Duchess Sophie was sent to a state funeral in Rome: where’s that global statesman?

Here are some photos of Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, in Rome this week. She attended the state funeral of Giorgio Napolitano, the former president of Italy. There was a big to-do and several major world leaders and diplomatic figures came out for the funeral. Sophie was the only one from the Windsor clan to attend, the Sunak government didn’t send any major representatives either. So much for European allies, eh? Sophie was seated in the first row with the other heads of state and Napolitano family.

It’s curious that King Charles didn’t send his global statesman son to the funeral – when Charles was PoW, he was always sent to these kinds of international state funerals and memorial services. I mean, Occam’s Razor – William wasn’t sent because William is not a global statesman, and he would have caused an international incident in Rome. William also skipped his godfather’s funeral in Greece in January of this year.

Meanwhile, I’ve been surprised to see that there are some internet rumors about the Duchess of Edinburgh and her husband Prince Edward. Those rumors haven’t bubbled up to legitimate reporting, possibly because people forget about Sophie and Edward constantly. There are rumors about their marriage and rumors about Edward’s health. Edward and Sophie are rarely seen together these days, and Edward looks like he’s lost a lot of weight over the past year or so. While Sophie headed out to Rome, Edward was visiting Turkey and meeting with President Erdogan (yikes). His trip has not made any headlines in the British press and I’m not even sure he’s traveling with any royal rota people?

Anyway, it feels like the Windsors are keeping a lot of secrets these days. Failing to disclose health issues, marriage drama, diplomatic drama. It’s weird.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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69 Responses to “Duchess Sophie was sent to a state funeral in Rome: where’s that global statesman?”

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  1. The Old Chick says:

    I was just wanting to ask was there news on S and E. Seems like mia for months? Edward does not look well at all, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s been ill. And when they got married, even then, I was in the camp of marriage of convenience (it was discussed even in the media). But they’ve lasted. Sophie got in with qe2 even after her scandal and dreadful behaviour. She knew where her bread was buttered.

    • Macky says:

      I think Sophie is careful not to upset kate. For the last few years, she only does things Kate doesn’t want to do.

  2. Jais says:

    So is there more than one royal couple experiencing a separation? Lol, and not one of those couples is the Sussexes. Talk about distraction and projection. Months of rumors for the Sussexes to make them all look like fools at IG. No idea whether this is true for the wessexes. They’ve always seems to at least be friends and get along. And no idea why William doesn’t go to these events. Does he refuse? Or does Charles bench him out of jealousy? Or does someone bench him bc they know he’s not statesman material? Mysteries all around.

    • Chloe says:

      I think William didn’t go because Charles probably didn’t feel like it was important enough for him to send the heir. The Queen always valued her relationship with other European heads of state but i don’t think Charles does. And thus Sophie went.

      • Concern Fae says:

        William wants to be a global statesman, but doesn’t understand that 90% of it is going to events like this. It’s about knowing people for a long time. Thus, if there is ever a need for action, you have a base of interpersonal knowledge, and hopefully trust, to build upon.


      • Wannabefarmer says:

        There’s also, with brexit, no one really cares much about them either. They really are a declining state.

      • Macky says:

        Wannabe that’s the real story. It seems the European continent decided the English breXit talk was too harsh. It really did get insulting.

        A case can also be made that the English are a drag on commerce and employment. They will completely ruin systems. Push everything to its breaking point. No offense to the English but Germany and Spain have to be atleast partial relieved. With brexit the other countries don’t have to worry about the English taking ALL of their jobs and sectors.

    • molly says:

      Marriage problems in the royal family? Whaaaaat?? No way! The children of centuries of loveless marriages often don’t have healthy relationships themselves? I’m shocked.

      *Charles- divorced
      *Anne- divorced
      **Peter- divorced
      *Andrew- divorced

      Margaret- divorced
      *David- divorced

  3. Mslove says:

    Pegs is too important for funerals. Besides, Harry hasn’t attended any funerals lately, so why should Pegs? He’s too busy hiring new CEOS & valets.

  4. I’m sure the statesman is at home healing all his nobody recognized me or wanted me to speak at the UN wounds. The royal cult seems to be falling apart all over the place.

  5. girl_ninja says:

    “It’s curious that King Charles didn’t send his global statesman son to the funeral – when Charles was PoW, he was always sent to these kinds of international state funerals and memorial services.”

    Prince Peg only wants to be a global statesman stateside where Harry is living happy, successful, well fed and well loved.

    I totally missed him not going to his god father’s funeral. What a lazy weirdo. Everything is done for him. Packing, planning and God knows what else and he still can’t hop on a plane and go to a funeral of someone who was named his godfather? Disgraceful.

  6. Over it says:

    These two really are Mr and Mrs forgettable, the Duke and Duchess of no one knows, no one cares.

  7. Popsicle W says:

    Word on the Twitter streets (from the royalists) is that Peggy had an incident in Poland that the FO isn’t happy about and he is being punished. I have not seen anything concrete but it’s got me nosy and sleuthing. 😂

    • Tarte au Citron says:

      Saw that too. Very interesting! 🙂

    • Lizzie says:

      As it is always opposite day at KP, they start screaming Will is a statesman when it appears he isn’t allowed to represent the UK abroad. I wonder what was covered up in Poland.

      • Unblinkered says:

        Something happened that trip Poland/Germany, 2017, and we have to surmise was covered up. Existing still, if you look, are appalling photographs of KM exhibiting a total loss of control in public at some function with W looking concerned/horrified beside her.
        There are likely to be other occurrences where photographs don’t exist.

    • Jais says:

      Idk know if there’s anything concrete. Saw some screenshots of royalists tweeting that it’s bc he went to an lgbtqia+ restaurant in Poland, which offended the government as it has a very anti-lgbtqia+ stance. It’s mostly just been Twitter chatter so not sure if there’s something else he did in Poland or if the polish government actually was offended by his restaurant choice. Or if there’s any truth to it at all.

    • Lauren says:

      On his less than a day visit where he visited soldiers and took his staffers to lunch at a LGBTQ friendly restaurant?

    • I know the Russians mocked him for going to Poland and Putin called him a name but is there more to that trip?

      • Taytanish says:

        Oh my, I must have missed this, Poo-tin chimed in his $0.2 too? What name did he call Peggy? Lordamercy!! This is getting weirder and weirder.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      If the FCO aren’t happy and are punishing him then it means they got sh!t from the Polish gov about him – it could have been his visit to the LGTBQ+ restaurant but knowing Pegs it was likely something else.

    • Macky says:

      I remember during the trip it was hinted at something happened. Wonder was that true or just the rota being mad that the trip wasn’t longer.

  8. Jensa says:

    So they sent the wife of the 14th (?) in line to the throne. Wow. That could be seen as a bit insulting.

    • MinorityReport says:

      To be fair, it wasn’t a sitting president’s funeral. At least they sent someone at all!

    • BlueNailsBettyi says:

      Beatrice and Edo would have been a better choice. Of course, that would have meant boosting them in the “working royals” foolishness and of course Charles wouldn’t risk having to pay them.

  9. North of Boston says:

    The UK absenting itself from major events the PM / high level royals (sorry not sorry Sophie) would have absolutely been involved in previously is … interesting.

    A new era of political isolationism? Or a realignment of alliances, priorities to be less Western democracy-centric, more focused on connections to Erdogon, the Saudis and the like?

    Caveat, my exposure to official British government/head of state international appearances comes primarily from Celebitchy and whatever shows up on the main pages of The NY Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe, with occasional clicks on the Guardian UK, so maybe I’m missing something.

    • Blithe says:

      I’ve long wondered how thoroughly deliberately hapless Charles thought through that whole slimmed down monarchy thing. The Real Queen’s cousins are quite elderly; Will and Kate — quite lazy, and prone to making international gaffes; Camilla —at best, doesn’t travel well; sending Andrew anywhere would be an insult. That leaves the uninspiring Edinburghs — who seem to be dealing with their own concerns, including possible health issues; Beatrice and Eugenie— who Charles seems to have actively discouraged, and who aren’t working royals anyway; Anne; and Charles himself. Anne has family interests, her own business interests, and, past normal retirement age, can’t be expected to work harder or more than she already does. And Charles, like the dog who finally caught the bus he was chasing, seems rather shocked by it all.

      IMO, it may not be tactical at all. There’s no one who is both stable and available to send. Charles just miscalculated, especially in his decisions to drive the Sussex family out of the family. This mess was all quite predictable. Brexit, arrogance, mismanagement, and Charles’s own weaknesses and pettiness have brewed up a mess — while, in sharp contrast, the Sussexes shine brightly on an international stage.

      • Concern Fae says:

        He didn’t think it through. He’s like a hapless business exec who read some Move Your Cheese type bestseller and then just implements that idea over and over again without any consideration as to whether it fits the current situation.

    • Couch Potato says:

      Sophie is the one they’ve sent to other european royals weddings, big birthdays etc for years. I can understand they didn’t send Willnot when he was under age, because it’s usually 18+ outside of close family, but there’s been quite a few events after he turned 18. Events where he could’ve rubbed shoulders with, and gotten to know, the other heirs, their families and government representatives in the various countries. That would have been a gentle way of introducing him to how a statesman behaves and how soft diplomacy is actually done. Chuck should’ve gone and taken his son(s) with him to at least some of these events.

      King Carl Gustav of Sweden just celebrated 50 years on the throne and there were no mention of any british royals attending. No mention of british royals at the norwegian crown prince couples joint 50 years birthday party. Queen Margrethes 50 years jubbly was around queen Elisabeths death, so no british attending there is understandable, but I’m not sure they were to attend in the first place. It’s clear Chuck and his heir don’t prioritise the relationships with other european royals. Willnot and Keen attending the wedding in Jordan, but no europeans is a good sign of that.

    • Mary Pester says:

      @North of Boston, even though your not in this toxic little island, your spot on with your observation!

    • Macky says:

      1. I think the brf doesn’t want to be in the same category as the other royals families. Most of the time they pretend they aren’t related.

      2. i think the English are going for isolationism. But they are doing it in a stupid way. They keep selling critical things to foreign interest. In the future they will have to fight a war to get a stable footing again. The british people are being left with huge debts.

  10. Tulipworthy says:

    I will say something kind. Sophie looks nice and appropriately dressed for the occasion.

    • Shawna says:

      Agreed. She nailed it. See, Kate, it’s not that hard to be grown-up at a funeral.

    • Couch Potato says:

      Yeah, no fuss, just a good silhouette with a nice neckline. Shoes, purse and jewels are matching, while kept low key. This is how it’s done.

    • Nancy says:

      I saw a video of her and the back of her hair was a total mess. It looked like she braided it and smashed it into a bun. Definitely not Duchess-y!

    • JanetDR says:

      It’s very appropriate, but I feel a bit harsh on her?

  11. Alexandria says:

    Isn’t this easy? Just show up. Everything’s packed and arranged for you. You get chauffered to and fro. Offer a few words of sympathy from you and the government. Sign the condolence book. Go back to the hotel and enjoy some afternoon tea or lobster dinner. Get some drinks at the bar. Pegs is dumb. It’s not like you have to write a report after your business trip.

  12. First comment says:

    The fact that those 2 were sent to both Italy and Turkey instead of William says everything about his status as a statesman in his country: nobody trusts him!..

  13. Eurydice says:

    Edward has a charity for youth education. From what I read in the local Turkish press, he visited some schools there and there’s some kind of celebration for a scholarship program for master’s studies in the UK. Also, advance articles said Edward was going to discuss trade and defense issues with Erdogan, but they haven’t released any statements yet about the meeting. So, it looks like Edward is the global statesman here.

    • Ohwell says:

      Edward nor any of the royals are global statesman. The royals are government puppets.

      This man could not come up with a diplomatic answer about reparations when he was in St. Vincent! He is a clown! There is no way the UK government is sending any royal to discuss defense issues with foreign governments. LMAO.

      • Eurydice says:

        One would think there’s no way, but evidently there’s way. Edward isn’t the best choice, but he’s what they’ve got and I’m sure he’s not in a position to make commitments on the part of the UK government. This is most likely a meeting to butter up Erdogan’s ego.

  14. Amy Bee says:

    I had the same question when I saw the pictures. This would have been the perfect event for William to burnish those global statesman credentials.

  15. Digital Unicorn says:

    There is nothing wrong with the Edinburgh marriage – Edward looked fine in the Turkey photo’s I saw. This is *cough*someone*cough* trying to throw them under the bus to distract from their own marriage and bad press.

    Peggy wouldn’t go and Mumbles can’t be trusted not to make an ass of herself – look at how she was with Phils and QE2s funerals.

    • Jais says:

      That’s an interesting idea. They can’t stick separation rumors on the sussexes so they’re using the wessexes now instead. To divert attention from the heir couple.

  16. aquarius64 says:

    This is embarrassing. William as heir to the throne should have gone. Diana went to Princess Grace’s funeral when she was Princess of Wales so Kate could have gone to this as well. This and the story of Kate’s pants suit era spells out the Waleses are diplomatic lightweights. As working royals Harry and Meghan went to Morroco and met its royal family and made visits there.

  17. Misah says:

    Weird about Sunak. Even the Pope was there in person (first time a Pope ever entered the Italian Low Chamber parliament building).
    Napolitano was a leftist, and played a major role in having Berlusconi step down during his last stint as president of the ministers council (there’s no prime minister in Italy because it’s a parliamentary republic, unlike the US and the UK that are presidential democracies).
    Maybe Sunak doesn’t care for a leftist dude who didn’t like authoritarian types?
    As for the struggling statist, well. We know he’s only a statist when he can try to single white (fe)male his brother…

  18. equality says:

    I think E&S have consistently done events separately. I doubt they are divorcing. He must not be too ill to travel. Perhaps the losses of his parents lead to depression/weight loss?

  19. tamsin says:

    I did a quick google search after I read that William went to an LGBTQ restaurant with his staff during his fly by visit to Poland. Poland is rated the most anti-gay European country. I can see how that might cause a diplomatic issue. Again, probably another case of William not reading his briefing notes, perhaps. Not that the current crop of Tories seem to have much diplomacy within its ranks either.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I just fail to see how that would have anything to do with a trip to Italy. Italy doesn’t have the same attitudes Poland does.

      • Steph says:

        @beaniebean I don’t think the issue is specifically about anti LGBT views but more of William not doing enough homework to know this about Poland. Something completely different may be an issue in Italy but Pegs still won’t know enough about Italy make sure he doesn’t do anything offensive.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Oh, I see @Steph, that makes sense.

  20. Mmmmm, what’s happening back stage at the palaces?? Are pillows being thrown? Or divorce papers X 2

  21. MinorityReport says:

    I was literally about to ask where Edward is. Sophie looks appropriate, but have we even seen Ed recently? Maybe he really is sick.

    • Chaine says:

      The post literally says while she was at the funeral he was in turkey meeting with erdogan. There were also pix of the meeting in some of the news sites.

      • HeatherC says:

        What? How is Edward meeting with the leader of Turkey? Has Charles been to Turkey? Wasn’t that why Egg didn’t go to Australia because Charles hadn’t been there first?

      • Feeshalori says:

        @HeatherC, don’t you just love how these flimsy excuses fall apart at the seams to cover for William’s laziness and indifference?

    • tamsin says:

      Since Edward has inherited the Duke of Edinburgh Awards portfolio, I imagine he will be doing quite a big of foreign travel on its behalf. I believe he has done so already. Some soft or minor diplomacy could go along with those trips, killing two birds with one stone. However, the way Edward handled himself on the last Caribbean tour during the late Queen’s last jubilee makes me doubt that he can handle diplomacy very well at all, no matter how insignificant the matter.

  22. JJ says:

    You would think Will would want to go build relations with other dignitaries. It’s like he only cares about being big in America (wonder why) and doesn’t really care that traditionally, he should be the one going to these funerals, he should go to big football matches if he is FA president, he should learn Welsh since he knew he would be Prince of Wales since he was born and he’s in his forties now so there was more than enough time considering Rob McElhenney (quite recent co-owner of Wrexham Football club) learned it because he felt it was the respectful thing to do since he now co-owns a Welsh football club! Why William doesn’t feel the same need, I will never know. Most of all, he should build relationships with other dignitaries in Europe since he is the future king of a European country! I just don’t understand this thought process thinking these things don’t matter.

    • tamsin says:

      I’ve always thought that the British monarchy always had a superiority complex towards other European monarchies. Was it not the Windsors who came up with the “bicycle monarachies” phrase? I believe that they are directly or indirectly related to most of them, though.

  23. Gubbinal says:

    I am fairly certain that the man with the “secret weapon” is the Duke of Gloucester, born in 1944, I believe. He’s 20 years older than Prince Edward. I like the Gloucesters–they have brains and a sense of privacy.

  24. Jay says:

    It seems like Sophie and Edward are still the go-tos for anything involving Europe. All those years of attending every royal-adjacent cousin’s child’s wedding or funeral probably mean that the former Wessexes are quite comfortable mingling with this group in a way that William is probably not. And, put simply, William Wales won’t do what he doesn’t want to do!

    That includes having to make small talk with people who are not impressed by you, having to pay attention to a conversation that’s not about himself, or doing anything where he might fail or not be the very brightest light in the room. I have encountered children like this where their self-esteem is so fragile that they protect themselves from failing in any way they can, and I think that’s what is happening here. It might be hard, ergo: he won’t do it. And nobody will make him.

    Why would William suddenly start doing the difficult and boring bits of his job? Yes, it would be wonderful to do a good job, but he already has the perks, the pay, and the titles – I suspect that’s a good enough substitute for real respect.

    • Gabby says:

      Right, @Jay, and that small talk part you mentioned is key. Bully can’t do it. He is not bright or informed or engaged enough to not come across as anything other than a complete idiot. His best hope for the global statesman thing is to be one for Halloween.

  25. Murphy says:

    I saw a few pictures of Edward in Turkey and he looked pretty good, he was looking ill for a while but this last month he looks like he’s on the mend. The pictures seemed to mostly focus on like…his signet ring and his suit tho? What was up with that?

    • Lady Digby says:

      I agree Edward is looking much better in those pictures. The BM seems not to be interested in either but Sophie and Edward are at least getting on with the job they are being paid to do unlike some others I could mention!

      And as others have pointed out this is the bread and butter of royal work, the soft power diplomacy of the constant contact with others that can produce dividends in the future.

  26. lolalola says:

    Yowsa, talk about sending the D team. I’m sure Willy just didn’t want to go. He’s doing “so much” traveling these days…how exhausting! (big fat eye roll)