Monday, 31 December 2018

The A-Z of the Windsor 2018

The old year is almost done with us but as we prepare to say goodbye to 2018, there is just enough time to look back and cherish some of the standout moments of the past twelve months. And for the House of Windsor it really has been a major year. From weddings to babies and all kinds of engagements in between, 2018 will go down in the history books as a special one. As the clock ticks down to midnight, here's the Windsor A-Z of 2018...

Sunday, 30 December 2018

The A-Z of Europe's Royal 2018

It's been a busy royal year and as 2018 draws to an end, it's time to look back at the major moments that marked the regal calendar across Europe. From babies to weddings and the sad loss of familiar faces, it's been a packed twelve months. Here's Europe's royal A-Z for 2018.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

The princess winning hearts across Europe....

She's been a star since the moment she was born and Princess Estelle, future queen of Sweden, has flexed her stellar muscles again and given us the most liked photo on Europe's official royal social media accounts this year. An image of the second in line to the throne, alongside her little brother Prince Oscar, topped the hearts list on the official Instagram accounts of Europe's ruling houses for 2018.

The Royal Family's Best Loved Photo of 2018.... and Meghan's official wedding portrait. The image of the couple, taken by Alexi Lubomirski, topped the likes list on the Kensington Palace Instagram account and across all royal social media channels for 2018. And the final rundown of the Windsor winners provides an interesting insight into what royalty means today.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

The Queen tops the TV ratings

The Queen's Christmas speech has topped the TV ratings for 2018. HM's message of goodwill was watched by 6.4 million people on the big day itself when audiences on BBC, ITV and Sky (which produced this year's speech) were combined.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

The Windsor Christmas

The Windsor Christmas is well and truly under way. The Queen's Christmas Speech has been broadcast (expect it to take the top spot in the ratings) while the Royal Family has been out and about in the crisp, cool air of December 25th. In her speech, the Queen put great emphasis on the example and work of her father, King George VI, and urged people to put divisions aside. Earlier on Christmas Day, she led her family as they attended St. Mary Magdalene Church near Sandringham with large crowds turning out to wish them well. The Duke of Edinburgh and the Duchess of Cornwall were missed but it was a very Windsor celebration and one to enjoy on this happy day. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Queen Silvia of Sweden, at 75

The Queen of Sweden is 75 today. And to mark Silvia's milestone, the Swedish Royal Household has released a special portrait. And rather lovely it is, too.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Another Royal Wedding for St. George's, Windsor

The ancient royal chapel of St. George's at Windsor is to host its third wedding in twelve months. It's just been announced that Lady Gabriella Windsor, daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, will marry there in 2019.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

The Palace the Queen Leaves Behind...

Here it is, in all its winter glory, the palace the Queen is leaving behind. For Christmas, that is. The festive period is well and truly on its way as HM has hopped on the train on her way to Sandringham.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Royal Christmas Cards 2018: Europe's festive greetings

You can't beat a royal Christmas card. While the House of Windsor blitzed us with a deluge of festive greetings a few weeks ago, the ruling houses of Europe have also been sharing their celebrations with us and what a mixed bag it is this time round. There's a big surprise, a very glamourous portrait and a random holiday snap in here. Settle back and start to sparkle as Europe's royals say 'Happy Christmas'.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Royal Christmas Cards: Charles and Camilla

It's the last of the royal trinity of Christmas cards shared in mid December to a flurry of excitement. And while it may not have got quite the love that the Cambridge or Sussex cards brought in, it got plenty of admiring glances. Just like the look on Camilla's face, this festive missive is all about Charles.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Royal Christmas Cards: Harry and Meghan

Your first Christmas as a royal newlywed couple is easy when it comes to the card. You do wedding. Usually something previously unseen and definitely romantic. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are no different. Harry and Meghan's first Christmas card as a married couple is all about that magical day in May.

Royal Christmas Cards 2018: Kate, William and the kids

He might be the youngest of the family but Louis is king in the Cambridge family Christmas card. The littlest prince (for now, his Sussex cousin might well claim that crown come spring time) is grabbing all the looks in his family's festive greetings which have been released by Kensington Palace just ahead of the festive season.

Royal Birthday Portraits, 2018 style

You can't beat a royal birthday portrait and December is a rather good month for them. It's almost as if the ruling houses of Europe decide to treat us to some extra pressies, some softly lit and gently focused images that can act as pre Christmas gifts to those of us who find the whole idea of royalty as intriguing as it's ever been. We've already had teenage debuts, cute pre schoolers and a glamourous princess and a little aperitif ahead of this month's top royal celebrations, the 75th birthday of Queen Silvia of Sweden. You need cake for this. Let's get ready to party with royal birthday portraits, 2018 style.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Royal Christmas: St Lucia's Day

Estelle brought the traditional saffron buns but her brother stole the show. St Lucia's Day, one of the most special parts of the Christmas countdown in Sweden, is usually celebrated by the country's royal family with the women taking the lead. But this year, Prince Oscar is winning all the smiles with his participation.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Royal weddings, royal babies and Meghan Markle

The purists will tell you that her name is now HRH the Duchess of Sussex but in real life, MM still rules. Meghan Markle was the most googled name in the UK last year which tells us two things. Firstly, old habits die hard and secondly, we just love to talk about the royals.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

All the Queen's Christmas Trees: Buckingham Palace

The Christmas decorations are well and truly sparkling at Buckingham Palace as the final countdown to Christmas gets under way. The trees are trimmed, the baubles are up and the most famous royal residence around is ready for its festive close up.

Meghan's surprise for her wedding dress designer

The Duchess of Sussex surprised the woman behind her most famous gown at the British Fashion Awards in London on Monday. Meghan took to the stage to hand over the title of ‘Best Designer Womenswear’ to Claire Waight Keller of Givenchy who created her celebrated wedding dress.

Monday, 10 December 2018

All the Queen's Christmas Trees: Windsor Castle

It's the star of all the royal Christmas trees, the one to really marvel at. The tree at Windsor Castle shines and sparkles like no other and this year is no exception. Welcome to the most glittering of all the Queen's Christmas trees.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

All the Queen's Christmas Trees: Kensington Palace

It might be more closely associated with other members of her Royal Family right now, but Kensington Palace can still lay claim to links with the Queen. And to keep in the spirit of the festive trees and garlands decking her other regal homes, the tree at KP is well and truly sparkling.

Friday, 7 December 2018

All the Queen's Christmas Trees: Holyroodhouse Palace

Regal red dominates this year's Christmas decorations at Holyroodhouse Palace. The Queen's official home in Scotland has been decked with trees and garlands dominated by scarlet as the festive season gets under way.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Kate and William's Christmas Spirit

Christmas is all about family and the royal version has been putting mums, dads and kids at the heart of its first festive party. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted two days of celebrations this week to bring some seasonal cheer to families who will be separated over Christmas. And Kate and William had some special words, as well as some fun and games, for those they partied with in London and Cyprus as the season of goodwill to all got under way.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Sparkle at the Palace as Christmas season gets under way

It wasn't just the Christmas trees sparkling at Buckingham Palace last night. The Queen held the annual Diplomatic Corps reception on December 4th 2018 which means diamonds aplenty and more glitter on top of that, too. Guests also got a glimpse of the gorgeous Christmas trees at the palace and we got more than we bargained for as the royal social media channels shared plenty of snaps of the reception in action (rather than the one formal posed image we usually see). Settle down, it's tiara time.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Royal Wedding Spotlight: Mathilde of the Belgians' bridal bouquet

When Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz married Philippe of Belgium on December 4th 1999, she didn't just bag herself a king in waiting, she also set a new world record for biggest ever bridal bouquet. It still stands. This isn't a posy, it's a forest and the poor woman must have had biceps to die for after spending a day lugging that thing about.

Monday, 3 December 2018

A Queen's Christmas: Eleanor's special day

Christmas 1166 was one to celebrate for one of England's most celebrated queens. Eleanor of Aquitaine was at the height of her powers, one of the most important people in Europe with political influence and cultural kudos that few could match. And as the festive season got under way, she also had a very personal reason to celebrate. For on Christmas Eve 1166, Eleanor gave birth to a son.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

December's Royal Brides

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.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

A Queen's Christmas: the first televised speech

The countdown to Christmas is under way. The bells are jingling, the tinsel is tinseling and it's time to get festive. Yes, there will be sparkle and season's greetings and plenty of royal Christmas trees here over the coming weeks but there's also going to be a December special. I called this blog 'Queens of England' because I am totally fascinated by the amazing women who have held that role. So in the run up to Christmas, every day will focus on a festive season that was special or stand out for a Queen of England. And first of all, it's the present Queen and the day she made history by broadcasting to the nation on TV.

George H. W. Bush: a President and the Windsors

George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States of America, has died. He was 94. President Bush was in charge of the White House between 1989 and 1993 and also served as Vice President to Ronald Reagan between 1981 and 1989. And during his time in office, as you would expect, he had plenty of brushes with royalty. The man now being remembered for his diplomacy, strength of character and determination spent years at the highest levels of power and during that time, entertained the Queen and her family several times. Here's a look back at some of President Bush Senior's most famous meetings with the House of Windsor.

December's Royal Birthdays

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.....