In nearly five months, the Queen’s first outing carried a meaning that might not be lost on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Today is perfect for two adorable puppies, Fergus and Muick (pronounced Mick). Not only were they recently adopted – by the Queen – and given some particularly spiffy digs to call home –– but now, courtesy of the Royal Australian Air Force, they have two bespoke RAAF dog jackets coming their way.
Overnight their owner undertook only her third event outside of the 1000-year-old castle she has called home since thebegan, swaddled in something affectionately dubbed HMS Bubble. (Aside from the summer months decamped north to her Scottish bolthole Balmoral so she could see gadabout in tartan.)
Taking to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Air Forces, the Queen proved she had not lost her regal touch regarding her good pastel hat game or making charming small talk with grown men on their best behavior. (At one stage, she asked a RAAF officer if they were “being off to chase the Russians”, to which he replied, “That’s correct, Ma’am, it’s a lot of fun for us.” Hear that, Vladimir?)
While the outing, her firstin nearly five months, represents the world inching closer to a resumption of blessed normalcy – you know, back when royal engagements were gloriously dull, and the most outre thing a Windsor would willingly do in front of cameras was accidentally insulted the Scottish or fall asleep during the Highland Games – the world, the royal world included, is profoundly different now.
As the Queen thanked the Air Force with her signature restraint for her puppies’ new coats, thiscarries far more weight and meaning. Because today of Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first day of ‘freedom’, their first day on civvy Street, they were no longer officially royal or bound by palace strictures.
Now, while the timing of Her Majesty’s military excursion was entirely coincidental, it is impossible to ignore the implicit symbolism of her visit to the Sussexes.
Let’s start with the most prominent aspect: while the monarchy might currently represent a bastion of whiteness and incredible privilege, it is also inherently bound up with the Commonwealth.
During the 94-year-old’s 69-year reign, the last remnants of the empire were rightly dissolved and replaced with the voluntary union of the Commonwealth nations. It comprises 54 countries and represents 2.4, 94 percent of whom live in Asia and Africa.
The Queen’s lifelong commitment to this organization is one of her greatest legacies and a poignant reminder of what Harry and Meghan could have accomplished.
Given the drama and the Sturm und Drang of the last month, it could be easy to forget that barely two years ago, the sovereign tried to help her grandson and his wife by offering the embattled duo the chance to dramatically re-imagine their royal roles and even to move away from the UK.
In April 2019, reports surfaced that personal happiness.was considering a plan for the Sussexes to set up a home in Africa. The thinking was simple – they could escape the UK while still serving the crown, a perfect balancing act of regal deference, service, and