A Recap of the 2011 Christmas Day Walk to Church at Sandringham

Hello, Royal Post Readers. We hope you all had a very, very merry Christmas! It sure went by in a flash for us. Over the past month we’ve had a lot of fun reviewing the British Royal Family’s walk to church over the years, so we just had to take a good look at what they wore this year. Overall, it was a good show, don’t you think? Let’s start with the lady with the “Top Job” as Diana called it.

Her Majesty the Queen

Queen Elizabeth must have been concerned about Prince Philip’s condition after his heart operation on Christmas Eve, but still seemed to be keeping her spirits up and quite frankly looked the best we’ve seen her on Christmas Day. We love the muted lavender, the pearls, the collar, the details on the hat, all of it. So elegant and classy. The hat is by Angela Kelly and the coat is by Karl Ludwig.

Her Royal Highness, Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge

Not surprisingly, it seems that Kate was the one that everyone really turned out to see;  this year there were thousands of well wishers whereas last year just hundreds showed up. Fortunately for us, there were also TWO Kate sightings today. The first was around 9:30  (pictured above) when Kate was joined by Beatrice, Eugenie, and others on a walk to what seems to have been an early morning church service. The second sighting was for the 11:30 service. We hadn’t realized there were two Christmas day services; is that right?? Seems like a lot for one morning…please fill us in if you know more.

For the second outing, the ladies changed jackets and got out their hats.

Kate wore a Jane Corbett hat (the same milliner that she supported for the Remembrance Day service) and a colour coordinate jacket by an unidentified British designer. The tailoring of the jacket is beautiful and the colour is spot on for Kate. A spokesperson confirmed the hat designer, so it’s curious why the jacket designer was not. We hope for the sake of the designer that their name becomes public knowledge eventually. We’re sure they’d appreciate it!

Here’s a closer look at Kate’s earrings. We haven’t seen them before; perhaps they were a Christmas gift from her family or William. She certainly seems to like drop earrings with little hoops. UPDATED: We suspected that they are a pair from Kiki McDonough and it seems that hunch was correct. Kudos to our friends over on the My Small Obsession Facebook page for figuring it out!

Here’s a look of Kate’s whole ensemble. Looks like she probably had a black dress on underneath:

Ok, before we move onto Zara we have a purely frivolous question to put out there: how did Kate manage to achieve this hair while at Sandringham? There’s NO WAY that hairdresser James Pryce joined her on this trip, so we’re thinking that one of two things happened here:

A) Kate had James do her hair yesterday while in London. That is assuming she only arrived on the 24th and not on the 23rd like some of the other royals. She then would have just had to keep the bounce overnight and the half up style helps to make it look more ‘fresh.’

B) she has learned how to do those curls herself and woke up bright and early to get to work at it.

We’re thinking option A is most likely. What do you think?

Zara Philips

We’ve seen lots of great hats from Zara in recent years (click here and here for a refresher) and love that she turned out in another fashion forward creation this year. We expect nothing less!

She was also clearly making a statement to the public by walking arm in arm with new husband Mike Tindall (see the picture above and to the left). Royal watchers know that he was kicked off the England rugby team after the shennanigans he got up to in New Zealand during the World Cup. Duly noted, Zara.

Her Royal Highness, Sophie, Countess of Wessex

Sophie looked cute this year with her blue ensemble, pillbox hat, and what looks like a pair of sapphire earrings. And nicely done with the upturned collar, Sophie! If you missed our review of Sophie at Sandringham over the years, click here and here to take a peak. This year is definitely one of the stronger outfits.

Updated: Lady Louise Wessex

How cute is she in her little hat, coat, and white tights?

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York

Princess Beatrice played it safe and turned out in a classic black ensemble this year. Love the hat. Apparently she and Eugenie were both at Holly Branson’s wedding on Necker Island in the last week. Looks like she kept out of the sun during that trip!

Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie of York

Princess Eugenie wore a gray jacket with a burgundy hat (not all that different from Kate) and matching pumps, clutch, and leather gloves. She has worn this shade before; check out our retrospective here. Overall, she looks pretty darn good. Nothing too crazy or out of whack here.

Autumn Philips

Here’s a peak at Autumn Philips, who wore a fur hat and a maternity coat (Baby Number Two is on the way). This is the most dressed up she’s been for the walk to church in her three Sandringham Christmases. Looks like she’s finally getting up to speed in that department.

After the church service, Prince Philip’s grandchildren went to visit him in hospital. This is a photo of William and Zara en route:

Here’s to Prince Philip’s continued recovery and happy Boxing Day to all! See you tomorrow.

Christmas Day Walk to Church at Sandringham: Zara Part Two

We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s post on Zara! Click here for a refresher. Today we are entering the new millennium, starting in 2000:


This is the first year where Zara really started to look grown up and stylish.  This is also when Zara really started to get daring with her hats and wardrobe in general. That’s Lady Sarah Chatto, Princess Margaret’s daughter, to Zara’s left.


Not sure quite what to say about the patchwork coat, scarf and hat. But she looks warm. We’ll give her that.


Remember when Britney Spears wore hats like this all the time? Well, so did Zara. She looks very pretty and – by Sandringham standards – rather fashion forward. The winter white coat looks great with the black sweater underneath.


These photos were taken on December 26 aka Boxing Day, when the royals attended the Sunday service.

It really is a shame that this picture is so small because it really needs to be studied. I mean, it’s all good up to the end of her coat. Then it’s like what happened here? Did Robin Hood lose his boots??


Another cute shot of the cousins. Zara is bringing another fashion forward look out, keeping things interesting with her Indiana Jones style hat and fur collar. Somehow she really pulls it off.

Do you think Zara and William are talking about how fuzzy the coat is here? “Oh, would you look at that. Just like Granny’s furs.”


We had to triple check that this picture was from Christmas Day and not Easter. Because floral prints generally say ‘Springtime!’ more than Christmas, no? Anyway, once again, Zara is shaking things up a bit and making the walk to church a little more interesting to watch.


Ok, now this chapeau is the most show stopping piece of all. We love that she’s not afraid of colour!

Peter and Autumn kept things more traditional. This was Autumn’s first royal christmas so no doubt she didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. Her hat is certainly casual in comparison to Zara’s. It’s as thought she didn’t know she had to wear a hat until the last minute and she happened to pack this little number for warmth. Or maybe she just didn’t want to look like she was trying too hard.

Check out this angle, below. Quite a contrast to Sophie’s prim Jackie O pillbox hat. We love them both!


Another fun hat from Zara. Love the swingy skirt on Zara’s jacket.

Gorgeous! We really get the feeling the Zara, William and Harry have a good laugh and are good buddies.
And, to end off, take a look at these shoes:
So, do tell! What is your favourite Zara look? We’re quite partial to 2008. That hat is just too much fun. Looking forward to seeing what she pulls out for Christmas 2011.

The Walk to Church at Sandringham on Christmas Day ~ Zara Phillips Part One

Zara, Princess Anne’s daughter, sure has come a long way over the years. We’ve got so much great footage of her over the years that once again we had to split the posts into two. Let’s start way back in 1985…


Sorry that this picture isn’t any bigger. If you look closely, you can see little zara wearing a red, matching her aunt Diana. This shot is especially picturesque since there was snow on the ground that year!

Another look. That’s Princess Anne holding onto Zara’s hand:


How cute are William and Zara here!? We had similar ‘party tights’ to the ones that Zara is wearing. William is looking like he really looks up to her as his slightly older cousin:


Ok, so this first shot wasn’t taken on Christmas Day but we had to include it. It was taken two days before on December 23, 1990 at the church of St. Mary Magdelen, Sandringham after Princess Eugenie’s christening. This is the same church that holds the Christmas service.

The photograph below of the royal march to church was taken on the same day. We spy Zara behind Diana (in an often worn Moschino suit) and William.


What a festive cape-ish coat! Anne is looking good too in her camel coat and black chapeau.


Zara must have a but of a chuckle when she sees photographs of herself in this get up. Don’t we all have similar photos that are just funny now?


Two years later and Zara looks so much older here. And check out William in the second picture – he’s really growing up, too!


We love this shot of William, Harry and Zara. Zara has brought out yet another black hat for the occasion. She’s still not showing her fashion forward streak. Gotta love that Christmas-plaid coat on Anne in the second picture. They all look rather sombre.  Perhaps they were getting worried about the millenium…

Join us on Monday for Part Two!

Wee Royals in Tartan

Happy Monday and a Happy Thanksgiving to our friends in Canada! For today, we thought we’d let’s lighten things up a little with a look at Wee Royals in tartan. Tartan is fabulous and so very royal so it’s about time we gave it some more attention. (Check out our post on Balmoral style, which is resplendent in tartan, here)

To start, we love this delightful shot of the Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Anne, Prince Charles, and a very young Prince Andrew lounging on the front garden of Balmoral.

 Since the shot is black and white, it’s hard to tell exactly what tartan Charles and Anne are sporting but it looks like it could very well be the Royal Balmoral Tartan (see the swatch below). This tartan was designed by Prince Albert back in 1853 for members of the family to wear during their stays at Balmoral. Nowadays, Queen Elizabeth wears this tartan along with other members of the family that have received permission from her to do so (that’s right, the Queen specifies who in her family has the privilege).

Interestingly, the Queen has also granted permission for her personal piper to wear the tartan and he is the only ‘Non Royal’ to have this distinction. The official website of the British Monarchy explains, “The position of Queen’s Piper is one of the highest accolades available to a piper serving in the Armed Forces.The Piper is a member of the Royal Household whose principal duty is to play every weekday at 9.00 am for about fifteen minutes under The Queen’s window when she is in residence at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse or Balmoral Castle.” Hmmm…we must plan on a walk around Buckingham Palace around 9am when the Queen is in residence to hear this for ourselves! The current Queen’s Piper is Pipe Major Derek Potter, shown below wearing Royal Stewart tartan. The Stewart Tartan is the personal tartan of Queen Elizabeth and it is said that it is appropriate that all subjects of the Queen wear it.

According to the Tartan Authority, no weaver in the United Kingdom would dream of creating the Balmoral tartan for anyone but members of the Royal Family and the Queen’s Piper.  The ghillies and estate workers wear the Balmoral Tweed – not the tartan.

Onto more Wee Royals in tartan! We love this formal portrait of the Queen and Prince Philip with their four eldest grandchildren – heck, they’re even sitting on a tartan couch (it looks like the Royal Stewart Tartan making another appearance)! They all look so comfortable together, and how could anyone resist little Harry’s impish smile?

From left: Prince William, The Queen, Peter Phillips, Prince Harry, Prince Philip, and Zara Phillips in tartan

We have not been able to identify what tartan William and Harry are in, so please fill us in if you know. We would have guessed that the Phillips kids would be decked out in the Phillips tartan (swatch below) but it definitely doesn’t look like what Zara has on, does it?

The Phillips Tartan

That portrait iss missing two royal grandkids…where are you, Bea and Eug?

Found them! They were dressed alike a lot as youngsters and this outing was no exception:

Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.

And, just for fun…two Royal Posters, when we were wee, in a version of the Queen’s personal tartan. Yes, we started young:

The Royal Posters in tartan before anyone knew what a blog was

Royal Magazine Features: Zara Philips on the cover of Tatler, October 2011

Via the Telegraph

Zara Philips, daughter of Captain Mark Philips and Princess Anne and thirteenth in line to to British throne, has given an interview to the UK edition of Tatler which will be featured in their October issue. According to the Telegraph, Zara gives some great soundbites.

On why Princess Anne didn’t give her the HRH title she said,

“I don’t know actually. I should ask her. I think it was good, though. My brother and I have been able to get on and have been very lucky to do things with our family that other people wouldn’t have been able to do. But then again, we’ve also been able to live a normal life as well.

That certainly sounds like a good compromise. Without a title and royal role, Zara and her brother both have to work for a living. Unlike her brother Peter, Zara did not sell her wedding pictures to Hello or any other publication. Peter’s decision to do so caused quite a furor; evidently the Queen and other senior royals had not been informed of this decision and I can only imagine the brow beating he got, and rightly so.

But perhaps we should leave that topic for another post. Zara’s decision to be interviewed and photographed by Tatler seems to be a compromise; this way she gets to promote her work as an equestrian and ambassador for various companies without selling anyone else out (no candid pictures of Prince Harry, for example, dancing away at the wedding reception). Plus, I quite like that cover photo. Very Grace Kelly with the crisp white shirt and slicked back blond hair, but with a modern twist.

Zara does seem like an extremely hard worker and is currently training with the goal of competing in the London Olympics in 2012. Side note: this is purely selfish, but how much fun would it be to watch the Queen, Princess Anne, and Zara’s cousins watching Zara compete? Let’s keep our fingers crossed for that one.

For now, here’s a picture of Zara over the weekend at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. As an ambassador for Land Rover, the company headlining the event, she became the first person to take deliver of the new Evoque Land Rover.

Via Carpages.com