Saturday, 20 June 2015

Royal photos of the week

It's been some week for the ruling houses of Europe. There was a new princess then a new prince to see, commemorations for two of the most famous events in the history of western Europe and the marking of a first anniversary as a monarch. And there were loads of hats. Here are the best five royal photos of the week just gone starting with one taken on June 19th 2015 as King Felipe of Spain celebrated one year on the throne. The king, along with his consort Letizia, had already presented the Order of Civil Merit to 38 people from across Spain when he was photographed next to his father, and predecessor, Juan Carlos on this historic day. The country's two queens as well as its two kings were also there and they posed for posterity with leading politicians before a lunch to remember on the day that Felipe VI completed his first year as a Head of State.

The passing of a far larger passage of time was being commemorated in Runnymede on Monday as the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Cambridge took part in events for the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta. The document, heralded now as a bringer of democracy around the world, was seen at the time as a royal disaster but the royals of today looked only too pleased to be on hand to celebrate its eight centuries. And just as the presence of her long distant ancestor, King John, had dominated June 15th 1215 so the image of Elizabeth II was the main one on June 15th 2015 as captured in one brilliant image.


 Three days later, royalty across Europe marked the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. On the eve of the commemorations, the King and Queen of the Belgians invited descendants of some of the main commanders in the battle to their Palace at Laeken while the following day they were joined by royals from across the continent for a ceremony at the Lion of Waterloo at the battle site itself. It provided a chance to see two more of Europe's newest kings in conversation on a grey but significant day.


 The weather wasn't that great either for Royal Ascot but as the meeting went on and the hats accumulated the sunshine finally came out. The Countess of Wessex was easily the winner in the royal style stakes here but even queens of fashion have to bow to wardrobe vagaries sometimes and the image of Sophie trying to kiss the cheek of Princess Beatrice on Ladies Day showed how, sometimes, hats can be hard work.


 Sweden got a new princess called Sofia as the week started and less than two days later there was a new prince as well. Sofia's new sister in law, Princess Madeleine, had a baby boy less than forty eight hours after her brother's wedding and the images of baby Nicolas Paul Gustaf, Duke of Angermanland followed within a day of his birth. He was more than ready for his close up and provides the most lasting image of a week to remember.

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