Albert and Charlene present their twins

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The Daily Mail (UK) has video of today’s presentation of Princess Gabriella and Hereditary Prince Jacques to the people of Monaco. It looks like the babies slept through the whole thing, though Jacques has his hand up in a Prince George-style wave.

Swedish Royal Family Film on SVT

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Last year, Swedish broadcaster SVT followed the Swedish Royal Family on some official engagements and interviewed them this past July at Solliden Palace for a film which aired yesterday on Swedish television. It is, of course, nearly entirely in Swedish, but there is an interview with Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill which is about half in English (I guess Chris hasn’t mastered Swedish yet) and full of footage of Princess Leonore. There is also an interview with Prince Carl Philip and his fiancee Sofia Hellqvist. And, as always, there is Princess Estelle being her adorable self.

It is available for worldwide viewing, but will only be available for 29 more days, so I would plan to watch it before the end of January. (For those sensitive to language, there is one English curse word at the very end of the video.)

RepliKate: Danish Floral Aigrette Tiara

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I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a RepliKate, but to be honest, Kate spends most of her time being a mother to a toddler these days, we don’t see her all that often. But even though this feature is called “RepliKate,” I’ll definitely share about other royals’ style as well, which brings us to today: a “RepliQueen.”

One of the jewels that is worn often by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is a floral aigrette tiara that she inherited from her mother, Queen Ingrid. An aigrette is a type of brooch that can be used to embellish a hat or a turban, usually to fasten a feather. They were also used as hair accessories, back in the days when ladies would wear giant feathers in their hair. (If you’ve ever seen Princess Astrid of Norway’s Feather Aigrette – aka the “antenna tiara” – imagine it holding up a couple of feathers.)

You can check out Ella Kay’s Court Jeweler page for a history of Margrethe’s Floral Aigrette, but one of the great things about this tiara is its flexibility, an attribute that actually makes it one of my favorite tiaras.

Claire’s (an accessories store, and sort of the “little sister” to Icing, a store I’ve mentioned in past RepliKates) is selling what they call a “hair swag.” Because it’s jointed in three pieces, each with its own clip, it allows you to be flexible in how you wear it, much like Margrethe’s tiara. And even though it’s not floral like Margrethe’s, from far off it even looks like a smaller version of the Floral Aigrette. They also have a pearl hair swag, though it only has clips on the two end pieces.

I personally don’t own it yet, but I plan to keep track of it in the hopes of catching a sale.

Another Christmas video from Victoria, Daniel, and Estelle

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It’s just a Sweden sort of day here.

In addition to Princess Madeleine’s baby news, the Swedish Royal Court shared this year’s video greeting card from Haga Palace. In it, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, and almost-3-year-old Princess Estelle decorate their Christmas tree.

My favorite part is (as always) Estelle, dancing around and being a little goof by hiding under the couch cushions. It will be so much fun to watch her grow up.

You can watch the video here (or embedded above) and see more pictures of Estelle.

To all my lovely readers around the world, I wish you a very merry Christmas!

Another baby for Madeleine and Chris!

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Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill with their daughter Princess Leonore after her christening.

Photo by Anna-Lena Ahlström, courtesy kungahuset.se

Princess Leonore is going to be a big sister!

It was announced today by the Royal Court that Princess Madeleine of Sweden is expecting her second child, due in summer.

(Carl Philip and Sofia’s wedding is also supposed to take place in summer, so hopefully Madeleine will be able to make the wedding.)

Grattis/Congratulations to the happy couple!

Monaco Twins update

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Video courtesy MonacoInfo on YouTube.

Prince Albert II of Monaco took to YouTube to announce the birth of his children and thank the people of Monaco and the world for their good wishes. (Albert’s message in English begins at 1:02.) Also, the Princely Palace has formally begun a period of celebration – the same one they mentioned last month, with bunting and flags – which will end when Albert and Charlene present the twins to the principality on January 7. (In the past, other Monegasque princely children were presented at about a month old as well.)

Finally, the people of Monaco are invited to come to the Palace and sign guest books as a way of sending their congratulations, but if you don’t live anywhere near Monaco, you may send a note to secr2s@ palais.mc (Just remove the space after the @, which I have done in order to prevent spamming of the princely inbox.)

A girl and a boy for Albert and Charlene!

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Les Carabiniers du Prince firing cannons from Fort Antoine to mark the birth of the Princely Twins.

Photo courtesy France Bleu Azur on Twitter.

Today, at just after 5 PM Monaco time, Princess Charlene gave birth to her twins, a girl and a boy.

Their names are Princess Gabriella Thérèse Marie and Hereditary Prince Jacques Honoré Rainier. As the Hereditary Prince and heir, Jacques also receives the title Marquis of Baux and as 2nd in line, Gabriella receives the title Countess of Carladès. (The Grimaldis hold many French titles, though some have become extinct and the Grimaldis hold them in pretence.)
 
Even though Gabriella was born about two minutes ahead of her brother, because Monaco still practices male-preference primogeniture, Jacques is the new Hereditary Prince and Albert’s heir. (I confess I would love to see this changed before the babies become too much older.)
But all that matters is that Charlene and the twins are healthy. Félicitations (congratulations) to the happy family!

Queen Fabiola of Belgium, 1928-2014

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It has been announced by the Belgian Monarchy that Queen Fabiola of Belgium has died at the age of 86.

She was born Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón to an aristocratic Spanish family and was working as a nurse in Spain when she was selected to marry King Baudouin of the Belgians, whom she married in 1960. Fabiola was a popular queen, partly because of her devotion to Belgium and the Roman Catholic Church, and partly because of her 5 pregnancies, all of which ended in miscarriages.

King Baudoin died in 1993, and Fabiola stepped back to a quieter life, but remained devoted to her pet causes, which included mental health, and women’s and children’s issues; she was also the patron of the  Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Music Competition, with which she was closely involved. Her brother- and sister-in-law King Albert II and Queen Paola also continually included her in state events, and she appeared on the balcony last year with the royal family when Philippe was invested as King. Notably, she was hospitalized for pneumonia in 2009. After she recovered, she received death threats that she would be shot with a crossbow. Fabiola later appeared at Belgium’s National Day festivities waving an apple in reference to the story of William Tell.

Sadly, it seems Fabiola never truly recovered from the lung infection, though the Palace has not announced an official cause of death.

My condolences to the Belgian Royal Family.

Birth celebration plans for Monaco

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At the end of November, the Princely Palace of Monaco announced what has been planned to celebrate the birth of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s children (in case you missed the announcement, Charlene is indeed having twins). There are a few updates to old traditions, and an interesting issue (for me, at least).

First, there will be a 42-gun salute from Fort Antoine (21 for each child). In the past, first-born daughters (such as Princess Caroline, Prince Albert’s elder sister) received 21 guns, but there was a 101-gun salute for the birth of Prince Albert, who was born Hereditary Prince. Following the salute, bells will ring across Monaco, and boaters will be encouraged to honk their horns.

The Palace will post the birth proclamations in the Palace’s “Petit Quartiers,” and there will be registry books available for the people in Monaco to sign. Finally, the Monegasques* may put up bunting and flags in their homes from the day of the births to the day the children are presented to the country at the Palace (a day which will be a national holiday).

The interesting issue to me is that Monaco seems willing to retain male-preference primogeniture, meaning one of two things will happen when the twins are born:

  • The first is that the elder twin will be the heir/ess, either because both twins are the same gender, or because they are mixed twins where the elder twin is a boy.
  • The second is that a younger boy twin will succeed Albert ahead of his elder sister.

Especially after the debate about the succession in other countries (and two princesses** taking traditionally-male positions as heir apparent in the last year and a half) It will be interesting to see what happens in Monaco in the future (the babies are due before the end of the year).

Above all, however, I wish Princess Charlene a healthy end to her pregnancy and an easy delivery.

*If you read the proclamation, you will see it make a distinction between “people of Monaco,” or the Monegasque citizens, and “residents of the Principality” which I assume are ex-pats living in Monaco. There is also a phrase about “people working in the Principality,” which I assume means everybody living in Monaco.

**Princess Amalia, Princess of Orange in The Netherlands and Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant in Belgium. As Spain still has male-preference primogeniture, Princess Leonor, Princess of Asturias, is still heiress presumptive and could still technically be supplanted by a younger brother… as would girl/girl Grimaldi twins if Charlene were to have a son in the future.

Another baby for William and Kate!

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Prince George is going to be a big brother!

It was announced on Monday by Clarence House that Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant with her second child.

Unfortunately, as with the announcement almost two years ago that Kate was pregnant with George, the announcement was made early because Kate is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (which literally means “excessive vomiting in pregnancy”), and it forced Kate to miss an engagement in Oxford. However, instead of being treated in a hospital, Kate is being treated at Kensington Palace.

No other details are being announced yet; we should apparently hear a due month once Kate hits twelve weeks. However, it should be a spring baby (April-May-ish.)

Prince Charles has already expressed his excitement about becoming a grandfather again, and said that he hopes this little one is a girl.

I wish Kate a speedy recovery and a happy, healthy pregnancy!

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