Get caught up on all the royals news you might have missed in November 2019 — from a British prince's disastrous interview to a Middle East royal couple's custody war to a history-making royal visit to Cuba, plus much more… Let's start with this happy day… On Nov. 20, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrated a huge marriage milestone — their 72nd wedding anniversary. The couple wed back in 1947 at London's Westminster Abbey when she was still Princess Elizabeth and he was Philip Mountbatten, the newly created Duke of Edinburgh — a title he was given by her father, King George VI, after renouncing his Greek and Danish royal titles and becoming a naturalized British citizen. Family members including Prince William and Duchess Kate, and Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, marked the monarch's happy day with sweet photo posts on social media.
Duchess Meghan named most influential dresser in the world
Duchess Meghan has a new accolade to celebrate: According to the global fashion search engine Lyst, she topped its list of 10 celebrities "whose personal style choices drove the biggest spikes in searches, sales, news coverage and social media mentions over the last 12 months," making her the most powerful and influential dresser in the world in 2019. Lyst reported on Nov. 19 that the Duchess of Sussex's sartorial choices "sparked, on average, a 216 percent increase in searches for similar pieces." Filling out the rest of the top 10, in order, are Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Blackpink member Lisa, Kylie Jenner, Lizzo, Harry Styles and Billy Porter.
Monaco's royals celebrate National Day
On Nov. 19, Monaco's Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene and their twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, as well as other members of the principality's royal family, gathered on balconies at Prince's Palace in Monte Carlo to celebrate this year's National Day. One special update this year? Jacques, who's next in line to the throne, was for the first time seen in a little military uniform. "Yes, he's being outfitted this year. I think they still have one fitting to do but he'll be in a uniform. And that'll be great fun," Albert told People magazine beforehand. Gabriella, who "has outgrown her little Monegasque outfit," her dad told People, looked "elegant" in a red dress and matching beret.
Duchess Meghan's lawyers detail false stories
More than a month after Prince Harry passionately explained why he and Duchess Meghan are suing multiple British media outlets for conducting what he called "a ruthless campaign" against them and their family, the American royal's lawyers filed new court documents that extensively detail what Byline Investigates, which broke the news, calls a "three-year fake news campaign against her." Read the big breakdown here.
The Prince of Wales and his wife head to New Zealand
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrived in New Zealand on Nov. 17 to kick off a week-long royal visit to the country. The trip marked their third joint visit and first in four years. See the best photos from their adventures here.
Prince Andrew gives disastrous interview, steps back from royal duties
Prince Andrew's efforts to put a scandal behind him backfired in November — so much so that on Nov. 20, he announced that he was taking a "step back from public duties for the foreseeable future." (Read his whole statement here.) Let's rewind a few days: The Duke of York was widely criticized after he sat down with Emily Maitlis from the BBC's "Newsnight" for an interview that aired on Nov. 16 in which he discussed his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and alleged pedophile who committed suicide in his New York jail cell in August. (A headline in The New York Times captured widespread sentiment: "Prince Andrew Talks About His Ties to Jeffrey Epstein, and Britain Is Appalled.") The prince also addressed Virginia Roberts Giuffre's claims — which he's previously denied — that she was trafficked to him at 17 in 2001 by the financier. Andrew said he had no recollection of ever meeting her and claimed he couldn't have been with her on the night in question in 2001 because he would have been home after taking daughter Princess Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking, England. He also insisted he couldn't have "sweated profusely" on a London nightclub dance floor with his accuser, as she's claimed, because of a bizarre reason. "I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War when I was shot at and I simply… it was almost impossible for me to sweat," said Andrew, who also implied that a photo of him with his arm around young Virginia was doctored. He also failed, in the interview, to explicitly express sympathy for his former friend's victims — something he finally did in his Nov. 20 statement. In the wake of the sit-down, companies began to cut ties with the prince — who has the support of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who gave him permission, he noted, to step back after the scandal became "a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support."
Happy birthday, Prince Charles
The Prince of Wales turned 71 on Nov. 14 and to celebrate, his sons posted sweet tributes on social media. The @SussexRoyal Instagram account shared a never-before-seen photo of Prince Charles with grandson Archie at the baby's July christening, captioning it, "Happy birthday to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales – Sir, Pa, Grandpa!" The @KensingtonRoyal Instagram account likewise shared a pic of Charles with one of his grandchildren, Prince Louis, as well as photos of him with son and heir Prince William and another that also included Prince Harry. The slideshow was captioned with a birthday cake emoji and the simple message, "Wishing a very happy Birthday to The Prince of Wales!"
The Sussexes confirm they're not spending Christmas with the queen
On Nov. 13, Buckingham Palace confirmed building buzz that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan wouldn't be spending the holidays with the queen this year and instead were planning to celebrate son Archie's first Christmas with Meghan's mom. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month," a palace statement said. "Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, Their Royal Highnesses will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the Duchess' mother Doria Ragland." In what's seen as an effort to shut down claims by some British media outlets that the couple's decision to pass on Christmas with the royal family is some sort of snub to the queen, the statement included this line: "This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the Royal Family, and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen." It's been pointed out that Prince William and Duchess Kate have also skipped holidays with the monarch in favor of spending them with Kate's parents, the Middletons.
Hillary Clinton visits the Sussexes
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a private visit to Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan at their home, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, England, on Nov. 12, it emerged days later. Page Six reported that the meeting, during which the former first lady met baby Archie too, was set up by the couple's communications secretary, Sara Latham, who used to work for the politician as a senior advisor on her 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. According to the Daily Mail, which was the first outlet to report on the visit, sources characterized it as "something of a 'fan girl' meeting." In October, Hillary and daughter Chelsea Clinton publicly defended Meghan after she spoke out about struggling with unfair scrutiny and criticism.
Middle East royals head to court
Two royals from the Middle East made headlines on Nov. 12. Princess Haya bint al-Hussein — the estranged wife of Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum — was seen heading to London's High Court on Nov. 12 and 13 to attend hearings concerning the welfare of their two children, MailOnline reported. The princess arrived with her lawyer, Baroness Fiona Shackleton (who famously represented Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Paul McCartney in their divorces). Sheikh Mohammed, whom Reuters reported is represented by attorney Helen Ward (who repped Guy Ritchie in his divorce from Madonna), was not seen. The hearings were private but it's been reported that the princess — who is the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan and the half-sister of Jordan's King Abdullah, and is believed to be the sixth wife of Sheikh Mohammed (who's also vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and a father to at least 20 children) — previously asked the court to protect one of her children from a forced marriage and to issue an order that protects against harassment or threats. It's believed that the sheikh wants the children, who are with Haya in Britain, returned to Dubai.
Spain's royals make history with visit to Cuba
On Nov. 11, Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia made history when they arrived in Cuba to kick off a three-day trip: It was the first ever state visit to the island nation by a Spanish royal. The couple were there to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana. See all the best photos from their journey here.
The Fab Four come face to face at two royal events
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge came face to face with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex twice in early November — which is significant as this was the first time they were all together in public since Prince Harry in an October documentary all but confirmed reports of a rift with brother Prince William. The couples did not appear to interact when they attended the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Nov. 9, where they sat in different boxes. And though Harry and William both participated in a ceremony during the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial service at The Cenotaph in London on Nov. 10, headlines made a big deal out of Duchess Kate and Duchess Meghan standing on different balconies as they watched.
Archie Mountbatten-Windsor reaches new milestones
Baby Archie Mountbatten-Windsor has hit a few new milestones. On Nov. 6 while meeting with military families from the Welsh Guards, Coldstream Guards and Household Cavalry during a coffee morning at Windsor's Broom Farm Community Centre, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan revealed to attendees that their son, who turned 6 months old that day, had started crawling and had two teeth, MailOnline reported. Days after the event, Britain's Daily Express and People magazine reported that Harry had that week joined Meghan and Archie at a playgroup session with 10 other parents near their home in Windsor, England. "He wasn't the only dad there!" an insider told People. A source told the UK paper, "Archie had a fantastic time. He was crawling around and was particularly taken with two other red-haired babies. The Duke said, 'Gingers stick together!'"
The queen gives up wearing real fur
Queen Elizabeth II made the switch to faux fur in her personal wardrobe this year, her longtime dressmaker and confidant, Angela Kelly, has confirmed. The revelation — which has been praised by animal rights groups — was made in Angela's new book, "The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe," which came out in late October, though this news wasn't widely picked up until Britain's Metro reported it on Nov. 6. Angela wrote: "If Her Majesty is due to attend an engagement in particularly cold weather, from 2019 onwards fake fur will be used to make sure she stays warm."
New details emerge following sudden split between Malaysia's former king and Russian wife
On Nov. 1, Russian former beauty queen Oksana Voevodina — who was suddenly divorced by Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan, the former king of Malaysia, over the summer after a year of marriage — revealed to the world via MailOnline the first photos of her 5-month-old son Ismail Leon's adorable face. "Here is my prince," she told the outlet. "He looks every bit like his father and he has this Asian-looking face." The reveal made headlines as the sultan has disputed the boy's paternity. Days later, video emerged on MailOnline from a second wedding celebration the couple had in Russia in November 2018 five months after their first, an Islamic ceremony in Malaysia, in which the groom appears to be besotted and calls Oksana his "bunny." In the same story, MailOnline reported that the royal has offered his ex a financial package worth around £275,000. However, the offer reportedly came with strings attached: The boy is to be raised Muslim and neither he nor his mother can ever contact the sultan.