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Greek Royal Wedding - Photos

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By mandysroyalty · August 27, 2010

A royal wedding means gown commentary, and the recent Greek royal nuptials are no exception.

It was a formal wedding but with a relaxed, happy twist that was perfect for their Mediterranean surroundings. Below, the great and the good (along with a few questionable choices thereafter):

The bride, Tatiana - Her wedding dress was an ivory Angel Sanchez gown with lace overlay. It was paired with a matching lace bolero jacket and full-length veil, topped off with a stunning tiara borrowed from her new mother-in-law.

Marie of Denmark - a sand-colored gown and a stylish fan finishing the look. Bravo!


For more, visit my Royal Representative blog!


Princess Madeleine Calls It Quits

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By mandysroyalty · April 24, 2010

Sweden's Princess Madeleine has called off her wedding plans.

Amid the preparation for elder sister Victoria's wedding this June, Madeleine, 27, has been dealing with numerous issues in her relationship. Madeleine had been engaged to lawyer Jonas Bergstrom since August 2009, but recently rumors cropped up over his alleged infidelity. Her mother, Queen Silvia, even made a public statement of support to try and quell speculation but to no avail - the engagement was called off, a rare thing for royalty.

The princess said in her engagement interview that she and Bergstrom became engaged during their holiday to Capri in early June 2009. On August 11th, the pair officially announced the engagement during a formal photo call in front of the royal family's summer home Solliden. Madeleine showed off her ring to the media, and Jonas lovingly held his arm around her. The news of a broken engagement, therefore, comes as a surprise to many.

The Royal Court issued a statement: "After careful consideration, Princess Madeleine and Jonas Bergström jointly decided to go their separate ways."

I wish Madeleine the best and hope that she finds her "Prince Charming" one day soon.

Tagged with: Swedish Royalty

Born This Day: Lady Gabriella Windsor

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By mandysroyalty · April 23, 2010

Lady Gabriella, known to her family as Ella, is the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Her paternal great-grandparents were King George V of the United Kingdom and his consort, Queen Mary.

Happy Christmas: History of the Annual Royal Message

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By mandysroyalty · December 31, 2009

The Queen's Christmas Message is a broadcast by Her Majesty to the nation - and the Commonwealth - at Christmastime.

The tradition began in 1932 with a Christmas radio broadcast by King George V. The queen's grandfather was initially hesitant about using this new technology, but Sir John Reith, a founder of the BBC, reassured the king that it was reliable. Reith wanted the speech to inaugurate what was then "Empire Service", now known as the BBC World Service.

King George V delivered the speech - written by poet Rudyard Kipling - from a small office at Sandringham, the Royal Family's Norfolk estate. The King acknowledged the unity that this technology brought to the Empire: "I speak now from my home and from my heart to you all; to men and women so cut off by the snows, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them."

George's eldest son, who became King Edward VIII, never delivered a Christmas speech. He abdicated in December 1936, just weeks before his first Christmas on the Throne.

George's second son, who became King George VI, continued the tradition of royal Christmas broadcasts. The new king, affectionately known to his family as 'Bertie', made his first broadcast in December 1937. He thanked the public for their support during the first year of his reign.

It had been a tumultuous year. The extremely shy, quiet Bertie never thought that he would be king. Yet there he was, picking up where his elder brother left off as King-Emperor over a vast empire.

Bertie was fearful of having to deliver speeches, his stuttering often getting the better of him. Happily, with a lot of training over the years, the king became a calmer, more competent speaker whose stutter was greatly minimized.

The king gained much more confidence, which would be beneficial throughout the war years. His annual message of hope would be particularly poignant in the early months of the Second World War in 1939. It would be George's most famous speech, made memorable by a poem which came at the end of the broadcast:

I feel that we may all find a message of encouragement in the lines which, in my closing words, I would like to say to you:

I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year,

"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."

And he replied, "Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way."

King George V had noted in the first Christmas message that the technology of radio was a powerful unifying force. It was a sentiment that would be carried into the reign of his granddaughter, Elizabeth II, who would embrace new mediums of communication via television and, eventually, the internet.

The Queen sat at the same desk and chair as her father and grandfather had used. People were awed by their lovely queen, and all across the globe they gathered around their televisions, as many still do today, and watched her speak to them.

Her hair is white now, and the lines of a lifetime of expression have gently creased her face, but Her Majesty's message is still the same - peace and joy to all. Though not everyone is a Christian, Her Majesty extends the gentle kindness of her faith to all of her subjects equally.

Thank you to all for a wonderful year. See you in 2010!

On Duty

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By mandysroyalty · July 13, 2009

NETHERLANDS-INDIA-FESTIVAL-MAXIMA

Dutch Princess Maxima openS the India Festival in Amsterdam on November 12, 2008. The India Festival which takes place from November 12 till 30 is the...

Prince Charles Visit To Japan

TOKYO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 27: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales stand with Crown Prince Naruhito upon the arrival of Prince...

Queen Elizabeth II Visits Scottish Seabird Centre

NORTH BERWICK, SCOTLAND - JULY 02: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to the Scottish Seabird Centre on July 2, in...

Queen Elizabeth II Knights Governor-General Of Jamaica

HRH Crown Princess Mary Of Denmark Attend Luncheon

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 16: HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark attends a luncheon at the Ambassador of Denmark's residence on June 16, 2009 in London,...

Danish Royal Family Celebrates Queen Margrethe Of Denmark's Birthday

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - APRIL 16: Crown Prince Frederik, Princess Isabella, Prince Christian, Crown Princess Mary, Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrik, Prince...

Prince Henrik of Denmark Celebrates His 75th Birthday At Fredensborg Castle

FREDENSBORG, DENMARK - JUNE 11: Princess Marie of Denmark and Prince Joachim of Denmark attend Prince Henrik of Denmark's 75th birthday dinner at on in...

Crown Princess Victoria: A Profile

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By mandysroyalty · July 13, 2009
A Queen In The Making

A pretty brunette with shining brown eyes gleefully shows off her engagement ring. She is happy and radiant, a smile from ear to ear.

Like all newly-betrothed women, the girl is in the midst of wedding plans. Unlike most of those brides-to-be, however, she's going to be rehearsing a ceremony that will be seen by millions. Some of her decisions will be influenced by government officials and a royal palace: How much of the media should attend? Do we seat this king by that prince? Will this president attend?

This happy lady is no ordinary fiancee. She is Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée, set to become Queen of Sweden . This will be the wedding of the century!

Victoria is the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf, who is a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, and his wife Queen Silvia. She has two younger siblings, Princess Madeline and Prince Carl Philip, who are popular figures in Sweden. Prince Carl is far more shy than his sisters, both of whom are media darlings.

The prince was almost the future king of Sweden until January 1980, nearly a year after his birth, when a change in the Act of Succession introduced equal primogeniture (a woman CAN inherit before a male if she is born first). The outgoing Princess Victoria then became heir apparent at about 3 years of age.

Since that time ,Victoria has been prepped in the ways of queendom. She attended a state elementary school and Enskilda Gymnasiet in Stockholm, graduating in 1996. Afterward, she studied for a year at a university in Angers, France. The Crown Princess followed this up with conflict resolution studies and international peacekeeping at the Swedish National Defence College, and concluded her studies at Yale University in Connecticut.

Crown Princess Victoria has traveled the world representing her father and her country. She speaks fluent English as well as her native Swedish, charming her audiences wherever she goes. At home, she has established The Crown Princess Victoria Fund, which aims to provide support for leisure- and recreational activities for children and young people with functional disabilities or chronic illnesses. Every year Victoria visits several clubs or projects that have been granted money via her fund. These visits are not announced, but kept private. Sveriges Television often accompanies Victoria on these particular outings and airs only short programs from these visits.

Private Princess

The Crown Princess has always been quiet about her private life. The lack of news from the royal court has caused speculation to form around all of Victoria's relationships, and it has caused annoyance to the family. Her fiance, Daniel Westling, hates the press attention and has avoided it whenever possible.

Given this gun-shy reaction to the media, it is no wonder that Daniel and Victoria took their time in the relationship. As the future Queen of Sweden, Victoria will always be at the forefront of Swedish news and culture, documented at every turn. She was certainly used to it, and understood that Daniel was not.

After a 7-year courtship, Daniel decided that he would be able to handle the pressure of being a royal consort. During their engagement interview, he stated that "I have definitely needed this time to adjust myself to this and to understand what this is all about. It would have been naïve of me to get down on my knee and propose marriage after just one year. I think that would have been a mistake. Quite simply, I have needed this time."

Westling is a successful personal trainer and business owner, and ran a company called Balance Training which has three gyms in central Stockholm. Westling is older than Victoria by four years, born on September 15,1973. Westling met the Crown Princess in 2002 when he was employed as her personal trainer. The pair went on to form a solid friendship, and a few months later at a friend's party, a photographer snapped them kissing.

Though Victoria would not divulge details, she did confirm that she did "have someone in my life."

Victoria will marry Daniel in Stockholm on June 19th of next year.

Charlotte Casiraghi's First Interview

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By mandysroyalty · July 13, 2009
Stade 2 Interview, with Charlotte Casiraghi and Albert II after the International Jumping of Monaco.

Born This Day: Diana, Princess of Wales

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By mandysroyalty · July 1, 2009
Diana In Brisbane

Lady Diana Frances Spencer, Princess of Wales, was born this day in 1961.

The precocious Diana was the daughter of Johnny Spencer and Frances Roche.

At the time of her birth, Diana’s father was titled Viscount Althorp. On his father’s death in June 1975, Johnny became Earl Spencer. Now the daughter of an Earl, Diana became known as ‘Lady Diana’.

The Spencer family consisted of two daughters, Sarah and Jane, when Diana was born. She had an elder brother named John, but sadly he died at birth. Shortly after Diana’s debut in the world, she was followed by a younger brother, Charles Edward.

Lady Diana married Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales at St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 29th, 1981. As neighbors on the royal Sandringham estate, their families had known each other for many years, and Lady Diana and The Prince had met again when he was invited to a weekend at Althorp in November 1977.

During her marriage, Diana undertook a wide range of royal duties as the Princess of Wales. She especially focused on charities and projects set up to help those in need.

Charles and Diana had two sons, Princes William and Harry, within two years of one another. Both Princes are extremely active today in charities that Diana was particularly fond of during her life.

Though Diana and Prince Charles divorced in 1996, she was still considered a part of the royal family and was styled ‘Diana, Princess of Wales’.

On August 31st of the following year, Diana died in a tragic car accident in a Paris tunnel. Though still alive when pulled from the wreckage, her two companions – driver Henri Paul and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed – were dead at the scene. Diana died later at the hospital.

The Queen gave an extremely rare live address to the nation on September 5th from Buckingham Palace. In her speech, Her Majesty stated:

No-one who knew Diana will ever forget her. Millions of others who never met her, but felt they knew her, will remember her. I for one believe there are lessons to be drawn from her life and from the extraordinary and moving reaction to her death. I share in your determination to cherish her memory.

RoyaltyNow! 4-08-2009

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By mandysroyalty · April 15, 2009

I discuss who Prince William should take after; introducing a new segment called “Thrown To The Wolves Wednesday; new commentary at August Annotations. mandysroyalty.org/august_annotations

Filed in: podcasts
Tagged with: RoyaltyNow!

Robert Lacey's "Royal" - A commentary

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By mandysroyalty · April 15, 2009
Inspired by Robert Lacey’s Royal: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Commentary by M.L. Littlefield

The possibility of losing one’s monarch at the hands of a lunatic induces panic. So when a royal figure survives an attack, especially with sangfroid, there’s relief all around. There’s a surge of public sympathy and support for the royal family and people express amazement at how cool their monarch can be.

Then, there’s a bit too much of a good thing. The media and the public get bored with cool, steely resolve after a while and get cranky. Queen Elizabeth II has experienced both the praise and the pouts of the people because of her grace under fire. As it turns out, it’s an experience that’s all in the family.

The Queen’s bravery in the face of chaos, as well as her calm demeanor in the face of, well, pretty much everything, can be attributed to her illustrious ancestor Queen Victoria. The great Queen had her share of close calls, and with it came the public frenzy of relief and affection.

While out for a drive in their carriage, the diminutive Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, were attacked by a youth firing a gun. Neither Victoria nor Albert was injured, but they were certainly taken aback. The would-be assassin quickly removed himself from the scene, leaving the couple to wonder if the shocking event had even really happened, so quickly did it occur.

The next day, Albert and Victoria made a point to go out in their carriage along the same route to see if the lad would attempt to shoot at them once again. The royal couple was determined to catch a glimpse of their assailant. Nearing the same juncture as from the previous day, their investigation was rewarded. Out of the scenery burst the young man, brandishing a gun and firing like mad.

They were blanks.

The marauder was caught in the act this time by a policeman. Both Queen and Consort were satisfied to learn his identity – twenty-two year old John Francis – and have him taken away.

Victoria And Albert

Public emotion ran high over the incident, with tributes pouring in from every corner thanking God for sparing Her Majesty. The public was also agog over the couple’s bravery, though some said their actions were foolhardy. It had been too close a call.

The newspapers were full of ebullient praise for their sovereign and mass expressions of sentiment for the Royal Family fully bloomed. The country had long been lacking in sentiment: Victoria’s debauched forebears – all four German Georges as well as the Queen’s immediate predecessor, William IV – disgusted the British populace.

Victoria was the exact opposite: she was a pretty face attached to a duty-bound heart. She had a handsome husband who was devoted to her and their children, who were all adorable. A sweet family with such youthful vitality made the nation feel proud and hopeful. No one wanted to lose that.

Victoria responded to all of the outpouring of affection with similar expression. Addressing the loyal subjects and organizations who wished her well after the carriage incident, she stated, “My first desire is to live in the hearts of my people.”

With the advent of photography in the Victorian era, the Queen certainly could, at least, live on the hearths of her people in photos as if one of the family.

A certain intimacy was established between crown and country during this time, but with it came a certain intrusion and the public expectation that the royals should be “on” at all times. They had a captivating royal family at last, and they wanted to see them in action.

Prince Albert’s death would put a strain on the Queen’s new media-friendly monarchy. When Victoria went into seclusion after his demise, the public seemed almost offended at the loss of royal ceremonies, public duties, and celebrations.

She was still largely held in high esteem, but Victoria did do a certain amount of damage to the monarchy in the public sphere by declaring all ceremony and royal fanfare off-limits. No one could have any fun or be seen outside of a black wardrobe, as it might show disrespect to Albert’s memory. It made sense to Queen Victoria, but the public was not entirely happy with the constant morbidity. It was a tad too much.

Victoria’s descendant, Queen Elizabeth II, would also experience that sting of public backlash and media criticism when her emotions were restrained or privacy needed to come first.

Elizabeth has never gone into absolute seclusion for the better part of her life, nor has she called off royal ceremonies for an indeterminate amount of time. The Queen has, however, kept her emotions in check and needed a little quiet time after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. This was met with anger.

Elizabeth’s ability to look danger in the eye is legendary. The infamous shots fired at Her Majesty during the 1981 Trooping the Colour ceremony had everyone in disarray. The Queen, meanwhile, coolly soldiered on after calming her horse. After the ceremony she returned home via the very same route to Buckingham Palace. It was a “You won’t scare me!” gesture, just shy of a white-gloved thumb to her nose.

Even when a stranger broke into her bedroom in the early morning, Elizabeth kept her head. Michael Fagan slinked inside the palace and startled the Queen by sitting on her bed, talking about how disillusioned he felt.

Public adoration of the Queen skyrocketed. The media duly reported on how wonderful she was and praised her for her timely use of the vital organs during both of those dangerous events.

Come fifteen years later, the same feted Sovereign was criticized for being too cool and remote over Diana’s demise; instead of rushing into London wringing her hands and crying her eyes out, Her Majesty stayed secluded in Scotland’s Balmoral Castle with her grandsons, trying to cope with the tragedy. For this, she was roundly castigated:

WHERE IS OUR QUEEN? WHERE IS HER FLAG? screamed the newspaper headlines.

When trouble strikes, cool heads will save the day; but in this age of emotion, sometimes that isn’t enough.

(c) 2009 MandysRoyalty.org