Thursday, 30 April 2015

Harry's quiet night out

So now we really know that the party prince belongs to history. Harry of Wales has been spotted out and about in Australia on a rare night off in his four week attachment to the Army there and enjoyed his two hour meal by sipping on mineral water. He refused VIP treatment, had a great time and made himself super popular with the other people in the restaurant. Harry can't help doing things right.

Prince Harry has been spotted eating out in Perth

Harry popped into The Stables Bar in the city where he was seen eating with other soldiers. And the bar's manager later told newspapers that although he had prepared the VIP area for the royal, Harry refused to sit there and chose a table slap bang in the middle of the bar.

Everyone loves Harry. Again. The popular prince just won more fans

Harry was snapped - from quite a distance - sipping his mineral water and eating pork belly as well as chatting happily to his companions. And he kept everything so low key that his fellow diners were pretty impressed that eating their supper next to the man who is fourth in line to the throne, for now, was such a calm and quiet experience.

Captain Harry Wales during his first fortnight with the Australian Defence Force in images released by the Army

Harry will stay in Australia for another ten days to complete his training with the country's Defence Force, On May 9th he will leave for New Zealand where he will carry out a week long tour before heading home. And who knows, baby Cambridge might even have arrived by then. On the other hand...

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Kate, the bride, four years on

Every single time Kensington Palace tweets, the world goes quite literally royal baby crazy. The announcement that Kate is in labour will come via social media followed by a press release so every little 140 characters or less from @KensingtonRoyal is seen as possibly heralding the start of the arrival of the littlest Cambridge. And today the digital media masters in this palace have been at it again, sending not one but to tweets - to mark the fourth wedding anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

As part of its Twitter celebrations it has shared two videos of the Royal Wedding including the moment that Catherine Elizabeth Middleton walked down the aisle to become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. And while many were thinking a little princess of Cambridge might be the star of the royal Twitter account today it turns out that honour belongs to the mother of the family. Four years on, four years strong. Happy Anniversary to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Kate in the driving seat

After a day of speculation that the Duchess of Cambridge was about to give birth there was only one person who could provide a definitive answer either way and she did it in style. Kate hopped into her very large car to drive Prince George the very short distance to the Buckingham Palace swimming pool and back and by taking the wheel she took control of a very excitable situation. Mrs Cambridge is back in the driving seat.

Here she is, definitely not on her way to hospital - The Duchess of Cambridge heads out on April 28th 2015

All through the day there had been talk of Kate being snuck in back doors, underground doors and front doors while waiting fans were diverted but by teatime photos obtained by the Daily Mail told otherwise. The mummy to be had put her feet up, taken them back down so George could go swimming in great granny's pool then put them back up again leaving a set of photos to show that she wasn't about to give birth anytime soon.

The Duchess is now thought to be around four days overdue with baby number two and speculation really has reached fever pitch that the new fourth in line to the throne is about to make their debut. Mums to be are usually not allowed to go any more than 14 days over which means baby Cambridge will definitely be here in ten days time - but the big question remains when?

The Duchess of Cambridge is due any day now

Only Mother Nature and mummy Kate know that one. The Duchess drove herself and George through crowds at Buckingham Palace although confirmation she had done so only came with the photos. Which just shows that as speculation takes over, Kate remains firmly in the driving seat.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Kate's coffee run

The world of Twitter has been, well, all atwitter for most of today with repeated rumours that the royal baby wait is almost over. First there were royal protection officers spotted at the Lindo Wing then an ambulance with an escort whizzed through central London then there were reports of a helicopter hovering nearby the spot where mini Cambridge will be born. But while none of these turned into hard and fast reports of labour, one fact has emerged from the constant watching of St Mary's. Kate has done a coffee run.

Kate and William are still waiting for baby number two to arrive

To be precise, she and her husband sent coffee and croissants to some of the royal superfans camped nearby to get the best spot for the eventual emergence with royal baby in arms to 'let them know we are thinking about them'.


 The food, wrapped in very bright pink ribbon, was much appreciated and pretty soon images of men and women wearing all kinds of union jacks while eating croissants began to appear. And it made William and Kate very popular indeed, and not just with the people who got cake. The general consensus was it is a rather lovely thing to have done and shows their appreciation of those who support them and their family.

So expect extra loud cheers when the Cambridges do finally emerge from hospital with their new baby. Their fans loved them already but when Kate does a coffee run, things go to an all new high.

Willem-Alexander makes it King's Day

Last year it was called King's Day for the first time but it will still held on Queen's Day. In 2015, Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands rang the changes and moved this big Dutch holiday to his own birthday. April 27th 2015 marked the debut of King's Day.

The King of the Netherlands greets the crowds on his special day accompanied by his wife and daughters

The traditional celebrations, a national holiday in the Netherlands, were held on April 30th because that was Queen Juliana's birthday. When she abdicated in favour of her daughter, Beatrix, the date remained unchanged as the new monarch's birthday was January 31st and the weather was never going to be favourable then. Beatrix stepped aside on Queen's Day 2013 and in 2014 her son kept the celebrations on the usual day. But as an April baby himself, this year Willem-Alexander moved the big day to his own big day, April 27th, and got a new party started.

An official portrait of the King and Queen of the Netherlands with the Princess of Orange and Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane on King's Day 2015

The day began with an official photo for the royals with the king, Queen Maxima and their three daughters all smiles at the start of a long day. This year the celebrations were held in Dordrecht and included a boat trip through the canals where the royals passed a parade of old and new boats.

Royals on a boat - the King and Queen of the Netherlands enjoy the start of King's Day 2015

They then attended a concert as part of the ongoing Bach Festival and while sitting in the audience did a bit of photography themselves, holding up tablets to get shots of the crowds behind them, and later during a walkabout, Willem-Alexander and Maxima posed for a selfie with Prince Maurits.

The king and queen then toured the Scheffersplein where local businesses had put on stalls and the royals were seen admiring cakes and trying local drinks as they enjoyed the day. The festivities ended with a party.

And so Willem-Alexander has made his own mark on a traditional celebration. He is the first King of the Netherlands in over one hundred years and now he has made the annual festivities all his own as well. Welcome to the world of King's Day.

And you can see more photos from King's Day 2015 by clicking on the link below

King's Day 2015 - in pictures

It really was King's Day in 2015 as the annual festivities took place on April 27th, Willem-Alexander's birthday.

Last year, the new monarch had celebrated on April 30th - the date always kept by his mother and grandmother as Queen's Day. But the first man to wear his country's crown for over a century moved everything for his second year in charge and quite a party was had by all at the celebrations in Dordrecht. Here are some of the best images of King's Day 2015.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Leonore's first big audience

It's her first official audience and although she's only fourteen months old, Princess Leonore of Sweden made sure it was a good one. She donned her best gold shoes and headed to the Vatican with her mum, dad and granny for a meeting with Pope Francis I. That's right, the toddler princess has shaken hands with the Pontiff.

Princess Leonore of Sweden meets Pope Francis I on April 27th 2015 at the Vatican

Leonore was in Rome with her grandmother, Queen Silvia, her mother, Princess Madeleine, and her father, Chris O'Neill, as the grown ups attend a very serious conference indeed. Silvia and Madeleine are there to take part in a seminar on trafficking and as part of that two day event, the queen was presented with The European Humanitate Prize, which she accepted at an event at the German Embassy on Sunday night. And then on Monday morning all four of them headed to the Vatican to meet the Pope.

Queen Silvia with the prize she was given at the German Embassy on Sunday 26th April 2015

The royal family were received by the Pope with Madeleine holding her daughter as she was introduced to Francis I. And then while Queen Silvia sat with the Pope for their audience, Leonore ended up on granny's lap and seemed to get on famously with Francis, even if at one point she did pop her newly acquired Papal medal into her mouth, as toddlers do.

Pleased to meet you - Princess Leonore of Sweden with Pope Francis I 

Following the audience, Silvia and Madeleine took part in the seminar which had a special focus on the human trafficking of children and which included a keynote address by the queen. The seminar, held in the Vatican, takes its lead from the Pope's New Year speech where he described human trafficking as a modern day slave trade. The Swedish Royal Family will later attend a dinner at their country's embassy in Rome with the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon. And while Leonore will be tucked up in bed way before then, there's little doubt that this little princess has been the star of this big day for her family.

Baby Cambridge - what we know so far

The Great Kate Wait goes on and while it does the little prince or princess who is about to make their debut in the world is fast becoming one of the most talked about people on the planet. Before they've even arrived, there's plenty of informjation about Royal Baby Number Two and as we seemingly have several more days to fill in before the littlest royal in Europe arrives here's a round up of what we already know about the boy or girl probably not born to rule.

The expectant parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The baby is due to be born at the Lindo Wing, a private section of St Mary's Hospital in London where Prince George made his debut and where Prince William and Prince Harry were also born. Princess Anne had her two children, Peter and Zara, there as well. Its dark wooden door and cool white stone surround is already one of the most famous hospital views in the world and you can expect to see plenty of images of it in the coming days as the world waits for baby Cambridge number two. Parking restrictions have been in place there since April 15th and the world's media aren't allowed to take up their places until the duchess is already admitted and in her private suite.

The hospital which is about to welcome the new royal baby to the world has a strong pedigree in regal births

The birth will be announced in a very traditional and very modern manner. Once the Queen, the Prince of Wales and other family members have heard the happy news a briefcase with the information locked away in it will be taken from the hospital to Buckingham Palace where a typewritten statement will be placed on an easel in the main courtyard for everyone to see. But the royal birth will also be announced on Twitter via the official channel of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge @kensingtonroyal. Expect a retweet record.

Kensington Palace will tweet the announcement of the royal baby's birth

Born to be spare, the new prince or princess of Cambridge will be fourth in line to the throne from the moment of their birth. Prince Harry will drop to number five in the line of succession (something he seems very happy about given his responses to reporters a few months ago) while Princess Anne, the last daughter of a British monarch to lose out to brothers in the line of succession, will now be twelfth - in the early years of her mother's reign she was number two.

Harry of Wales will soon drop one place in the line of succession

Just about everyone is convinced that Kate's baby is a girl. Quite possibly the result of wishful thinking, the odds on girls' names far outstrip those on monikers for princes with the bookies. But regardless of gender, this little royal of Cambridge won't ever lose out to a future sibling when it comes to the line of succession. Changes to the rules mean there will be no leapfrogging so a princess born to Kate and William can't ever be overtaken by a younger brother when it comes to the queue for the throne.

Princess Anne was overtaken in the line of succession by younger brother Prince Edward but even if Kate and William's baby is a girl she won't ever lose out to a younger boy following a rule change

We'll get to meet them fairly quickly. If all goes well then the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to bring their new baby home around twenty four hours after the birth. Which means that Kate, William and their new mini us will appear on the steps of the Lindo Wing before a crowd of thousands the day after the Duchess gives birth. And just as last time they surprised us all with a lovely little chat before heading home, we can expect a few words from the exhausted parents as they make their way back to Kensington Palace.  Normally, big brothers and sisters don't accompany mum and dad on this big occasion so we probably won't see George at this particular press call.

Chances are we won't see George with his parents and new sibling as they all leave hospital

But there will be an official photograph not long afterwards which will no doubt star George as well as the new baby. And if 2013 is anything to go by then Lupo, the family pet, will also join the Cambridges as they make their debut as a family of four. George's first official photographs caused some controversy as they were taken by granddad Michael Middleton and were far more informal than previous portraits of new babies. Might it be grandpa Charles' turn to take the official snaps of the new baby?

Hello world - the first official portrait of Prince George of Cambridge with his parents

Kate and William kept us all guessing about George's name for another few hours after quitting hospital with him in 2013 and then surprised us all by trimming back the traditional four to three names so we can expect the new baby to have the name number. And if it is a girl and she is called Alice as everyone seems to be expecting then bookies stand to lose tens of thousands of pounds in payouts.

Will a new princess be named after her great, great grandmother Princess Alice of Battenbeurg?

Prince George will change from baby of the family to big brother when little Cambridge arrives and there will be a gap of twenty one months between the two siblings. It's about average for a royal gap - there are 27 months between William and Harry and 21 months between Charles and Anne.

William and Harry are 27 months apart in age

Kate will have some very familiar faces helping her bring her second child into the world.Kate's medical team is made up of many of the same experts who delivered Prince George on July 22nd 2013.  Consultants Guy Thorpe-Beeston and Alan Farthing will be on hand as Kate gives birth. In 2013 the team was led by Sir Marcus Setchell who has since retired.

Kate will have some familiar faces nearby as she becomes a mother for the second time

And just when royal baby mania has subsided wait for it all to start again around three months later when the latest royal christening takes place. There are far more unknowns about this one although if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge follow the pattern they started with George it will be held at St James' Palace in London and the godparents will be secret until the last minute. However, with baby Cambridge number two arriving in late spring, a potential christening date is in the summer meaning another royal residence might be called upon depending where the family are. And as Kate and William are setting up home in Norfolk, a Sandringham baptism might just be on the cards.

The christening of George Alexander Louis of Cambridge at St James' Palace in London

And pretty soon we will know much more about Baby Cambridge Number Two as they make their way into the world. 

The Great Kate Wait goes on

Most people thought we'd know by now. Ever since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced their second pregnancy, there's been a general consensus that the baby would be born in April and by the time May was hovering on the horizon there would be a new fourth in line to the throne. Instead, the Great Kate Wait goes on. And even the papers have stopped putting it on their front page as they run out of things to say.

Still a bump - Kate in her second pregnancy

Kate made the front of the Express on both Saturday and Sunday but as Monday morning dawned there just wasn't enough to say to justify putting the duchess photo there to entice readers in. In fact, over the weekend Kate was pretty much honours even with Prince Harry when it came to front pages after Captain Wales came back from Australia briefly and hit the front of The Herald in an image showing him paying tribute on the 100th anniversary of the start of the Gallipoli campaigns.

The Sunday Express was the only national to feature the Duchess of Cambridge on its front page 

By the end of the week all that will be very different. Kate is now several days overdue according to most estimations and as well as Mother Nature having something to say about that, there's a good chance her doctors will suggest getting things moving as well. Fans are already gathering at the Lindo Wing ahead of the big exit with baby number two while the world's media is hovering just waiting for the all clear to take up their positions - no one is allowed anywhere near until she is admitted in labour. But for now, everyone including the duchess, remains on the Great Kate Wait.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Royals on social media

Europe's royals have had a busy week with all the reigning houses packing plenty into their agendas and a certain baby Cambridge sitting tight while the world became increasingly interested in their arrival date. In fact, an announcement of a new prince or princess was about the only thing not shared on an official royal social media account this week so to round it all up, here's Royals on Social Media...

Cake and concerts

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima headed to Zwolle to help celebrate the Long Live festival which highlights the work of volunteers around the Netherlands. There were lots of people at the party and a huge cake to feed them all and after the kind had cut the first slice he started handing it round - images were shared on the official Facebook page of the Dutch Royal Family.

She was the star of the show the week before and she came close to stealing it this time round as well. After her birthday celebrations, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark  hopped over to Sweden where she joined King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia as well as the President of Finland, Sauli Niinisto, at a festival at the Stockholm Concert Hall celebrating the work of Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen. Images of the concert were shared on the official Swedish Royal Family Facebook page.

We will remember them

There were more commemorations for those lost in war during the week with the British Royal Family remembering those who fought at Gallipoli - the 100th anniversary of the start of that campaign was marked on April 25th 2015. The Queen laid a wreath at the Cenotaph before heading to a memorial service at Westminster Abbey. The British Monarch Twitter feed shared images.

King Philippe of the Belgians laid a wreath in memory of those killed by poison gases as the 100th anniversary of the first use of toxic gases in World War One was marked. Images of the king's act of commemoration were shared by the Monarchie Belge Twitter account.

Just one look...

That's all it took to tell us of the special bond between these royal couples. The Crown Prince and Princess of Norway headed to the research vessel, Lance, which is frozen in Arctic ice to find out more about its work on the environment. There were lots of photos of the couple enjoying the cold weather shared on the official Royal Household Facebook page but it was one of them holding hands in the Arctic cold that made everyone go 'aah'.

Prince Charles and Prince Harry were in Turkey in the week to take part in commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the Gallopoli campaigns. It was a poignant occcasion but during one lighter moment father and son were caught sharing a smile and the photo was an instant hit when it was shared on the official Clarence House Instagram account.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Seven degrees of Alice separation

If just about everyone in the world is right and baby Cambridge is a girl called Alice then she will begin her life by costing the bookies around £50,000 in payouts. Not bad going for a newborn. The name Alice has been a hot favourite for a couple of months now, interesting for a kind of semi royal name which has - so far - hung around the edges of royal life rather than being truly centre stage.

Just about everyone seems convinced Kate is having a girl named Alice

If William and Kate's baby is a girl called Alice she will be seven generations on from the first woman to bear the name, in its modern form, in Britain's Royal Family. Here's how baby Cambridge number two, a possible Alice, is linked to that first woman - the great, great, great, great grandmother of Prince George and his sibling.

1.  Princess Alice of Great Britain

The royal woman who started it all off was born on April 25th 1843 at Buckingham Palace and christened Alice Maud Mary on June 2nd that year. The third child, and second daughter, of Queen Victoria is said to have been given her name to please Lord Melbourne who had been her mother's first Prime Minister and who is said to have loved that name.

Still the most famous Princess Alice, for now

Until the current rush of interest in her first name, Princess Alice was best known for her kind nature, devotion to children and charity and the sad fact that she was the first of Victoria's nine children to die. Alice had married Louis of Hesse in 1862 as her family was in deep mourning for her father Prince Albert, who had died in December 1861. Louis and Alice had seven children and were devoted parents. When diptheria hit the household, Alice lost a daughter called Marie and while comforting another of her children over the death she caught the illness herself and died in December 1878 on the anniversary of Prince Albert's death.  But her name would live on...

2.  Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine

Victoria Alberta Elisabeth Mathilde Marie was the eldest daughter of Princess Alice and Prince Louis of Hesse and would provide the link between Victoria's daughter and the House of Windsor that has propelled the name Alice into pole position as a favourite for a baby Cambridge. This princess was born at Windsor Castle on Easter Sunday 1863 (April 5th that year) and after her mother's death she said that her own childhood ended with that loss as she became more responsible for the young brothers and sisters left behind.

Daughter of an Alice, mother of an Victoria

She married Prince Louis of Battenberg in 1884 and was living in Russia at the start of the Great War, leaving on what was dubbed 'the last ship' in 1914. In 1917 she was among many members of the Royal Family to lose their German titles but a few months later her husband was made Marquess of Milford Haven making her a Marchioness. And while this Victoria didn't have her mother's name anywhere in her own, she made sure that she passed it on the very first opportunity she got. Her eldest daughter was named Alice and it's thanks to her that the name will belong to a direct ancestor of baby Cambridge.

3.  Princess Alice of Battenburg

All good descendants of Victoria and Albert were usually named Victoria or Albert or even Alberta or Victor and known by a middle name and the eldest child of Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine was no exception. She named the little girl she gave birth to in February 1885 Victoria Alice Elizabeth Julia Marie but she was always known as Alice. And that is the name of hers which her own son used for his own descendants as a tribute to her.

Alice of Batterberg, later Princess of Greece - will her latest descendant share her name?

Princess Alice was born in Germany, grew up partly in England and in 1903 married a son of the King of Greece called Andrew. The couple had four daughters before Andrew's brother, King Constantine, lost his throne in 1917 but the family returned to Greece briefly following the restoration of the monarchy. During that time, spent in Corfu, they had a son called Philip but the family soon had to flee again and their baby boy would grow up in the UK. When he met the heiress to that country's throne his royal fate was sealed - that love match led to Philip of Greece marrying the future Elizabeth II in 1952.

Princess Alice in later life

His mother became a nun following her husband's death and eventually ended up living at Buckingham Palace where she died in 1969. But as great, great grandmother of baby Cambridge her name is now top of the list of those they might use for a daughter.

4.  Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

It would certainly be a nod to the Duke of Edinburgh and his heritage. Just as George is another name to be found in Philip's family tree - it was born by his paternal grandfather - so Alice is part of British and Greek royal history.

He's already got three great granddaughters but would a new one share his mother's name?

And the Duke himself made sure it carried on in the Royal Family when he gave it to his only daughter as one of her names - the Princess Royal's full name is Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise.

5.  Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

Of course it's not Princess Anne who is providing the direct link from the first royal Alice to the possible latest princess with that name. Baby Cambridge is linked to the third daughter of Victoria via their paternal grandfather, Charles Philip Arthur George, who with no daughters of his own never had a chance to pass it on to a girl. He does however have a niece with the name - the only daughter of the Earl of Wessex is Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary.

6.  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

Instead, it could be his eldest child William Arthur Philip Louis who gives the name its greatest royal exposure for over 150 years. Since February Alice has been the hot favourite with bookies for William's child should she be a girl and currently the odds are around 5/4.

7.  Baby Cambridge, mark two

And this time next week we should find out if they are right with Kate's due date said to be April 25th 2015....which would be the 172nd anniversary of the birth of the first princess called Alice. Seven degrees of royal Alice separation brought full circle.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Royal baby false alarm

Mid April is now becoming late April. This Saturday will be the 25th. And as the Duchess of Cambridge said her second child was due 'mid to late April' and the reported date of great expectations is the 25th then royal baby mania is getting, well, manic. And every Great Kate Wait needs at least one false alarm which is what happened on April 21st 2015.

The wait goes on for the duchess

Perhaps it was because the Queen was marking her 89th birthday that everyone got just slightly over excited. With the whole world, and quite possibly several other universes, convinced baby Cambridge is a girl (despite ma and pa not asking to find out the gender at pregnancy scans) the idea of this little princess being born on great granny's birthday and maybe even being named after her was irresistible. Suddenly, there were reports appearing that Kate was in labour.

Baby number two is due any day for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

It all started when Chris Evans suggested on his BBC Radio Two Breakfast Show that baby number two was on its way. The rumours spread through social media until more mainstream sources were reporting that the arrival of the new fourth in line to the throne was imminent. It wasn't. Kate stayed at home at Kensington Palace resting ahead of the big event while everyone else got back to speculating on possible princess names and checking the odds for the arrival on other dates in April.

The fourth member of their family isn't quite ready for their debut yet

So Prince George's brother or sister won't share a birthday with their great granny and the Lindo Wing remains royal-less for another day. We'll know soon enough all about William and Kate's second child. In the meantime, this little prince or princess can add another chapter to its story before it's even born - the tale of the royal baby false alarm.

Sharp angles for Letizia

She's teased us with something similar before but now the Queen of Spain has really gone for the chop. Letizia appeared at an awards ceremony on Monday night sporting an on trend bob with geometric shaping - sharp angles to emphasise her looks and capture plenty of attention at the same time.

The Queen of Spain 

But other angles also caught the eyes of some commentators at the same event which saw the queen presenting high achieving women with awards. Letizia was wearing an off the shoulder knee length sequinned dress and her shoulder and arms got plenty talking. They were pretty angular too leading some Twitter users and more mainstream media commentators to ask whether there was such a thing as being too thin.

Queen Letizia arrives at a prize ceremony in Madrid on Monday night with a new haircut

Letizia's slender frame has raised concerns before. She can sometimes look very slim. And this is one of those occassions. From the back she looked tiny - a bit too tiny for some who wondered aloud whether the Queen of Spain needed to add a few pounds to her frame.

Letizia during her speech at the Premios Woman in Madrid 

Letizia was in Madrid for the Women's Prizes given out by the Zeta Group. Recipients were the conductor Inma Shara, the doctor Maria Neira and the Oscar nominated actress Salma Hayek recgonised her for her work with the Chime for Change Foundation which helps underprivileged women and children around the world.

The Queen of Spain with Salma Hayek

The queen made a speech calling for more change in the opportunities available to women but like many a famous woman before her found her own appearance the main talking point as the evening came to an end. Letizia's looks get plenty of attention around the world but her latest appearance with her new sharp haircut has got even more people talking than usual.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The April royal baby who surprised the world

On this day, 89 years ago, an announcement of a royal birth came from Buckingham Palace. To the Duke and Duchess of York, a daughter; to King George V and Queen Mary a grandchild; to England, a baby expected to grow up to be a minor royal, a name to fade into history as her family's dynasty grew and the Crown passed to a cousin yet to be born but guaranteed to rule. Except that cousin never came and the baby born today, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York, became a monarch who broke records and surprised the world. Happy Birthday to the Queen.

The Queen is 89 on April 21st 2015

This royal baby was an adored child and grandchild, doted on by her family who turned into a chatterbox. But at the age of ten, her life changed forever when her uncle, Edward VIII, gave up his throne and her father, George VI, was given a crown he never wanted, Within a year, Lilibet had lost her beloved grandparents, seen her family torn apart by the Abdication and been transformed from the minor royal in waiting into heiress to the throne.

The Duke and Duchess of York can't hide their total devotion to their daughter in a photo of one king and two queens to be taken i the 1920s

Her own reign began in 1952 with the eyes of the world on a grieving woman facing the early loss of her father and many wondering what a queen regnant, aged 26, would be like, Her rule has seen many ups and some downs but now, 63 years on, she is the embodiment of a successful sovereign and the template for monarchs for generations to come, In Spetember this year, this unexpected queen becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history and will do it with unparalleled levels of support and happiness behind her.

Elizabeth the Great marks another milestone

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York, Queen of England - the April royal baby who surprised the world.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Royals on social media

There were birthdays, no royal babies and lots of trips overseas this week for Europe's royals and much of it was shared on their official social media channels. Which means it's time for Royals on social media...

Birthday wishes

The Queen of Denmark turned 75 in the week and royals from across Europe headed to Copenhagen to share her celebrations. The Swedish Royal Family shared images on its official Facebook page after King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia attended the pre birthday banquet and Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel joined them for festivities on the day itself.

The Norwegian Royal Family were also there and shared a photo of Queen Margrethe and King Harald on its Facebook page.

The Danish queen shares her big day with two other royals and the Belgian Royal Family shared a photo of the youngest of these, Princess Eleonore, on April 16th on its Facebook page when she celebrated her seventh birthday.

Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg marked his sixtieth birthday on the same day and the official Twitter account shared some official photos of him with the Grand Duchess, Maria Teresa.

Heading overseas

There were great expectations during the week of another royal birthday as the Duchess of Cambridge approached her due date for baby number two. There was still no prince or princess to tweet about so the Kensington Palace Twitter account shared some videos from the tour they made this time last year of New Zealand.

The same Twitter account also shared news of Prince Harry's upcoming tour of the same country. And at the end of the week, they tweeted details of his first two weeks in Australia where he is spending a month with the country's army.  

The King of Spain headed to Brussels to tour the institutions of the European Union. He met Spanish MEPs, parliamentary groups and leading members including the President of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. And photos of the tour were shared on the Royal Household's official Twitter feed.

Out and about

The King and Queen of the Netherlands, accompanied by Princess Beatrix, attended a concert for King's Day in the week and an image of Willem-Alexander and Maxima arriving was tweeted by the official account.

Queen Sonja of Norway was in New York in the week to open an exhibition linked to an art competition which bears her name. The Norwegian Royal Household shared images of the event on its official Facebook page.

And Princess Leonore of Sweden showed that she is growing up fast in a new image shared on the Swedish Royal Family's Facebook page as the littlest member enjoyed the first flowers of spring.