Thursday, 15 December 2016

Christmas party royals

Queen Letizia of Spain is party ready as she and Felipe do the whole pre Christmas thing
(photo Casa Real Twitter)

You know what it's like. You spend all year bemoaning the lack of social events and then suddenly, for a week in December, you're in sequin mode. Pre Christmas means glitter, it means parties, it means black tie - well, to be fair, this is the royal version. December 10th to 14th is apparently the most popular time for office parties ahead of the festive season and the royals are no different from us in that regard. In the last few days, the ruling houses of Europe have had all kinds of work related festivities to get into and that's not counting the Nobel ceremonies which are like a mini Christmas all in themselves. Get ready to sparkle, this is how the royals are starting the pre Christmas party season.

Disco queen Letizia headed out to an awards dinner in Madrid on December 13th and if King Felipe's tux didn't get the party started then the stripey sequinned number worn by his wife was there to help get people dancing. Letizia sparkled and then some as she helped hand out awards. If you can't wear that many sequins at Christmas, when can you?

Queen Margrethe of Denmark held her annual Christmas party for staff and their families from her royal household on December 13th and made sure everyone had a drink in their hands. Margrethe's afternoon of ballet and song was accompanied by plenty of red wine - none, obviously, for the seven of her eight grandchildren who came along in another example of how Denmark's ruling house is easing its next generation in gently.

The Duchess of Cornwall likes to get the party started early and on the morning of December 13th she hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace marking the 70th anniversary of the BBC programme, Woman's Hour, which is producing a power list of seven influential women to mark its big birthday. Camilla was on hand to celebrate - a very intellectual Christmas party here (her tree party for children is so brilliant it gets its own post).

Her husband took over royal party duties on December 14th when he hosted a festive celebration for the charity, Style for Soldiers, which provides injured service personnel with a smart suit for job interviews as they make new lives for themselves. The prince met many of those who have been helped and was given sock monkeys, apparently for George and Charlotte though it's got to that stage of the shopping season where lists and organisation are already a thing of the past.

A good Christmas party needs plenty of preparation and the Crown Prince and Princess of Norway put the glitter away for another day and got their hands mucky as they helped children prepare their festive celebrations at the Haug School in Baerum on December 12th 2016. There was cooking to be done, there were decorations to be made, there were smiles to be shared at the school which welcomes children with many different needs. Sometimes, the real Christmas spirit is found in the less glamourous bits of the season and Haakon Magnus and Mette-Marit enjoyed their preparation for the Christmas party as much s the celebration itself.

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