Early Life and Education Edit
Eleanor was born on 05 November 1987 at 00:07 BST at Woodenford Castle, her family's ancestral seat in Wiltshire, Salisbury. Her birth was premature by two weeks and the weather was so terrible, that it made impossible for her parents to go to the nearest hospital, hence the location of her birth.
On 9 April 1988, she was baptised with water from the River Jordan at Salisbury Cathedral by the Bishop of Salisbury. Her godparents are Ian Campbell, 12th Duke of Argyll, her maternal uncle; Lady Julie Kingston, her paternal first cousin, once removed. And family friends: the Earl and Countess of Leicester.
She starter her schooling at the Sandroyd School, where she studied from the ages of three to thirteen. Then, she moved to Marlborough College, completing her studies there, at eighteen. It was at Marlborough College that she met Princess Eugenie of York and became good friends with her.
In 2005, she lived briefly in London with her parents to undertake a 6-month internship at the British Museum, before she started university.
In mid-2005, she moved again, this time to Scotland, to stay with her maternal family, the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, at Inveraray Castle. She enjoyed her time there volunteering for the Historic Scotland Society and working in the preservation of Scottish heritage in the area. In the following year, she started her History degree at the University of St. Andrews, in the same year that Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge graduated. She graduated with a MA in History and then undertook a two-year doctorate degree, in which she got a PhD in Medieval British History.
In late 2014, she moved back to England, living with the family in London, near Kensington Palace. Eleanor worked from 2014 to 2015 for Historical Royal Palaces, at the Tower of London, as a researcher and vice curator of the medieval artefacts within the Tower.
In late 2015, she quit her job at the Tower of London due to her imminent engagement to Prince Harry of Wales.
Personal Life Edit
Eleanor dated Scottish business man Colin Mackintosh from 2008 to 2014. The couple met at St. Andrews while both did the same optional course in Medieval British Law. After two years as friends, they began dating. Following their graduation, they remained together, but once Eleanor moved back to England the relationship was strained. By late 2014, they broke up.
In October of the same year, Lady Eleanor was seen in the company of Prince Harry at a friend's birthday party at the famous South Kensington nightclub, Boujis. Both have known each other since childhood (Lady Eleanor older brother, Lord Edward, is Prince Harry's best friend) but club onlookers reported more than a simple friendly relationship between the pair.
Speculations on the nature of their relationship reemerged a week later, when they were seen leaving Richard Collins', a mutual friend, Chelsea penthouse, together. In the end of the same month, they were photographed together at the wedding of Collins and Eleanor's childhood friend, Mary Kingston in Wales. The couple was seen together again, at clubs and events and, in December of the same year, the relationship was confirmed after pictures of the couple kissing at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park appeared on the news.
In 2015, Eleanor was invited to Winsdor Castle to spend Easter Sunday with the Royal Family. According to expectualtions and reports, she was invited under the request of the Queen, who had been wanting to meet her. She then made an appearence with Her Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family at Easter Sunday service at St. George's Chapel.
Engagement and Marriage Edit
Prince Harry and Lady Eleanor McClaire became engaged in December 2015, in Balmoral Castle, with the permission of the Queen. Clarence House announced the engagement on 10 January 2016. The Prince of Wales said he was "thrilled ... and very proud of them", and the Queen said she was "absolutely delighted" for the couple, giving her formal consent to the marriage, as required by the Royal Marriages Act 1772, in her British privy council on the morning of the engagement.
Prince Harry gave McClaire an 18-karat white gold ring with a 3-carat round Old European cut diamond in the centre, circled by 14 French cut emeralds (3-carat total), surrounded by 20 oval diamonds set in a scalloped halo around the emeralds ( 2-carat total). The ring is composed of several heirloom pieces, including diamonds from one of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother's coronets and his mother's, Diana, Princess of Wales, own emerald earrings and bracelet.
Following the announcement, the couple gave an exclusive interview to ITV presenter, Anthony McPartlin and hosted a photocall at Buckingham Palace. On 24 January 2016, Buckingham Palace issued the official engagement photographs; these were taken on 12 January, in the state room at Buckingham Palace, by photographer Mario Testino.
On 20 January 2016, the date of the ceremony was confirmed as Friday, 20 May 2016. The Queen in her British Council ordered on 14 January 2016, that the wedding day would be a public holiday throughout the United Kingdom. It was also declared an official public holiday in the British Overseas Territories of Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos, and the British Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man.
The couple married in Westminster Abbey on 20 May 2016. Estimates of the global audience for the wedding ranged around 431 million or more, whilst 30 million watched the event live in Britain alone.
On the morning of the wedding, it was announced that Harry was to be created Duke of Sussex, Earl of Atholl, and Baron Tyrone, with Eleanor becoming Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex after the wedding. This is in line with the practice of granting titles upon marriage to royal princes who did not already have one (for example, Prince Andrew was created Duke of York when he married in 1986). The earldom of Atholl is close to Inveraray, in Argyll, Scotland, where Eleanor's ancestral Scottish family resides, and Tyrone is in Northern Ireland. Combined with his existing titular link with Wales, Harry's collective titles, link him to each of the four countries in the United Kingdom.
The couple currently reside at Kensington Palace, London.
On 12 October 2016, Kensington Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were expecting their first child, which is due to be born in April 2017.
Patronages and Charitable work Edit
As her parents, Lady Eleanor has been engaged in numerous charitable works and patronages. She has done charitable work for the Historic Scotland Society and the English Heritage. She's a patron of Help for Heroes, a Wiltshire based organisation that works for the benefit of injured, wounded and retired personnel of the British Army; the National AIDS Trust, the National AIDS Trust, MacMillan Cancer Support and her parents own organisation, The Duke and Duchess of Wiltshire Foundation.
Upon marriage, Eleanor became a patron of SSAFA Force Help,The English Heritage Foundation, Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, Historic Royal Palaces, CAFOD, The Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, The Royal Foundation, Project Ability, Brighton Festival Choir and the British Association for Local History.
Title and Style Edit
- 05 November 1987 - 26 March 1991: The Honourable Eleanor Alexandra McClaire
- 26 March 1991 - 20 May 2016: The Lady Eleanor Alexandra McClaire
- 20 May 2016 - present: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex
- In Scotland: 20 May 2016 - present: Her Royal Highness The Countess of Atholl
Coat of Arms Edit
- As Lady Eleanor McClaire
Lady Eleanor uses the arms of her father. It depicts a lozenge shaped shield of arms which hangs from a blue ribbon, this symbolises her unmarried state. Quarterly Argent and Gules, in the second and third quarters a fret Or, on an escutcheon Argent a cross Gules surmounted by an inescutcheon Azure charged with three fleurs-de-lys Or (Representing her French-Scottish Ancestry), over all on a Bend charged with a Demi-lion rampant pierced through the mouth by an arrow within a Double Tressure flory counterflory of the first. (Representing her Howard Ancestry through the first Earls of Wiltshire.)
- As Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex
The Duchess bears the arms of her husband impaled with those of her father.
Coronet of a child to the Heir Apparent.
Quarterly 1st and 4th Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or armed and langed Azure (England), 2nd Or a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure within a double tressure flory counterflory of the second (Scotland), 3rd Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (Ireland), the whole differenced with a label of five points Argent, the first, third and fifth points charged with an Escallop Gules.(Prince Harry); Impaled with a shield of Quarterly Argent and Gules, in the second and third quarters a fret Or, on an escutcheon Argent a cross Gules surmounted by an inescutcheon Azure charged with three fleurs-de-lys Or (Representing her French-Scottish Ancestry), over all on a Bend charged with a Demi-lion rampant pierced through the mouth by an arrow within a Double Tressure flory counterflory of the first. (Representing her Howard Ancestry through the first Earls of Wiltshire.)
To the dexter the Lion as borne and used as a Supporter by "Our Dearly Beloved Grandson His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales Duke of Sussex" and to the sinister a Griffin Argent unguled and gorged with "a Coronet of Our Dearly Beloved Grandson's degree Or". The griffin is white (argent) and is clawed and has about its neck (is gorged with) the Duke of Sussex's coronet.