Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Amethysts for February

Let's end the month with a bit of sparkle. Today, we're talking amethysts. It's the birthstone for February and it's also usually purple which is as about as regal as it gets. Despite that, however, it's never been a truly popular gem in royal collections especially when it comes to tiaras. But then, purple is a mourning colour and past royals tended to keep amethysts for periods of grieving. That's not to say there's no purple to be seen anywhere in modern royal jewel collections. Let's just call it quality over quantity as we enjoy the purple of the modern reigns....

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Royal Engagement Rings: Diana, Kate....that sapphire...

We first saw it 37 years ago today. Now it's one of the most famous pieces of royal jewellery, ever. The sapphire and diamond ring that sparkled on the finger of Lady Diana Spencer as her engagement to the Prince of Wales was announced on this day in 1981 has a place in regal history all of its own. It sparkled on the day Diana debuted in royal circles and it's still making headlines today.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Billy Graham on his royal friendship

Billy Graham, who has died at the age of 99, was one of the best known preachers of the 20th century but one very important friendship was kept discreetly low key. In his later years, he wrote about it on his own website and in the past few months it's been debated once more after being included in series 2 of The Crown. As the world remembers Billy Graham, let's remember his friendship with the Queen.

Royal Wedding Guests: William and Kate

Not long to wait now to find out who is getting one of the most sought after envelopes of the year. The invitations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's marriage on May 19th 2018 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor are going out soon as discussion continues as to who might have made the guest list. One of the questions that keeps coming up is whether we'll see other royals at the wedding and, if so, who. A tricky one to call right now so instead let's take a look back at William and Kate's wedding when Westminster Abbey was buzzing with European regal relatives. It's April 29th 2011, it's Westminster Abbey, it's the royal guest list for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's marriage, it's time to get glitzy.....

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

True Royal Romance

Let's close the day with a gesture of true love that will sing for years to come. As Prince Henrik of Denmark was laid to rest, he had one final moment of romance for his wife of 50 years, Queen Margrethe II. As she walked into the church where she would say her final farewell to her husband. she found the wreaths arranged as a ''blooming garden'' - on Henrik's instructions. On their wedding day, the prince had spoken of his new home as that garden and his bride, always known to her family as Daisy, as the most beautiful flower of all. Henrik, the poet prince, made sure his queen knew how loved she was by him right to the very end.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Should Kate have worn black to the BAFTAs?

Should Kate have worn black to the Baftas? That's the royal question on everyone's mind today after the Duchess of Cambridge chose green for the British film industry's biggest night of the year. Ordinarily, that wouldn't raise an eyebrow but in a year when wearing black has become a public statement of solidarity with the Time's Up movement, all kinds of shade are being thrown on colour choice.

Royal Wedding Style: the Queen's Colours

There are plenty of style questions waiting to be answered at the Royal Weddings of Windsor this year and while what the brides might wear is clearly top of all the fashion need to knows, what the Queen will choose is right up there, too. We know there will be a hat, we know there will be a sensible handbag, what we don't know is the colour. But we've got form to go on from previous royal weddings. Tomorrow, I'm looking at the outfits the Queen wore to her own children's weddings but today it's a glance at the style statements from her grandchildren's marriages being as that's the camp Harry and Eugenie fall into. There may even be a clue or two here as to what to expect from the Queen at the Royal Weddings of 2018....

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Royal Wedding Venue: Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, London has been the location for some of the most famous royal marriages in history
(photo credit: vgm8583 via Flickr)

Westminster Abbey is probably the most famous royal wedding location around thanks to the marriage there in 2011 of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But while Wills and Kate were walking in historic footsteps as they traipsed down the aisle as royal husband and wife, the links between regal marriage and the abbey are sporadic to say the least. There was a gap of five centuries between royal weddings at this famous church and it's reputation as a marriage venue for kings, queens, princes and princesses owes a lot to the House of Windsor. It all starts with a very confident bride indeed....

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Tributes to Prince Henrik of Denmark

Flowers in the snow lie like a path to the heart of the matter. Tributes continue to come in for Prince Henrik of Denmark who died on February 13th 2018 at the age of 83. The consort of Queen Margrethe II may have been sometimes controversial in life but as people come to pay their respects, what is being celebrated is his vitality, his range of talents and his devotion to his monarch and his adopted country.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

10 Royal Wedding Kisses for Valentine's Day

Kate and William on the way back to Buckingham Palace chat about whether they should do the whole kiss not was ever an option

On Valentine's Day, everyone needs a bit of romance and what could be more romantic than the first kiss of a handsome prince and his beautiful princess?  The wedding day snog has become a royal tradition just about everywhere and Valentine's is perhaps the best moment to remember some of the most romantic royal kisses - little looks of love that promise so much.

Prince Henrik, the Charming Consort

As Denmark loses its consort and Queen Margrethe her beloved husband, a look back at the life of the prince who wanted to be king.

Prince Henrik of Denmark has died

Prince Henrik of Denmark has died. The consort of Queen Margrethe II passed away on February 13th 2018 at 23.18 at Fredensborg Castle. He was 83years old.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Prince Henrik goes home

More sad news from Denmark this afternoon as the Royal Court announced that Prince Henrik had left hospital for his home at Fredensborg Castle where he will spend his last days. It follows a week in which the prince's health took a turn for the worse.

Royal Wedding Tiaras: Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg

Maria Teresa of Luxembourg on her wedding day

Every royal bride needs a tiara and even when they don't have one to call their own they can usually rely on a soon to be regal relative to find something they can borrow for their big day. That's exactly what happened to Maria Teresa de Mestre when she married the then Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1981 and walked into the Cathedral of Notre Dame wearing a tiara lent to her by the woman about to become her mother-in-law. It wasn't just a dash of sparkle, it was a family tradition in the making for the Congo Diamond Tiara worn by the royal bride that day had been used by her husband's mother for her own marriage almost thirty years earlier.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Royal Wedding Reception: St. George's Hall

This is where the party gets started. St. George's Hall at Windsor Castle is the venue chosen for the wedding reception for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19th 2018. It lies at the very heart of Windsor Castle and while it looks the very picture of medieval magnificence, all is not exactly as it seems. It's time to meet one of the stars of the first Royal Wedding of 2018.....

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

We know the date, we know the place, now we got us the times. The schedule for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding has been revealed and it's a case of high noon for this pair of royal lovebirds. Here's what you need to know about the day Harry weds Meghan...

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Royal Wedding Flowers lily of the valley

Let's talk flowers, it's August after all. Lily-of-the-valley has been used in two of the most famous royal wedding bouquets of the last sixty years. The tiny flower with its big scent was a feature in Kate Middleton's posy when she walked into Westminster Abbey to become Duchess of Cambridge while six decades earlier, Grace Kelly had used this flower alone in her bouquet. If you want to get the lace and loveliness vibe of these two famous royal brides, then lily of the valley is the way to go.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Royal Wedding: Victoria and Albert

It's one of the most famous royal weddings of all time and it took place #otd in 1840. Queen Victoria, the young monarch who had already shown she knew what she wanted and how to get it, wed her first cousin and one true love, Prince Albert, in a marriage that would make history. Here's what you need to know about this very royal wedding.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Prince Henrik of Denmark is seriously ill

There is sad news this morning about the husband of Queen Margrethe of Denmark. The health of Prince Henrik has taken a turn for the worse and the couple's elder son, Crown Prince Frederik, is currently flying back from Seoul to be with his family.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

February Royal Brides: a Quartet of Historic Weddings

The most romantic royal wedding of all? Queen Victoria was a February bride to her beloved Albert

St Valentine's Day might be the feast of lovers but finding a royal couple happy to say 'I do' in this chilly month can be hard work. However, some regal lovebirds have been brave enough to get the bunting and bling out in February and ended up starring in some of the best known royal weddings in history. In this month of lovers, here are four historic royal brides for February.

Royal Wedding Dresses: Queen Victoria

This famous portrait of Queen Victoria in her wedding dress by Franz Xaver Winthalter was actually painted in 1847 as an anniversary present for Prince Albert
(picture Wiki Commons)

It's one of the most famous royal wedding dresses of all but very hard to define. The gown worn by Queen Victoria on February 10th 1840 at St James' Palace to marry her already beloved Albert is credited with making white weddings top of every stylish bride's wish list but try and describe it and you might just come a cropper. Of course, there are no photos (well, possibly but that's a whole other great big royal row) and artist's impressions are often just that - an idea or ideal. So what do we know about one of the most famous wedding dresses ever made?

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

The Queen's Accession Day


The Queen is marking 66 years on the throne today. Elizabeth II became monarch on February 6th 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI. It was the end of one brilliant reign and the start of another.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Royal Weddings Guests: the Danish princess and her regal godmother

Amidst all the rows about who will and won't be invited to the Royal Wedding on May 19th 2018 are lots of discussions about protocol, past practice and precedent. But if there's one thing you can expect from a royal wedding - apart from a big white dress, a sparkling tiara and at least one guest dressed in what looks like a Quality Street wrapper - it's a surprise or three. Rewind to February 1968 and the photo album of the wedding of Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and you might well be shocked to see a former empress sitting in the front row. After all, Benedikte was very much the spare in this royal family and yet she counted on the presence of a very royal guest - Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Royal Wedding Tiaras: Maxima of the Netherlands

The tiara is a pretty major part of any royal bride's wedding look but when you're walking down the aisle to marry a future king and become a queen in waiting yourself, it takes on a whole new dimension. When Maxima Zorreguieta married the then Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands on February 2nd 2002, she became the first woman in over a century to be in line to become queen consort of the country. She was also the star turn in a hugely popular royal wedding and she and her fiance had captured plenty of hearts with their regal love story and general all round happiness. So it was no wonder that stars featured in Maxima's tiara.  She chose a diadem with plenty of history but made it all her own in a way that would form the basis for her very confident sense of style. Here's her royal wedding tiara....

October Royal Brides: the club that's about to welcome Eugenie

A rather exclusive club is about to get a new member. Princess Eugenie of York will wed Jack Brooksbank on October 12th 2018 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor and so become the latest royal bride to say 'I do' in this autumnal month. It's not the most popular month for a wedding so Eugenie joins a select band of brides with links to British royalty who have married in October. Here's the chapter of history she'll be adding her own name to....

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Royal Wedding Dresses: Princess Benedikte of Denmark

Fifty years ago today a rather special royal wedding took place in Denmark. The bride, Benedikte, was the second daughter of the country's King and Queen while the groom, Richard, was the latest in a line of princes who traced their history back for centuries. Benedikte's big sister, heir to the throne Margrethe, had married just a year earlier while their baby sibling, Anne Marie, had become Queen of Greece at her own wedding in 1964. But while this wasn't the biggest wedding in the family, it had all the glitter we'd expect from a royal event including a rather lovely bridal gown. Here's a look at Benedikte of Denmark's wedding dress....

February Royal Brides - a hat trick

Spot the bride - Willem-Alexander and Maxima of the Netherlands on their wedding day
(official photo)

February isn't necessarily the most popular month to get married. It is cold, it can be snowy and wet and windy and all those things a bride doesn't dream of on her wedding day. But on the plus side, you're never likely to encounter date clash - no one else will be asking people along to their big day then so you have the marriage party to yourself. Royal brides aren't really that different - it's rare to get a royal wedding in February. But that's not to say that those couples who do choose to tie the not in this heart of winter month don't do so in spectacular style. Here are 3 modern royal February brides.

#RoyalVisitNorway: ski jumping to the end

They started with sport and ended with sport. All very circular. As #RoyalVisitNorway came to an end, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge headed to one of the best known ski-ing spots in Europe and put a snowy seal on their five days in Scandinavia. Here's how William and Kate in Norway came to an end....

Friday, 2 February 2018

Royal Wedding Number 2 of 2018 is on....

.....October 12th. The date that Princess Eugenie of York will marry Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel, Windsor has been confirmed by her proud dad, Prince Andrew.

#RoyalVisitNorway: winter wonderland

It started with snow and ended with sparkle and all wrapped up with a rather cosy family feel. The first day of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Norway saw them hook up with their nearest royal relatives on the continent and have a pretty marvellous time while they were at it. Welcome to William and Kate's winter wonderland....

Thursday, 1 February 2018

February's Royal Birthdays

Stand by everyone, it's February, it's birthday time and that can mean only one thing - it's epic. There are so many to get through, you need to start on the cake now just to keep the energy levels up to make it all the way to the end. We've got a king, a Crown Princess and a queen in waiting all lining up to celebrate so get ready to party, royal style. It's going to be exhausting.

#RoyalVisitNorway: the past trips

So long Sweden and howdy Oslo. William and Kate are wrapping up the first part of their Scandinavian tour and heading to Norway. They arrive there on the morning of February 1st for a two day visit that will include a royal gala dinner, a visit to a famous ski resort and a focus on culture. Lovely. They are following in plenty of regal footsteps as Norway's royals have swapped visits with the House of Windsor on plenty of occasions since Elizabeth II took the throne in 1952. The Cambridges aren't on a State Visit but don't worry, there are plenty of those to look back on already. Here's a glance at the past royal trips between Norway and the UK.....