Royal Tour of Canada, Day One: The Cambridges Arrive In Style

prince william kate middleton hold prince george hand deplane victoria canada

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Watching live CTV coverage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s arrival in Victoria, Canada was exciting AF.

Sure, it was a little less exciting than their inaugural visit back in 2011, when the newlyweds – nay – everyone was basking in a post-royal wedding glow.

prince george points to sky victoria airport caanda

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Fast forward five years, and there are two kids added into the mix.

duke of cambridge holds prince george hand gets off plane victoria canada

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

And so, just as it was in April 2014, the world waited for royal children to step off the plane and make their way down to the tarmac.  Continue reading

6 Canadian Moments That Defined Kate Middleton’s Style

OTTAWA, ON - JULY 01: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Parliament Hill for Canada Day Celebrations on July 1, 2011 in Ottawa, Canada. The newly married Royal Couple are on the second day of their first joint overseas tour. Ottawa is the start of a 12 day visit to North America which will take in some of the more remote areas of the country such as Prince Edward Island, Yellowknife and Calgary. The Royal couple will be joining millions of Canadians in taking part in today's Canada Day celebrations which mark Canada's 144th Birthday. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2011 tour of Canada was my first introduction to a royal tour (albeit from afar).

With the help of royal reporters on the ground, other bloggers and I were able to identify items that would come to be synonymous with the name “Kate Middleton.”

There were also, of course, quirks here and there that those of us who’ve been covering Her Royal Highness have come to recognize (hello, Marilyn Monroe moments!).  Continue reading

Pippa Middleton’s New “Title:” What Does It Actually Mean?

pippa middleton day eleven wimbledon 2011

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Last week, after the dust settled and Pippa Middleton’s engagement to financier James Matthews became old news, the Daily Express revealed that Middleton will one day become “Lady Glen Affric.”

The press had a field day with the news, billing it as a new way for Middleton to try and one-up her older sister, the Duchess of cambridge.  “Two Titles For The Middleton Girls!” was all any media outlet could talk about.

I had absolutely no idea what to make of Middleton’s future title, so I asked royal expert and author Marlene Koenig to clear up the confusion surrounding the future Lady Glen Affric.

What exactly is a lairdship?

Before the Act of Union, when Scotland was an independent kingdom, lairds (15th & 16th century) were property owners holding land separate from the Scottish crown. This allowed them to attend the Scottish Parliament.

By the 17th century, the laird was the chief of a Highland clan.  Continue reading

The Goring Hotel Has A Gin Garden, And It Looks Glorious

hepple gin summer cup the goring hotel

Hepple Summer Cup (The Goring Hotel)

Gin is a very British spirit, and one yours truly loves to enjoy as soon as the clock strikes gin o’clock.

Imagine my delight when hotel and travel site Rebecca Recommends showed me  a cocktail from The Goring Hotel’s summer bar.  Which is a gin garden.  With sheep.  And hills of heather and wildflowers.

The Goring is perhaps best known as the hotel where the Duchess of Cambridge, along with her family,  spent her last night as a commoner singleton, before marrying Prince William at Westminster Abbey on April 29th, 2011.  Continue reading

State Opening of Parliament: A Fascinating Show of British Pomp and Pageantry

queen elizabeth prepares read queen's speech state opening parliament

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Her role as head of state may be technically ceremonial, but Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is still required to preside over a political event crucial to the well-being of her nation.

The State Opening of Parliament is the formal start of the governmental year, taking place in either May or June inside the House of Lords chamber.

queen elizabeth holds prince philip hand walk through royal gallery state opening parliament 2016

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prince philip holds queen elizabeth II white glove hand state opening parliament 2016

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The Queen, wearing the Imperial State Crown and the ermine and velvet-lined Parliament robe (also known as Robe of the State) reads a speech outlined by the government to set the session’s agenda.  Continue reading

Prince George: Mine Is The Greatest Stamp You Will Ever Own

prince charles prince george prince william queen elizabeth special stamp royal family

Ranald Mackechnie/Royal Mail/Getty Images

You know what? We believe him.

Yesterday, the Royal Mail released  special edition stamps to commemorate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday.

Prince George joined his living predecessors for an historic photoshoot, one that sees the future king standing atop durable foam stacks whilst holding his father’s hand.

Brilliant.

The little prince’s first stamp shoot was a true lesson in photography.  Ranald Mackechnie, the man behind the lens, had a splendid time shooting his royal subject.

“He was fascinated by my lights and all the kit, and he was quite happy standing on the blocks, Mackechnie said, according to the Telegraph.

“I took maybe 80 or 100 shots, but when I saw this one I knew straight away that was it.”  Continue reading

The Dowager Countess: 13 of Her Best ‘Downton Abbey’ Zingers

downton abbey dowager countess gives a look

downtonabbeyaddicts.com

Cousin Violet is a sage and stable port in the storm, according to me.

When we were first introduced to the Dowager Countess in 2010, many of us saw a stuffy, outdated old broad who was too stuck in her ways.

Not so, we’ve discovered.  Her Ladyship was perhaps one of the show’s most forward-thinking characters; shse assisted Lady Edith with her unplanned pregnancy, helped Dr. Clarkson soften the blow to Lady Cora regarding the cause of Sybil’s death (even though it was all Robert’s fault for trusting a new doctor), and told Lady Mary to stop being an a–hole and confess her true feelings to Cousin Matthew.

And so, as the sun sets in America on the final episode of Downton Abbey, we remember that quick wit and sassy attitude that made the Dowager Countess an international, timeless treasure.  Continue reading

Sweden’s Royal Baby Named HRH Prince Oscar Carl Olof

crown princess victoria estelle prince daniel take oscar home hospital sweden

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Roughly twelve hours after his birth, the Swedish monarchy has announced the name of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel’s son.

King Carl Gustaf XVI announced at a Council of State meeting that his new grandson would be named HRH Prince Oscar Carl Olof.

The Council of State is held on the occasion of a royal birth, according to the monarchy’s official site.

“The King convenes the Council of State in accordance with Chapter 5, Article 3 of the Instrument of Government, which states that the Government shall hold a Council of State chaired by the Head of State,” the website explainsContinue reading

Royal Biographers Pay Tribute To Queen Elizabeth On Her Historical Milestone

queen elizabeth tiara jewelry Ireland State Visit Dublin Castle

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Today, September 9th, is a very significant day for Her Majesty, who – at 5:30pm local time – will officially surpass her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

The Telegraph clocks Victoria’s reign at “23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes” or 63 years and seven months.  Save for an engagement (the Queen will visit Edinburgh, Midlothian and Tweedbank for the Scottish Borders Railway opening celebrations), Elizabeth II will mark September 9th privately at Balmoral, according to reports.

The Daily Mail‘s Sebastian Shakespeare claims that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will join Her Majesty on September 9th for a “private dinner.”   Continue reading

21 Thoughts the Queen Had While Looking Back On Her Historic Reign

Queen Elizabeth Smiles Buckingham Palace Balcony Royal Family RAF Flypast

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Everyone gather round!  Something splendid is about to happen and you must pay attention.

As of tomorrow, the Queen will have surpassed Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning British monarch in history, a milestone that Her Majesty won’t be celebrating with a victory lap, but it’s a remarkable achievement nonetheless.

Imagine if the Queen looked back on photos during her reign?  What memories would come to mind?  What has been blocked out (aside from the Windsor fire and three out of her four kids getting a divorce)?

Let’s see, shall we?  Continue reading