Royals in Hawaii

Happy New Year!

Are you ready for 2014? We are ringing in new beginnings in Hawaii this year (aloha!) and thought it would be fun to take a peak at some British royals who’ve visited this gorgeous place in the last 93 years.

Waikiki Beach NYE 2013
Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach taken on a morning walk on NYE 2013

Edward, Prince of Wales 1920

Did you know that long before he abdicated the throne, Edward was quite the surfer? Well, apparently he was and I just learned about that about two hours ago myself.

Surf on, HRH! (via )
Evidently this is the first photo of a British person up on a board! (via Surfer Today)

This autographed photo of Edward surfing in Hawaii was taken in July of 1920 during a 3 day trip there with Earl Mountbatten. He had first been to Hawaii in April of that year, and during that visit he was given lessons by legendary Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku.  This photograph was purchased by the Museum of British Surfing in Devon, which is how we came across it.

“He had gone to Hawaii in April 1920 on HMS Renown and was taken out by Duke Kahanamoku on an outrigger canoe. He had a surf lesson and did OK, but absolutely loved it”, says Peter Robinson, founder of the museum.

“He later ordered the royal yacht to go back to Hawaii so he could surf for three days. Duke was out of the country when he returned so David Kahanamoku took him out and these pictures were taken then.” 

Historic reports say Edward loved surfing. He spent two hours surfing every morning and three hours every afternoon during their July stay. (Source)

Love it!

The Queen Mum 1966

Not to be outdone, the Queen Mum attempted to hula during her visit to Hawaii in ’66.  Awesome.

The Queen Mum hulas (via )
The Queen Mum gets into the spirit of Aloha  (via Pinterest)

I feel that either of these two pictures could and should be the subject of a “Caption This” contest. And to top it off, the delightful fellow dancing with the Queen Mum is none other than Duke Kahanamoku himself!

The Queen Mum (via )
The Queen Mum (via Culture 24)

Diana & Charles 1985

Princess Diana and Prince Charles visited the island of Oahu in November of 1985 after their tour of Australia and right before they visited Washington, DC when Diana danced with John Travolta and whatnot.

Here they are arriving at Hickam Air Force Base just before midnight on November 7, 1985.


It’s interesting to note that this was Diana’s very first visit to the United States. Crazy, right? Prince Charles had previously visited Hawaii in 1974 during his time in the Navy.

They were given leis as they got off the plane, before they were whisked away to their hotel where they must have been very happy to hit the hay since it was so late at night.

Diana gets into the spirit of Aloha (via Pinterest)
Diana gets into the spirit of Aloha (via Pinterest)

I’m sure they were pretty bummed that their visit just lasted 18 hours. This report of the visit comes from the AP Archives:

The couple stayed at the beachfront Kahala Hilton Hotel, about two miles east of Diamond Head and well away from the bustling and crowded Waikiki Beach resort area. 

Soon after a decoy motorcade left the hotel, the royal couple slipped out of the back entrance and were taken by limousine to a private beachfront residence a few blocks away where they ate a lunch provided by the hotel. 

Reporters and photographers kept watch from across the street. Neighbors said they did not know who lived at the residence. State security officers asked a work crew using a hydraulic cherry picker to trim tree limbs away from electric lines at the home next door to suspend their work, the workers said.

Security men patroled the grounds while others kept watch offshore in rubber dinghies.Other hotel guests seemed to be ignoring the presence of the royal couple, although a few area residents admitted they had come to the hotel in the hope of catching a glimpse of the pair. About two dozen members of the news media, most of them British, waited outside the hotel. Several photographers aimed high-powered lenses at the upper-floor windows where they believed the couple might be staying.

No time for beach time (via Pinterest)
No time for beach time (via Pinterest)

This photograph was taken on the grounds of the Hilton Kahala Hotel where their entourage took over 100 rooms. That little hula girl was gifting them with t-shirts for William and Harry.

Diana and Charles are ready to Hula (via )
Diana and Charles are ready to Hula (via UPI)

Thanks for visiting us here at The Royal Post over the past two and a half years. We plan to write oodles of interesting posts for you this next year, from Kate and William’s upcoming trip to Australia to who knows what else.

We wish you all a ver happy and healthy 2014!

Christmas at Sandringham

In just a few days, Sandringham will be over run with the Queen’s family for the annual Christmas visit, so we thought it’d be fun to run down what it is that the Royals get up to every year there.

The Queen on Christmas Day 2012 (via Windsor Star)
The Queen on Christmas Day 2012 (via Windsor Star)

Who’s Invited?

Traditionally, the group included the Queen and Philip, their children and spouses, their grandchildren and now three great-grandchildren. The Queen also includes the families of Princess Margaret’s two children, Lady Sarah Chatto and Viscount Linley.

Peter Philips and Prince William escort Margarita Armstrong-Jones to church on Christmas Day 2006 (via CBS News)
Peter Philips and Prince William escort Margarita Armstrong-Jones to church on Christmas Day 2006 (via CBS News)

Even though Sandringham looks spacious, that’s a whole lot of bedroom to sort out. Back in 2011, the Daily Mail conjectured that some junior members of the family would be housed in staff quarters.

Sandringham via The Daily Mail
Sandringham via The Daily Mail

So let’s count ’em down:

  1. The Queen
  2. Prince Philip
  3. Prince Charles
  4. Camilla Duchess of Cornwall
  5. Prince William
  6. Kate
  7. Prince George
  8. Prince Harry
  9. Prince Andrew
  10. Princess Beatrice
  11. Princess Eugenie
  12. Prince Edward
  13. Sophie, Countess of Wessex
  14. Lady Louise
  15. James, Viscount Severn
  16. Princess Anne
  17. Tim Laurence
  18. Peter Philips
  19. Autumn Philips
  20. Savanna Philips
  21. Isla Philips (their daughter)
  22. Zara Philips (their daughter)
  23. Mike Tindal
  24. Viscount Linley
  25. Viscountess Linley
  26. Charles Armstrong Jones (their son)
  27. Margarita Armtrong-Jones (their daughter)
  28. Lady Sarah Chatto
  29. Daniel Chatto
  30. Samuel Chatto (their son)
  31. Arthur Chatto (their son)

Note that Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are not included in the invitation, though they were invited in the past.

The Kents 1988 Christmas Card (via eBay)
The Kents 1988 Christmas Card  (via eBay) 

The Kents are planning on spending the holiday at their home in Kensington Palace along with their new granddaughter Maude, which Princess Michael has been chatting to The Telegraph about. She’s such a piece of work it’s mesmerizing to read about her outlook on the world.

Anyway, now that the family is so large the Queen hosts an annual  Christmas lunch for the extended family at Buckingham Palace as a way to get everyone together. I suspect it’s also a way to be diplomatic about the more pared down guest list.

Here’s Sophie arriving at the Christmas lunch in 2012.

Sophie driving into Buckingham Palace December 2012 (via Hello)
Sophie driving into Buckingham Palace December 2012 (via Hello)

The 2013 Buckingham Palace party included Prince George, who arrived in the back of the car with Kate and William along with his nannie Jessie Webb.

Off to lunch 2013 (via Daily Mail)
Jessie was seated behind Kate and George was behind William. I promise. (via Daily Mail)

There’s been some speculation that Kate’s family has been invited for Christmas Day this year. I find that very hard to believe  – the house is obviuously stuffed to the gills and Camilla’s family isn’t invited for Christmas Day and she’s higher up the pecking order.  Once William and Kate take up residence at Amner Hall I’m guessing that the Middletons will start to spend Christmas there.

Amner Hall, via Zimbio
Amner Hall, via Zimbio

Amner Hall is only two miles away from the main house, so it would be a perfect solution, right? That way, William and Kate can easily make the trek to the great house for meals and tea time and what not which would free up a bedroom, and they’d still have time with the Middletons back at Amner.

December 23 & 24: Arrivals

The festivities traditionally begin on December 23rd, though many guests do not arrive until the 24th.You may recall that Kate, William, and Harry arrived on the 24th back in 2011, after William played in a football match.

Harry and Kate watch William's football game on Christmas Eve 2011 (via )
Harry and Kate watch William’s football game on Christmas Eve 2011 (via HRH Duchess Kate)

Each of the royals are instructed to arrive at a specific time – with  senior royal arriving last – to avoid any chaos. The Queen arrives via train from King’s Cross station no later than the 23rd, and usually arrives a few days earlier than that.

In 2012, she arrived on December 20th.

The Queen on December 20, 2012 arriving at King's Cross Station en route to Sandringham (via )
The Queen on December 20, 2012 arriving at King’s Cross Station en route to Sandringham (via Daily Mail)

And she and Philip arrived on the in 2013.

The Queen & Philip at King's Cross Station en route to Sandringham (via Daily Mail)
The Queen & Philip at King’s Cross Station en route to Sandringham (via Daily Mail)

At 4:00 pm on Christmas Eve it’s tea time! Everyone gathers together and finishing touches are made to the Christmas tree. I can just see Lady Louise and Viscount Severn being all over that.

Lady Louise with Sophie, Edward, and Philip on Christmas Day 2012
Lady Louise with Sophie, Edward, and Philip on Christmas Day 2012 (via Zimbio)

In an article for The Independent back in 1999, then editor of Majesty magian Nigel Evans said,

“At Sandringham,” says Evans, “the men all have breakfast together and the women are expected to lie in bed. Then the men go off shooting all day until 4pm and the women can either follow them or do their own thing. But they nearly always spend all of their free time outside.”

The family exchanges joke gifts on Christmas Eve. The gifts are all laid out tables and are reportedly opened before dinner. One year, the Queen apparently received this awesome Billy Bass.

Billy Bass really is awesome. (via Spokeo)
Billy Bass really is awesome. (via Spokeo)

We have one, too and it’s awesome because it suddenly perks up and starts to sing. In 2011, it was reported that Kate gifted everyone with homemade jam and today Prince Harry was spotted buying “African curios” in South Africa so I think we know what his contribution will be.

Time to Change Clothes Again!

When Kate was on a walk about in 2011, she revealed that she had to change outfits 5 times a day at Sandringham. On a typical day that likely includes:

  • A morning outfit
  • A Hunting outfit
  • A day dress for a post-shoot tea and the Christmas church visit.
  • A cocktail dress for pre-dinner drinks
  • A gown for the black tie dinner

So Much Bloody Curtseying: Keeping Track of the Order of Precedence

Then there’s the whole matter of the Order of Precedence. This is a list laid out by the Queen to essentially explain who must bow to whom when the Royal Family is together.

Via The Toronto Star
Via The Toronto Star

It so very ridiculous and silly it’s unbelievable.The royal family’s official website describes the Order of Precedence very tactfully:

“Unlike succession to the throne, which is regulated not only through descent, but also by Parliamentary statute, precedence of the Royal Family at Court is determined by both law, as well as traditions and customs. Precedence of members of the Royal Family at private events is a matter for The Queen’s discretion.

The Queen decides which members of her family are accorded the status of members of the Royal Family and also, from time to time, approves their precedence.

The Queen determines both separate precedence (for ladies and gentlemen) and also joint precedence.

Generally speaking, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of a Sovereign, as well as their spouses, are members of the Royal Family. First cousins of the monarch may also be included. Children are included on coming of age or after they have completed their education.

Precedence of the Royal Family at Court does not follow the line of succession. Thus, The Duke of Edinburgh takes precedence immediately after The Queen.”

Autumn and Peter Philips and Princess Beatrice bow to the Queen (via The Telegraph)
Autumn and Peter Philips and Princess Beatrice and boyfriend Dave Clark bow to the Queen (via The Telegraph)

The website does not go on to list the actual Order of Precedence, but it was widely reported after Kate and William’s wedding to take the new Duchess of Cambridge into account and it’s generally not too tough to figure out. This excerpt comes from The Telegraph and does a good job explaining what’s what.

“The new rules of Court make it clear that the former Kate Middleton, when she is not accompanied by Prince William, must curtsy to the “blood princesses”, the Princess Royal, Princess Alexandra, and the daughters of the Duke of York, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

When William is with her, Kate does not need to bend the knee to either of them, but she must curtsy to the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Despite being married to the Queen’s son, the Countess of Wessex will, however, have to curtsy to Kate, even when William is not present.

“Updating the Order of Precedence has been a simple matter of following the precedent set when the Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker Bowles,” a courtier tells me.

A document is said to have been circulated privately in the Royal Household, clarifying Kate’s status. When the Order was last updated, after Prince Charles’s second marriage, in 2005, the Countess of Wessex was reported to be upset that she now had to curtsy to Camilla. “She didn’t like it one bit,” a senior courtier was quoted as saying. The Earl of Wessex’s wife had previously been the second-highest ranking woman in the Royal family because neither of the Queen’s other sons, Charles and Prince Andrew, were married.”

Sophie and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent curtsey to The Queen at Royal Ascot in 2012 (via The Telegraph)
Sophie and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent curtsey to The Queen at Royal Ascot in 2012 (via The Telegraph)

Yep, things changed a lot for Sophie since she married Edward in 1999. And Princess Anne was obviously not about to curtsey to Camilla. Fascinating, no?

This video shows Kate giving Prince Philip a quick curtsey during the 2012 Trooping the Colour balcony appearance, so she clearly hadn’t seen Prince Philip prior to that. The curtsey happens at 0:11.


Christmas Day!

The day starts out with a hearty English breakfast followed by an early private service. Then they all return to the castle to change for church visit #2.

The fact that there’s an early morning church service was news to me. Kate, Beatrice and Eugenie and the rest of the family were spotted walking there on Christmas Day 2011, The ladies were in different outfits than the ones they were spotted in at the later service (also – no hats!).

Via The Mirror
Via The Mirror

As we’ve recounted in numerous posts in the past, the family walks together to St. Mary Magdalen Church for the 11 o’clock service. In recent years, the Queen has been driven to church accompanied by Sophie. This year I’m guessing that Zara will get to do the honours since she’s expecting a baby in the New Year.

The Queen and Sophie Christmas Day 2012 (via )
The Queen and Sophie Christmas Day 2012 (via the Mirror)

Here’s a look at the lady’s fashion choices over the years if you’re in the mood:

  • Sophie’s Christmas day style evolution can be found here and here
  • Zara’s is a doozy and can be found here and here
  • And we can’t forget the York girls! They can be found here and here

The Rest of Christmas Day

After Church, the family troops back for lunch complete with Christmas crackers and watches the Queen’s Christmas broadcast, though the Queen prefers to watch it separately. Here’s her broadcast from 1957:

Then there’s some free time before  a formal dinner is served at 8:15.

The Boxing Day Shoot

Early on the 26th, the guns set off for hunting and it’s possible that the Middletons may be included.

Kate & William at Sandringham in 2008 (via Princess Diana Remembered)
Kate & William at Sandringham in 2008 (via Princess Diana Remembered)

There’s also  been chatter that Cressida is invited this year.

Harry & Cressida (via the Mirror)
Harry & Cressida (via the Mirror)

After the Boxing Day shoot, the family begins to scatter again, but the Queen and Philip stay on at Sandringham until February.

Christmas at Sandringham for the Rest of Us

If you’re looking for a holiday rental home, why not rent one on the Sandringham Estate? This is the charming Garden House. It’s booked this year, but is available next year as of this writing.

The Garden House on the Sandringham Estate (via )
The Garden House on the Sandringham Estate (via )

If that’s a bit much for your taste, Christmas trees are also available for purchase at Sandringham. Check it out here.

It will be interesting to see how the traditions change and evolve when Charles becomes King. Will he want to continue the Sandringham tradition or pare things down with a smaller gathering? What do you think?

Some more!

If you haven’t gotten enough yet, here are some more posts we’ve written on Christmas at Sandringham

Will(via Princess DIana Remembered)
Will(via Princess DIana Remembered)

Royal Family Attend Christmas Day Service

William and Diana on Christmas Day (via Princess Diana Remembered)
William and Diana on Christmas Day (via Princess Diana Remembered)

British Royal Christmas Cards: 1911 – 1944

Our last post covered some of the Christmas cards that various British Royals have sent out since 1950, and today we are jumping back a little farther in history. Feast your eyes on some truly vintage christmas cards sent out by British royals over the years.


This is the card oldest card we’ve been able to dig up so far. It was sent by Princess Beatrice, the youngest child of Queen Victoria, in 1911 and read “Christmas Greetings and every Good Wish for the Coming Year”.

Princess Beatrice (via )
Princess Beatrice (via thematics4u)

This card comes from the estate of Lady Southampton, who was one of Queen Victoria’s Ladies-in-Waiting from 1878 to 1901. It is currently being auctioned off over at, and could be yours for 195 pounds.

A Photograph of Beatrice & Victoria inexplicably under an umbrella (via Wikipedia)
A Photograph of Beatrice & Victoria inexplicably under an umbrella (via Wikipedia)

Beatrice served as a devoted companion to Queen Victoria, and even edited all of her journals for publication, a task that she spent 30 years on. By 1911, Beatrice was widowed (she was married to Prince Henry of Battenberg from 1885 until his death 1896) and was living at Osborn Cottage on the Isle of White. The cottage is now a care home.

1914: A card & Christmas box from Princess Mary

This next card was sent by Princess Mary, the 17-year old daughter of King George and Queen Mary, in 1914 (which makes her the aunt of Queen Elizabeth II).  The card included her formal portrait along with her royal cypher, an “M” topped with a coronet.

Princess Mary's Christmas Card (via )
Princess Mary’s Christmas Card (via British Light Infantry Regiments)

That year she also sent out this brass box as a Christmas gift to all the troops serving in WWI. If you look closely you can see her silhouette, two M’s and “Christmas 1914.”

A Christmas card sent to troops from King George along with a gift box from Princess Mary (via Daily Mail)
A Christmas card sent to troops from King George along with a gift box from Princess Mary (via Daily Mail)

The website explains how this unique card and gift came to be:

In November 1914, an advertisement was placed in the national press inviting monetary contributions to a ‘Sailors & Soldiers Christmas Fund’ which had been created by Princess Mary, the seventeen year old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. The purpose was to provide everyone wearing the King’s uniform and serving overseas on Christmas Day 1914 with a ‘gift from the nation’.

The response was truly overwhelming, and it was decided to spend the money on an embossed brass box, based on a design by Messrs Adshead and Ramsey. The contents varied considerably; officers and men on active service afloat or at the front received a box containing a combination of pipe, lighter, 1 oz of tobacco and twenty cigarettes in distinctive yellow monogrammed wrappers. Non-smokers and boys received a bullet pencil and a packet of sweets instead. Indian troops often got sweets and spices, and nurses were treated to chocolate. Many of these items were despatched separately from the tins themselves, as once the standard issue of tobacco and cigarettes was placed in the tin there was little room for much else apart from the greeting card.

More than 355,000 boxes were delivered before Christmas that year.

Princess Mary married Henry, Viscount Lascelles the heir to Earl Harewood in 1922  and eventually became Countess Harewood.

Wedding Day 1922
Wedding Day 1922 (via Wikipedia)

She was granted the title Princess Royal in 1935 and lived at Harewood house until her death in 1965.

Princess Mary with Harewood House in the background (via Architectural Digest)
Princess Mary with Harewood House in the background (via Architectural Digest)

You may recall that Princess Beatrice visited Harewood House as part of the Olympic torch relay in June of 2011.

Princess Beatrice on the steps of Harewood House (via Harewood House blog)
Princess Beatrice on the steps of Harewood House (via the official Harewood House blog)

And now that I have gotten completely off topic, it’s time to return to more royal Christmas cards.

1923: Prince Edward

This 1923 Christmas card from Mary’s older brother Prince Edward came up for auction recently. At this time, Edward was Prince of Wales and was a bit of a party animal.

Charming (via )
Charming (via Nate P. Sanders Monthly Auctions )

As you know,  he really stirred the pot by abdicating 13 years later and marrying Wallis Simpson.

Wallis and Edward
Wallis and Edward (via Nothing Tra La La)


Skipping ahead to 1938, this card was sent by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and included their two daughters Elizabeth and Margaret. The setting is suitably grand, I’d say.

Marcus Adams (via Stalking the Belle Epoque)
Marcus Adams (via Stalking the Belle Epoque)


Finally, this wartime card was sent in 1944 by the King and Queen to the Dean of Windsor. The photo was taken at Buckingham Palace and includes teenagers Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth.

(via  )
(via Asahi)

Hope you enjoyed this little step back in time. Just a few more days until Christmas!

Here’s a round up of all our christmas card posts so far. Any requests for other royal family christmas cards that we’ve not covered yet?

Christmas Cards from the Queen, the Yorks, and the Wessexes

As our countdown to Christmas continues, so does our look at Royal Christmas cards. Today we have a smattering of cards sent by the British Royal family over the last sixty years, beginning with the Queen. She’s sent out a real variety over the years from super formal photographs to rather relaxed. H here are a few of our favourites.

The Queen


This card was sent prior to the Coronation and shows Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on tour. They look so young and chipper, and that is one heck of a fur coat.

c.1950 (via )
c.1950 (via Nate D. Sanders)


Things got more formal in 1953. This card was sent out to mark Christmas 1953 and as you can see it features a family portrait taken in Buckingham Palace after the Coronation. This particular card was sent to former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and was personally signed by both the Queen and Philip. It is kept at the FDR Library.

(via FDR)
(via FDR Library)


The card for 1955 was definitely more chill, with a young Charles and Anne standing in as book ends.

(Via Anorak)
(via Anorak)


Skipping along, this photograph of the Queen and Philip with Anne, Charles, Andrew, and baby Edward was taken at Frogmore and really brings home the age difference between the siblings. There’s no way Anne was comfortable perched like that.

Baby Prince Edward (via eBay)
Baby Prince Edward (via eBay and The Royal Collection Trust)


This card of the Queen and Prince Philip with their four oldest grandchildren is all kinds of awesome. Check out our post on Wee Royals in Tartan for more.

(via Daily Mail)


Don’t worry, Princess Beatrice wasn’t left out of that 1987 portrait – she just wasn’t born yet. She got her time in the sun in 1988’s card, where she was pictured with her grandmother and great-grandmother.

2 Elizabeths and Beatrice (via )
2 Elizabeths and Beatrice (via Everything Royal)


I think this picture is fabulous. There they are just lounging on a grassy bluff in the Western Isles on a sunny day.

So relaxed (via Daily Mail)
So relaxed (via Daily Mail)


This portrait of the Queen and Philip with their children, grandchildren, and corgis was taken at Balmoral by photographer Logan Sangster during the summer of 1998. This was the year after Diana passed away and Sophie and Edward weren’t engaged yet which explains her absence(she and Prince Edward married in June of 1999).

What a gang (via Daily Mail)
What a gang (via Daily Mail and The Royal Collection Trust)

The Yorks

Next up is the Yorks. Andrew and Fergie’s cards regularly featured Beatrice and Eugenie.  When Sir Jimmy Saville died in October 2011, it was his wish that thousands of his possessions be auctioned off for charity, and these cards were among them.

These Cards were sent to Jimmy Saville (via Daily Mail)
These Cards were sent to Jimmy Saville (via Daily Mail)

This card was sent out in 2001, years after Sarah and Andrew divorced.

The Yorks in 2001 (via Pinterest)
The Yorks in their white shirts in 2001 (via Pinterest)

In 2009, Andrew sent out his card with this picture of Beatrice and Eugenie and their snowman.

We all need an HRH toque (via Hello)
We all need an HRH toque (via Hello)

The photo was taken in February of that year at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park. Apparently they found that HRH toque just lying around. Amazing.

The Wessexes


In 2008, Sophie and Edward sent out this card which was maligned for being a bit staid and lacking in personality.

2008 (via Daily Mail)
Sophie and Edward in 2008 (via Daily Mail)

Agreed! Sadly, it’s the only one of theirs I’ve been able to track down so far. Hopefully in years after they picked things up a bit.

So, which of these stands out as favourites for you?

Here are a few more Christmassy posts if you’d like to read more.

A look at Queen Victoria’s Windsor Castle Christmas

The Queen on Christmas Day over the years, starting in 1970

Diana at Sandringham for Christmas

Danish Royal Family Christmas Cards

With under two weeks to go until Christmas, for today’s post we are jumping over to Denmark to take a look at some of the Christmas cards the Danish Royals have sent out over the years.

How festive! (via Danish Royalwatchers)
A wee little tree for Frederick and Mary (via Danish Royalwatchers)

We’re especially focused on Princess Mary and Prince Frederick, but a few other royals have snuck in, too.


This is the earliest card unearthed so far. If there is a card from 2004, I’m guessing it was a wedding picture. 2005 featured baby Christian and Ziggy, Mary and Fred’s adorable border collie.

Ziggy stole my heart (via RoyalDish)
Ziggy stole my heart (via RoyalDish)


2006 was a walk in the park…

Out for a Walk (via RoyalDish)
Out for a Walk (via RoyalDish)


And this photo for 2007 is a bit of a baffling choice to me. Where are they? Is that the hull of a ship under construction? Are they in some sort of fort? There must be an obvious explanation and they all look great, including little Princess Isabella who was born in April that year.

(via Royal Dish)
(via Royal Dish)


For 2008, it looks like they chose the white background package at Sears. Little Prince Christian takes the cake with that smile.

via Royal Dish
(via Royal Dish)


In 2009, Ziggy made another appearance in this autumnal stroll.

2009 (via Royal Dish)
A 2009 stroll (via Royal Dish)


This picture from 2010’s card is my fave. Looks like they were all on holiday somewhere exotic, or maybe they just have cool upholstery on some massive cushions in their house?

(via )


And then there were four! The card for 2012 featured Christian, Isabella, and twins Josephine and Vincent.

2 Princes and 2 Princesses in the Pool (via Royal Dish)
2 Princes and 2 Princesses in the Pool (via Royal Dish)

That same year, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie sent out this hanging out on the floor picture.

Prince Henrik (via Royal Dish)
Prince Joachim (via Royal Dish)

Fun fact: Prince Joachim is a partner in a large farming business that includes a Christmas tree section at the Schackenborg Castle estate farm. They export 1,500 to 2,000 trees a year to Hong Kong (source).He has also been known to send a tree to his ex-wife Countess Alexandra as a gift.

Here’s a pic of Alexandra with their sons in 2007 on their way to a Christmas concert.

Alexandra with (via Hello)
Alexandra with Nikolai and Felix (via Hello)

And this was the christmas card that Countess Alexandra sent out of her and the boys with husband Martin Jorgensen in 2010

Black & White (via Royal Dish)
Black & White (via Royal Dish)

Here are some more Christmas card posts if you missed them:

Royal Christmas Cards from Monaco

Back in December of 2011, we published several posts showing Christmas cards of various royals over the years, like this one from Prince Charles in 1996:

Three Shepherds (via Daily Mail)
Three Shepherds (via Daily Mail)

We thought we’d keep that tradition going this year so today, we’re taking a look at Christmas cards from Monaco. I must say it’s been rather tricky unearthing them, so we hope you enjoy the few we managed to find.


All of the Christmas cards that were received by the Kennedy administration were carefully saved and now reside at the John F. Kennedy Library. One of those cards was sent by Princess Grace and Prince Rainier, and featured a photo of their children playing in the snow with gorgeous mountains in behind.

The Grimaldi kids playing in the snow (via BroadwaytoVegas)
Albert and Caroline playing in the snow (via BroadwaytoVegas)

As you may recall, Grace was friendly with Jackie Kennedy, and Grace and Ranier were guests of honour at a luncheon at the White House in the summer of 1961. My guess is that this photo was taken in the Swiss ski resort of Gstaad during the winter of 1961. Gstaad was a favourite winter destination for the family and this photo was taken there in 1961 of Grace, Caroline, and Albert so the timing lines up! Princess Stephanie was born in 1965.

Grace, Caroline, and Albert
Grace, Caroline, and Albert (via Grace and Family)

Here’s another taken that year:

Learning to ski
Learning to ski (via Grace Film)


The next card we’ve been able to find is this one, which was sent to friends (including Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Lewis) in the winter of 1968.

Christmas Card from Princess Grace & Prince Rainier 1968 (Via John King Books)
Christmas Card from Princess Grace & Prince Rainier 1968 (Via John King Books)

Grace and Jerry had become friends during her acting years and here they are together at the Oscars in 1956.

Grace & Jerry at the Oscars in 1956
Grace & Jerry at the Oscars in 1956

While the card is a bit dull merely because I’d rather see a picture of Grace, Rainier and the kiddos, I looove the gorgeous calligraphy and that one of the stamps displays the profiles and Grace and Rainier. Perfection!


That next year, Grace had her friend and photographer Howell Conant capture some Christmas photos of the family, which hopefully meant there was a more delightful card in their friend’s mailboxes that year.

The Grimaldis in 1968 (via
The Grimaldis in 1968 (via Habitually Chic)

I love this photo that Howell took, too.

That's a serious Christmas tree (via Doses of Grace)
That’s a serious Christmas tree (via Doses of Grace)

And this one.

Wrapping time (via )
Wrapping time (via Eaton Square)

Ok, one more of the kids. This time they were getting friendly with some blow-up Santas.

kiss, kiss (via Eaton Square)
kiss, kiss (via Eaton Square)

Howell Conant took wonderful pictures of Grace and her family over the years. According to the LA Times, when Princess Grace died in a car accident in September of 1982, Howell Conant was packing for a trip to Monaco to take the family’s Christmas card picture. He travelled to Monaco immediately, and left his camera behind.

For more information on Grace and Howell’s decades-long relationship and the hundreds of photographs he took, check out our posts here, here, and here.


Moving ahead a few years, Princess Caroline sent out this Christmas card in 1984. It featured a yawning baby Andrea Casiraghi who had been born in June of that year.

Princess Caroline's 1984 Christmas card (via Pinterest)
Princess Caroline’s 1984 Christmas card (via Pinterest)

Here is the inside of the card, signed by Caroline and her husband Stefano

(via The Casiraghi Trio)
(via The Casiraghi Trio)

Andrea got married in August 2013 to Andrea Santo Domingo in Monaco and he is currently second in line to the throne after Princess Stephanie.

Andrea and Tatiana (via Hello!)
Andrea and Tatiana (via Hello!)


Jumping ahead even further in 2008, Prince Albert sent out this rather uninspired “Happy New Year” card to ring in 2009. It featured a picture of the globe and his royal monogram. So boring, Albert. SO BORING.

Albert's 2009 New Year Wishes (via )
Albert’s 2009 New Year Wishes (via ebay)

I haven’t been able to track down any joint Christmas cards from Albert and Charlene (have you?!), so this photo will just have to do as we wrap up this post. It was taken in December of 2011 when Charlene and Albert were on hand to open the Christmas Village in Monaco.

Charlene, Albert, & Santa (via)
Charlene, Albert, & Santa (via Royal Chronicles)

If you’d like to check out some more royal christmas cards, click away.

We’ll look at more royal Christmas cards in our next couple of posts as we gear up for the holidays. See you then!

Royal Ladies Who Open Their Closets…

Who doesn’t love a little thriftiness? This post is all about royals who’ve popped up wearing something that looks a little familiar or who’ve shared their clothes with friends or relatives.

Queen Silvia & Princess Madeleine

We’re going to start with this especially frothy example. As you probably recall, Princess Madeleine had a gorgeous custom Valentino wedding gown that she wore for her wedding ceremony in June of 2013. She also wore this gown for the  reception.

via Hello!
Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill via Hello!

What many royal watchers may not have realized is that after some dancing, Madeleine took out her updo, put her hair down, and changed  into this sparkly tulle gown.

Madeleine and Chris outside their wedding reception
Madeleine outside her wedding reception (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)

Thankfully kept her tiara in place.

So happy! (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)
So happy! (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)

Some eagle eyes noticed that this dress had been previously seen on Queen Silvia. She first wore it in December of 2001 to the Nobel Prize ceremony.

Queen Silvia in her fairytale gown in 2001 (via Hello!)
Queen Silvia in her fairytale gown in 2001 (via Hello!)

I’m thinking that Madeleine clocked that dress back then and filed it away as the perfect reception dress, and then  her mom pulled it out for her 12 years later. Cute, eh?

Queen Maxima & Princess Aimee

And now onto another Queen. In the spring of 2013 after the investiture of King Willem-Alexander and Queen  Maxima,  our friend AMD flagged that Maxima had loaned one of her gowns for her cousin-in-law Princess Aimee to wear to the big event.

Back when Maxima was expecting Princess Ariane, she wore this lovely flowy gown (far left) and she REALLY blinged it out, right? Gorgeous.

A few royal maternity gowns (via Hello!)
A few royal maternity gowns (via Hello!)

She then he pulled it out of her closet for Aimee, the wife of Prince Floris ( Willem-Alexander’s cousin) to wear to the investiture on April 30,2013. You’ve just got to love Queen Maxima for thinking to do this. Princess Aimee’s son Willem was born on July 1, 2013.

Princess Aimee (via Zimbio)
Princess Aimee (via Zimbio)

I like how Aimee incorporated a little patriotic orange into the outfit with her accessories, too.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

Princess Victoria must have a HUGE closet of gowns, and she has been very generous over the years loaning them out to friends. The delightful blog Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour has a great post showing some fun examples which you can check out here.

These are my favourite examples. Check out how the pink and green dresses were given a new look:

Princess Victoria has a lot of dresses and isn't afraid to share 'em (via Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour)
Princess Victoria has a lot of dresses and isn’t afraid to share ’em (via Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour)

Princess Diana’s Hand Me Downs

Diana was also very generous when it came to giving away her old clothes. One of my favourite examples is this green polka dotted number that Diana wore to the races in the late ’80’s. Diana never did meet a polka dot she didn’t like.


She later passed the suit and hat on to her sister Sarah, who is shown here wearing it to a wedding in 1990. That’s a whole lot of look!

Diana & Sarah & polkadots (via Pinterest)
Diana & Sarah & polkadots (via Pinterest)

Check out this fun Pinterest page for oodles of more examples of different outfits that Diana either loaned or gave out.

Perhaps Diana got this generous spirit from her mom Frances. In this group portrait taken at the reception of Lady Sarah’s wedding to Neil McCorquodale, Frances is wearing this floaty green frock.

Lady Sarah's wedding portrait
Lady Sarah’s wedding portrait

Sarah must have really liked it since she wore the same dress to Lady Diana’s 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. See?

What a group!
What a group!

As we mentioned in our post on Emily McCorquodale’s wedding, Sarah wasn’t always just being the recipient of loans. She generously lent her pearl choker to Diana to wear with her going away outfit after the reception, so Sarah had to head home from the reception without it. I wish there was a picture of Sarah handing it over. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Diana in Sarah's pearl choker after her wedding reception
Diana in Sarah’s pearl choker after her wedding reception

Kate, Pippa, and Carole

A little over two years ago (time flies!), we wrote a post on how Kate and Pippa have shown up wearing the same clothes over the years. We’ve unearthed some more occasions where this has happened.

Like the time when Pippa showed up to a wedding in the Katherine Hooker jacket that Kate has worn numerous times over the years, most famously for her first official engagement when she christened a life boat in Angelesy:

Well it IS a nice coat (via )
Well it IS a nice coat (via Elements Boutique)

And then of course there’s the the time in March 2012 that Kate showed up to an engagement in the same circa 2008 blue Reiss dress that Carole had previously worn to Ascot:

Kate & Carole in Reiss (via
Kate & Carole in Reiss (via

Kate and Carole also both took a shine to this pretty red Colette Dinnigan dress that Kate wore to a wedding in September of 2011:

(via Fashion Spot)
(via Fashion Spot)


So, who are your faves here? I’ll stick with the Swedes – Victoria and Silvia tie for first place as Best Gown Lenders.

Kate in the Lotus Flower Tiara

You guys! After waiting two years and eight months since Kate’s last tiara appearance (which of course was her wedding day), we have photos of Kate in another tiara. She and William were photographed en route to the annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace this evening which in itself is quite a big deal since they have avoided these sorts of occasions in the past. Perhaps this is a sign that Kate and William are going to stepping more into full times roles now. WHatever the case Kate brought out the big guns for the occasion:

Kate in the Lotus Flower Tiara en route to Buckingham Palace on December 3, 2013 (via Daily Mail)
Kate in the Lotus Flower Tiara en route to Buckingham Palace on December 3, 2013 (via Daily Mail)

Instead of wearing the Cartier Halo tiara that Kate chose to borrow for her wedding, this time she  is wearing the Queen Mum’s Lotus Flower Tiara which we recently featured in one of our posts. You can read all about the history of the tiara here (there’s a whole lot of history).

The new Duchess of Cambridge wearing the Cartier Halo Tiara and matching earrings from Robinson Pelham

I wonder if Kate had a tough time deciding between the two tiaras for the wedding. Perhaps she ultimately went with the Halo since the lotus flower represents “estrangement” in the language of flowers. After all, the language of flowers was a major theme in the wedding and that obviously wasn’t the message she was hoping to give off, am I right?

Kate is also wearing a delicate-looking lace dress that has been confirmed as a bespoke McQueen creation. She also accesorized with a pair of STUNNING diamond chandelier earrings that were first seen on Kate at the BAFTA dinner she attended in Los Angeles back in the summer of 2011. Their provenance is unknown and has never been confirmed by the palace, so we’re assuming they were a private gift.

Arriving at the BAFTA dinner 2011 (via
Arriving at the BAFTA dinner 2011 (via

Here is a closer look:

A close up of Kate's earrings (via )
A close up of Kate’s earrings (via Diana’s

This tiara is a great choice for Kate, since it is both pretty and delicate and incorporates both pearls and diamonds, which we know she loves. I mean, who wouldn’t? And bonus: this piece is not associated with Diana.

Photograph from Tiaras: A History of Splendour
Photograph from Tiaras: A History of Splendour by Geoffrey Munn

The tiara was originally owned by Queen Mary, who likely created it out of the diamonds and pearls from this necklace:

Via Royal Fandom
Via Royal Fandom

She in turn passed the tiara along to the Duchess of York after she married Bertie, who liked to wear the tiara low on her forehead as was the fashion of the time:

The Duchess of York in the Lotus Flower c. 1925 (via Royal Dish)
The Duchess of York in the Lotus Flower c. 1925 (via Royal Dish)

She in turn passed the tiara on to Princess Margaret

The National Portrait Gallery, London
The National Portrait Gallery, London

And before Kate wore it out this evening, the last person to be seen in public wearing this tiara was Princess Margaret’s daughter-in-law Serena Stanhope, who wore it on her wedding day on October 8, 1993. That’s over 20 years, kids!


It’s interesting that Kate decided to pull out something different for tonight and that she left the Halo Tiara and matching earrings in the vault – perhaps she really did love it back when wedding preparations were underway and jumped at the chance to bring it out this time? Updated: Turns out the Halo tiara is currently part of a Cartier exhibit underway in Paris. I’m all for the Lotus Flower Tiara being given another chance to shine. Also could this event be a reason that Kate didn’t attend the Winter Whites Gala at Kensington Palace in support of Centrepoint recently?

William is looking good, too (via the Daily Mail)
William is looking good, too (via the Daily Mail)

If you’re in the mood for more tiara talk, check out these past posts:

Jackie Kennedy & Princess Grace

Our last post recounted the somewhat frosty relationship between the Queen and Jackie Kennedy, and as promised today’s post is all about the friendship between Jackie and Princess Grace. Jackie and Grace  had a lot in common, so it’s not too surprising to learn that when they first met that they really hit it off.

Both were born in 1929. Jackie was born on July 28th in Southampton…

LIttle Jackie (Via Kennedy Legacy)
LIttle Jackie liked to wear ribbons in her hair (Via Kennedy Legacy)

…and Grace was born on a few months later on November 12 in Philadelphia.

Grace as a wee tot (via Marie Claire)
and so did wee Grace (via Marie Claire)

They both wore adorable jackets and hats

Jackie's a little grumpy here (via
Jackie’s a little grumpy here (via
Grace decked out in the garden (via Pinterest)
Grace couldn’t be more delighted  (via Pinterest)

and both girls were raised Catholic by ambitious parents. They also attended prestigious schools. Jackie was at Miss Porter’s

Jackie and a pal at Miss Porters (via )
Jackie and a pal at Miss Porters (via New England Historical Society)

and Grace was at Ravenhill Academy for nine years, followed by Stevens School in Germantown.

Grace as a schoolgirl (via Pinterest)
Grace as a schoolgirl (via Pinterest)

And of course they both married men who were Head of State of their country (at least for a relatively short while in JFK’s case).

Jackie’s wedding took place on September 12, 1953

Jackie's wedding (via )
Jackie’s wedding (via )

and Grace married Prince Ranier on April 19, 1956. Funnily enough, she spent part of her honeymoon with Ranier on Aristotle Onassis’ yacht Christina (as I’m sure you’re well aware, Onassis was to later become Jackie’s second husband).

Grace & Ranier on their wedding day in 195 (via )
Grace & Ranier on their wedding day in 195 (via )

Both women also endure in the public’s memory as style icons.

In June of 1965, Princess Grace sat down for an interview with Paul Gallico about JFK. Fortunately for us, the recording has  been revived through the “Blank on Blank” series which brings previously unheard audio recordings to life through a series of charming illustrations. The finished result is on Youtube and it is amazing! In the illustrated video Grace talks about how she first met Jackie in the mid 195o’s at a dinner party. At that time, JFK was in hospital with back problems, and Jackie and her sister Lee hit it off with Grace and convinced her join them on a hospital visit. They thought that if Grace went in dressed as a nurse that it would help cheer him up.

In the interview she recalls:

“They wanted me to go into his room and tell him I was the new night nurse…I was terribly embarrased about it and I was sort of pushed into the room by the two girls…He recognized me at once and couldn’t have been sweeter or more quick to put me at ease.”

Check out the full interview below. It’s just five minutes long and is soooo charming:


Jackie Kennedy welcomed Princess Grace and Prince Ranier to the White House for a luncheon in 1961.

Jackie & Grace (via Life)
Jackie & Grace (via Life)

Grace kept the menu for as a memento of the day, and perhaps she later regretted wearing a swim cap.

Via Tumblr
Via Tumblr

Princess Grace was an ardent supporter of JFK and on December 3, 1963 she paid a visit to his gravesite.

Princess Grace at JFK's gravesite at Arlington December 3, 1963
Princess Grace at JFK’s gravesite at Arlington December 3, 1963 (via Argenta Images)

On a lighter note, Grace and Jackie were together again in April 1966 when they both attended Spain’s Debutante Ball at the Palace de Pilatos in Seville. This video shows footage of Jackie and Grace arriving in Seville, and of the event itself.

It all looks quite delightful, no?

Oh to be a fly on the wall! (via
Oh to be a fly on the wall! (via

Why they decided to travel to attend this event I have no idea (it seems a little odd to me) but they were invited as guests of honour by the Duchess of Alba and maybe they just thought it would be a fun time.  Jackie looks a wee bit more regal than Grace here.

Jackie & Grace (via Indulgence)
Jackie & Grace show us how to wear white gloves (via Indulgy)

Though Grace is certainly at her princess best with that fur and the hint of diamonds in her hair.

g (via
Grace’s hairdo deserves its own post (via

This letter from Jackie to Grace is included in the exhibit “The Grace Kelly Years” which includes 900 artifacts belonging to the Princess. I was lucky to see the exhibit in Rome in 2009 and while I don’t remember this letter in particular (darn it!), I remember that there were several letters, including a funny one from Jack Nicholson asking Grace out.

A letter from Jackie to Grace (via
A letter from Jackie to Grace (via Maison Chaplin)

Now this is super gossipy, but according to The National Enquirer (I know, I know), Aristatotle Onassis is the one who suggested to Ranier that he marry Grace Kelly to help elevate the principality. The article can be read here. To that I say, stranger things have happened! And, hey, if it’s true it certainly worked.

In the mood for more Grace? Here you go: