Sunday, 18 August 2013

Princesses and the ageing process

All the future queen consorts of Europe, bar one, have now reached that big event that is their 40th birthdays.  Only Kate is still waiting for her fourth decade and as she is queen consort in waiting behind a princess consort in waiting it all gets very confusing.  So sticking with the royal women who are next in line to wear a crown - or who have just got one - who did best at marking the milestone that is turning 40?

Nine years and counting - the Duchess of Cambridge has almost a decade to go until her 40th birthday
(Tom Soper Photography)

There's one common theme among celebrations for the big day and that's a nice set of glossy photos to mark the occasion.  It's not surprising given that one of the main jobs for princes and princesses now is handling their media appearances.  And a good set of pictures is an easy way to let everyone cover the event without too much intrusion.  First to turn 40 was the new queen of the Netherlands.  Maxima was still Princess of Orange when she celebrated her fortieth in May 2011 and appeared in several official portraits including business like, in evening wear and showing off a tiara.

Maxima at 40 - one of the official photographs released to mark the then Princess of Orange's big birthday
Next on the list was Mary of Denmark who reached the milestone in February 2012 and again chose to pose in informal and formal wear.  Lots of outside shots and some posing on a desk in very worklike mode completed the set.
Future queen of Denmark, Mary Donaldson, goes for some office based photos for her 40th birthday
As in so many areas of their lives, Mary and Letizia of Spain co-incided on the 40th birthday celebrations.  Their engagements had been announced within days of one another, their weddings happened with just a week between them and baby Christian arrived a fortnight ahead of little Leonor in October 2005.  The Princess of Asturias turned 40 in September 2012 and issued a mega set of photos to mark the occasion where she posed by herself and alongside husband Felipe and their two girls.
A princess pretty in pink - Letizia in one of the photos released to mark her 40th birthday
The two princesses who were first to marry their princes were the last of the lot to turn 40.  Mathilde of Belgium married Philippe in 1999 but was the penultimate princess to make the big birthday when she celebrated her 40th anniversary in January this year.  Again there were plenty of poses to mark the day although there were criticisms about photoshopping on the images until the snapper said that there was no digital magic involved.  Her elevation to Queen of the Belgians is sure to be the bigger talking point for 2013.
One of the 40th photos for Queen Mathilde - still Duchess of Brabant at that point she was hit by criticisms of photoshopping on the snaps, denied by the photographer
And last of the ladies awaiting a crown to make 40 is Mette-Marit whose big day is August 19th 2013.  She married Haakon in 2001, almost two years after Mathilde and Philippe's wedding and six months before Maxima said 'I do.'  The photos for her big day also celebrated her husband's fortieth birthday as he made the milestone a month before his wife.  And again lots of photos of the children completed the set
Double celebrations as the Crown Prince and Princess of Norway both turn 40 in the summer of 2013
And in September 2013, the only prince consort in waiting marks his 40th birthday.  Prince Daniel of Sweden turns 40 on the same day his father-in-law, King Carl XVI Gustaf, marks his 40th anniversary as king.  That's a lot of balloons with 40 on them for Queen Silvia and Princess Victoria to get ready.

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