Saturday, 16 December 2017

6 stopovers for Royal Wedding Visitors

The Royal Wedding date is set and, appropriately enough given that Harry and Meghan announced just before Christmas, there is very little room left in the inn. Hotel rooms in Windsor are at a premium as the world gets ready to converge on St. George's Chapel on May 19th 2018. That doesn't mean a trip to Windsor is out of the question. The town is well connected by train so if you're hoping to hop across for a royal wedding holiday, then here are six places around an hour or less away from Windsor by rail. They may well be easier to find accommodation in right now and they also have royal links of their own. Make it a truly regal holiday and get busy with these stopovers for Royal Wedding Visitors.....

Friday, 15 December 2017

The Royal 2017: the State Visit row

Controversy is never far from royal circles and at the start of the year, the Queen found herself involved in a row entirely of other people's making. The prospect of a State Visit by the President of the United States, Donald Trump, caused all kinds of arguments, and led to a headline grabbing petition with the Queen at its very heart. The Royal 2017 looks back at the row about a State Visit which still isn't over yet...

Royal Wedding 2018: Harry and Meghan's big date revealed

The date for your diary is....May 19th 2018. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding day has been confirmed by Kensington Palace. And put those dreams of a Bank Holiday on hold. Those modern royals are making like most of us and getting wed on a Saturday.

The Royal Christmas 2017: sharing the festive love

Christmas is the season of goodwill and there's been plenty of evidence of that in recent days. We've had a little market shopping, a very special trimming of a Christmas tree and celebrating with a meal with new friends. This is how the royals are sharing the festive love this December....

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Royal 2017: Denmark's summer horribilis

Not all news is good news. And one royal family had their fair share of difficult times this year. A sad loss early on in the year was followed by a family discussion that became very public and caused angry headlines around the world. It ended with a very sad statement. Here's how the Royal 2017 resulted in a summer horribilis in Denmark...

The Royal Christmas 2017: Oscar shakes on a festive tradition

You're never too young to perfect the royal handshake. With a whole liketime of saying hello and how do you do ahead of him, Prince Oscar of Sweden got in some practice as he helped his mum and sister bring the Christmas trees into the Royal Palace in Stockholm ready for the festive season. The face might say otherwise, but Oscar has this one down pat.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Royal 2017: a prince is born

After a run of regal babies in recent times, 2017 was a little quiet on the nursery front. However, those lovely royals in Sweden weren't going to let the year pass without adding to their number. The House of Bernadotte welcomed a new prince as the summer came to an end. Let's celebrate the birth of Gabriel, Duke of Dalarna in the latest look back at the Royal 2017.....

Meghan's First Royal Christmas

There had been rumours that the future Duchess of Sussex had been seen snapping up amusing but posh presents for under a fiver, just the sort that the Royal Family loves to swap on Christmas Eve, but now the news is official. Meghan Markle will be joining Prince Harry at Sandringham for the festive holidays. William and Kate will be there, too. And, let's face it, if George and Charlotte also make their Sandringham church debuts this year then Twitter is in danger of imploding on Christmas Day. Bring it on.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Royal 2017: Spain's royals in the dock

One day, maybe, we'll get to write about a Spanish royal year and not use the words ''tough'', ''controversial'' and ''beleaguered''. But not this year. The past twelve months have been both tough and controversial for the beleaugured royal family. And that's with the end that 2017 brought of a problem that has hounded them for years. The Royal 2017 looks back at Spain's royals in the dock....

The Buried Giants of Sweden's Royal Jewellery Box

Sweden's royals were sparkling again last night as they hosted the Nobel Prize winners at a celebratory banquet. The King's Dinner is the last royal event in the always glittering galas that surround these awards (presumably Carl Gustaf isn't up first thing peeling spuds for it despite the name) and to round off this year's celebrations, the Swedish Royal Family brought out some of their biggest and best tiaras. And all of them with a wedding link.  As they pose for a photo with Literature Laureate, Kazuo Ishiguro, let's look at the buried jewellery giants they brought out to play...

Kate and William's Gold Blue Peter Badges

They just about played it cool. Anyone who grew up in Britain in the 70s, 80s or 90s will know the thrill that 'Blue Peter badge' can bring with it. So William and Kate were right to look pretty pleased with themselves when they were awarded gold badges, the highest possible version of the award, on a visit to Blue Peter last week.

The Royal Christmas 2017: Christmas Cards

We have a winner. The first royal Christmas pose of 2017 comes from Spain. Admittedly, it's about as festive as a prawn curry but it's on the official Christmas card from Felipe and Letizia. The regal Christmas season is well and truly under way.

Windsor Wedding Dresses: the Princess Royal, December 1992

While everyone is still scrabbling to find their best dressed royal of 2017, we already know the regal outfit of 2018 and it doesn't even exist yet. Meghan Markle's wedding dress will be the stand out image of the royal style year. There are already lots of predictions as to what it might look like but the bride in question will keep us all guessing right up until the moment she walks into St. George's Chapel, Windsor in May. Ahead of that. we're taking a look back at some of the wedding dresses that already grace the history books of teh House of Windsor and today it's the most low key of them all. Princess Anne, the Princess Royal made history when she wed Timothy Laurence on December 12th 1992. She was the first divorced royal to remarry in almost ninety years. Today, the couple celebrates their silver wedding anniversary so what better time to look back at what Anne wore then in the latest installment of Windsor Wedding Dresses. 

Monday, 11 December 2017

The Royal 2017: the Sapphire Queen

Another year, another landmark for the Queen. The Royal 2017 saw Elizabeth II add two more major milestones to her already impressive list of regal records. More on the marriage that made history in the days to come but now it's time to look back on her 65th anniversary as monarch and the day she became the Sapphire Queen....

Sweden's Sparkling and Surprising Celebration

OK, it's not actually a state event but it's as regular in the royal calendar as any official visit or gala banquet. Sweden's royals have celebrated the Nobel Prize winners at a glittering ceremony in Stockholm and packed in all the tiara surprises while they were at it. Apart from Queen Silvia. But when you've got access to some of the biggest and best jewels in Europe, who needs surprises? Settle back and enjoy some pre-Christmas sparkle with this look at the tiaras that came out to dazzle at the 2017 Nobel Prize Ceremony.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

The Royal 2017: Kate's new baby and other great expectations

This royal year has given us plenty of happy news and promised yet more to come. For in the last part of the Royal 2017 we got a hat trick of pregnancy announcements which will bring us babies galore in the year to come. As we continue our look back at the last 12 regal months, we arrive at the excitement that is pregnancy announcements and great expectations...

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Windsor Wedding Dresses: Princess Margaret

It's been called the height of simplicity and the epitome of sophistication. Vogue loved it while thousands have copied it. The wedding dress worn by Princess Margaret on May 6th 1960 as she wed Antony Armstrong-Jones is one of the most famous royal gowns of all. And you don't even need to look closely to find out why. As we wait for Meghan Markle to add her own sense of style to royal marriage history, here's a look at Princess Margaret's moment as a bride in Windsor Wedding Dresses....

The Royal 2017: Prince Philip retires

Apparently, he really doesn't like a fuss which is rather unfortunate because when Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh announced earlier this year that he would be retiring from public engagements there was a hooha on a global scale which will take some beating. The Royal 2017 arrives at one of the more bizarre happenings of the year as we look back at the day Prince Philip said he was stepping back...

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Royal 2017: a double birthday celebration

December means many things. Christmas trees, Christmas jumpers, too much chocolate. It's also the time when we start to remember, to pull together the strands of the year just gone as we look forward to the one about to start. So many royal events have kept us busy in 2017 but some have really made their mark. For the next two weeks, we'll be recalling the major events of the past twelve months from those we welcomed to those we lost, from the major anniversaries to the unexpected moments that will linger long. We already know that 2018 is going to be a bumper royal year but 2017 has made its mark,too. The old year might be almost done but our look back is only just beginning. The celebration of the Royal 2017 starts with a double birthday that brought together all the ruling houses of Europe....

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Royal Christmas 2017: the Royal Christmas Tree

Deck those halls with boughs of holly....even the most regal residence needs a Christmas tree and Europe's ruling houses are already getting in the festive spirit. Trees are being trimmed at palaces across the continent and thanks to the marvels of social media, the photos we all take every year of the decorations can now be shared on an epic scale. Which is rather marvellous. So settle back and enjoy the slowly building forest of regal Christmas trees being trimmed and tweeked as the big day approaches. Be warned, there are no 3 footers in pots here. These are Royal Christmas Trees....

Royal Wedding Dresses: Princess Lilian of Sweden

Let's take a break from Windsor Wedding Dresses for just a moment (you can catch the ones featured so far again here if you need another fix) and focus on a gown that starred in one of the most romantic royal marriages of the 20th century. Forty one years ago today, Prince Bertil of Sweden married Lilian Craig, nee Davies, and set the seal on a love story that has its own place in royal history. As we remember this pair of stylish love birds, here's a look back at the wedding dress Lilian wore when she finally got to wed her handsome prince...

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Prince Gabriel's Christening: the photo album

Mum did the really hard work, so as she celebrates her birthday, let's celebrate her baby. Princess Sofia of Sweden's second son, Prince Gabriel Carl Walter, was born on August 31st 2017 and on December 1st he was christened. The sixth in line to the Swedish throne was baptised at Drottningholm Castle on December 1st 2017 in an intimate ceremony attended by close family and friends. The baby cried, his parents looked beyond proud and his big brother almost stole the show. What more do you want? Here's a look at Prince Gabriel's christening, in pictures....

Windsor Wedding Dresses: Diana, Princess of Wales

As we wait to find out what Meghan Markle will wear for the Royal Wedding of 2018, we're taking a look back at the gowns chosen by other Windsor women for their marriages. And today we arrive at perhaps the most famous and most poignant. It's the one worn by Diana, the mum that Harry said would be 'thick as thieves' with his bride to be, Meghan Markle.  The Emanuel design chosen by Lady Diana Spencer as she married the Prince of Wales on July 29th 1981 remains an icon of modern royal fashion. We know the bows, the frills and the creases like the backs of our own hands but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy them one more time. Diana's dream is the latest to feature in Windsor Wedding Dresses.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Michael, King of Romania, has died

Michael, King of Romania
1921 - 2017

Michael, the last King of Romania, has died. He was 96 years old. King Michael, who ruled his country twice, had been ill for some time. He is survived by his five daughters, the eldest of whom, Margareta, is now claimant to the long defunct throne. With him ends a chapter of European royal history.

Windsor Wedding Dresses: the Duchess of Cambridge

Catherine Elizabeth Middleton married Prince William on April 29th 2011
They emerged from Westminster Abbey as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Ahead of THE royal wedding (Megs and Haz in case you've been under a rock for the last week or so), there is a lot to get excited about. The flowers, the tiara, the bridesmaids, the cake. Oh, and the dress. Let's drop the dignified front and cut to the chase. We all want to know what Meghan Markle will be wearing when she steps into St. George's, Windsor to wed her handsome prince. The bride to be will keep us guessing for months yet so to fill the frock void, this new series is looking back at the wedding dresses worn by other Winsdor brides. Today, we arrive at a gown that is just about as famous as a wedding dress gets and every inch of it has been photographed over and over again. The dress that Kate Middleton wore on the day she married her prince and became HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is already a part of royal history. As we wait for Meghan to add her style choice to the history books, here's a look back at what Kate wore in the latest installment of Windsor Wedding Dresses.

Monday, 4 December 2017

11 royal birthdays for December

December babies, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella of Monaco

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me thirteen cards for royal birthdays on eleven separate dates with two heirs to the throne among them and a queen consort celebrating too. December is a busy month for royal birthdays so if you're in the mood for baking (non Christmas cakes) and blowing out (non festive) candles, the next four weeks will be a dream. Here are 11  dates for December when royals mark their birthdays.....

Windsor Wedding Dresses: the Countess of Wessex

Edward and Sophie in an official wedding portrait taken on June 19th 1999

OK, anyone excited for the Royal Wedding? Thought so. We've still got five and a bit months to go before we see Meghan Markle as a royal bride but that doesn't mean we can't start ramping up the wedding fun and thinking all things matrimonial. There will be lots of features on the blog in the run up to the marriage of the year in May 2018 when Megs and Prince Harry plight their troths and first out of the starting blocks is a series on the frocks. Yep. we can pretend all we like that we're interested in the hymns/ cake/ groom's uniform but what we really all want to know is what Meghan's wedding dress will be like. So to get in the mood, I'm going to profile the Windsor Wedding Dresses over the coming weeks and I'm starting with the last major royal bride to walk down the aisle at St. George's, Windsor - the Countess of Wessex. Sophie Rhys Jones was the last British royal bride of the 20th century and she did it in style. Here's a look back at this very regal gown from June 19th 1999 as we start the series, Windsor Wedding Dresses.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Meghan's official debut: the photos

All eyes were on her. Meghan Markle wasted no time in starting her new life, carrying out her first official royal engagement just four days after announcing her, well, royal engagement. Meghan and Harry headed to Nottingham for a day of events on Worlds Aid Day. The Terence Higgins Trust charity fair and the Full Effect programme at the Nottingham Academy were in Meghan's debut diary where the couple heard about the work going on as well as meeting people who are being helped. And the crowds were huge for this very special royal event. Here are some of the best photos from Meghan's official debut...

Three royal brides for December

Queen Mathilde of the Belgians was a December royal bride

Let's face it, December is a tricky one for weddings. While it's all very well dreaming of adding the festive red to the dreamy white of a wedding or entertaining guests to a party in front of an open log fire, the fact is that Christmas just well and truly gets in the way. Not only have you got to contend with the big day itself, there are all the Christmas parties, family visits and last minute shopping trips that are likely to mean getting your guests to commit to a date in December is going to be a big ask and then some. So it's perhaps no surprise that of the three modern royal brides who have said 'I do' in December, two of them were going for the low key approach. The other was the star of the last major royal wedding of the 20th century. Clearly, the save the date cards went out early on that one. Here are three royal brides for December.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Royal Christening Countdown: Prince Gabriel's godparents

Stop thinking weddings for just a moment. We've got another big royal event this week - Prince Gabriel of Sweden is christened on December 1st. Ahead of his big day, the Swedish Royal Court has announced the names of his godparents. Here's who gets the honour of standing sponsor to Gabriel.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

8 May Royal Brides

May is about to get a new royal bride. Meghan Markle will marry Prince Harry in May 2018 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. The month's collection of royal brides already contains some of the most famous to say 'I do' in recent years and while Meghan will get plenty of attention on her big day, these women have also starred in celebrations that made headlines around the world. As Meghan starts to prepare for her spring wedding in Windsor, here are eight royal brides who also got married in May....

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Ten royal brides of St. George's, Windsor

They might still be keeping us waiting for the specific date but we do know that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry in May at St George's Chapel, Windsor. The wedding will take place in a spot that's very special to the couple and also has its own stand out place in the history of royal weddings. For Windsor has seen many regal marriages over the years. As Meghan prepares to join their ranks, here's a look at ten royal brides whose special day started at St. George's Windsor...

Royal Wedding 2018: Harry and Meghan's wedding month and venue revealed


Clear the diary, check the calendar and send out save the dates. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed when and where they are getting married. The big day is in May 2018 and the couple will say 'I do' at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Royal Christening Countdown: granny's get ups

In the last five years, Queen Silvia has got used to christening cake. The Swedish consort has proudly watched the baptism of a grandchild five times already and on Friday she makes it a sweet six as she stands in the front row to see Prince Gabriel christened. It's a big moment for the whole family and there is something rather special for a mum to mark the milestones in the lives of her own children's children. Silvia is never anything less than dressed to impressed and these magical moments are no different. As the Queen of Sweden prepares to watch her latest little one at his christening, here's a look back at the baptisms of her five elder grandchildren. A quick reminder of granny's get ups as we continue the Royal Christening Countdown...

Monday, 27 November 2017

Royal Engagement: Harry and Meghan's first interview

The stars aligned....when your handsome prince says that about you then it really must be love. In their first TV interview together, newly engaged Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed that their relationship got serious very quickly, they were set up by a mutual friend and neither had any idea of just how much interest their royal romance would cause. We also learned that the prince proposed while they cooked roast chicken together and Meghan didn't let him finish before she said 'yes'. And that was just in a couple of minutes. On the day of their engagement, Harry and Meghan really are wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

Royal Engagement Rings: Meghan Markle

She's only gone and said yes. Meghan Markle accepted the proposal of that handsome prince, Harry, earlier on in November and today they confirmed the news we all wanted to hear. While Harry's dad, Prince Charles, broke the big news, it was his mother, Diana, who was at the fore during the first official photocall. For that sparkling ring on Meghan's finger is made of diamonds that once belonged to Diana. Let's take a moment to enjoy the newest royal engagement ring, that of Meghan Markle....

Royal Engagement: Harry and Meghan's first photocall

Could they look more loved up? Just hours after confirming the news that we all wanted to hear, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle appeared for a photocall at the palace they will call home as newlyweds. It was short, it was sweet and it was super romantic.

Royal Engagement: the Windsor engagement rings

Just hours to go now until we see the sparkler that put the seal on the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The Prince of Wales announced their betrothal earlier on today and the couple will do the now traditional photo call at 2pm on November 27th 2017 to show off the sparkler. Ahead of that, here's a look back at the engagement rings of the House of Windsor, a very sparkly story that's about to get a whole new chapter....

Harry and Meghan's engagement: the reaction

There has been some really lovely reaction to the really lovely news that Prince Harry is going to marry Meghan Markle. The engagment was announced by the Prince of Wales at 10am on November 27th 2017 and the couple are due to make an appearance this afternoon to show off the ring. Ahead of that, there has been plenty of reaction from their families. Here's how their nearest and dearest celebrated Harry and Meghan's engagement....

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged

Prince Harry is to marry Meghan Markle. The official announcement of their engagement has just been made by Clarence House. The wedding will take place in Spring 2018.

Royal Christening Countdown: The Dukes of Dalarna

Prince Gabriel of Sweden is christened on Friday. One of the highlights of the event will be granddad, King Carl XVI Gustaf, handing over the Order of the Seraphim to the little prince. But it won't be the first really regal present between proud monarch and grandson. Just days after his birth, the King of Sweden announced he had made his newest grandchild the Duke of Dalarna. It sure beats bootees and it's something of a tradition with all of Carl Gustaf's descedants enjoying a ducal title. Gabriel isn't the first Duke of Dalarna. This part of Royal Christening Countdown is all about the men who have held the title Gabriel now calls his own.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Harry and Meghan: where will they marry?

OK, you had a whole day off. After the Friday frenzy over whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are about to announce their engagement, Saturday was rather quiet on the will they wed front? That was yesterday. The Sunday papers are filled with yet more speculation about when they will wed - we all know it's going to happen, it's just a case of ticking the she said yes box publically and picking a date. Oh, and a venue. This handsome prince and his lovely bride have the whole of the UK to choose from but some venues are wriggling their way to the top of the desirable list. As Harry and Meghan dominate the news once more, here's a look at where they might wed....

Royal Wedding Rumours: the PM, police and still no ring....

You got a whole day off, stop moaning. After the Friday frenzy that was the countdown to the royal engagement which didn't happen, Saturday was a day of quiet if miserable reflection on the fact that Harry and Meghan didn't share their big news with us. Never mind. Sunday is about as crazy in love with these young royals as it's possible to be. The papers are filled with Harry and Meghan stories with the Prime Minister and the police involved and expert tips on when to expect the engagement anno. Apparently any day between now and New Year apart from Christmas Day. And if you keep on looking, someone will no doubt find a good reason to start a rumour that Hazza will propose live during the Queen's speech and pluck a vintage royal sparkler from the tree to seal the deal. To keep on top of all this wedding fever, here's a round up of the latest royal wedding rumours....

Saturday, 25 November 2017

A week of royal style misses

We all love a bit of royal style and there's usually plenty to go round. But we all have off weeks and in the last seven days, there have been some seriously questionable outfits this week from Europe's royals.  So let's enjoy the fact that even these super stylish stars can sometimes get it wrong and settle down for a string of royal style misses....

The brides who came across the sea to marry into Windsor

After a frenzy of excitement about a possible royal engagement on Friday, it's back to the waiting game this weekend. Any upcoming royal nuptials are still top secret but that doesn't change the fact that just about all of us have decided Prince Harry is going to marry Meghan Markle. And if when he does, his bride will be joining a rather select club. For the House of Windsor has brought mostly homeborn brides into its ranks. Despite that, some of those saying 'I do' have travelled across seas to marry into Windsor and Meghan will (probably) be the latest with that claim. So as we keep on waiting (it really only heightens the excitement more), here's a look back at some of the brides from other lands who have wed a Windsor....

Friday, 24 November 2017

Kate, the bump and another new dress: back to royal normality

After a frenzied 24 hours in which speculation was ramped up over just about every royal scenario you can imagine, we end in a rather normal situation. The regal week comes to an end with an appearance from the Duchess of Cambridge and a return to the far less fevered world of bump spotting, gender guessing and new evening gowns. Welcome to royal reality.

Harry and Meghan: how we knew it was love

Is today the day? Engagement speculation is so high for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that many a royal watcher has cancelled plans until at least 11am just in case Prince Charles has a small announcement to make. The bookies have stopped taking bets, the BBC has apparently lined up enough royal experts to sink a small punt and the bunting is being freshened up and pressed as we speak. There aren't really any clues to look for other than that royal press release. So as we wait and wonder, here's a look back to the hints Harry and Meghan gave us about their royal romance which began in the summer of 2016 and is making its way to the altar as we speak. This is how we knew it was love....

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Royal Wedding Rumours: is Harry about to marry Meghan

Stand by, this is your royal engagement warning. Social media is abuzz, and I mean ayyyy-buzzzzzzzz, about Harry and Meghan showing off the sparkler soon. As in tomorrow. As in less than 24 hours away. And there are some reasons why this really might be it. Stand by for the latest royal wedding rumours, quite possibly the last instalment before we turn into Royal Wedding Countdown....

Monday, 20 November 2017

Queen's 70th Wedding Anniversary: the wedding breakfast

Let's talk cake. The 70th wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh is being celebrated with a private dinner for family and friends at Windsor Castle tonight but while they feast, we'll just get happy with a look back at what the rather substantial guest list tucked into at the royal wedding breakfast all those decades ago. We've got fish, game, fruit and a cake that is beyond legend. Hope you're hungry, here comes the royal wedding food list...

Queen's 70th Wedding Anniversary: the bridal party

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary today. They are marking the event privately, with a dinner at Windsor Castle, and one of the reasons for the lack of public celebration hinted at is that the couple feel it would remind them too much of all those they have lost. The passing of time and the fading of friends is perhaps best seen in the official photo with their wedding party. For of the eight bridesmaids who attended the Queen, just two are still alive while only one of her two cheeky pageboys is still here to celebrate with the couple he attended seventy years ago. The Duke of Edinburgh's best man, David, Marquess of Milford Haven, has also sadly passed away. The official photo of the wedding party is a reminder of those who were so loved and so important. On this special anniversary, here's a look back at the bridal party of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh....