“One day she hopes to be a lady”

While they were growing up, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret of York had a Scottish nanny named Marion Crawford.  They called her “Crawfie” and she was a very important part of their lives. She worked as a nanny for them for seventeen years. Sadly, her relationship with the royals did not end well (check out an article from the Guardian in 2000 by clicking here),but today let’s focus on a cheerful memory from that time.

One especially charming story of Crawfie’s time with the Princesses has stuck in our minds since we first read it. It seems like the perfect way to round out the first week of Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee celebrations.

A young Princess Elizabeth was walking up the corridor of Buckingham Palace when she noticed that the guards on duty would salute each time she walked past. So, naturally, she thought this was great fun and kept walking back and forth and was amused each time she got a salute. Crawfie came along and saw what she was doing and was horrified. She insisted that the Princess apologize to the guards immediately. Crawfie told them,“She may be a Princess, but one day she hopes to be a lady.

Happy Weekend!

Another Outing From Kate: The National Portrait Gallery

Apart from when she stepped in for Prince Charles at a dinner party for the charity In Kind Direct, last night was Kate’s first official solo royal engagement.

As the Gallery’s Royal Patron, she turned out for a special viewing of the new Freud exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery (for our post on the Gallery, click here).

As far as the strategy behind all of this goes, this event seems like a nice, somewhat easy event to use to break into her role as a Royal patron. Inside the gallery, it was relatively private since there were only a limited number of reporters and Kate was not subjected to being photographed and videotaped the whole time. She was also not required to do a walkabout outside or give a speech or interview which would have taken the pressure off significantly. That sort of thing will likely start to slowly ramp up now that she’s becoming more and more comfortable.

Now, onto the jewels and clothes! Kate accessorized with the same floral diamond bracelet and earrings she wore all over Canada, to Zara’s wedding, and to that charitable dinner party, so maybe they’ve become something of a lucky charm. Plus, they go with everything so why not? This photo was taken at the dinner party:

She also wore the diamond Asprey pendant that we first noticed her wearing in 2007. Here’s Kate last night:

And here she is wearing the necklace during her break up from Prince William in 2007 (it’s there, we promise! if we can find a closer image we’ll post it). Side note: this photo was taken in the days following the break up when Kate was spending time back home in Berkshire. Her brother James had driven her into London to pick up a few things at her apartment, including this tennis racket.

The grey tweed dress was new to us but apparently not to Kate’s princess-ready closet. She is wearing a label called Jesire which is sadly no longer in business. We wonder if the ‘Kate effect’ will change that? In any case, there will be likely be some knock-offs of this dress out there soon.

The dress looks gorgeous and very ‘Grace Kelly classic’, which no doubt she was going for. We love the pleats of the skirt, the four black buttons, and the belt makes it a little modern and fun. The nude stockings (as opposed to black) kept things youthful, as did the black Jimmy Choo’s. Well done, Kate.

We’re looking forward to her Valentines Day engagements next week. Our hope is that she brings out another ‘old’ outfit or two from her closet…it would help her with her ‘serious working Royal’ image after getting flack for the recent Mustique holiday followed by hours and hours in the Richard Ward hair salon.

To end, here she is leaving the gallery afterwards. We bet she went back to her Kensington Palace cottage, put on something cozy, cuddled up with her new puppy, and called Pippa for a full debrief and to recap it all. What do you think?

The Queen’s Titles

When she was born on April 21, 1926, The Queen was titled ‘Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York’. This is the same title that her granddaughters Beatrice and Eugenie hold as the daughters of the Duke of York. Her full name was Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York. Her paternal grandmother was Queen Mary and her paternal great grandmother was Queen Alexandra, so Princess Elizabeth’s middle names were a tribute to them both.

HRH The Duchess of York with HRH Princess Elizabeth of York

Of course, Princess Elizabeth was not expected to become Queen. Her father was second in line to the throne after his brother Edward, The Prince of Wales. As is famously known, Edward abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, which meant that the Duke of York became King.

HRH Princess Elizabeth with her grandmother, HM Queen Mary
Princess Elizabeth

When Princess Elizabeth’s father became King George VI in 1936, her title changed to ‘Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth’ which is the style and title of the daughter of the sovereign. Princess Elizabeth was now heir to the throne.

King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret in their coronation robes

When she married Prince Philip of Greece, who was granted the title The Duke of Edinburg, she was then HRH The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh.

When she ascended the throne at the age of 25, Her Majesty The Queen took on a number of titles. The Queen’s title varies depending on where she is. In the UK she is: ‘Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.’ what a mouth full!

The Queen in June 1953 on the Buckingham Palace balcony after the coronation service

Here are some of her other titles, depending on her location:

  • The Isle of Man: Lord of Man (This isn’t a typo; the sovereign holds the title regardless of gender, thought Queen Victoria was the exception. She was titled Lady of Man).
  • The Channel Islands: The Duke of Normandy (Not Duchess of Normandy; this title of Duke is conferred upon the sovereign regardless of gender).
  • Duchy of Lancaster: Duke of Lancaster (same as above!)
  • In Canada: Queen of Canada
  • In Australia: Queen of Australia



According to Wikipedia the Queen’s titles are listed in the order in which the remaining original realms first became Dominions of the Crown: the United Kingdom (original dominion), Canada (1867), Australia (1901), and New Zealand (1907), followed by the rest in the order in which the former colony became an independent realm: Jamaica (1962), Barbados (1966), the Bahamas (1973), Grenada (1974), Papua New Guinea (1975), the Solomon Islands (1978), Tuvalu (1978), Saint Lucia (1979), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1979), Antigua and Barbuda (1981), Belize (1981), and Saint Kitts and Nevis (1983).

Here’s the Queen laughing it up at the Braemar Games last summer:

And here she is decked out in the same outfit and hat yesterday in London, kicking off the Jubliee celebrations.

They even had fireworks! Here’s to a great Jubliee year ahead.

February 6th, 1952: The Day that Princess Elizabeth Became The Queen

Sixty years ago today on February 6, 1952 The Queen’s father, King George VI sadly died and HRH The Princess Elizabeth became Queen. Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh were in Kenya at the time which was the first stop on a royal tour that included Australia and New Zealand. They were staying at Sagana Lodge, given to them as a wedding present, in the foothills of Mount Kenya. Princess Elizabeth and the Duke were on this trip rather han the King and Queen because the King’s health had been worsening.

Princess Elizabeth and Philip had spent the evening of February 5th 1952 at the Treetops Hotel, shown below, where they spent hours photographing wildlife and generally having a wonderful time.

This was meant to be a quick break from the regular duties and events of the royal tour. Shortly after they returned to Sagana Lodge on the 6th of February, Philip was informed of the news and he then told Elizabeth in the gardens at the Lodge. Because the King had died in his sleep, it is unknown what time Princess Elizabeth became Queen. Arrangements were made for them to return to England as soon as possible.

The King’s death was a shock to the family even though his health had been failing for some time. The Daily Mail reported last month that on Elizabeth and Philip’s flight home it was realised that the Queen did not have a black dress to wear upon arrival in London.   Once the plane landed, a black dress was brought on board for her to change into before disembarking, shown below.

The Queen was only 25 years old at the time, and on top of the grief of losing her father she was now faced with the responsibility of being Sovereign.

The Queen’s coronation took place the following year, in June 1953. Sadly, her paternal grandmother Queen Mary passed away six week’s before the even but insisted before her passing that the coronation not be delayed and must go ahead as planned. The Queen had been eleven years old at her father’s coronation, so she knew what to expect.

Coronation of George VI

For the first time, the even was broadcast on television which ushered in a new, more modern monarchy. Here is a photograph of the day:

And here is The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the service:

There will be a series of events and celebrations this year to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, including a barge procession on the Thames in June, receptions, and a series of royal tours taken by members of the royal family across the commonwealth. We’re looking forward to it!

Part Four of Kate’s Borrowed Jewels: The Maple Leaf Brooch

#5 The Maple Leaf Brooch

It’s tough to track down the provenance of this beautiful diamond encrusted brooch. Even the Royal Collection isn’t very forthcoming, sharing only that, “The Queen (as Princess Elizabeth) wore this brooch in the shape of a maple leaf during her first visit to Canada in 1951.”

This beautiful brooch is listed in the “gifts’ section of the catalogue but sadly there is no further information on where it is gifted from. If you know any more, please let us know!

The Queen

This is the first picture we have of Princess Elizabeth wearing the brooch. This is from the visit to Canada n 1951:

She has worn it as the Queen in more recent years and certainly showed her support for Canada by wearing the country’s colours:

The Queen Mum

The Queen Mum has also worn the brooch on occasion. It appears she is wearing it on her hat in this photograph:

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

The Queen loaned Camilla the brooch for a November 2009 visit to Canada. Camilla wore the brooch along with a British Poppy and a Canadian Poppy for Remembrance Day. Check out our post on the Remembrance Day service this year for more info on poppies.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Kate wore the brooch three times during the Cambridge’s visit to Canada. she wore it with two separate outfits on Canada Day.

This was taken during the daytime Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa. She wore the brooch on a white Reiss dress and paired it with a specially made maple leaf hat.

She also brought it out with her purple Issa dress for the evening concert:

And she brought it out again for their last day in Canada. In a patriotic move, Kate wore a bright red Catherine Walker dress and jacket with it:

Here’s a closer look:

Kate and William definitely looked the part as they left on their way to California.

The thing is, as great as it is that Kate is carrying on the tradition of wearing this brooch, we can’t help but feel it was a bit of a faux pas that she had just been gifted a diamond polar bear brooch from the North West Territories and didn’t manage to wear it before the end of the trip.

That’s the Premier of the North West Territories passing over the gift:

As you can see in the picture below, Prince William received matching cufflinks. The brooch is made out of 302 Canadian diamonds in platinum and was designed by Harry Winston, which is now a Canadian owned company.

That last day could have been the perfect time to wear it, if not during their engagements in Calgary. Heck, maybe she could have even worn it together with the maple leaf… Sometimes you’ve got to be flexible and over accessorize a bit so as to be respectful of your hosts. In Kate’s defence, she likely had that red dress and coat made especially for the departure day from Canada and knew the brooch paired with it would be a great, classic photo op.

what do you think?

Side Note: The Queen has received a new Canada brooch to mark her 60 years on the throne. it is diamond, gold, and platinum and and was designed by Birks (Canada’s answer to Tiffany’s). It was commissioned by the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, who presented it to the Queen at Buckingham Palace in early January. We’ll have to keep our eyes out for it!

Kate’s Borrowed Jewels Part Three: The Shamrock Brooch

We hope this new month is off to a wonderful start for you! If you missed our first two posts on our series on Kate’s Borrowed Jewels, click here and here if you’d like to catch up. Today we are looking at the fourth item Kate has borrowed. It is a rather petite gold shamrock brooch that features an emerald stone in the centre.

This piece is unique in that it isn’t actually owned by the royal family but, as far as our most reliable sources tell us, is owned by the Irish Guards Regiment. They have loaned this brooch to the Queen Mum, Princess Anne, and now Kate for their visits. It is traditionally worn on the wearer’s left side. Ok, so we wonder about the logistics of this…does a messenger go and pick up the brooch the day before the royal engagement? Or does the royal lady put it on right when she arrives? It’s all very curious.

Now we can’t be absolutely sure, but it does look like the Queen Mum has the brooch pinned to her blue jacket on in this picture:

We know that the Queen Mum paid a visit on St. Patrick’s Day for the regiment’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade at the age of 96. What a trooper. Look closely…they are all wearing lots of shamrocks! If she is wearing the brooch in this picture, it’s been covered up by all that greenery.

The Princess Royal is wearing the brooch during a 2008 St. Patrick’s Day Parade visit. You’d think she could have found something green in her closet to wear, no?

However, it looks like some fun was had and she did put on some greenery after all:

Kate is the most recent royal lady to wear this special brooch. The Duke and Duchess visited the regiment in Windsor this past June for a medal presentation ceremony.  This was Prince William’s first visit since becoming the regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief. It was the Irish Guards Mounted Officer’s uniform that Prince William wore on his wedding day (that’s what the fellows in the photograph above are wearing).

Here’s a better look at Kate’s whole ensemble. We talked about it some more in our post on Kate’s Official Engagement Outfits.

Tomorrow we’ll take a good look at the fourth jewel that Kate has borrowed. Hope to see you then…

Kate’s Borrowed Jewels Part Two: The Cartier Halo Tiara

In case you missed our post from yesterday, we are recounting the royal jewels that Kate has borrowed so far. Check out yesterday’s post by clicking here. Today we are diving into the background behind Kate’s first tiara.

#3 The Cartier Halo Diamond Tiara

There was a lot of speculation as to what tiara Kate would wear. We were thrilled it was this one. According to the official Royal Collection website, the tiara “is formed as a band of 16 graduated scrolls set with 739 brilliants and 149 baton diamonds.” Gorgeous!

This piece by Cartier was purchased by the then Duke of York for his wife Elizabeth (now most commonly known as the Queen Mum) shortly before his brother stepped down as King to marry Wallis Simpson. This is one of the few pictures we have of the former Duchess of York wearing it:
Here’s a closer look

The tiara was next passed onto Princess Elizabeth on the occasion of her 18th birthday. Here is a picture of Margaret wearing the tiara (nice of her sister to lend it!). This is such a flattering picture of her! Love the rich lipstick.

Princess Anne was the next royal lady to wear the tiara, and wear it she did!

This tiara seems to have been her ‘go to’ tiara in her early years, before she got into wearing the Greek Key Pattern Tiara more often.

Check out the hair:

The tiara looks very elegant for this official portrait:

This brings us to Kate, the fifth royal lady to wear it and the first to do so on her wedding day.  On the morning of the wedding, it was announced that the tiara was on loan from the Queen.

It’s likely that this tiara will be the tiara Kate will wear for the foreseeable future. After all, the diamond earrings that her parents gave her as a wedding present were designed to echo the scrolls of the tiara. That’s a clue that the tiara was chosen well in advance, making the whole idea that Kate was planning to wear flowers in her hair (as was widely reported) null and void.

Please bring these earrings and the tiara out again soon, Kate!

And to end, a ghoulish shot of the tiara with Kate’s veil from the exhibit at Buckingham Palace.

If you think you’d like to try on the Halo Tiara yourself, check it out here. It looks pretty great, right?!