The royal February 2017 included many memories of Diana
(photo Kensington Royal Twitter)
February 2017 may be at an end but it's left its mark on the pages of royal history. We've had endings, big birthdays and an anniversary like no other, all sprinkled with jewels that have set the sparkling seal on the royal month now gone. Here are six royal reasons to remember February 2017.
The Sapphire Queen
Today marks The Queen's #SapphireJubilee It has been 65 years since Her Majesty acceded to the throne. On 6 February 1952, King George VI sadly died following a prolonged illness. Princess Elizabeth immediately acceded to the throne, becoming Queen Elizabeth II and taking on all of the responsibilities which came with her new title. In the photograph, The Queen is wearing a suite of sapphire jewellery given to her by King George VI as a wedding gift in 1947.
February 2017 belongs, like so many other royal months, to Elizabeth II. The Queen celebrated her Sapphire Jubilee on February 6th 2017 and wrote yet another chapter in the regal history books as she became the first British monarch ever to reign for 65 years. As usual, there was no appearance on the day itself - as it is also the anniversary of her father's death, the Queen marks the moment privately. But there was a special photo to mark the occasion as Buckingham Palace re-released a David Bailey portrait of Elizabeth II in the George VI sapphires, the gems given to her as a princess by her father on her wedding day. The perfect way to celebrate the Sapphire Queen.
The end of the Infanta Cristina trial
Spain's monarchy left a chapter in its past behind this month as the trial of the Infanta Cristina on tax fraud charges came to an end with the sixth in line to the throne being found not guilty on February 17th 2017. Cristina's husband. Inaki Urdangarin, faces a six year jail term after being convicted but is on bail as he prepares an appeal. The end of the trial marked a line in the sand for Spain's beleagured royals who have seen their popularity ratings tumble in tumultuous times over the past seven years. With the shadow of Cristina's trial now gone, the Spanish Royal Family start a new chapter.
After the sad announcement that they were parting ways after ten years of marriage last month, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy of Luxembourg were divorced in February 2017. The couple were issued with a decree nisi in London on the grounds of Louis' unreasonable behaviour. The decree absolute will come through in March.
This year is one of big birthdays all round and February really got the anniversary party started with one of the biggest anniversaries of all. King Harald turned 80 on February 21st 2017 in a very low key way but there will be major celebrations this summer to mark the year both he and Queen Sonja mark eight decades. Harald's big sister, Princess Astrid, was 85 on February 12th, Princess Christina of the Netherlands celebrated her 70th on February 18th and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark turned 45 on February 5th. And future queen, Princess Estelle of Sweden, passed a very big landmark on February 23rd when she celebrated her 5th birthday while on holiday with her parents and little brother, Oscar, who has his own milestone moment coming up in March.
The style of a royal icon was everywhere in February 2017 as an exhibition of dresses belonging to Diana, Princess of Wales opened at Kensington Palace. Photos and articles about the legendary gowns were everywhere and queues formed outside the palace when the exhibition opened on February 24th 2017. From the dress she wore to dance with John Travolta to the bows and frills of her early years, some of Diana's most iconic outfits are on show. And the reaction to the exhibition so far shows that, even twenty years on, Diana still fascinates.
A diamond delight
Let's leave February 2017 behind with a bit of sparkle. Royals wear tiaras all the time, we know that, but every now and again we get a diadem moment that really stands out. Queen Letizia of Spain gave us one of those on February 22nd when she attended a State Banquet in honour of the President of Argentina in a tiara so packed with stones that even her royal family calls it 'La Buena' or 'the good one'. The Fleur de Lys tiara can only be worn by queens of Spain and this was a crowning moment in Letizia's royal career. Keep sparkling, here comes March.
Photo credits: Grand Cour Ducale and kongehuset.no