The Queen, Prince Philip, and the Duchess of Cambridge in Leicester

Yesterday the Queen and Prince Philip kicked off their Jubilee Tour of the UK in Leicester. The royal couple intend to visit all of the major cities between now and July, and they brought Kate with them to help kick things off.

Do you think Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie wish they could have days out like this with their grandparents? Yes, there have been reports that Princess Beatrice is on the hunt for employment but we find it hard to believe that that is her preference over being a working royal, which is what Prince Andrew would like for his daughters. Check out our articles here and here on how the Queen and Princes Charles are trying to streamline the royal family and what impact that will have on Beatrice. It will be interesting to see what she ends up doing.

Anyway, Kate must have been drained after being “on” all day.  Of course, Her Majesty and Prince Philip must have been, too, but with Kate it was an especially significant day. All in all, it was a success without any significant misshaps and no major gaffes from Prince Philip.

The Queen looked ready for spring in her pink and black Angela Kelly coat (which had a floral brooch) and hat. Kate wore a ’40’s inspired LK Bennet dress and top that came complete with a peplum, a trend we’re seeing more and more of these days. Kate bought the outfit from the LK Bennet store located in Duke of York Square last December just before her first Christmas at Sandringham. Since there were up to 5(!) outfit changes a day during that visit, she probably wore this there. If the thrifty Queen noticed that she’d seen Kate’s outfit before, she would have given that a thumbs up.

We thought Kate would wear a hat, and this simple black one from John Lock was perfect. It’s not too big – a brimmed hat wouldn’t have looked right – and wasn’t too small like a feathery fascinatory would have been. Nice!

It’s very simililar to the hat that Kate wore to a wedding back in January 2010. We tried this hat on at the John Lewis department store in London a few months ago (it also comes in leopard print!) and loved it. Actually, this one would have worked very well today. Maybe she thought the stick thing was a bit much and went for the new flower one instead…

In the last couple of years in particular, Princess Mary and Princess Marie of Denmark have both had a similar vintage millinery style which may have inspired Kate. They look so classy and chic:

Here’s Princess Mary:

and her sister in law Princess Marie:

Love ’em all. But back to Leicester. Here are some favourite pictures from today’s engagements:

Oodles of patriotic people showed up and waved their flags:

Kate and the Queen chatted through a student fashion show at De Montfort University:

On the way in, Kate said to Lord Waheed Alli, the University Chancellor, “I’ve been to a fashion show before.” He replied, “I know. I saw it on the news this morning.” Of course, they were referring to this St. Andrew’s University show. How things have changed since then:

And we can’t forget Philip. He was looking like he’s made a good recovery from his health scare over Christmas.

On that note, have a lovely weekend!! We have lots of meaty posts coming next week. See you then!

The Royal Family of Denmark’s Christening Gowns

To our surprise, our article on British Royal family christening gowns will soon top the list as our most read post EVER. Seems that there are a lot of folks out there googling royal christening gowns. Who knew? So, we thought it was time we wrote about the Royal Family of Denmark’s christening gowns and we’ll post on the christening gowns of the other European royals over time.

According to the Danish Royal Family’s official website, the Royal Family’s main christening gown has been in use since 1870. It is made from delicate Brussels lace that was purchased by Christan X’s mother, Queen Lovisa. Queen Lovisa was the daughter of King Charles XV of Sweden and apparently liked to wear lots of jewels and frilly things wherever she could pin them, including in her hair. To that we say well done:

The christening gown and accompanying cap were made for Christian X’s christening and has been used by many (but not all) royal children since.

The first pictures we were able to track down of the gown is when it was worn by little Princess Margrethe (now Queen Margrethe of Denmark). She was christened on May 14, 1940. Here she is with her parents, Queen Ingrid and King Frederik IX, Look at all that lovely lace!

Both of Margrethe’s sons Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim wore the gowns for their christenings. Prince Frederik was christened on June 24, 1968 amidst much pomp as you can see here:

This photograph gives us a good look at the delicate cap that goes with the gown. Loving Margrethe’s hat there, too!

If you’re in the mood for a video, here’s some footage of Prince Frederik’s christening ceremony:


Now, according to the Danish Royal Family’s official website, Prince Nikolai, son of Prince Joachim and the then Princess Alexandra, was the first of the next generation to wear this antique gown. Check out their page on the gown here. The part about the gown is in the last paragraph. However, a couple of very astute Royal Post readers have pointed out that the gown that Nikolai is in fact different, and that he was the first to wear this new gown and matching cap. Evidently, this new gown was first worn by Prince Nikolai and his brother followed that tradition. Since the antique gown must be so fragile, it certainly makes sense to preserve the gown for the children of the heir only.

Prince Nikola was christened in November 1999 and here he is in that new gown. It certainly doesn’t have the same ornate lace but is very pretty:

Nikola’s brother Prince Felix was christened in October 2002 and wore this new gown, too. We can get a good look at the new cap here. It has a white ribbon and looks like it may be made from a very high quality cotton:

Side note: When Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra were divorced in 2005, it was  decided that Alexandra would be kept on the civil list for life and be given a generous yearly income reported to be around $300,000 USD. She was also able to keep her title Princess of Denmark until she remarried, and she went from being Her Royal Highness to simply Her Highness. On the day the divorce became final, Queen Margrethe bestowed Alexandra with the title Countess of Frederiksborg, the idea being that if she were ever to remarry she would no longer be a Princess of Denmark but would hold this Countess title for life. She remarried in March 2007 and Prince Joachim married Marie Cavallier in 2008.

Next up was Nikola and Felix’s cousin, Prince Christian who we spoke about in detail earlier this week (click here if you missed it). As the son of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, he is second in line to the throne and he had the honour of wearing the antique gown and cap.

Prince Christian’s sister Princess Isabella was next. She also wore the antique gown in July 2007:

The next (and to date the last) royal baby to wear the gown was Christian and Isabella’s brother Prince Vincent. He and his twin sister Princess Josephine were christened on April 14, 2011. What to do about christening gowns for the two of them was a bit of a conundrum. Instead of wearing the new gown first worn by Prince Nikolai, little Princess Josephine wore a gown that had been owned by Queen Ingrid, the great-grandmother of the twins. She had owned a christening gown that was made in 1940 but had never been worn; it was likely a gift for Princess Margrethe when she was born. Princess Josephine wore that gown and her brother wore the antique one, perhaps because he is a full 26 minutes older and consequently closer in line to succession.

You can get a better look at the gowns here. If we had to guess, it looks like Prince Vincent is being carried by Prince Frederik – that lace looks so gorgeous and delicate:

Here’s an even closer look to figure out who is who. Yep – we’re sticking with the idea that Prince Frederik is carrying Prince Vincent and Princess Mary has little Princess Josephine. Agree or disagree?

Next we have Princess Marie with Prince Joachim and their son Prince Henrik. A new royal christening gown made an appearance. According to the royal family’s website, it was made by Danish designer Henrik Hviid, H.H. Design for the occasion.

The next Danish royal christening we will have will be for Princess Marie and Prince Joachim’s daughter who was born on January 24th. As is tradition, her name will be revealed that day, which has recently been confirmed as May 20, 2012. It is most likely that she’ll be wearing the same gown that her big brother Prince Henrik did. We’ll report back then! Any guesses on the baby’s name?

UPDATED: You can read our post on Princess Athena’s christening by clicking here.

A Quick Thought: Prince Harry’s Race

A quick but fun post today. Prince Harry seems to be having the time of his life on his Diamond Jubilee Tour on behalf of the Queen which is fantastic to see. Amidst many other great photos and reports, numerous shots of Prince Harry ‘racing’ Usein Bolt emerged today.  This photo in particular struck us since it immediately reminded us of….

this one:

Princess Diana was participating in an annual Mum’s Race at Wetherby, Prince William’s school in 1989. Apparently, she didn’t actually win, but gets full marks from us for enthusiasm, just like Harry.

Check out footage of Diana’s race two years later in 1991: [youtube=]

Future Kings of Europe: Prince Christian of Denmark

Reviewing the four young future queens of Europe made us realize that amongst all of those princesses there is a young prince who is second in line to be King that we haven’t paid much attention to yet. He is HRH Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John, Count of Monpezat. His parents are Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. He was born on October 15, 2005 and there was a lot of celebrating in the nation that day. There was a 21 gun salute, Danish flags were flown on buses, and bonfires were lit at sunset.

This delightful picture comes from his official page on the Royal Family of Denmark’s website:

As has been tradition since the 16th century, the Prince’s name was revealed on his christening day, which was on January 21, 2006. It is tradition in Denmark that heirs apparent are named either Frederik or Christian so everyone had  a 50% chance of guessing correctly. The christening took place  in Christiansborg Palace Chapel and his eight god parents include Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and the Crown Prince and Princess of Norway. We will talk some more about the many traditions of a Danish Royal christening in an upcoming post, but in the meantime, here is some footage from that event:
As the second in line to the throne, Prince Christian has an official monogram. So far, his three siblings and four royal cousins do not. It’s not too shabby, eh?
In March 2007, Prince Christian started nursery school. Here he is all ready to go on his first day:
Christian’s first royal engagement was at Copenhagen Zoo a year later in June 2008. The little prince joined his grandfather Prince Henrik in opening a new elephant house. Pretty cute!
If you’re in the mood for another video, this super short one gives us a nice peak of the visit:
Another day of note in his young life was when he was one of his godmother Crown Princess Victoria’s attendants at her wedding in 2010. He wore a specially made sailor suit for the occasion. Love this picture of him with his parents!
And here he is in the midst of his duties that day. Prince Christian is the shorter page boy on the right. Walking directly in front of him are two future queens. Princess Ingrid of Norway is on the left and Princess Catherina-Amalia of the Netherlands is on the right:
Prince Christian headed off for his first day of primary school in Copenhagen this past August. He is the first member of the Danish Royal Family to go to a state school so that was much remarked upon in the press; his father and grandfather had both attended private schools.
And no post on Christian would be complete without including this portrait published in German Vogue. Oh yeah. That’s Prince Christian’s sister Princess Isabella in the tutu:
To end, this portrait of Queen Margrethe, Prince Frederik, and Prince Christian was recently unveiled as part of the celebrations for the Queen’s forty years on the throne. Queen Margrethe, known as “Daisy” to her family, has spoken about how she will not be abdicating for her son. She very much believes that she is Queen for life so it will hopefully be quite sometime before Prince Frederik becomes King.

Three of the Top Ladies of the Land At Fortnum & Mason

The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duchess of Cambridge all showed up today     at Fortnum & Mason decked out in varying shades of blue. No doubt there were some phone calls and emails between the royal staffers to coordinate that.

This is a bit of a tangent, but our favourite example of the Queen’s colour coordination was when she emerged onto the Buckingham Palace balcony in 1995 with the Queen Mum and Princess Margaret. Perfection! And obviously this made a great postcard.

But back to today. Kate chose a very classy looking M Missoni jacket that she may have bought in the Missoni outlet at Bicester Village in January of 2011 (side note: one royal poster paid a visit there in November and didn’t have the same luck).

She also had on her Links of London Hope earrings and underneath the jacket she had the blue Zara dress that first appeared when Kate and William were headed to their helicopter the day after their wedding. Today we got a peak of it here when Kate emerged from the car:

And here’s the first time we saw the dress:

It came out again under a different blue jacket for a service in honour of Prince Philip’s birthday.

We also love that she wasn’t fussing with a clutch bag, which is a first. Our favourite part of today’s outfit, though, are the daffodils she wore in honour of St. David’s Day. St. David is the patron saint of Wales and March 1st marks his death. Daffodils are the traditional flower of Wales and Kate’s wedding dress included them in a nod to the principality. Wonder if she thought of wearing them today herself or if it was suggested by someone in her office before she had the chance? Yes, this is the sort of thing I think about. In any case, we love that Kate is keen to keep up with these traditions, like she showed by wearing the maple leaf brooch and the four leaf clover brooch. each of the three ladies was presented with a bouquet of daffodils:

Camilla and the Queen both wore brooches instead of actual flowers.  Camilla’s brooch was a nod to St. David’s day as well, fitting since she is technically the Princess of Wales. The brooch, pinned to her Bruce Oldfield dress coat, was in the shape of a leek. The leek is another symbol of Wales which goes back many centuries. In Shakespear’s Henry V, King Henry tells Fluellen that he is wearing a leek “for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.” So there you go.

It’s pretty small in this shot of the three ladies receiving gift baskets of treats:

Here’s a bit of a closer look at it as they peruse a Jubilee cake:

The Queen wore a light blue military inspired suit and a flower brooch that looks like it might be a cluster of daffodils. If we track down more information on this particular brooch, we’ll update this post.

The Telegraph has a good video of the visit which you can see by clicking here. Our favourite part is when the Queen jokes about a hat that’s on sale. She seems to know that fascinators are the thing these days.

This St. David’s Day visit reminded us of St. David’s days of the past and in particular when Princess Diana took William on one of his first walk abouts on March 1, 1991 in Cardiff, Wales. I remember when those pictures came out and wonder if Kate saw them then, too. She must have…

Here is a short video of a speech that Diana gave that day extolling the virtues of Cardiff and Wales as a whole. Prince William is behind her for the whole thing with quite a cute bemused expression:

The visit to Fortnum & Mason today lasted a little over an hour so was pretty quick. Do you think the three ladies had lunch together afterwards back at the Palace or just went their separate ways? And do you think Princess Anne would have liked to have joined in today??

In any case it was a nice warm up for Kate who will be spending the day with the Queen and Prince Philip in Leicester next week. She seemed to keep closer to Camilla, and let Camilla and the Queen take more of a lead which was entirely appropriate. For example, Kate was the last to get out of the car when the trio arrived and the last to get in on the way back to Buckingham Palace.

Let us know your thoughts!