The Christening of Prince Nicolas of Sweden (In Photos)

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The Prince was christened Nicolas Paul Gustaf

People magazine writes:

When it comes to royal christenings, Princess Charlotte may have some competition.

Sweden’s newest little prince, H.R.H. Prince Nicolas Paul Gustaf, Duke of Angermanland, was baptized in royal splendor at the Royal Chapel in the Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm, on Sunday.

Nicolas, the son of Princess Madeleine, 33, and her British-American husband Christopher O’Neill, 41, was born on June 15, only a few days after his parents attended the royal wedding for Madeleine’s older brother Prince Carl Philip. Nicolas’ connection to his uncle will be further cemented at the christening, as Carl Philip is set to serve as his godfather. The handsome prince is no stranger to godfather duty – he is already one to Nicolas’ cousin Princess Estelle.

Much like the British royal family, the Swedes have christening traditions of their own. Nicolas wore a christening gown that had previously been worn by Carl Philip during his christening in 1979.

Nicolas’ christening marks the third major royal baptism of this year. Monaco’s royal twins, Gabriella Thérése Marie and Jacques Honoré Rainier Grimaldi, were christened in May, while Prince William and Princess Kate‘s daughter was baptized in July.

As with Charlotte’s christening, Nicolas’ elder sibling, 19-month-old Princess Leonore, stole the show.

Can we just take a minute to talk about how STUNNING Princess Madeleine looks? She exudes happiness and it’s absolutely wonderful to see.

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On a gossip note: It seems that Emma Pernald, Prince Carl Philip’s ex before Sofia was invited to be a guest, seeing as how she’s one of Madeleine’s best friends, but was asked not to attend at the request of Carl Philip and Sofia? So many questions, so little time. I can kind of see that happening. But I don’t know, do Carl Philip and Sofia really have that much power?

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A love straight out of a Harry tale…

HARRY SITUATION

I was really surprised to read on twitter the other night that Harry is now being reported as being back together with Cressida. I mean, wasn’t it *just* reported that he was back with Chelsy? I can’t keep up. My head was spinning.

Naturally, I wanted answers. 😉

Royal Twitter Gossip

I must admit, the royal correspondents on twitter answer 99% of my tweets, even during the busy moments on tour. I’m really impressed and thankful for them taking their time to respond.

Let’s look at the varying reports:

US Weekly claims: Chelsy and Harry are back together.

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The sexy redheaded royal and Davy, 29, have been secretly meeting up since a date in February, sources tell Us. For Harry’s 31st birthday, the bubbly corporate lawyer flew 8,500 miles to be by his side in London. (US Weekly.)

The Sun: Cressida and Harry are back together. 

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The 26-year-old actress joined him and close friends for the bash in a private room at a pub.

They were reunited on Tuesday night, just hours after The Sun revealed Cressida had split from her actor boyfriend.

Our exclusive pictures are the clearest indication that the pair want to give their relationship another go, as we had also reported. (The Sun.)

People magazine: Harry is unattached. 

Prince Harry Unattached

While he is clearly keeping close to his exes, the source tells PEOPLE he doesn’t have anyone special in his life at the moment. (Cue the confetti.) (People magazine.)

This Vanity Fair article delves even deeper into the latest reports.

So, now that you’ve read this weirdly long discourse on the love life of Prince Harry, you probably have even less of a sense of what is going on than before you read it! Is he still with Chelsy? Reconnected with Cressida? Romancing both of them simultaneously?!?! Or is he using the two as a distraction from his relationship with, like, Suki Waterhouse, or even, just maybe, a “commoner”? Maybe he’s dating Gwyneth Paltrow, and she’s the reason he’s been sporting the Chris Martin-y scruff! O.K., now we’re just blatantly making stuff up; all this uncertainty has us delirious. (Vanity Fair.)

One thing is for certain, though…

Harry with a beard

King & Queen of Spain’s US Tour: First stop, Washington D.C.

Spanish Royals in Washington DC

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain are currently on a US tour. They kicked it off with a visit to Capital Hill.

Bienvenido to America!

Washington, D.C., is getting the royal treatment this week as the city plays host to Queen Letiziaand King Felipe of Spain.

The glamorous couple – who rose to the throne after Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos, abdicated in 2014 – are on a four-day tour of the U.S., starting in the nation’s capital.

For their first official visit to the U.S. as king and queen, the Spanish royals took care to start off with spots that held a significance for their homeland. They requested that their first visit be to George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, “to highlight the long-standing historic relations between our two countries,” said Ramón Gil-Casares, Spanish Ambassador to the United States. (People magazine.)

You can see more photos from their time in Washington, D.C. here.

Impromptu Family Reunion: Scandinavian Royals Edition

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Two generations of Scandanavian royals got together at Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s holiday home in Mågerø south of Oslo, Norways last weekend, People Magazine reports.

It’s your typical end-of-summer getaway with friends – except these friends are all heirs to a throne.

Members of the royal families of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Luxembourg got together for a weekend away on Tjørne, an island near Oslo, Norway. The gathering was a chance for two generations of heirs from Scandinavia’s royal families to catch up – and for their children to play together.

Making an appearance at the get-together were Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark with their four children, Christian, Isabella, Josephine, and Vincent Guillaume, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and his wife Stèphanie, and the expecting Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden with her daughter, Princess Estelle (Prince Daniel was at home with a cold). (People)

I’m always fascinated about what these get-togethers must be like. I’m guessing they’re shockingly similar to those of us “normal folk,” — kids running around, swapping the latest stories from work, reminiscing about time past… I’d love to be a fly on the wall to find out! I just love the Scandinavian Royals. They seem so down to earth and… normal.

Much (a)’do about nothing: Kate’s New ‘do

KATE'S NEW HAIRKate’s hair has long since been one of her few claims to fame. Her hair is reported on more than one could imagine (like this one from Elle, 38 PHOTOS OF PEOPLE MESMERIZED BY KATE MIDDLETON’S GLORIOUS HAIR)… and while I must admit it’s Pantene covergirl worthy… at the end of the day, it’s just hair.

But, of course, it was no surprise when reports started buzzing last night on twitter about a paparazzi shot from this weekend which featured what seems to be a new style (finally), this time with bangs.

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Let’s not forget Kate has had bangs before and they didn’t seem to last long… let’s see how long this new look stays.

PANGBOURNE, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 30: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge takes part in a day of activities and festivities to mark the occasion of St Andrew's Day at St Andrew's School on November 30, 2012 in Pangbourne, Berkshire, England. The Duchess visited the Pre-Prep School for under-5s, unveiled a plaque to officially open a new artificial turf playing field and met members of the school's hockey team, which she played for during her time as a pupil at the school (1986-1995). The Duchess also toured the school privately and watched the school's Progressive Games which are traditional games played indoors by teachers and students on St. Andrew's Day. (Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Which look do you prefer?

For what it’s worth, I think the new look is really lovely.

‘History in 10’ Sunday: King Ludwig II

History in Ten

Happy Sunday, everyone! I’m really excited to introduce this new weekly feature for Duchess-at-Large: ‘History in 10’ Sundays. There’re so many fascinated royal figures in history and I really want to share some of the cool things I’ve researched over the years… that’s where History in 10 comes in. Every Sunday I’ll be sharing 10 facts about various royal-related topics, everything from historical royals to palaces, as well as provide some further resources for you to learn more.

For the first ‘History in 10’, I’ve chosen one of my all-time favorite royals, King Ludwig II. After living in Munich for a year, it’s no surprise that I’ve really been inspired to dive more into his life. That’s what I love about living in Europe, royal history is literally all around… So let’s get down to it!

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10. Ludwig II, son of Maximilian II and Princess Maria of Prussia, was born August 25, 1845 at Nymphemburg Palace in Munich. He had an isolated childhood, as many royal children did, and was reminded of his royal duties since a young age. Though he wasn’t close with his parents, his father did build him a fantasy castle, Castle Hohenschwangau, which had walls adorned with scenes from fairy tales where Prince Ludwig enjoyed times of solitude, lost in his own imagination.

“Ludwig enjoyed dressing up … took pleasure in play acting, loved pictures and the like … and liked … making presents of his property, money and other possessions”, said his mother. This was not to change. His vivid imagination, his tendency to isolate himself, and his pronounced sense of sovereignty were also already evident when Ludwig was a child. (Source.)

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9. Prince Ludwig ascended the throne in 1864, at the young age of 18. He was well-received by the Bavarian people, and was known for “his brooding good looks.” Though he was painfully shy and preferred isolation to large public functions, King Ludwig II tried his best to take over the role of King.

“I became king much too early. I had not learned enough. I had made such a good beginning … with the learning of state laws. Suddenly I was snatched away from my books and set on the throne. Well, I am still trying to learn …” (Source.)

8. Since childhood, King Ludwig II had a close friendship with his cousin Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria, later Empress Elisabeth (Sisi) of Austria. She was one of his closest confidants and they would write letters often. She called him “Eagle,” and he called her “Dove.”

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7. On New Year’s Day, 1867, King Ludwig II’s engagement to Duchess Sophie Charlotte, Empress Elisabeth’s sister and King Ludwig’s cousin, was announced. The wedding was planned to take place on King Ludwig’s 22nd birthday, but was postponed to October. The week before the wedding, Ludwig broke off the engagement with Sophie through a letter, explaining that he only loved her like a sister, and hoped they stay friends. (Royal breakups, they’re just like ours!)

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6. It’s been widely speculated that King Ludwig II was gay. He was close with a few male companions throughout the years, but there is no proof that their relationships were amorous. He was a devout Catholic and was said to have struggled with his sexuality because of his religious devotion.

5. King Ludwig II was obsessed with composer Richard Wagner (to say the least). Upon his becoming King, Ludwig immediately summoned Wagner to Munich, where Ludwig essentially saved Wagner from financial ruin.

“… Today I was brought to him. He is unfortunately so beautiful and wise, soulful and lordly, that I fear his life must fade away like a divine dream in this base world … You cannot imagine the magic of his regard: if he remains alive it will be a great miracle!” wrote the composer after his first meeting. (Source.)

Political conflicts and Wagner’s anti-Semitic sentiments ultimately led to King Ludwig II having him removed from court.

4. King Ludwig II became obsessed with creating a fantasy world which he could rule. He began spending less and less time in Munich and more time at palaces in remote locations. Starting in 1875, Ludwig would only sleep during the day and live at night, forcing his servants to do the same. He had special pulleys and levers created so he could be served through floorboards, so as not to have any contact with servants.

3. The creation of this fantasy world ultimately led Ludwig, and the State of Bavaria, to financial ruin. Because of his refusal to stop his spending, he was deposed as King and declared as being “insane” by psychiatrist Bernhard von Gudden.

If anything, Gudden’s diagnosis of paranoia and insanity casts a dim light on the doctor’s own decidedly odd methods. Instead of examining the king himself, he based his report on interviews with a few of his aides in secret night-time meetings. (Source.)

It’s also worth noting that Ludwig’s brother, Otto, was already locked away at this time under claims of him also being “insane.”

2.  On June 13, 1886, King Ludwig II went for a walk with his psychiatrist, Dr. Gudden. Their bodies were discovered floating in Lake Starnberg, they had drown. No one knows much more than that, and the details surrounding their deaths continue to remain a mystery.

1.  One of the most famous quotes of King Ludwig II. also happens to be the most fitting:

“I wish to forever remain an enigma, both to myself and to others.”

To learn more about the fascinating life of King Ludwig II, I recommend…

This article from the Atlantic about the 125th Anniversary of his death.

This piece from Der Spiegel on whether or not he was truly mentally ill.

This podcast episode about him from the brilliant Stuff You Missed In History Class.

This book, The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria by Christopher McIntosh.

And this movie, which I just watched last night (and loved!), Ludwig II.

Bonus: King Ludwig II’s modern-day doppelgängers.

Do you have any recommendations for future ‘History in 10’ posts? Let me know!

Relationship Status: It’s Complicated. Are Prince Harry & Chelsy Davy back together?

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First there was the wonderful news from Sweden about Crown Princess Victoria’s pregnancy. Now, there’re reports of Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy getting back together? What a great week for royal news!

A quick recap:

Chelsy Davy, lawyer and daughter of a Zimbabwean safari farmer, has had a an on-again, off-again relationship with Prince Harry since 2004. Chelsy officially called the relationship “quits” in 2011 on Facebook, as one does. She declared the royally life “not for her,” though she and Prince Harry have stayed friends, even attending the royal wedding in 2011.

Here’s a great timeline from the NZ Herald:

A timeline of their on-off romance

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2004: The pair first meet. Miss Davy, 19, is a pupil at Cheltenham Ladies College near Prince Charles’s Highgrove estate. They later go public with their relationship when they are spotted holidaying together in Argentina and Prince William says his younger brother is “madly in love”.

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April 2006: Miss Davy is rumoured to be “livid” after Harry reportedly visited a lap-dancing club near Slough to celebrate the end of his training at Sandhurst.

September 2007: Miss Davy starts a degree in law at Leeds University.

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October 2007: Newspapers report the couple’s split after Harry misses Miss Davy’s 22nd birthday party to go to the Rugby World Cup final in Paris. But the pair reconcile later that month.

May 2008: The couple attend Peter Phillips’s wedding to Autumn Kelly, Miss Davy’s first official outing as the Prince’s girlfriend at a formal royal family function.

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January 2009: Friends discover the couple have broken up after Ms Davy changes her relationship status on Facebook to single. Harry is said to be “gutted”.

September 2009: The split does not last long with the couple getting back together a few months after.

Prince Harry and girlfriend Chelsy Davy leave a service of remembrance for those who have died in Afghanistan, at the Army Garrison Church in Windsor. London, England - 05.05.08 Featuring: Prince Harry and girlfriend Chelsy Davy Where: London, United Kingdom When: 05 May 2008 Credit: Anwar Hussein/ WENN

June 2010: The pair are said to have broken up again.

February 2011: The couple are reported to have rekindled their relationship with a romantic meal at a London restaurant.

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April 2011: Harry reportedly tells Miss Davy at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: “You’re next”. But the couple split again soon after the event.

November 2011: Miss Davy reportedly turns down a lucrative offer to write a kiss-and-tell book about her romance with Harry.

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December 2013: The phone hacking trial heard how the News of the World’s former royal editor, Clive Goodman, described Ms Davy “blitzing” Prince Harry with “dozens of calls”.

September 2015: Reports suggest the pair are considering giving the relationship another try.

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One thing is certain, Harry wants to find a wife. He has said so himself on several occasions, and twice publicly. And the endlessly fascinating subject of Harry’s love life appears unlikely to fade as a subject of tabloid obsession, especially after reports surfaced in the Sun newspaper claiming that while he was in Africa, Harry met up with his former girlfriend Chelsy Davy, and the two are now “openly discussing giving their relationship another go”.

Sources have long told the Royalist that Harry and Chelsy have continued to hold a candle for each other.

Chelsy, a Zimbabwean by birth, split up with her boyfriend, jeweler Charles Goode, in January. Chelsy and Harry have long been thought by many of their friends to be made for each other—they were both known for their love of wild partying when they dated between 2004 and 2010. It was widely rumored at the time that they had planned to marry, but that Chelsy took fright at the prospect of living in the royal goldfish bowl following the wedding of William and Kate.

A reunion would be welcomed by many of their set, but—if it does happen—any revived relationship would be conducted with the utmost clandestine secrecy. Only a handful of Harry’s closest friends would be let in on the secret. (The Daily Beast)

It’s no secret that I, too, have held a candle for this pair. I think they were a lovely match and that Chelsy is the independent, spunky type of gal the Royal Family certainly needs. I’m not sure if the reports are true, but I do think it’d be wonderful if they were.

What’s your take?

Queen Elizabeth II: The Longest-Reigning Monarch in British History

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Congratulations are obviously in order for Queen Elizabeth II who overtook Queen Victoria’s previously held title as the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Yesterday marked her 63rd year on the throne.

Seeing as how I haven’t had as much time to dedicate a post to her for this occasion, and I figured other sites would have far better posts for her, I figured a little shout out will have to do for now.

For other Queen Elizabeth posts here at Duchess-at-Large, click here.