Royal Passports

Some of the more unique aspects of royal life are what we find so fascinating here at the Royal Post, and one area we haven’t discussed yet is passports. Since they interest us, we thought you’d like to learn more as well so let’s dive in!

Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip (source)
Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip (source)

The British Royals

One of the perks of being The Queen of England is that she  is the only citizen of the United Kingdom who does not need a passport when travelling overseas.


The official website of the British Monarchy explains that the inside of each British passport has this statement:

‘Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.’

So, since British passports are issued in the name of The Queen, it is unnecessary for her to have one herself. She is the only exception; the rest of her family, including The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales, have passports and must carry them when travelling abroad.

Such a great read!
Such a great read!

The fascinating book In Private In Public the Prince and Princess of Wales by Alastair Burnet includes a look at the passports that Diana and Charles carried in the mid ’80’s (such a fun read – you can pick up a copy here.


These passports don’t appear to have a special mark showing any special diplomatic status, but if we’re mistaken please let us know in the comments!


Here’s an inside look at Diana’s passport as well; it was part of the exhibit on her life at Althorp. No  severe and boring drug store passport photo for the Princess of Wales!

Princess Diana's British passport on exhibit---as we visited the Princess Diana exhibit at the Mall of America fourth floor exhibit space with a group of English-born women that call themselves the English Mums Friday morning February 3, 2012. The exhibit was lent by Princess Diana's family and it features what is considered to be the largest collection of her personal heirlooms extant. The exhibit opens Saturday. (Pioneer Press: John Doman)
A passport photo fit for a princes (source)

Diana’s childhood passport was also included in the exhibit and I remember seeing it there on my visit to Althorp in the summer of 2001. Unfortunately the photo is teeny tiny, but I can just make out that her birthplace is listed as Sandringham, England on on 1-7-61. At this point, she would have been The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer and apparently Diana’s dad took all the photos of the Spencer siblings that were used in their passports.

So cute! (source)

We also know that William and Kate applied for a passport for Prince George in advance of their trip to Australia in 2013.  Understandably, no pictures have been published of William, Kate, or George’s passports but I do have an anecdote!

Oh, George!
Oh, George!

An acquaintance of mine worked at the Welcome Centre at the Athlete’s Village during the 2012 London Olympics. At all Olympic Athlete’s Villages, the Welcome Centre essentially functions as Customs for the village. Anyone who is not an Olympic athlete must enter through the centre and be on a pre-screened and approved list and, without exception, each visitor must bring their passport with them to be left at the Centre for the duration of their visit. Most people are great about following the rules, but William and Kate sidestepped this and just brought photocopies. The gall! The folks running the centre weren’t pleased but…they let them in.

William & Kate tour the Athlete's Village (source)
William & Kate tour the Athlete’s Village (source)


Kate visiting the Athlete’s Village on Day four of the London 2012 Summer Olympics (source)

The House of Grimaldi

When Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, she became a citizen of Monaco and decided to retain her US citizenship. This photo of her American passport surfaced on the internet – interesting that she calls herself ‘Grace Kelly Grimaldi’, right?




Prince Albert reportedly claimed dual citizenship as well, but gave it up when he turned 21. He is, however, enormously proud to have visited each and every State; he seems to bring that up in every interview with an American reporter.

The Royal Family of Denmark

There is limited information about the passport situation for Denmark’s royal family, however it is widely reported that all members of the Royal Family have diplomatic passports. We also know that when Queen Margarethe’s sons married foreigners Alexandra Manley, Mary Donaldson, and Marie Cavallier they were all given Danish citizenship. Understandably, it caused a bit of a fuss when they got to sidestep the normal channels to receive their passports.

Princes Alexandra and Prince Joachim with their sons

When  Princess Alexandra and Prince Joachim divorced, she reportedly was allowed to retain her diplomatic passport. The thinking there was that her and Prince Joachim’s sons Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix would both have diplomatic passports so it would be impractical if their mother didn’t have one as well when travelling.

The extended Danish Royal Family gathered together on Christmas Eve, (source)
The extended Danish Royal Family gathered together on Christmas Eve, 2006 (source)

Also, King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece can carry Danish diplomatic passports since they are descended from a Danish King and Queen. Members of their family, like Prince Pavolos and Princess Marie Chantal can also carry Danish passports since they are a Prince and Princess of Denmark. More details about that can be read here if you’re in the mood.

We’ll stick with those three royal families for now, but we’ll keep digging for more information and do feel free to share anything you know in the comments!

Royal Monograms

Our post awhile back on the art of royal signatures was such a hit that we thought we’d branch out and talk about royal monograms. There are just so many to choose from that we haven’t rounded up ALL of them but instead have focused on the ones that are most interesting to us.

Hopefully they’ll be the ones that are most interesting to you, too.

Diana Princesss of Wales

Let’s start with Diana, Princess of Wales

Star Editions
Diana on tour of Canada (via Star Editions)

Her monogram really stands to me since the cursive D reflects her loopy (for lack of a better word) handwriting.

Here is a sample of her writing on a KP notecard. See what I mean?

And because we’re all over this stuff, check this out. While Diana was living at Coleherne Court in the days before she became engaged to Charles, she has personalized stationary with the apartment’s address and phone number. She really appreciated proper stationery and must have really have loved that D with the coronet!.

A letter from Diana to Rain Spencer (via The Telegraph)
A letter from Diana to Raine Spencer (via The Telegraph)

Kate is up next.

The Duchess of Cambridge


I can’t help but wonder how this went down…did Catherine/Kate have a few monogramoptions presented to her before she settled on this monogram? Or was it more of a “here you go, this will be your monogram” situation? Whatever the case, it seems like that would have been a fun and surreal moment. And she got the same type of crown as Diana.

The monogram has already shown up on this special bracelet which is reported to be from Camilla thought that has not been officially confirmed. I like to think that it was a gift from Charles to both the “C” ladies in his family since the other side of the charm has Camilla’s monogram.

While we’re at it, here’s the signature Catherine has been using. Must be strange to suddenly not have to sign with a last name, right?



On to the Swedes!

King Carl Gustav

The royal family of Sweden has grand monograms that are done in gold.

Queen Silvia 

Queen Silvia seems to have a double S going on, perhaps because her maiden name was Sommerlathe?

Victoria & Daniel’s Joint Monogram

Via Hello!
Via Hello!

This is lovely.

And be still our hearts, Princess Estelle has her own webpage and monogram. Of course!

via official webpage of the Swedish Royal Family
via official webpage of the Swedish Royal Family

Obviously she needed a monogram to go with her mini Order of the Seraphim:

Princess Estelle of Sweden,
Princess Estelle of Sweden shows us how its done (via Daily Mail)

Princess Madeleine

Via Hello
Via Hello

That looks like a sprightly crown on top of that M! Her hubby doesn’t get one since he declined the title of Prince…


but Princess Leonore’s monogram was revealed at the same time as her christening, which took place on Sunday June 8, 2014. Like her cousin Estelle, Leonore now has her own page as well. Check it out here.


Oh, and Princess Leonore got her own mini Order of the Seraphim as well!

via Queens of England
Hello, World! via Queens of England

Here’s a better look.

via Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor
Having a snooze via Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor

Prince Carl Philipe

Prince Carl Philip with Prince Daniel at the Olympics
Prince Carl Philip with Prince Daniel at the Olympics

They got both the C and the P in there which must have taken some time to sort out!

Royal Family of Norway

Crown Princess Mette-Marit

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway

Double M! Love it so much we’ll ignore the rest of the Norwegian royals and move along to the Danes, ok?

Royal Family of Denmark

The Royal Family of Denmark have done a good job at making the monograms cohesive.

Mary & Frederik’s joint Monogram:

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark arrive for a religious ceremony at Nieuwe Kerk church in Amsterdam

Prince Joachim of Denmark:

This has got to be the most modern looking one of the bunch. Love it:

Princess Marie

Note how the M is different from Princess Mary’s ‘M’. Details, details!

Countess Alexandra

Countess Alexandra is the former wife of Prince Joachim and we have some more juicy on the Countess that you can read here.

Princess Alexandra in 2004
Princess Alexandra in 2004

When she and Joachim divorced, not only did she get to keep her diplomatic passport and the title of countess, but she also gets to use this delightfully regal monogram:

It’s interesting to note that this monogram is a downgrade from her original. When she was Princess, she was given this monogram with the closed crown to use (on the left). After the divorce, the monogram was revised to the open crown (on the right).

Alexandra's Monogram downgrade (via The Unofficial Countess Alexandra )
Alexandra’s Monogram downgrade (via The Unofficial Countess Alexandra )

Before we move along, I recently found these pictures of the then Princess Alexandra at Schakenborg Castle, her home with Prince Joachim. These gates were a gift from the Queen. Joachim now lives there with Princess Marie so the gates were changed to their joint cypher. More about that here.

Princess Alexandra outside the gages of Schakenborg c. 1996 (via
Princess Alexandra outside the gages of Schakenborg c. 1996 (via

Alexandra and Joachim outside those lovely gates.

(via Countess
(via Countess

Principality of Monaco

Prince Albert & Princess Charlene


Lord only knows what the deal is with these two, both they have used a joint monogram since the wedding. As far as we can tell from their official website, Princess Charlene does not have her own. Their website was recently given a sorely needed upgrade, and you can check it out here.

During the wedding celebrations, the monograph was everywhere!!! Case in point:

Princess Grace of Monaco

Princess Grace in her princess finery
Princess Grace in her princess finery

Grace Grimaldi got two G’s in her monogram.

Well that’s it for now. Anyone else share our interest in royal monograms? Hope so! 🙂

Awkward (and sometimes creepy) Royal Portraits

Our last post reminisced about some unusual and fun royal portraits and today we’re looking at some delightfully awkward and sometimes creepy ones. Let’s dive in.

Princess Marie Chantal and Prince Pavlos of Greece

These two got married on July 1, 1995 in London and chose to sit for this wedding portrait afterwards.

whatever you do, look thoroughly over this, ok? (via Tumblr)
whatever you do, look thoroughly over this, ok? (via Tumblr)

So blasé. And she’s the definition of haughty, right?

Princess Charlene of Monaco

Next up is Charlene. I get what they were going for here – but it’s just a bit much for me. Fascinating that she and Albert a) thought this was a good idea and b) signed off on it.

Princess Charlene razzle dazzle (via IB Times)
Princess Charlene razzle dazzle (via The Times Magazine)

And this one is a bit random thanks to the equestrian look – I don’t know that Charlene has ever been on a horse – but it’s a fun homage to Princess Grace. And a bit warrior princess-y to boot.

Charlene strikes a pose (via Tumblr)
Charlene strikes a pose (via Tumblr)

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

Maxima had some 40th birthday portraits taken back when she was a princess and a lot of them were lovely. Just not sure about a few of them…

I mean, I get the idea behind this one…White on white. Professional woman. Regal. All that is great. It just doesn’t look very comfortable. Maybe she needs to learn the Tyra Banks schmize trick (aka “smile with your eyes”).

Are we sitting? Leaning? (via )
Are we sitting? Leaning? (via Happy Pixels)

And this is pretty – who doesn’t love seeing spring time blossoms fluttering to the ground- but we’re talking about a future Queen here! Not someone celebrating their sweet 16. And she looks like she’s grimacing…maybe she’s not sure about this, either?

The Floral Princess (via Happy Pixels)
The Floral Princess (via Happy Pixels)

Alexandra Manley and Prince Joachim of Denmark

Alexandra Manley and Prince Joachim posed for this engagement photo in 1995. So that’s really the problem here I suppose…the oh so dated outfit and hair do on the future Princess. Otherwise it’s pretty cute!

Engagement Photo of Joachim and Alexandra (via Unofficial Countess Alexandra Page)
Engagement Photo of Joachim and Alexandra (via Unofficial Countess Alexandra Page)

Here’s another for good measure. So young!

via The Unofficial Countess Alexandra page
via The Unofficial Countess Alexandra page

The British Royal Family

We’ve posted one of these before (see here and here for more) but think it’s totally worth another visit.

I mean, this is exactly how Harry and William hoped to spend their Saturday off from school, right?

Diana with an unimpressed Harry & William (via Tumblr)
Diana with an unimpressed Harry & William (via Tumblr)

Here’s some more interesting info on the circumstances of this photo shoot with  Lord Snowdon over at The Daily Mail.

And what is the deal with this one?

Diana's Out of Africa homage? (Via Getty Images)
Diana’s Out of Africa homage? (Via Getty Images)

Seriously…what was the train of thought from “I’d like my portrait taken by Terrence Donovan” to “and I’d like to be in my Safari get up.”

This was taken by Lord Snowdon and really couldn’t be more posed!

Who wants a sandwich? Oh wait we don't have any. (via Daily Mail)
Who wants a sandwich? Oh wait we don’t have any. (via Daily Mail)

But maybe this one gets the prize? I gotta say I still love it, though.

It's so comfy to sit here reading a book (via Daily Mail)
It’s so comfy to sit here reading a book (via Daily Mail)

Love everything about this image – but why does the future Queen Mum have to be hanging out the window?

Just hanging out (Via )
Just hanging out (via The Image Works)

The Danish Royal Family

I’ve saved the best for last. This one really takes the cake, particularly because it was an official portrait of the royal family of Denmark. A LOT of effort and time went into this and when it was  released in November of 2013, it caused a stir for all the wrong reasons.

Prince Christian looks into the bleak and scary future (via )
Prince Christian looks into the bleak and scary future (via Daily Mail)

Note that the only sitters who are looking out at the viewer are the Queen and the first three in line to the throne. Princes Felix and Nikolai are hard at work on a red tower of doom. Princess Isabella rubs her hands together as she plots her next move while Prince  tries to make a run for it. Shivers!

What’s your favourite of the bunch?

Royal Visitors at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

For the London 2012 Olympics we had fun reviewing all of the royals who came out to cheer on their fellow countrymen and today we wrap up the Sochi Olympics with more of the same. What’s not to love? This is an event where even Kings and Queens have to wear credentials in the venues, jump up and down waving flags, and wear olympic uniforms.

Princess Charlene & Prince Albert

We’ll dive in with Charlene and Albert who were both there at the beginning of the games (and before this whole thing started to get attention). Take a good look at La Princesse Charlene’s credentials, which give her access to ALL venues. Not too shabby!

Charlene & her Credentials (via Zimbio)
Charlene & her Credentials (via Zimbio

They showed up at skiing where Albert showed of his Olympic gloves.

Albert & Charlene (Via Zimbio)
Albert & Charlene take in some Alpine Skiing (Via Zimbio)

This guy like them, too.

Hey, can I borrow those? (via Zimbio)
Hey, can I borrow those? (via Zimbio)

Afterwards, they congratulated Arnaud Alessandria of Monaco.

Is a camera guy getting this? Oh good. (via Zimbio)
Is a camera guy getting this? Oh good. (via Zimbio)

The Princess Royal

Moving on, Princess Anne joined other IOC members and met with Vladimir Putin before the opening of the games.

via Zimbio
via Zimbio

She paid a visit to the Athlete’s Village as well. Gotta say, those uniforms look very smart.

(Via Zimbio)
(Via Zimbio)

Much more British Olympic fun can be found here.

PS Why doesn’t Zara stage a hair intervention?? WHY?

King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden

The King and Queen of Sweden paid a short visit to Sochi and cheered on their fellow Swedes from February 14th to 16th. The visited the athlete’s village, watched the Swedish country relay team scoop of two gold medals, and took in some hockey, figure skating, and curling. Here they are meeting with Swedish figure skating champion Alexander Majarov before his competition where he ended up placing 14th and scored a personal best.


Naturally, they also got the traditional picture in front of the olympic flame.

The King, Queen, and the Flame (via kong
The King, Queen, and the Flame (via

We can’t not mention that the King and Queen first met at the 1972 Olympics in Madrid, where Silvia Sommerlath was working as an interpreter for the Olympic Organizing committee and participated in the medal ceremonies. See?

SIlvia Sommerlath presents a medal at the 1972 Olympic Games
SIlvia Sommerlath presents a medal at the 1972 Olympic Games

For more on that, check out our post here.

Crown Prince Haakon, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway

The winter Olympics are definitely Norway’s thing, so Crown Prince Haakon paid a visit from the 10th to the 14th of February (boo! Princess Mette-Marrit stayed home).

Prince Haakon takes in some skiing (via Zimbio)
Prince Haakon takes in some skiing (via Zimbio)

Flashback: Here’s Prince Haakon lighting the Olympic flame to declare the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway open.

Prince Haakon lights the flame at the opening ceremony of the Lillehamer Olympics
Prince Haakon lights the flame at the opening ceremony of the Lillehamer Olympics

The King and Queen came out later and stayed from the 17th to the 22. They flew the flag watching a biathlon event.

Wave that flag! (via Zimbio)
Wave that flag! (via Zimbio)

Hey, did you know that King Harald was an Olympian himself? Yep, he was on the Olympic Sailing team at the Tokyo ’64 games, the ’68 Mexico City Games, and finally at the ’72 Madrid Games. Much more on the Norwegian royal’s Olympic history is in our post here.

Queen Maxima

Hold on to your hats, I’ve saved the best for last. King – and Queen Maxima paid a visit to Sochi near the beginning of the games and they did not disappoint. Our favourite and most enthusiastic cheerers were decked out in orange and out in full force .

They showed up at the village riding orange bicycles.

Maxima led the way (via Hello!)
Maxima led the way (via Hello!)

They felt their athlete’s pain while watching speed skating.

(via Zimbio)
(via Zimbio)

And, just as we’ve come to expect, they really got into it when things were going well.

(Via Zimbio)
(Via Zimbio)

Oh, the joy.

via Daily Mail
via Daily Mail

This time we didn’t have the little princess’ enthusiasm which was a bummer. They must have had to stay home for school. Remember this? Heck, one little princess (Princess Ariane, I believe) was waving Maxima’s orange coat around. Can you see her?

Via Zimbio
The Dutch Royals get into the spirit – heck they ARE the spirit- at the London 2012 Games Via Zimbio

Here are some more great pics of Maxima getting into the spirit of things. As is to be expected, Princess Anne was much more sedate and Tim Laurence and the King didn’t want to get too cozy it would seem.

via Zimbio
via Zimbio

Well, that was fun. Any other favourite Olympics moments to share, royal or otherwise?

Royal January Birthdays

This year, we thought we’d write a post each month on royal birthdays (hurrah!). This won’t be a comprehensive list, instead we’ll be sticking to our favourites and we’re kicking things off with a wee prince and princess of Denmark.

Because everyone deserves a birthday tiara (via Ideas by Blog)
Because everyone deserves a birthday tiara (via Ideas by Blog)

January 8th, 2011: Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent of Denmark

To mark their third birthday, the Danish Royals released three new pictures of twins Josephine and Vincent. Cute, eh?

Bro & Sis (via )
Bro & Sis (via

The other two pictures can be seen here. Following tradition, Vincent and Jospehine’s names were not revealed until their christening day in April of 2011. Since there were two of them, a second christening gown had to be rustled up. More on that can be found here, in our post on Danish Royal Christening Gowns. It’s one of our most read posts ever!

Joesphine & Vincent's christening (via Sky News)
Joesphine & Vincent’s christening (via Sky News)

January 9: Kate Middleton aka the Duchess of Cambridge

Kate celebrated her 32nd birthday today and, just like every other year since she and William were engaged the palace simply said she was celebrating the day “privately.” So, we’re guessing there was a cake either in Kensington Palace or at Kate’s parent’s house in Berkshire.

The Birthday Girl in 2007 (via NyMag)
The Birthday Girl in 2007 (via NyMag)

The picture above was taken on January 9, 2007, as Kate made her way from her apartment to work at Jigsaw. There was a real flurry of attention on Kate that day, and lots of conjecturing that William would propose. The pressure was a bit much for William, and they borke up three months later.

Kate in a new pair of Kiki McDonough Christmas Day 2011 (via Grazia Daily)
Kate in a new pair of Kiki McDonough Christmas Day 2011 (via Grazia Daily)

As far as birthday gifts go this year, I know I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a new pair of Kiki McDonough earrings.

January 20, 1965 : Sophie, Countess of Wessex

Sophie is another January baby, and it turns out that some good people out there have been making and selling mugs to commemorate the big day. Seriously! This one marks her 35th Birthday:

Sophie's 35th Birthday Mug (via eBay)
Sophie’s 35th Birthday Mug (via eBay)

Whoever made it should have perhaps done a bit more research. They thought that Edward and Sophie are the Count and Countess of Wessex…whoops!

Count and Countess of Wessex! (via eBay)
Count and Countess of Wessex! (via eBay)

This mug is for the big 4-0, Both of these mugs are currently available on eBay, if you’re interested!

Sophie's Birthday Mug (via eBay)
Sophie’s Birthday Mug (via eBay)

January 20, 1973: Mathilde, Queen of Belgium

For her birthday last year, she was a Princess. Then the King abdicated and now she’s a Queen. Also, she is only nine years older than Kate. Funny, eh? She seems so much older (in a good way!). Anyhow, to mark her 40th birthday last year, Mathilde did a little better than a mug. She got an official stamp. And it’s gorgeous.

Classy! (via Pinterest)
Classy! (via Pinterest)

She also released this birthday portrait:

Awesome Birthday Portrait (via )
Awesome Birthday Portrait (via My Royals)

January 25, 1978 : Princess Charlene of Monaco

Princess Charlene is turning 36 this year, so she’s just four years older than Kate and five years younger than Queen Mathilde.

Albert & Charlene Christmas 2013 (via The Prince's Palace)
Albert & Charlene Christmas 2013 (via The Prince’s Palace)

I don’t know why I find this so fascinating, I just do. Anyway, who knows what she’ll be up to this year – Charlene is such a wild card – but my guess is she’ll be getting home to South Africa to see her family.

January 31, 1938: Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.

The last birthday girl of the month is Princess Beatrix. Last year her birthday came before her abdication so she celebrated as a Queen, and this year I’m sure her family will treat her like one.

Beatrix & her Grandkids (via Ready for Royalty)
Beatrix & her Grandkids (via Ready for Royalty)

Happy Birthday to all the royal ladies and Prince Vincent. So, who’s buying that mug???

PS Happy Birthday, Big Pete! & KSTA:)

Royal Christmas Cards from Monaco

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Here’s another taken that year:

Learning to ski
Learning to ski (via Grace Film)


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

I love this photo that Howell took, too.

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

And this one.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Jackie Kennedy & Princess Grace

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

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

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

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

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

They both wore adorable jackets and hats

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jackie’s wedding took place on September 12, 1953

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

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

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

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

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

In the interview she recalls:

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

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


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

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

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

Via Tumblr
Via Tumblr

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

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

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

It all looks quite delightful, no?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the mood for more Grace? Here you go:

The Queen & Jackie Kennedy

For this two-part series, I thought it would be fun to look at Jackie Kennedy’s relationships with both Grace Kelly and the Queen. I’ve unearthed a few interesting  tidbits that you may not have heard before, and I’d love to hear any others you may have up your sleeves! We’ll start with Jackie and Queen Elizabeth, and the next post will be all about Grace.

Back in 1951, Jackie Bouvier was hired by the Washington Times-Herald as the “Inquiring Camera Girl” for $42.50 per week. Amongst her many assignments was to cover Dwight D. Eisenhower’s inauguration and to travel to London to cover the Queen’s Coronation, which was held on June 2 of 1953. Jackie’s articles covered her voyage to London, what the mood was like in the city, and of course the big event itself. If I’m able to unearth any of those actual articles, I’ll be sure to post them!

Her stance says "Let's do this!" (via
Her stance says “Let’s do this!” (via

We know that Jack Kennedy proposed right when Jackie got back to the States, and she resigned from her newspaper job the next day. The Washington Times Herald announced the engagement on June 24, 1953 and the wedding was held on September 12. Very speedy!

So now let’s skip ahead to June 4, 1961 – exactly eight years and two days after the Queen’s coronation. That evening, Jackie and Jack dined with The Queen and Prince Philip at Buckingham palace and as far as I can tell in this picture, both ladies seemed pretty delighted and like they were having a wonderful time.

So happy! (via Tumbler)
So happy! (via Pinterest)

(Side Note: The blue shantung dress Jackie wore is now held at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum and can be viewed here.)

However, apparently there was quite a bit of haggling that went into the guest list and consequently the evening was pretty frosty. The story goes that Queen was reticent to invite Jackie’s sister Princess Lee Radziwill since she was a divorcee (shocking, I know) but eventually relented. However, the Queen then vetoed Princess Margaret and Princess Marina from the guest list since they had both been requested by Jackie.

Smile for the cameras! Via Pinterest
Smile for the cameras! Via Pinterest

An article in Reader’s Digest gives some more insight into Jackie’s memories of the evening.

The queen had her revenge,” she confides to Gore Vidal. “No Margaret, no Marina, no one except every Commonwealth minister of agriculture they could find.” Jackie also tells Vidal that she found the queen “pretty heavy going.” (When Vidal repeats this to Princess Margaret some years later, the princess loyally explains, “But that’s what she’s there for.”)

Over dinner, Jackie continues to feel awkward, even persecuted. “I think the queen resented me. Philip was nice, but nervous. One felt absolutely no relationship between them.”

The queen asks Jackie about her visit to Canada. Jackie tells her how exhausting she found being on public view for hours on end. “The queen looked rather conspiratorial and said, ‘One gets crafty after a while and learns how to save oneself.’ ” According to Vidal (who is prone to impose his own thoughts on others), Jackie considers this the only time the queen seems remotely human.

After dinner, the queen asks Jackie if she’d like to see “some pictures.” Yes, says Jackie, she certainly would. The queen takes her for a stroll down a long gallery in the palace. They stop in front of a Van Dyck. The queen says, “That’s a good horse.” Yes, agrees Jackie, that is a good horse. From Jackie’s account, this is the extent of their contact with one another, but others differ. Dinner at Buckingham Palace, writes Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in his diary that night, is “very pleasant.”

That’s a good horse??!! Too funny. The visit was just four months after JFK’s inauguration, so Jackie was still getting into the swing of things.

Nine months later, she returned to London and stayed with her sister Lee, who lived just four blocks south of Buckingham Palace. The Queen asked both Jackie and Lee to lunch which seems to me like a very nice thing to do, and they accepted. Here they are heading out the door on March 28, 1962:

Jackie & Lee Head to the Palace (via )
Jackie & Lee Head to the Palace (via Architectural Digest)

When they returned, reporters asked Jackie about the visit and we have video of it here:


Jackie was very diplomatic and tells reporters, “I don’t feel I should say anything about it except how thankful I am and how charming she was.”

If only we could hear what Jackie and Lee’s conversation was once they were inside! I love how Jackie went from reporting the coronation to being a guest at the palace as First Lady, and it does seem like in the end all was well.

What do you think – was there no love lost?

Royalty at the Kentucky Derby

Yesterday marked the 139th Kentucky Derby and a horse named Orb claimed the top prize after a muddy and spirited race. Here’s a quick look at my Derby festivities:

photoWatching it all go down got me thinking about what royals have attended over the years, so I did a bit of a digging! Let’s take a look.

Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1963

This photograph was taken at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia in April 1963, shortly before Prince Rainier made his way to Lexington where he watched a horse named Chateaugay win the Race for the Roses.

The West Virginia Encyclopedia
The West Virginia Encyclopedia

They all look ever so chic. It seems that Princess Grace and Albert and Caroline were visiting with Grace’s family in Philadelphia while the Prince enjoyed the Derby solo. This must explain why photos of the Prince in the stands are hard to come by…naturally, if Grace had been there there would have been several iconic shots.

Princess Margaret in 1974

Just under ten years later, Princess Margaret and her then husband the Earl of Snowdon paid a visit to the Derby. Margaret is pictured below awarding prizes and the Earl is in the dark suit to the right of the photograph.

Via The International Museum of the Horse
Via The International Museum of the Horse

This trip was part of a larger State Visit to Canada and the United States for the couple. It also included a stop in Winnipeg, where she celebrated the city’s centennial and handed out citizenship certificates to new Canadians, and New York City, where she dined with dignitaries at the Waldorf Astoria.

Prince Albert of Monaco in 2002

Prince Albert seems to have made up for his missed trip in 1963 by attending the Derby in 2002.

Hello Magazine
Hello Magazine

Yeah, that’s far from an awesome photo, but it’s all that could be found. Seriously! So, in lieu of a great photo, I give you this bit of trivia:

Prince Albert claims to be the only Prince out there to have visited all 50 of the United States. Yeah, that’s right.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 2007

In more recent memory, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were guests of honor at the Derby in 2007 during a State Visit to the USA. This must have been a natural choice for the trip since the Queen has had a life long love of horses and horse racing.


During her visit, she walked through the trophy room to admire the prizes:


Fortunately for us, this stop has also been immortalized in the 2007 documentary ‘The Royal Family At Work.’ I recall there was quite a kerfuffle around making sure they got the right photos of the Queen at the Derby…it was a case of making it happen without annoying her. As I recall in the end they were only quasi-successful.

After the race, the Queen made a bit of a covert trip and snuck out of a side entrance. Here is some coverage of the event from a local news station.

Princess Haya & Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum (Prime Minister of Dubai and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates) in 2009

Via PA, taken at Ascot 2010
Via PA, taken at Ascot 2010
Princess Haya of Jordan is the Sheikh’s second wife and a very successful equestrian. Amidst her many other accomplishments, we discussed how she is a former Olympian in a past post which can be found here.
For his part, the Sheikh is a major player in the world of horse racing and breeding. According to NBC Sports, he has said that
“A love for horses runs in my blood,” Sheikh Mohammed has said. “Don’t forget that horses have been bred for centuries by Arabic tribes, they were used for hunting and fighting and they symbolize our history. Horse riding is more than merely sitting on a horse’s back. It is nobility and chivalry.”
Upstart Business Journal
Upstart Business Journal
Gainsborough Farms in Kentucky is one of the many stables he owns, and in 2009 he and Princess Haya attended the race to see two of his horses, Regal Ransom and Desert Party, take to the field.
A photo of the couple at that event are hard to come by, but one can be seen here. The Princess is standing behind the Sheikh.
In the end Regal Ransom came in 10th and Desert Party placed 19th, so his desire to win the Kentucky Derby continues.

Maybe next year?

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?