Monday, 1 June 2015

The Royal Calendar: June 2015

You're going to need a sit down at the end of June 2015 because it's packed to the rafters with royal events. In fact, you might need a sit down just to get through the list of what to expect. Thank goodness Princess Charlotte didn't keep us waiting that long into May otherwise we might not have been ready for what is going to be a bumper month of kings, queens, princes and princesses and that's before we've even got the duchesses. Welcome to Royal June 2015...

Royal Wedding Bells - June 13th 2015

It's got plenty of competition but the big royal event of this month is the Royal Wedding in Sweden. On June 13th 2015 third in line to the throne Prince Carl Philip marries Sofia Hellqvist who on saying 'I do' becomes the Duchess of Varmland. Expect royals from around Europe, a cracker of a wedding dress and a scene stealing appearance from Princess Estelle. Don't expect to get away from it at any point in the next four weeks - it will be everywhere.

Harry leaves the Army - June 2015

This month marks a big turning point in the life of Prince Henry of Wales, otherwise known as Harry, as he quits active service with the Army after a decade of serving Granny and country. The prince went to Sandhurst in 2005 and since then has had a packed career which has included two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He has said it was a hard decision but he is now at a crossroads in his life and wants to take on more royal engagements. He has also said, separately, he wants to get married so as he leaves behind a role which has dominated his adult life it's all change for Harry. This month will be an emotional one for Harry. Expect lots of articles talking about the future of the fifth in line to throne but don't expect tears in public from Captain Wales - this will probably be a private parting.

A year of kingship - June 19th 2015

On June 19th 2015 King Felipe VI of Spain will mark the first anniversary of his accession. The surprise of the abdication of his father Juan Carlos I, announced on June 2nd and signed into law on June 18th 2014, was followed by a sunny day of acclamation for a man born to be king in a country that didn't at the time have a monarchy. Felipe's first year of rule has seen the question of whether Spain should continue to have a monarchy be asked more than once and his family is still beset by problems, not least the ongoing spotlight on the financial affairs of his sister, the Infanta Cristina. But Felipe himself has proved steady in his role with growth in his own and the institution's popularity ratings. The past twelve months have also seen the king and his consort, Queen Letizia, enjoy a high profile on the international stage which will continue as they return to France on June 2nd 2015 for the State Visit they were due to make in March but which was postponed because of the Germanwings plane crash. The anniversary of the accession is to be marked with a reception in the Zarzuela Palace. Expect lots of reviews of the king's first year and plenty of photos of Letizia. Don't expect it to be a criticism free zone.

The Queen and Magna Carta - June 15th 2015

This year marks the 800th anniversary of the signing away of huge chunks of royal power in a document that has been used as the bedrock for modern ideas of democracy and free society. And on June 15th 2015 the Queen and other members of the Royal Family will be at Runnymede to mark eight centuries since the Magna Carta was sealed. The document marked the end of King John's power and reputation but its role in helping to found modern ideas of government remains to this day. The Queen will see musical performances and a re-dedication of the American Bar Association's Magna Carta Memorial and there have been rumours that US President Barack Obama could attend. Do expect lots of history and rather solemn realisations of the importance of Magna Carta. Don't expect to get through the day without reading at least one overcomplicated analysis of the role of the barons in medieval England. I'm skipping to look at the photos, personally.

The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo - June 18th 2015

The Royal Family will barely have time to draw breath before they head to another major anniversary as they take part in commemorations for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo which falls on June 18th 2015.  The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will travel to Belgium on June 17th to be present at the opening of the newly restored Hougemont Farm which played a major role in the battle. The Queen is expected to attend a service at St Paul's Cathedral on the anniversary itself. Expect lots of uniforms. And on June 18th King Philippe of the Belgians and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands will commemorate the anniversary at an event at Waterloo itself. Expect lots of military history. Don't expect to get away without at least one TV report from Dan Snow.

Royal Baby Number Two, part two - June 2015

No, Kate's not had twins. We're getting another royal baby in June courtesy of Princess Madeleine of Sweden who is due to give birth to her second child around the time her brother gets married which could prove awkward or dramatic, depending. The new sixth in line to the throne of Sweden will arrive around the time of mum and dad's second wedding anniversary as well - Madeleine married Chris O'Neill on June 8th 2013 in Stockholm. Expect a super cute baby and an even cuter daddy - last time round, Chris O'Neill showed off his baby's footprint on his arm during the royal press conference. Don't expect a run of the mill royal name - last time the couple surprised everyone by picking Leonore for their daughter, purely because they liked it.

Royal Ascot - June 16th to June 20th 2015

As the halfway point of the year approaches, that great royal marker of Ascot arrives. The Queen and her guests will ride into the racecourse in carriages while journalists and people watchers complain that the non royal visitors' hemlines are getting shorter and their hats more ridiculous. Royal Ascot means it's summer, Royal Ascot means we're nearly midway through another year, Royal Ascot means hats and jewels and four days of well, royal watching. Expect millinery galore and a blanket over the Queen's knees even if it reaches 30 in the shade. Don't expect Kate cos she just won't be there

Trooping the Colour - June 13th 2015

And so we're back to where we began, the royal day of the year. While Carl Philip and Sofia plight their troth in Stockholm, an age old ceremony will be taking place in London where the Queen's official birthday will be marked by the ceremony of the Trooping of the Colour. The Queen may no longer ride as part of the event but it's a spectacular sight and a special day in every royal calendar. After the ceremony at Horse Guards' Parade it's off to Buckingham Palace for a flypast and cheering crowds. The tradition of an official birthday goes back centuries and it's usually held in the summer - just because the weather is better meaning it can be a more public celebration. Expect thousands in the Mall. Don't expect the Earl and Countess of Wessex - they're off to Sweden to listen to some royal wedding bells....

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