Royals in the Military

After Prince William’s latest announcement regarding his career now that he is officially retired from the RAF, and with the upcoming book about the lives of RAF wives and Kate’s foreward, I thought it’d be a great time to recap some royals in the military. (Click the photo for the caption.)

Do you think Kate will follow suit of the other Crown Princesses and do basic training?

Royal Reads for Kids — Part I.

Royal Reads -- Children's Books

As an aunt of five little ones–plus two more on the way!–I always love giving them books as gifts (obviously making me the ‘cool’ aunt. 😉 ).

Recently while on the way to Kansas City I was trying to entertain them with ‘ghost stories.’ These included stories of Marie Antoinette’s beheading along with other more grizzly tales from history… they loved it! So now, every time they stay the night, they beg for ‘more ghost stories!’

Naturally, after running out of more PG-tales with a little bit of gore, I started perusing for more material to keep them happy. After an afternoon of research, I found the titles above and thought, ‘Eureka! They’ll love it!’

Should you have a little history buff of your own, you may fancy a gander at these regal reads (descriptions from the publisher)…

1. Power PalaceIn the same series as the award-winning Tower Power, this colourful and lively look at Hampton Court Palace through the ages will delight young history fans (and convert those who didn’t think they were!).

2. Kids’ Kensington Incredible tales from Kensington Palace by Natasha Narayan takes a light-hearted look at Kensington’s history. This lively, fun-filled guide, aimed at 7-9 year-olds reveals the stories of some of Kensington’s more colourful characters including grumpy kings, clever queens, naughty princesses, savage beasts, wild boys and ferocious rat-killers!

3. Tower Power Who built the Tower of London and why? Was it ever attacked? Which kings and queens stayed there? What happened to the prisoners who were kept there? What’s it like now? Discover the answers for yourself in this delightful children’s book packed full of fascinating stories and amusing illustrations.

4. Palace PrincessesThis unashamedly pink book is a fascinating collection of feisty young royals connected with the five historic palaces, from the 12th century Princess Matilda (went to war with her cousin) to 21st century Princess Beatrice (goes to night clubs with her sister). In between, the stories of beautiful, brave, wicked, weak, stupid, stylish, gifted, greedy and sometimes very unhappy princesses will appeal to 9 to 11 year-olds curious to discover more about the lives of real princesses at our palaces.

5. Henry’s Blog ‘Battles and Boys Toys’, ‘My fit new queen’ and ‘ I marry a teenager’. These are just some of the entries in King Henry VIII’s personal blog as Tudor technology might have created it! Henry’s secret thoughts on ruling, fighting, cute babes and all round global fabulousness are revealed in royal blog-speak, via his online diary. 

6. Kings and Queens of England: a little book of rulersWhich queen rewarded a pirate with a knighthood? Who was crowned on Christmas Day? What happened to the two young princes imprisoned in the Tower? Discover these amazing facts and more

Note: While this round of royal reads has to do with British royalty, I am currently looking for more books to feature the other reigning royals of Europe. Also: any suggestions you’d add to a post? I’d love to feature them! Comment below or feel free to email me at

Royal Review: A Royal Affair directed by Nikolaj Arcel

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I was flipping through Netflix a few days ago and came across this gem, A Royal Affair (En Kongelig Affære).

The story

It tells the true story of when Caroline Mathilde (the sister of King George III of Great Britain) married King Christian VII of Denmark.

A sadly familiar theme in royal history, King Christian suffered from ’bouts of mania.’ Thus leaving the young Queen to a new country, language, and mentally unstable husband.

The King finds friendship in his new physician, Struensee who came from Germany and influenced the King with his ideas of enlightenment and new laws for the country of Denmark. Struensee then fell in love with the lonely Queen after the birth of her first child, the future King Frederik VI.

The court grew more and more in contempt of Struensee’s influence on the King, eventually convincing the King of the Queen and Struensee’s ‘plans to kill the King.’ (Of course a lie.)

During this time the Queen gives birth to a daughter, which is actually Struensee’s child. Soon after, the former court staged a coup and deported the Queen to Germany, and executed Struensee.

The story is told from the perspective of Queen Caroline Mathilde, as she writes the story to have handed down to her children.

Personal take

I love Denmark though am admittedly ignorant about its history. Since having au paired in Northern Germany in a town an hour from the Danish border, (next to the town where King Christian III is said to have died, I read last night) my fascination in Denmark has grown exponentially. So it’s no surprised that I love this film.

The story in itself is captivating, and when you add the actors and the detailed scenes and costumes, it’s a beautiful piece. I love that it was done in Danish (with subtitles) and they stayed true to the period and location, not getting to ‘Hollywood,’ if you will. It’s how I wish Marie Antoinette had been done, to be honest.

If you are interested in royals, enjoy period pieces, and love history you’ll love this movie. I rarely buy movies, but this is one I am adding to my collection.

You can watch the trailer here, read more about the film here, and read more about Caroline Mathilde here.

Have you seen the film? What’d you think?

Royal Protocol 101: The Difference Between A ‘Crown Princess’ and a ‘Princess’

(This particular post has to do with Scandinavian Royal Protocol.)
It’s a seemingly simple explanation, though one I hadn’t quite come to realize until just recently…

I assumed Crown Princess (or Prince) was merely a title given, a fancier twist, if you will. But once I thought about it, I remembered that with royals, nothing is happenstance or done on a whim. So I looked further into the title of ‘Crown Princess.’

A ‘Crown Princess’ is heiress apparent.

The perfect example is the Swedish Royal Family:
The first born of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden is Victoria. Since she will then inherit the throne (thanks to the 1979 Act of Succession), she is Crown Princess Victoria.

The King’s two other children are then simply Prince Carl Philip, and Princess Madeleine.

Furthermore, Crown Princess Victoria’s daughter Estelle, being the heiress apparent’s first born, will become Crown Princess Estelle after Victoria’s ascension to the throne.

Royal Protocol 101: What to Do (and Not Do) When Meeting Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II


You find yourself standing in front of Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. Perhaps you’ve been practicing your curtsy for months, waiting for this very moment, or perhaps you’ve managed to bump in to HM on the Tube…(highly unlikely, but let’s just go with it).

Whether it was anticipated or not, this meeting invokes some serious protocol. No fear, here’s your personal guide to acing the situation with poise and grace, like HM herself.

Do: Stand when HM enters the room.

Do: Curtsy, if you’re a woman, and bow, if you’re a man. If you are not a subject of the Queen, you are not required, as she is not the head of your country. However, a polite nod is respectful.

Do: Address Her Majesty as Your Majest. Not Your Royal Highness, etc. After which you should address her as ma’am, rhyming with “ham.”

Do: Keep handshake brief.*


Don’t: Touch the Queen.

Don’t: Reach for a handshake from HM. Wait until she instigates one, if at all.

Don’t: Speak unless spoken to. No matter who you are, you must wait.

Don’t: Ask questions off topic. HM will lead the topic of conversation. Furthermore, do not ask about royal family gossip.

Off to study and practice my subtle curtsy (because even though I’m American, I don’t think I could resist)!


Royal Protocol 101: Titles and Why She Will Never Be ‘Princess Kate’

(This particular post has to do with British Royal Protocol.)

Kate's Royal Titles

Kate’s title is actually Her Royal Highness, Princess William, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn.

And it was never ‘Princess Diana

I couldn’t believe it either when I started researching royal titles last week. But it’s very much true. In fact, a princess is only a Princess (insert name) if she was born into the role. Examples include Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

Since neither Kate nor Diana were born royals, they were never merely ‘Princess Kate’ or ‘Princess Diana.’

But what about ‘Princess of Wales?’

Well yes, this is true. When Kate and William are passed down the title of Prince and Princess of Wales, they will both be exactly that. However, Kate will carry the title along with her husband’s name, ‘Princess William of Wales.’ Or even, ‘Her Royal Highness Catherine, Princess of Wales.’ Likewise, it was always ‘Her Royal Highness Diana, Princess of Wales.’

Upon her divorce from Prince Charles, by order of the Queen, Diana was stripped of all royal titles.

Queen Consort Catherine

The good news is, I suppose, that when Prince William takes the throne, the Duchess of Cambridge (never Duchess Catherine or Kate) will become Her Majesty Queen Consort Catherine (VI).

And should Prince William and Kate have a baby girl next time around, she’ll be a Princess through and through.



**This doesn’t mean I will always refer to her with her proper title. I still call her ‘Princess Kate,’ ‘Duchess Kate,’ and the like.
Photo credit: image one

Royal Protocol 101: To Whom Must Duchess Kate Curtsy?


I read last night that the last time Queen Elizabeth II ever curtsied was when she curtsied to her father the King’s body at his funeral.

Intrigued by this fact I immediately begin looking into the ‘Order of Curtsying,’ or so I call it.

I was surprised to come across the above graphic of the Duchess’s curtsying protocol. I remember reading a bit about the kerfuffle behind the Queen’s deciding of Kate’s position in the royal family, and now looking back at the whole thing a bit more closely, I bet it ruffled Kate’s feathers quite a bit. Especially since she must curtsy to the York Princesses whenever William is not present. (See this post for that situation.)

Oh the drama that must occur behind the ornate drapes of Buckingham Palace.