Royal Luggage

We write about a lot of random royal stuff here, and today’s post is no exception. Now that William and Kate’s tour of Australia and New Zealand is about to start, we’ve been inspired to take a closer look at royal luggage over the years.  After all, who doesn’t love a peak behind the curtain?  Luggage with tags marked with ‘The Queen’ fulfills that for me.

The Queen

The Queen is the only British Citizen who doesn’t need to travel with a passport since all British passports are issued in her name. Her family members travel on diplomatic passport and they also use a handy colour coded luggage tag system to keep things organized. Different family members have different coloured tags assigned to them, and they also specify where the luggage is to be delivered (i.e. ‘Residence).

The Queen’s tags are always yellow as you can see here. This stack of luggage was for the Queen’s 2007 tour of the US and are pretty normal looking when you consider what’s inside them., right?

The Queen's Luggage (via )
The Queen’s Luggage (via all womens talk)

Naturally, royal jewels travel as carry on!

Princess Diana

This photo of Charles and Diana was taken in 1981 and shows the couple arriving in London. In this case, Diana had a couple pieces of carry on luggage.

(via Princess Diana Boutique)
(via Princess Diana Boutique)

Things were remarkably different for their tour of Australia in 1985. This photo, taken at the Melbourne airport, shows the pile of luggage that the Prince and Princess of Wales required for the trip. This particular shot comes from the delightful book Dressing Diana by Tim Graham (it can be purchased here and is sooo worth having in your royal library).

Check out the standing wardrobe case!

The Prince and Princess of Wales' luggage
The Prince and Princess of Wales’ luggage

For this tour, the Princess of Wales was assigned pink tags and the yellow tags designated where the luggage was to be delivered. Looks like this was the ninth of many more bags! I just LOVE the organization.

Diana's luggage (from Dressing Diana)
Diana’s luggage (from Dressing Diana)

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

“On this tour of Australia and America, Diana took twenty daytime outfits, twelve hats, more than a dozen evening dresses, fifteen pairs of shoes and matching bags, nineteen pairs of earrings, two tiaras, eight necklaces and assorted pairs of tights to match her outfits. Accompanying Diana was her dresser, Evelyn Dagley, who was on hand to help the Princess with her many changes each day. After Australia, the couple flew straight to America. The Princess had meticulously preplanned both trips and unveiled a whole new set of evening gowns, coats, and daywear for the visit, including the show-stoping Victor Edelstein dark blue velvet number she wore to the While House dinner and dance hosted by President Reagan.”

That would be this one, of course and I’m guessing it would have been hung in that standing wardrobe case so the velvet wouldn’t be crushed:

The Dress! (via the Toronto Star)
The Dress! (via the Toronto Star)

Since we’re stepping back in time, here’s an article that appeared in the LA Times the following day (November 12, 1985).

WASHINGTON — If you’re wondering why Princess Diana danced with John Travolta, Clint Eastwood and Neil Diamond but not Mikhail Baryshnikov, the man who sat next to her at that fabulous White House dinner, it was because the ballet dancer had sore ankles and could not do so. . . . The dance with Travolta was quite the talk of Washington the next day. The music they were dancing to, according to Travolta, was a medley of the music from two of his movies, “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever,” as played quite beautifully by the U.S. Marine Dance Band. (Source)

Prince Charles & The Duchess of Cornwall

Moving a long to a more recent tour, here is some of Charles and Camilla’s luggage being offloaded upon their arrival in Sweden in March of 2012. What a great behind the scenes look!

I spy a blue tag (via Zimbio)
I spy a blue tag (via Zimbio)

This was the red carpet arrival they really wanted us to see, but  I”m sure you’ll agree it’s not nearly as interesting as all those bags coming down the stairs.

Charles and Camilla arrive in Sweden for a Jubilee tour in 2012 (via Zimbio)
Charles and Camilla arrive in Sweden for a Jubilee tour in 2012 (via Zimbio)

Prince Harry

In this photo, Harry’s wheeling out his now ex-girlfriend Chelsey Davey’s bag from Heathrow in September 2007. He was an hour late to pick her up, was totally in the dog house and was trying to make amends.

Oh, Harry (via The Daily Mail)
Oh, Harry (via The Daily Mail)

He thinks nothing of schlepping his own bags and is shown here arriving at Hollyroof House for Zara’s wedding back in the summer of 2011.

Harry (via Daily Mail)
Harry (via Daily Mail)

And while were’ on the subject of that wedding, what I loved most about the coverage was all the photos of royals arriving and leaving with their bags.

Here’s Sophie leaving the morning after with her hat box.

Sophie's hat box after Zara's wedding (via Daily mail)
Sophie’s hat box after Zara’s wedding (via Daily mail)

The bride was also photographed getting ready to leave (the striped bag she’s carrying is an Anya Hindmarch traveler bag that is comes tucked away in her bags when you buy them).


Zara the day after her wedding
Zara the day after her wedding

Her need husband Mike Tindall was photographed still wearing his suit from the day before (but he did change shortly after).

Mike Tindall (via The Daily Mail)
Mike Tindall (via The Daily Mail)

And here’s Zara’s brother Peter and his wife Autumn packing up to head home.

Heading home with Savannah (via The Daily Mail)
Heading home with little Savannah (via The Daily Mail)

William & Kate

William luggage to include his official monogram. This photo was taken during Kate and William’s tour of North America.

This guy is like WHAT? (Via Lainey Gossip)
This guy is like WHAT? (Via Lainey Gossip)

In contrast, Kate’s luggage is a total miss mash. While living in London after graduating from university, Kate was a weekend warrior (she only worked 4 days a week which helped) and the green bag below made a lot of appearances. By the way, I have those same shoes she’s wearing in the pic below. They are from LK Bennet and the are just the best, though I think the last time they were in stores was 2008.

Kate the Weekend Warrior (via Just Jared)
Kate the Weekend Warrior (via Just Jared)

Here is the bag and those shoes again.

It's huge! (via Just Jared)
It’s huge! (via Just Jared)

Another outing.

Kate and that bag (via Kansas City News)
Kate and that bag (via Kansas City News)

This was taken at Gatwick airport in July of 2007. Kate was en route to the Seychelles where she met prince William (he arrived shortly after her). This was after the short-lived April 2007 breakup heard around the world..

Kate at the airport (via Lazy Girls)
Kate at the airport (via Lazy Girls)

Ok, now we’ll fast forward to the summer of 2011 when Kate and William toured Canada. Remember the big accidental dress reveal?

Kate's dress for the BAFTA event in LA (via Daily Mail)
Kate’s dress for the BAFTA event in LA (via Daily Mail)

It happened as Kate and William’s luggage was being loaded into the airport in Yellowknife, and eagle eyes spotted the dress and correctly assumed the dress was for the BAFTA event they were to attend in Los Angeles. Here it is on Kate.

That dress was well travelled (via The Daily Mail)
That dress was well travelled (via The Daily Mail)

And here’s a close up of some of the other luggage on the tarmac. The spotted one is from Cath Kitson and the red is Longchamp. She has it in a few different colours and sizes.

luggage (via )
I spy another yellow tag (via

To end, here are Kate’s outfit options arriving at the hospital after Prince George was born. More random bags!

via Daily Mail
via Daily Mail

We’ll see if her luggage gets an upgrade for the Australia and New Zealand tour!

In the meantime, here’s a round up of some articles around the web with more bits and pieces about the tour if you’re in the mood for more.

Kate’s bought a pretty new pair of pearls from Kiwi jewelry designers to wear on the tour.

Prince George will be wearing some cute stripes from Baby Gap.

And here are some other ideas of what outfits Kate may have packed.

Government House in New Zealand where Kate and William will stat fir the first part if the tour

UPDATED April 6, 2014: The tour has begun: Kate and William were spotted switching planes in Sydney en route to New Zealand. Kate was carrying her navy Longchamp bag (well, actually William was carrying it for her since she had Prince George). Also, is that a Kangaroo?

And so it begins! (via The Daily Mail)
And so it begins! (via The Daily Mail)


And it still looks like a total mishmash of bags. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for more photos like this during the tour.

Pink tags! (via The Daily Mail)
Pink tags! (via The Daily Mail)

Ok, and this video is hilarious. Seriously, it made me laugh out loud. It’s a morning news show in Australia and they are trying to make a story out of William and Kate getting on their plane to New Zealand and they’re having a lot of fun with it. They talk about the luggage being loaded on, they beg William and Kate to turn around at the top of the stairs when we’re boarding the plane, and we even see Kate’s secretary Rebecca Deacon carrying a hat box and garment bag onto the plane….so perhaps Kate will be wearing that hat and outfit when she disembarks?



Kate & William’s Staff

The Prince of Wales’ official website released a statement on July 26 which reads:

Following a review of the Household of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry overseen by Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry have agreed a number of new senior appointments.

Principal Private Secretary and Equerry to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry – Mr. Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.

Private Secretary to The Duke of Cambridge – Mr. Miguel Head.

Private Secretary to The Duchess of Cambridge – Miss Rebecca Deacon.

Private Secretary to Prince Harry – this post will not be filled until mid-2013. In the meantime, Mr. Lowther-Pinkerton retains direct responsibility as Private Secretary to Prince Harry.

Personal Private Secretary to Prince Harry – Miss Helen Asprey.

A new Press Secretary will be appointed to fill the position vacated by Mr. Head.

The official Household staff of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry continue to be funded in full by the income of The Prince of Wales through the Duchy of Cornwall.

Let’s dive into who these team members are!

Mr. Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Principal Private Secretary and Equerry to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry

Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton has been Private Secretary to William and Harry since 2005. Like William and Harry, he trained at Sandhurst. He then had a long military career which included a stint in the Irish Guards (of which William is now Colonel) and service during the Gulf War. From 1984 to 1986, he was Equerry to the Queen Mother for which he received the Royal Victorian Order.

Here he is with Kate back in 2006 at Prince William’s graduation from Sandhurst, where Kate stole the show and got tongues wagging in her bright red jacket and large hat:

Two years later, he was with Kate and Princess Diana’s sister Sarah at Prince William’s graduation from RAF Cramwell in April 2008:

He joined Prince William on his tour of New Zealand in January of 2010:

And is spotted out and about with Kate and William all over the place, including at this polo match:

And after the final rehearsal at Westminster Abbey the day before the wedding:

His son Billy was one of the page boys at William and Kate’s wedding, which goes to show how close they have become over the years. We mentioned Billy in our post on our Favourite Moments of the Royal Wedding.

Here he is playing with Prince William playing around after a polo match:

And on the big day in a carriage with Pippa (and quite a bit taller!):

Jamie was also one of the few staff that joined William and Kate on their tour of Canada last year. He was everywhere! Here’s a shot of him with Kate when they landed in Calgary:

And here he is with Kate during her engagement at The Brink this past winter:

He seems like a very solid guy to have around.

Miss Rebecca Deacon, Private Secretary to the Duchess of Cambridge

Rebecca Deacon is a graduate of Newcastle University and at 29 is just about the same age as William and Kate. She worked on the Concert for Diana back in 2007 and became known for her trustworthiness and organizational skills. It must be nice for Kate to have another woman around who’s the same age and really “gets it.” Maybe she’ll get to join the Duke and Duchess on their upcoming trip to Asia and the South Pacific.

Here they are at a variety of engagements over the last few months:

That’s Rebecca on the right helping Kate navigate the throngs at a Buckingham Palace garden party this past summer:

We also got to see Rebecca during the Olympics. I believe that’s her in the row in front of Kate on the far right:

Mr. Miguel Head, Private Secretary to the Duke of Cambridge

At 33 years old, Mr. Head is also about the same age as William and he’s been working for the prince since 2009. In the picture above he is shown arriving at William and Kate’s wedding.

According to this article in The Telegraph, Mr. Head “joined the MoD press office in his early twenties and worked his way up, serving as the liaison with Clarence House when Harry went to war in 2007. Editors agreed a media blackout to allow Lieutenant Wales to serve in Afghanistan, but he had to be pulled out when foreign media gave the game away. Mr Head’s performance went down well with the Princes, who hired him.”

“They wanted someone who could help them with the public,” said a friend at the time. “They were impressed with how this new guy handled Harry’s stint in Afghanistan and they like him – he’s fun.”

Miss Helen Asprey, Personal Private Secretary to Prince Harry

Miss Asprey has been around for awhile and just a few months ago was made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order for her services. In 2010, she was personal private secretary for both William and Harry and she did a lot of the planning for Kate and William’s wedding. On the evening of the day that William and Kate announced their engagement, she accompanied Kate to Westminster Abbey to check it out. Yes, it’s a small picture but that’s her on the far left behind Kate:

All in all, it seems like Kate, William, and Harry have put together a very solid team of smart and with it people around them. Any thoughts?

Favourite Royal Olympic Moments Part Two

In our last post, we recapped some delightful moments from the Danish, Swedish, and Dutch royals. Today we’ll jump right in with the Belgian royals.

The Belgian Royals

Princess Mathilde and Prince Philippe brought their family to London to take part in the festivities. Here they are at Wimbledon watching a rousing game of tennis. That’s Princess Elisabeth hiding behind the Belgian flag; as we discussed back in February, she is second in line to the throne. Hurray for the enthusiasm:

They also did a bit of sightseeing:

The Norwegian Royals

Skipping along, Princess Mette-Marit and Prince Haakon were in London for the start of the games, and are shown here ready for the Opening Ceremony:

They were at several events with their family. That’s Princess Ingrid on the left with her brother Prince Sverre Magnus.

The Spanish Royals

The Spanish royals did their fair share of cheering, too. Here they are during the Spain’s basketballgame against Russia:

The Queen was there, too:

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco

Now I think we’re coming to a true highlight. As you may recall, we’ve been a bit concerned about Princess Charlene after that rather dreadful interview with CBS, so we were happy to see her looking very spirited while cheering on the South African swimming team. She was a member of the South African swim team for the Sydney Olympics, and here she is when Chad le Clos won the gold in a major upset for Michael Phelps who ended up with silver.

It was awesome.

A tearful moment with mom and pop le Clos:

High Five for that:

Near the end of the games, we had another royal greeting when Prince Albert sat behind the Duchess of Cambridge

Which leads us to the British Royals…

The British Royals

Naturally, they were out in full force. Let’s boil down some key moments. First of all, let’s give it to the Queen for her involvement in the Opening Ceremony:

Would have been nice if she’d cracked a smile, but what can you do:

Kate and William were very enthusiastic cheerers:

But Prince Harry was really my favourite to watch…

…especially when he got out his camera at women’s volleyball:

Sophie got out her camera during the swimming:

And, look, Prince Daniel of Sweden made sure to say hello at another event:

And let’s here it for Lady Louise and Viscount Severn who showed up at an equestrian event:

Eugenie and Beatrice didn’t miss out, either:

But the best moment has to be when  Zara and her team won the silver medal and Princess Anne was there to award them.

Did we miss any of your favourite royal moments?

Happy Canada Day!

Today, July 1st, is Canada Day so in that spirit let’s review some British Royals in Canada over the years.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

We’ll start with the Queen Mum. She and King George VI visited Canada from coast to coast in June of 1939. This was the first visit of a reigning monarch to Canada and it was an enormous success, with huge crowds at every stop.

On a 1985 visit to Canada, the Queen Mum spoke of that first visit to Canada by saying:

 “It is now some 46 years since I first came to this country with the King, in those anxious days shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. I shall always look back upon that visit with feelings of affection and happiness. I think I lost my heart to Canada and Canadians, and my feelings have not changed with the passage of time.”

Her Majesty The Queen

The Queen has visited Canada on numerous occasions and always arrives with patriotic ensembles.

Her Maple Leaf dress, which was designed by Norman Hartnell, is a prime example.

The Queen wore this dress on October 14, 1957 to a banquet at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada.

Years later, during her July 2010 visit, Her Majesty showed up in a maple leaf encrusted white gown. So much bling!

The maple leaves went all the way down her sleeve. Here she is with Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto:

On that occasion, the Queen said,

“On my first visit, before I was queen, I noted that from the moment I came to Canadian soil, my sense of apprehension disappeared, because I understood that I was not only among friends but among fellow citizens,” she said. “Today, many years later, I still feel as much affection and admiration for Canada.”

The Queen has been in Canada on Canada Day on at least two occasions. She is shown here in 1997 during the Parliament Hill Canada Day Celebrations with then Prime Minister Jean Chretien:

The Queen and Chretien had first met years before.

According to the CBC,

Chrétien…drew a big laugh from the Queen when she attended the signing ceremony of the Constitution Act in Ottawa in 1982. Chrétien, who was the justice minister, said former prime minister Pierre Trudeau broke the tip of his fountain pen as he signed the document.

“I picked up the pen and I start to try to sign and it was not working and I said to myself ‘merde’ and she had a big, big laugh,” he said. “Everybody was asking me what the hell you told her that she had such a spontaneous laugh and I refused to say so for years.”

Here’s a photo of that moment. Merde, indeed!

In 2010, the Queen was back for Canada Day and she really did it up with her red suit and white hat.

She wore the Maple Leaf Brooch, which we discussed in detail in our post on the brooch a few months ago. Click here for that.

Love this ever so Canadian moment:

Princess Anne

Let’s not forget Princess Anne. The Princess Royal has also brought out red and white during visits to Canada. Here she is in 2010 accepting an honorary degree from Memorial University in Newfoundland:

The Duke and Duchess of York

During their marriage, the Duke and Duchess of York visited Canada a few times. Here they are all decked out for the Calgary Stampede in 1987:

On another day, Fergie wore a maple leaf in her hair, which won her more fans:

Princess Diana

Princess Diana was actually born on Canada Day in 1961, so today would have been her 51st birthday. In July of 1998, I visited the gates of Kensington Palace and there were oodles of flowers left out for the occasion.

She and Prince Charles visited Canada together several times over the years, and at one point Diana even speculated that she would like Prince Charles to be named Governor General of the country. I believe that was only a fleeting fancy. However, Princess Diana certainly showed up in a lot of red and white.

Here she is in 1983:

Another shot from 1983:

And another:

The couple had a short stop over in Vancouver in 1985 on their way to Australia and were back in the city in 1986 to kick off Expo. More red came out for that visit:

This photograph of Princess Diana greeting William and Harry in a red-and-white check Missoni jacket got a lot of press. William and Harry were joining their parents on their Canadian tour in 1991 and they had not seen each other for a few days. The family was travelling on the Royal Yacht Brittania:

Prince William & Prince Harry

On that visit in 1991, Princes William and Harry visited Niagara falls:

And in 1998 before a private ski holiday to Whistler, they spent a couple of days in Vancouver, prompting thousands of school girls to camp out outside their hotel. I may or may not have been one of them:

The Duchess of Cornwall

It seems that the Duchess of Cornwall feels that red isn’t really her colour, but she does get into the spirit of things during visits to Canada in other ways.

For example, she (like the Duchess of Cambridge) have both borrowed the Maple Leaf Brooch from the Queen.

She has also worn the regimental brooch of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, of which is Colonel-in-Chief. It is called the Pellatt brooch. The Regiment commissioned a portrait of Camilla, which she unvieiled during her visit to Canada in May 2012. She wore the exact same outfit that she is wearing in the portrait, which is pretty darn cute:

According to the Prince of Wales’ website, during the visit Camilla said,

 “As the daughter of a highly decorated World War Two hero, the great-great-great-granddaughter of a Canadian Prime Minister, Sir Allan MacNab, and Royal Colonel of 4 Rifles, a British regiment closely allied to your own, I feel very much a part of your regimental history, so please remember how much my association with you all, as your Colonel-in-Chief, means to me and what interest, concern, and pride I have in all you do.”

Camilla’s revelation of her direct connection to the Canadian leader Sir Allan McNab was news to me! Here is the fellow himself:

Camilla is shown here in May of 2012 during a visit to Fort York in Ontario. She wore the brooch on her hat this time:

It is also notable that the black clutch bag that Camilla carries in the photo above is from the Michique line, which is designed by two Cape Breton-born sisters. It seems that a member of Camilla’s staff was told to hunt for a Canadian designer to help support during their tour. Hurray for that!

The Earl and Countess of Wessex

The Earl and Countess of Wessex have been to Canada on numerous occasions, with varying degrees of publicity. In fact, their first overseas tour together was to Canada in 2000. Here they are on Prince Edward Island during that tour. Sadly, no red to be seen:

The Duchess of Cambridge

Kate was all over getting into the red and white spirit of things during her tour of Canada with Prince William last summer.The visit coincided with Canada Day and Kate and William participated in the celebrations on Parliament Hill. Kate even wore red shoes for the occasion. This was also the first of three times that she wore the Maple Leaf Brooch during the trip.

Kudos to Kate for the maple leaf hat. Hope she gets to wear it again before too long:

On Kate’s last day in Canada, she pulled this custom Catherine Walker coat dress out:

In Prince William’s last speech of this Canadian tour he said,
“In 1939, my great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, said of her first Tour of Canada with her husband, King George VI: `Canada made us.` Catherine and I now know very well what she meant.

Canada has far surpassed all that we were promised. Our promise to Canada is that we shall return.”

On that note, we wish you a very happy Canada Day! We will chat more about Wimbledon in our next post…

Trooping the Colour 2012

So today the colour was trooped. That is to say that the Queen’s official birthday was celebrated with a fantastic parade of troops from the Foot Guards and Household Cavalry who all saluted Her Majesty. Queen Elizabeth’s birthday is actually on April 21, but it is always celebrated in June in order to hopefully get a sunny day. Here are our thoughts on how it all went down today.

The Carriage Procession

Our London-based Royal Poster was able to get a great spot along the Mall and got some wonderful pictures of the carriage procession back to Buckingham Palace. She saw the Queen and Prince Philip go by in their carriage and snapped this photo:

They opted for a closed carriage because of the iffy weather, which was a good call after that freezing day on the Thames. Great that Prince Philip is on the mend.

She also saw Camilla, Kate, and Harry go by. Love seeing that hand waving in the lower right hand corner:

That’s Princess Anne, the Duke of Kent, Prince Charles, and Prince William riding by as well:

And here we have Prince Andrew with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie:

Here’s a closer look at the princesses. They went outside of the box for their millinery choices:

I find it disappointing that Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex were not included in the carriage procession and seem to have been downgraded to a bus. Seriously! Here they are last year, with Sophie and Lady Louise in matching pink outfits:

I understand the desire to help to streamline the Monarchy, but for goodness sake why just stop at Prince Andrew and the girls for something like this? My guess is that it was suggested that Prince Andrew go the bus route as well, but he kicked up a fuss. I’d like to see Sophie and Edward get more recognition for their hard work.

The Balcony Appearance

That brings us to the balcony appearance! The best thing about Trooping the Colour to me is seeing as many Royals as possible crammed out on the Buckingham Palace balcony. It’s also fun seeing Princess Michael of Kent trying to get into a key position out there, some years with more success than others. Let’s review a few balcony appearances over the years and you can decide for yourself.

We’ll start with the 1982 celebrations, which took place just a few day before Prince William was born. Diana wore her Spencer pearl choker! As for the Queen, she was still riding out with the troops on horseback herself, which explains her ensemble:

Here they are the following year, with Princess Anne and the Queen helping to keep the little ones in order:

That’s Zara, William, and Peter with Diana in 1984:

In 1988 Princess Diana once again wore green with her Spencer pearl choker and Harry could barely see over the balcony.

So Diana helped him out, and Harry was Harry:

Princess Michael of Kent was there, too. See?

Jumping ahead, what on earth is the Queen saying here at the 2003 ceremony??

Here they are cramped out there in 2010. Yes, that’s Princess Michael of Kent RIGHT NEXT TO THE QUEEN:

And then last year Princess Michael fancied being next to William and Kate:

This year there were lots of Royal attendees again. Here’s a bit of a close up. From the left, that’s Prince Andrew, the Countess of Wessex, Prince Charles, Prince Edward, the Queen, Princess Anne and her husband, Prince Philip, Kate, Prince William, Princess Eugenie, and of course Prince Harry.

Sophie and the Queen both repeated their outfits from Prince William’s wedding. Here are Sophie and Edward after the wedding ceremony, so it looks like Sophie just got a new hat for today:

And of course here’s the Queen on the wedding day:

Kate kept her streak of wearing only Alexander McQueen on the Buckingham Palace balcony by accessorizing her beautiful bespoke Erdem dress with an Alexander McQueen clutch. Thanks to the always on top of things What Kate Wore blog for spotting that! I think she looked very Grace Kelly-ish because of that beautiful neckline. Just wish her hair was swept back so we could see more of it! Also, her dress looks like it was cut rather large, no? Just saying…

Any other thoughts on today’s festivities? Does anyone else wish Sophie and Edward were given a more prominent role? It’s tough even finding any good pictures of them today!

See you next week to recap the Order of the Garter ceremony!

Thoughts on Emily McCorquodale’s Wedding

It was a happy day for the Spencer family on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Prince William, Prince Harry, and Kate were all out to attend their cousin Emily Jane McCorquodale’s wedding to James Hutt. Here are my thoughts on the wedding and how it links the Spencers with the past.

The Locals Showed Up

Yikes, it looks like some locals showed up to take pictures of the royals. Those folks in the background don’t look like they are dressed for a wedding, do they? Goodness me, at least try to blend in…

Maybe that’s why Kate and William got a little testy:

They clearly didn’t want to detract attention from the bride and groom.

Emily McCorquodale

The bride is the daughter of Princess Diana’s oldest sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale. She was born in 1983 and so is one year younger than Prince William and it seems that William and Harry are now closest to this part of the Spencer family.

Love this picture of the cousins frolicking on Necker Island back in the day. Emily has a younger brother named George Edmund (born in 1984) and a sister named Celia Rose (born in 1990). I think that Emily may just the girl looking out towards the camera. That is Diana is sitting in the sand with her mom Frances Shand Kydd:

The cousins also burried Diana in the sand.:

Cut to the lovely wedding today.

The Bride’s Tiara

Lady Sarah (the dame in the hat and pearls above) and Prince Charles stepped out a bit a few years before Diana was in the picture. It ended shortly after Sarah made a giant faux pas and spoke to the press, which is a whole other story. In the end, Sarah married Neil McCorquodale, which we discussed in our post on the Spencer tiaras and Diana of course ended up with Charles.

Here are Lady Jane (on the left) and Lady Sarah (on the right) in the tiara. Of course, Princess Diana wore the same tiara on her wedding day as well.

And here’s Emily in a new (to us, at least) tiara today:

This gorgeous tiara isn’t either of the two Spencer tiaras we are aware of, nor does it look like the tiara that her grandmother Frances Shand Kydd wore on her wedding day, does it?

Could there be a Spencer tiara we didn’t know about? Or perhaps this is a McCorquodale tiara or one that belongs to the groom’s family? Intriguing! I hope we get to the bottom of this tiara mystery. Whatever the case, it’s a beauty and Emily looked lovely.

Also, Emily’s bouquet looks a bit like Diana’s to me. Love that she didn’t go small and dainty with it. THAT is a bouquet.

Lady Sarah’s Earrings and Pearl Choker

Ok, before we dive into Lady Sarah’s jewels, check out the microphone on the groom’s lapel. This seems like a nice clue that the service was taped so they could have their own wedding video! That, or the acoustics are bad in that church…

Anyway, back to the jewels. As we’ve discussed in the past, the Spencer ladies like their pearl chokers. Click here for a refresher. Sarah wore a stand out choker today, which seems to be the one that she lent Diana for her going away outfit on her wedding day. It is five strings of pearls with a central gold clasp with an inset pearl. Another pearl dangles down from the clasp. Here’s a good look at it:

Lady Sarah wore it to Diana’s wedding ceremony (she’s wearing it in the wedding portrait below), and then seems to have handed it over because Diana wore it with her going away outfit.

Lady Sarah is in green on the bottom right in the wedding portrait:

And then here’s Diana wearing the choker a short while later:

And another look as they drove away in the carriage:

Let’s take another look at Lady Sarah at her daughter Emily’s wedding. Oh, look – she also has a pearl strand bracelet on that’s like the bracelet version of Diana’s two strand Spencer choker. Love that! That’s Sarah’s other daughter Celia on the left wearing quite the sparkly necklace herself:

As you can see, Lady Sarah was also wearing the dangly diamond earrings that Princess Diana wore on her wedding day.

These earrings were reported to have belonged to Frances Shand Kydd, but they have been on display with Diana’s wedding dress at Althorp, the Spencer’s family seat, which seems to imply that they actually are owned by the Spencer family.

Another look for good measure:

She also wore the earrings to Prince William’s wedding. Here she is leaving the Buckingham Palace reception all dolled up in her finery:

Hurray for wedding earring traditions!

The Attendants

Here are the flowers girls and page boy all ready to go:

Update: We just unearthed this photograph taken during Lady Sarah and Neil McCorquodale’s Althorp wedding reception, which took place on May 17, 1980. The page boys wore a very similiar jacket, so it seems Emily was keeping that tradition alive. It might even be one of the originals!

Also, that’s Princess Margaret’s daughter Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones as a bridesmaid! She’s standing in the back row on the far left. A few years later she was Lady Diana’s oldest bridesmaid. For our post on that, click here.

Side Note: Frances Shand Kydd’s green dress sure looks a lot like the one Sarah wore to Diana’s wedding, doesn’t it?? The neckline is slightly different, but the fabric looks identical! Could it be that Sarah had it tailored and wore it again? I really think so…

The little pageboy’s suit is also very reminiscent of the royal wedding, no? Please don’t yell at me for comparing; I can’t help it! They all looked great.

They even had an Grace Van Cutsem moment and covered their ears! Compare today when the noise was caused by bagpipes…

…with little Grace on the Buckingham Palace balcony when the noise was caused by cheering crowds and planes overhead:

Love the floral wreaths on the girls!

Other Spencers in Attendance

Earl Spencer was there along with his third wife, Karen Gordon, who is pregnant with his seventh child. That’s Lady Kitty in the back and the boy in front I believe is the Hon. Edmund Spencer, his son with second wife Caroline Freud.

Lady Jane was at the wedding as well, and like Lady Sarah she  wore a white blazer over her dresses and a hats with a flower on it. She attended the wedding with her husband, Sir Fellowes, and their three children Laura (born 1980), Alexander (born 1983), and Eleonor (born 1985), but we haven’t seen any pictures of them yet. She looks very nice, but why oh why didn’t she pull out one of her pearl chokers for the occasion?? Seriously. Those should not be kept locked up!

Notably, Lady Jane was one of the people spotted in a wide shot of the royal box during the Jubilee concert last weekend. Didn’t see Lady Sarah in the picture, though.

Kate’s Outfit

Kudos to Kate for once again making an effort not to outshine the bride by wearing all repeated items. Today she chose the Jenny Packham dress from her trip to Los Angeles,

the coat from last year’s Garter ceremony,

the hat that she wore to the Epsom Derby last June,

and her trusty LK Bennet pumps. In my opinion, this mishmash of items (which are all lovely on their own) didn’t go all that well together and looked a bit busy…plus the dress was longer than the coat. However, we can see what she was trying to do and thumbs up for that.

Also love the new ‘do:

Well, it was fun to see everyone out today! Congratulations to Emily and James. Let us know if you noticed anything else that we missed!

Highlights of Today’s Jubilee Conclusion

Well, this is our 200th post and it seems fitting to mark that with the conclusion of the Jubilee celebrations. It’s a bit sad that it’s over, but we still have Trooping the Colour on June 16 and of course the Olympics to look forward to. It will be a very Royal summer!

The Jubilee Ensembles

Let’s dive in by first looking at what the ladies were wearing today.

We must start with he Queen, who showed up looking lovely in another Angela Kelly creation, this time in mint green. Kudos to her for creating such beautiful looks for these celebrations! Just like it was for the Thames Pageant, her coat was embroidered with tiny Swarovski crystals. Very fitting for her Diamond jubilee and love that she chose to wear her Cullinan diamond brooch. It looked spectacular pinned to the coat:

Like it was on Saturday, another photograph of Her Majesty’s outfit was issued:

Meanwhile, Kate was wearing a gorgeous lacy McQueen dress with a Jane Taylor hat, pearl drop earrings, and her trusty Prada clutch and LK Bennet pumps. A bit more of Kate coming up!

Beatrice and Eugenie showed up looking lovely as well. This was definitely their best Jubilee appearance in my books.

And bonus: these could both be recycled for the Easter service next year!

Here’s one more look at Eugenie’s nails:

Camilla’s upturned Philip Treacy hat was lovely with her gold jacket and four strand pearl choker:

It’s nice to see Peter and Autumn Philips with Zara, too. Check out Autumn’s patriotic hat! Zara’s looks like some sort of hat tiara.

Let’s get another look at that. I think this is another one for the Zara history books. In fact, it might be the wackiest one yet. Check out our review on Zara’s Christmas hats over the years here.

Hurray for another knockout look by Sophie, who also showed up in navy and it looks like she had on LK Bennet pumps as well:

Her Royal Cuteness Lady Louise, was there! Love seeing her out:

The Service of Thanksgiving

The service was a solemn occasion, with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams (who sat with the royals at the concert last night) commenting that they were celebrating “six decades of living proof that public service is possible and that it is a place where happiness can be found.” Everyone seemed to be having a tough time staying alert and attentive after the revelry the night before (looking at you, Harry):

In the row behind Harry, that’s Viscount Linley, Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent:

The Carriage Procession

I’m sooo glad it wasn’t raining too hard for this! Charles and Camilla joined the Queen in her carriage, no doubt wishing that Prince Philip could be there with them:

and William and Kate sat with Harry:

It must have been quite something to have been sitting in one of those carriages.

The Balcony Appearance

As was announced last week, just the seven most senior members of the Royal Family in terms of succession were on the balcony for the flypast this afternoon. The ladies were all very colour co-ordinated, with the Queen standing out the most. This is more proof that lots of planning goes into these ensembles.

This marks Kate’s third Buckingham Palace balcony appearance in a little over a year and for each of them she has worn a white, cream, or lacy Alexander McQueen. Love that new tradition!

Appearance #1 of course:

Appearance #2:

and Appearance #3:

Well done, Kate!

The flypast

The “wow moment” happened! One of our Royal posters was able to get these shots of the planes from their vantage point in London, which just so happens to be a nine second flight from Buckingham Palace…

In formation!

So cool. This is how they looked flying over Buckingham Palace

The Royals check it out below. At one point, we could see Kate asking Harry if they should be waving. He seemed to say, “I think it’s just the Queen now.”

Well, what a fun few days!! Any favourite jubilee moments to share?

Highlights of the Jubilee Concert

After all the build up for the Diamond Jubilee, it’s hard to believe there is just one more day left of official celebrations. Before we dive into the highlights of the Buckingham Palace concert that went on this evening, we’ll give a shout out to Prince Philip. As you’ve probably heard, he is in hospital to treat a bladder infection and unfortunately will not be able to join the celebrations tomorrow, either. It seems that the whole standing for four hours in the rain thing yesterday wasn’t much of a help.

Get well soon, Philip!

Hobnobbing with Picnickers

Fortunately it didn’t rain in London today and some of the Royals, including the York sisters, were in there mingling. As we’ve discussed, Beatrice and Eugenie are not likely to be full time working royals however much they might like to be. Both Prince Charles and the Queen want to keep the focus on the direct line of succession particularly over this three day period, so this was a nice way for them to be included.

Beatrice showed up in another printed frock:

And Eugenie’s Union Jack manicure that we first saw at the Epsom Derby on Saturday was still in fine form and matched her red dress. It’s tough to see in this picture but it’s there, I promise:

This is a bit of a tradition now. As you can see, the Yorks did the same thing during the Golden Jubilee in 2002:

Sophie was there today as well and debuted some serious palazzo pants.  Not entirely sure how I feel about them, but she looks easy and breazy and her hair looked great.

Also, check out the little fellow in the red bow tie. I think he should get the Most Dapper Picnicker Award:

Carole and Pippa Middleton were also spotted amidst the revellers so it’s nice to see that they’ve been included in the festivities throughout the weekend.

The Queen’s Cape

The Queen’s cape was another highlight for me. Her Majesty showed up to the Royal Box wearing earplugs and a stunning Admiral’s boat cloak. I mean, stunning! I love capes in all shapes and sizes and think there should be more of them out there. Maybe this will help my cause?

Also, this cloak may just be the very one that she wore for this Cecil Beaton portrait back in 1968:

What a fantastic wardrobe repeat!

The Seating Arrangements in the Royal Box

Ok, let’s play I Spy A Royal.


I’ll start in the upper left hand corner with Mike Tindall carrying a Union Jack flag. That’s Zara Philips beside him (looks like she got a lovely blow out) and her brother Peter is next. Then we have his wife Autumn Philips, followed by Viscount and Viscountess Linley with their son Charles Patrick Inigo Armstrong-Jones (thanks, Laura!), and then the  two folks next to them have been identified by reader Kate as the Earl and Countess of Ulster (thanks, Kate!).  In the next row starting from the left we have Eugenie, Beatrice, Kate, William, Harry, Sophie, Edward, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester with Princess Alexandra. Then the second person in on the front row is Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan William. He’s seated next to Princess Anne who is next to her husband Tim Laurence. Next to him a seat was kept empty seat for Prince Philip. Her Majesty is next. She’s seated next to Charles who is seated with Camilla (lovely icy blue suit), and Andrew. Phew!

Time for another memory moment. Here we have Charles, William, and Harry at the Golden Jubilee concert ten years ago. So young! So much more hair! And I love how they all had tartan blankets at the ready should it get a bit chilly…

 Wave Those Flags!

I think this is a nice preview of what we can expect during the upcoming Olympics…a lot of royal flag waving. I am counting on it:

Those flags also work as good pointer sticks as Harry demonstrated:

Looks like Prince Andrew had a flag pole sized one at the ready but sadly I can’t find a picture of it in action. I hope he brings it out again next month at an Olympic tennis match or something:

What a view

This is how you party at the palace, am I right?

Good Night, Everyone:

Charles closed the show in a witty and thoughtful speech which included a suggestion that if they all yelled loud enough Prince Philip might be able to hear them:

Naturally, he did the honour ten years ago as well so he is quite the pro at this sort of thing:

Tomorrow will be the Service of Thanksgiving and some carriage rides down the Mall (yippee!) which will take the Royals back to the Buck House for a balcony appearance. That’s what I’m most looking forward to, but the weather report isn’t looking great for the planned Fly Past. We can’t have another “wow moment”  cancelled! Fingers crossed it can all go according to plan…

We’ll leave you with this picture of the Queen in her golden gown. Happy Jubilee!

Highlights of the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant

Unfortunately it rained on their parade today so it was a bit of a “cold noses, warm hearts” situation on the River Thames. However, years of planning went into every detail and it was still a spectacular and celebratory day. Here are the highlights as I saw them.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at a Street Party

Before the Thames festivities kicked off, Charles and Camilla showed up to a ritzy street party outside of Fortnum & Mason. Camilla looked great in what looked like a Burberry trench.

They chatted with the revellers…

…and really tucked in with their Union Jack plates and napkins.

Side Note: This reminds me, if you haven’t seen the footage of Charles watching some old never before seen family videos, it really is a must. He released the footage on friday in a tribute to his “mama”, and this video shows him watching and commenting on it himself. It’s quite cute hearing him chuckle away as he watches…

And it’s fun to see the family resemblance that comes out. I mean, as one example here’s a screen shot of Charles as a baby in a video taken by the Duke of Edinburgh:

Which really reminded me of this photo of baby William with Diana during a photo call in New Zealand:

Check the video out for yourself here:


Street Parties Galore

It is thought that up to one million onlookers showed up despite the weather. Not too shabby:

 The Queen in White

It’s her party. Her Majesty the Queen arrived with Prince Philip in a white Angela Kelly coat and hat which have been made over the last year. The colour was a great choice since it really helped her to stand out on the dreary day.

A photograph of her ensemble was released:

Lady in Red

Love Kate’s red  outfit. According to the Clarence House twitter feed, she chose “a dress by Alexander McQueen with a Sylvia Fletcher hat by James Lock.”

Royal Reporter Richard Palmer’s twitter feed revealed that “Kate’s wearing a maritime-themed brooch featuring two silver dolphins. It’s a gift from the Royal Navy Submarine Service.”

Kate also carried a scarf with her to help ward off the chill on the river. Richard Palmer reported that it was in the Strathearn tartan, which is very fitting since Kate and William hold the titles Earl and Countess of Strathearn. Love that touch! If you’d like to see our post on Wee Royals in Tartan, click here.

The Dashing Brothers

The Royal brothers looked very smart in their uniforms. Prince William was in Flight Lieutenant No. 1 dress uniform and Harry wore the No. 1 ceremonial dress of the Blues and Royals.

Prince Charles & Camilla Arrive

They sure got fancied up after the street party.

According to the Clarence House twitter feed, Camilla was decked out in an “Anna Valentine coat and dress with a Philip Treacy hat.”

One Doesn’t Sit

The Queen, joined by the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the entire journey down the river. Bit of a shame those thrones didn’t get used, but the Queen really would have been drenched up there.

They were huddled under the canopy when the rain really started to come down:

There were still some smiles, though

The Yorks and the Countess of Wessex

Meanwhile, the other Royals followed behind in the Royal Flotilla. Beatrice and Eugenie were very enthusiastic and no crazy hats were to be seen. That’s Prince Andrew with them and it looks like the Countess of Wessex is beside Eugenie:

There’s another shot of Countess of Wessex with London Mayor Boris Johnson:

Side Note: Our favourite part of the Epsom Derby yesterday was Princess Eugenie’s Union Jack manicure:

And are those some Links of London bracelets we spy?

Plus, all the royals looked like they were having a lot of fun.

Here’s the Queen with Princess Michael of Kent on our far left and Prince Edward to the Queen’s left:

And the Countess of Wessex looked great in her hat. Prince Andrew showed up as well with his usual sort of expression:

Sadly, William, Harry, and Kate couldn’t make it. Back to the Pageant…

Pippa & The Middletons

All of the Middletons were there on the Elizabethan, a paddle steamer and seemed to be having a jolly good time.

That’s dad Michael behind Carol, who appears to be wearing a sapphire version of Kate’s Kiki McDonough earrings.

Singing in the rain

Due to the weather, the “wow” moment (a diamond-shaped fly past) was cancelled. That was a real shame since so much effort and practice had gone into it, but the London Philharmonic Orchestra played on and sang Land of Hope and Glory.

The BBC live feed showed Camilla hopping along a bit to it (Kate was standing beside her and did not join in on the hopping) and the Queen gave a nice smile.

And then, God Save the Queen was sung (everyone on the Royal Barge seemed to be at least mouthing the words, except for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh) and spectacular fireworks were set off of London Bridge

The Queen, Duchess of Cornwall, and Duchess of Cambridge all left the royal barge carrying umbrellas that matched their outfits (natch)

and then it was over.However,  tomorrow we have the concert at Buckingham Palace to look forward to! See you then.

The Jubilee Windows at Harrods

Yesterday, we reviewed the Jubilee events to look forward to in the upcoming week. We’ll have a fun time recounting them as they unfold, but in the meantime, let’s talk about the famed windows of Harrods department store which have recently been done up for the Jubilee. The department store recently had quite the Jubilee party, as you can see here:

In our recent post on the Queen’s coronation gown designed by Norman Hartnell, we shared a picture of a replica of the gown that is currently on display in one of the Harrods windows. Here it is if you missed it:

One of our Royal Posters also took this photo of a window that features William at the BBQ with Prince Charles relaxing at the table. Love the apron and that is a clever use of those masks, we think!

Harry looked great in his William mask, which he wore during a race in Brazil in March:

Quite the jokester.

Another current Harrods window features the shoe design that the Duchess of Cambridge chose during her trip to Leicester with the Queen and Prince Philip.

Check out our post on that day out by clicking here. The Harrods website explains,

Designed for the Duchess as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the blue suede and lace creation by De Montfort University student Becka Hunt will be displayed in Harrods’ windows alongside five runner-up entries

Part of the deal was that the winning design would be worn by Kate – wonder when that will happen? Here’s design student Becka Hunt with her winning shoe:

Our final window is of a Jubilee street party. Love all that bunting. Very festive!

Happy Jubilee to Her Majesty the Queen! We’ll be updating the blog with our thoughts on the Jubilee celebrations as they unfold. Hope you join us!