded skill of fourth graders everywhere: cursive writing. Though it’s fallen by the wayside in today’s education system, Meghan showed a knack for cursive and calligraphy in general.

Daily Mail

Over the years, Meghan perfected her loopy penmanship. In fact, her writing was so skillful, she used it as an income source. In her spare time between acting jobs, she worked freelance, designing handwritten invitations for celebrities.

Inquisitr

From a young age, Meghan was encouraged to speak her mind. After seeing a commercial by Procter & Gamble with the sexist tagline “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans,” she took action with her best weapon: a pen.

With letters in hand addressed to Procter & Gamble, Hillary Clinton, lawyer Gloria Allred, and journalist Linda Ellerbee, Meghan marched to the mailbox. She didn’t have to wait long, because 1 month later, the company swapped “women” out for “people.” Her effective stand against sexist language led to her being featured on Nick News.

That tenacious spirit never left, either. When it came time to declare a major at Northwestern University, Meghan split her time between her two biggest interests: theater and international relations. It’s almost as if she was planning on being a royal from the start!

Glassdoor

One of her first credits as an actress was on the popular game show Deal Or No Deal. Meghan was a “suitcase girl” and her job required unveiling which amount of money the contestant had lost out on by opening her case.

Today

Meghan’s record shows her commitment to service, so her charitable nature isn’t just a show. After graduation, she spent time as an intern in the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires. Despite how tempting a career in politics was, her heart belonged to acting.

US Embassy

Meghan scored her biggest role to date as Rachel Zane on the USA Network drama Suits. Not only was she a lead, but she truly connected with the character, a smart, unapologetic, go-getter.

Cheat Sheet

Show writers took inspiration from Meghan’s personality and incorporated it into the show. A self-proclaimed “foodie,” of both the cooking and tasting variety, Meghan’s keen palate and love for all exotic cuisine are shared by her character Rachel Zane.

Yahoo News CA

Overnight, Meghan was launched into superstardom after accepting Prince Harry’s marriage proposal. Granted, she was in the public eye thanks to her starring role on the show Suits, but few knew her by her legal name — Rachel. Her full name is Rachel Meghan Markle.

NWLC

Simmering tasty concoctions and doctoring up bland recipes was always one of Meghan’s favorite pastimes. Farm-to-table lifestyles and traditional recipes from around the globe stirred an idea to the surface. In 2018, she published her first cookbook, Together: Our Community Cookbook.

Now To Love

But this cookbook wasn’t just your grandma’s special ziti. The Duchess spent time gathering recipes and cooking with the Hubb Community Kitchen, a vastly diverse group of local women who cooked for their community members affected by the Grenfell Tower fires in London.

Eater

Since she’s royalty, her cookbook faced high expectations. Meghan delivered a unique, heartfelt collection. Each recipe in the book came from all over the globe: North Africa, the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean regions, and all across Europe. Even sweeter, all the proceeds went to charity.

CBS News / YouTube

Public service had been a bone-deep motivator for Meghan for years before entering the royal atmosphere. Back in 2014, as a counselor for the international charity One Young World, she spoke at a summit about gender equality and modern day slavery.

One Young World / Flickr

Her charitable career picked up steam, and Meghan flourished in service. In 2016, she was named as an ambassador for World Vision Canada, traveled to Rwanda for a clean water initiative, and advocated for women’s rights.

World Vision Canada

The Duchess’ enjoys eclectic fare when it comes to music. She admitted her tastes lean more towards indie groups. A few of her favorites last year were Janelle Monáe, the Crystal Fighters, and Maggie Rogers.

Meghan Markle / Instagram

In the peak of Suits popularity, Meghan was offered an opportunity to dabble as a fashion designer. The show filmed in Toronto, and a Canadian retailer, Reitmans, reached out to Meghan to bring a facelift to their brand. She collaborated on two collections in 2015 and 2016.

Curtis Redel / Flickr

Fans before her royalty days followed Meghan’s popular lifestyle blog The Tig. Though she’s since moved on to other endeavors, the site covered everything from beauty, food, and travel, to feminism and general positivity.

Kate Waterhouse

During downtime between takes, Meghan and her fellow Suits cast mates had a surprisingly normal ritual. They all got deeply invested in playing board games, mostly Apples to Apples. A glass of scotch or three later, the gang frequently found themselves giggling and shuffling cards into the wee hours.

The Cut

No matter how packed her schedule, Meghan has always prioritized fitness. Her workout of choice would be a combo of yoga and running. Still, she’s not picky. Any activity enjoyed in the fresh outdoor air suits her just fine.

Best Health Mag

A few years before she married Prince Harry, Meghan had a starstruck moment with everyone’s favorite human. At an LA dog shelter, leaning down to pet a pair of irresistible doggies, Meghan got a jolt when none other than Ellen Degeneres suggested she adopt both pets. So, of course, she had to!

Meghan Markle / Instagram

After getting hitched, Prince Harry and the newfound Duchess of Sussex made a somewhat amusing, yet embarrassing realization. It appears that they are cousins. Well, their family trees intersect way back in the 15th century. Still, the royal intermarrying jokes are bound to haunt them forever.

Wochit Entertainment / Youtube

Copycatting her royal look is pretty easy. When asked about her makeup routine, Meghan said she keeps things simple. Her go-to products are the classics: Nars blush, and Dior mascara.

Big W News

Somewhere in the middle of her seemingly endless schedule, Meghan squeezed in some incredible trips around the globe. Behind the wheel of a camper van, she took in the sites of New Zealand, pedaled her bike through Vietnam, and sailed the coast of Croatia.

The Tig