5 royal moments to expect in July
July is here with all the promise of sun and fun but while this summer month is usually a bit of a wind down moment on the royal calendar, this year it's so busy it's going to be hard keeping up. We've got major celebrations, state events and all kinds of overseas trips and that's before we've even thought about Denmark's royals doing the traditional shivering with no cardigan holiday photocall that always marks this month. So to get really excited ahead of all this regal fun, here are five royal moments to expect in July...it's going to be majestic.
1. A centenary celebrated
The House of Windsor turns 100 this month. On July 17th 1917, George V issued a royal proclamation stating that ''our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor'' with immediate effect. The king, who had been part of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha until that moment, also renounced all the German titles belonging to him and his family. The decision was a move to bolster the Monarchy's popularity - anti German sentiment was growing as World War One progressed and earlier in 1917, George's cousin, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, had abdicated as regal rule across the continent came under threat. The name Windsor proved a popular choice while George V, a PR supremo, rebuilt his family's image as a modern institution. The House of Windsor will enter its second century with Britain's longest reigning monarch at its helm and three generations of kings in waiting preparing to rule when their time comes.
2. A State Visit years in the making
Just before the Windsors reach their 100 not out, they have a big State Visit to host. The King and Queen of Spain finally arrive for this landmark trip on July 12th after two false starts and a late wobble. Felipe VI and Letizia will be guests of honour in the whole carriages and gala banquet event although full details of the visit are still to be announced. The trip was postponed in early 2016 because of the political situation in Spain, moved again in 2017 when Theresa May called a surprise general election in the UK and came into question again just weeks ago when there was talk of a postponement to the Queen's Speech when the ballot produced a hung parliament. The politics have settled now which means Europe's newest monarch and his consort will arrive, as planned, on July 12th for a three day visit. Expect sparkle, smiles and endless style comparisons between Letizia and Kate.
3. William and Kate's big trip
Talking of that duchess, the Cambridges have a pretty big trip coming up themselves this July when they head off on their longest European tour so far. William and Kate will spend five days in Poland and Germany this month on a visit they're making at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. There are events in Warsaw and Berlin on the agenda, among others, and it's been neatly packed in between Wimbledon (Kate is now patron of the All England Club) and Prince George's birthday (more on that in a moment). It could also mark the start of a new chapter in their royal lives - William is about to leave his job as an air ambulance pilot and take on more royal duties with the family spending more of their time in London where George will attend school.
4. Royal birthday bonanza
There's a whole host of big birthdays coming up this July. Just in case you hadn't noticed, Queen Sonja turns 80 this year and while we've had galas and celebrations galore, the actual big day falls on July 4th when there will be official present giving and a picnic in the park. The Duchess of Cornwall is 70 on July 17th - expect low key especially after the debate caused by a new book about Camilla that's been serialised in the Daily Mail recently. Prince George's birthday always gets a lot of interest - this year he's four so we're not really talking landmarks, just cute photos. But the big royal birthday of the month will be celebrated in Sweden where the heir to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria, turns 40 on July 14th with two days of celebrations planned. There's going to be a lot of cake this month.
5. Here come the holidays....