Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Spanish State Visit to Portugal: Day Three

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain on day three of their State Visit to Portugal
(photo casareal Twitter)

King Felipe of Spain addressed the Portuguese Parliament on the final day of his three day State Visit to the country.  It is a rare honour and one that clearly meant a lot to Felipe as he followed in his father's footsteps at the end of this trip. There was also a visit to a hospital and a chance to meet some of the large Spanish community in Portugal on day three. Welcome to the final part of Felipe and Letizia's State Visit.

Belgian State Visit to the Netherlands: Day Three

Maxima and Mathilde catch the train on day three of the Belgian State Visit to the Netherlands
(photo MonarchieBe Twitter)

It was the day they caught the train. As the Belgian State Visit to the Netherlands came to an end, Queen Mathilde and Queen Maxima enjoyed a day trip to Utrecht as they prepared to say goodbye. Welcome to the last day of what has been a special State Visit.

A new baby for the House of Windsor

Baby number two for Zara is due in 2017

Zara Tindall and her husband, Mike, are expecting their second baby. The new addition to the Tindall family is due next year and will be a brother or sister for Mia Grace who turns three in January.

Prince Harry in the Caribbean - Barbados

Prince Harry at the Nightengale Children's Centre in Barbados on day ten of his Caribbean tour
(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

It was all change for Prince Harry as he arrived in Barbados for the next stage of his tour of the Caribbean. He got a new place to lay his head and a chance to stay up late for work. Welcome to Barbados and Prince Harry's Caribbean Tour.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Spanish State Visit to Portugal: Day Two

King Felipe and Queen Letizia on day two of their State Visit to Portugal
(photo casareal Twitter)

King Felipe and Queen Letizia split day two of their State Visit to Portugal between two of the country's most famous cities - Porto and Lisbon. From a morning of modern science to an afternoon and evening of State Visit tradition, this was a tour that had it all. Welcome to day two of Felipe and Letizia in Portugal.

State Dinner Sparklers: Dutch Diamonds...and rubies

Maxima rocks the rubies during the State Dinner for the King and Queen of the Belgians 
(photo koninklijkhuis Facebook)

We didn't get just one tiara from the Dutch royal jewellery box as the gala dinner for the Belgian State Visit got under way. We got four. That's right, count them. A quartet of cracking collections of gems. These diadems were mostly diamonds but amidst all that pure sparkle was the fire of some of the most famous royal rubies in Europe right now. Welcome to a stand out set of State Dinner Sparklers.

Belgian State Visit to the Netherlands, Day Two

Two kings, two queens, four friends on day two of the Belgian State Visit to the Netherlands
(photo MonarchieBe Twitter)

Day two of the Belgian State Visit to the Netherlands was all about a morning of Maxima and Mathilde, an afternoon of kings and an evening filled with royalty. Plus a lot of red hats. There was also art, business and community work - State Visit Day Two was a busy one.

State Dinner Sparklers, Mathilde in the Netherlands

Nine royals and the Nine Provinces Tiara - Mathilde sparkles at the State Dinner
(photo Belgian Monarchy Facebook)

Queen Mathilde brought one of the most impressive and historic tiaras in the Belgian collection out of the jewellery box for her State Visit to the Netherlands. The diadem chosen by the Queen of the Belgians played a significant role in the royal lives of two other consorts and its very name is evocative of the country they called home. On her Dutch State Visit, Mathilde let the Nine Provinces Tiarasparkle.

Prince Harry in the Caribbean, Day Nine - Grenada

Prince Harry arrives in style on day nine of his tour of the Caribbean
(photo Kensington Palace Instagram)

After a travel day on November 27th (he's been working hard, give him 24 hours off), Prince Harry stepped ashore in Grenada to one of the biggest welcomes so far on his tour of the Caribbean. The happiness to see Harry continued through a day that included a lot of sport and a focus on protecting the natural environment. Come on, time to get happy with Harry as day nine of his Caribbean tour unfolds.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Spanish State Visit to Portugal, Day One

The King and Queen of Spain at the start of their State Visit to Portugal on November 28th 2016
(photo casa real Twitter)

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain began their three day State Visit to Portugal with a mix of modern and traditional. As well as the ceremonial welcome and a spectacular State Dinner, there was also a chance to celebrate one of Spain's most famous artists of the 20th century and to talk about causes close to their hearts. Welcome to the Spanish State Visit to Portugal, Day One.

Belgian State Visit to the Netherlands, Day One

The King and Queen of the Netherlands welcome the King and Queen of the Belgians to Amsterdam at the start of their State Visit on November 28th 2016
(photo MonarchieBe Twitter)

They are good friends and close acquaintances so it was no surprise to see smiles dominating as King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands welcomed King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians to their country, The three day State Visit got under way with plenty of pomp and ceremony and lots of laughs.

In memory of the Duke of Westminster

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster
(photo By Allan warren - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link)

Members of the Royal Family joined the congregation at Chester Cathedral today at a memorial service for the 6th Duke of Westminster who died in August. The Duke of Cambridge gave a reading at the service remembering Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor while his family led tributes. 

A baby prince for Luxembourg

And baby makes four - Claire and Felix of Luxembourg have welcomed a son

Prince Felix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg have welcomed their second child. Claire gave birth to a son in the early hours of November 28th in Switzerland.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Death of Margaret Rhodes, the Queen's beloved cousin

She was her friend and companion throughout ninety years - Margaret Rhodes, cousin of the Queen, has died at the age of 91.

Prince Harry in the Caribbean, Day Seven: St Vincent

Prince Harry in St Vincent during his tour of the Caribbean
(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

Day seven of Prince Harry's tour of the Caribbean took him to country number four as he stopped in St Vincent and the Grenadines. There were beaches, there were forests and there was a moment when Harry came face to face with himself. Welcome to day seven of Harry in the Caribbean.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Fidel Castro's meetings with royalty

Fidel Castro, who died on November 25th 2016

Royalty and Fidel Castro don't seem like a mix. But the man who led the Communist revolution in Cuba before ruling a one party state for almost fifty years rubbed shoulders with royals on more than one occasion. As the death of Fidel Castro is announced, here are several times that he met royalty.

Prince Harry in the Caribbean, Day Six - St Lucia

Prince Harry in Soufriere, St Lucia on day six of his tour of the Caribbean
(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

Anyone for cricket? Day Six of Prince Harry's Caribbean tour included an exhibition cricket match, a chat with young people working to save the natural environment and another chance to see the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy extended. All before the prince sailed off into the sunset. Welcome to Day Six of Harry's Caribbean tour.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Prince Harry in the Caribbean, Day Five - St Lucia

Prince Harry presents honours during the first part of his stay in St Lucia
(photo Kensington Royal Twitter)

After a packed twenty four hours in St Kitts and Nevis, Prince Harry kept things quiet on day five as he arrived in St Lucia. With a full itinerary ahead of him on day six, this part of the tour was perhaps the most formal so far as it was restricted to the official parts that have only peppered the visit so far. That doesn't mean though that Harry didn't add his own twist. Welcome to the Royal Tour of the Caribbean, Day Five.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Celebrating 60 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh leaving Westminster Abbey
(photo @wabbey Twitter)

He is used to walking a step behind but today, the Duke of Edinburgh was very firmly at the centre of royal celebrations. Prince Philip attended a special service in London marking 60 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. And while others shared their stories and he sat among royalty, the focus was very much on the man who created a scheme that has set countless young people on the path to success.

Queen Silvia at the Vatican

Queen Silvia and Pope Francis, November 24th 2016, The Vatican

Queen Silvia has spent two days at the Vatican this week and after opening an historic art exhibition on November 23rd, the Swedish consort had her eyes on the future on November 24th. She was taking part in a seminar on drugs and the impact on society, And, as in many things, Silvia's thoughts were on the impact on children and young people and ways to improve the lives of those affected.

Harry's Caribbean Album: St Kitts and Nevis

It was a whistlestop tour of St Kitts and Nevis for Prince Harry with just twenty four hours to enjy this part of his Caribbean visit. But he packed in plenty and left us with lots of great images and memories.  Here's Harry's photo album from St Kitts and Nevis.

When will Kate's words count more than her image?

Kate's latest speech has made headlines
(photo Province of British Columbia via Flickr)

When I woke up this morning to see 'The Duchess of Cambridge' trending on Twitter, my first thought was baby. After all, Kate's last engagement was the day before last and with no appearances or anniversaries to make her name flash up on the most popular talking topics of the day, bambino number three seemed a possibility. It turns out that everyone was talking about Kate talking, for a change. But does this mean we want to listen to Kate more now that click on photos?

Prince Harry in the Caribbean, Day Four: St Kitts and Nevis

The beachcomber prince - Harry in St Kitts and Nevis on day four of his Caribbean tour
(photo Kensington Palace Instagram)

Prince Harry began the next phase of his Caribbean tour in the same way that he had ended part one - beneath the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy. The prince arrived in St Kitts and Nevis on November 23rd, just hours after dedicating part of the forest in Antigua and Barbuda to the canopy and one of his  duties in St Kitts was to do the same there. It was a packed stop for Harry as day four of his Caribbean tour unfolded.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The royals of the Vatican

Queen Silvia and Princess Beatrix at the Rembrandt exhibition in the Vatican
(photo koninklijkhuis twitter)

It's a major art exhibition marking a major anniversary and it's just been given a very regal start. Queen Silvia of Sweden has officially opened the first ever display of Rembrandt's works at the Vatican in the presence of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Harry's Caribbean Album: Antigua and Barbuda

Prince Harry in one of the standout images of his tour of Antigua and Barbuda
(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

The first part of Prince Harry's tour of the Caribbean is over but it's left some fabulous photos as memories. We've had smiles, sport and striking sunsets and all in just three days. Here are twelve images to remember Harry in Antigua and Barbuda by.

Prince Harry in the Caribbean: Day Three, Barbuda

Prince Harry at a primary school in Barbuda during day three of his Caribbean tour
(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

After two days in Antigua at the start of his Caribbean tour, Prince Harry hopped on a helicopter for a visit to its sister island of Barbuda. Day three was all about education and the environment - two issues close to Harry's heart. And it ended under a canopy named for the Queen, a reminder that this royal tour is being carried out in his grandmother's name.

Kate's comfort for a mum in need

The Duchess of Cambridge with Ceri and Ethan Knapton at the Place2Be Awards
(photo Kensington Palace Instagram)

Sometimes, a hand on the shoulder is all we need to help us move forward. Last night, The Duchess of Cambridge came to the aid of a mum who was overwhelmed with emotion as her son talked about living with autism. Kate gave Ceri Knapton a hug to comfort her and told her that she had to do it, 'as a mum'.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Kate goes Dippy

The Duchess of Cambridge decorates dinosaur eggs on a trip to the Natural History Museum
(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

He arrived at the Natural History Museum in London by royal command in 1905 and now, as Dippy the Diplodocus prepares to head off on tour, he's had a regal send off. The Duchess of Cambridge attended a tea party at the museum of which she is patron as one of its most famous exhibits prepares for the next chapter in its life.

Silvia's Motherhood Message

Queen Silvia at a conference on children in Abu Dhabi at the weekend

She's got a lot of school and creativity coming up so Queen Silvia really knew what she was talking about when she attended a conference in Ab Dhabi this weekend about helping young people grow and thrive. Silvia spoke about the importance of education at the event - with five grandchildren under the age of five, it's a topic close to her heart right now.

All action Harry is a good sport in Antigua

A prince on top of his game - Harry gets sporty in Antigua
(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

We always knew Prince Harry was a good sport and he's gone the extra spin, bounce and tap to prove it while on his tour of the Caribbean. On a day out in Antigua at a Youth Sports Festival, Harry got to try his hand at more than one game. The prince was seeing how sport can really make a difference to the lives of young people as well as celebrating the achievements of the country he is calling home at the start of his two week tour of the Caribbean. Here's Harry's photo album showing what a good sport he's been in Antigua.

Prince Harry in the Caribbean, Day Two: Antigua and Barbuda...and hugs

Prince Harry is given a special guard of honour on his way out of the Sir Viv Richards Stadium
(photo Kensington Palace Instagram)

Prince Harry already has a reputation as the king of royal hugs and as he toured Antigua on day two in the Caribbean, he underlined that and then some. From celebrating with sporting colleagues to helping local children with disabilities, Harry was all about hugs on this part of his tour.

Charlene tops the poll

Princess Charlene of Monaco in the poll topping outfit worn for her country's National Day
(photo Palais Princier Facebook)

When you look like you stepped from a picture book and that album was taken in a royal palace, topping a style poll should be a doddle. And that's just what it was for Princess Charlene of Monaco who won this week's Royal Wardrobe poll in the outfit worn for her country's National Day.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Prince Harry in the Caribbean: Day One, Antigua and Barbuda

Prince Harry arrives at Clarence House, Antigua at the start of his Caribbean Tour
(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

It was like a home from home. Prince Harry started his tour of the Caribbean at Clarence House with constant reminders of home. Harry is carrying out this tour on behalf of his grandmother and as his first engagement got under way in Antigua and Barbuda, he was surrounded by images of the Queen in a house that shares its name with a family residence that was built for a William who would go on to become king. Harry's forward looking tour had plenty of reminders of the past as it got under way.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Royal Week, in Numbers

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden with Professor Stephen Hawking 
(photo Sveriges Kungahuset Instagram)

It's been a busy royal week with big visits, National Day celebrations and huge bills all making the headlines. We've seen some of the youngest royals on the continent, heard about projects that stretch around the world and had a right royal row about costs. To sum it all up, here's the Royal Week - in Numbers.

Prince Harry's Caribbean Tour is under way

Prince Harry in Antigua at the start of his Caribbean tour
(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

And he's landed. Prince Harry has touched down in Antigua at the start of his tour of the Caribbean which will take him to seven countries across two weeks. There are some big anniversaries and some major events coming up on this visit for Harry and it began with a right royal welcome for the prince.

Baby love on Monaco's National Day

Albert, Charlene, Jacques and Gabriella of Monaco on the palace balcony on their country's national day, November 19th 2016
(photo Palais Princier Facebook)

It might also be known as the Prince's celebration but this year, Monaco's National Day was all about the babies of the family. As was to be expected, twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella stole the show but they had pretty close competition from cousins Sacha, India and Raphael and a new member of the family set to make an appearance early next year. Welcome to baby love on Monaco's National Day.

The Royal Wardrobe

Queen Letizia of Spain in Madrid this week
(photo casareal Twitter)

It's been a week of muted colours and monochrome in the Royal Wardrobe. We've had splashes of colour, thanks to Queen Maxima and Queen Letizia, but even they have also joined the trend of the past seven days - black, white and grey. And that isn't a bad thing. From suits to dresses to downright winners, these wintry shades have been shown off in a series of standout looks. Here are four of the best - and you can vote, as always, on this week's Royal Wardrobe in the poll on the main page.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Buckingham Palace: time for a rethink?

The Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace - is it time to turn it from home to office?
(photo by Carfax2 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

At a time of year when many of us need a new boiler, repair bills are never far from thoughts. But when the repair bill is 369 million, that really concentrates the mind. Buckingham Palace is getting a refit and the invoice has not only caused a huge row, it's reignited the debate about where the Royal Family should live and who should foot the bill. So is it time to change things up at Buckingham Palace?

Friday, 18 November 2016

Maxima is back in business

Queen Maxima at the launch of a business report on November 18th 2016
(photo koninklijkhuis Twitter)

She's barely touched back down again after her State Visits to Australia and New Zealand and Queen Maxima has been seriously busy. In less than twenty four hours, the Queen of the Netherlands has carried out a series of engagements all about building different parts of society.  Maxima is back home and back in business.

Portraits of Princesses

A trio of princesses - the daughters of the King and Queen of the Netherlands in a new photo
(photo koninklijkhuis/ Jeroen van der Meyde)

Just as winter take s a hold, the three princesses of Willem-Alexander and Maxima are reminding us of summer. Catharina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane star in new photos taken earlier this year and released by the royal house.  Coming from summer as the frosts begin to sparkle, these are portraits of princesses.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Albert and Charlene's gifts

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene distribute gifts in a special week for Monaco
(photo Palais Princier Facebook)

As Monaco gets ready for its national day, there are gifts to be given. And these presents had a new meaning this year. Traditionally, Monaco's royals hand out baskets and gifts ahead of their country's National Day to locals but in a year when Europe has seen a refugee crisis there were new recipients in a cermony filled with meaning.

Leonor and Sofia's debut

The King and Queen of Spain and their daughters leave the Cortes on November 17th 2016
(photo casareal Twitter)

The King of Spain has officially opened the new session of his country's parliament after almost a year of political uncertainty and at his side was his heir, Princess Leonor, and her sister, Infanta Sofia. After a difficult 2016 for Spain's politicians and its Royal Family, this was a day of new beginnings. And it all started with a debut for Leonor and Sofia.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Harry sings his causes loud

Prince Harry with the Joyful Noise Choir in London
(photo Kensington Palace Instagram)

Prince Harry wants to sing it from the rooftops. The prince has been a high profile supporter of HIV/ AIDS charities for a while and even took an HIV test in the summer, live on Facebook, to encourage others to get their own check. On his latest visit to a charity in London, he's joined forces with a choir to make sure the message really gets across.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Paola leads the way

Belgium's royals at King's Day celebrations on November 15th 2016
(photo MonarchieBe Twitter)

It's King's Day in Belgium but it was one of the country's two queens who led the way. Paola, consort of Albert II, was with her family at the traditional events and she was every inch the leading lady.

Diana, twenty years on

Diana, Princess of Wales is to be remembered at her London home on the 20th anniversary of her death
(Wiki Commons)

When she died, Kensington Palace became a sea of flowers. Twenty years on from the passing of Diana, Princess of Wales, a garden of scent will be planted to mark the anniversary of her death.

Royal Wedding Tiaras: Elizabeth II and the Princess Royal

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on their wedding day

A tiara worn by the longest reigning monarch in British history and her only daughter for their marriages is going to take some beating as a royal wedding diadem and this delight of diamonds is pretty hard to top. The sparkling fringe tiara chosen by the then Princess Elizabeth and her daughter, Princess Anne, for their weddings had plenty of royal pedigree before its starring role in their big days. And now it's known just as much for its part in the weddings of Elizabeth II and Anne, Princess Royal. This really is a royal wedding tiara.

The Royal Wardrobe Poll: yes to yellow

Queen Maxima in the yellow coat which topped the Royal Wardrobe poll this week
(photo koninklijkhuis Twitter)

In the end, it was too sunny to resist. The yellow coat worn by Queen Maxima, with its Sixties vibe and stand out hat, topped the poll to find the favourite outfit from this week's Royal Wardrobe.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Mary and Fred's first big anniversary

Fred and Mary get woken up by loved ones keen to get the party started on their copper wedding anniversary
(photo det danske kongehuset Facebook)

OK, ten is big and five is biggish but in Denmark, the first really huge landmark wedding anniversary comes exactly 12 and a half years after saying 'I do'. Today, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary reached that milestone and as a special present, their friends and family woke them up at 6.30am and posted a photo online. Happy Anniversary.

Royal Wedding Dresses: Princess Anne

Anne, Princess Royal on the day she married Captain Mark Phillips, November 14th 1973

Everything in fashion comes around again and right now, the sleeves on the wedding dress worn by Anne, Princess Royal, for her first marriage on November 14th 1973 are so hot they need a bucket of ice. Statement and then some, they are the most famous feature of this elegant gown which was wowed over by millions as the only daughter of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh said 'I do' on November 14th 1973 to Captain Mark Phillips. The marriage ended in 1992 but the couple remain friends and the dress remains a royal icon.

This week's top royal Instagrams, brotherly love

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry on Remembrance Sunday
(photo MOD images/ Ross Tilly)

They are the princes who won hearts around the world and now William and Harry are winning hearts on social media. One photo of two brothers paying their respects to the millions who lost their lives in war has become the most liked royal Instagram image of the past week.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Royal Week, in Numbers

Princess Charlene of Monaco was in the mood for rugby this week
(photo BlitzBokke Twitter)

It's been a busy royal week with State Visits, official visits and romantic visits (yes, Meghan, we spotted you) and that's before we get to the business of new portraits, speeches and ribbon cutting. The ruling houses of Europe have packed in plenty in the past seven days so to sum it all up, here are some highlights wrapped in figures to make the Royal Week, in numbers.