Royal Roundup for January 16

Let’s jump right into a round up of royal happenings and news this week:

Queen Mathilde of Belgium welcomed Queen Rania of Jordan at the Royal Palace of Brussels earlier this week. Over a private lunch the two Queens discussed how to help the Syrian refugee crisis. On a completely frivolous note, did no one offer to take Queen Rainia’s coat and bag? [hello!]

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King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway will be celebrating 25 years on the throne on Sunday, January 17th. They will be marking the day with many events including a church service and family friendly winter events in the Palace Square. Bonus: they have invited the King and Queen of Sweden and King and Queen Margarethe and Prince Henrik of Denmark as their special guests for the weekend festivities. [The Royal Court of Norway]

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The Royal Family also released new portraits in connection with the 25th anniversary. They were taken by Jørgen Gomnæs and include one of the current King Harald and his two direct heirs: Crown Prince Haakon and future Queen Princess Ingrid. Such a cute dress on Princess Ingrid! [Royal Court of Norway]

Three generations (source)
Three generations (source)

And how gorgeous does Crown Princess Mette-Marit look here wearing the tiara the King and Queen gave her for her wedding?

A 2016 portrait of Crown Princess Mette-Marit (source)
A 2016 portrait of Crown Princess Mette-Marit (source)

Annie Leibowitz opened up about her 2007 portrait session with The Queen and revealed a few tidbits: she did her own hair and makeup and referred to her ceremonial robe as a “cape thing”. [Express]

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The Duchess of Cambridge will be welcoming editors to Kensington Palace in mid February when she serves as Guest Editor of Huffington Post UK for a day. The opportunity will be used to highlight the the importance of children’s mental health. As a Kensington Palace spokesperson explained, “The Duchess will be commissioning contributions from a number of leading figures in the mental health sector as well as from young people, parents, and teachers.” So that’s a new way to have a royal engagement! [BBC]

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And for anyone lucky enough to find themselves in London this February, Fashion Rules: Dress from the Collections of HM the Queen , Princess Margaret, and Diana, Princess of Wales will be opening on February 11 at Kensington Palace.  The exhibit includes 21 couture dresses; the Queen’s gowns are from the ’50s, Princess Margaret’s from the ’60’s and ’70’s and Diana’s are from the ’80’s. Click here for more. We won’t be in London, but we did get to see Diana: Glimpses of a Modern Princess back in 2012 and it was all caps FUN.

This was the first Jacques Azagury  gown Diana ever wore. She chose it for a 1985 visit to Florence and it is one of the gowns that will be on display.

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Programming Note: We’re also working on updating the site, so please excuse any glitches that may occur over the coming days. We hope to be up and running normally toute de suite. Have a wonderful weekend!

Jewelry Predictions: Princess Diana’s Sapphire & Pearl Choker

It could be argued that this necklace is the most iconic of all of Diana’s jewelry so it is unlikely we will see it on Kate for a very, VERY long time and that is how it should be. However, just like the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara we spoke about in our last prediction, it makes the most sense to us that Kate eventually be the one to wear this piece over all other current royal ladies.

Before anyone starts to yell in protest (and we know you will!), hear us out: like with the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara, we don’t expect that Kate would wear such a significant piece until she has made a name for herself as a serious royal lady and has several years of full time royal duties under her belt. Suffice to say it’s very unlikely that this necklace would make an appearance anytime soon! However, being made of such a gorgeous sapphire that matches her engagement ring and Diana’s sapphire earrings that Kate has already had modified…it just make sense that Kate be the next Royal to wear it.  We love this photo of Kate wearing Diana’s earrings at Wimbledon:

Here’s a close up look:

Diana wore them for this portrait with newborn Prince Harry in 1984:
 Of course, when Prince Harry gets married his wife could also vey well wear this extraordinary necklace and turn it into her own. What a nice gesture that would be, especially since Kate was given Diana’s engagement ring, so Harry should have something special of his mum’s as well. Prince Harry’s wife will likely not get as much of a comparison to Diana as Kate has so this could be the best route to take. The point is, this piece is far too gorgeous to languish in a vault forever and we hope it comes out when the time is right.

This piece is so clearly associated with Diana’s since she is the only royal to have worn it as a necklace. The sapphire surrounded by diamonds was a gift from the Queen Mother on the occasion of Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles. This photo from 1958 shows the Queen Mother wearing what appears to be the brooch and the photo on the right is of Diana wearing it in 1982:

Here is a larger picture of Diana that evening. This photograph was taken during a state visit from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. The brooch came in handy to help keep the sash of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown, gifted from Queen Beatrix, in place.

Queen Beatrix was visiting England for a four day state trip. Here is some footage of her arrival, greeting Princess Diana and Princess Anne:

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At some point after this date, Diana had the brooch made into a seven strand pearl choker and wore it on numerous occasions. She wore it on the White House evening that she danced with John Travolta in November of 1985:

She also wore it with her “look at me” dress to the Serpentine Gallery the same night that Prince Charles confessed to adultery in a televised interview. The dress was designed by Christina Stambolian and the next day the papers had Diana on the cover in this dress paired with not so nice pictures of Camilla:

The necklace also travelled to New York for a Gala event at the Lincoln Centre in June of 1995:

And Diana wore the necklace in New York again, this time in 1996 at the Metropilitan Museum Costume Institute Gala which featured a 50 year retrospective of Dior. The dress is by John Galliano, the designer chosen to head up Dior.


As far as we can tell from our research, this was the last time that Diana wore this necklace, at least publicly (do let us know if we are wrong!). So it has been tucked away  for 15 years now and likely will continue to be for years to come until either Kate or Harry’s future wife bring it out.

What do you think? is this piece too closely associated to Diana for Kate to ever consider wearing it? Do you think it there would be less of an association to Diana if Harry’s future wife wore it instead of Kate? And lastly, do you think we’re off our rockers and it would have to go through a major transformation before anyone even thinks of wearing it again? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Official Engagement Portrait of the Princess of Wales

Via The Morton Report
When William and Kate’s engagement was announced, one of our first comments was, “what will they do for their official engagement portrait?” In 1981 Lady Diana Spencer sat for a number of official engagement portraits.
We absolutely love this one of her in the green silk gown. She’s very much the royal princess! These pictures were taken by Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret’s husband, at the couple’s country estate, Highgrove.
Interestingly, these portraits of Charles and Diana were released at the time their engagement was announced, meaning that they were taken in the days or weeks prior, amidst the intense media frenzy and speculation surrounding Lady Diana. This is unlike the engagement portraits of William and Kate which were taken by Mario Testino in the weeks following the engagement announcement. William and Kate’s engagement was clearly an even bigger kept secret than that of Charles and Diana among members of the inner royal circle and family.
We love William and Kate’s informal engagement portraits (taken by Mario Testino), and wonder what other pictures were taken that day that were not released to the public.
Unfortunately, we doubt there was a grand portrait of William and Kate taken in the style of Charles and Diana shown here, but how amazing would that be! We suspect it will be a a couple of years before we see a formal portrait of the decked out Duchess, perhaps even a painted one in addition to photographic portraits. More on that in another post!

One of Our Favourite Diana Looks – Sweatshirts and Baseball Caps

One of the looks Diana favoured over the years was her off-duty wear: a sweatshirt (often with the logo of one of her favourite charities), a baseball cap (often with military associations), some jeans, and, on a good day, this was all topped off with a pair of boots.

It may look dated now (Princess Diana wore Mom Jeans!), but we still looove this look.  It’s such a wonderful contrast to the tailored, stiff outfits we usually saw her in and she looks so relaxed and comfy.

She would wear this to polo, at Highgrove, or the school run. Do we spy a wee Harry below running up the steps?

This picture was taken in the later years and Diana’s got her serious “I’m not in the mood to have my picture taken” look on:

This is an all time favourite, right here. The sly “I know you’re taking my picture and I look cute and fabulous” look is priceless. And she does look cute and fabulous! Even though the outfit, when you think about it, is pretty crazy…What kind of pants are those?? And wow, she sure had a lot of boots in her closet!

The Royal Wave: Part One

You’ve got to love a good royal wave! Let’s look at a few.

The Queen

The Queen has this DOWN. She has been doing this her whole life and is the master. Check her out here doing the side wave after her father’s coronation. It has a slight ‘screwing in a lightbulb’ turn to it:

…that she clearly learned from her dad, King George VI. That’s Prince Margaret standing to his left mimicking the same motion. What normal people wave like this? No one. That’s why it’s royal:

Here is the Queen standing in front of Camilla outside St. George’s Chapel after Peter Philips’ wedding to Autumn Kelly in May 2008. She’s got her signature side hand going here which is just so regal compared to Camilla’s open fingered (and ungloved) wave. We do love Camilla, but we’ve got to give the Queen this one:

Via Hello

Camilla is having more luck here:

Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana must have practiced this wave before the wedding. We imagine it was one of the things on the list, right up there with “How To Exit a Car Gracefully While Wearing a Skirt.” Fingers together, hand cupped, thumb tucked in, slight head nod…that’s just not something you instinctively do. Charles’ seems more natural here.

She kept it up for formal occassions

but also got more relaxed, too when the time was right. This to me is the signature Diana wave. Hand in front, head slightly bowed, eyes looking at the camera through lashes:

Prince Harry

Prince Harry is pretty easy going with his waving, much like his personality. No keeping fingers together for him! He’s always been that way, really. The picture on the left is Harry en route to Buckingham Palace after his brothers wedding, and then on the right we’ve got him practicing his royal wave on holiday in Spain with Spain’s royal family back in the ’80’s.

Via The Daily Mail

Via ITNsource.com

He’s really going for it here with William and Chelsy at the Concert for Diana, though I suppose it could be argued this is more of a dance than a wave:

Via Getty Images

Prince William

William also likes the open handed wave and always has. Here he is with Diana and Harry seeing Charles off on his helicopter. That’s Highgrove in the background, the country estate where the boys grew up:

Kate follows suit sometimes:

Via RoyalWedding.aol.com

Ok, so I have to slip this in. If you ask me, Kate and William’s wedding wave bears a striking resemblance to the one at the end of the Christmas concert in Love Actually. Maybe it’s the whole “he’s more used to this than I am” thing going on…plus these two ladies look quite similar with their long brown hair. Is it just me??

Via IMDB.com
Via Biography.com

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Kate’s wave has really evolved. For her first official royal engagement there was a lot of this hand flapping/ finger curling going on (in Wales, below). To her credit she really took this whole royal engagement thing and made it fun. It must have been a relief; after years of photographers and people following her around, she could finally wave back:

On the day before her wedding, she gave the crowd this full on regal Queen Elizabeth side wave. That must have been seriously fun. We bet she practiced this wave with Pippa behind closed doors years ago and was just waiting to bust it out:

She’s got the formal, low wave going on here for her first Trooping the Colour carriage ride:

And even here, waving to Prince William as he flies overhead on Prince Edward Island during their Canadian tour, she’s not just flapping around. How cute is she with her camera out so she can take pictures. What a gal:

Princess Eugenie of York

Princess Eugenie could probably pick up some pointers from Kate. Not an especially regal wave, this:

Princess Beatrice

Let’s end on a good note. Beatrice really has this down. The hat, the head cocked to the side, that hat at a jaunty angle, the slight but confident wave. Pure princess perfection. Well done, Bea. Keep it up!

Ahhh there are SO MANY more Royal Waves. we might just have to do another post on this….

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!

Balmoral Style ~ Part Two

Balmoral. Picture Via The Telegraph.

Continuing on from our previous post on Balmoral style in the day time, let’s discuss evening wear, shall we? We love the notion of ‘dressing for dinner’ and would love to be two flies on the wall for dinner at Balmoral.

Because Balmoral is a private royal residence, we have few pictures of what the ladies wear to wear to dinner there. However, here are a few examples we could get our hands on.

Picture Via BBC

Here we have an example of Diana’s formal wear when she was HRH The Princess of Wales. We love how she’s embracing  tartan here! This number was made for her by Catherine Walker. (For our post on the Duchess of Cambridge’s Catherine Walker dress, click here.)

Picture Via The Telegraph

And here we have an example of The Queen’s formal Balmoral wear. This gown is by Norman Hartnell and is made of duchesse satin with beads and sequins. HM wore it to the Ghillies’ Ball at Balmoral, 1971. How lovely.

Here is a beautiful aerial shot of the event.

Picture Via the Royal Collection

And finally, a picture of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret on the same evening. We would love to see Princess William and the Duchess of Cambridge at a future Ghillies ball!

Via Getty Images

‘I already caught the biggest fish.’ ~ The Princess of Wales

We love the story of Diana fishing with a ghillie at Balmoral in the early 80’s. Having failed to catch a fish with Diana in the River Dee, the ghillie reportedly said something the lines of ‘I’m sorry, ma’am’. To wish she cheekily replied, ‘It’s alright, I’ve already caught the biggest fish!’

Indeed!