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.
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.
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)
The Queen Mum 1966
Not to be outdone, the Queen Mum attempted to hula during her visit to Hawaii in ’66. Awesome.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So let’s count ’em down:
Camilla Duchess of Cornwall
Sophie, Countess of Wessex
James, Viscount Severn
Isla Philips (their daughter)
Zara Philips (their daughter)
Charles Armstrong Jones (their son)
Margarita Armtrong-Jones (their daughter)
Lady Sarah Chatto
Samuel Chatto (their son)
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
And she and Philip arrived on the in 2013.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.”
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.”
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.
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!).
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.
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
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.
There’s also been chatter that Cressida is invited this year.
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.
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?
If you haven’t gotten enough yet, here are some more posts we’ve written on Christmas at Sandringham
Diana’s First Royal Christmas at Sandringham, though she spent Christmases on the grounds as a child since she grew up in Park House which is on the estate
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”.
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 thematics4u.com, and could be yours for 195 pounds.
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.
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.”
The website Kinnethmont.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
The card for 1955 was definitely more chill, with a young Charles and Anne standing in as book ends.
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.
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.
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.
I think this picture is fabulous. There they are just lounging on a grassy bluff in the Western Isles on a sunny day.
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).
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.
This card was sent out in 2001, years after Sarah and Andrew divorced.
In 2009, Andrew sent out his card with this picture of Beatrice and Eugenie and their snowman.
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.
In 2008, Sophie and Edward sent out this card which was maligned for being a bit staid and lacking in personality.
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.
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.
For 2008, it looks like they chose the white background package at Sears. Little Prince Christian takes the cake with that smile.
In 2009, Ziggy made another appearance in this autumnal stroll.
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?
And then there were four! The card for 2012 featured Christian, Isabella, and twins Josephine and Vincent.
That same year, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie sent out this hanging out on the floor picture.
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.
And this was the christmas card that Countess Alexandra sent out of her and the boys with husband Martin Jorgensen in 2010
Here are some more Christmas card posts if you missed them:
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:
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.
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.
Here’s another taken that year:
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.
Grace and Jerry had become friends during her acting years and here they are together 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.
I love this photo that Howell took, too.
And this one.
Ok, one more of the kids. This time they were getting friendly with some blow-up Santas.
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.
Here is the inside of the card, signed by Caroline and her husband Stefano
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.
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.
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.
If you’d like to check out some more royal christmas cards, click away.
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.
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.
Thankfully kept her tiara in place.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
Sarah must have really liked it since she wore the same dress to Lady Diana’s 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. See?
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?
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:
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).
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.
Here is a closer look:
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.
The tiara was originally owned by Queen Mary, who likely created it out of the diamonds and pearls from this necklace:
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:
She in turn passed the tiara on to Princess Margaret
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?
If you’re in the mood for more tiara talk, check out these past posts:
Both were born in 1929. Jackie was born on July 28th in Southampton…
…and Grace was born on a few months later on November 12 in Philadelphia.
They both wore adorable jackets and hats
and both girls were raised Catholic by ambitious parents. They also attended prestigious schools. Jackie was at Miss Porter’s
and Grace was at Ravenhill Academy for nine years, followed by Stevens School in Germantown.
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
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).
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.
Grace kept the menu for as a memento of the day, and perhaps she later regretted wearing a swim cap.
Princess Grace was an ardent supporter of JFK and on December 3, 1963 she paid a visit to his gravesite.
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.
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.
Though Grace is certainly at her princess best with that fur and the hint of diamonds in her hair.
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.
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.