Royal Weddings

Hello! We’ve got our own Royal Wedding happening here at the Royal Post this weekend but we’ll be back in a few days!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! Thanks so much for stopping by!

 

Rarely Seen Portraits of Princess Diana: Part One

These portraits of Princess Diana have been rarely seen which makes it extra fun to discover them. We hope we’ve unearthed some new ones for even the most ardent Diana lovers out there.

To begin, let’s take a good look at these photographs taken to commemorate Lady Diana Spencer’s engagement to Prince Charles. This one clearly didn’t make the cut for the official postage stamps! Prince Charles appears to be standing on a very tall box here….

This portrait of Lady Diana on her own gives us a better look at her earrings. They certainly look like the pair the Duchess of Cambridge has been wearing, don’t they? Check out our post on these earrings (and the Princess’ other sapphires) by clicking here.

Take a good look for yourself…thoughts?

We have to give it to her; Diana certainly wasn’t afraid of a serious collar. It doesn’t get much more serious than this:

This portrait was taken by Lord Snowdon (Princess Margaret’s husband) for the August 1981 issue of Vogue which was a royal wedding extravaganza. The collar theme is still alive and well here…

Moving on from those collars, Diana chose the turtleneck blouse look a few years later. Terence Donovan took this portrait on October 8, 1986:

And this one was taken on the same day. We quite like this dress. Great colour! Funny, though, that she’d choose to wear those random black earrings when she had so many more gorgeous options in her jewelry box. Maybe this was her take on the modern working woman look?

And now we’re skipping one year forward. This portrait of the Princess of Wales in an emerald green dress was taken by Terence Donovan on June 24, 1987.

This shot of the Princess ready to set out on a safari was taken on the same day. You’ve got to wonder what the back story on this is. Were they about to go on an official tour to Kenya and thought this was somehow appropriate?? If you have any ideas, let us know! This portrait gets the gold star for most hilarious and random portrait in our opinion.

And, to end, let’s have a good look at the Princess in her overalls…quite a change from those ball gowns! That must have been the point…

Come by tomorrow for Part Two! We have some more memorable shots to share…

Kate’s London ~ Mahiki

Today we’re talking about Mahiki, the Polynesian themed bar in Piccadilly, London that used to be a regular haunt of William, Kate, and Harry (Mahiki’s promotions manager, Guy Pelly, is a close friend of Prince William). As you may recall, pictures of Kate were rife in 2006 and 2007 as she entered and exited Mahiki on a regular basis. Since she and William got back together in 2007, however, she was seen out on the town less and less. We certainly haven’t seen a pic of Kate there since the engagement, and don’t expect to see her there again, unless of course it’s a for charity event.

Here’s a picture we took in the last couple of weeks of Mahiki all dressed up for the holidays. You can see the tiki theme underneath the Christmas decorations:

Mahiki is located kitty corner to The Ritz Hotel in Picadilly and is about a 7 minute walk from St James’ Palace, Buckingham Palace, and Clarence House. So, as you can see it’s a prime royal location. The nearest tube stop is Green Park Station.

We’ve been to Mahiki once – we went last December on one of the evenings between Christmas and New Year and it was a fun experience on the ‘London To Do List’. We haven’t been back since (once was enough), but it was  a good time. The space was very crowded with wall to wall people, so we can understand why William and Harry get private tables when they go!

Inside Mahiki

Here’s a picture of William and Kate after leaving Mahiki in 2006:

The weekend that it was announced that William and Kate had broken up in 2007, Kate famously got dressed up, smiled for the cameras, and headed to Mahiki with two friends…here she is leaving her flat that night:

April 2007

A few nights earlier, right before news of the break up got out, William visited Mahiki with friends. It was reported that the royal party stayed for five hours and spend hundreds of pounds on champagne and the famous “Treasure Chest” of Mahiki cocktails.

Mahiki Treasure chest

Later that summer, Kate went to a girlfriend’s stagette at Mahiki. When Kate was asked if it was for her wedding, she cheekily said, ‘Not yet.’ In the picture below, you can see the arches of the The Ritz  Hotel across the street. One night Kate tried to escape the paparazzi by slipping into the Ritz foyer but unfortunately the doors were locked. What with protection officers and all she won’t have that problem anymore!

She dressed down one night that summer in a tank top and jeans for a visit to Mahiki. We love this look! You can see a bit of the entrance here.

Summer 2007

If you’re in London, definitely add a vist at Mahiki to your list, even if it’s just to check out the entrance on your way to Piccadilly Circus or Buckingham Palace!

Princess Diana’s Spencer Pearl Choker


We loooove the week between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s a nice time to relax, be cozy…and talk about Princess Diana’s jewelry collection (ha!). Today we’re going to focus on Diana’s love of pearl chokers. Along with the Spencer Tiara, Lady Diana brought some family pearls with her when she married Prince Charles.

One of our favourite pieces is the pearl choker that was given to Lady Diana by her family on the occasion of her 18th birthday. The necklace is made up of three strands of pearls with a central clasp that features small tourquoise stones. Diana wore this piece several times during the early years of her marriage and then it seems to have been tucked away once she acquired more serious jewels.

The picture above is of Diana during the Wales’ 1983 tour of Australia.

Now let’s jump back to the first picture we could find of Lady Diana wearing the choker. We love this snapshot taken of her during a formal evening at Althorp. She was doing her trademark ‘head-bowed-peak-out-at-the-camera’ pose even then!

Lady Diana also wore the necklace when she was a royal fiancee in 1980. Here she is with Prince Andrew looking rather out of sorts. Perhaps the day was all just a bit much:

Not looking super thrilled here, either, but the necklace sure looks good!

Love this picture of Diana on the deck of the Royal yacht Britannia during her honeymoon. Much happier here!

And here’s the necklace paired with one of the better hats of the early years in our opinion:

Love this candid moment in time on the balcony of Buckingham Palace…

Pearl chokers seem to have been something of a family tradition;  Diana’s mum and sisters own or owned similar necklaces. Diana wore her sister Lady Sarah’s five strand choker with her pink ‘going away’ dress after her wedding. This choker features a pearl drop from the central clasp and is certainly more grand than Diana’s piece. Maybe Lady Sarah received this grander necklace since she was older.

Lady Sarah had been wearing that very necklace during the ceremony, which you can see if you look very closely here. Lady Sarah is in green on the bottom right:

Updated: Here’s a shot of Lady Sarah wearing the same necklace to her daughter Emily’s wedding on June 9, 2012. Check out the beauty on her wrist, too. It sure would go well with Diana’s necklace, no? Her earrings are also the spectacular ones that Diana wore on her wedding day. For more information on that, click here.

Diana’s mum, Frances Shand-Kydd, looked great in her pearls and wore them often:

This post would just not be complete without a not to the mother of all pearl chokers, her seven strand sapphire & pearl choker. Check out our post on that gorgeous piece by clicking here. Or just feast your eyes on this picture. She couldn’t be more decked out in pearls. She’s got the dress, earrings, and necklace covered!

Do let us know if you have any requests to learn more about any other specific pieces of Diana’s. We’re always looking for new ideas and would love to hear from you.

A Recap of the 2011 Christmas Day Walk to Church at Sandringham

Hello, Royal Post Readers. We hope you all had a very, very merry Christmas! It sure went by in a flash for us. Over the past month we’ve had a lot of fun reviewing the British Royal Family’s walk to church over the years, so we just had to take a good look at what they wore this year. Overall, it was a good show, don’t you think? Let’s start with the lady with the “Top Job” as Diana called it.

Her Majesty the Queen

Queen Elizabeth must have been concerned about Prince Philip’s condition after his heart operation on Christmas Eve, but still seemed to be keeping her spirits up and quite frankly looked the best we’ve seen her on Christmas Day. We love the muted lavender, the pearls, the collar, the details on the hat, all of it. So elegant and classy. The hat is by Angela Kelly and the coat is by Karl Ludwig.

Her Royal Highness, Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge

Not surprisingly, it seems that Kate was the one that everyone really turned out to see;  this year there were thousands of well wishers whereas last year just hundreds showed up. Fortunately for us, there were also TWO Kate sightings today. The first was around 9:30  (pictured above) when Kate was joined by Beatrice, Eugenie, and others on a walk to what seems to have been an early morning church service. The second sighting was for the 11:30 service. We hadn’t realized there were two Christmas day services; is that right?? Seems like a lot for one morning…please fill us in if you know more.

For the second outing, the ladies changed jackets and got out their hats.

Kate wore a Jane Corbett hat (the same milliner that she supported for the Remembrance Day service) and a colour coordinate jacket by an unidentified British designer. The tailoring of the jacket is beautiful and the colour is spot on for Kate. A spokesperson confirmed the hat designer, so it’s curious why the jacket designer was not. We hope for the sake of the designer that their name becomes public knowledge eventually. We’re sure they’d appreciate it!

Here’s a closer look at Kate’s earrings. We haven’t seen them before; perhaps they were a Christmas gift from her family or William. She certainly seems to like drop earrings with little hoops. UPDATED: We suspected that they are a pair from Kiki McDonough and it seems that hunch was correct. Kudos to our friends over on the My Small Obsession Facebook page for figuring it out!

Here’s a look of Kate’s whole ensemble. Looks like she probably had a black dress on underneath:

Ok, before we move onto Zara we have a purely frivolous question to put out there: how did Kate manage to achieve this hair while at Sandringham? There’s NO WAY that hairdresser James Pryce joined her on this trip, so we’re thinking that one of two things happened here:

A) Kate had James do her hair yesterday while in London. That is assuming she only arrived on the 24th and not on the 23rd like some of the other royals. She then would have just had to keep the bounce overnight and the half up style helps to make it look more ‘fresh.’

B) she has learned how to do those curls herself and woke up bright and early to get to work at it.

We’re thinking option A is most likely. What do you think?

Zara Philips

We’ve seen lots of great hats from Zara in recent years (click here and here for a refresher) and love that she turned out in another fashion forward creation this year. We expect nothing less!

She was also clearly making a statement to the public by walking arm in arm with new husband Mike Tindall (see the picture above and to the left). Royal watchers know that he was kicked off the England rugby team after the shennanigans he got up to in New Zealand during the World Cup. Duly noted, Zara.

Her Royal Highness, Sophie, Countess of Wessex

Sophie looked cute this year with her blue ensemble, pillbox hat, and what looks like a pair of sapphire earrings. And nicely done with the upturned collar, Sophie! If you missed our review of Sophie at Sandringham over the years, click here and here to take a peak. This year is definitely one of the stronger outfits.

Updated: Lady Louise Wessex

How cute is she in her little hat, coat, and white tights?

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York


Princess Beatrice played it safe and turned out in a classic black ensemble this year. Love the hat. Apparently she and Eugenie were both at Holly Branson’s wedding on Necker Island in the last week. Looks like she kept out of the sun during that trip!

Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie of York

Princess Eugenie wore a gray jacket with a burgundy hat (not all that different from Kate) and matching pumps, clutch, and leather gloves. She has worn this shade before; check out our retrospective here. Overall, she looks pretty darn good. Nothing too crazy or out of whack here.

Autumn Philips

Here’s a peak at Autumn Philips, who wore a fur hat and a maternity coat (Baby Number Two is on the way). This is the most dressed up she’s been for the walk to church in her three Sandringham Christmases. Looks like she’s finally getting up to speed in that department.

After the church service, Prince Philip’s grandchildren went to visit him in hospital. This is a photo of William and Zara en route:

Here’s to Prince Philip’s continued recovery and happy Boxing Day to all! See you tomorrow.

Queen Victoria’s Christmas at Windsor Castle

Merry, Merry Christmas! In honour of the occasion, let’s take a look inside the Christmas holiday that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert spent together at Windsor Castle in 1860.

The Royal Family spent many christmases at Windsor and we have an account of that 1860 holiday thanks to Viscount Torrington, a lord in waiting, who wrote to the editor of The Times with his memories of the celebrations. He wrote,

“The Queen’s private sitting-rooms, three in number were lighted up with Christmas trees hung from the ceiling, the chandeliers being taken down. These trees, of immense size, beside others on th tables, were covered with bonbons and coloured wax lights. Some of the trees were made to appear as if partially covered with snow…”

Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? We’d love to see what Christmas trees suspended from the ceiling looked like – maybe he just means there were held up with cords attached to the ceiling?? In any event the bonbons and coloured wax lights sound just perfect. Wonder what they used to make the trees appear to be partially covered with snow. Icing sugar?

There’s more!

“Even as in a public bazaar, where people jostle one another, so lords, grooms, Queen and princes laighted and talked, forgot to bow, and freely turned their backs on one another. Little princesses, who on ordinary occasions dare hardly look at a gentleman in waiting, in the happiest manner showed each person they could lay hands on the treasures they had received.” 

Can you imagine forgetting to bow and such? Tsk, tsk.

A visitor to the royal kitchens during the Christmas holiday of 1860 described seeing the following:

  • 50 turkeys
  • A baron of beef weighing 350lb
  • Sole
  • Pheasant
  • Woodcock
  • Goose
  • Duck
  • Plum pudding
  • Cabinet Pudding
  • Lemon jellies
  • Apple tarts
  • Mince pies

So, the Royals knew how to do it up and certainly didn’t go hungry! Notably, each member of the household was given a turkey dinner as well as pies to take home.

Here’s a more modern look at Windsor in the snow.

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

Royal Christmas Cards ~ Prince Charles and Camilla

Merry Christmas Eve!!

To celebrate, let’s look at the Christmas cards of Charles and Camilla since their marriage in 2005. They show a range of playfulness, seriousness, and family togetherness. Our favourite is 2008 – which is yours?

2005:

This was taken at Camilla and Charles’ April wedding. Side note: Camilla and Charles used the same photographer that William and Kate used for their wedding.

2006:

This was taken at the wedding of Laura Parker Bowles, Camila’s daughter. She’s the one in the light blue-green silk jacket in the 2005 Christmas card.

Here’s what the whole card looked like:

The2006 Christmas Card sent to Jimmy Saville (via Daily Mail)
The2006 Christmas Card sent to Jimmy Saville (via Daily Mail)

2007: 

A candid shot was chosen for 2007.

2008:

Sharing a laugh in the rain at the official naming ceremony for a new ferry in honour of Camilla. Glad to see that Camilla was having better luck with her umbrella that day than she was when she got stuck in one.

2009:

At Royal Ascot in June. Very posh.

2010:

Apparently Camilla isn’t much of a skiier – but she was trying that day!

If you’d like to see Diana and Charles’ christmas cards over the years, click here and here. Enjoy and…one more sleep until Christmas!

UPDATED in December 2013:

Now that some time has passed, we have some more delightful Charles & Camilla Christmas cards to share. In December of 2011, this charming picture of Camilla and Charles with granddaughter Laura Lopes at William and Kate’s wedding was a natural choice.

Charles, Camilla, and Eliza
(via London Connection)

In December of 2012, Camilla and Charles sent out this photograph, taken during the Queen’s Jubilee festivities.

Charles and Camilla celebrating the jubilee (via Zimbio)
Charles and Camilla celebrating the jubilee (via Zimbio)

The 2013 card is still to be determined, but perhaps it will include a photo taken at Prince George’s christening?!

The Swedish Royal Family’s Christmas Cards

We have been very heavy on the British Royals in our lead up to Christmas, so we thought it’s time we brought the Swedes into the fold! Here are some Swedish Royal Family christmas cards and christmas snapshots that we think are quite charming.

1978

This fun, candid shot was taken during the Family’s official Christmas photo shoot. That’s wee Princess Victoria back when she was an only child. Her brother Prince Philip was born the following year.

1981

Here’s a similar shot to the one taken in 1978. We apologize that its so tiny!! That’s Prince Philip and Crown Princess Victoria apparently dosey-doeing on the carpet. To top it all off, it looks like they are in traditional Swedish dress.

1995

Now we are skipping many years ahead. For this Christmas portrait, the family gathered in the library at Stockholm Palace. That’s Princess Madeleine and Crown Princess Victoria with their parents Queen Silvia and King Carl Gustav. Don’t worry, they didn’t forget about Prince Philip; he was away at school and wasn’t able to make it for this photograph. Again, we apologize for the size…though we can still see it well enough to be surprised that the now glamourous Princess Madeleine was ever into argyle.

1999

This picture served as the Royal Family’s Christmas card in 1999. Finally we have the whole family all dolled up in their finery.

2009

Ten years, later, Crown Princess Victoria paid a December visit to Paris. She was there with her then fiance Daniel Westling to, among other duties, light up two large Christmas trees with the Swedish Ambassador to France. The couple also a Franco-Swedish gala. Looks very festive!

We’ll see what they get up to this year. Two more sleeps until Christmas Eve!


The Queen on Christmas Day

The Queen leads the charge to church on Christmas Day. We can’t imagine her ever calling in sick on such an occasion. Here’s a look back through the years:

1970

1980

This was the Christmas before Diana was officially a member of the family.

1988

The Queen in winter white with her grandchildren, Prince Philip, Diana, and Charles. Don’t they look festive?

1992

This was year was the Queen’s “annus horribilis”. At least it was almost at an end at this point!

1998

The Queen Mum and the Queen in vibrant colours…nice to have a spot of colour on a wintery day.

2000

The Queen Mum seems to wear a lot of blue on Christmas Day whereas the Queen likes jewel tones. What a festive outing here. Charles seems to like that jacket a lot…it’s made quite a few appearances!

2002

Heading out of church and back to the house for lunch!

2008

The Queen looks a tad lonely here. Where is everyone?

2009

The Queen’s jewels are just gorgeous! This is a #1 Christmas ensemble for the Queen in our books.

2010

Last year a fuzzy hat came out. Love the scarf swept to the side and fastened with a brooch. There’s  a Christmas to remember for that little guy.

Three more sleeps until Christmas!


Royal Christmas Cards ~ The Wales’ 1992 – 1996

Our last look at the Wales’ Christmas cards featured the years 1981 to 1991. Click here for a refresher. Now let’s look at the years from 1992 to 1996.

1992:

1992 was the year that Diana and Charles announced their formal separation. That year, they chose to feature William and Harry in their Christmas card. They look pretty solemn.

1993:

Princess Diana’s first solo Christmas card as a royal featured her with her two boys in front of a royal tapestry.

Prince Charles’ card featured a more informal snapshot with Princes William and Harry, likely taken at Balmoral over the summer break:

1994:

A nice and friendly picture of Diana and the boys.

Prince Charles chose this photo in a field of poppies for his 1994 card. Looks like it was taken at Highgrove. Kind of reminds us of that scene in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy falls asleep in the poppies.

1995:

Very similar to last year; a nice, cozy informal portrait of Diana and her sons.

Charles picked this photo for his 1995 card. HILARIOUS. Even their dog made it in the shot.

1996:

Princess Diana’s !996 card featured a cute and informal picture of Princes William and Harry with cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie while on holiday. Very sad that this was Diana’s last Christmas card.

That year, Prince Charles chose this photo. So cute.

What’s your favourite christmas card of these?