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!

The Royals Celebrating Easter Part Two

Yesterday we re-capped Princess Beatrice’s trip to York with her grandparents and what that all means. We also took at peak at picture of the Royals at Easter services in Windsor from 1987-1999 (click here if you missed it). Today, we’re jumping into the last eleven years. Here we go!


There was a great turn out for the first Easter of the new millenium. The Queen and Philip were there of course:

And so was the Queen Mum:

Sophie and Edward were well turned out:

Zara’s looking pretty chic here with her brother Peter:


The next year had another good turn out. Love the springy green the Queen chose:

The crew on their way from the Castle (the Queen is driven over):

A closer look:

And to round out the year, here’s a closer look at Zara’s:


There was more sunshine in 2003:

The Queen looked splendid:

Here’s a closer look at Eug and Bea. Beatrice was already into her bold fascinators at this point:


This Easter photograh of the Queen looks like it would be great on a postage stamp, doesn’t it?:

I think this year was an all time best outfit-wise for Anne:

The Countess of Wessex in a fascinator/ headband combo:

And Beatrice brought out some flowers:


Princess Anne wrapped up:


Spring has sprung! The green seemed to be in a jolly mood…

And Sophie brought out this huge rose. The person sitting behind her must not have gotten much of a view:


In 2007, the Queen led the family with lots of roses:

Princess Anne went bright with this yellow number:

And Sophie was looking great in white. Loving this fresh suit:


Autumn and Peter Philips were just a couple of months away from getting married at Windsor when they showed up for the Easter service:

There was a good turn out in 2009 as well:

Anne work chose this fruity basket number that year:

And Sophie brought out a BIG hat. Seriously, she must have a room dedicated to all of them over at their home, Bagshot Park.


This purple outfit screams Easter and spring time:

Princess Beatrice showed up in a hat she brought out again last week for the memorial service for Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother. Here she is at Easter:

And here she is last week:

Princess Anne brought out a total Princess Anne outfit:

Tp end, this photo was taken on Easter Sunday 2011, just days before THE wedding.

A best for Eugenie in my opinion:

Heading in:

Love this colour on the Queen:

Happy Easter to you all!

The Aquamarine Pine Flower Tiara

Continuing our featuring of Aquamarine Tiaras in honour of March, here’s a beautiful piece that has most recently been worn by HRH Princess Anne The Princess Royal – The Aquamarine Pine Flower Tiara!

These interesting posts on aquamarine royal jewels are written by guest poster Sarah Taylor. Thank you, Sarah! Here we go…

The Aquamarine Pine Flower Tiara

The Aquamarine Pine Flower Tiara was commissioned by HM King George VI from Cartier as a wedding anniversary gift for his wife HM Queen Elizabeth. It is also known as Princess Anne’s Aquamarine Pine Flower Tiara, or HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Cartier Aquamarine Tiara. This tiara is composed of aquamarines and diamonds arranged in a pine cone motif (hence the ‘pine flower’ designation), interspersed with large upright rectangular aquamarines and smaller diamonds.

Here is HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother wearing the Aquamarine Pine Flower Tiara.

It does not seem to have been a favourite tiara of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and the next recorded wearing of it we have is when it was passed along to her granddaughter, HRH Princess Anne, The Princess Royal.

Here’s Princess Anne wearing it on a tour of Australia in 1974. Doesn’t it look colourful and festive on her?

A formal portrait:

Princess Anne had the tiara shortened at some point, and the large central aquamarine made into a pendant, which she seems to have also worn as a brooch. You can see the difference between the original tiara on the left, and the altered tiara on the right in the central stone – the altered tiara has a single large rectangular aquamarine as its centerpiece.

It looks like Princess Anne is wearing the detached central aquamarine cluster as a brooch in this photograph. What do you think?

This is the second of our aquamarine tiara posts (first up was Queen Elizabeth’s Brazilian Aquamarine and Diamond Parure and the Boucheron Diamond Clips). Up next in aquamarine tiaras, something completely different – from the Netherlands – Queen Juliana’s Aquamarine Tiara and Parure.

Kate Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards

The Duchess of Cambridge attended her first solo military engagement today. She presented shamrocks to forty Irish Guards officers, watched their annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, sipped some sherry, and joined them for lunch.

The band played God Save the Queen followed by the Irish folk song Carrickfergus, which was especially fitting for the Duchess. In addition to holding the titles Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate also hold the titles Baron and Baroness Carickfergus, which the articles we’ve read about Kate’s visit haven’t picked up on yet. The title refers to Carrickfergus in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Carrickfergus means ‘Rock of Fergus’ and the town is home to Carrickfergus Castle which is over 800 years old and is now open to the public:

As we expected, Kate wore the Irish Guard’s gold shamrock brooch for the second time. For our post on the brooch, click here. The first time Kate wore it was in June when she and William presented medals to officers of the Irish Guards:

She looked great in her green dress coat by Emilia Wickstead and a ‘Betty Boop’ hat by Lock & Co. Kate last wore a hat by Lock & Co. when she joined Prince Philip and the Queen for an ‘away day’ in Leicester. Kate also wore a pair of Kiki McDonough earrings that first appeared at Sandringham on Christmas Day.

Gotta love this dog. He’s an Irish Wolfhound named Conmeal:

Sipping sherry:

And time for a group shot!

And now it’s time for a little history. The presentation of Shamrocks to the Irish Guards is a long standing royal tradition. Queen Victoria first decreed that the Irish Regiments should wear a sprig of shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day. In particular, she said they should be worn on their hats (as they are doing in the picture above).

Queen Victoria stepped things up a bit in 1901 when she started the custom of presenting them to the Irish Guards. Here is Queen Alexandra decked out in her finery but without a shamrock in sight:

Queen Alexandra passed away in 1925. The next royal who we know of that took over these duties was Princess Mary, daughter of King George and Queen Mary. She was the third Princess Royal (check out our post on that title here). This photograph of Princess Mary and Princess Margaret was taken at Ascot in 1961:

This photograph is from when the Queen Mum took part in 1968. She actually began taking over this duty 1965, when Princess Mary passed away.

She sat with the Battalion for a photograph like Kate did today:

This photograph is from the ceremony in 1994:

And this is from St. Patricks Day in 2000. At this point, the Queen Mum was 99 years old. According to the BBC, this was also the first time that the ceremony took place in public.

Here’s Princess Anne doing the honours in 2008 (note the clovers are again pinned to the hats):

and in 2009 in a green jacket:

Well, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all! Thanks for joining us for this recap.

Royals in their Prams Part One

Today we’re looking at a collection of photographs of the British Royals in their prams for no other reason than they are adorable.  We’ll take a look at some European Royals later this week for Part Two.

So we’ve got four generations of British Royals to check out. Up until Princess Eugenie, each these royal babies (including future royal The Hon. Diana Spencer) is in a Silver Cross pram. Silver Cross has been making these classy looking prams for the British Royals since the 1920’s. One of their most famous styles is, not surprisingly, called The Balmoral. The company describes this style as “quite simply the Rolls Royce of prams.” Indeed. Check them out here.

Princess Elizabeth

This photograph of Princess Elizabeth of York was taken on the grounds of Windsor Castle in April 1927, when the future queen was one year old.

Prince Charles & Princess Anne

Skipping ahead quite a bit, how adorable are Prince Charles and Princess Anne here?? This picture was taken on the grounds of Balmoral.

Prince Andrew

That’s Prince Andrew being pushed along by Queen Elizabeth and a young Princess Anne. Looks like he’s enjoying the view:

Prince Edward

Prince Edward got his turn in the pram a few years later:

The Honourable Diana Spencer

You may recognize this photograph of the future Princess of Wales sitting in her pram. Looks like she just dropped a little white toy over the side:

When Diana spoke to Andrew Morton for Diana: Her True Story she told him that her first memory “was really the smell of the inside of my pram. The hood was plastic.”
Skipping ahead to the next generation, we recently discovered this picture of Princess Beatrice being pushed by Princes William and Harry during a polo match. Cute!

Sadly no picture of these two Princes has been made public as far as we know, but we’ve got to believe that they got rides in a Silver Cross pram during their time at Balmoral as babies. Let’s hope those pictures show up one day.

And lastly, that’s Savannah Philips in a modern and sporty pram all tucked in. She was at a horse show with Princess Anne and Autumn Philips:

Speaking of Autumn, we should be getting some baby news very soon.

Kate’s Borrowed Jewels Part Three: The Shamrock Brooch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#3 The Cartier Halo Diamond Tiara

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

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

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

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

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

Check out the hair:

The tiara looks very elegant for this official portrait:

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

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

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

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

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

The Princess Royal

It’s been awhile since we spoke about titles. Back in the autumn, we chatted about how Camilla really is the Princess of Wales and about the oodles of titles that Princess Grace had and that Princess Charlene now holds. Today, we’re diving into the British title Princess Royal.

‘Princess Royal’ is the title traditionally conferred upon the oldest daughter of the British sovereign. Once the title is conferred, it is held for life. There cannot be more than one holder of the title at a time.

Princess Anne currently holds the title; the Queen conferred it in 1987 when Anne was 37 years of age. Consequently she went from being “Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne” to “Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.”  She is the seventh holder of the title.

It all began when Queen Henrietta Maria, daughter of King Henry IV of France and wife of King Charles I of England, decided to bring this French royal tradition to England. In France, the oldest daughter of the King was given the title ‘Madame Royale.’ She decided the equivalent in England should be ‘Princess Royal’ and so here we are. It’s a bit of a funny and repetitive title we think. What Princess isn’t royal?? And yet it works somehow.

Here’s a short but sweet look at the six Princess Royals that led to Princess Anne.

Princess Royal #1

In 1642, Queen Henrietta (the lady who got this whole thing started) and King Charles’ daughter Princess Mary became the Princess Royal. That’s her in the portrait above dressed in all her finery and not looking too impressed. She married Prince Willem of Orange and so became a Dutch Princess as well. She passed away in 1660 of smallpox.

Princess Royal #2

This new tradition didn’t pick up again until 1727 when Princess Anne, the daughter of King George II and Queen Caroline, was granted the title. She was 18 years old. She married William, Princes of Orange in 1734 and decided to go by her new title, Princess of Orange, instead. However, as is tradition, she continued to hold the title Princess Royal until her death in 1759 of dropsy.

Princess Royal #3

Next up we have Princess Charlotte, daughter of King George III and Queen Caroline. In her case, the title Princess Royal was used from birth, even though it wasn’t officially conferred on her until 1789 when she was 23 years old. She later became the Queen of Wurttemberg (which is now modern day south west Germany) due to her marriage to The Hereditary Prince Frederick of Wurttemberg. She died in 1828, possibly from dropsy. Those were tough times…

Princess Royal #4

Next up is Princess Victoria, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria. Named after her mother, she was given the title in 1841 when she was one year old. She went on to become the Queen of Prussia and a German Empress due to her marriage to Prince William Frederick of Prussia. She died of cancer in 1901.

Princess Royal #5

Princess Louise was the fifth Princess Royal. The daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, she was conferred the title in 1905 when she was 37 years old. She married the 6th Earl of Fife (remember that line in Macbeth? “The Earl of Fife had a wife. Where is she now”). From that marriage, she added the title Countess of Fife, and later Duchess of Fife. She passed away in 1931.

Princess Royal #6

Princess Mary was the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. She married Viscount Lascelles, who later became the Earl of Harewood, in 1922 and so also held the tiles Viscountess Lascelles and Countess of Harewood. She was given the title Princess Royal in 1935, one year after Princess Louise passed away.  Princess Mary was 35 years of age at that point.

Princess Mary lived until 1965 which explains why Queen Elizabeth never held the title (she succeeded to the throne in 1952 when her father King George VI died). Princess Mary is also the reason why Queen Victoria’s sapphire and diamond tiara is now still owned by the Earl and Countess of Harewood. To check out our post on that delightful tiara, click here.

Who knows what the future is for this title.  If William and Kate have a daughter, she is the next person who could be styled as The Princess Royal (but only if or when William becomes King, of course).  Since the rules of succession have changed, if she is the oldest child and not just the oldest daughter, she would also be next in line to become Queen. We wonder if she would then also be styled as Princess of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. We might just have to dive into that scenario some more in a future post. In any case, time will tell!

Princess Anne’s Greek Key Pattern Tiara

Time to talk about tiaras! Today we are featuring the Greek Key Pattern Tiara, also known as the Meander Tiara. This piece is owned by the British Royal Family  and is currently used by Princess Anne.

This tiara is made up of diamonds in a traditional Greey key pattern that features a central diamond surrounded by a laurel wreath. The wreath is flanked by two honeysuckle motifs. According to the wonderful book Tiaras, A History of Splendour by Geoffrey C. Munn, the tiara is believed to be French and was made circa 1900, possibly by Cartier.

The tiara belonged to Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg (also known as Princess Andrew of Greece, after her husband’s title). She passed the tiara over to Queen Elizabeth as a wedding present in 1947, which is how the tiara came to be part of the British Royal Family’s collection.

And a side view which also shows off her delightful hair comb:

Princess Alice was the great-grandaughter of Queen Victoria and was born in Windsor Castle; it is through her that the Queen and Prince Philip are related. She had a very eventful life which included being diagnosed with deafness as a toddler, a severe nervous breakdown as an adult which led to an extended stay in a sanatorium in Berlin, and she has posthumously been named a British Hero of the Holocaust by the UK government for sheltering Jews during WWII. When the Greek royal family was overthrown in 1967, the Queen and Prince Philip extended an invitation for her to live in London. She lived in Buckingham Palace until her death in 1969.

As far as we know, the Queen has never been seen wearing this tiara in public. It was passed to Princess Anne in the early 1970’s and she has worn it often over the last forty or so years.

Love the hair here:

Mum & Daughter all dolled up:

Here’s a more recent photo. Perhaps one of the reasons she still keeps her hair so long is so that she’s ready to tiara it up like this?

Princess Anne also wore the tiara in her official 50th birthday portrait taken by John Swannell, below. We’ve always thought this was a bit of an out there choice of dress and pose for Anne but she must have loved it:

Anne lent the tiara to her daughter, Zara, for her wedding to Mike Tindall. This is the first time we’ve seen Zara in a tiara and sadly it may well be the last so let’s soak it up:

Here’s a look at her with Mike in her wedding ensemble. Lovely!

So, tell us. What do you think of the Meander Tiara? Are there any other tiaras you’d like us to feature in a post?