Saturday, 21 October 2017

Difficult days for the King of Spain

The headlines might sing but the reaction is far from in harmony. As the King of Spain made his second speech in two weeks on the Catalonia crisis, social media is alive with controversial comments. The front of the newspapers might focus on the main lines about unity but the response on websites and social media is far from together. King Felipe VI is facing a storm of resentment in a turbulent time. The next few weeks look very hard indeed.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Royal Wedding Dresses: Stephanie of Luxembourg

Stephanie of Luxembourg in Elie Saab on her wedding day, October 20th 2012
(photo Grand Cour Ducale)

When you're the bride at what's being billed as the last big royal wedding of a generation then there's quite a lot of pressure on the dress. There was a huge amount of interest in the marriage of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Stephanie de Lannoy on October 20th 2012, partly because of the stellar royal guest list and partly because the groom was the last heir to a throne of his generation to say 'I do'. When Stephanie stepped onto the red carpet leading to Luxembourg Cathedral, she certainly wowed in a wedding dress that did royal and modern all at the same time.

Royal Wedding Tiaras: Stephanie of Luxembourg

A family tiara for Stephanie of Luxembourg on her wedding day
(photo By Denis Probst - Own work, archive Denis Probst, CC BY-SA 3.0 luLink)

The royal family that Stephanie de Lannoy married into on October 20th 2012 has one of the best collections of tiaras around. But on her big day, the new Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg chose a tiara much closer to home - her family diadem, worn by her sisters on their own wedding days. This royal bride followed her own tradition with a tiara filled with sentimental value.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Royal Wedding Gala Gowns:Stephanie of Luxembourg

Five years ago this week, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg married Countess Stephanie de Lannoy in a wedding (or two) to remember. The last heir of his generation to say 'I do' did it not once, but twice, as he and his bride exchanged vows in a civil ceremony on October 19th and then again in a religious service on October 20th. In between that they held a gala dinner to celebrate their nuptials with royal guests from across Europe filling the Ducal Palace in Luxembourg on the night of the 19th for a glittering celebration. Which means that not only did royal bride, Stephanie, get two wedding dresses she also got a gala gown to go in her marriage wardrobe sandwich. As the happy couple celebrate their wood anniversary (yep, five years is really owning it with the gifts), let's get all sparkly and look back at a gala night to remember...

Royal Wedding Outfits: Stephanie of Luxembourg

What's better than a royal wedding dress? Why, two royal wedding dresses of course. While more than one recent royal bride has gone through both a religious and civil ceremony to marry, not all of them get to do the double dress whammy. But Stephanie de Lannoy wasn't going to say 'I do' in just one frock. The future Grand Duchess of Luxembourg gave us two regal wedding looks for her two ceremonies five years ago this week. On the anniversary of her civil marriage to Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg, here's a look back at what Stephanie wore to say 'I do' first time round.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

All change for this royal trio?

They've been a trusty trio for several years now but one image from the latest appearance of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry perhaps highlights how things will change...and how soon. For on their visit to celebrate the Coach Core programme on October 18th, this royal three found themselves with a spare seat right next to a certain handsome prince. Harry seemed to be warming the chair for another member of this new generation of royals. Is this the last time we see the trio before three become four?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Kate's date for 2018

So just about everyone had it right. Kensington Palace caused absolutely no surprises today by confirming that baby Cambridge number 3 is due in April 2018. After the announcement that Kate and William are expecting another child was made at the start of September, all predictions pointed to an April due date. Now it's been well and truly inked in the royal diary.

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Dancing Duchess

What's a duchess to do when a prince tells a life size bear to dance with her? Kate surprised everyone with an appearance at a charity event today and got a bit of a surprise herself when brother in law, Harry, suggested Paddington give her a twirl. Here's what happened to the dancing duchess.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

A king in waiting turns 12

The future king of Denmark is 12 today. Prince Christian, born October 15th 2005, might be celebrating behind closed palace doors but like all monarchs in waiting. there is a birthday appearance. The boy who will be king in a generation of girls born to be queen has marked the occasion with a new official photo.

Friday, 13 October 2017

State Visit Style: Queen Maxima in Portugal

Well, thanks for that. Queen Maxima has got the autumn State Visit season off to a flying start with a wardrobe that can only be described as eclectic. After luring us into a false state of security with a very Maxima outfit to start off with things went from feathers to flowers as the Queen of the Netherlands tried out all kinds of different looks on her three day visits. You'll love some, you'll be less certain about others but because it's Friday and because we've not been able to do this for months. here's the return of State Visit style as Queen Maxima wows Portugal.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Queen and Remembrance Sunday

The Queen will not lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday this year. It's been announced that Elizabeth II will instead watch the ceremony from a balcony overlooking Whitehall while the Prince of Wales places her tribute, on behalf of the nation, at the foot of the memorial to those who have died for their country. It is a major moment in the reign of Britain's longest serving monarch.

State Dinner Sparklers: Netherlands to Portugal

It's been a while. There is a distinct lack of sparkle during the royal summer as the State Visit quota drops and the tiaras are dusted down and stored away safely through most of August and September. But fear not, glitter season has returned. As October gets under way, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands are on a State Visit to Portugal and that means one thing. A State Banquet and a dose of diamonds to cheer us all up. Here's the tiara chosen by Maxima to get the autumn glitter going.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Kate's return

The Duchess of Cambridge has returned to public engagements for the first time since announcing she was expecting another baby. Kate made her reappearance at an event for World Mental Health Day held at Buckingham Palace on October 10th 2017.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Sweden's royal baby: Gabriel and brotherly love

Prince Gabriel of Sweden might only just have turned one month but he's already got a friend for life. As the newest royal on the continent debuts in official photos, his big brother Alexander is on hand to help him through. They are already an adorable royal double act and then some.

Kate's baby debut number 3

Twenty four hours and counting. On October 10th 2017, the Duchess of Cambridge will make her first public appearance since it was announced she is expecting her third baby next year. Which means tomorrow is the first glimpse of Kate's baby debut number three. With her past two pregnancies, Kate revealed there was a little Cambridge on the way very early on owing to the Hyperemsis Gravidarum which affected her. It's thought to be much the same this time round - apart from William telling everyone just a few weeks ago that the couple might be seeing their midwives sooner than we think. The interest in the royal tummy will be huge tomorrow as every sign of a bump will be checked out and pored over. Here's how Kate made her mama to be debuts with George and Charlotte.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Royal Wedding Tiaras: Infanta Cristina of Spain

It all started so well. The marriage of Infanta Cristina and Inaki Urdangarin on October 4th 1997 was a sparkling event with a royal guest list, a handsome couple and enough public support to make any monarchy feel rather comfortable in its ermine clad skin. The next twenty years saw that fairytale put to the test and then some. The marriage of Cristina and Inaki has endured even if it hasn't always been the glittering jewel in the Spanish royal crown. But on their 20th wedding anniversary, let's enjoy a little bit of sparkle as we look back at the tiara Cristina wore on the day she said 'I do'.

Royal Wedding Dresses: Infanta Cristina of Spain

It was a glittering wedding that seemed to put the seal on what then seemed a triumph of a monarchy. Spain's Royal Family was about as popular as could be in October 1997 and the huge outpouring of public support as Infanta Cristina wed Inaki Urdangarin in Barcelona only underlined that. What a difference two decades can make. As Spain's royals languish in yet another crisis, the memories of a sunny day when the world seemed to be at their feet remain. At the heart of the fairytale was a modern bride with her own sense of style who took well loved to new levels. Here's a look back at the royal wedding dress of Infanta Cristina of Spain...the princess bride who could seemingly do no wrong.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Felipe VI of Spain speaks out

King Felipe VI of Spain has spoken to his country following the independence referendum in Catalonia on Sunday. In an address that came after several days of silence from the head of state, King Felipe described the bid for autonomy as illegal and unconstitutional. But while the story that went around the world on Sunday involved police aggression against some of those voting, there was no mention of the those injured in a speech the King of Spain said was for all his people.

Monday, 2 October 2017

8 royal birthdays for October

Some months are awash with royal birthdays and while October can't quite match the cake baking, card sending regal frenzy of September it doesn't do too badly on the celebrations front. Some royal houses seem to be particularly fond of October babies (not looking at anywhere in particular here, Belgium) but there's a good spread of royal birthdays going on this month. So get the cake ready and the cards written, here are eight royal birthdays for October.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Three royal brides for October

Stephanie, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, was an October bride
(photo Grand Cour Ducale)

You don't get that many royal weddings in October. It's getting chilly for a start and this part of the year in modern times is often pencilled in for overseas tours and State Visits while the regal agenda firmly beds in after the summer break. But every now and again we get an early autumn royal bride - here's a trio that said 'I do' in October.

Friday, 29 September 2017

5 stand out Invictus moments for Prince Harry

It's been quite the week for Harry. Not only did we all go wild about his hand in hand outing with Meghan, we all got to enjoy his fabulous Invictus Games which have once more shone a spotlight on the power of sport and the spirit of service personnel across the world. It's been a really special week for Prince Harry with some stand out moments that top them all. Everyone hearts Harry right now and here are five reasons why.....

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Sapphires for September: the Queen's brooches

Sapphires are the birth stone of September. Their brilliant blue hue has been prized by royalty for centuries and the sparkling stones remain a favourite with modern ruling houses today. The Queen, who marked her Sapphire Anniversary as monarch earlier this year, has a particular fondness for the stones which feature in some of her favourite brooches. Here's a look at some of the best as Sapphires for September continues.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Sapphires for September: the UK

Sapphires are the birth stone of September and have a place in royal history all of their own. Used by kings and queens for centuries, they are a sparkling symbol of regal power recognisable the world over. This month, we're having a look at some of the stunning sapphires currently glittering in the jewellery boxes of Europe's reigning houses. Today it's the sapphires belonging to the Sapphire Queen - Elizabeth II marked the 65th or Sapphire anniversary of her reign earlier this year. And as you'd expect, these are very regal stones indeed.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The royal links of Vera Duckworth, Queen of Corrie

For years, she was a queen of British soap operas. The actress Liz Dawn, who has died at the age of 77, made her character Vera Duckworth into a household name so famous that even royalty gave her an audience. As we say farewell to a TV legend, here's a look back at the great Liz Dawn's brushes with royalty.

5 things we learned when Harry held hands with Meghan

Holding hands. We all need to do it more. It's one of the truly lovely things that can be just everyday and sometimes so much more. At this point we perhaps need to introduce Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who did that whole hand holding thing at the wheelchair tennis at the Invictus Games in Toronto. The couple made their first official appearance together and put a big smile on quite a lot of faces. Here are five things we learned when Harry held hands with Meghan.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Invictus 2017, day two: the photo album

The Invictus Games are well and truly under way and some pretty special moments have been happening on and off the track. Prince Harry has been leading the cheering as the competitors at the third staging of the event he created and has made his own took to the field to claim more medals. Harry has been supporting sporting stars everywhere as teams from 17 nations compete for glory at the games, set up for injured service personnel. Oh, and the fifth in line to the throne walked in hand in hand with his girlfriend. It's been a busy day. Here's Invictus on September 25th 2017, in photos.

Harry and Meghan: first official appearance (photos inside)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have sent just about everyone into a royal wedding tailspin by appearing together in public for the first time officially. The couple attended the wheelchair tennis at the Invictus Games in Toronto. We got hand holding, what looked like a little nuzzle and plenty of smiles. It all makes an engagement seem ever more likely - here are the photos that prove Harry hearts Meghan and she's loving her handsome prince right back.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Prince Harry: Invictus 2017, the final countdown

Everyone's wild about Harry. The prince of hearts is in Toronto where he's celebrating the third staging of the Invictus Games. We already know how special this event is to Harry - the Games, for wounded service personnel, were his brainchild and he's been a driving force behind turning them into a global success story. And everyone who is anyone wanted to grab five minutes with the prince as the Games got underway. Ahead of the opening ceremony (attended by Meghan Markle, pics here), the prince was meeting, greeting and debating like never before. Here's what Harry did in the countdown to Invictus 2017.

Meghan Markle attends the Invictus Games

Get the bunting in the wash and start stocking up on paper plates, I can feel a street party coming on. Meghan Markle has attended the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games in Toronto, another sign that an engagement and wedding with Prince Harry could be just around the corner.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Royals on the Vanity Fair Best Dressed List 2017

It kind of snuck under the radar this year. Vanity Fair's Best Dressed List is always pored over by royal watchers keen to see whose style has hit the mark in the past twelve months but this time round it was somewhat eclipsed by another item in the same month's magazine, an interview with a certain Meghan Markle. Let's face it, we're all convinced that Meghan will be gracing this list in the coming years with an HRH in front of her name. She's not on the 2017 line up but we do get a couple of royal nods. Here's who hit the Vanity Fair heights in the style stakes for this year...

Sunday, 17 September 2017

5 royal outfits for a civil marriage

Royal civil weddings, eh? Why on earth would anyone be thinking about those right now? Odd. But as we are, let's talk outfits. Several European royals have had a civil and religious wedding on the same day in which case there's no change for the bride. They can keep their big frocks to themselves right now. We're looking at outfits made purely for a civil marriage. Other brides have said 'I do' in front of a registrar in a different outfit from the one worn to the church for their religious wedding or blessing afterwards. Among them is Claire Lademacher whose civil wedding to Prince Felix of Luxembourg took place on September 17th 2013. In honour of that, and the possibility we might just be doing civil weddings in the UK again sometime soon, here's a look at five recent times we've seen royal brides dressed for a civil marriage.

Friday, 15 September 2017

September 15th, a royal day of destiny

September 15th is pretty important in modern royal history. A quartet of celebrations are marked on the date every year, making it about as regal a day in the diary as you can find, Three birthdays and one accession with their own place in the royal story of 21st century Europe.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Sapphires for September: the Netherlands

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands in the sapphire tiara of her royal house on the day her husband ascended the throne

Sapphires are stunning and the regal blue of the deepest stone has made them a favourite for royals for centuries. The modern royal families of Europe possess some pretty cracking tiaras set with sapphires and among the most striking is the one that belongs to Dutch ruling house. The sapphire tiara of the Netherlands is among the most photographed of recent times after Queen Maxima chose to wear it on the day her husband became monarch. But that historic appearance was just the latest chapter in the tale of this diadem. Here are more sapphires for September.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Prince George, King of Instagram

In a world where image is king, one ruler in waiting has it licked. Prince George has scored yet another huge hit on the official Kensington Palace Instagram account, his third big success in just six weeks. For while this channel, the most followed of all the official accounts belonging to Europe's royal households, always gets big love for its photos, the recent pictures of George that it's shared have taken it into new territory. The prince is hitting hearts like no other before him. This summer, George is the King of Instagram.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Sapphires for September: Luxembourg

Spot the sapphire - the sparkling Nassau tiara as worn by Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg in an official portrait
(photo Grand Cour Ducale)

Sapphires have sparkled in regal jewel collections for centuries and their deep blue colour is as much associated with royalty as any other. The birthstone for September can be found in stunning settings in the jewel boxes of many of the current ruling houses of Europe. Here's Luxembourg's dazzling diadem in sapphires for September.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Prince and the President

They've looked to be in complete harmony for years now so it was no surprise that the latest meeting between the Prince of Wales and his friend, the President of Ireland, came at a celebration for an anniversary with musical links. Charles and Michael D Higgins met up again at Dumfries House in Scotland where, among other things, they helped mark a quarter century of Classic FM. And this bond between the heir to the British throne and the President of the Republic of Ireland is turning into a real classic itself.

Royal Baby Name Focus: Alexandra

It's the royal name that just won't go away. Every time the Duchess of Cambridge announces she's pregnant, the name Alexandra crops up on the list of favourites for a girl. It was the top pick for punters in 2013 who placed bets before the first Cambridge royal baby turned out to be a boy and it more than held its own in 2015 in the flurry of excitement around Alice and eventual princess pick, Charlotte. This time round it's one of the top five names with the bookies again for a new princess so here's the low down on the reasons that  make Alexandra such a firm favourite as a potential royal baby name.

Prince George at school: first photos (UPDATED)

Here he is, a future king taking a major step in his life. Prince George of Cambridge began classes today and looked very smart while he was at it. George Alexander Louis, the royal baby whose arrival captivated the world. is now a school boy.

5 September Royal Brides

Princess Claire of Luxembourg was a September royal bride
(photo Grand Court Ducale/ Guy Wolff)

September isn't the most popular month for royal weddings. Summer holidays are still coming to an end and everyone's getting back into the swing of the royal agenda. That's not to say the month is a marriage free zone and to prove it here are five September royal brides.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The royal baby's name is somewhere here....

You know how we all like to get adventurous when it comes to royal baby names. Don't bother. William and Kate are expecting their third little Cambridge and we know from past experience that the bookies always have it right when it comes to the name pick. Both George and Charlotte were among the top three favourite names for royal babies right at the start of their mum's pregnancies so if you look at the list of bookies' picks right now, you are more than likely looking at the moniker of the next fifth in line to the throne. We've let them settle for a day or two and now it's time to get #royalbabynameguesses serious. Oddschecker has been checked and here are the top five male and female picks for the new number five. The winner is somewhere here....

Prince Henrik diagnosed with dementia

In a sad statement that will resonate with millions of families touched by this condition, the Danish Royal Household has announced that Prince Henrik has dementia. The diagnosis was made at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen recently.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Meet Gabriel, Duke of Dalarna

The newest prince in Europe is ready for his close up. Gabriel Carl Walther, Duke of Dalarna has starred in his first official photo taken by, who else, but his proud dad.

Meghan and Harry: we are in love

''We're two people who are really happy and in love''. Meghan Markle has been speaking to Vanity Fair magazine and, boy, is the world taking notice. Almost a year on from the confirmation of her relationship with Prince Harry, Meghan has been talking about their relationship and everything in this regal garden is looking really rather rosy. Do the ironing now, 2018 looks set to be a really busy royal year.

5 things we already know about #RoyalBaby Cambridge no 3

The Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant  with her third child and the royal guessing games have begun. Gender, weight, name and hair colour are all already topics of discussion with bookies offering odds on all sorts of royal baby guesses. Like the previous Cambridge pregnancies, the information we have right now is rather limited but we can start to put together a picture of Kate's latest great expectations. Here are five things we already know about #RoyalBabyCambridge number three...

The new Swedish line of succession

We have a name, let's give him his place. The latest addition to the Swedish Royal Family has been announced as Prince Gabriel, Duke of Dalarna and he comes in as number six in the line to the throne. To celebrate his arrival, here's a rundown of how the Swedish succession looks now little Gabe has made his debut. Don't get too comfy, Madeleine has another to add come March 2018....

Monday, 4 September 2017

Royal Baby Cambridge: the Windsor fifth

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child. The baby, due in spring 2018, will be fifth in line to the throne from birth. And as far as the House of Windsor is concerned, that's a pretty interesting position to arrive in. Here's a run down of the babies born as fifth in line since the House of Windsor was created in July 1917....

Prince Gabriel of Sweden

The newest prince in Europe is called Gabriel. The King of Sweden, baby's grandad, announced his names at a special cabinet meeting this morning. The sixth in line to the Swedish throne and sixth grandchild of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia is Gabriel Carl Walther.

William and Kate: royal baby Cambridge number 3

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to be parents again. Kate is pregnant with baby number 3 and while there's no official due date, all eyes are turning to late spring for the arrival the latest royal baby.

Sapphires for September: Sweden

Queen Silvia of Sweden wears blue sapphires for the marriage of her only son in June 2015

September's birthstone is the beautiful blue sapphire. This stunning stone has been a staple in royal jewellery for centuries and in the modern era, it's found in some of the most sparkling tiaras owned by European ruling houses. Sweden owns a stunning set of sapphires and, let's face it, blue for a boy is quite appropriate there now as the country's royals are awash with princes. As we find out the name of the latest little man to join the House of Bernadotte later, let's celebrate his arrival with some sparkling blue stones. Welcome to sapphires for September.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Meet Baby Bernadotte

He's home. The newest member of the Swedish Royal Family has left hospital with his parents just a day after being born. And here's the photo to prove it.