Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Leonor's first official portrait

It's a birthday tradition that Spain's royals don't tend to follow as much as other European houses but this year they've made an exception. To mark her 12th birthday, Princess Leonor, heir to the throne, has a new portrait to celebrate. In fact, it's her first official portrait and it comes at a very interesting time indeed.

Kate's bouncing back to health

After several months of severe morning sickness, it seems that Kate is bouncing back to health. The Duchess of Cambridge, now into the second trimester of her third pregnancy, looked to have put the Hyperemsis Gravidarum which forced her to stay indoors for the best part of two months behind her as she carried out her latest public engagement. It was anyone for tennis as Kate started her autumn agenda again.

8 things we learned from 'A Very Royal Wedding'

You just can't beat a royal wedding. Even when you think you know one like the back of your hand, there is still plenty to find out about these moments of magic that fill royal history books. That was proved and then some by the fabulous documentary shown on ITV on October 30th 2017 as the countdown to the 70th anniversary of the Queen and Prince Philip's wedding gathers pace. The programme, made by Oxford Films and presented by Alexander Armstrong, told the story of the big day in minute detail with never before seen footage and interviews with some of those who turned this dynastic love match into the wedding of the century. Here are eight things we learned from 'A Very Royal Wedding'....

Monday, 30 October 2017

Royal reasons to be cheerful

We all need a reason to be cheerful every now and again and after what's seemed an up and down kind of few months for royals everywhere, here's a regal reason to smile. Yes, this picture is real and it's rather lovely. And there's more to come. Make hot chocolate, add marshmallows, let's put the angst and the agitation aside for a moment and just get mellow with Mary, Fred and the kids.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Royal Wedding Rumours - this week's round up

There's only one royal story we're really all waiting for and it's THAT engagement. Since just about everyone decided it's when rather than if for Harry and Meghan, the chatter about the couple has gone into overdrive. It moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. So from now until we get the big anno (let's face it that might be hours), there will be a weekly round up of the most high profile whispers about the couple right here. Settle down for your first dose of royal wedding rumours.....

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Letizia flies solo again as Spain's royals are hit by crisis

The Queen of Spain will, again, be the sole representative of her royal household at a public event this week as the country is engulfed by crisis. The agenda for the Spanish Royal Family, published every Friday, shows just one appearance in the days ahead with Letizia due to attend an awards ceremony on October 30th 2017. 

Friday, 27 October 2017

Spain's King stays silent...for now

King Felipe is expected to stay silent in the coming hours on the crisis engulfing his country. In the last few hours, the parliament of Catalonia has declared independence in a move that it hopes will lead to the establishment of a republic in the region. The government in Madrid, meanwhile, is preparing to take control of Catalonia. Felipe began October knowing that a disputed referendum was set to take place. He can never have imagined it would end with part of his country trying to break away from his crown.

Meet the new Queen

Meet the new Queen. There could only ever be one winner in the race to grab one of the hottest roles on TV right now and the crown, quite literally, goes to Olivia Colman.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Harry shows how royals can mix private and public

It was a day when his feelings. both public and private, were at the fore. The second and final part of Prince Harry's visit to Denmark saw him embrace Invictus, focus on the future, get medieval on social media and take part in a very personal meeting. Heartfelt, in every way.

Letizia's battle lines are drawn

You've got to hand it to this queen. Anyone who can look that good on a day when their royal dynasty took a wobble has got some oomph. As her husband's reign headed into uncharted waters of chaos as one part of his kingdom threatened to leave while his former principality declared him persona non grata, Letizia faced them all down single handedly. The Spanish Royal Family has barely been seen in public since the disputed referendum in Catalonia and King Felipe's controversial speech in its wake. But Letizia opened the palace doors and marched out all on her own. Letizia has drawn the battle lines and she clearly means business.

From historic prince to outcast king

He was its first prince for over a quarter of a millennium but his actions as a king have led to a place called Girona in Catalonia rejecting Felipe VI. The King of Spain has been declared a persona non grata by Girona City Council following his interventions in the disputed Catalan independence referendum. The beloved prince is become an outcast king.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The prince who conquered Copenhagen

He's the prince with the magic touch right now. Prince Harry took about thirty seconds to charm Copenhagen as he arrived in the Danish capital for a two day visit. The trip, at the request of the Foreign Office, isn't a State Visit but it had all the hallmarks of one. On what could well be his last major appearance before a certain announcement is made, here's how Harry conquered Copenhagen.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Letizia's business as usual

Just don't look at the fixed grin. There is tension all over the face of the Queen of Spain in the images coming from Oviedo for this year's Princesa de Asturias prizes but from a distance, Letizia is trying to give the impression she is carrying on as normal. Whether that's a wise decision given the crisis facing her country right now isn't certain but over the four appearances she made at the annual awards ceremony in the region of her birth, Letizia was trying to keep calm and carry on. She smiled, she waved, she bounced babies, she did what she does best and gave us a masterclass in style. Here's a look back at the queen from Asturias as she goes home one more time....

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Difficult days for the King of Spain

The headlines might sing but the reaction is far from in harmony. As the King of Spain made his second speech in two weeks on the Catalonia crisis, social media is alive with controversial comments. The front of the newspapers might focus on the main lines about unity but the response on websites and social media is far from together. King Felipe VI is facing a storm of resentment in a turbulent time. The next few weeks look very hard indeed.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Royal Wedding Dresses: Stephanie of Luxembourg

Stephanie of Luxembourg in Elie Saab on her wedding day, October 20th 2012
(photo Grand Cour Ducale)

When you're the bride at what's being billed as the last big royal wedding of a generation then there's quite a lot of pressure on the dress. There was a huge amount of interest in the marriage of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Stephanie de Lannoy on October 20th 2012, partly because of the stellar royal guest list and partly because the groom was the last heir to a throne of his generation to say 'I do'. When Stephanie stepped onto the red carpet leading to Luxembourg Cathedral, she certainly wowed in a wedding dress that did royal and modern all at the same time.

Royal Wedding Tiaras: Stephanie of Luxembourg

A family tiara for Stephanie of Luxembourg on her wedding day
(photo By Denis Probst - Own work, archive Denis Probst, CC BY-SA 3.0 luLink)

The royal family that Stephanie de Lannoy married into on October 20th 2012 has one of the best collections of tiaras around. But on her big day, the new Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg chose a tiara much closer to home - her family diadem, worn by her sisters on their own wedding days. This royal bride followed her own tradition with a tiara filled with sentimental value.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Royal Wedding Gala Gowns:Stephanie of Luxembourg

Five years ago this week, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg married Countess Stephanie de Lannoy in a wedding (or two) to remember. The last heir of his generation to say 'I do' did it not once, but twice, as he and his bride exchanged vows in a civil ceremony on October 19th and then again in a religious service on October 20th. In between that they held a gala dinner to celebrate their nuptials with royal guests from across Europe filling the Ducal Palace in Luxembourg on the night of the 19th for a glittering celebration. Which means that not only did royal bride, Stephanie, get two wedding dresses she also got a gala gown to go in her marriage wardrobe sandwich. As the happy couple celebrate their wood anniversary (yep, five years is really owning it with the gifts), let's get all sparkly and look back at a gala night to remember...

Royal Wedding Outfits: Stephanie of Luxembourg

What's better than a royal wedding dress? Why, two royal wedding dresses of course. While more than one recent royal bride has gone through both a religious and civil ceremony to marry, not all of them get to do the double dress whammy. But Stephanie de Lannoy wasn't going to say 'I do' in just one frock. The future Grand Duchess of Luxembourg gave us two regal wedding looks for her two ceremonies five years ago this week. On the anniversary of her civil marriage to Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg, here's a look back at what Stephanie wore to say 'I do' first time round.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

All change for this royal trio?

They've been a trusty trio for several years now but one image from the latest appearance of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry perhaps highlights how things will change...and how soon. For on their visit to celebrate the Coach Core programme on October 18th, this royal three found themselves with a spare seat right next to a certain handsome prince. Harry seemed to be warming the chair for another member of this new generation of royals. Is this the last time we see the trio before three become four?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Kate's date for 2018

So just about everyone had it right. Kensington Palace caused absolutely no surprises today by confirming that baby Cambridge number 3 is due in April 2018. After the announcement that Kate and William are expecting another child was made at the start of September, all predictions pointed to an April due date. Now it's been well and truly inked in the royal diary.

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Dancing Duchess

What's a duchess to do when a prince tells a life size bear to dance with her? Kate surprised everyone with an appearance at a charity event today and got a bit of a surprise herself when brother in law, Harry, suggested Paddington give her a twirl. Here's what happened to the dancing duchess.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

A king in waiting turns 12

The future king of Denmark is 12 today. Prince Christian, born October 15th 2005, might be celebrating behind closed palace doors but like all monarchs in waiting. there is a birthday appearance. The boy who will be king in a generation of girls born to be queen has marked the occasion with a new official photo.

Friday, 13 October 2017

State Visit Style: Queen Maxima in Portugal

Well, thanks for that. Queen Maxima has got the autumn State Visit season off to a flying start with a wardrobe that can only be described as eclectic. After luring us into a false state of security with a very Maxima outfit to start off with things went from feathers to flowers as the Queen of the Netherlands tried out all kinds of different looks on her three day visits. You'll love some, you'll be less certain about others but because it's Friday and because we've not been able to do this for months. here's the return of State Visit style as Queen Maxima wows Portugal.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Queen and Remembrance Sunday

The Queen will not lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday this year. It's been announced that Elizabeth II will instead watch the ceremony from a balcony overlooking Whitehall while the Prince of Wales places her tribute, on behalf of the nation, at the foot of the memorial to those who have died for their country. It is a major moment in the reign of Britain's longest serving monarch.

State Dinner Sparklers: Netherlands to Portugal

It's been a while. There is a distinct lack of sparkle during the royal summer as the State Visit quota drops and the tiaras are dusted down and stored away safely through most of August and September. But fear not, glitter season has returned. As October gets under way, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands are on a State Visit to Portugal and that means one thing. A State Banquet and a dose of diamonds to cheer us all up. Here's the tiara chosen by Maxima to get the autumn glitter going.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Kate's return

The Duchess of Cambridge has returned to public engagements for the first time since announcing she was expecting another baby. Kate made her reappearance at an event for World Mental Health Day held at Buckingham Palace on October 10th 2017.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Sweden's royal baby: Gabriel and brotherly love

Prince Gabriel of Sweden might only just have turned one month but he's already got a friend for life. As the newest royal on the continent debuts in official photos, his big brother Alexander is on hand to help him through. They are already an adorable royal double act and then some.

Kate's baby debut number 3

Twenty four hours and counting. On October 10th 2017, the Duchess of Cambridge will make her first public appearance since it was announced she is expecting her third baby next year. Which means tomorrow is the first glimpse of Kate's baby debut number three. With her past two pregnancies, Kate revealed there was a little Cambridge on the way very early on owing to the Hyperemsis Gravidarum which affected her. It's thought to be much the same this time round - apart from William telling everyone just a few weeks ago that the couple might be seeing their midwives sooner than we think. The interest in the royal tummy will be huge tomorrow as every sign of a bump will be checked out and pored over. Here's how Kate made her mama to be debuts with George and Charlotte.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Royal Wedding Tiaras: Infanta Cristina of Spain

It all started so well. The marriage of Infanta Cristina and Inaki Urdangarin on October 4th 1997 was a sparkling event with a royal guest list, a handsome couple and enough public support to make any monarchy feel rather comfortable in its ermine clad skin. The next twenty years saw that fairytale put to the test and then some. The marriage of Cristina and Inaki has endured even if it hasn't always been the glittering jewel in the Spanish royal crown. But on their 20th wedding anniversary, let's enjoy a little bit of sparkle as we look back at the tiara Cristina wore on the day she said 'I do'.

Royal Wedding Dresses: Infanta Cristina of Spain

It was a glittering wedding that seemed to put the seal on what then seemed a triumph of a monarchy. Spain's Royal Family was about as popular as could be in October 1997 and the huge outpouring of public support as Infanta Cristina wed Inaki Urdangarin in Barcelona only underlined that. What a difference two decades can make. As Spain's royals languish in yet another crisis, the memories of a sunny day when the world seemed to be at their feet remain. At the heart of the fairytale was a modern bride with her own sense of style who took well loved to new levels. Here's a look back at the royal wedding dress of Infanta Cristina of Spain...the princess bride who could seemingly do no wrong.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Felipe VI of Spain speaks out

King Felipe VI of Spain has spoken to his country following the independence referendum in Catalonia on Sunday. In an address that came after several days of silence from the head of state, King Felipe described the bid for autonomy as illegal and unconstitutional. But while the story that went around the world on Sunday involved police aggression against some of those voting, there was no mention of the those injured in a speech the King of Spain said was for all his people.

Monday, 2 October 2017

8 royal birthdays for October

Some months are awash with royal birthdays and while October can't quite match the cake baking, card sending regal frenzy of September it doesn't do too badly on the celebrations front. Some royal houses seem to be particularly fond of October babies (not looking at anywhere in particular here, Belgium) but there's a good spread of royal birthdays going on this month. So get the cake ready and the cards written, here are eight royal birthdays for October.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Three royal brides for October

Stephanie, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, was an October bride
(photo Grand Cour Ducale)

You don't get that many royal weddings in October. It's getting chilly for a start and this part of the year in modern times is often pencilled in for overseas tours and State Visits while the regal agenda firmly beds in after the summer break. But every now and again we get an early autumn royal bride - here's a trio that said 'I do' in October.