(VIDEOS) TIMs Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan Visit a Cherry Farm.

On Thursday, June 18, 2015, Their Imperial Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan visited the Tenko-en Orchard in Higashine in the Yamagata Prefecture.  During their visit the emperor and empress picked cherries and met with the owners as well as staff from the farm.

Thereafter, the imperial couple visited the Higashine City Hall where they were warmly welcomed by local government officials as well as by the people from the town.

Imperial Family of Japan

(VIDEOS) The Emperor and Empress of Japan Visit the District of Kita-Harao.

On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Their Imperial Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan visited the Kita-Harao district in Zao, Miyagi, Japan.

The Japanese newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, writes that the community of Kita-Harao “…was developed through the toil of Japanese who left the battle-scarred South Pacific island of Palau after World War II.  [The emperor and empress met with three residents] who were among those who settled [in the district] from Palau at a stone monument commemorating the establishment of the community.”

Imperial Family of Japan

(VIDEO) TRHs The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall Attend Service at St. Paul’s Cathedreal

On the morning of Thursday, June 18, 2015, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrived at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England, to attend a service commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

According to Clarence House His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex and Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Duchess of Gloucester along with:

“…[the Mayor of London] Boris Johnson and descendants of those who fought in the bloody battle, including the 9th Duke of Wellington, were among those at the service.

Guests filed in to remember the day, 200 years ago, when nearly 180,000 men from across Europe converged on the muddy battlefield at Waterloo in modern day Belgium.

On June 18 1815, Napoleon’s formidable Grande Armee clashed with Allied troops, led by the British military commander, the Duke of Wellington. Stirring extracts from accounts of the battle were read by British, French and German readers at the service today and the church bells rang after the ceremony.”

 Click here to view photos.

British Royals

HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden Gives Birth to a Healthy Baby Boy.

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On Monday, June 15, 2015, Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine of Sweden gave birth to a healthy baby boy at the Danderyds Sjukhus Hospital in Stockholm.

According to the Swedish royal court, mother and son are doing well and Mr. Christopher O’Neill was “…present at the hospital throughout the birth.”

Congrats to the couple!

Photo courtesy of Kungahuset

Swedish Royals

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Visits Granville, France.

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On Monday, June 15, 2015, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco began his two-day visit to Granville, France.

The day began with a reception hosted by local government officials in honor of the sovereign prince’s visit.  Thereafter, Prince Albert II unveiled a plaque in honor of his ancestors who once inhabited the area.

In the afternoon, Prince Albert II arrived at the Musée d’Art Moderne Richard Anacréon where he opened the exhibition, 1715-2015 Granville Monaco: Rêver l’Histoire.

Please click here, here, and here to view photos.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Monaco Princely Family

(VIDEOS) HM Queen Elizabeth II Celebrates the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta.

On Monday, June 15, 2015, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal attended a service in Runnymede, England, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

Click here to view photos.

British Royals

Members of the British Royal Family Attend Service for the Order of the Garter.

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On Monday, June 15, 2015, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh along with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge, His Royal Highness The Duke of York, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, and Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, the Honorable Lady Oglivy attended Service for the Order of the Garter held at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England.

Watching the procession to the chapel were Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester.

Established in 1348 by His Majesty King Edward III the Order of the Garter is:

“…the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry.  [With the motto ‘Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense’ Shame on Him Who Thinks This Evil], the Order, consisting of the King and twenty-five knights, honours those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally.

The patron saint of the Order is St George (patron saint of soldiers and also of England) and the spiritual home of the Order is St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Every knight is required to display a banner of his arms in the Chapel, together with a helmet, crest and sword and an enamelled stallplate.

These ‘achievements’ are taken down on the knight’s death and the insignia are returned to the Sovereign. The stallplates remain as a memorial and these now form one of the finest collections of heraldry in the world.

The insignia of the Order have developed over the centuries, starting with a garter and badge depicting St George and the Dragon. A collar was added in the sixteenth century, and the star and broad riband in the seventeenth century.

Although the collar could not be decorated with precious stones (the statutes forbid it), the other insignia could be decorated according to taste and affordability. George IV, well-known for his vanity, left 55 different Garter badges of varying styles.

Over the years, a number of knights have been ‘degraded’ (for the crimes of heresy, treason or cowardice) or even executed – such as Lord Scrope of Masham (a childhood friend of Henry V), and the 3rd Duke of Buckingham in 1521. Charles I wore his Order (ornamented with over 400 diamonds) to his execution in 1649.

From the eighteenth century to 1946, appointments to the Order (and to the Order of the Thistle) were made on advice from government.

Today, the Order has returned to its original function as a mark of Royal favour; Knights of the Garter are chosen personally by the Sovereign to honour those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally.

The number of knights is limited to 24, plus Royal knights. For much of its history, the Garter was limited to the aristocracy, but today the knights are from varied backgrounds. If there are vacancies in the Order, appointments are announced on St George’s Day (23 April).

Every June, the Knights of the Garter gather at Windsor Castle, where new knights take the oath and are invested with the insignia. A lunch is given in the Waterloo Chamber, after which the knights process to a service in St George’s Chapel, wearing their blue velvet robes (with the badge of the Order – St George’s Cross within the Garter surrounded by radiating silver beams – on the left shoulder) and black velvet hats with white plumes.  The Queen (whose father George VI appointed her and her husband to the Order in 1947) attends the service as Sovereign of the Order. Other members of the Royal Family in the Order also attend, including The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal.

During the Middle Ages ladies were associated with the Order, although unlike today they did not enjoy full membership. One of the last medieval ladies to be honoured was Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII and grandmother of Henry VIII.

After her death in 1509 the Order remained exclusively male, except for reigning queens as Sovereign of the Order, until 1901 when Edward VII made Queen Alexandra a lady of the Order.

In 1987, The Queen decided that women should be eligible for the Garter in the same way as men. Women are therefore included in this number and currently Lady Soames (the youngest daughter of Sir Winston Churchill, also a holder of the Order of the Garter) holds this honour.”

Click here to view photos. 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images/WPA Pool

British Royals

(VIDEOS) HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry of Wales Participate in a Charity Polo Match.

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On Sunday, June 14, 2015, His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge and His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales participated in the Gigaset Charity Polo Match — featuring Royal Salute vs. Piaget — held at the Beaufort Polo Club in Tetbury, England.

Watching today’s match were HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince George of Cambridge.

Click here to view photos.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Chris Jackson

British Royals

(VIDEOS) Trooping the Colour 2015

On Saturday, June 13, 2015, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales, His Royal Highness The Duke of York, Their Royal Highnesses Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal and Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester attended the 2015 Trooping the Colour held at Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall in London.

After the ceremony members of the royal family including His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, Lady Louise Windsor, James, Viscount Severn appeared on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

Per the British royal court regarding the history and tradition of Trooping the Colour:

“Although The Queen was born on 21 April, it has long been the tradition to celebrate the Sovereign’s birthday publicly on a day in the summer, when good weather is more likely.

Trooping the Colour is carried out by fully trained and operational troops from the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry) on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, watched by members of the Royal Family, invited guests and members of the public. 

This military ceremony dates back to the early eighteenth century or earlier, when the colours (flags) of the battalion were carried (or ‘trooped’) down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers. 

Since 1748, this parade has also marked the Sovereign’s official birthday. From the reign of Edward VII onwards, the Sovereign has taken the salute in person at Trooping the Colour.

During the ceremony, The Queen is greeted by a Royal salute and carries out an inspection of the troops.

After the massed bands have performed a musical ‘troop’, the escorted Regimental Colour is carried down the ranks.

The Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry then march past Her Majesty, and The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, rank past.

The Queen rides in a carriage back to Buckingham Palace at the head of her Guards, before taking the salute at the Palace from a dais. The troops then return to barracks.

Her Majesty then joins other members of the Royal Family on the palace balcony for a fly-past by the Royal Air Force.

The Queen has attended Trooping the Colour every year of her reign, except in 1955 when a national rail strike cancelled the event.” 

Please click here and here to view photos.

British Royals

TRHs Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden: The Official Wedding Photos.

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On Sunday, June 14, 2015, the Swedish royal court finally released the official wedding photos of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princes Sofia of Sweden.  The images were shot by Swedish photographer, Mattias Edwall, at the Kungliga Slottet (royal palace) in Stockholm.

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Missed yesterday’s royal wedding or do you simply want to watch it again?  Well, click here to watch the entire 9+ hours of the SVT broadcast of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia’s wedding in Stockholm.

Photos courtesy of the Swedish royal court/M.Edwall

Swedish Royals

HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco Attends the 55th Edition of the Festival Télévision de Monte-Carlo.

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On Saturday, June 13, 2015, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco attended the opening ceremony of the 55th Edition of the Festival Télévision de Monte-Carlo held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

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Click here to view photos.

Photos courtesy of the Palais Princier

 

Monaco Princely Family

(VIDEO) HRH Prince Carl Philip of Sweden Marries the Love of His Life.

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On Saturday, June 13, 2015, His Royal Highness Prince Carl Philip of Sweden married the love of his life, Miss Sofia Hellqvist, inside the Slottskyrkan at the Kungliga Slottet in Stockholm.  The lovely ceremony was presided over by Lars-Göran Lönnermark, head Predicate and Bishop Emeritus, and Michael Bjerkhagen, Pastor of the Royal Court Parish.

The processional song was Athair ar Neamh by Enya.  Hymns during the ceremony were #289: Wide is, o Lord, Your Love, like Beach and Meadow and #200: Go Seek, My Heart, the Joys of Life.  The traditional wedding songs Fix You by Coldplay and Umbrella by Rihanna were also included in the ceremony.

psssofiaNow, onto the Princess Sofia’s gown.  It was designed by Swedish designer, Ms. Ida Sjöstedt. According to the Swedish royal court the gown is made from:

“…silk crepe overlaid with Italian silk organza. Couture lace made by José María Ruiz was applied to the dress and the train was hand-cut and then hand-stitched in Ida Sjöstedt’s atelier in Stockholm.

The veil in thin bridal tulle was also hand-embroidered with sheer cotton lace.  The tiara is a gift from The King and Queen to Princess Sofia.

The bride carried a cascade style bouquet of garden roses with a traditional sprig of myrtle from Sofiero. The flowers were in shades of cream and coral.”

Royal guests in attendance included, well, not that many compared to most royal weddings.  So who attended today’s grand affair?

  1. Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
  2. Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
  3. Their Royal Highnesses Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark
  4. Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium
  5. Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
  6. Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex
  7. Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway
  8. Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
  9. Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Mr. Ari Behn
  10. Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado
  11. HH Hereditary Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha
  12. TRHs Prince Nikolas and Princess Tatiana of Greece
  13. TRHs Prince Leopold and Princess Ursula of Bavaria
  14. TRHs Prince Manuel and Princess Anna of Bavaria

If you missed the royal wedding or if you simply want to watch the whole glamorous wedding all over again then please click here.

 Click here to view photos. 

Swedish Royals