Royal Stamps

It’s no secret that royal and postage stamps often go together, but sometimes the results are a little more fun than others. Here’s a round up of some royal stamps that stand out, regardless of whether you are a stamp collector or not (I most definitely am not, though many attempts at stamp collecting were made in my youth).

Princess Amalia, Princess Alexia & Princess Ariane

First up is the delightful young princesses of the Netherlands. A series of stamps was issued in 2012 featuring the 3 daughters of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange (she goes by Amalia) is next in line to be Queen followed by Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane, the youngest.

via

 

By the way, this photograph was released earlier this month to mark Princess Amalia’s 11th birthday of December 7th.

The Birthday Girl (via Hello!)
The Birthday Girl (via Hello!)

She posed with her two sisters as well – their parents refer to them as ‘the triple A’s.

The girls (via Hello!)
The girls (via Hello!)

Crown Princess Frederick, Crown Princess Mary & Prince Christian

We have another young future ruler next. Princess Christian, the future King of Denmark, made his stamp debut at the age of 14 months with his parents. The three of them are wearing Greenlandic costume (Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark0. Mary’s colourful outfit was a wedding present she’d received back in 2004 . This stamp is part of a charitable fundraising program in Denmark that dates back to 1921.

Hello World! (via Australian News)
Hello World! (via Australian News)

Queen Elizabeth II

Royal Mail released this sweet stamp to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th birthday in 2006. 8 stamps were issued, one for each decade, and each featured an informal photograph.

(via Postal Heritage)
Two Elizabeths (via Postal Heritage)

I love this one, too. It was taken during a relaxed moment on the Royal Yacht Brittania in 1972.

Just so much fun (via Postal Heritage)
Just so much fun (via Postal Heritage)

 

Crown Prince Haakon & Crown Princess Mette-Marit

A little more on the formal side, these stamps  were released in  celebration of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s  40th birthdays in 2013 (they were born just under a month apart). The series also included a shot of Crown Princely Family as well as one of the King of Norway with his son and granddaughter.

(via )
So glossy! (via posten.no)

Here’s a bit of a closer look at the family photos (apologies that they are so tiny!)

(via )

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge

This shot taken during William & Kate’s Australia tour is now a stamp in Australia. That’s the dress William told Kate she looked like a banana in..but hey it makes for a cheerful stamp!

(via Pinterest)
(via Pinterest)

So which is your favourite? I vote for the laughing Queen shot from 1972 🙂

Royal April Birthdays

Whoops, it’s May 1st and we had this post sitting in the drafts folder…and promptly forgot about it. But no matter, without further ado, here are the birthdays of three Kings, two Queens, a Grand Duke, and two young princesses.

April 10, 2007: Princess Ariane of the Netherlands

Ariane is the youngest daughter of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, so she is currently third in line to succession after her two older sisters Amalia (the future Queen of the Netherlands) and Alexia.

Here she is arriving for her baptism on October 20, 2007. Her gown is gorgeous but OMG those matching purple capes!

(via People)
(via People)

Her official page  lists a range of interests including piano, ballet and judo.

April 15 1960: King Philippe of Belgium

King Philippe is a bit of a snooze to me (his wife Queen Mathilde is SO much more interesting) but it seems unfair not to include him. Here he is with his family (daughters Elisabeth and Eleonore and sons Gabriel and Emmanuel) after he was made King in July 2013.

via The Royal Correspondant
via The Royal Correspondant

and pssst…they totally took some inspiration from the adorable matching princesses of the Netherlands during their dad’s coronation, right?

Hello, World! (via Hello!)
Hello, World! (via Hello!)

April 16, 1955: Henri Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Next up is King Philippe’s first cousin, Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (his mom Princess Josephine of Belgium was the sister of King Albert the I, Philippe’s dad). Funny that they are five years and a day apart.

The Grand Duke & Duchess at their son's wedding (via Zimbio)
The Grand Duke & Duchess at their son’s wedding (via Zimbio)

Henri’s wife Grand Duchess Maria Theresa is also much, much more interesting to me but there was quite a scandal last summer when the Luxembourg government resigned so perhaps they aren’t as dull as I’d thought. More here.

April 16, 1940: Queen Margrethe of Denmark 

Next up is Queen Margrethe, aka Daisy! You just gotta love her quirky sense of style and how she is not afraid of colour, especially bright shades of green.

Fresh as a daisy (Via Bilder Bilder)
Fresh as a daisy (Via Bilder Bilder)

And fuschia, too.

At Prince Frederik and Mary's wedding in 2004 (via Meusa)
At Prince Frederick and Mary’s wedding in 2004 (via Meusa)

Here she is with our next birthday girl at Windsor Castle in May 2012.

I spy 4 Queens (via The Telegraph)
I spy five Queens (via The Telegraph)

April 21, 1926: Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth was born at the home of her maternal grandparents the Earl and Countess of Strathmore, 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London (their other home was Glamis Castle). Sadly, the house was demolished. You can check out the Google Street View for 17 Bruton Street by clicking here and it’s clearly NOT a beautiful home. Sigh.

Anyhow, when she was born she was known as Princess Elizabeth of York and there was no expectation that she would one day be queen. How cute is this photo?

Now there's a pram (via Entpulse)
Now there’s a pram (via Entpulse)

This one at Balmoral Castle takes the cake, though. I think we need a picture of the Queen, Prince George, and Kate right there. Please make that happen this summer.

With her mum and Granny at Balmoral (via Entplulse)
With her mum and Granny at Balmoral (via Entplulse)

April 21, 2007: Princess Isabella of Denmark

Princess Isabella is the second child of Prince Frederick and Princess Mary which makes her third in line to the throne (after her dad and brother). Her official page can be found here.

Isabella’s birth was celebrated with a 21-gun salute. She was christened on July 1, 2007  and in keeping with tradition, her name was not revealed until that day. There was a bit of controversy around it because Isabella isn’t a common name in the Danish family, and of course there’s the whole Twilight of it all. Anyway, they did jam in a bunch of traditional middle names – Isabella’s full name is Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe.  Oh, and one of her godmothers is Queen Mathilde of Belgium – not too shabby!.

Princess Isabella on her christening day (via Kongehuset.net)
Princess Isabella on her christening day (via Kongehuset.net)

Big brother Prince Christian watched the proceedings from his own little chair.

Prince Christian at 20 months old at his sister's christening (via AussieBubbleBlog)
Prince Christian at 20 months old at his sister’s christening (via AussieBubBlog)

Side Note: Princess Estelle did the same at her aunt Princess Madeleine’s wedding.

Where's your throne? (via Hello!)
Where’s your throne? (via Hello!)

This photo shows both sets of grandparents. Mary’s dad John Donaldson (a math professor) is standing behind her with her step mom Susan (a writer). You can’t miss Queen Margrethe standing next to Prince Henrik in her floral frock and matching hat. More details on the Danish christening gowns can be found here.

Family Christening Photo
Family Christening Photo

This photo was released to mark her 6th birthday. Check out the silver shoes!

(Via Kongehuset)
(Via Kongehuset)

April 27, 1967: King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands

Willem-Alexander is another royal made infinitely more interesting thanks to his wife – in this case, the amazing Queen Maxima. When she married him, he went up in everyone’s estimation.

Willem-Alexander gets upstaged by Maxima because of course (via Zimbio)
Willem-Alexander gets upstaged by Maxima because of course (via Zimbio)

Searching for some fun fact about him, I discovered that he is a trained pilot and to keep up his hours he flies a KLM plane or the royal family’s plane. Love that (plus it sounds like Prince William may be doing the same). Another fun fact: now that he has become king, he is the youngest monarch in Europe.  He and Maxima are the best – rain or shine they show up to support and smile the whole time Check out some more amazing shots showing their enthusiasm at different Olympic Games over the years here and here.

Rain or Shine! (via
Rain or Shine! (via Zimbio)

 

April 30, 1946: King XVI Carl Gustaf of Sweden

Rounding out April’s royal birthday’s we have yet another royal man who’s wife just seems so much more interesting. He became king on September 15, 1973 at the age of 27 and married Silvia Sommerlath (who he met at the 1972 Olympics) in June 1976.

The Wedding Day (via )
The Wedding Day (via Kungahuset.se)

The night before the wedding, ABBA performed Dancing Queen for the first time(!) for the couple, in tribute to the future Queen. In more recent years, he weathered the publication of a book that alleged a myriad of things (click here for the details).  Despite all that, they keep trucking along.

The Swedish Royal Family (via )
The Swedish Royal Family (via Zimbio)

Happy belated birthday to them all.

 

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.

140214-DDMM-OS-dag-1-foto-SOK

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 kungahuset.se)

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 Ladies Who Open Their Closets…

Who doesn’t love a little thriftiness? This post is all about royals who’ve popped up wearing something that looks a little familiar or who’ve shared their clothes with friends or relatives.

Queen Silvia & Princess Madeleine

We’re going to start with this especially frothy example. As you probably recall, Princess Madeleine had a gorgeous custom Valentino wedding gown that she wore for her wedding ceremony in June of 2013. She also wore this gown for the  reception.

via Hello!
Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill via Hello!

What many royal watchers may not have realized is that after some dancing, Madeleine took out her updo, put her hair down, and changed  into this sparkly tulle gown.

Madeleine and Chris outside their wedding reception
Madeleine outside her wedding reception (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)

Thankfully kept her tiara in place.

So happy! (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)
So happy! (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)

Some eagle eyes noticed that this dress had been previously seen on Queen Silvia. She first wore it in December of 2001 to the Nobel Prize ceremony.

Queen Silvia in her fairytale gown in 2001 (via Hello!)
Queen Silvia in her fairytale gown in 2001 (via Hello!)

I’m thinking that Madeleine clocked that dress back then and filed it away as the perfect reception dress, and then  her mom pulled it out for her 12 years later. Cute, eh?

Queen Maxima & Princess Aimee

And now onto another Queen. In the spring of 2013 after the investiture of King Willem-Alexander and Queen  Maxima,  our friend AMD flagged that Maxima had loaned one of her gowns for her cousin-in-law Princess Aimee to wear to the big event.

Back when Maxima was expecting Princess Ariane, she wore this lovely flowy gown (far left) and she REALLY blinged it out, right? Gorgeous.

A few royal maternity gowns (via Hello!)
A few royal maternity gowns (via Hello!)

She then he pulled it out of her closet for Aimee, the wife of Prince Floris ( Willem-Alexander’s cousin) to wear to the investiture on April 30,2013. You’ve just got to love Queen Maxima for thinking to do this. Princess Aimee’s son Willem was born on July 1, 2013.

Princess Aimee (via Zimbio)
Princess Aimee (via Zimbio)

I like how Aimee incorporated a little patriotic orange into the outfit with her accessories, too.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

Princess Victoria must have a HUGE closet of gowns, and she has been very generous over the years loaning them out to friends. The delightful blog Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour has a great post showing some fun examples which you can check out here.

These are my favourite examples. Check out how the pink and green dresses were given a new look:

Princess Victoria has a lot of dresses and isn't afraid to share 'em (via Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour)
Princess Victoria has a lot of dresses and isn’t afraid to share ’em (via Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour)

Princess Diana’s Hand Me Downs

Diana was also very generous when it came to giving away her old clothes. One of my favourite examples is this green polka dotted number that Diana wore to the races in the late ’80’s. Diana never did meet a polka dot she didn’t like.

68441648a3b89eebc27bfb044b5eff86

She later passed the suit and hat on to her sister Sarah, who is shown here wearing it to a wedding in 1990. That’s a whole lot of look!

Diana & Sarah & polkadots (via Pinterest)
Diana & Sarah & polkadots (via Pinterest)

Check out this fun Pinterest page for oodles of more examples of different outfits that Diana either loaned or gave out.

Perhaps Diana got this generous spirit from her mom Frances. In this group portrait taken at the reception of Lady Sarah’s wedding to Neil McCorquodale, Frances is wearing this floaty green frock.

Lady Sarah's wedding portrait
Lady Sarah’s wedding portrait

Sarah must have really liked it since she wore the same dress to Lady Diana’s 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. See?

What a group!
What a group!

As we mentioned in our post on Emily McCorquodale’s wedding, Sarah wasn’t always just being the recipient of loans. She generously lent her pearl choker to Diana to wear with her going away outfit after the reception, so Sarah had to head home from the reception without it. I wish there was a picture of Sarah handing it over. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Diana in Sarah's pearl choker after her wedding reception
Diana in Sarah’s pearl choker after her wedding reception

Kate, Pippa, and Carole

A little over two years ago (time flies!), we wrote a post on how Kate and Pippa have shown up wearing the same clothes over the years. We’ve unearthed some more occasions where this has happened.

Like the time when Pippa showed up to a wedding in the Katherine Hooker jacket that Kate has worn numerous times over the years, most famously for her first official engagement when she christened a life boat in Angelesy:

Well it IS a nice coat (via )
Well it IS a nice coat (via Elements Boutique)

And then of course there’s the the time in March 2012 that Kate showed up to an engagement in the same circa 2008 blue Reiss dress that Carole had previously worn to Ascot:

Kate & Carole in Reiss (via Parade.com)
Kate & Carole in Reiss (via Parade.com)

Kate and Carole also both took a shine to this pretty red Colette Dinnigan dress that Kate wore to a wedding in September of 2011:

(via Fashion Spot)
(via Fashion Spot)

 

So, who are your faves here? I’ll stick with the Swedes – Victoria and Silvia tie for first place as Best Gown Lenders.

The Abdication, Investiture & River Pageant

Well, that was fun.

Starting from the top, let’s recap yesterday’s events beginning with the abdication which took place yesterday morning. Queen Beatrix officially passed over the reigns by signing the Act of Abdication, at which point her title changed to Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Here’s Willem-Alexander signing next:

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands passes the act of abdication to her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander next to his wife Crown Princess Maxima during a ceremony at the Royal Palace in AmsterdamImmediately afterwards, the trio headed out to the balcony to acknowledge the crowds. I love this little moment here. They seem like such a warm family, and like Princess Beatrix has every faith in these two:

Getty Images

After a short while, Princess Beatrix left and out came the new Princess of Orange (Princess Amalia) along with her sisters Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane. This was the first set of adorable matching outfits they were during the day. And check out the oranges in the garland – nice touch!

article-2316988-198D92C0000005DC-276_964x673

As a quick little sidebar, here we have photo of the then Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret with their parents at King George VI’s coronation. Ever so much more formal but still adorable:

Unknown

The Investiture!

The formal investiture of the new King came next, and the guests arrived looking ever so smart. Here are a few observations.

Royal Guests with Dutch Orders

A wonderful royal tradition is that for events like this, you bring the highest order of merit with you that you have received from the country you are visiting. It is worn as a mark of respect, so naturally there were several orange sashes on display.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles followed this traditions is shown here arriving wearing the Order of the Crown, which is awarded to “foreigners who have rendered special service to the Dutch King or his House.”

I have been debating whether Camilla is wearing a Dutch order as well, but I’m thinking is the Order of the Victorian Cross. There is no record of her having received a Dutch Order as of yet. Does anyone disagree?

article-2317157-198FAABD000005DC-161_312x487

While we’re on the subject of Prince Charles, how strange must it be to be a mere ten years younger than the Queen who is abdicating? Plus, he attended Beatrix’s investiture 33 years ago as the Prince of Wales. I really think the Dutch have a smart abdication situation going here. Perhaps Prince William will agree when it is his turn.

Crown Princess Mathilde and Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium

article-2317157-198ED3E0000005DC-408_312x442

Princess Mathilde and Prince Philippe both showed up in the Order of Orange-Nassau. This order is intended for those who have “earned special merits for society.”

Mathilde also went for a bold hat choice, but I like it. And the orange sash and the dress work! Not always an easy thing to co-ordinate, as you can imagine.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway:

article-2316988-198E9B80000005DC-696_470x735

Mette-Marit also has the Grand Cross of Orange-Nassau and Haakon has the Grand Cross with Swords of the Order of Orange Nassau.

I know Mette-Marit’s dress has been getting some criticism for looking like wall paper and her hair ornament for looking like a hair net, but I like ’em!

Prince Felipe of Spain

Prince Felipe is in the Dutch Order club, too. It must have been granted to him during a state visit before Princess Letizia’s time since she doesn’t have one yet.

adaa2057-e8ac-490c-88e9-903c148695e5

Some other Royal Guests:

I had such high hopes for Mary after last night’s gorgeous dress. What happened here? It’s very ’70’s hippy dippy and her sash for the Order of the Elephant just makes it all too busy.  If we didn’t have all the flowers going on, it might be ok.

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

I suppose Victoria doesn’t care that whoever sits behind her won’t be able to see a darn thing. She does look lovely, though:

article-2317157-198ED244000005DC-305_312x442

The Ceremony

A great pic of some of the royal guests. Princess Masako made it! And her husband Crown Prince Naruhito is shown wearing the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of the Netherlands, so he’s in the club, too.

article-2317157-198E51FC000005DC-261_964x628-1What’s with the stink face, Albert? And pssst…see? We don’t even get a glimpse of the poor guest behind Victoria’s hat.

The King and Queen of the Netherlands

They certainly looked regal and did their jobs well.

0,,16781731_303,00Maxima opted for a blue gown instead of orange, and who would blame her when you have the Mellerio Sapphire Tiara is in the vault? This is the first time she has publicly worn this piece. It seems it’s on reserve for Queens only.

Getty Images

-EPA

I just LOVE the Maxima’s whole ensemble. The sash for the Order of the Netherlands Lion looks divine tucked under the little belt. The cape is so classy, and the perfect Queenly accompaniment to King Willem-Alexander’s ermine cape. Check it out in action here:

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima leave Nieuwe Kerk church after the religious crowning ceremony in Amsterdam

And here we have the other ladies in blue:

rincess Beatrix and her granddaughters in Nieuwe Kerk Photo © ANP
Princess Beatrix and her granddaughters in Nieuwe Kerk
Photo © ANP

Afterwards, there was a Royal Group Photo for the history books:

9005dcde-7146-4239-b088-1d6c292ebed7

Who gets to stand where is so fascinating to me. Is the pride of those on the outskirts wounded or are they just happy to be there? Notably, Prince Charles got a spot of honour next to Queen Maxima!

The River Pageant

And then it was time for another change of clothes and off to the river:

_67336762_67336761

It all got a thumbs up from Maxima:

7bbef758-7bfc-4e49-854e-8ac5be6008f1

What wins it all for me is the capes. OMG the capes. It’s like they are about to go to traipsing into the hills:

article-2316988-198FCC6F000005DC-393_964x1184

Happiness! Princess Mette-Marit got on the cape bandwagon, too:

article-2317157-198FB3AA000005DC-828_470x655

And so did Princess Beatrix:

article-2316988-198FDE36000005DC-187_964x819

To end, Princess Mary showed up in a festive red, much improved from earlier in the day:

01e4369a-7fcb-4b57-9740-e837d8432b44

So? Was that fun or what? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Queen Beatrix's Dinner & Orange, Orange Everywhere

Now that it’s all over the fun begins for us! This is a heavy post, with another one to follow recapping today’s events.

Thanks to our guest Royal Poster who is on the ground in Amsterdam, we have a wonderful look at the festivities that have been underway. Let’s get started.

Things were looking a little grey and blustery yesterday, but those banners certainly brightened things up!

P1070007

Here’s a closer look at one of the banners. A clever use of Willem-Alexander’s initials, no?

P1070014

The window shops are orange galore:

P1070003

Here’s a closer look. The little tags are well wishes for the royal family from all over the Kingdom:

P1070001
DSCF0109

And of course there are lots of orange goodies for sale!

P1070019

Check these out:

P1070022

P1070035

P1070038

P1070018
DSCF0089 DSCF0091

And how great are these books?

DSCF0085

DSCF0097

DSCF0111

Amidst all of that, the festivities kicked off with dinner last night at the newly renovated Rijksmuseum.

The Power Trio

Queen  Beatrix looked her regal best as she arrived with Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima. In keeping with the desire to keep the celebration on the frugal side, Maxima chose to wear a tiered Valentino gown previously worn to Prince Charles’ 60th party five years ago. A nice touch.

Reuters 
Reuters

Naturally, Maxima was also decked out in the Diamond Bandeau Tiara which seems to be a favourite of the many she has at her disposal.

Oodles of other royals were there decked out in their finery. Here are a few that stood out to me.

Solo Princes: Naruhito and Albert

366428-crown-princess-victoria-c-of-sweden-her-husband-prince-daniel-l-and-cr

– Reuters

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel walked in with Prince Naruhito of Japan, who was not accompanied by Crown Princess Masako. Officials had advised that the princess may not attend all events and that it would depend on her condition on the day (Princess Masako was diagnosed with a stress-induced illness over a decade ago and until now hadn’t been out of Japan on official business since then). Princess Masako did make it to the investiture today, however, which I was happy to see.

ReutersReuters

Another solo prince, Prince Albert, walked in with Luxembourg’s Hereditary Grand Duke Guillame and Princess Stephanie, who was wearing her go-to designer Elie Saab. What’s up with Princess Charlene not making an appearance? Could she really not fit this important event into her schedule? Hmmm….hope all is well with her.

Best Dressed

In my humble opinion, the two best dressed ladies of the evening were Crown Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

Let’s look at Mathilde first. I’m not normally into one-shouldered looks, but this dress works. We have a beautiful silvery satin which perfectly offsets her Laurel wreath tiara and brooch. That brooch elevates everything, but the piece de resistance is that the skirt opens up into a not-too-short but not-too-long train. Lovely!

366438-belgian-crown-prince-philippe-r-and-his-wife-crown-princess-mathilde-a

-Reuters

Not onto Crown Princess Mary. The neckline and drape of the skirt is so elegant, but it’s that satin belt at the tiniest part of the waist that wins it for me. Flawless!

princess-mary--z

-Reuters

Was another lady on your best dressed list?

Seating Arrangements

Now onto the dinner itself. I feel like we haven’t gotten a chance to get such an inside look at royals at dinner since Princess Victoria’s wedding (when the whole thing was amazingly streamed live) so this was all kinds of awesome.

What a gorgeous view for Beatrix, who was seated next to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte:

Queen Beatrix Of The Netherlands Hosts A Dinner Ahead Of Her AbdicationCan’t get enough of those flowers! Here’s another view:

Queen Beatrix Of The Netherlands Hosts A Dinner Ahead Of Her Abdication

-Getty Images

Certainly a night for the memory books. Next up will be the Abdication and Investiture.

Many thanks again to our guest Royal Poster A-MD!

Countdown to the Abdication and Investiture

Are you excited yet?

With the official investiture and abdication events about to begin in Amsterdam on April 29th, we are in final count down mode for serious jewels, fanfare, and of course lots more of this delightful trio:

max3

Lucky for us, we have a guest Royal Poster on the ground in Amsterdam who is sending us all sorts of information and pictures we’ll be sharing with you.

To begin, here are 5 things about the abdication and investiture that may have skipped your attention.

5. Orange, Orange Everywhere

Fittingly, Amsterdam is now totally decked out in orange for the big event. Just about everything is orange, including a bakery that has all orange goods in the window, and of course there are all sorts of souvenirs on sale.

Gotta love these orange hats and crowns:

Orange Hats

And they even have  orange beer!

Orange Wine

Who thinks Maxima’s gown on Tuesday will be anything other than a shade of orange?? Any takers?

Here are some of the orange creations she has worn in the past.

She’s goes formal:

Prince+Willem+Alexander+Maxima+40th+birthday+aGzi4ZVIEPJl

And summery:

07102443

And casual chic:

Princess Maxima Attends Concert with the Dutch Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in London

And wedding guest lovely:

images-1

Naturally her engagement ring is orange, too.

4. Sports Day was Celebrated Today

The future King and Queen had their last official engagement today before the festivities begin. They joined in the celebration of King’s Sports Day, which involved 1.3 million children in the Netherlands and the Caribbean dressed in various shades of our new favourite colour. This was all in good fun to celebrate the upcoming investiture.

maxima-willem-2--z

3. The King Doesn’t Expect to Be Addressed as “Your Majesty”

This is not a couple that is stuck on protocol and they certainly seem to be very forward-thinking and fun. This has got to be one of my favourite pictures of them, from their visit to the London 2012 Olympic Games:

princess-maxima1--a

Are we catching or tossing the flowers? I don’t know, but it looks like a hoot.

As Willem-Alexander said in an interview earlier this month “People can address me any way they see fit. I’m not obsessed with protocol. I will be king, but also a human being.” 

Maxima agreed, saying “People in the street call me Maxima. At the end of the day, it’s not that important to be called princess or queen. The important thing is the title we represent.” 

2. The future Princess of Orange is All Over it:

Prince+Willem+Alexander+Netherlands+family+LNxED5cCPlhl

Another Dutch Royal who gets a title change is the new King and Queen’s oldest daughter Princess Catharina-Amalia. She becomes Her Royal Highness the Princess of Orange once the Queen abdicates. However, this title will not be made formal until she is 18 and enters the State Council. Until then, she will only be seen at occasional official events and in birthday portraits like this one:

amalia-birthday-11-300x225

According to Williem-Alexander, she is well aware of the fact that she is next in line and is all over it. “She has even asked me how long I think to be King, as to be able to mark the date in her agenda” 

You can check out our post on this lovely princess here.

1. The King’s Titles & The Royal House
Once he becomes King, Willem-Alexander’s full list of titles will be as follows:
1. King of the Netherlands
2. Prince of Orange-Nassau
3. Jonkheer van Amsberg
4. Count of KatzenelnbogenVianden, Diez, Spiegelberg, Buren, Leerdam and Culemborg 5. Marquis of Veere and Vlissingen
6. Baron of Breda, Diest, Beilstein, the town of Grave and the lands of Cuyk, IJsselstein, Cranendonk, Eindhoven and Liesveld
7. Hereditary Lord and Seigneur of Ameland
8. Lord of Borculo, Bredevoort, Lichtenvoorde, ‘t Loo, Geertruidenberg, Klundert, Zevenbergen, Hoge and Lage Zwaluwe, Naaldwijk, Polanen, St Maartensdijk, Soest, Baarn and Ter Eem, Willemstad, Steenbergen, Montfort, St Vith, Bütgenbach and Dasburg
9. Viscount of Antwerp.
Do you have all that? Good.
Upon the abdication, the Royal House also changes. The following members of the royal family will no longer be officially part of the Royal House:
  • Prince Maurits, Prince Bernhard and their wives
  • The children of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien

The Royal House will no consist of only the following:

  • The King and Queen and their children
  • Princess Beatrix
  • Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien
  • Princess Margriet and Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven
Before we go, A Quick Peak at the Official Events

Monday, April 29th Dinner 

Queen Beatrix will be spending her last night as Queen hosting a dinner for fellow royals at the newly re-opened Rijksmuseum. Let’s hope that the royal jewel vaults will be opened and the sparkliest pieces will be dusted off to come out for the evening.

Tuesday, April 30th Abdication and Investiture

The Abdication will be held at the Moseszaal of the Royal Palace Amsterdam, and once Beatrix has signed documents giving her assent she will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands. Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima become His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima.

A more detailed rundown of events can be read at the Dutch Royal Family’s official website here.

More news as we get it! Enjoy the celebrations.

Queen Beatrix's Abdication

Wow – big news out of the Netherlands today. As you’ve probably heard by now, Queen Beatrix has decided to abdicate in favour of her son Prince Willem-Alexander.

628x471

This is something of a tradition in the Netherlands since the Queen’s mother and grandmother both did the same thing .

And this means we will soon have a Queen Maxima on our hands!

Love the picture below. Maxima is being her usual exuberant self and that’s Catharina-Amalia, future Queen of the Netherlands, on the far right beside Queen Beatrix:

887185-queen-beatrix

I think there is something to be said for this whole abdication thing. Why not hand over the reigns when everyone is healthy and you’re not in mourning? Plus, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima have been married well over ten years now, which has given them plenty of time to get into the swing of things.

This photograph was taken last week during a State visit to Singapore. See? They have had lots of time for on-the-job training together. And to think that during that whole trip they knew this announcement was just around the corner…

Princess+Maxima+Queen+Beatrix+Visits+Singapore+49vE7GktQoil

The Royal Family’s official website can be found here with all of the details that have been released so far, so there is no need to recount them verbatim here.

I found it especially interesting to read that the Queen will be moving from Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague  to Drakensteyn Castle in Lage Vuursche. This castle is a country home she purchased back in 1959. This is where she lived until she became Queen.

Here is a delightful photo of Beatrix in front of the castle:

23688_fullimage_Drakensteyn-2_560x350Presumably the new King will be taking up residence at Huis ten Bosch Palace Palace

images-1

Also, she is not going to be Queen Beatrix the Queen Mother or some such. Oh, no, she’s going back to being a princess. Another tidbit I found interesting was how the abdication means that:

After the abdication, the line of succession will begin with the children of His Majesty the King: Her Royal Highness the Princess of Orange, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexia, and Her Royal Highness Princess Ariane. The next in line will be His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn, his children and finally Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet.
 
After the abdication, the children of Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven will no longer be eligible for the throne. They will also cease to be members of the Royal House

So, Princess Margriet is the Queen’s youngest sister aand she has four sons. I’d say that the Netherlands know how to a) abdicate with grace and b) keep things under control in terms of a too big, bursting at the seams royal family. Way to go.

What do you reckon Charles is thinking over in England?

Prince+Charles+Prince+Charles+Camilla+Survey+jL6uFjWTNFBl

If you’re in the mood for more, here are our top two posts on the family:

  • Our post all about Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, future Queen of the Netherlands, can be found here.
  • Princess Maxima’s oh so patriotic engagement ring can be found here.

Favourite Royal Olympic Moments Part One

Well that was fun, wasn’t it? Now that the Olympic torch has gone out in London, let’s recap some of our favourite Royal Olympic moments from the last two weeks.  And there were tons of them!! We’ll start with the Danish royals simply because we love them around here.

The Danish Royals

The Royal Family of Denmark opted to stay on their yacht during the Games, which they moored on the Thames at the West India Docks. Here’s a shot of the lovely yacht:

And, what the heck, here’s another:

Rewinding back to the torch relay, we can now add Crown Prince Frederick to the list of Royal torchbearers. He ran with the torch through central London when the relay was wrapping up:

Skipping along to the Opening Ceremony, Prince Frederick and Princess Mary attended along with the Queen and Prince Consort. And look, Princess Mary and Princess Charlene are buddies and Mary was most patriotic  in her red and white ensemble:

Mary and Frederick were very enthusiastic cheerers:

And they also said hello to Princess Mette-Marit of Norway during one event:

But my favourite shots by far feature little Prince Christian, who we spoke about at length in our post here. Princess Mary headed back to Denmark for a few days in the middle of the games, and brought Prince Christian and his sister Princess Isabella back to London with her. Here they are skipping onto the Yacht, loving every second of this totally awesome summer holiday:

Later, Prince Christian showed off his credentials:

And then everyone did it:

And, to top it all of,  he did a Usain Bolt impression because this kid rocks:

And, of course, he really got into the cheering, too:

The Dutch Royals

We knew that Princess Maxima and co. were really going to get into things as well – click here if you need a reminder of their past Olympic enthusiasm- and they did not disappoint!

Check out Princess Catharina really getting in there, flapping her orange jacket:

I mean, come on, they were everywhere:

And it was rain or shine. Full marks for commitment, am I right??

On another day, Princess Maxima and Prince Willem-Alexander took their family along to tour the Olympic Village and met team Netherlands sprinter Churandy Martina:

And because I love seeing the royals greeting each other, here they are saying hello to Prince Daniel and Prince Carl of Sweden:

The Swedish Royals

Well, that takes us nicely into the Swedish royal contingent in London. Princess Victoria was planning to attend, but decided to stay back home with little Princess Estelle instead. Prince Daniel and Prince Carl Philippe flew the flag along with the King and Queen.

Love their team Sweden rugby shirts:

Another day, another yellow and blue shirt:

The white shirt and blue blazer look for another day:

And OMG a yellow and blue umbrella. Well done, boys:

 

More delightful royal moments to come! See you soon…

The Dutch Royals at the Olympics

Good news for fans of the Dutch Royals: Princess Maxima, Prince Willem-Alexander, and their three daughters will be attending the Olympic Games in London. The Prince and Princess are always right into things, cheering away so no doubt they will be decked out in orange and waving flags in London. I expect no less.

While there haven’t been any Dutch Royal Olympians as of yet, the Netherlands hosted the 1928 Olympics which were held in Amsterdam. This picture below is of Prince Hendrick addressing the crowd during the Opening Ceremony. He was the Prince Consort of Queen Wilhelmina:

Notably, Amsterdam is currently in the bid process to host the 2028 Olympic Games, which would be a significant nod to that first Games 100 years prior. Other European cities that are currently planning to bid for the Games that year are Rotterdam and Saint Petersburg.

Now let’s dive into some pictures of the lovely and upbeat Maxima and her family during recent Olympic Games.

Turin 2006 Olympic Games

The Prince and Princess attended the opening ceremony. Looks like the Prince hasn’t yet gotten his white cover-all on:

The family were in Torino as well – the girls were so young! That’s Princess Catharina-Amalia on the left and a very young Princess Alexia on the right. Check out our post on how Catharina-Amalia is one of the future Queens of Europe by clicking here.

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Princess Maxima and the Prince were at the Opening Ceremonies once again, waving their orange flags around with vigour. They really made those spectators seated around them look like no fun at all in comparison, eh?:

The Prince and Princess weren’t looking super interested here, though. Perhaps they had over exerted themselves before:

Or, maybe they were jet lagged? They were certainly more into the spirit of things at a beach volleyball event:

Vancouver 2010 Olympics

Skipping along, the family spent quite a bit of time at the Olympic Oval in Richmond, BC where the speed skating events were held. The Dutch love speed skating; the men’s team won bronze at the Turin Games in 2006 and at the Vancouver Games in 2010. For some more Olympic trivia, here;s a fact for ya: speed skating is the sport that has won the Netherlands the most Olympic medals overall with a total of 82 medals. Oh, yeah.

Here are some of my favourite pictures of Princess Maxima and their daughters cheering away. That’s Princess Ariane up on the Prince’s shoulders:

Next up: London. The athlete’s villages are now open to receive athletes and we are just 8 sleeps away from the Opening Ceremonies!

See Also:

Spain’s Royals at the Olympics

Denmark’s Royals at the Olympics

Monaco’s Royals at the Olympics

Sweden’s Royals at the Olympics