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Happy 34th Birthday to Prince William!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Today we are celebrating the 34th birthday of the Duke of Cambridge. Yesterday, Prince William was in Saint-Étienne, France to watch England play Slovakia in the Euro 2016. This morning, he boarded a commercial flight in Lyon heading for Heathrow. Several travelers in Lyon tweeted their excitement at seeing the prince who boarded his flight last and promptly dozed off for the flight across the Channel. At Heathrow, William was the first to deplane, making his way to a waiting Range Rover on the tarmac. He will be spending his birthday with his little family, of course. 


William has gotten some bad press this year, but I think--like much of the bad press leveled at his wife--the accusations are often unfair and take advantage of William's more reserved personality. Several weeks ago William was pictured doing warm-up stretches before a polo game. Anyone who takes pilates or yoga (btw, it is World Yoga Day today!) will immediately recognize this as the cat-camel stretch, one of my favorites. 


I laughed when I saw the funny snaps and particularly William's good-natured grin as he contorted himself this way and that. It reminded me how the press and the public often forgets William's more complicated personality.


Personalities come in all shapes, sizes, and volumes. Some are very outgoing and bubbly, while there are others among us who keep a little more to ourselves. From the outside, the more discreet personalities can seem cold and even unkind, while in reality they can be as caring and thoughtful as the gregarious. Just this past week the Daily Mail ran an odd article about how well Kate and Harry get along, which is perfectly true, but right in the middle, the article took a swipe at William, commenting that he seems at odds with the happy friendship between his wife and brother. This is absurd.


William keeps pretty tight "internal security" around his private personality, but given how long he has been in the public spotlight, none of us is ignorant of the fact that he is quite the tease in private, who opens up around family and good friends.


It is impossible to divorce the attractive quality of future king of England, but William obviously also charmed Kate with his sense of humor. That was clear in many photos of the two throughout their dating days...


...and it is clear that he continues to charm her now she is his wife. 


We see his warmth shine in his charity work, too, where people from all walks and strata of life light up when William reveals his charm:


The mischievous little boy we saw larking around outside St. Mary Magdalene as a child isn't gone, he is only revealed occasionally. 


William is clearly a man who loves his wife, his children, and his broader family, his charities, his country and his Queen. In his care and attention to all these people, his true and private personality is revealed. I like him very much and I think he will weather the storms of public opinion just fine as the years go by. Wishing him a perfect day with his beautiful family!  Happy Birthday, Your Royal Highness!


P.S. My sister Fiona shares her birthday with Prince William, so today we are also celebrating her! Fiona took over the Kate's Clothes Instagram page for me when I went to law school because I couldn't keep up with it all, and she has done a fantastic job with that. Happy Birthday, Fiona! I hope we can pull off a day of royal worthy celebrations for you! :) 




58 comments:

  1. I was so very impressed with the anti-bullying video Kensington Palace posted on Father's Day. He has the makings of a great king, I think.

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  2. I'm with you, Jane, I like William very much and think the UK and the Commonwealth will be in great hands under his reign. With his beautiful and much loved wife and children at his side he has so much to be thankful for. Happy Birthday, Your Royal Highness, and many happy returns.

    P.S. I saw that article in the DM and decided not to read it. Just the headline warned me off.

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  3. Happy birthday William and Fiona! It's also my birthday today - the big 40!

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    1. Happy Birthday, Kathryn! I hope your next 40 will be even better!

      I forgot to say Happy Birthday to Fiona as well!

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  4. Happy Birthday to Prince William and to you Kathryn---40 is just not very big these days.
    It is not surprising that he seems quite serious when in public; he has known since a young child what his future would be and his mother looked to him when she was unhappy--quite a lot for a young child to carry.
    I hope the little ones had some lovely surprises--and a few kisses for him, when he arrived home.

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    1. He did carry quite a burden for such a young boy, didn't he? It's all the more understandable that he just wants his children to have a carefree and happy life with two parents who love each other. I think William is doing a remarkable job as a husband, father, and member of the royal family.

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    2. Diane from BostonJune 22, 2016 at 11:59 AM

      I really wish we could "like" comments on this site, because I'd upvote both Robin and Jean!

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  5. I love that photo of William as a little boy (is that Zara next to him?)! Maybe that's where George gets some of his cheekiness from ;)

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    1. I also love that photo. I always wonder which Senior Royal or Clergy person he is imitating/making fun of ;). ali

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    2. Can anyone else see Lady Louise in the picture of Zara. Will be interesting to see Lady Louise later in life. It looks nothing like what I remember William at that age.

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    3. Eva, it isn't obvious to me, but perhaps there is a slight resemblance, yes.

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  6. A lovely post and tribute to the birthday royal, Jane. Thank you. I agree that William is underestimated and definitely misunderstood. I too believe that he will make a wonderful monarch and I only hope that the British people don't have to wait too many years to see that happen. I have no ill will toward Charles, but I think Britain would be better off with William, sooner rather than later. I'm sure William is in no hurry and I think it's beyond bizarre that someone's destiny should depend on the death of a parent, but that's the way of their world.

    Happy birthday Prince William. And Fiona.

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  7. Kate should be able to have a laugh with her brother-in-law without it becoming news. My BILs make me laugh, but I laugh best with their brother, my darling husband. Just hope Harry can find a true love who will make up the perfect foursome for them.

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    1. My husband has four brothers and we all share great laughs together! We just don't have to do it in the public eye and in front of a hundred photographers. Of course, my husband is the oldest of the five boys and we started dating in high school so I've known the three youngest since they were little.

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  8. It seems to me that we've seen W&K&H together as a "trio" more often in the last yr than in all the yrs W&K have been married put together. Because they have been seen together so much it makes it easier for the public to observe the long-standing personality differences between William and Harry. Those personality differences would likely exist (genetics, birth order, etc) even if Will's future role was not dramatically different from Harry's.  But its not been rare for Kate and Harry to be giggling together while Will looks more pensive and serious (as he sometimes does during public appearances.) That doesn't mean there is anything wrong going on...and while none of us can know how he feels, my guess is that Will is not upset by K&H's relationship.  But I can see why inferences have been made by some. 

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    1. Lizzie, it's true that we have seen a lot more of the trio in recent months, but let's remove Kate from the equation here... The William vs. Harry personality comparisons (with William on the losing end) have been going for many more years than we have had the opportunity to observe Harry interacting with his sister-in-law.

      General comment here... I truly believe that if anyone who knows William (personally) reads this post, they would say that Jane nailed it. MY two cents. :))

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    2. They have a foundation together and multiple interests in common. For example, their
      recently launched Heads Together campaign.Perhaps the reason for an appearance of being together in public more often.

      I think William and the queen are two peas in a pod. A serious, sober face for
      the public and reportedly a killer sense of humor in private. One sees occasional glimpses of lapses in this sober facade and it is a joyous moment. The DOE and Harry
      put on a happy face in public. They are all playing their roles. It is an intricate association, the British royal family, as is any family.

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    3. Exactly, royalfan! And Kate and her family love him so I can't imagine he is anything like the press portray him. As Jane points out, William is very easy and warm with those he interacts with on his charity visits indicating that he truly cares about what he's doing. Sometimes the newspaper will print pictures of William saying that he always looks bored on his visits but, to me, he always looks as if he is intently listening to whomever is talking. William will visit with people and take part in various activities associated with what he's doing. Take into contrast Charles who always has his hands behind his back and never removes them. The other point is that Harry has a little more freedom. Can you imagine the fury if William didn't appear to be serious enough at official functions? Kate just smiled once on Remembrance Day and was accused of not being respectful. She probably would have been blasted again for her smiling at St. Paul's during the Thanksgiving Service if Harry hadn't been taking part as well. The press want William and Kate to be the bad guys and Harry to be the favorite. When the three are together they all (including William) look as though they are having a great time.

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    4. I agree with much of what royalfan,  anonymous 6:18 and robin have said. I realize the BRF is complicated and I realize there are many reasons W&K&H have become a public trio recently. But the amt of trio appearances recently IS quite pronounced compared to the last 5 yrs. And of course the public is interested in and watching interactions. If there was no interest, WK&H would be MUCH less effective in charity and advocacy work so its not all bad.


      Regardless, we really can't take Kate "out of the equation" for at least two reasons. 1) The stories (DM most recently as mentioned by Jane but also some stuff from People as well as the true tabloids) have implied Will's "concern" relates to Kate's relationship with Harry. And that's what the story is about. I think that is all a bunch of hooey but that IS what is being said. So Kate has to be part of the equation. And 2) Will, even as second in line, likely would not be getting nearly as much attention if Kate wasn't part if the equation (which is usually seen as a positive but with this story..) Will might be getting the "eligible bachelor" attention Charles got before marrying Diana and there might be occasional articles about W&H's personality differences but not about issues between them related to a woman most likely. Before people jump on me, I'll say again I don't think Will is bothered at a) but I think recent joint appearance stuff is the genesis (along with Harry's continued bachelorhood)

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    5. It would have been hard for the trio to fully operate as much over the last few years as they have done currently. Their schedules were not as available as they are now. For one thing Harry was in the military overseas and William was doing his stint first in training and then in rescues. Then overseas trips and missions. There were several high profile events that one or the other missed because of travel commitments.

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    6. Lizzie, naturally the press will highlight the trio aspect of the recent appearances, but I see nothing more to it that the timing/opportunity aspect suggested by Anon 8:27. The press will do anything to keep this popular and attractive trio in the headlines.

      For me personally, it is nothing more than an extension of the William vs. Harry comparisons we've been reading for years. The brothers appear to have a very close and supportive relationship, and Harry appears to "have Kate's back", with her being fond and supportive of him. It makes me sad to see that the press has to take it beyond that. The sort of speculating and insinuating they do is not much better than paparazzi chasing their subject in the street.

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    7. Lizzie, your statement that you can see why "inferences have been made by some" exactally plays into what the DM is all about. They want to cause a problem for the BRF and will try to infer something that is not really there. I don't see any difference in how Will, Kate and Harry interact now when seen together than over the last five years. They may be more, but still the same. You state there is some "stuff" in People over Williams "concern" over Harry and Kate's relationship, could you please give a link to this article. The DM is well known for this kind of hype, I have not seen this in People.

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    8. Now that William and Harry are both retired from military service they will naturally have more time to do things together. We must also remember that they have a charity together called The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry along with their recently launched Minds Together campaign. The press just can't seem to enjoy the fact that, no matter what other politics are going on within the family, these three are a team. Wills and Harry have always been a solid duo and Kate has made them a trio. She's known Harry since he was what? Sixteen or seventeen years old.

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    9. I will have to look for a link for People, Eva B. It was sometimes this spring. That's all I remember. 


      I think though several posters have misunderstood what I was saying. There are legitimate reasons WK&H have been a public trio recently. Their decision re: the joint foundation is one. The Invictus connection explained Harry at the dinner with the Obamas.


      As royalfan suggested current stories could simply be a continuation of long-standing W v. H comparisons.  It is natural (albeit somewhat unfair) to compare siblings.  There have also been comparisons made (sometimes even in comments here!) between HM's children and between Andrew's daughters so royal comparisons aren't limited to W&H. And comparisons of that sort aren't limited to royals.


      The press (not only DM) often reports about what is right in front versus digging for stories (not that digging may work with the BRF...I am speaking generally)  Sometimes what's center stage is newsworthy and that's why its out there but it often isn't.  And the trio has been in front of the press recently even to the point people posting here have sometimes asked "where's Harry?" when its just a duo. So I am not personally surprised inferences have been made/questions raised for that reason especially COUPLED WITH the public personna differences between W and H. Perhaps others have been surprised. DM may be the worst offender in this case but there was also an article about the "bromance" between H&K in the Mirror. It talked about in-law relationships etc and was positive but my point is, it was still a story that likely would not have been written now if not for the more frequent joint appearances. Reporters, like all of us, make judgments based on what they see...we've certainly done that here.. for example, inferences were made about balconey positions during Troopings. We don't know if the exact positions were accidental but many drew inferences nonetheless. 


      Saying I am not surprised and saying I can see why inferences have been made is not the same as saying the inferences were justified or true. But having observed the press for decades I am NOT surprised and I do understand the limited and narrow attention span that leads reporters to report on and make inferences about what is front and center. (Front and center may involves politicians, sports figures, movie folks and so on as well.) Sorry but I don't buy that my often negative view of the press somehow falls into what DM "wants me to think."


      It was also widely reported Harry was "offended" he had not been named a godparent for either George or Charlotte and that's why he went to Africa and missed Charlotte's christening. Of course that's a ridiculous story...and it is not traditional anyway to name a child's uncles or aunts as godparents as they already have a formal role in the child's life. But that story didn't surprise me either given his absence. Perhaps others were surprised but I wasn't. 

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  9. Alejandra RamírezJune 21, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Great post Jane! I was thinking if you were going to do one!
    And in one month it's George's 3rd birthday! :D

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    1. I hope we get a new photo for George's birthday! And, quite frankly, I hope it's a photo taken by Kate!

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  10. Wishing William a very Happy Birthday. I bet he had lots of hugs and kisses from George, Charlotte and Kate when he returned home.

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  11. Did something happen to the format? I cannot read this properly. It is so small that I have blow it up but this commenting box is so huge that I cannot read my comment?

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  12. The post are split in half. I cannot read a thing. But this typing is a size 28 font. It's not my phone as every other blog etc is the same except yours Jane? Didn't this happen before? Ugh. I cannot read anything

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    1. Are you back in business?? I hope..... :)

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    2. The cute photo of William and Zara inspired me to take a look back. How they have grown, with each of them married and chasing after their own little ones! )

      http://www.gettyimages.com/photos/william-and-zara-christmas-day?excludenudity=false&family=editorial&page=1&phrase=william%20and%20zara%20christmas%20day&sort=newest

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    3. I've been having a little trouble with this blog as well, Diane. Not what you're describing but I keep seeing "code" above the images. It doesn't spoil my view but it's not usually there.

      Thanks for sharing those images, royalfan! I remember that outfit of Diana's so well. She could pull off anything! I have read in several places over the years that Princess Margaret and Princess Anne understood Diana better than the rest of the family. I wonder if William and Harry spent more time with Zara & Peter growing up and that's why they're closer. Pure conjecture, of course, because who knows if the stories about Diana are true but Princess Margaret was considered "wild" and had some scandals in her day and nobody would know Charles better than Princess Anne so she may have been very well aware of how Diana was treated. There is definitely not the same easy relationship between the Wales boys and the York girls. It seems cordial, and I don't think the "competition" with Kate is very accurate, but they never seem to have the same rapport as Zara and Peter do. And, as I've said before, I think Princess Anne raised her children to be far less uppity than Andrew and Sarah did.

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    4. Ditto I have been seeing a lot of code on this blog in the last week. Posting for Jane in case another person helps her troubleshoot at all :-)

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    5. Hi ladies: So sorry things have been weird. I am changing ad codes this week and it has been...rocky. :) Are you seeing code anywhere other than above the main ad, though?

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    6. Yes. A big "HIDE" in the upper right edge with the lower half of the screen blocked out. Also pop up ads that won't remove.I was starting to take it personally. (-:
      Not sure that's what you mean, but it seems to be better now than a couple hours
      or so ago.Also something about Javascript up near the heading.

      I'm glad I don't have to mess with that stuff. Not fun.
      Hope Fiona still got her royal celebration. She sounds like she deserves it.

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    7. Robin, what you have read regarding Margaret and Anne does sound quite reasonable. Anne is a "tough cookie" and her opinions may be blunt, but I have a feeling she is fair. At Diana's funeral, I do recall Anne looking genuinely sad. And when Diana was alive she appeared to be very fond of Peter and Zara. Don't get me wrong, she adored all children, but her relationship with B&E would have been directly impacted by a somewhat tricky relationship with Sarah.

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    8. Jane, Most of the code I was seeing a day or two ago is gone except for above the top ad. It's still there. I think it's worse accessing the blog from a mobile device but I'm at my computer now.

      royalfan, I agree. The relationship with Sarah was a tricky one. They started out as great friends and Diana promoted the relationship with she and Andrew but, as time went on, Sarah's antics were inappropriate. Diana took her job as Princess of Wales very seriously and after the "umbrella incident" seemed to back away. Sarah also said some indiscreet things to the press and, by the time of Diana's death, they were not on speaking terms. It is said of Diana that the one thing she demanded from friends was absolute loyalty. Use her and she would cut you off cold. Given the nature of her life it's easy to understand. She had to protect herself, her boys, and the title she held. Even through her battle with Charles and his "people" she always respected the Queen and the role of the Monarchy.

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    9. Very true, Robin. Diana did respect the Queen and the monarchy. This is the main reason why I cannot agree with suggestions that William could "take it or leave it." Obviously, he has his own vision for the institution (and what man or woman standing in his shoes wouldn't?), but I do believe he is committed to his destiny.

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  13. AMEN. I sincerely hope that William reads this post. It's probably the best analysis of the MAN that I have ever read. I've always believed that the majority of the criticism leveled at him has more to do with a lack of understanding of his personality than anything else.

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  14. Anne appears very grounded:) She wears what she wants to wear while being correct and does and says what she wants while being correct. Imagine how hard it is to be the only daughter of the Queen who is the "King". The family is fascinating to observe as they have all the dynamics of other families but partially played out in photos and news clippings along with the issues of being Royal and "class" etc etc. There surely is a bond despite personal differences that transcends all else.

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    1. I like Anne quite well. Her fashion sense and hairstyle are pretty much hideous but she has found a way to make her life work. When she wanted to remarry she went to Scotland since she couldn't do so in the Church of England. She does what she thinks is best.

      I think you're right about the family bond. My aunts are all very funny in that, at any given time, one of them would be irritated with another one. They could say anything they wanted but let an outsider say anything about one of their sisters and you would feel their wrath. Now they are all quite elderly and weepy about each other. :-) I think all families are the same.

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    2. Charles and Camilla weren't married in the church for the same reason. They stayed in England and were married in the registry office.
      There was something about an interview with Anne or shouted reporter's asking for her
      comment following George's birth and Anne's reported rather terse response. With the changes in law now giving daughters of monarchs equity with sons I think Anne would have been second in line to Charles, at
      least for a bit. I wonder if that factored into the Queens's producing two more children later on-As a male back-up heir to Charles. Charlotte will be back-up to George until he has heirs. No waiting around to see if William has other male heirs.

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  15. Hi Jane. How old are you

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  16. Happy Birthday Wils!
    The yoga pose is cat/cow; camel is a backbend.

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  17. Kate's earrings in photo #6 look pretty. ID, anyone?

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    1. They are by Patrick Mavros. You can see close ups here, and more pictures if you follow the "Champagne & Polo" link on that page:http://www.katesclothes.com/earring/ndoro-dangle-silver-earrings/

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  18. Thank you for the ID, Jane. The earrings are gorgeous!

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    1. I believe Sophie also frequently wears his pieces - and didn't Kate wear some alligator earrings by him when she and William were in NYC?

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  19. I hope it's okay to post this. It's a youtube video of Diana and William. Aside from the obvious thoughts, I just think, thank goodness Kate came along.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E933_yLlSK4

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  20. Beautiful post as always Jane, and a very very happy birthday to Prince William! He's an amazingly warm person, always thinking of Kate, and so loving with George. On a different note, I'm so interested to hear anything from the Palace about Brexit. I haven't heard a comment from the Queen, or any royal! What do you think they think about this major event for their country? Do you think they voted? Does it affect the monarchy in any way? I'm thinking the Queen might support this move, but not William or Kate. Your thoughts?

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    1. I'll let Jane answer the main question but I'm pretty sure royals do not vote. They are supposed to be neutral and represent everyone and all sides.

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    2. Thank you! I will google it too, I've never actually thought about that before, but that is probably the case. I wonder how they feel about Brexit though - more like a monarchy I suppose, but is that what they want? And will it actually affect their role at all anyway? Time will tell I suppose, but I wonder if anyone has interviewed any of them about it. Such a major event, I think they should make a statement.

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  21. I know what you mean Anonymous but the BRF does tend to avoid making statements.  I'm really not up on internal UK politics and how those may affect the RF and what they would think but my guesses would be 1) During the next few yrs of transition from the EU, members of the RF may need to be more visible to promote a sense of stability and 2) I would think there would be concern about Scotland and Northern Ireland. Noises are already being made about a repeat referendum re: a Scotland exit from the UK (Would that be "SEXIT"...probably not  :)  And with Ireland proper in the EU, one wonders about NI. 

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