Royals in their Prams Part Two

Part One of this series focussed on four generations of the British Royals enjoying the view from their baby carriages. Today, with one exception, we’re looking at  the youngest generation of European Royals out and about their prams.

But first, in case you haven’t yet seen the pictures released of Princess Estelle of Sweden at four days old, take a look. The sweater Estelle is wearing was knit by her great-great grandmother Alice.

Cute! Onto the those baby carriages…

The Danish Royal Family

We’ll start with one of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden’s many royal godchildren, Prince Christian, Count of Monpezat. There he is with his mom Princess Mary of Denmark and their family dog in Copenhagen. Prince Christian was born in 2005 and is the second in line to the Danish thrown after his father. Perhaps we should have a series on Young Future Kings of Europe?

Prince Frederik of Denmark got in on things on a different occasion:

The Spanish Royals

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia had their carriage out in April 2008 with daughters Princess Leonor and Princess Sophie.

The Belgian Royals

We love this old family picture of Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz , the future Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Duchess of Brabant.

This photograph was taken at her family’s beautiful estate where she grew up. It is called, Castle Losange:

Too bad we haven’t yet been able to track down a picture of her daughter and future Queen of the Belgians, Princess Elisabeth.

The Royal Family of the Netherlands:

Ok, so this isn’t your traditional pram, but they sure do like their bikes there in the Netherlands so it works for us! That’s Princess Maxima and Prince Willem-Alexander with two of their daughters, Princess Catharina-Amalia and Princess Alexia:

We’ll be back on Thursday March 1 for a review of Kate, Camilla, and the Queen’s visit to Fortnum & Mason that day.  See you then.

Princess Charlene of Monaco at the Oscars

So, after some speculation that they would be there, Princess Charlene and Prince Albert did indeed showed up at the Oscars tonight. According to their representatives, they were guests of Robert Iger, the President and CEO of Disney. What’s the connection? Well, a statement from the couple’s representatives explains:

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Disneynature signed a global agreement in 2010 to help raise public awareness through films and documentaries on the emergency to protect the environment.

Clearly, they weren’t about to say no to the opportunity. The princely couple was also at the Montblanc Champagne Brunch held  at the Hotel Bel-Air on Saturday. The brunch showcased the Princess Grace of Monaco Collection:

At the Oscars, the couple didn’t go in through a side door, they walked the red carpet and took part in some interviews. Charlene was in an Akris dress and this is the most she smiled as far as we can tell from all the pictures we’ve looked through.

Maybe she should talk to Kate about chilling out and trying to enjoy herself; it’s really too bad that she seems to feel perpetually uncomfortable. It really doesn’t do much for all those rumours she tried to escape before her wedding. This was her general expression the rest of the night, even when the cameras panned over to her and Albert sitting in the audience:
On a happier note, let’s take a step back in time to when Grace Kelly won her Best Actress Oscar in 1955 for The Country Girl wearing my favourite Oscar dress of all time. It was designed by Edith Head and I even got to see it in person at an exhibit in Rome a couple of years ago. I might have even touched it when the guards weren’t looking. It has still retained that beautiful blue colour:
 Hope you enjoyed the Oscars…

Royals in their Prams Part One

Today we’re looking at a collection of photographs of the British Royals in their prams for no other reason than they are adorable.  We’ll take a look at some European Royals later this week for Part Two.

So we’ve got four generations of British Royals to check out. Up until Princess Eugenie, each these royal babies (including future royal The Hon. Diana Spencer) is in a Silver Cross pram. Silver Cross has been making these classy looking prams for the British Royals since the 1920’s. One of their most famous styles is, not surprisingly, called The Balmoral. The company describes this style as “quite simply the Rolls Royce of prams.” Indeed. Check them out here.

Princess Elizabeth

This photograph of Princess Elizabeth of York was taken on the grounds of Windsor Castle in April 1927, when the future queen was one year old.

Prince Charles & Princess Anne

Skipping ahead quite a bit, how adorable are Prince Charles and Princess Anne here?? This picture was taken on the grounds of Balmoral.

Prince Andrew

That’s Prince Andrew being pushed along by Queen Elizabeth and a young Princess Anne. Looks like he’s enjoying the view:

Prince Edward

Prince Edward got his turn in the pram a few years later:

The Honourable Diana Spencer

You may recognize this photograph of the future Princess of Wales sitting in her pram. Looks like she just dropped a little white toy over the side:

When Diana spoke to Andrew Morton for Diana: Her True Story she told him that her first memory “was really the smell of the inside of my pram. The hood was plastic.”
Skipping ahead to the next generation, we recently discovered this picture of Princess Beatrice being pushed by Princes William and Harry during a polo match. Cute!

Sadly no picture of these two Princes has been made public as far as we know, but we’ve got to believe that they got rides in a Silver Cross pram during their time at Balmoral as babies. Let’s hope those pictures show up one day.

And lastly, that’s Savannah Philips in a modern and sporty pram all tucked in. She was at a horse show with Princess Anne and Autumn Philips:

Speaking of Autumn, we should be getting some baby news very soon.

The New Future Queen of Sweden’s Name & Title

There has much fanfare for the new Princess now second in line to the Swedish throne.

42 Gun Salute

There was also a 42 gun salute in Stockholm yesterday at noon. A press release explained, “For the firstborn of a Head of State or an heir to the throne, a salute is fired in two rounds, with a one minute interval, of 21 shots each. Salutes are also fired at the salute stations in Boden, Härnösand, Karlskrona and Gothenburg.”

Congratulatory Lists

A press release from the Royal Family issued today states that congratulatory lists “where members of the public can leave written messages of congratulations to The Crown Princess Couple, will be available in the Hall of State at the Royal Palace of Stockholm from 2.00 — 5.00 p.m.

Congratulatory lists will also be available for the diplomatic corps in the Office of the Marshal of the Realm’s conference room, entrance via the Office of the Marshal of the Realm’s door in the Outer Courtyard, from 1.00 — 4.00 p.m.”

Te Deum

There was also a thanksgiving service called a Te Deum which was attended by immediate family, government officials, and royal staff members. It was held in the Royal Chapel of the palace in Stocholm and took place after the cabinet meeting which we’re going to get into in full detail next. The picture below shows King Carl Gustaf with Queen Silvia, Prince Daniel, and Prince Carl at the service. Princess Madeleine was not there; she must still be in New York City where she now lives. Crown Princess Victoria did not attend:

Cabinet Meeting to Announce the Princess’ Name and Title

And now the part we’ve been waiting for! During a cabinet meeting at the royal palace today, King Carl Gustaf announced that Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel’s daughter is named Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary, Duchess of Östergötland. He said, “It is a name which is very close to the heart of the princess and also the family…We have now been given a little Princess Estelle in Sweden and we are all, particularly me and the family, very, very happy and joyful for that.”

Although it has not been confirmed, it is believed that the baby’s first name was chosen to honour Estelle Manville, an American who married Count Folke Bernadotte, a man who was reportedly King Gustav’s godfather. The Count is credited with saving the lives of tens of thousands of Jews during World War II. He was also a UN mediator for the Israeli-Arab conflict and was assasinated in Jerusalem in1948. The name Silvia honours the baby’s maternal grandmother Queen Silvia and Ewa is Prince Daniel’s mother’s name. It has not been confirmed where the name Mary comes from; it is not a common name for the Swedish Royals.

Princes and Princesses of Sweden are also traditionally titled with a Duchy. The Duchy of Östergötland is a traditional Royal title and dates back to the twelfth century. Östergötland is a region to the south of Stockholm and borders the Baltic Sea.

Mixed Reaction

Apparently the name has received a mixed reaction in the Swedish Press. During a live news broadcast, Swedish historian Herman Lindqvist said it was “inappropriate” for a future Swedish monarch to be called “Estelle.” He said, “It sounds like a night club queen. It is completely against all Swedish tradition.”

Fun Fact: The Royal Family’s website briefly posted a release that the Princess was named Ulrika Marianna Annika David, Duchess of Upplands Väsby. Where on earth did that come from?? Did the couple have two names on the go and were deciding between the two??? Or perhaps it was a joke by a staffer. Upplands Vasby is the suburb where the Swedish version of The Office apparently takes place.

Ok, what do you think? Does it sounds too much like a Disney Princess? Does it not matter at all? Would you prefer Princess Ulrika?? Do share!

We have a new future Queen of Europe

There’s a new future Queen of Sweden. She’s the daughter of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, who you may recall as the fellow who gave that amazing groom speech. It seems she came a bit early since the palace had announced she was due in March. The new Princess’ name is expected to be announced tomorrow by King Carl Gustaf (more on that below), but for now we know she was born at 4:26am Sweden time at a university hospital in a suburb of Stockholm.

According to Prince Daniel, she was about this big:

The Swedish Royal Family’s website explains the traditions surrounding a royal birth. The first is that the Marshall of the Realm notifies the country’s leaders of the birth and then issues a press release.

A statement of witness is drawn up the day after the birth (unless the baby is born on a Saturday, in which case this happens on the Monday). The Speaker, the Prime Minister, the Marshal of the Realm, and the Mistress of the Robes are the witnesses. The statement of witness is signed and sealed by these witnesses.

The day after the birth a Cabinet Meeting is also held and chaired by the King. It is here that he will announce the baby’s name and title. There will also be a thanksgiving service called a Te Deum. Both events will be photographed and issued to the public.

The family is now home. Here they are on their way. This picture was posted on the Swedish Royal Family’s facebook page:

We’ll see you tomorrow with the scoop on the baby’s name, title and all that good stuff. Congratulations to Victoria and Daniel!

Kate’s Balcony Appearances

Ok, we love a good royal balcony appearance and, since Kate has had quite a few in her first months of Royal life,  we thought we’d take a good look through them. As you’ll see we just might be stretching it a bit for some of these, but, hey, it’s all in good fun.

1. The Wedding Day!

To start, the first balcony appearance was on Kate and William’s wedding day. This was at Buckingham Palace and there are oodles of great shots of William, Kate, their attendants, the Queen and Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, and of course the Middletons.

Here’s one especially iconic shot:

Now check out the planes! Except for little Grace van Cutsem, of course, who was having NONE of it and kept her hands clamped firmly over her ears.

Good bye, everyone!

Back we go

2. Trooping the Colour

Next up was Trooping the Colour, which took place in June. We got a bit of a balcony peak of Kate at Whitehall early in the day:

Later, Kate appeared with the family on the Buckingham Palace balcony wearing a white Alexander McQueen number. We wonder if she picked it out on purpose since it was another McQueen that she’d be wearing on the same balcony where she wore her McQueen wedding dress. This outfit even had some of the same design details. Check out our post on that by clicking here.

In any event, she was having a grand ol’ time and was sure laughing about something Wiliam was saying…

And, just like the first time on that balcony, there was another round of planes to look out for. That’s Sophie, Countess of Wessex, joining them in the pink suit and hat:

3. Charlottetown, PEI

Then there was Kate’s balcony appearance in Charlottetown, PEI while William was getting ready for his Sea King helicopter landing….

Yes, this was of the more casual variety…

4. Remembrance Sunday

This past Remembrance Sunday she had another balcony appearance, flanked by the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex. Check out our post on that event by clicking here.

5. Gary Barlow Concert

Most recently, Kate made another less formal balcony appearance. This was at a Gary Barlow concert in early December which was a fundraiser for both The Prince’s Trust and the Foundation of Prince William and Harry. Kate turned out in a lace Zara dress and seemed to be a bit more on the serious side:

Well that pretty much covers ’em for now.

We’ll probably be getting many more balcony appearances during the Jubilee celebrations and, who knows, maybe there’ll be something during the Olympics. Do let us know if we missed any!

Kate Visits The Art Room

It was a sunny but blustery day in Oxford, where Kate turned out at both Rose Hill Primary School and Oxford Spires Academy to support The Art Room, one of her new patronages. We’re going to talk more about Kate and her trouble with the wind in an upcoming post, but today we thought we’d highlight some of the key parts of the visit.

The Charity Itself

The Art Room provides therapy through art to young people struggling with such issues as low self esteem, shyness, and anxiety. It’s a good fit for Kate on many levels, especially since she has a background in Art History. This video from The Telegraph has footage of students telling the Duchess why the Art Room has been important for them.


The Dog

Ok, so we figured this is how it would come out. Last week when Kate visited, she told the new cocker spaniel puppy’s name to one kid but made him promise not to tell. He held on to his word! This week, she told a whole class so there’s no more secrecy. An aid confirmed the dog’s name is Lupo. Cute.

The Apron

For the art session, Kate was given an apron embroidered with “Miss Catherine.”

The Clothes!

Kate brought out another jacket for today, this time it was a playful bird print coatdress from Irish designer Orla Kiely which was appropriate for a day spent with kids. It’s high waisted with pleats which makes for a flattering silhouette. Wouldn’t mind some more colour, though!

Kate also wore brown tights and the same Aquatalia booties that she wore on her first ever engagement last year in Anglesey, Wales. Here’s a really close up look:

We’ve also seen her white topaz and diamond stud earrings many times before. They are Kiki McDonough “Grace” earrings and are currently on sale for 695 pounds.

This was taken today:

So, royal aides have said that Kate will visit each of her patronages while William is away. Kate has already been out to support The National Portrait Gallery, Action on Addiction, and  now The Art Room which leaves the Scouts and East Anglia Children’s Hospice EACH, which we don’t believe are directly associated with her visits to Ronald McDonald House and Alder Hay hospitals which she visited last week. She’ll also be out with the Queen and Camilla on March 1st for a visit to Fortnum & Mason and then the following week on March 8th Kate will join Prince Philip and the Queen in Leicester to kick of the first of the Diamond Jubilee visits.

Let us know what you think!

Queen Elizabeth’s Burmese Ruby Tiara

Happy Monday! Today we’re taking a look at some more royal jewels, thanks to guest blogger Sarah Taylor. This is usually referred to as the Burmese Ruby Tiara and is quite unlike any other tiara in Queen Elizabeth II’s personal jewelry collection. It is in the form of a wreath of red roses, with the roses consisting of the Burmese rubies and gold, and the petals composed of diamonds and silver. It is a relatively new tiara; Queen Elizabeth had this tiara commissioned in 1973 from Garrad & Co.

The tiara has  a special history. It is made out of 96 Burmese rubies which were a gift from the people of Burma to Princess Elizabeth on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947. The significance of 96 rubies is that 96 is the number of diseases that the Burmese traditionally people believe can afflict the human body, so these rubies are meant to protect against illness and disease.

The diamonds that are used in this tiara are believed to be from a tiara given to Princess Elizabeth by the last ruling Nizam of Hyderabad and Berar as a wedding gift. As a billionaire, the Nizam was widely considered the richest man in the world in the 1940s. He passed away in 1948 and Hyderabad and Berar are now part of India. It is believed that the original tiara (pictured below) was dismantled, and the diamonds used in the creation of the Burmese Ruby Tiara. There was also a matching necklace from the Nizam, which is still in use. Both the tiara and necklace were made by Cartier.

Here’s a picture of that tiara. It’s quite feminine:

and here it is on Her Majesty’s head:

For this portrait, Her Majesty paired the necklace with The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara:

Here is a closer look at the gorgeous necklace she is wearing in that portrait:

The Queen often wears the Burmese Ruby tiara with ruby earrings and necklaces – such as the Baring ruby necklace and Queen Mary’s ruby earrings.

The Queen switches things up a bit with a different ruby necklace and earrings for this portrait:

Here is a more recent picture of Her Majesty:

The Burmese Ruby Tiara is not the only ruby tiara that HM the Queen owns. She also has the Indian Ruby Tiara, also known as the Oriental Circlet Tiara, which was a favourite of HM The Queen Mother. Stay tuned for a post on that!

We’ll be back tomorrow tomorrow for a recap of the Kate’s visit to the Art Room, and then next week we have Kate, Camilla, and the Queen’s official visit to Fortnum and Mason. Do you think they’ll all be decked out in hats??

See you then!

Future Queens of Europe: Princess Elisabeth of Belgium

One of our readers requested that we do a post on Princess Elisabeth of Belgium as part of our series on Future Queens of Europe and so here it is! We have certainly been remiss with our posts on the Belgians so it’s about time.

Princess Elisabeth is now ten years old; she’s the cutie at the forefront of the picture to the left. Her other siblings are Prince Gabriel (born in 2003), Prince Emmanuel (born in 2005), and Princess Eleonore (born in 2008).

She was born in the Brussels municipality of Anderlecht on October 25, 2001. Her full name is Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth Therese Marie Helene of Belgium.

Princess Elisabeth’s parents are Princess Mathilde (wearer of one of our favourite all time royal wedding dresses) and Prince Philippe. They are also known as the Duke and Duchess of Brabant. Belgium was one of the first European countries to amend their laws to succession so that the first born child of the heir, regardless of gender, is next in line to the throne. Princess Elisabeth is consequently second in line to the throne ahead of her younger brothers.

Interestingly, it has been a Belgian tradition that the first son of the heir apparent be titled Count Hainaut. Consequently when Princess Elisabeth was born it was expected that she would be styled ‘Countess Hainut’ but instead the title was abolished along with the courtesy titles Count of Flanders and Prince of Liege.  The Belgians certainly have some different traditions when it comes to titles. One fun fact is that one month before Princess Mathilde’s December 1999 wedding to Prince Philippe, she was created a Princess of Belgium in her own right. The  Order was put into effect on the date of the wedding. The reason all of this went down was that the wife of a Belgian prince used to receive this title automatically, but a special Order is now required. She’s not the only one who acquired a title; Mathilde’s father and mother were given the title of Count and Countess and her two uncles were also elevated to the rank of Count. Can’t imagine the British royals taking that tradition up, can you??

Back to Elisabeth. We love this picture of her hard at work at her bridesmaid duties at her maternal aunt’s wedding. Very focussed!

She currently attends an elementary school where she is educated in Dutch, which is a first for an heir to the Belgian throne. Her cousins, the children of Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz, were also educated there.

If you missed our other posts on this series on Young Future Queens of Europe, you can read about Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands here, Princess Ingrid of Norway here, and Infanta Leonor of Spain here.

Kate’s Valentine’s Day Charity Work in Liverpool

Today Kate travelled to Liverpool for a round of solo visits. Princess Diana used to call these sorts of days outside of London ‘away days.’ As we know, William is in the midst of a six week stint in the Falklands so working on Valentine’s Day seems like a smart way for Kate to use her time to show she’s a hardworking royal. Even if the date was purely a coincidence, it helps to show that Kate is keen to be productive with our without William there to help. True to form, Kate showed up in coat with reddish tones, likely in a nod to the holiday. More on the clothes later.

First to the work. Kate’s first stop was to the non-alcoholic Brink bar in her capacity as patron for Action on Addiction. She met former addicts and even tried out a specially made drink called The Duchess.

Cute shot of her taking a sip:

Next up were visits to Alder Hey’s Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. At Alder Hey, Kate was greeted by an adorable little girl named Aimee Haswell. Aimee has been treated at the hospital for a congenital heart disease and prior to the visit, Aimee’s mum told The Telegraph how excited she was to be chosen. She said, “Aimee is really excited and is already rehearsing her curtsy. She couldn’t wait to get into school and tell everyone the exciting news! Aimee deserves this more than anyone I can think of. She’s a very strong, brave, happy little girl who has been through so much in her short life.” Aimee couldn’t be cuter:

 On to the clothes! Kate was wearing a belted coat from British retailer Hobbs (we recall reading that she’d bought it on one of her fall shopping trips) that to us has a hint of reddish tones. It is quite similar in style and colour to the coats that Kate wore on her humanitarian visit to Copenhagen with Prince William and for church on Christmas Day.
Here she was today with a valentine and flowers:
And in a different coat on Christmas:
And here she is with Crown Princess Mary in Copenhagan last November, in another long coat:
Side Note: Princess Charlene brought out this colour recently as well. This photo was taken at an engagement on February 1st:
But back to Kate. She must have a part of her closet dedicated to coats in red and burgundy tones! Under the jacket she black dress from high street chain Oasis (as confirmed by Clarence House). She took the jacket off at the hospital which must have been much more comfortable.
She also wore her standard black pumps, black tights, and the Kiki McDonough earrings first worn on Christmas Day. Kate also carried a black clutch bag with a small bow detail. We can’t remember seeing this one before but she sure has a lot of black clutches so we just may have. Gotta wonder why she doesn’t leave it in the car or break out a bag with handles from time to time. Seems like it might be easier to navigate flowers and cards and such that way.
For an extended video from The Telegraph on Kate’s day out, check out this video. It shows unveiling a plaque and chatting with kids. Here’s the link: Duchess-of-Cambridge-visits-Liverpool-on-Valentines-Day.html

Just today it was announced that Kate will be visiting her charity The Art Room a week today on February 21. Yesterday it was also announced that Kate will be joining the Queen and Camilla for a visit to Fortnum and Mason in London’s Picadilly on March 1st. If you’ve never been, add it to your list! We were lucky to do some Christmas shopping there this year. Let’s hope for Kate’s sake that Her Majesty is in a better mood than she was for her and Kate’s visit to the exhibit of Kate’s wedding dress at Buckingham Palace! In any event, it’ll be a nice warm up for the following week, when Kate will join the Queen and Prince Philip for another ‘away day’; a visit to Leicester.

To conclude, all of the plans for this period of time really show how much thought has gone into the strategy of getting Kate familiarized with her place in the royal family. This has been thanks to “lessons learned from the past” as Prince William put it. Princess Diana certainly wasn’t heading off for joint visits with the Queen in her first year  in the family! Well done, Kate and Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.