Thursday, 31 March 2016

8 royal reasons to remember March 2016

March is almost done but it's leaving plenty of royal memories behind. We met a brand new royal and began the countdown to celebrations for the record breaking birthday of the oldest monarch in Europe. There was plenty of glitz and glamour not to mention a handsome prince called Harry winning hearts around the world. Here are eight royal reasons why we won't be forgetting March 2016 in a hurry.

Birth of a prince

It's not every month you get a brand new royal baby to coo over, even if this year the Swedish Royal Family are trying their hardest to break that rule. Our first regal arrival this year came in the shape of Prince Oscar Carl Olof, Duke of Skane, the second child and first son of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden. He was born on March 2nd at 8.28pm at the Karolinska Hospital in Solna. There were gun salutes, there was an emotional and proud daddy talking to the press and an even more emotional granddad announcing names and titles the following day. And as Oscar, third in line to his country's throne, settles into family life with big sister, Princess Estelle, at the Haga Palace he can expect to meet a baby cousin any day soon as Princess Sofia is due to start Swedish Royal Baby mania all over again in April.

The Queen at 90

April 2016 will be remembered as the month that the Queen, Britain's longest reigning monarch, celebrates her 90th birthday - the first British sovereign ever to reach that age. But celebrations began in March when ITV1 broadcast a special programme, Our Queen at 90, featuring interviews with many members of the Royal Family. The Duchess of Cambridge praised her grandmother in law for her gentle and kind support and revealed Prince George calls her Gan-Gan while Princess Beatrice got almost teary over her grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Queen got excited about her dogs and horses. It was a rare insight into the life and work of a much revered monarch and got the royal party of the year started in style.
(photo ITV Pictures)

Maxima wows Paris

It was a two day State Visit and not even her first trip to the City of Light as a queen consort but as Maxima toured Paris this month she won hearts, made friends and generally wowed. It wasn't just about the stunning wardrobe that the Queen of the Netherlands chose for her engagements although many of the outfits will be remembered for a long time to come. The whole trip was filled with special moments from the fun of seeing royals on an electric bus to the sadness of their moving meeting with some of those affected by the Paris attacks of November 2015. This was a true success of a State Visit and Maxima sparkled throughout.

Everyone hearts Harry

There was another winner of an official visit in March as Prince Harry headed to Nepal for five days and won hearts just about everywhere. Harry said before he went that he wanted to meet as many people as possible and he was true to his word as he visited schools and hospitals. But it was his interest in the rebuilding work going on to help the thousands still affected by the 2015 earthquakes that really struck a cord while his speech on women's equality won him another legion of fans, if he needed any more. Harry loved Nepal so much he stayed on to help with a rebuilding project and everyone loved Harry in Nepal so much that we just want another tour all over again and right now.

The next generation

We got plenty of chances to see the young generation of royals growing up this month with special photos and big days out. Prince George and Princess Charlotte enjoyed the snow for the first time and their mum and dad shared some images of the ski-in holiday in France afterwards. We also got to see Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella playing in the snow as they headed to Gstaad with their mum, Princess Charlene, for a winter break then helped their dad, Prince Albert II, celebrate his birthday. We had several photos of Prince Oscar, including one with big sister, Princess Estelle, while Princess Madeleine shared a new photo of her son, Prince Nicolas, as he hit the nine month mark. And as the month came to an end, Luxembourg's Princess Amalia joined her family at an audience with the Pope and showed just how quickly little royals grow up.

Fairytale royals

We all love a ballgown and a tiara or two which means March was pretty good all round as we got plenty of fancy frocks and lots of diamonds in the hair. Denmark's royals treated us to a gala evening as they hosted a night for culture and arts at the Christiansborg Palace and while no one does diamonds like Queen Margrethe, Crown Princess Mary's decision to wear a new tiara was a big hit. We also got a closer look at Kate in the Cambridge Lover's Knot tiara which she debuted at the end of last year but which was only seen briefly as she whizzed into Buckingham Palace in the back of a car. And Monaco's royals ended the month with a spectacular turn out of glamourous gowns as they attended the Rose Ball. Beatrice Casiraghi stunned in red while Princess Charlene stayed home with the twins.

A game of two halves for Kate

We'll remember Kate's campaign for better understanding of mental health problems for a long time to come. The Duchess of Cambridge took on several high profile engagements on the subject this month including addressing the taboos surrounding suicide. Kate also spent a lot of time talking to young people about the support they get with mental health issues. But the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also came under attack for being workshy as their total number of engagements fell below those of several members of the Royal Family while Kate's decision not to attend the annual St Patrick's Day Parade and hand out shamrocks really got people talking. So will March 2016 be remembered for Kate's campaign or the start of a difficult period in her public life?

The saddest day for Belgium

Belgium mourned as terrorist attacks in Brussels on March 22nd claimed 32 lives and left many others with injuries. In the aftermath of the attacks, royal families from across Europe sent condolences while several visited the Belgian embassies in their capitals to sign books of remembrance. King Philippe of the Belgians address his country in the hours following the attacks, calling for everyone to stand together and have confidence. He and Queen Mathilde have visited hospitals and met some of those affected by the attacks as well as many of the rescue services who helped. As March comes to an end, the mourning for those lost continues.

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