Royal February Birthdays

The end of the month is quickly approaching so we’re just squeezing in our  second edition of  royal birthdays. Here are a few favourites for February.

February 5th Princess Mary of Denmark

Let’s start off with Princess Mary. She was born in 1972 so this year marks her 42nd birthday.  She and the family spent some time in Switzerland for a ski holiday, and posed during a photo call.

All bundled up (via Daily Mail)
All bundled up (via Daily Mail)

February 6: Princess Marie of Denmark

Princess Marie celebrated her 38th birthday this year one day after sis-in-law Mary (What are the odds?). Her family’s photo call seems to be been more extended. Here we have Marie, Princess Athena, Prince Nikolai, Prince Felix, Prince Henrik and Prince Joachim.

Smile! (via Zimbio)
Smile! (via Zimbio)

This photo with Princess Athena is my favourite for obvious reasons.

Where are your goggles? (via Zimbio)
Where are your goggles? (via Zimbio)

Marie and the family did a little meet and greet with the press in a restaurant as well. She likes a good pares-ski beverage!

Princess Marie in Villars (via ZImbio)
Princess Marie in Villars (via ZImbio)

Looks like  a cozy little joint. Happy Birthday to Marie.

via Zimbio
via Zimbio

February 20: HRH Princesss Leonore Lillian Marie, Duchess of Gotland

Next up is Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill’s new daughter, who’s name and title was just announced today. It’s official: she’s a princess AND a duchess, so Madeleine clearly decided NOT to go the Princess Anne route and forgo titles for her children. It had seemed to me like the Swedish royal family wanted to keep things tight and streamlined (and therefore focused on Princess Victoria and her family), but clearly not! Fascinating, right?

A chill photo (via Princess Madeleine's Facebook page)
A chill photo (via Princess Madeleine’s Facebook page)

King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia travelled to New York over the weekend to meet her. The King was back in Sweden today, where he announced the name at a meeting of the Cabinet Council and made the name public.

The King and Queen and wee Leonore (Via Princess Madeleine's Facebook Page)
The King and Queen and wee Leonore (Via Princess Madeleine’s Facebook Page)

When I first heard the name I instantly thought of Infanta Leonor, the eight year old future Queen of Spain. Slightly different spelling, but close!

Lillian is likely a nod to Princess Lillian,  Madeleine’s late great-aunt who had a fascinating life. Here it is in a nutshell: she was born in Wales in 1915, worked as a model and factory worked during WWII, married and divorced a Scottish actor, and met Prince Bertil of Sweden in 1943. They lived together but didn’t get married in case Bertil had to serve as regent, and that would’t have been allowed if he’d been married to a divorcee. Once Prince Carl Gustav (the current King) came of age and ascended the throne in 1973, they got married. Anyway, It seems like she was an awesome aunt.

Princess Lillian with Princess Victoria and Prince (via The Times)
Princess Lillian with Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Carl Philip (via The Times)

Chris’s mum is named Eva Maria so that could be where Leonor’s second middle name comes from.  So nice that she’s just two years younger than her cousin Princess Estelle!

February 21: Prince Amadeo of Belgium

Next up is Prince Amadeo of Belgium. He turned 28 on February 21st and I believe this is his first appearance on this blog. He is included here since he just announced his engagement to his girl friend of seven years, Elisabetta Rosboch von Wolkenstein, and that means we have another royal wedding to countdown to.

Amadeo & Elisabetta (via Hello!)
Amadeo & Elisabetta (via Hello!)

Amadeo is sixth in line to the Belgian throne as the son of Princess Astrid of Belgium and Prince Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este. Elisabetta is Italian-born and they  currently live in New York City (he has worked for Deloitte and  she is a journalist). It’ll be interesting to see how the wedding plays out – I’m thinking it’ll be somewhat low key but still grand and held in Belgium (something in the vein of Zara’s wedding, but perhaps with a few more public pictures will be released). What do you think?

February 23: Princess Estelle of Sweden

Princess Estelle, big cousin to Princess Leonore, celebrated her second birthday on the 23rd. This is one of the pictures that was issued to celebrate.

Princess Estelle turns 2 (via )
Princess Estelle turns 2 (via

It seems this ‘blowing out the candle pic’ will be a new tradition – last year we were treated to this picture.

Princess Estelle turns one (via
Princess Estelle turns one (via

My grandmother will not be delighted to see that the bow in the hair tradition has not only continued, but has gotten bigger. In her words: “you don’t do this to children.”

On that note,  we’ll be back with more birthdays and royal fun in March!

The Titles of Will and Kate's Children

There’s been much excitement following the early announcement that William and Kate are expecting a baby. There’s much to discuss here at the Royal Post! To kick things off, let’s talk titles. Here we go!

The current state of titles in the British Royal family, and who can claim the title of HRH Prince and HRH Princess goes back to King George V in 1917. In an attempt to streamline the royal family, letters patent were issued stating “the children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour”.

So, when William was born he was HRH Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales.

HRH Prince William in 1982
HRH Prince William in 1982

Under these rules, the children of the Queen, when she was Princess Elizabeth, would not have received titles. So,  in 1948 The Queen’s father, King George VI granted letters patent declaring that children of the marriage of HRH Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, should “have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names in addition to any other appellations and titles and honour which may belong to them hereafter”.

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Charles
HRH Princess Elizabeth and HRH Prince Charles

The 1917 letters patent also stated that “grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line … shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms”

HRH The Duke of Gloucester and his daughter The Lady Rose Windsor
HRH The Duke of Gloucester and his daughter The Lady Rose Windsor

So, what does this mean for William and Kate’s children? 

If the Queen is still on the Throne when their first child is born, an eldest son will receive the title of HRH Prince <name>. Other sons and daughters will have the titles of the children of a royal Duke. So, an eldest daughter will receive the title of The Lady <Name> and any subsequent sons and daughters will have the title of The Lord <name> and The Lady <name>.

Now, all of this changes again when Prince Charles becomes King. When this happens, all of William and Kate children will all become HRH Prince and HRH Princess, as children of the heir to the throne.

Isn’t that interesting? However, there are reports now that the Palace is saying that an eldest daughter will also receive the title of HRH Princess <name> since times have changes and a daughter will have the same rights to inherit as a son.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge
HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

UPDATED January 12, 2013: “The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 31 December 2012 to declare that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour.”

I’m surprised it doesn’t say “all LEGITIMATE children….” I mean, look at Prince Albert!

UPDATED June 2013: It has been announced that the child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will hold the title Prince or Princess of Cambridge

The Queen’s Titles

When she was born on April 21, 1926, The Queen was titled ‘Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York’. This is the same title that her granddaughters Beatrice and Eugenie hold as the daughters of the Duke of York. Her full name was Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York. Her paternal grandmother was Queen Mary and her paternal great grandmother was Queen Alexandra, so Princess Elizabeth’s middle names were a tribute to them both.

HRH The Duchess of York with HRH Princess Elizabeth of York

Of course, Princess Elizabeth was not expected to become Queen. Her father was second in line to the throne after his brother Edward, The Prince of Wales. As is famously known, Edward abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, which meant that the Duke of York became King.

HRH Princess Elizabeth with her grandmother, HM Queen Mary
Princess Elizabeth

When Princess Elizabeth’s father became King George VI in 1936, her title changed to ‘Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth’ which is the style and title of the daughter of the sovereign. Princess Elizabeth was now heir to the throne.

King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret in their coronation robes

When she married Prince Philip of Greece, who was granted the title The Duke of Edinburg, she was then HRH The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh.

When she ascended the throne at the age of 25, Her Majesty The Queen took on a number of titles. The Queen’s title varies depending on where she is. In the UK she is: ‘Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.’ what a mouth full!

The Queen in June 1953 on the Buckingham Palace balcony after the coronation service

Here are some of her other titles, depending on her location:

  • The Isle of Man: Lord of Man (This isn’t a typo; the sovereign holds the title regardless of gender, thought Queen Victoria was the exception. She was titled Lady of Man).
  • The Channel Islands: The Duke of Normandy (Not Duchess of Normandy; this title of Duke is conferred upon the sovereign regardless of gender).
  • Duchy of Lancaster: Duke of Lancaster (same as above!)
  • In Canada: Queen of Canada
  • In Australia: Queen of Australia



According to Wikipedia the Queen’s titles are listed in the order in which the remaining original realms first became Dominions of the Crown: the United Kingdom (original dominion), Canada (1867), Australia (1901), and New Zealand (1907), followed by the rest in the order in which the former colony became an independent realm: Jamaica (1962), Barbados (1966), the Bahamas (1973), Grenada (1974), Papua New Guinea (1975), the Solomon Islands (1978), Tuvalu (1978), Saint Lucia (1979), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1979), Antigua and Barbuda (1981), Belize (1981), and Saint Kitts and Nevis (1983).

Here’s the Queen laughing it up at the Braemar Games last summer:

And here she is decked out in the same outfit and hat yesterday in London, kicking off the Jubliee celebrations.

They even had fireworks! Here’s to a great Jubliee year ahead.

February 6th, 1952: The Day that Princess Elizabeth Became The Queen

Sixty years ago today on February 6, 1952 The Queen’s father, King George VI sadly died and HRH The Princess Elizabeth became Queen. Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh were in Kenya at the time which was the first stop on a royal tour that included Australia and New Zealand. They were staying at Sagana Lodge, given to them as a wedding present, in the foothills of Mount Kenya. Princess Elizabeth and the Duke were on this trip rather han the King and Queen because the King’s health had been worsening.

Princess Elizabeth and Philip had spent the evening of February 5th 1952 at the Treetops Hotel, shown below, where they spent hours photographing wildlife and generally having a wonderful time.

This was meant to be a quick break from the regular duties and events of the royal tour. Shortly after they returned to Sagana Lodge on the 6th of February, Philip was informed of the news and he then told Elizabeth in the gardens at the Lodge. Because the King had died in his sleep, it is unknown what time Princess Elizabeth became Queen. Arrangements were made for them to return to England as soon as possible.

The King’s death was a shock to the family even though his health had been failing for some time. The Daily Mail reported last month that on Elizabeth and Philip’s flight home it was realised that the Queen did not have a black dress to wear upon arrival in London.   Once the plane landed, a black dress was brought on board for her to change into before disembarking, shown below.

The Queen was only 25 years old at the time, and on top of the grief of losing her father she was now faced with the responsibility of being Sovereign.

The Queen’s coronation took place the following year, in June 1953. Sadly, her paternal grandmother Queen Mary passed away six week’s before the even but insisted before her passing that the coronation not be delayed and must go ahead as planned. The Queen had been eleven years old at her father’s coronation, so she knew what to expect.

Coronation of George VI

For the first time, the even was broadcast on television which ushered in a new, more modern monarchy. Here is a photograph of the day:

And here is The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the service:

There will be a series of events and celebrations this year to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, including a barge procession on the Thames in June, receptions, and a series of royal tours taken by members of the royal family across the commonwealth. We’re looking forward to it!

‘We are never tired, and we all love hospitals.’ ~ Queen Mary

How about a bit of royal family history? Today we are talking about a very interesting royal lady, Queen Mary.

The future Queen Mary was born in London on 26 May 1867 in Kensington Palace.

Her parents, the Duke of Teck and and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a grandchild of George III, gave here the name Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes. (We love the extended middle names favoured by the Royals – looking forward to seeing what names William and Kate pick when the time comes!) Her title was Her Serene Highness Princess Victoria Mary of Teck. To her family, she was known as May, after her birth month. (Click here for more Royal nicknames)

Mary had three brothers, shown below.

Before she married the future King George (her second cousin) she was engaged to his brother, Prince Albert, the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. He sadly died of influenza six weeks after their engagement was announced.

The next year, Queen Victoria supported the decision for Mary of Teck to be engaged to Albert’s younger brother George, second in line to the throne. Here is the pair below:

Engagement photo of Prince George and Mary of Teck

The wedding took place 6 July 1893 at the Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace, in London. The dress, shown below, now belongs to the British Royal Collection and is part of a display of royal wedding dresses at Kensington Palace. The wedding day portrait of George and Mary is below.

George and Mary were known as Their  Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of York, and lived on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk (click here for more on Sandringham). They had six children Edward, Albert, Mary, Henry, George and John. (Edward, of course, later abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson.)

George V ascended the throne in 1910, and are shown below in their coronation robes.

King George V and Queen Mary at their coronation

Mary was known for her dedication to royal duties. We love her famous quote: ‘We are a member of the British royal family. We are never tired, and we all love hospitals.’

Queen Mary died at the age of 85 of lung cancer, only two and a half months before her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.

Royal Nicknames

Let’s take a moment to discuss royal nicknames, shall we? These names are a delightful contrast to the formality of the royal lives of the holders and just plain charming, we think.

Here are a few that we’ve picked up in our royal readings over the years. We’ll start with the eldest and work our way down:

Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother

  • Christian names: Elizabeth Angela Marguerite
  • Known nickname(s): Cookie, Cake (‘Cookie’ was termed by the Duchess of Windsor;this may have been a bit of an insult. ‘Cake’was very much a term of endearment and was what the Mitford sisters called her. More on the Mitfords in another post!)

King George IV

  • Christian names: Albert Frederick Arthur George
  • Known nickname(s): Bertie
Queen Elizabeth II
  • Christian names: Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
  • Known nickname(s): Lillibet, since “Elizabeth” was a bit tough to pronounce
Prince Charles
  • Christian names: Charles Philip Arthur George
  • Known nickname(s): ‘Friend’ (by Deborah Cavendish, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire)
Diana, Princess of Wales
  • Christian names: Diana Frances
  • Known nickname(s): Duch (by her sisters when she was young, short for ‘Duchess’ since evidently she was determined to become a Duchess at least)
  • When Diana was having doubts about marrying Charles, she later said that her sisters told her “Well, bad luck, Duch. Your face is on the tea towels so it’s too late to chicken out.”
Prince William
  • Christian names: William Arthur Philip Louis
  • Known nickname(s): Wombat (by his mother)
  • Prince William used this nickname himself while he was on his GAP year and volunteering with kids. He was teaching them a word game and when it was his turn he said, “I’m William and I’m a Wombat”
Which royal nicknames are we missing? Let us know in the comments!

Grace Kelly’s Titles

We know that Grace Kelly became Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Ranier in April of 1956 (click here to read our post about the first time they met), but did you also know she acquired oodles of other titles at the same time?

As the head of the House of Grimaldi and Sovereign Prince of Monaco, Prince Ranier held more than 130 hereditary titles, so naturally Grace did as well upon their marriage. These titles were inherited by their son Prince Albert, so Princess Charlene has quite the collection of titles as well. The titles are very rarely used but include:

Duke of Valentinois: This title dates back to 1498 and is originally from the French nobility. The holder had control over the Duchy of Valentinois, an area of Southeastern France.

Duke of Estouteville: This title was created in 1537 by King Francis I of France. The title came to the the Grimaldi family through the marriage of the Duke of Estouteville to Princess Louise Grimaldi in 1715.

Marquis of Baux: This title comes from the French town of Les Baux in Provence and is held by the sovereign prince of Monaco unless he has a male heir. As Prince Albert does not yet have a legitimate male heir, he still holds this title.

I wonder if Prince Albert can list of all of the titles in their entirety. That would be a fun game for a rainy day…

Camilla IS the Princess of Wales

No matter how you cut it, that’s how it is. Prince Charles has several titles, and as his wife Camilla has the ‘matching’ titles, just like when Jane Doe marries Michael Smith she becomes Mrs. Michael Smith even if she prefers to go by “Ms. Doe.” Technically, both are accurate.

That being said, let’s take a look at Charle’s royal titles, shall we?

When the Queen ascended the throne in 1952, a three year old Prince Charles became the heir apparent and as such took on the following traditional titles:

  • Duke of Cornwall
  • Duke of Rothesay
  • Earl of Carrick
  • Baron Renfrew
  • Lord of the Isles
  • Prince and Great Steward of Scotland

That is quite a mouthful. At the age of nine (!) the Queen created Prince Charles:

  • Prince of Wales
  • Earl of Chester

So that’s eight significant titles for a nine year old. Not too shabby. Charles was officially invested as the Princes of Wales in a ceremony on July 1, 1969 when he was twenty years old. In 1981 when Diana married Charles, she held all of the titles as well and became:

  • Duchess of Cornwall
  • Duchess of Rothesay
  • Countess of Carrick
  • Baroness Renfrew
  • Lady of the Isles
  • Princess and Great Stewardess of Scotland
  • Princess of Waless
  • Countess of Chester

As we know, Diana  was officially known as the highest rank, which of course was Princess of Wales.

So when Charles and Camilla married in 2005, Camilla automatically held all of these titles as well. It was decided that she would not to officially be known as Princess of Wales out of courtesy and respect for Diana’s memory. This was also of course to avoid the likely public outcry that would have ensued if she had.

The Prince of Wales’ official website says: “It is intended that The Duchess of Cornwall should use the title HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales accedes to The Throne.”

Interesting wording. The statement only says “intended” not “it has been decided” or something equally strong and definitive. I am sure that Charles would actually like Camilla to be Queen and this sort of messaging is part of the carefully planned strategy surrounding Camilla. They are carefully testing the waters of public opinion and I’m certain that as time goes on, sentiment towards Camilla will continue to that and it is very likely that Camilla will be Queen after all.

Recently, when asked by a reporter if Camilla could be crowned Queen, Charles was quite flustered and replied, “That’s…that’s…we’ll see, won’t we? That could be.”

And there you have it. Not much of a denial there at all, is there? I have to say I can’t find fault with Charles’ answer. After all, when he becomes King, Camilla will atleast be Queen in all but name as she supports him in his royal duties. I feel that the public should take their queue from Princes William and Harry.  On the occasion of an official interview to mark his 21st birthday, Harry said, “William and I love her to bits. To be honest with you, she’s always been very close to me and William…she’s not the wicked stepmother. I’ll say that right now.”

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts and predictions in the comments!