Get caught up on all the royals news you might have missed in September 2020 — from notable birthday, wedding, engagement and baby news to political controversies, an illegitimate daughter's fight for royal recognition and much more… Let's start with this news about season 4 of the award-winning Netflix series "The Crown"… On Sept. 29, the streaming giant released new photos from the upcoming season, which will debut on Nov. 15. Among the most nostalgia-inducing photos are those of actress Emma Corrin as a Lady Diana Spencer, as she's the spitting image of the late Princess Diana. Keep reading to see one more shot — Emma as Di after she became the Princess of Wales — plus more global royals news from September 2020…
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New photos from season 4 of "The Crown" show Emma Corrin as Princess Diana
Emma Corrin plays a young and glamorous Princess Diana and Josh O'Connor plays her husband, Prince Charles, on season 4 of Netflix's "The Crown."
The Arab world loses a respected emir, gains new Kuwaiti monarch
On Sept. 29, officials announced that Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, had died at 91 following a 14-year reign over the Persian Gulf state. His half-brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed, 83, was named by the country's cabinet as his successor. Royals around the globe payed tribute to the late emir, whom CNN reports has long been widely respected for trying to mediate conflict in the region. "Today we lost a great brother and a wise leader who loves Jordan," Jordan's King Abdullah tweeted. "[He] did not hesitate in his benevolent endeavors to make every effort to unite the Arab ranks." Britain's Queen Elizabeth II said she was "saddened" by the news as she sent condolences to the Kuwaiti royal family. "I have deeply valued his friendship towards the United Kingdom," she said in part. "I offer Your Highness my sincere condolences. I offer also my sympathy to the people of Kuwait. May the long history of close companionship between our two families continue."
Two Jordanian princesses celebrate birthdays one day apart
On Sept. 27, Jordan's Princess Iman marked her 24th birthday one day after little sister Princess Salma turned 20 on Sept. 26. "When my girls are near, love and laughter are never far behind. Happy birthday Iman and Salma," Jordan's Queen Rania captioned a beautiful photo with her daughters on Instagram on Sept. 26.
Princess Eugenie of York is pregnant with her first child
On Sept. 25 — just shy of their two-year wedding anniversary — Britain's Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank, the European brand manager for Casamigos tequila, announced that they're expecting their first child. "Jack and I are so excited for early 2021….👶🏻," Eugenie captioned a slideshow of Instagram photos showing pair of fuzzy baby slippers and a pic of them together. Eugenie's mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, took to Instagram with glee to share her joy, writing that she's "thrilled for them both and in my 60th year cannot wait to be a grandmother. Welcoming a new baby into the York family is going to be a moment of profound joy." The baby will be 11th in line to the throne but will not be known as His/Her Royal Highness or have a title or unless Queen Elizabeth II steps in to change that.
The Cambridge kids fan out meeting Sir David Attenborough but hark tooth gift sparks controversy
Prince William and Duchess Kate's kids — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — were treated to the ultimate fan experience when they got to meet Sir David Attenborough (while practicing social distancing, of course) in the gardens of Kensington Palace in London after the Duke of Cambridge and the famed natural historian attended an outdoor screening of Sir David's new film, "David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet." The royals released the photos on Sept. 24, noting on Instagram (where there are more pics) that upon meeting, Sir David — of whom Kate has said her kids are all "massive fans" — gave George a tooth from a megalodon, an extinct species of giant shark, that he found "on a family holiday to Malta in the late 1960s embedded in the island's soft yellow limestone which was laid down during the Miocene period some 23 million years ago." Two days later, Maltese Culture Minister Jose Herrera spoke out to ask that the tooth to be returned to the former British colony so it might be put on display in a museum there and, as reported by CNN, promised to "set the ball rolling" to get it back.
New book makes bold claims about Prince Andrew
On Sept. 24, bestselling author Ian Halperin released the new book "Controversy: Sex, Lies and Dirty Money by the Wild's Powerful Elite" in which he reports extensively on Britain's Prince Andrew and his ties to the late pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein. According to a report in Page Six, the author claims he didn't find evidence that Andrew was intimate with underage women — the prince has long denied claims made by Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre that she was trafficked to Andrew when she was 17 — but holds "there is no doubt that Epstein provided girls to Andrew, and that was the reason they were friends." The author further alleges, after speaking with at least a dozen former paramours, that Andrew is a "sex addict" and a "daring lover."
President Trump makes sexist remark about Duchess Meghan during White House press briefing
One day after Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan urged Americans to register to vote so they could cast their ballots in November's election — and after Harry urged people to "reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity" (more on that in the next slide) — President Donald Trump took what was widely considered to be a misogynistic swipe at Meghan. Though the royals didn't endorse candidates by name, a reporter asked Trump during a White House press briefing for a comment on the couple encouraging "people to vote for Joe Biden." Trump replied, "I'm not a fan of hers and I would say this, and she has probably heard this, I wish a lot of luck to Harry — because he's going to need it."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spark controversy with comments urging people to vote
On Sept. 22, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan appeared in a brief segment on an ABC TV special announcing the annual "Time 100″ list of the 100 most influential people in the world and sparked controversy with their comments. Though they didn't endorse or name any candidates, they did urge viewers to register to vote and cast ballots, and based on their comments, it was widely accepted that they're supporting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris over Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the U.S. presidential election. That quickly led to false claims that they'd breached palace protocol since Britain's royal family is supposed to be apolitical. (The couple exited as working senior members of the family earlier this year; Meghan remains an American citizen with voting rights in her native California.) Harry told viewers in part, "This election, I'm not going to be able to vote here in the U.S. But many of you may not know that I haven't been able to vote in the U.K. my entire life. As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity." Meghan said in part, "We're six weeks out from the election, and today is Voter Registration Day. Every four years, we're told, 'This is the most important election of our lifetime.' But this one is. When we vote, our values are put into action, and our voices are heard." Watch their brief video message here. Buckingham Palace later said it "would not comment" though added that, "The Duke is not a working member of the Royal Family and any comments he makes are made in a personal capacity."
Denmark's Royal House releases first new official portrait of Queen Margrethe II in eight years
On Sept. 21, a new official gala portrait of Her Majesty Margrethe II of Denmark was released by the Royal House to mark the Danish queen's 80th birthday earlier this year in April. It replaces the monarch's most recent official portrait from 2012. The beautiful portrait was taken in the Dome Hall at Fredensborg Palace by photographer Per Morten Abrahamsen in the summer of 2020.
Protests mark new calls to reform the Thai monarchy
The growing pro-democracy movement in Thailand has sparked fresh calls for reform of the Thai monarchy and on Sept. 20, thousands of Thai protesters marched near King Maha Vajiralongkorn's official residence. During the protests, a leader in the movement hand-delivered a letter to an official "demanding curbs on the power and budget of the royal family, in one of the boldest challenges to the institution in living memory," The Guardian reported, noting its significance. The newspaper further explained that the monarchy there is different than in many other parts of the world because "Thailand's royal family is shielded from criticism by a strict lèse majesté law that carries a [prison] sentence of up to 15 years," though it notes the country's prime minister has said that the king — who's been criticized for spending most of his time in Germany since assuming the throne in 2016 — has asked that no one be prosecuted under the law at this time.
Duchess Meghan comments on the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from pancreatic cancer on Sept. 18, Hollywood and political figures spoke out about the feminist icon and her legacy. In an unusual move, so did a member of Britain's royal family in a unique position: Duchess Meghan, who's still an American citizen. "With an incomparable and indelible legacy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg will forever be known as a woman of brilliance, a Justice of courage, and a human of deep conviction," Meghan said in a statement. "She has been a true inspiration to me since I was a girl. Honor her, remember her, act for her."
Queen Elizabeth II annuls honor bestowed on Harvey Weinstein 16 years ago
On Sept. 18, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II officially stripped disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of the honorary CBE she'd awarded him for services to the film industry in 2004, the BBC reported. The move comes after he was sentenced to 23 years in prison earlier this year for rape and sexual assault. "The Queen has directed that the appointment of Harvey Weinstein be an Honorary Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 29 January 2004, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order," read an announcement in The Gazette, the official public record of the U.K.
Barbados is dropping Britain's queen as its head of state
On Sept. 15, the government of Barbados announced that it will remove Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and become a republic by the end of 2021 — making it the first country to drop the monarch in nearly 30 years. "The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind," the Caribbean nation's governor-general, Sandra Mason, explained in a speech, as reported by CNN. The queen is seen here inspecting an honor guard during a visit to the island nation — a former British colony — in 1977.
Britain's Prince Harry turns 36
Prince Harry celebrated his 36th birthday on Sept. 15 and was sent well-wishes by other members of his family on social media including grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, father Prince Charles and brother and sister-in-law Prince William and Duchess Kate, who notably — unlike the monarch and the Prince of Wales — didn't use his Duke of Sussex title in their post. To celebrate, People magazine reported, Harry and wife Duchess Meghan revealed through a spokesperson that they'd made a personal donation to CAMFED, a non-profit organization that works to eradicate African poverty through girls' education and empowerment. After an online campaign to raise money for the organization in the Sussexes' honor closed this month with $129,000 in donations, the couple donated a further $130,000. It's worth noting that this is a significant birthday for Harry: He's now the same age as his mother, Princess Diana, was when she died in 1997.
Spain's Queen Letizia celebrates 48th birthday
Sept. 15 is a popular day for royal birthdays: Spain's Queen Letizia, seen here in a new official 2020 portrait, turned 48 on the date this year.
Sweden's Prince Daniel turns 47
Sweden's Prince Daniel — the husband of the country's future queen, Crown Princess Victoria — celebrated his 47th birthday on Sept. 15. The Swedish royal family released a new portrait of the Duke of Västergötland taken in Gustav III's pavilion in Hagaparken to mark the occasion.
Archduchess Gabriella of Austria marries Prince Henri of Bourbon-Parma
Prince Henri of Bourbon-Parma and Imperial and Royal Highness Archduchess Gabriella of Austria married at Schloss Tratzberg in Jenbach, Austria, on Sept. 12. Tatler, which posted a few wedding photos, reported that the couple are distantly related: Both are great-grandchildren of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg and husband Prince Félix (né Bourbon-Parma). See other wedding photos here.
The former king of Belgium's illegitimate daughter is suing for royal status
Nine months after she was recognized as his fourth child following a seven-year legal battle and a paternity test, the illegitimate daughter of Belgium's former king, Albert II, has asked a court to grant her royal status. Artist Delphine Boël — who was conceived when the king had an affair with Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps — wants "to be considered fully as Albert II's child, with the same titles and the same rights" as her siblings, her lawyer told CNN on Sept. 11. That includes being given the title "princess of Belgium." The case is currently being considered by an appellate court. According to Albert's lawyer, "We believe that she has the right to be recognized but these requests do not fall within the competence of the court." Albert's counsel believes his daughter's request for a title should be made to either the current monarch, King Philippe — who is Delphine's half-brother — or the country's minister of justice.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan repay Sovereign Grant for Frogmore Cottage renovations
The Sussexes achieved their goal of complete financial independence five months after officially exiting as senior working members of Britain's royal family. On Sept. 7, a rep for Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan confirmed to BAZAAR.com that the couple had fully repaid the $3.1 million it cost to update their U.K. residence, Frogmore Cottage, into a livable family home before they moved there in 2019. "This contribution, as originally offered by Prince Harry, has fully covered the necessary renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage, a property of Her Majesty The Queen, and will remain the U.K. residence of The Duke and his family," the rep said. Buckingham Palace also confirmed that the funds had been repaid in full to the Sovereign Grant. As a source explained to BAZAAR.com, "There was never any expectation or request from the royal family or the Crown Estate to repay this but they have felt it was important to do so and this is why they proactively offered to repay as soon as [their exit] was announced."
Britain's queen gets creative to entertain the public amid the coronavirus pandemic
On Sept. 4, multiple media outlets reported that Queen Elizabeth II was turning her private Sandringham Estate into a drive-in movie theater dubbed the "Enchanted Cinema" for members of the public to get out of the house but maintain social distancing protocols by catching showings of "1917," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "The Greatest Showman," "Moana," "A Star is Born," "Rocketman," "Toy Story" and "Grease" on Sept. 25, 26 and 27 for about $41 per car. "Enjoy a wonderful evening in the Sandringham Gardens with the backdrop of Sandringham House," the property's official website wrote. "Relax and enjoy … these ever popular films whilst enjoying fabulous street food and refreshments from artisan brewers and distillers." On top of that, the site added, "upgrades on tickets are available for just [$9.50 per person] to add a deckchair, table, popcorn and separate area to the side of your vehicle." However, later in the month, the site later revealed the drive-in had been postponed to July 2, 3 and 4, 2021.
The Sussexes sign major deal with Netflix
On Sept. 2, The New York Times announced that Britain's Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan — who now live just a few hours from Hollywood — signed a multi-year production deal with Netflix to produce documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children's programming for the streaming giant. "Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope. As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us," the couple — who are believed to be making millions from the deal — said in a statement, adding that Netflix's "unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action." Later in the month, a report claimed the couple were planning to launch a reality show that would see cameras following them as they planned their charity work. A spokesperson for the Sussexes quickly shot down the claim, telling People magazine on Sept. 28, "The Duke and Duchess are not taking part in any reality shows."
A Greek prince gets engaged
A new royal engagement was announced on Sept. 1: Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark, who's the youngest child of King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie, is set to marry Nina Nastassja Flohr. Philippos — who works as a hedge fund analyst in New York City — proposed on the Greek island of Ithaca earlier in the summer, HELLO! magazine reported. His older brother, Prince Nikolaos, took the couple's official engagement photos (see them here). Nina is a creative director for VistaJet, a company founded by her father, Swiss businessman Thomas Flohr.
Denmark's crown prince shares summer family photos
Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik and wife Princess Mary publicly released new photos of their family on Sept. 1 as a "summer greeting." Seen here are the future king and his wife with their four children: Prince Christian, 14, Princess Isabella, 13, and twins Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent, both 9. Keep reading to see a sweet snapshot of Frederik and Mary…
Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik cuddles up with Princess Mary in another official end-of-summer snapshot
Photographer Franne Voigt also snapped this picture of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and wife Princess Mary as part of a joyful series of "summer greeting" photos.