If you’re the kind of person who’s already seen photos from this year’s Trooping the Colour, the annual celebration that marks the Queen’s birthday, you likely noticed that the Duchess of Sussex made her first appearance since her son’s birth last month. You probably saw Prince Louis waving his hands around excitedly, wearing his uncle’s old hand-me-downs. You almost definitely admired all the hats.
But, did you clock the Newfoundland connection?
Take a look at the Countess of St. Andrews, who’s wearing a white dress and hat with black details on the far right of the photo. Her name is Dr. Sylvana Tomaselli, and she’s a native of Placentia, N.L. Her husband George, the Earl of St. Andrews, is the son of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent — the Queen’s first cousin.
The countess is also a history professor at Cambridge University, where she teaches 18th and 19th century political history, with a particular focus on the Enlightenment.
Although she’s occasionally appeared at Trooping the Colour before, and she and her husband attended Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011, Sylvana isn’t huge on royal life. When she and her husband returned to Placentia for the town’s 350th anniversary in 2012, she told the Newfoundland newspaper The Telegram that she identifies as a university professor more than as a royal.
“We definitely do not live in a castle,” she said.
When the paper got in touch with her again in 2018, to talk about Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle, Sylvana responded with a very gracious and polite refusal.
“Thank you for your email,” she wrote. “It is very nice to hear from you again. Unfortunately, I am unable to help with your request, but hope all is well with you and the paper.” Nice, right?
The earl and countess have three children, who are William and Harry’s third cousins. The oldest, Edward, Lord Downpatrick, was Princess Diana’s godson. Marina, the middle child, took herself out of the line of succession when she became a Roman Catholic in 2008.
The youngest, 23-year-old Amelia Windsor, is a model who has walked for Dolce & Gabbana, among other labels. She’s also Prince Charles’ goddaughter, and if the rumours are true, they once went to see the “Shrek” musical together in London.
She also has a very glamorous Instagram, where she’s posted photos from vacations in Italy, Switzerland and New Zealand — no Newfoundland sightings yet.
Sylvana isn’t the only Canadian who was at Trooping the Colour on Saturday. Autumn Kelly of Montreal also became a royal when she married Peter Phillips, the son of Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter Princess Anne, in 2008. She didn’t know who he was when they met in 2003.
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