Friday, 26 May 2017

Belgium's royals and political debuts


The art of being royal can be tricky sometimes in the 21st century. Part of the mystique is the unchanging nature of the institution but to remain the same when everything else is different is a challenge. We want modern royals to be in touch with how people feel but we also want silent, elegant figureheads who do the whole smile and wave without causing, well, waves. So let's take a moment to appreciate the King and Queen of the Belgians who this week took on a headline grabbing couple of days and sailed through them with flying colours. This is what happened when Philippe and Mathilde met the President of the United States of America.

State Sparklers: Netherlands Diplomatic Corps Dinner


It wasn't just the glassware that was sparkling in Amsterdam on May 23rd 2017. The Dutch Royal Family hosted the annual Diplomatic Corps Dinner at the Royal Palace and brought out some of their grandest and glittery tiaras. Pearls, diamonds and emeralds were all on the menu - settle back and enjoy the sparklers worn by the royal women of the Netherlands at this important. yearly event.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Queen visits Manchester (updated)




The Queen has visited Manchester today to meet some of those injured in Monday's bomb attack. The Queen spent time with some of those still being treated at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital this morning and told them that the bomber was 'very wicked'. The bomb went off at the end of a concert by Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena. Twenty two people were killed, many of them children and young people.

State Dinner Sparklers: Luxembourg welcomes Portugal


The Portuguese State Visit to Luxembourg might not be the highest profile royal event of recent weeks but it's packing sparkly punch. Once we'd all stopped wondering why Stephanie has taken to holding her increasingly large clutch bags in front of her tummy over the past week or so, we got down to some serious diamond counting. There were no big surprises but plenty of stones - here are the State Dinner Sparklers when Luxembourg welcomed Portugal.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Royal Wedding Dresses: Princess Marie of Denmark


The royal wedding of Prince Joachim and Marie Cavallier might have been relatively low key but that didn't mean a full on white frock and tiara were out of the question. When Joachim and Marie said 'I do' on May 24th 2008, we got a lace confection with diamonds and train. Here's a look back at the dress worn by Marie of Denmark on the day she became a princess.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Royal Response to Manchester (updated)


The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh pay tribute to the 22 people killed in the Manchester bomb attack 

The Queen has, this afternoon, led thousands of people in a minute's silence to remember those killed in the Manchester bomb attack. The silent tribute took place at the Buckingham Palace Garden Party. Joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Princess Eugenie of York, the Queen bowed her head to remember the 22 people killed on May 22nd 2017 by a bomber as they enjoyed an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

Emeralds for May: Sweden

Sofia of Sweden in her emerald tiara

If there's one thing a royal bride need, it's a tiara. And like many a royal bride before her in the last twenty years or so, Sofia had none to call her own. So she got one as a gift instead. That wasn't where the party stopped. Sofia's wedding tiara was topped with emeralds meaning Sweden finally got a modern green gem of a diadem to call its own. Here are Emeralds for May, Swedish style.

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 royalcourt.no/ 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.