Thursday, 31 March 2016

Victoria's back

Four weeks after she welcomed her son, we're welcoming Crown Princess Victoria back to public events. The heir to the throne of Sweden attended her first engagement yesterday since giving birth to Prince Oscar on March 2nd. And she looked very, very well indeed.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden makes her first public appearance following the birth of her son at the beginning of March

Victoria attended the annual Dag Hammarskjold lecture, held every year since 1998 in memory of the man who was the United Nations' second Secretary-General. Speaking this year was the man who currently holds that post, Ban Ki-Moon, who talked about the challenges facing the UN in a changing global landscape.

The Crown Princess and the UN Secretary-General have met several times before and in January, Ban Ki-Moon appointed Victoria as an advocate for the promotion of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Victoria headed to Stockholm City Hall for the lecture which is a regular event in Sweden's royal calendar. And then it was back home to Haga to see how her husband. Prince Daniel, was getting on with twenty seven day old Oscar and their four year old, Princess Estelle.

Victoria's happy family - Princess Estelle holds Prince Oscar in a photo taken by their dad, Prince Daniel

The next scheduled events for Victoria come at the end of April when she, along with many other members of the Swedish Royal Family, are set to attend a wide range of engagements marking the 70th birthday of her father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, which falls on April 30th. And we could well see Victoria at the Te Deum which will be held following the birth of the baby of her brother and sister-in-law, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, due in April.

8 royal reasons to remember March 2016

March is almost done but it's leaving plenty of royal memories behind. We met a brand new royal and began the countdown to celebrations for the record breaking birthday of the oldest monarch in Europe. There was plenty of glitz and glamour not to mention a handsome prince called Harry winning hearts around the world. Here are eight royal reasons why we won't be forgetting March 2016 in a hurry.

Birth of a prince

It's not every month you get a brand new royal baby to coo over, even if this year the Swedish Royal Family are trying their hardest to break that rule. Our first regal arrival this year came in the shape of Prince Oscar Carl Olof, Duke of Skane, the second child and first son of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden. He was born on March 2nd at 8.28pm at the Karolinska Hospital in Solna. There were gun salutes, there was an emotional and proud daddy talking to the press and an even more emotional granddad announcing names and titles the following day. And as Oscar, third in line to his country's throne, settles into family life with big sister, Princess Estelle, at the Haga Palace he can expect to meet a baby cousin any day soon as Princess Sofia is due to start Swedish Royal Baby mania all over again in April.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Royal Wardrobe: March 2016 top ten

With March almost done, it's time to cheer the winners in the Royal Wardrobe. We've had some standout looks this month from fairytale ballgowns to springlike suits with a sharp edge. So here's a glance back at the looks that made us cheer in March 2016.

When it came to royal fashion in March, Queen Maxima ruled. She's had a great year so far but her wardrobe this month, especially during her trip to France, has been standout and then some. The best of all her choices was this golden caramel coat worn on day one of the State Visit which just gets better with every look. Add in a Maxima hat for style perfection.

Not far behind in the outfit of the month stakes was Beatrice Casiraghi who wore a dream of a dress to the Rose Ball in Monaco. Her red gown really was the stuff that fairytales are made of with a skirt that took the definition of full to new levels and a fitted bodice that made the whole thing simply stunning. A triumph of tulle.

There was more evening excitement in Denmark when Crown Princess Mary wore a new tiara to a cultural gala mid month. But once we'd got over the dazzle of the diamonds, there was a cracker of a gown to admire as well. The white dress with sheer black overlay was marvellously modern while its rather daring back added another twist to an evening look that's hard to beat.

Princess Sofia of Sweden showed some fabulous fashion choices this month but the pale blue/ grey dress with white lace trim worn to the Te Deum for Prince Oscar on the day after Europe's newest royal made his debut was standout and then some. The dress was pure class, soft and subtle yet fabulously formal. Plus we got a hat with a veil and that is never a bad thing. Sofia's style wins again.

The Duchess of Cambridge went for something a bit different with this orange, Sixties inspired suit and made us all hope for a repeat very soon. The colour, the shaping, the overall effect - everything about this one just works and then some. It's fresh, modern, classic and cool all at the same time. A Kate triumph.

Queen Letizia of Spain has had a quiet start to the year fashion wise but she cranked things up in March with a hattrick of style winners, the best of them being this palest grey ensemble worn in Puerto Rico. What's not to love about the length and cut of those trousers and the top which adds just enough colour and texture to take this spring suit to the top of the class.

Queen Rania does daywear like no one else. Her navy, white and pink mix outfit worn for a series of meetings was about as sharp as they come. It's on trend (of course) and elegant and the black belt and bag match to perfection. Just fabulous.
(photo Queen Rania Instagram)


The Countess of Wessex scored a huge hit with her Easter Day outfit this year. The red coat was bright and beautiful while the hat was neat and nice. But it was the clever colour combination - her black and white dress had red trim on the hem - that really made this one work. Easter usually means pastels but this bold choice is seriously standout.

Princess Caroline looked super chic at the Rose Ball as well in a deep ivory dress with pleated skirt. We got an interesting, flowing hemline and some standout shoes to boot. Simple and elegant, this is a really royal evening dress.


You didn't really think we'd get through the list without an other appearance from Maxima, did you? The only problem is narrowing down her fabulous March style to just one more look. The coats, the dresses, the boots, the hats, they've all been great but the dress that we'll remember in years to come is this evening creation with its daring skirt and classic top. A fitting finale to a month of the Royal Wardrobe that's been all about Maxima.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

5 highlights of Kate and William's upcoming tour

So now we have an itinerary, it's time to start picking highlights. We already knew that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be travelling to India and Bhutan between April 10th and April 16th but now we know just what they are planning. And some engagements are springing out as big moments in the making. Here's five exciting events we can look forward to when William and Kate go on tour.

Hooray for Bollywood. The start of their tour will see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest and best known film stars in the world as they attend what Kensington Palace are calling a 'glittering reception' with the promise of 'red carpet arrivals'. The big evening event takes place in Mumbai at the end of their first full day and will see them meet celebs and business leaders.

The Cambridges will be paying tribute to Gandhi as their tour of India continues. In New Delhi they will be visiting Gandhi Smriti, the museum at Old Birla House where Gandhi lived in his final years and where the royal visitors will see the path he walked in the garden where he was assassinated. New Delhi will also include a visit to the main war memorial, the India Gate, where they will pay their respects. And New Delhi is also where they will help get the celebrations under way for the Queen's 90th birthday (April 21st in case you'd forgotten) with a party at the British High Commissioner's Residence.
(photo By Hideyuki KAMON (originally posted to Flickr as Footprints) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

There's a chance to get close to nature for William and Kate when they head to the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. It gets under way as evening falls and we've been promised camp fires and dancing as this part of the trip gets underway. But with the Duke of Cambridge so passionate about nature and ending wildlife crime, this part of the trip will focus on some of the issues linked to that as he and Kate hear about efforts there to stop poaching. There might well be some quotes from William here and while the setting will be beautiful, the message will probably be hard hitting.

They've been compared to each other many times before so when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet the King and Queen of Bhutan we'll get to see two of the most famous and glamourous royal couples in the world together. William and Kate head to the Himalayan kingdom on April 14th and will take part in traditional ceremonies there as well as having an audience with King Jegme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema. 

The final day of the tour will be among the most poignant for William as he and Kate visit the Taj Mahal, the great monument to love where his mother posed, alone, for some of the most famous photos ever taken of her. The significance of this visit has already been acknowledged by Kensington Palace which says that William feels 'lucky to visit a place where his mother's memory is kept alive by so many who visit there'. The tour will end with what will surely become another famous photo but this time of Diana's son and his wife together. Get ready for a tour to remember and images we'll no doubt never forget.

And there is a special page about William and Kate's tour of India and Bhutan here.

5 royal chocolate treats

It's pretty hard to find photos of the royals making like the rest of us and having a huge chocolate feast. And even though Prince William had a second wedding cake made of chocolate biscuits it was sliced and tasted behind closed doors. Fair enough, we all might want a taste. But as we get over the annual chocolate binge that Easter brings with it, here are 5 times we've seen royals enjoying chocolate - even if it is just a look sometimes.

The Duchess of Cambridge made a chocolate cake even sweeter by helping ice them blindfold during a trip to the Beaver Scouts in 2015. Kate helped one member earn a disability awareness badge by working on this confectionery based challenge and made a proper chocolate treat into the bargain.
(photo screengrab Clarence House Instagram video)

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands looked rather pleased with the chocolate she was given during a visit to Hembrug in June 2014. But the new queen didn't treat us to an image of her enjoying the treat - it was put away for later.

During their visit to France in September 2010, just after their marriage, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden visited the chocolatier, Patrick Roger, and tried some very patriotic sweets decorated in their national colours.

The Prince of Wales took his chocolate tasting duties very seriously when he and Camilla headed to the Duchy Originals production line in 2008. This royal visit to Dorchester provided plenty of opportunities for trying out sweets with both royal guests enjoying it.

Felipe and Letizia of Spain popped into Valor chocolate makers in Alicante in March 2006 and tucked into a sweet treat each. The then Prince and Princess of Asturias looked like they were having a great time trying out the chocolates as they helped the firm celebrate an anniversary.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Royal Wedding Dresses: Beatrix of the Netherlands

All royal wedding gowns are spectacular in their own way but the dress of a queen in waiting has to have something really regal about it. So the wedding dress chosen by Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands fifty years ago this month came with a lot of expectations and anticipation attached to it. And when the bride walked into the Westerkerk in Amsterdam on March 10th 1966, her gown didn't disappoint.

The wedding of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and Claus von Amsberg on March 10th 1966 (photo: by Anefo - Nationaal Archief, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wiki Commons)

Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard was the eldest daughter of the Queen of the Netherlands, Juliana, and heiress to her country's throne. Female firsts in line were rare then and Beatrix's marriage plans were also unusual. Her German groom, Claus von Amsberg, had served in the Hitler Youth (like many in his country of birth) and although the couple obtained the parliamentary consent they needed for their wedding to go ahead, the nuptials were far from popular and attracted protests both beforehand and on the day itself.

The princess kept things traditional with her choice of designer, going for Dutch couturier Caroline Berge-Farwick of Maison Linette who had made gowns for her mother before. And the shape and look of the dress was also very much in keeping with royal wedding dresses - all regal brides need a huge train to fill the huge churches where they tend to get married, not to mention big skirts and an eye catching veil that can hold its own against a sparkling heirloom tiara.

Beatrix's dress was made of silk and duchesse satin and had a sixties feel mixed with its overall traditional feel. The plain bodice had a high neckline and three quarter length sleeves which allowed this March bride to wear long gloves for most of the day. There is a fitted waist and then a rather interesting skirt. The fabric picks up an intricate scrollwork patterning to match Beatrix's tiara choice (the Wuttemburg diadem) and there is a slim skirt with a fuller layered effect over the top given by her train.

The best bit of every royal wedding dress is the train. This one began at the waist and covered the sides of the skirt before fanning out into sixteen feet of fabric that followed the bride up the aisle in a perfect, fluid movement. With all that material and such pretty patterning along it there was no need for a super long veil to cover it so Beatrix chose height instead with a voluminous veil behind her tiara that fell as far as her waist.

The dress is a bit of a classic, elegant and traditional with just enough of a hint of modern to set it apart from others. The patterning of the skirt and train is rather clever and the overall effect is simple but regal all in one. Its part in Dutch history was cemented in April 1980 when Beatrix became Queen of the Netherlands, reigning until April 30th 213 when she abdicated in favour of her eldest son, Willem-Alexander. It really is a dress fit for a queen. 

Princess Mary on women's rights

It's not your typical weekend read about royals but then the subject is well aware of that. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has just given an interview to one of her country's media outlets about women's rights and it gets right to the heart of the matter.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has given an interview about women's rights
(photo UN Geneva via Flickr)

Mary was chatting to Berlingske about issues affecting women and girls around the world ahead of a major summit on women's rights being held in Denmark. Mary will play a big part in that and has already shown her support attending preliminary events but this interview was a window on what the princess believes and her ideas for the future.

Crown Princess Mary doesn't hold back in expressing her opinions. She calls violence against women 'perhaps the greatest crime against human rights today' and when challenged on this view by journalist,Ole Damkjaer, she says that because it happens in all walks of life, against many different women and in many different ways it is the most widespread violation of human rights in the world.

Crown Princess Mary looked ahead to the conference on gender equality last year

The piece is accompanied by new photos which no doubt brought many people to the article but its the contents that really catch the attention. Mary talks movingly about the visits she has made to refugee camps and the women she has met there, saying she can 'be a voice' for some of them. She also discusses problems faced by women and girls closer to home and talks about making sure all women in Denmark have equal rights, raising the work her Mary Foundation does in this area. 

Mary at a meeting of her Mary Foundation

There are insights about how her support helps three different organisaiton with the Danish Refugee Council, the Maternity Foundation and the UN Population Fund all telling Berlingske about the help they get from Mary. The Crown Princess of Denmark says she is thorough and wants to have a broad, deep knowledge of the work she is doing and the groups she is supporting. 

Crown Princess Mary, patron of the Maternity Foundation, was present when the organisation received the French Embassy's Human Rights Prize for 2015
(photo Maternity Foundation press)

Mary says she knows that in her role she can't say everything she thinks but says this isn't a limitation, it just makes her think of different ways of doing things. Andshe adds ''when we talk about opening doors, I am a big believer in working together....I might pave the way and ...others...can take the more sensitive issues.''

Crown Princess Mary hears about women's issues during a visit she made to Ethiopia in 2015
(photo UNICEF Ethiopia via Flickr)

We'll hear more from Mary about women's rights in the weeks and months to come as Copenhagen gets ready to welcome over 5,000 delegates for May's conference. But this interview has given an insight into her beliefs and showed just why this topic is so important to her.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Royal Wardrobe: Easter special

Easter means bonnets, bright colours and a real hint of spring in the Royal Wardrobe. And the outfits on display today didn't disappoint.

Queen Letizia of Spain picked a cracking colour combination for her outfit on Easter Sunday

We had reds and pinks, some cracking hats and a burst of sunshine yellow that said summer is on its way. Here are five looks we won't forget from this year's royal Easter wardrobe.

This year's leading lady has to be the Countess of Wessex who joined the Royal Family for Easter service at St George's in a standout outfit. Her red coat was bright and quite a daring length, her white and black dress beneath was chic and sharp  with a clever hint of red in the hem to bring thigns together but what really made this Easter outfit was the bonnet. Her unusual black hat was smaller than Sophie's usual choice but it worked and then some. From its jaunty angle to the detailing at the back, this was the dream hat for a pretty perfect outfit.

Queen Letizia of Spain went for a more dressed down look to attend Easter Mass in Palma de Mallorca but then hats are never worn for this service. Letizia went for the black, white and pink combination that had worked so well for her at an engagement last month. The big pink jacket with black and white striped top was about as on trend as they come and the pink bag with black trousers gave the whole look the mix it needed. Is it wrong to say it's just a shame she's growing her hair again? The Letizia bob was brilliant.

  Princess Beatrice kept it low key and ended up looking rather lovely as a result. There are a lot of colours in this spring look but because they're pale, it works. The best part of the outfit is the pastel blue trench coat and the addition of the brown fascinator is great for two reasons. Firstly, the shape and colour really add to the overall effect and secondly, it's great to see Beatrice wear a brown hat that works after the pretzel debate that followed William and Kate's wedding. If we're being picky then the black shoes might be a shade too far but overall this is a powerful look.

No such colour match problems for Autumn Phillips, wife of the Queen's eldest grandson, Peter Phillips. Her coat and hat were the perfect contrast to one another and provided a softer take on the pink mix look chosen by Letizia. Her candy coloured coat had a Sixties vibe with smart same coloured buttons. But it was the addiciton of a mushroom coloured fascinator and perfectly toned shoes that really took this look to the next level and left Autumn in the pink.

But on a day filled with sunshine and showers it was the yellow chosen by the Queen that added the touch of spring everyone wanted. A smart coat with sharp hat was enhanced by the yellow and blue mix dress just visible at the hemline. This bright primrose colour is about as springlike as it gets and proved the perfect choice for Easter Day.

Royals on Easter Sunday

As Easter Day gets under way, royals across Europe have been attending services. From the sunshine of Rome to rain in Windsor, there have been many celebrations taking place with more still to come. And we start with Felipe of Spain and his family who headed to Easter Mass in Palma de Mallorca with blue skies behind them.

Spain's royals head to church on Easter Sunday

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, their daughters, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia, and Queen Sofia posed for photographers before heading into the service at Palma Cathedral.

The Queen led the Royal Family at Easter celebrations at Windsor. They attended a church service at St George's Chapel this morning.

It was a smaller gathering than previous years with Prince Harry still in Nepal and Prince William in Kenya for a wedding. There was no George and Charlotte appearance as Kate has taken them to stay with her parents. Charles and Camilla usually spend the holidays in Scotland but the Queen was joined fighting wind and showery rain in Windsor by children and grandchildren. And in the moments of spring sunshine that made it through, the Countess of Wessex and Princess Beatrice led the fashion pack.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians are keeping Easter privately following very sad and difficult week they and their fellow citizens have lived through. King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians attended Easter Mass at the Vatican and met Pope Francis following the ceremony.

Check back later for more photos of the royals at Easter - and in the meantime, Happy Easter!

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Royal Easter traditions under way

Easter is celebrated in different ways across Europe and that is reflected in the ways that it's marked by the continent's royals. And as Easter Sunday itself approaches, some of the regal traditions associated with this time of the year are already under way.  Here's a look at how this year's royal Easter celebrations are unfolding.

We start in Monaco where Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene have attended the traditional procession that takes place on Good Friday.

The royal couple watched the event from the balcony of the Prince's Palace. The procession traces its roots back to the 13th century.

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco at the traditional Good Friday procession

Another royal tradition which began in the 1200s took place on Maundy Thursday when the Queen attended the traditional Maundy service, held this year at St George's Chapel, Windsor.

Since the 13th century, the reigning monarch has distributed money on Maundy Thursday though at the very start of the practice they also handed out food and clothes. Up until the reign of James II, the monarch also washed the recipients' feet to commemorate the actions of Jesus at the Last Supper, marked on Maundy Thursday.

Now, the Queen hands out coins to older people from the community local to the church where the service takes place. There is one man and one woman for each year of the Queen's age and each receives a bag of coins whose number again matches the royal age.  So this year it was 90 all round as the Queen gets ready for this landmark birthday.

Meanwhile, Easter holidays are under way for royals around Europe with Queen Sofia of Spain already in Palma where she will join King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia at the traditional Easter Sunday mass tomorrow. Infanta Elena attended the traditional Cristo de los Alabarderos procession in Madrid which leaves from the Royal Palace.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Henrik are now at the Marselisborg Castle in Aarhus where they will pass the Easter holidays. Before they departed, Queen Margrethe attended the Royal Vejsenhus Easter Concert held at the Christiansborg Palace Chapel.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark attends a traditional Easter service

Easter Sunday will bring more appearances - the traditions of this part of the year are well and truly under way.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Sofia's maternity fashion: the final countdown

As Princess Sofia prepares to welcome her first baby, it's time to look back at the fabulous fashion she's worn as a mummy to be. For there is little room for doubt here - the princess does pregnancy style about as well as anyone around.

There have been some great evening looks (see them here) while her daywear has been chic and sharp. Here's how Sofia of Sweden did style in the last months of her pregnancy.

January 20th 2016, Royal Palace, Stockholm
As 2016 got under way, Princess Sofia made an appearance with King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia at the Music in the Palace event. She chose a monochrome outfit with cropped sleeves that did relaxed formal rather well and looked fabulous to boot. 2016 was off to a great start.

January 21st 2016, City Hall, Stockholm
There was more black and white on display the following day when the princess oversaw the graduation ceremony for the Sophia Sisters who had completed their nursing training. The scheme was named after Queen Sofia of Sweden who set up nursing foundations in Sweden and her royal namesake took over the patronage of the organisation following her marriage. For her debut in this important role, Sofia chose a winner of a black dress with an even more impressive white jacket with black detailing on the collar. A style stunner.

January 27th 2016, Great Synagogue, Stockholm
Princess Sofia marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day by attending a memorial service the Great Synagogue in Stockholm.  For this solemn and important event, the princess chose a simple black dress.

January 28th 2016, Royal Palace, Stockholm
OK, you can only see half this outfit but that part is smart enough. It was board meeting time for Sofia and Carl Philip's Foundation and the princess chose a claret coloured shirt and black jacket and looked really rather chic.

January 29th 2016, Royal Palace, Stockholm
More work in her role as patron of the Sophia Sisters organisation saw the princess choose a pale dove grey funnel neck top. We can't see if it belongs to a dress or a blouse but that doesn't matter. It's really rather chic indeed and well worth a second glance.

February 10th 2016, Royal Palace, Stockholm
There was more pale grey for Sofia at a meeting attended by most of Sweden's Royal Family as well as politicians focused on export strategy. This is a really hard one to get a proper look at as the photo really only gives an idea of colour and the fact that there is a top and jacket combo going on here. 

February 26th 2016, Royal Palace, Stockholm
There's more sitting down here but who can blame a princess about a month away from giving birth from putting her feet up just a little bit? It means we're doing more guessing about this maternity outfit but we can see a chic black shirt and neat white cardigan and who doesn't like a touch of monochrome in the winter months?

March 1st 2016, Royal Palace, Stockholm
Time for a better glimpse of the black jacket worn to the board meeting in January. This time the piece is teamed with a pale pink shirt and black trousers and we can see it's got a bit of a tux theme going on with slightly padded shoulders and satin collar. Perhaps not the best mix with the shirt but an interesting outfit nonetheless.

March 3rd 2016, Royal Chapel, Royal Palace, Stockholm
The Te Deum for Prince Oscar was held less than 24 hours after his birth but new auntie, Sofia, was ready with an outfit that belongs in a top ten looks of any year. Her pale blue dress with white lace trim including a subtle empire line detailing was gorgeous. The pretty little hat with veil was beyond chic while the black ribbon, bag and shoes were the perfect complements. A total winner.

March 10th 2016, Royal Palace, Stockholm
For a meeting alongside her husband, Prince Carl Philip, with UN ambassadors, Princess Sofia chose a black dress and white jacket which took this maternity wardrobe to a new high. The ribbon on the jacket is perfect, the sleeves are even better and the whole look is total elegance. 

March 21st 2016, Royal Palace, Stockholm
It's another head and shoulders here but we've got green and we've got interesting and we've got the tux jacket back again. The top has detailing round the neckline and it's a better match for the jacket than the pale pink. Rather stylish.

March 21st 2016, Riddarholm Church, Stockholm
Sweden's royal future and past were photographed together when Sofia visited the tomb of King Carl XVII. She wore a simple black coat with tie belt for the event - not her last before she has her baby but surely one of the most symbolic as she and the next generation of Sweden's royals took a walk around part of the country's history.

Check back for the final looks in Sofia's maternity wardrobe over the coming week.

All photos

One week, five photos

As the week comes to an end and the spring sunshine reminds us of all there is to look forward to, there are some royal memories that will linger for a long time to come. Seven days, five photos, one week in images. Here are some of the best royal pictures of the week just gone.

It's the royal baby photo we were all waiting to see, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar of Sweden together. We weren't disappointed. Dad Daniel did the honours and we got a hug and a smile that was worth the wait and then some. Plus Estelle did retro fashion again by wearing a dress first used by mum back in 1982 when Princess Madeleine made her debut. A picture for the history books.

Prince Harry's visit to Nepal provided so many must see again images that it's hard to choose just one to sum the whole trip up but the picture posted as he began his private stay in the country just wins it. Harry selected some photos from his overnight stay in Leorani in the middle of his tour and as the caption says, this one really does need no words. One of the royal images of the year.

His grandmother didn't too bad on the photos to remember front this week either. As the Queen handed out the traditional Maundy Money at St George's Chapel, Windsor there was a chance for a photo with full pomp and ceremoy as she stood on the steps surrounded by beefeaters. There was even a sprinkle of spring sunshine to turn this into a sparkling image of royal tradition.

Grand Duchess Marisa Teresa of Luxembourg marked her 60th birthday in the week and the day before she and her family had an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican. It really was a family affair and the photo of Maria Teresa beaming as she holds her granddaughter, Princess Amalia, for the group picture is a pretty special way to mark a pretty special birthday.

This week made its mark on Europe and left many mourning and in shock. As Brussels was hit by terrorist attacks which killed at least 34 people and left hundreds more injured, royal families across Europe sent condolences, paid tributes and had flags lowered to half mast. Leading those tributes were King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians - we share your pain, the king said in his address after the attacks and as they remembered those killed and injured that was shown in poignant images.