Thursday, 23 November 2017

Royal Wedding Rumours: is Harry about to marry Meghan

Stand by, this is your royal engagement warning. Social media is abuzz, and I mean ayyyy-buzzzzzzzz, about Harry and Meghan showing off the sparkler soon. As in tomorrow. As in less than 24 hours away. And there are some reasons why this really might be it. Stand by for the latest royal wedding rumours, quite possibly the last instalment before we turn into Royal Wedding Countdown....

Monday, 20 November 2017

Queen's 70th Wedding Anniversary: the wedding breakfast

Let's talk cake. The 70th wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh is being celebrated with a private dinner for family and friends at Windsor Castle tonight but while they feast, we'll just get happy with a look back at what the rather substantial guest list tucked into at the royal wedding breakfast all those decades ago. We've got fish, game, fruit and a cake that is beyond legend. Hope you're hungry, here comes the royal wedding food list...

Queen's 70th Wedding Anniversary: the bridal party

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary today. They are marking the event privately, with a dinner at Windsor Castle, and one of the reasons for the lack of public celebration hinted at is that the couple feel it would remind them too much of all those they have lost. The passing of time and the fading of friends is perhaps best seen in the official photo with their wedding party. For of the eight bridesmaids who attended the Queen, just two are still alive while only one of her two cheeky pageboys is still here to celebrate with the couple he attended seventy years ago. The Duke of Edinburgh's best man, David, Marquess of Milford Haven, has also sadly passed away. The official photo of the wedding party is a reminder of those who were so loved and so important. On this special anniversary, here's a look back at the bridal party of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh....

Remembering the happy tears of Jana Novotna and a duchess

Jana Novotna, Tennis Player, Wimbledon Champion 1998
1968 - 2017

It was the ultimate tennis fairytale and the happy tears shared with a royal friend that we all wanted to see. When Jana Novotna won Wimbledon in 1998, it was the joyful ending to a sporting story with a duchess at its heart. As we mourn the passing of a tennis great, let's remember those happy tears.

Queen's 70th Wedding Anniversary: the Queen's wedding dress

What happens when you put together ration books, a row about silk worms and a 15th century Italian masterpiece? Why, one of the most famous royal wedding dresses of all, that's what. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary today. Seven decades may have passed since the world first got a glimpse of that gown but it still retains its power to wow. On this special day, here's a look back at the Queen's wedding dress....

Queen's 70th Wedding Anniversary: the Queen as a bride

All brides are beautiful but some linger in the memory forever. The Queen is in that category. OK, it helps that she's the Queen and millions watched her wedding while billions have no doubt seen the photos since. And we're all getting wedding excitement again as the Platinum anniversary of her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh arrives this November 20th. So to celebrate that very special moment, here's a look back at the Queen as a bride.....

Royal Platinum Wedding: Congratulations to the Queen and Prince Philip on 70 Years of Marriage

''In all essentials, exactly the same as it would have been for any cottager who might be married this afternoon''.. That's what the Archbishop of York said to Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten about their marriage as they wed on November 20th 1947 at Westminster Abbey. Plenty raised an eyebrow at that sentiment then and since. But in many ways, Cyril Garbet was right. For any marriage will always come down to the two people who enter into it. It might start in splendour but it relies on the hard work and unending hope of those saying 'I do' if it is to continue in glory. The Queen and Prince Philip, seven decades on, have proved that love really does conquer all.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Royal Platinum Wedding: the look of love as the Queen and Prince Philip celebrate 70 years of marriage

He looks like he can't believe his luck and she looks like she's pretending to ignore him. It was probably the same seventy years ago when the first decided to get married. In a new set of photos to mark their 70th wedding anniversary, the Queen and Prince Philip look like any couple in love. Which is why their wedding anniversary and all it celebrates is just really rather marvellous all round.

Royal Platinum Wedding: the bride, through veils of time

A princess, a queen in waiting, royal history in the making. Elizabeth was many things on her wedding day, November 20th 1947, but above all she was a bride. She was on show to the world and being scrutinised by millions but throughout that day there were moments just for her. Seventy years may have passed but some survive, caught on camera while the bride's thoughts were caught elsewhere. As the Queen and Prince Philip prepare to celebrate their Platinum Wedding Anniversary, here is Elizabeth the bride, through the veils of time...

Royal Platinum Wedding: the Queen's engagement ring

On a platinum anniversary, you need a platinum ring. With just hours to go until the 70th wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, it's time to look back to the piece of jewellery being worn by the bride on the eve of her wedding. Her engagement ring was filled with sentiment, history and sparkle and has proved a royal classic in its own right. As the anniversary approaches, here's a look back at the Queen's engagement ring....

Royal Platinum Wedding: the bride's grandmother

Norman Hartnell made a lot of frocks for the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten on November 20th 1947. But while he was no doubt sweating over making the bride's gown perfect and ensuring that her mum looked marvellous in another of his creations, the frock that may have caused most fear was the one he made for Queen Mary. The Queen's granny was nothing if not formidable so this was no easy commission. Here's how Hartnell helped create the perfect granny of the bride....

Royal Platinum Wedding: 5 other royal events of 1947

In the end, it is the royal event we all remember from 1947. The marriage of the then Princess Elizabeth to Philip Mountbatten on November 20th 1947 has gone down in history as a regal milestone and the start of an historic story. But it wasn't the only major royal event that year.
Three reigns came to an end, two tenures began, one monarchy ended for good. There was also a regency and a tragic event that would change another throne forever. Here are five more royal events of 1947...

Royal Platinum Wedding: the official photo

You don't get out of a major royal wedding anniversary without an official photo or two and with just hours to go until they mark 70 years of marriage, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have opened up the latest chapter in their album with a portrait by Matt Holyoak of Camera Press.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Royal Platinum Wedding: Europe's other monarchical marriages

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are about to break yet another royal record. On November 20th 2017 they will mark their 70th wedding anniversary, the first British royals to make that milestone. But how do Europe's other monarchs match up when it comes to marital marks? As Elizabeth II and her consort prepare for their platinum, here's a run down of how the sovereigns of Europe measure in the matrimonal market....

Royal TV takeover

If you love the royals, then grab the sofa. They are taking over the TV. There's some right royal treats coming up on the tellybox so settle down, find the choccies and veg out, regal style.....

Royal Platinum Wedding: the mother of the bride

All eyes might be on the bride on her big day but there's one other person feeling the style pressure. The mother of the bride. Not only is she seeing her little girl begin a whole new chapter of her life, she's got to have a hat that could stop traffic or no one is going home truly happy. That was never going to be a problem at the Queen's wedding on November 20th 1947. We all know how her mum loved a hat. And on the day her dynasty made more history, this Queen Elizabeth was more than ready for her close up.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Royal Wedding Tiaras: the Queen and Princess Anne

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.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

ICYMI: busy Windsor bees

The House of Windsor has got the shoulder to the proverbial. The week is still building up to its crescendo and we've already got appearances as far as the eye can see. From catch ups at children's centres to catch up with superstar athletes, it's been busy and varied. ICYMI, here's what the Windsors have been doing so far this week.

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.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Royal Remembrance: the Cenotaph

It is a tradition approaching its 100th anniversary and although it took a different form this year, it was none the less moving or poignant for it. The Queen led the nation in remembering those who lost their lives in conflict on Remembrance Sunday. But for the first time she oversaw proceedings from the balcony of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office while her heir, the Prince of Wales laid her wreath. It was a heartfelt tribute and a moment of history.

Royal Platinum Wedding: the other anniversaries

The marriage of a monarch and her consort
November 20th 1947
(photo Wiki Commons)

The Queen and Prince Philip are about to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary, yet another milestone in a reign that has seen both monarch and consort break records and make royal history over and over again. The couple, then just 21 and 26, married on November 20th 1947. Seven decades on, they look as loved up as they did on that special day. They are the first royal couple in British history to celebrate seventy years of marriage. In the run up to this historic moment, here's a chance to look back at how they celebrated their other landmark anniversaries....

The Queen leads Royal Remembrance

The Queen has led the Royal Family as it begins the solemn events that surround her country's annual commemoration of those who gave their lives for it in conflict. On the eve of Remembrance Sunday, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were joined by other members of their family at the Festival of Remembrance. The poppies fell and the poignant process of remembering began.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Royal Platinum Wedding: the marriage it made

It's said that a really good wedding should always lead to another. The Queen's wedding, on November 20th 1947, was a real cracker and in true romantic tradition another marriage followed as a result. But while the regal lovebirds might have been happy ever after with each other, it was very far from a complete royal fairytale. For the monarchical marriage made in Westminster Abbey that winter's day was that of Michael and Anne of Romania.

We Will Remember Them

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.
In memory and with gratitude, today and always

Friday, 10 November 2017

Citrines for November: Luxembourg

Sparkling in citrines - Stephanie of Luxembourg in a very unusual tiara
(photo By Frankie Fouganthin - Own workCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wiki Commons)

November has two birthstones but finding royal jewels featuring either citrine or topaz is a bit of an ask. These two jewels come in stunning colours but they aren't favourites in the jewellery boxes of the ruling houses of Europe right now. However, there is one rather striking tiara featuring citrines which you can't fail not to notice. Welcome to Citrines for November.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Prince Harry's Solo Salute

It was a solitary salute this year and none the less poignant for it. Prince Harry attended opening of the Fields of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on November 9th 2017 to pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives while fighting for their country. But while Harry has been a regular at this event for several years now, this time round things were different. For this was the first time the prince walked the lines of poppies since the retirement of his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Royal Baby Number 3: the maternity wardrobe starts here

Stand by, Cambridge baby number three is really making a mark. We've known that Kate is pregnant again since September but in the last twenty four hours, that baby bump has had a proper debut. And today was another landmark in the eagerly watched great expectations of Kate, part three. For today, the duchess debuted maternity wear.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Royal Baby Number 3: here comes the bump

It's always a special moment in any pregnancy, the time that baby starts to make their presence well and truly known. A baby bump is a very personal thing but also a very public sign that new life is on the way. We already knew that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were expecting baby number three (that is, unless, you've been under a rock since September) and while the smallest hint of a curvy tum had been seen on Kate's previous public appearances since the announcement, a gala dinner in London provided an opportunity for everyone to go maternity mad. Yep, here comes the bump.

Monday, 6 November 2017

State Visit Sparklers: Israel to Spain

You don't need to get overly excited here. As the King and Queen of Spain hosted their first incoming State Visit since February, there were only ever really two options on the tiara table for the banquet that Felipe and Letizia hosted for the President of Israel and his wife at the Royal Palace in Madrid on the night of November 6th 2017. As Queen of Spain, Leti has only ever cracked out the Floral Tiara or La Buena and given the state of her country right now, bringing out all the bling was never an option. So settle back and enjoy the sparkle of Letizia's diamond flowers, part 9843.

The royal look of love

It's a landmark to love and Philippe and Mathilde looked more than loved up on their visit to this special place. On day one of their State Visit to India, the King and Queen of the Belgians spent some time at the Taj Mahal and couldn't have been more romantic if they tried. The couple only had eyes for each other despite being accompanied by a huge diplomatic delegation and quite a lot of media. Today was all about the royal look of love.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Royal Wedding Rumours: November's first whispers

Another week, another round of royal rumours about engagements and weddings involving a certain prince called Harry and Meghan Markle. This week has been fairly quiet on the wedding whispers front but there's still more than enough to plough through as we head into November, long tipped to be the month when Harry and Meghan will do the whole show off a diamond thing at St James' Palace. As the big month dawned, there was lots of talk about clothes, homes and nicknames. Time to get busy with a round up of royal wedding rumours....

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Royal Social Media: October's Instagram hits

Social media is fast becoming THE way royal houses choose to communicate. In an age where news moves faster than fast and often gets boiled down to a few words and a picture or two, official social media channels help set the agenda while keeping a seemingly insatiable appetite for royal stories going. What the royal houses choose to post on their official Instagram accounts tells us what they want to show to the world. What gets the most likes tells us just what hits a nerve. So to see what really got royal audiences going in October, here's a run down of the most popular Instagram posts on each official royal account. It's going to be busy - we're off to a swimming pool, climbing trees and trying out a bit of ballet. And you have to wait til the end for the biggest hit of the month. Grab the tea and biccies and enjoy October's royal social media hits.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Royal Wedding Flowers: orchids

It's known as a luxurious flower and symbolises love so it's perhaps surprising that the orchid doesn't feature in every royal wedding bouquet. This exotic bloom isn't one of the most regular flowers used by royal brides but it's featured in some of the most famous bouquets of recent times. Among them, the bouquet that was carried at a wedding still making history today. Yes, the flowers chosen by the then Princess Elizabeth for her marriage on November 20th 1947 included orchids. As the Queen and Prince Philip prepare to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in just a few days time, here are five times royal brides have chosen orchids for their bouquets.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Sofia, the strength of the Spanish monarchy

It's probably fair to say that Sofia, Queen of Spain has had happier birthdays. As she celebrates turning 79, no doubt with friends and family around her, she's not just contemplating another year done and another to come. Her royal house is facing one of its toughest tests to date with many months of tumult ahead. In the midst of this, Sofia remains the strength of the Spanish monarchy.

A trio of November royal brides

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on their wedding day
November 20th 1947, Buckingham Palace

November isn't overladen with royal weddings but among them is one of the most historic royal of them all. For this is the month in which the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their wedding anniversary. The longest marriage in British royal history began on a cold November day in 1947 and seven decades later it's still being celebrated. The sparkle and joy of that event is among those remembered here as we look at three royal brides for November.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

5 things we know about Prince Gabriel's christening

There's one month to go until the newest royal in Europe stars in the first big official event of his young life. Prince Gabriel of Sweden will be christened on December 1st 2017 and the Swedish Royal Household has already let us know plenty about the day. As with Gabriel's cousins, there is a special page all about the baptism. And just to make us all smile, it now boasts a brand new, super cute photo of the second son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia. So let's look ahead to December and get all excited as we count down five things we now know about the christening of Gabriel Carl Walther of Sweden.

6 royal birthdays for November

It's candles for Charles this month as he celebrates his birthday
(photo By Korona Lacasse [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons) 

There might not be as many royal birthdays in November as in other months, but these ones pack a real regal punch. On this list you'll find two heirs as well as a first born grandson of a monarch. Get the cards and cake ready, here are six royal birthdays for November.

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....