We all have these “whoops” moments that we wish we could just erase and “do over.” For these Royal ladies these moments were caught on film for posterity. However, they all took it in their stride.
The Dreaded Heel-Caught-in-a-Crack Situation…
Here’s Crown Princess Mary of Denmark during a visit to Arlington Cemetary. She and Prince Frederik spent five days in Washington, DC in June of 2010 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Danish embassy there. Of all the events and places this couple visited, this moment is pretty much all we remember. Mary’s hat and slimline dress make this a perfect and timeless princess outfit…and this little whoops moment just makes her seem more normal:
In this moment she must be thinking “Oh, *#%!!”
Good recovery. That’s Prince Frederik with his arms crossed, he seems to just be cottoning on…good thing the other fellow was there!
The Wind & The Royals
The Queen isn’t immune to this sort of thing either. Here she is hanging on to her hat as she arrives at Prince William’s RAF base in Wales for a visit this past spring. There’s Prince Philip watching her struggle and not being particularly helpful…
And, oh dear, it wasn’t quite over yet:
Relief!! Made it inside where it’s nice and calm:
Princess Eugenie also almost had a moment with the wind. This picture was taken at The Young Victoria premiere in 2008. Cute dress. Shame about the draft!
And we already talked about Kate’s “dress in the wind stress” moment when she and William arrived in Calgary this past July here. She, too, handled this well we thought. We know for sure we won’t be seeing her wear this dress under such windy conditions every again.This is why Princess Diana had weights sewn into her skirts. Seriously.
Camilla Trapped by an Umbrella
This umbrella trapping incident happened to Camilla in Wiltshire on a visit to a children’s centre in February of 2011. Hasn’t this happened to each of us at some point or another? Camilla’s a good sport, I’m sure she took it in her stride.
Something we have been wondering about for while is why Kate doesn’t seem to wear Jigsaw anymore. Granted, we don’t see what she wears 24/7, but in public we haven’t seen her wear Jigsaw for a number of years. We’ve seen her wear a number of British high street labels, including Reiss, LK Bennet, Whistles, but no Jigsaw. She used to wear the label all the time, particularly in 2006 and 2007, when she worked with the label.
As most Kate watchers know, Kate worked three days a week as an accessories buyer at Jigsaw from December 2006 until November 2007.
In July 2008 Belle Robinson, co-founder of Jigsaw, was quoted in an article in the Evening Standard regarding her working relationship with Kate.
In the article Belle explains that Kate, “rang me up one day and said: ‘Could I come and talk to you about work?’ She genuinely wanted a job but she needed an element of flexibility to continue the relationship with a very high-profile man and a life that she can’t dictate.” (to read the full article, click here)
We wonder if Belle’s willingness to speak publicly about her arrangement with Kate has resulted in Kate’s reluctance to be seen wearing Jigsaw. However, according to The Daily Mail, John and Belle Robinson were on the guest list for the Royal Wedding.
So, if not for Belle’s interview, perhaps Kate doesn’t wear the label because she wants to prevent a barrage of articles on the topic of her pre-engagement career (when she was criticised for not having a full time job). Or, maybe she simply has grown away from the style and look of the label?
Despite Kate not wearing the label in recent years, Jigsaw has not shied away from profiting from their relationship with Kate. Two days before the Royal Wedding, Jigsaw posted this on their website, advertising the dress seen on Kate above, which was on sale in honour of the Royal Wedding.
Why do you think she doesn’t wear Jigsaw anymore? Let us know in the comments!
One of the looks Diana favoured over the years was her off-duty wear: a sweatshirt (often with the logo of one of her favourite charities), a baseball cap (often with military associations), some jeans, and, on a good day, this was all topped off with a pair of boots.
It may look dated now (Princess Diana wore Mom Jeans!), but we still looove this look. It’s such a wonderful contrast to the tailored, stiff outfits we usually saw her in and she looks so relaxed and comfy.
She would wear this to polo, at Highgrove, or the school run. Do we spy a wee Harry below running up the steps?
This picture was taken in the later years and Diana’s got her serious “I’m not in the mood to have my picture taken” look on:
This is an all time favourite, right here. The sly “I know you’re taking my picture and I look cute and fabulous” look is priceless. And she does look cute and fabulous! Even though the outfit, when you think about it, is pretty crazy…What kind of pants are those?? And wow, she sure had a lot of boots in her closet!
You’ve got to love a good royal wave! Let’s look at a few.
The Queen has this DOWN. She has been doing this her whole life and is the master. Check her out here doing the side wave after her father’s coronation. It has a slight ‘screwing in a lightbulb’ turn to it:
…that she clearly learned from her dad, King George VI. That’s Prince Margaret standing to his left mimicking the same motion. What normal people wave like this? No one. That’s why it’s royal:
Here is the Queen standing in front of Camilla outside St. George’s Chapel after Peter Philips’ wedding to Autumn Kelly in May 2008. She’s got her signature side hand going here which is just so regal compared to Camilla’s open fingered (and ungloved) wave. We do love Camilla, but we’ve got to give the Queen this one:
Camilla is having more luck here:
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana must have practiced this wave before the wedding. We imagine it was one of the things on the list, right up there with “How To Exit a Car Gracefully While Wearing a Skirt.” Fingers together, hand cupped, thumb tucked in, slight head nod…that’s just not something you instinctively do. Charles’ seems more natural here.
She kept it up for formal occassions
but also got more relaxed, too when the time was right. This to me is the signature Diana wave. Hand in front, head slightly bowed, eyes looking at the camera through lashes:
Prince Harry is pretty easy going with his waving, much like his personality. No keeping fingers together for him! He’s always been that way, really. The picture on the left is Harry en route to Buckingham Palace after his brothers wedding, and then on the right we’ve got him practicing his royal wave on holiday in Spain with Spain’s royal family back in the ’80’s.
He’s really going for it here with William and Chelsy at the Concert for Diana, though I suppose it could be argued this is more of a dance than a wave:
William also likes the open handed wave and always has. Here he is with Diana and Harry seeing Charles off on his helicopter. That’s Highgrove in the background, the country estate where the boys grew up:
Kate follows suit sometimes:
Ok, so I have to slip this in. If you ask me, Kate and William’s wedding wave bears a striking resemblance to the one at the end of the Christmas concert in Love Actually. Maybe it’s the whole “he’s more used to this than I am” thing going on…plus these two ladies look quite similar with their long brown hair. Is it just me??
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate’s wave has really evolved. For her first official royal engagement there was a lot of this hand flapping/ finger curling going on (in Wales, below). To her credit she really took this whole royal engagement thing and made it fun. It must have been a relief; after years of photographers and people following her around, she could finally wave back:
On the day before her wedding, she gave the crowd this full on regal Queen Elizabeth side wave. That must have been seriously fun. We bet she practiced this wave with Pippa behind closed doors years ago and was just waiting to bust it out:
She’s got the formal, low wave going on here for her first Trooping the Colour carriage ride:
And even here, waving to Prince William as he flies overhead on Prince Edward Island during their Canadian tour, she’s not just flapping around. How cute is she with her camera out so she can take pictures. What a gal:
Princess Eugenie of York
Princess Eugenie could probably pick up some pointers from Kate. Not an especially regal wave, this:
Let’s end on a good note. Beatrice really has this down. The hat, the head cocked to the side, that hat at a jaunty angle, the slight but confident wave. Pure princess perfection. Well done, Bea. Keep it up!
Ahhh there are SO MANY more Royal Waves. we might just have to do another post on this….
Prince Harry turns 27 today. Hopefully that means we will have some more fun picture of him partying away and enjoying himself like younger brothers do.
Here he is as a cute kid all dressed up and ready for his military future. this was certainly a sign of things to come! As a part of his Apache pilot training, Harry will be training in California and Arizona “in the next couple of months” according to Clarence House Press Officer Nick Loughran. Perhaps there will be a party or two to blow off steam while he is there…
Here is a tale of three sisters, two of whom became European princesses and one who became an American princess (that last one is a bit of stretch, but work with us here).
The three sisters are the children of American entrepreneur Robert Miller (the co-founder of Duty Free Shops) and his Ecuadorian wife Marie Chantal Pesantes and they have all lived pretty fascinating lives so far. The picture below was taken by Slim Arons in July 1991. Marie-Chantal is in the multi-colored bikini and sister is in yellow.
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Let’s start will the eldest sister, Pia, and work our way through. Born in 1966 in New York, Pia grew up in Hong Kong and, along with her sisters, went to boarding school in Switzerland. She studied at Bernard and in 1992 she married Christopher Ronald Getty at a wedding in Bali.
They have four children, Isabelle (1993), Robert Maximilian (1996), Conrad (1998), and Maximus (2002). Pia and Getty divorced in 2005 and she’s not a princess but considering that some folks consider the Getty family (along with the Kennedys, Rockefellers, etc) to be ‘American Royalty’, we’re going with it.
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She is not as in the public eye as her two sisters but has worked for Sephora and has a couple of documentaries under her belt. The photo below was taken in 2010 at a London event.
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Marie Chantal aka Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Greece, Princess of Greece and Denmark
Marie Chantal, the middle Miller, is next. She was born in London in 1968 and like Pia, went to boarding school in Switzerland. After that, she hopped around trying different things. As she explained to Vanity Fair:
“I went back to school, to Sarah Lawrence, then transferred to N.Y.U. Gallatin. Didn’t finish. I was so damned curious. I went and did things that would satisfy me, and then I would move on to the next. Instead of wasting four years at F.I.T. [Fashion Institute of Technology], after one semester I said, ‘O.K., that wasn’t it. Now I’m going to try singing.’ I knew I was artistic, and I wanted to do something in the arts. I wasn’t soul-searching. I have a huge sense of identity.
“Then I was in Paris for a year. I wanted to breed horses. Got into my whole equestrian look. And I also did the Escoffier School at the Ritz. I went across Italy and did a three-month art-history course. I always did healthy things. I didn’t sit around in nightclubs. Sure, I had my fair share of fun, but no one could ever accuse me of being a dilettante and doing nothing. I was always on this unbelievable quest to go and do. My father worried, I’m sure, but I think he also felt that eventually something would come up. And it did. I met Pavlos.”
She met Pavlos through a family friend and they became engaged over Christmas in Gstaad in 1995. They married six months later on July 1st, 1995. Marie Chantal wore a Valentino gown and the reception was held at Hampton Court Palace.
The photo below shows Marie Chantal on her wedding day with her father Robert Miller.
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The bride’s title thus became Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Greece, Princess of Greece and Denmark. The Greek Royal family was abolished in 1973 but their titles are still in use. The commoner name for Pavlos is Pavlos zu Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.
The happy couple is below.
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Marie-Chantal and Pavlos have five children: Princess Maria-Olympia (1996), Prince Constantine Alexios (1998), Prince Achileas-Andreas (2000), Prince Odysseas-Kimon (2004), Prince Aristidis-Stavros (2008).
Fun Fact: Prince William is Prince Constantine’s godfather, while King Constantine (below in the glasses) is one of Princes William’s godfathers. The christening took place in London in 1999 while Prince William was still at Eton.
Another shot of the family is below.
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Marie Chantal now runs the children’s clothing company Marie-Chantal which has seriously cute stuff (Princess Estelle of Sweden is often seen wearing it).
Post Updated 1/18/16:
There has been some press speculation that Prince Harry and Marie-Chantal’s daughter Princess Maria Olympia are an item. Olympia is on winter break from studying in New York City, and thanks to her personal instagram account we know that her winter holiday has been spent in the Bahamas (her parents have a holiday home there), Los Angeles (where her aunt Alexandra lives), and England (her parent’s home base is in London and there’s also a house in Gloucestershire).
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She may have met up with Prince Harry over the England portion of the holiday and, if not, she’s more than likely to have met him before – her godfather is Prince Charles and Prince William is her brother’s godfather as we discussed above. The picture below is of Olympia at her brother Constantine’s christening in April 1999.
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So it would make a great story – Princess Maria Olympia could wear one of her family’s tiaras for the wedding!-but for now I’m convinced it’s just gossip. What about you?
Here are some great articles from around the web for more on Maria-Olympia and her family:
Next up is Alexandra, the youngest of the three sisters. She studied at Parsons School of Design and Brown University and has had a varied career in fashion and home furnishing design. She’s shown below with Marie-Chantal and Valentino in 1997.
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On 28th October 1995 (1995 was quite a year for the Miller family!) she married Prince Alexander von Fürstenburg, the son of Diane von Fürstenberg (of the infamous wrap dress) and Prince Egon von Fürstenberg in a lavish wedding in New York City. A photo of the bride in her beautiful gown and tiara can be found here.
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Alexandra worked as Creative Director of Diane von Furstenberg for ten years, during which time she helps to relaunch the iconic wrap dress.
The couple had two children, Princess Talita Natasha (1999) and Prince Tassilo Egon Maximilian (2001). They separated in 2002 amid claims of extramarital affairs on Alexander’s side (speculation around their relationship can be found here) and are now divorced, but seem to be on friendly terms.
Alexandra now runs Alexandra von Furstenberg which makes beautiful acrylic furniture and home furnishings (I love their trays!). When she opened her Los Angeles store her former mother-in-law and husband showed up.
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Alexandra married her longtime partner Dax Miller in July 2015 at their home in Los Angeles. So she became a Miller again!
What an interesting trio they are, right?
*Update: For more on Marie-Chantal’s wedding to Prince Pavlos, click here and for more on the Prince Harry and Princess Olympia speculation, click here.
Let’s take a moment to discuss royal nicknames, shall we? These names are a delightful contrast to the formality of the royal lives of the holders and just plain charming, we think.
Here are a few that we’ve picked up in our royal readings over the years. We’ll start with the eldest and work our way down:
Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
Christian names: Elizabeth Angela Marguerite
Known nickname(s): Cookie, Cake (‘Cookie’ was termed by the Duchess of Windsor;this may have been a bit of an insult. ‘Cake’was very much a term of endearment and was what the Mitford sisters called her. More on the Mitfords in another post!)
King George IV
Christian names: Albert Frederick Arthur George
Known nickname(s): Bertie
Queen Elizabeth II
Christian names: Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
Known nickname(s): Lillibet, since “Elizabeth” was a bit tough to pronounce
Christian names: Charles Philip Arthur George
Known nickname(s): ‘Friend’ (by Deborah Cavendish, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire)
Diana, Princess of Wales
Christian names: Diana Frances
Known nickname(s): Duch (by her sisters when she was young, short for ‘Duchess’ since evidently she was determined to become a Duchess at least)
When Diana was having doubts about marrying Charles, she later said that her sisters told her “Well, bad luck, Duch. Your face is on the tea towels so it’s too late to chicken out.”
Christian names: William Arthur Philip Louis
Known nickname(s): Wombat (by his mother)
Prince William used this nickname himself while he was on his GAP year and volunteering with kids. He was teaching them a word game and when it was his turn he said, “I’m William and I’m a Wombat”
Which royal nicknames are we missing? Let us know in the comments!
Continuing on from our previous post on Balmoral style in the day time, let’s discuss evening wear, shall we? We love the notion of ‘dressing for dinner’ and would love to be two flies on the wall for dinner at Balmoral.
Because Balmoral is a private royal residence, we have few pictures of what the ladies wear to wear to dinner there. However, here are a few examples we could get our hands on.
Here we have an example of Diana’s formal wear when she was HRH The Princess of Wales. We love how she’s embracing tartan here! This number was made for her by Catherine Walker. (For our post on the Duchess of Cambridge’s Catherine Walker dress, click here.)
And here we have an example of The Queen’s formal Balmoral wear. This gown is by Norman Hartnell and is made of duchesse satin with beads and sequins. HM wore it to the Ghillies’ Ball at Balmoral, 1971. How lovely.
Here is a beautiful aerial shot of the event.
And finally, a picture of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret on the same evening. We would love to see Princess William and the Duchess of Cambridge at a future Ghillies ball!
We love the story of Diana fishing with a ghillie at Balmoral in the early 80’s. Having failed to catch a fish with Diana in the River Dee, the ghillie reportedly said something the lines of ‘I’m sorry, ma’am’. To wish she cheekily replied, ‘It’s alright, I’ve already caught the biggest fish!’
Continuing on from our previous post (click here for a refresher), we’ll discuss what Bea will do now that she’s graduated from uni. for the last few decades, the Royal family has faced increasing criticism. It has been reported that Prince Charles is hoping to streamline the royal family somewhat, and only have the most senior members of the royal family work as full time royals.
Currently, this includes The Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Anne, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, the Countess of Wessex, Prince William (part time now and full time in 2013), the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry (part time for the foreseeable future) and a smattering of Gloucesters and Kents.
Of course, in the next fifteen to twenty years many of the above will be slowing down and taking on less of the royal load, so to speak. So, the question is, would Beatrice and Eugenie ever become fulltime working Royals? It seems Prince Andrew would like to see that, but the way the Royal family is going does not indicate that this is likely.
When the Queen’s third son, Edward became a father, it was announced that his daughter Louise would not be known as HRH Princess Louise (as Beatrice and Eugenie were titled) but rather as the daughter of an Earl – Lady Louise. The reasoning for this was so that Lady Louise could grow up to live a relatively ‘normal’ live – i.e. get a job and not live off the civil list or other income via the Royal Family. Certainly she will have a trust fund and various inheritances, but she will also be expected to embark on a career of some sort as well, in the manner of Peter and Zara Philips.
On the day of Beatrice’s graduation, the Daily Mail reported that a Buckingham Palace spokesman said,
‘Princess Beatrice will, over the coming months, broaden her knowledge and experience to complement her position as a Member of the Royal Family. This will involve undertaking a number of internships to develop her experience, particularly in business and philanthropy. She will also continue to be involved with her existing charitable interests and look to progress this work into other relevant areas.’
The Daily Mail continued to report that Palace officials insist that,
Beatrice will eventually look for full-time employment – but are unable to put a timescale on her plans. The Palace also declined to state whether or not she would become a fulltime working royal.
So…time will tell. Of course, it should also be said that we (the public) have no idea what Beatrice’s personal desires are. We expect she is probably still figuring things out.
If we had to make a prediction, we would say that Beatrice will, after an exploratory year or two, embark on some permanent employment for a couple of years, while also making a few royal appearances here and there (at Trooping the Colour, for instance, and with Children in Crisis, one of her mother’s charities). We think that she will also marry her boyfriend in the next three to four years (more on Smiley Dave in another post!), have kids and then focus on charity work, and not necessarily be an official full-time working royal.