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Showing posts from September, 2014

Viva Varela

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It's one of the most famous royal dresses of the last five years and it got its annual outing today when Queen Letizia accompanied her husband on an engagement to officially open the university year in Spain. That plum coloured Varela dress was on show again in Toledo and looking every bit the classic it's always been.


Queen Letizia of Spain in one of her most famous dresses (photo casareal.es)
It's been a regular in Letizia's wardrobe for several years but it's best known as the dress she donned to meet Carla Bruni when the former French First Lady visited Madrid with her husband, Nicholas Sarkozy, in 2009.  The two women sashayed up the steps of the Zarzuela Palace together but it was the deep pink of the then princess that won that fashion day.

Carla's centre stage but her outfit is playing second fiddle to Letizia during their famous meeting
Half a decade on and now a queen, Letizia's favourite frock is still making waves. She chose it for her visit to Cas…

Royal blue is the colour

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It's perhaps not surprising that Sofia Hellqvist has chosen royal blue for her first official portraits as a princess in waiting.  When a royal woman starts a new stage in her life or wants to make a statement on an important occasion, she usually chooses this very regal shade. The soon to be princess of Sweden joins a long list of ladies who have made royal blue THE colour.


A royal lady in waiting in royal blue - Sofia Hellqvist in one of her first official portraits (photo Erika Gerdemark for royalcourt.se)
Her future sister-in-law, Crown Princess Victoria, chose royal blue for her own engagement announcement.  As she introduced Daniel Westling to the press after the official news broke in February 2009, the future queen was wearing deepest royal blue to set off her diamond ring.

If there's a royal engagement in Sweden then chances are the bride to be will wear royal blue at least once before the big day - Victoria and Daniel show off the ring in 2009
Deepest royal blue was als…

Here comes the bride...and groom

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Prince Carlo Philip and his fiancee, Sofia Hellqvist, have released their first official portraits since their surprise engagement announcement at the end of June and show themselves to be the very image of calm composed coolness as the preparations for their wedding get under way.


Carl Philip and Sofia in a new official portrait (photo Erika Gerdemark for kungahuset.se)
The decades to come will bring many more official photos but the soon to be princess shows she's ready for the close ups as she stands smiling at the camera in this first foray into royal portraiture with her husband to be.  Wearing royal blue and with impeccable hair and make up, Sofia takes another step into her new life.

Sofia of Sweden in her first official royal portrait (photo Erika Gerdemark for kungahuset.se)
Of course, smiling for the camera in a palatial corridor or drawing room is no problem for her prince who has been posing for these portraits since he was a child. But these photos are a first chance for …

The new kings and the President

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Another new king, another meeting with the President of the United States of America. Just like the two men who became monarchs in 2013, Felipe of Spain has met the President within months of taking the throne. The latest meeting between a new king and Barack Obama came in New York where Felipe was addressing the United Nations Plenary.


King Felipe VI with Barack Obama in New York on September 23rd 2014 (photo casareal.es)

Their meeting was one of several that King Felipe held with other heads of state that afternoon but it was easily the most high profile. The two men held talks with advisers as well as posing for photos that mark another major moment in the young reign of Felipe VI.

Another image of Felipe VI and Barack Obama during their meeting (photo casareal.es)
King Philippe of the Belgians has met the US President several times and has hosted him in Belgium as well in the fifteen months since his own reign began.  The two men met in March 2014 when the President travelled to Belgi…

Lessons for Letizia

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It's their debut on the American stage as monarchs and King Felipe and Queen Letizia have got straight down to business.  No sooner had they arrived in America than they were on engagements.


Queen Letizia takes her seat in class on a visit to New York (@marielasalgadof Twitter)
Letizia began her American tour with a trip to the Two Bridges School in Harlem which teaches in both English and Spanish.  On her visit she met students and teachers and heard about their bilingual programmes.

Queen Letiza gets lots of smiles on her arrival in New York (@glazerjessica Twitter)
Meanwhile, King Felipe VI was at the Institute of International Education where he took part in an event for recipients of the Fulbright scholarships.  They have just been awarded the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for International Co-operation. 

King Felipe makes a speech during his visit to the Institute of International Education in New York (photo casareal.es)
The royal couple are in New York for the Climate Summit 2014…

Sunshine and smiles

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If day one was all about not being Kate, by day two of the Duke of Cambridge's two of Malta the sunshine and smiles had taken over. There was a mix of formal and relaxed as William covered for his wife again and the big beaming grin seemed to say he was having a great time doing it.


The Duke of Cambridge meets crowds in Malta on day two of his trip to the island (photo @alexmorleyjames Twitter)
The day began with a service at the Co-Cathedral of St John in Valletta where the duke joined celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Malta's independence.  The duke was also given a formal welcome there with a salute from the Guard of Honour.  And there was a real cultural treat for the duke who was given a chance to view Caravaggio's Beheading of St John the Baptist.

The Duke of Cambridge viewing the famous Caravaggio work (photo @Clarence House Twitter)
William then ventured on to Birgu where he heard about youth projects and spent some time at a youth centre where he joined in …

Royal fashion, September 20th 2014

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Royal fashion is all about pictures, not words. So every week there will be some of the best photos of what Europe's royals have been wearing in the seven days just gone.  Here we go....


Dress of the week, what a surprise.  It's Victoria of Sweden looking stunning. Again. The autumn makeover continues.

Greek Royalty

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Royals on social media, September 20th 2014

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The official social media channels of Europe's royal houses have been filled with a wide range of topics and images in the week just gone.  There have been state events, sweet little hugs and some serious partying going on.  Here are the highlights of the week just gone.

Warm welcomes Queen Mathilde of the Belgians got a very warm welcome when she arrived in Liege on September 16th and the cuddle she got from a young fan featured in an image shared on the monarchy's official Twitter feed.


He might have been a stand in but there was still a good reception for the Duke of Cambridge when he began a two day tour of Malta on September 20th. His wife, Kate, had originally been lined up to represent the Queen on the visit which marks the fiftieth anniversary of the island's independence. But in the week doctors decided she was still too unwell with severe morning sickness to travel. William spent most of his first day apologising for not being Kate but there were plenty thrilled …

Being Mr Cambridge

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It was billed as one of the royal events of the year but when its star had to pull out due to ill health, there's no doubting the sighs of disappointment that followed. And now it has turned into a high profile but not top billing royal engagement. The visit by the Duke of Cambridge to Malta to take part in celebrations marking the country's fiftieth anniversary of independence is attracting lots of attention - but not nearly as much as the same trip would have received if Kate had been there as planned.  This was meant to be the Duchess of Cambridge's first solo overseas tour but morning sickness meant William had to step in at the last minute as doctors advised her not to travel.  And while the reception is warm, there's not the buzz there might be for the duchess.  William, on arrival in Valletta, is learning what it's like being Mr Cambridge.


The Duke of Cambridge meets the daughters of the Prime Minister of Malta (photo @TelevisionMalta Twitter)
The Duke of Camb…