Monday, 22 May 2017

Royal Wedding Tiaras: Queen Letizia of Spain

Queen Letizia of Spain in her 'something borrowed' tiara
(photo casa real)

When you're royal, something borrowed takes on a whole new meaning. And when you're a TV presenter with no tiara to call your own marrying a future king, then there's really only one thing you can take loan of for your big day. Letizia of Spain borrowed her mother in law's wedding tiara when she said 'I do' to Felipe on May 22nd 2004. She couldn't have made a more symbolic choice because this tiara has serious royal wedding history.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

George and Charlotte's wedding debut: first photos

Prince George and Princess Charlotte have completed a royal rite of passage - their first outing as page boy and bridesmaid. The third and fourth in line to the throne were among the attendants at the marriage of their maternal aunt, Pippa Middleton, who wed James Matthews at Englefield this morning. Mummy Kate was on hand to keep the two in hand and everything, as you'd expect, looked rather lovely. Here are the first photos of George and Charlotte's wedding debut.

The Royal Wardrobe: summer beckons

Summer is on its way and the royal choice of clothes is starting to reflect that. Summer can be a difficult season to live up to what Diana so famously called 'The Princess Expectation'. She said people have an expectation of what royalty looks like but the happy, strappy style of summer is often one step removed from how we think regal dressing works. So as we head towards that chic trap, here are five outfits attempting to royally negotiate their way into summer and you get to pick which one does it best. The poll is on the right (you might need to switch to web view) and the results here on Tuesday.  In the meantime, enjoy the sunny style.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Emeralds for May: Luxembourg

The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Maria Teresa, in the Emerald Tiara

It's one of the most striking and difficult to wear tiaras in modern Europe but there's certainly no forgetting this one. Like it or loathe it, the Luxembourg Emerald tiara won't ever be missed. It's a bit of a favourite of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and its green stone has some very green and very royal credentials. For this standout set of jewels was made of gems rattling around looking for a home. That's real royal recycling.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

4 royal surprises of the day

One of these royal ladies sprang a surprise on us today - but who was it?

Some days are filled with royal surprises. They're the bonus days, the ones where the fun of watching the royals is ramped up by them turning the tables and leaving us ever so slightly discombobulated. May 17th 2017 was one such day. We had flying kings, unexpected smiles and the return of facial hair. The last one is probably the least surprising. Prepare to be amazed by four royal surprises.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The first Garden Party of Summer - the Photo Album

There's cake so it must be garden party season - Buckingham Palace opens its doors for the summer

Summer must be on its way, the first Buckingham Palace Garden Party of the season has taken place. The Queen welcomed 8,000 people to her London home this afternoon for tea and cakes in a sign that the sunniest season of the year is almost here. Settle back and enjoy the pictures from a right royal summer tradition.

Mary and Letizia: royal wedding throwback

Thirteen years ago this month, we were awash with royal weddings. Frederik of Denmark and Felipe of Spain married within eight days of one another but while the grooms might have put the royal into these royal weddings, it was the brides everyone was most interested in seeing. Mary Donaldson and Letizia Ortiz followed almost parallel paths from engagement to altar. Now, all these years on, here's a look back at two royal brides for the history books.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Emeralds for May: the Netherlands

A queen does green - Maxima in emeralds in 2014

May is all about emeralds and this is all about the green stones that belong to the Royal Family of the Netherlands. They own a pretty impressive emerald parure that turns heads every time it comes out of the jewellery box. Here's the latest look at emeralds for May.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

A royal party to remember

Hosts with the most - Harry, Kate and William at the special garden party held this weekend
(photo Kensington Palace Instagram)

We're here to celebrate you - with those words, Prince Harry summed up what had led to an afternoon of fun on the lawns of Buckingham Palace. The grand old building is gearing up for garden party season but before it gets there, there was another, special event held in its famous grounds. Prince Harry along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted a special party for children whose parents have died while serving with the Armed Forces. Here's a look back at the photo album from a royal party to remember.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Three Royal May Brides, 1960s style

One of the most famous royal weddings of all took place in May 1960
(photo Wiki Commons)

May is the start of marriage season and while in recent times we've seen some very famous royal brides walk down the aisle in this month, they were all following in famous regal footsteps. For the 1960s brought us three very famous and very royal weddings indeed. And the dresses weren't bad either. As the blossom buds and thoughts turn to summer, here are three sunny royal brides for May, 1960s style.

William's win leads to heartfelt speech

The Duke of Cambridge has won an award for his work supporting the LGBT community and focused his acceptance speech on trying to stamp out bullying. William was given the Straight Ally of the Year prize at the annual LGBT awards following a year which has seen him speak out about ending homophobic bullying.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Felipe and Cristina's public paths cross

Felipe VI, King of Spain, in an official portrait

They were once so close but in recent years have been very far apart. King Felipe VI of Spain and his sister, Infanta Cristina, even got into a public debate about how she lost the title of Duchess of Palma. The issues were caused, of course, by the Noos case which saw Cristina become the first member of Spain's royal family to sit in the dock facing criminal charges. On May 11th 2017, for the first time since her acquittal, the royal siblings met in public.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Kate in Luxembourg: the photos

The Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg welcome the Duchess of Cambridge to their country
(photo Kensington Palace Instagram)

The Duchess of Cambridge has carried out her second, solo overseas visit with a series of engagements in Luxembourg. Kate headed to the Grand Duchy on May 11th where she was welcomed by the country's royals. There was cycling, there was history, there was a spot of culture - here's a look back at Kate's Luxembourg Photo Album.

5 surprises from Norway's Royal Birthday Party

The 80th birthday celebrations for King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway have come to an end. We've had two days of parties, singing, glitter and galas and along the way we got several surprises. From losing facial hair to laughing princesses, here are five surprises from Norway's royal birthday party.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

State and Party Sparklers: 80th birthday celebrations in Oslo

Tiara-tastic in Oslo last night for Harald and Sonja's 80th birthday celebrations
(photo nrk tv still)

They promised us a sparkling event and they made good on the glitter. As King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway marked their 80th birthdays with a gala in Oslo, there were tiaras as far as the eye could see. Queens and princesses from across the continent brought out the bling providing a feast of fabulousness that was almost too much to take in on the first look. So settle back and enjoy a whistlestop tour of all the sparklers brought to this major royal event.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

A right royal celebration

Spot the royal. Chances are wherever you look in the photo above, you'll find at least one king, queen or heir to the throne. Harald and Sonja of Norway have begun the celebrations to mark their 80th birthdays and a right royal do it's turning into already.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Royal Wedding Bingo

A kiss might be just a kiss but that smacker between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at a polo match this weekend has upped the royal romance stakes and then some. Never mind the ifs. let's cut to the wedding whens. The tea towels are all but on the shelves. You've got to love a little bit of royal wedding fever and right now there's plenty to go round. If you need some help to channel all that excitement about a possible engagement, why not try Royal Wedding Bingo. It's harmless, it's fun, there are no prizes and if we are all wrong about these two (we're not) then you can keep the card for the next time round. Get ready to shout 'House' in your best royal accent....

Emeralds for May: Norway

Queen Sonja of Norway wears the Emerald Parure which is said to have originated with the Empress Josephine
(photo Jorgen Gomneas)

May is all about emeralds. This stunning green stone isn't as well used as diamonds, sapphires, pearls or rubies in royal jewellery but when it stars, it really stars. There is no missing its deep colour or the way that light dances through and around it. And as all royal roads lead to Norway this week, let's put the two together and enjoy a stand out set of emeralds to celebrate. Here are Emeralds for May, from Norway.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

How royals get ready to party

King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway are very busy indeed right now. As you would be when royals from around Europe are joining you for a two day extravaganza to mark the fact you're both turning 80 this year. We're used to major celebrations for major royal birthdays but in a 21st century change of script, this regal bash is being prepared on social media.

Harry and Meghan hit the front pages

The papers have been full of royal news this week but while the Duke of Edinburgh's impending retirement gets coverage inside the Sundays, it's another prince who makes the front pages. Harry and Meghan are headline news this weekend.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Windsor Wrap: May 6th

OK, a quiet week then. I mean, apart from the total panic that something awful might have happened when an emergency staff meeting was called at Buckingham Palace on Thursday. And the fact that Britain's longest ever serving royal consort is stepping down from public duties after seventy years of dedication and service. Really quiet. I've been thinking about bring back this Saturday slot on the blog for a while, a wrap of what the Windsors have been up to and somehow this week seems kind of right. So, here we go, a look back at the last seven days for the Queen and her family. Guess what's first on the list.....

Friday, 5 May 2017

ICYMI: the Royal Week in Europe

Birthday celebrations were a big part of Europe's royal week just gone
(photo Sveriges Kungahuset Instagram)

We're all just about over the emergency caused by the emergency all staff meeting at Buckingham Palace which led to the announcement that the Duke of Edinburgh was retiring from public life. That news dominates the royal week, and rightly so, but the ruling houses of Europe packed in plenty of other activity while Philip got ready to stand down. In case you missed it, here's a quick round up of the royal week.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Duke of Edinburgh is retiring

The Duke of Edinburgh is retiring from public life. Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince Philip, who is 95, will step back from August 2017.

Emeralds for May: the United Kingdom

The Queen in the Grand Duchess Vladimir tiara with emeralds, one of the best known tiaras around

One of the most famous emerald tiaras in the world belongs to the Queen and it really packs a ragal punch. It looks spectacular and that's before we get to its history and its versatility - those emeralds can be swapped for pearls for a lighter look. It's time for Emeralds for May to meet the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Kate on the farm

(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

Want to see a duchess feeding a lamb? Step right this way. Two hundreds years ago or so, royalty and nobility went through a pastoral phase where everything was big hats, huge skirts and shepherd's crooks. Think Marie Antoinette at Le Petit Hameau and you get the picture. Royalty on the farm 21st century style is slightly different. Today, the Duchess of Cambridge headed to rural Gloucestershire to see a project that helps city kids learn about farming. And there wasn't a big hat in sight. Just a lamb. You wait for the lamb.

5 ways Diana is being remembered, twenty years on

(photo Wiki Commons)

There is a focus, like never before, on remembering Diana in 2017. As the 20th anniversary of her death approaches, memories of the princess are ever more present. Since Diana died following a car crash in Paris on August 31st 1997, her life and work have been commemorated but never like this. The princess whose passing was mourned around the world is being remembered and celebrated on a global scale this year, too. Here are five ways Diana will be remembered in 2017.

5 royal brides for May

Mary Elizabeth Donaldson on her wedding day, May 14th 2004

May weddings have been popular with royal brides in the 21st century. Maybe it's the hint of summer in the air, maybe it's the fact it's not holiday season so there's no need to co-ordinate invitations with royal holiday plans - whatever it is, several very famous royal brides of the last fifteen years have said 'I do' in the month of May. Here are five women who walked down the aisle and into royal history in May.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Top Royal Instagram Posts of April 2017

The photo that launched a new royal Instagram account in April 2017

Royals on social media, eh? Even a year ago it was hit and miss and now it's a turbo charged PR machine that is taking all before it. That's seen best of all on Instagram, the photo platform that everyone wants to be part of right now. In the last twelve months, the Danish, Norwegian and Belgian ruling houses have added accounts and in April 2017, the Dutch Royal Family came on board too. Instagram is a great way of putting out the photos that royals want to be seen but what the rest of us like enough to physically like says a lot about what we all want from royalty in 2017. Here's a look back at what won hearts in April this year on the official royal social media accounts....

Charlotte's second year, in photos

Charlotte of Cambridge is two today. The private celebrations that will mark her birthday were preceded by a new image of the fourth in line to the throne, released on May 1st. It round off a year of photos of Charlotte Elizabeth Diana who has made several high profile appearances since her first birthday. As Charlotte turns two, here's a look back at her second year - in photos....

10 royal birthdays for May

May birthdays for all these royals....

May is filled with royal birthdays with queens, heirs, princes and princesses among those celebrating. They're all special days in their own way from Princess Charlotte turning two to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark notching up the final birthday of his forties. Here are ten royal birthday being marked in May.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Charlotte at two

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is two on May 2nd and being an organised young royal, she's got the official birthday portrait out of the way early leaving plenty of time for cake and balloons on the big day itself. On Bank Holiday Monday, the littlest princess of the House of Windsor starred in a new snap, taken by her mum, to mark turning two. And very nice it is, too.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Northampton's Eleanor Cross: the romance of the stone

History is more than stones and bricks. A trip down heritage lane might start with a fight for a space in a castle car park but what brings visitors to the past are the stories of those who lived there. Even the most impressive palace is made more beautiful and intriguing by the knowledge of the loves and lives that echoed through its walls.  There isn't a building or monument that's survived long enough to be classed as historic that doesn't have a tale attached. Its story, like many others, will have been passed down through generations and its very telling binds those who know it now to those who first described it, centuries before. When the stones and bricks that hold our history are threatened, it's not just the architecture and design we fear losing. What's at risk is the common telling of our shared past.

Friday, 28 April 2017

A birthday dinner fit for a king

If you're a) a king and b) turning fifty then a takeaway in front of the TV isn't really an option. Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has thrown a birthday celebration and then some as he makes his royal half century and the glittering high point came at a special dinner in Amsterdam. Along with Queen Maxima he welcomed 150 people marking special birthdays themselves on the same day as him (April 27th) before an exhibition celebrating his fifty years opened for fifty hours, non stop, at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. Oh, and there was a group photo involved what looked like most of the city. This king knows how to party.

King's Day 2017, in pictures

It's been a special King's Day in the Netherlands this year. Willem-Alexander turns fifty in 2017 so this year's annual celebration really was a party to remember. The King of the Netherlands headed to Tilburg with his family for a day of fun, music and dancing. It was a picture perfect event, in part because the Dutch Royal Household chose to launch its Instagram account that day sharing loads of fabulous photos with us as Willem-Alexander marked his 50th birthday. The party carries on this weekend as the Dutch King welcomes 150 people with the same birthday as him to the Royal Palace in Amsterdam for a dinner while Crown Princess Victoria has confirmed she'll be joining what's expected to be a royal packed weekend of private celebrations, starting on Saturday. It's one busy birthday so let's look back at how it got started and enjoy King's Day 2017, in photos....

Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Dutch Royal Family joins Instagram

The Dutch Royal Family has joined Instagram and they picked a pretty special day to do it. As the whole of the Netherlands began enjoying King's Day celebrations as Willem-Alexander turned 50, the ruling house joined social media's photo hub. The picture for the history books is this one, of the King and Queen of the Netherlands and their three daughters arriving in Tilburg by train for King's Day. It's their first Instagram snap and it wasn't lonely for long.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

King Willem-Alexander at 50, the official photos

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands is 50 on April 27th 2017 and ahead of his big birthday come the official portraits. You don't do the whole half century thing without official photos. The Dutch King is seen in a series of relaxed images, filled with spring sunshine, in which he is centre stage. We get to see him with his wife, Queen Maxima, and their three daughters tomorrow on King's Day but ahead of that celebration, these photos are all about the birthday boy.

Maxima wears the trousers

When it comes to royal style, Queen Maxima wears the trousers. This week's Royal Wardrobe asked why we don't see queens and princesses in trousers more often - it's one area where they're usually out of step with what's on trend. There was a poll, too, on the best royal pick of the week and that was won by Maxima.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

How royals turn 50.....

We've got a big royal birthday coming up this week. Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands is 50 on April 27th 2017 and as well as the annual King's Day celebrations, there are plenty of other parties planned as this monarch makes his half century. Willem-Alexander and Maxima are inviting 150 people with the same birthday to a gala dinner while Royal Palace in Amsterdam will open for 50 hours non stop to help celebrate. And there's all kinds of speculation that a very royal guest list will join the King and Queen of the Netherlands over the weekend for more celebrations. If they do, many of Willem-Alexander's fellow kings and queens will have tips about marking this milestone birthday as all of them bar one (we're looking at you King Felipe of Spain) have already turned fifty. As we get ready to celebrate with the King of the Netherlands, here's how some of Europe's other rulers have turned 50...

Monday, 24 April 2017

When royals send us dotty....

One of the most eye catching royal outfits of the past week was the spotty dress worn by Crown Princess Victoria. It send plenty of people dotty for many reasons, most of them coming back to the fact that it just looks great. In honour of Victoria's spot of royal fashion fun, here are six other dot to dots. See if you can spot a favourite.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Kate, William and Harry at the London Marathon - in pictures

The Heads Together London Marathon has taken place today with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry cheering on runners throughout the day. The royal trio got the big race underway, hugged many of the Heads Together team, handed out water to runners on the way and ended up sipping water at a rather sophisticated warmdown after the race had finished. This week has been a great success for #HeadsTogether, announced on marathon day last year by William, Kate and Harry. Here's a look back at one of the major moments of the campaign - it's that royal trio, at the #HeadsTogether London Marathon, in pictures.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Royal Wardrobe: wearing the trousers

Why don't royal women wear trousers more often? OK, it's not the most mind blowing question you'll consider today, or in the next half hour, but it is an interesting point.  At a time when royal fashion is increasingly seen as reflective of modern style, and that modern style increasingly gives us trousers and pants suits, queens and princesses still seem far less likely than other women to follow the trend. Is it because they just prefer skirts or dresses or is there still an expectation that they'll leave the oh so modern, only really acceptable since the start of the 20th century women wearing trousers for another day?

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Queen's 91st Birthday, in pictures

The Queen celebrated her 91st birthday today. The celebrations were nowhere near as big or grand as last year's epic 90th celebrations but there was still a lot of joy taken in marking this special day. Twitter went nuts with all kinds of royal birthday related trends and the official accounts of the Royal Family shared some rather lovely photos. There were also some great pictures of the Queen as she celebrated her big day with some time at the races, heading to Newbury. Here's a look back at the Queen's 91st birthday, in images.

Spanish State Visit now in July

Big sighs of relief all round. We do still get a State Visit this summer. After Theresa May sprung a surprise election on everyone earlier this week (shock all round apart from Buckingham Palace where the Queen got the news the day before), the planned trip of King Felipe and Queen Letizia was in the spotlight again. With their State Visit in the diary for June 6th to 8th and the election on the 8th itself, there were questions about whether it could still happen as planned. Today's definitive answer was tiaras in July. 

William, Kate and Harry speak out

The whole week building up to the Heads Together London Marathon has seen the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry really put mental health issues at the top of the agenda. Today, we hear them speak out in a video where they chat about why it's oktosay. You can see the whole video below.....

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Heads Together: William, Kate and Harry's week so far

This week is a big one for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Since they launched their Heads Together campaign last year, aiming to change the conversation on mental health, they've been working towards these seven days. For on Sunday, Heads Together will be the official charity of the London Marathon and in the run up to it (no pun intended, honestly) they're using every chance they can take to make everyone more aware of mental health. The spotlight on them is huge - not only are they aiming to put Heads Together at the top of the agenda, they will be judged on whether they succeed and how they do it. Here's the week so far...

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Prince Alexander of Sweden at one

The (current) littlest prince of Sweden turns one today. Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil, Duke of Sodermanland celebrates his landmark birthday on April 19th and has this royal routine sorted already. He's starring in three portraits to mark his special day.

The best royal wedding dress of all?

It's a dress so famous that you know what it looks like before you've even seen an image of it. The wedding gown of Grace of Monaco, worn to her religious marriage on April 19th 1956, is so well known that it has a cultural identity of its own. And when you do look at photographs, they are familiar and fascinating all at the same time. The perfect poise and elegance of this new princess is wrapped and surrounded by this beautiful dress.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Royal Wardrobe: State Visit Style belongs to Mathilde

The Queen of the Belgians strikes again. In a poll to find the favourite Spring State Visit Style of 2017, it was Mathilde who came out top.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Prince Harry on counselling and losing Diana

'Do you know how amazing it is, what you've just said?' Bryony Gordon's question to Prince Harry almost stops him in his tracks but her feelings have been echoed by a lot of people in the last few hours. The Daily Telegraph journalist has been speaking to Harry about mental health issues for her new podcast, Mad World. And as that goes live, and makes headlines around the world, we find out that the fifth in line to the throne is ready to talk about how he kept his feelings about losing his mum, Diana, hidden for so long that he sought counselling that has made him happier, healthier and has helped him achieve more of his dreams.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

An Easter Royal Bonanza

Easter brought a right royal treat. We got queens, princesses, duchesses and kings and all before lunchtime. Like a sweet little basket of treats that kept on giving, there were royals to be seen everywhere. This little regal fix should keep you going for at least a day.