A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief (royal issue)

Ginger-lovers the world over will be collectively weeping tears of sadness this weekend as our favourite royal red head - Prince Henry of Wales, aka Prince Harry, officially takes himself off the market.

Not that we mind too much, as we’re rather taken by his princess-to-be, Ms Markle. Harry has always found a loyal fan-base in the gay community, and with him and Meghan committing themselves to improving equal rights for LGBT people across the commonwealth, that loyalty looks to be repaid.

Harry’s not only a great LGBT ally, recently collecting a posthumous Attitude Legacy Award on behalf of his mother, Princess Diana, he has helped his brother Prince William with his ongoing mental health campaigning. Add to this his charm, good looks and military history, we couldn’t be happier for him.

While the royal nuptials might not be everyone’s cup of tea, we here at Q&C are excited about some much needed national celebration after so much doom and gloom in the news. Millions will be tuning into the service at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle in Berkshire before the newlyweds take a ride around the town in a horse-drawn carriage.

Our very own style writer RK Williams has some fun ideas on how you can join in the celebrations without an invite. Whether it’s decorating the house, dressing up for the occasion, or hosting an afternoon tea party, there’s no reason not to pop open the fizz and make a day of it.

As part of our royal season special, Q&C’s newest writer Luke Marlowe will be looking back at some of the rumoured LGBT royals from British history. I’ll also be looking at the camp and colourful, and some may say tragic life of the Queen’s younger sister, Margaret.

We’re also delighted to welcome back to the Q&C fold Andrew Anderson. A lover of Shakespeare, practising vegan and a pagan to boot - he’s a thorough rural breed. He examines the life of author EM Forster in our new feature Ancient Queens reminding us of some forgotten yet significant gay figures from history.

Like our young Royals, Queen and Country magazine takes pride in campaigning about men’s mental health. You may have seen our Men in the Wild feature a while back. You might also be aware of the gay farmers’ helpline, recently featured in the BBC’s Countryfile, an extraordinary service for LGBTQ+ farmers who may need help and support. We speak to Rupert Williams about his new documentary film Landline which uses a series of recorded telephone conversations and reconstructed visuals in order to present the stories of this rarely heard community.

Last weekend we spent a day down the farm in Warwickshire with an extraordinary chap, Lloyd Cleverley, who works as a farrier. Before you wonder, a farrier specialises in equine hoof care. It’s quite a job, as I found out, and not for the faint of heart. Check out our stunning images to accompany our style feature. We couldn’t help but make Lloyd our early summer cover star.

Finally, with Pride season underway look out for some of our coverage on the more rural prides taking place across the country. From The Isle of Wight to Midsomer Norton Pride and beyond, be sure to find out more at Q&C so you can plan your weekends accordingly. Pack the dogs, and some shorts - we have the rest covered.

All that’s left to do now is hang the bunting and get the vino on ice for the weekend...and weep into our cucumber sandwiches that Harry has finally shattered our fantasies that he's not ours. Get ready for a wedding to remember.

James

@queenandcountrymagazine