Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Royal Roundup: Sophie's Emotional Hospital Visit, Danish Royals attend Gala Dinner + All the Latest News

Good evening, we have a varied selection of updates to share with you tonight. We hope you enjoy!

The Countess of Wessex made an emotional return to Frimley Park Hospital, where she gave birth to her two children, to officially open a new neonatal unit. Sophie spent quite a while chatting to parents and admiring their new babies, most of whom had been born prematurely. It was the first time Sophie had been back since her son James was born in 2007.

Frimley Park Hospital

As she unveiled a plaque for the new ward, the Countess gave a speech:

'Thank you for inviting me here, it is good to be back in happier circumstances. On behalf of the thousands of families you have helped I would like to say thank you and congratulations on raising the money for this fantastic facility. The service you provide is paramount and can literally make the difference between life and death. I can attest to that!'

For those of you who may not know Sophie's history, she went through a lot to have a family. During the premature birth of her daughter Lady Louise, the Countess had to undergo an emergency caesarean section after suffering a placental abruption, which caused her to lose several pints of blood. Lady Louise's life was also in danger during the birth and it was a very difficult time for the family, and most of all Sophie. When Sophie met with midwives who assisted in saving her life she was overcome with emotion and broke down in tears.

The Daily Telegraph

More from royal correspondent Rebecca English.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

Below we see Edward and Sophie leaving Frimley Park Hospital with Lady Louise back in 2003. They both strike me as such wonderful parents.


In other news regarding the British Royal Family, Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Philip visited Royal Holloway, University of London. Her Majesty was all smiles and looked resplendent in blue.

The British Monarchy Flickr

The Queen presented The Queen's Medal for Music to Sir Thomas Allen at Buckingham Palace. It's a prestigious award presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the musical life of the United Kingdom.

The British Monarchy Flickr

The Duchess of Gloucester greeted Queen Mathilde of Belgium at Buckingham Palace last week. The two royals enjoyed a pleasant conversation. Mathilde looked impressively stylish as always.

The British Monarchy Flickr

Over in Denmark, the royal family showcased their finery once again (we did say they're the absolute best for doing this). A gala dinner was held in Christian VIII's Palace to mark the Turkish state visit from the country's President and First Lady. Below we see Princess Marie and Prince Joachim arriving. The red gown is gorgeous; love the red lace detail.


However (in my opinion) Mary stole the show in a soft pink gown by Australian designer Carla Zampatti. It's a beautiful, timeless garment. Paired with her wedding tiara and pearls, could this look be any more princessy? :)


The gown was created for Mary's photoshoot for Australian Women's Weekly. The Princess is the Queen of recycling!

A glimpse inside the gala dinner. You can view a video from the event here.


Queen Rania of Jordan visited the SOS Children's Village in Irbid. The visit was organised to celebrate Mother's Day with the facility's mothers and children. Queen Rania spoke with mothers about the roles they play in bringing up children and stories of bonding were shared. You can view a video on The Queen's Instagram.

Queen Rania Facebook Page

Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway are in Vietnam on an official visit. They arrived in Hanoi yesterday evening and began their visit today with an official welcoming at the Presidential Palace.

The Royal House of Norway

The couple travelled by "cyclo" and decided it was a perfect time to take a selfie :)

The Royal House of Norway

Other notable appearances include Princess Letizia out and about today in a pair of print Hugo Boss pants.

And Queen Maxima was in high spirits during a visit to an educational centre in Tilburg.

Share your favourites in the comments section!


  1. fantastic post charlotte!!! loved everything. mary looks gorgeous in her tiara! wish kate would wear them more!

  2. Charlotte, what a lovely enjoyable edition of RD
    Got my Sophie fix, but I do think the newspaper could have found a more flattering photo. I'm sure there were a few tears among the staff, too. I don't know if people always realize the effect of. such traumatic events on those attending.
    The Queen does she do it, day after day, year after year.And she looks lovely.
    Princess M arie's gown is a show-stopper.
    CP Mary's dress is regal and "Grace-like," I think.
    Queen Rania, long one of my favorites, is a tough act to follow She is one of the most involved royals. She seems compassionate and sincere.
    Queen Maxima- great , well put together look. I love the hat!

  3. bluhare in Washington State20 March 2014 at 16:38

    I thought it lovely that the photographers put their cameras down while Sophie was overcome. A very nice thing to do. And lovely she hugged the midwife who was part of her delivery team. Human contact by a royal . . . what a concept!

    To properly compare Mary's and Marie's dresses, we need a photo of Marie from the front! Mary looks great, but I think Marie does too.

    Maxima looks awesome. And Haakon needs to get an iPhone so he can do the back to front thingy and look at the photo he's taking. He's cutting himself off. :)

    1. Bluhare, remember the photo of the Queen with her arm around Michelle Obama that Charlotte posted in a RD? I love that picture.

    2. bluhare in Washington State21 March 2014 at 05:18

      I do, overthehill. I never did quite understand whether the Queen was OK with it though. I somehow think not.

      And I saw a frontal picture of Marie's dress. She wins!!!

    3. I agree bluhare. I don't think the Queen was okay with it, but she handled it like a pro. Just wish we could have seen her face! :) IMO, it was almost patronizing on MO's part (given the age difference).

    4. overthehillandacrossthepond21 March 2014 at 18:34

      Bluhare, from what I remember, the Queen touched first and FLOTUS responded. The Corgies and horses never let her down or take advantage of her; but you can't beat the human touch.
      Where? I want to see the rest of Princess Marie's dress. I do think the two dresses are maybe like comparing a dove with a peacock.

    5. That was a story put forth later. Michelle definately did it first, all you have to do was look at the whole series of photos. It was a horrible faux pas for a president's wife, making it look like she was not properly briefed on ediquette, or didn't care, although it was probably well meant.

      The queen's reacrion was very ladylike, to take responsibility, much like that probably mythological story about Queen Victoria following some guest's example and drinking the water in her finger bowl. The queen has never put her arm around anyone in public, except she did once kiss Philip in Canada. It would have seemed patronizing of her to do it to a president's wife, if she had truly initiated it.

    6. A non: It is clear why you chose not to take responsibility for your remarks.However-
      (1) A story put forth later by whom? State your source. (DM?) Fox News?
      (2)What series of photos. Where? Can you guarantee the photos weren't manipulated?
      (4)Has never put her arm around anyone in public? How in the heck did you come up with that? If so, what a cold,.lonely,.isolated life to lead. Again, the horses and corgies.
      (5)The anecdote (myth?) about Queen Victoria would be a good comparison, if either story were true.
      (5)Finally, obviously,you aren't a Princess Diana fan. But neither was the Queen.And that is the point. She has.learned some hard lessons with her family and isn't it just possible she has changed in this area, too? She has changed with the times,;if not in belief, at least in action. It is the secret to her successful reign. That and dedication and sacrifice
      It is not insulting to say the Queen touched someone. What you said about Ms. Obama was extremely insulting .

    7. "Michelle?" It is "the queen," but not the First Lady? Or Ms. Obama? Obviously, you feel superior to Ms. Obama for some reason.

    8. Acrossthepond, I always publish under anonymous, as do many others for privacy. I note you don't use your name either.

      I don't have a television or watch any US news reports or seek them out on the Internet. My information came from a video that I believe was attached to an article in one of the papers, probably the Telegraph, the Guardian or the Daily Mail. The incident was also reported in the London Times. I don't remember which paper three years on but I do recall seeing the video of the meeting.

      My reponse was not entirely accurate however. It is unclear whether the revised report of events came from the Obama press or from Buckingham Palace.

      I am very much a supporter of Diana as many of my postings would show. You may note I refer to her - as do you - by her given name as I do Camilla and Catherine as well. No insult is intended, but I do usually refer to the queen as the queen, simply because when I started obsevering the royal famiies, there were two Elizabeths. The title of First Lady is more ambigious as there have recently been a nymber of holders of the role.

      Having been a royal follower for decades, I have never observed the queen put her arm around anyone in public. I don't believe this has anything to do with her lack of affection but is simply part of her inate reserve coupled with the sheer numbers of people she meets. Other royals, particularly Diana, were much more tactile but I don't think that means the queen cares less for the people she meets. I don't believe this has anything to do with the queen's private life. Public affection has little to do with private warmth.

      There have been a number of changes since Diana's death but I haven't noticed any changes in how the queen greets people. To treat Mrs Obama in a different way would have been an insult to Mrs Obama's dignity, not a sign of affection for her. The queen belongs to an era where formality is a sign of respect.

      Michelle Obama made a slight mistake. To acknowledge it should be no insult to her. We all make mistakes. I didn't notice you posting on Charlotte's excellent review of the queen and US presidents which speaks of the queen's meeting with Jackie Kennedy and the latter's feelings on the meeting.

      Across the pond, people are often more tactile. A mayor's wife put her arm around Kate in Los Angeles. A Canadian official also put his arm around the queen some years ago. I believe there have been other incidents in the past with other US presidents. I doubt frankly the whole business bothered the queen at all, nor should it bother you.

    9. bluhare in Washington State24 March 2014 at 23:18

      We all use names other than our own for privacy, Anonymous. However, the key is we chose names.

      Yes, I don't like it when people just post under Anonymous with no name, no nothing so I don't know if I'm responding to you or another Anonymous. In my opinion, it's rude to enter into a conversation when people don't know who you are. A name solves the problem.

    10. @Anon 09:15...

      I'm not sure how your privacy would be compromised if you chose a username and posted under it? It would make it easier for posters to have "conversations" and know they were giving credit to and responding to the right person. I know I would love to be able to associate a point of view with a regular poster. And there's another valid reason as well; it would make it more difficult for those less-than-kind, hit and run type of posters to blend in with the crowd. Just my two cents.......... :)

    11. bluhare in Washington State25 March 2014 at 01:48

      We are agreeing much too much, royalfan!!!

    12. Does that scare you, bluhare? [I ask as I giggle].

    13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    14. bluhare in Washington State25 March 2014 at 04:34

      I will confess to wondering where the other shoe is, royalfan.

    15. RNacrossandover26 March 2014 at 19:41

      This shoe is never going to drop, bluhare.

  4. Jean from Lancs20 March 2014 at 18:09

    Great post Charlotte.
    The Queen always looks good, and bright colours suit her.
    Queen Mathilde is becoming one of my favourites of the Continental Royals---always quietly elegant.
    Crown Princess Mary seems to get her evening dresses designed in the "Disney Princess"- studios---pretty, but not stylish as her day wear usually is.
    Sophie looks great---it must have been hard returning to the hospital where she had such a traumatic time. I remember Prince Edward was abroad and had to race home.

  5. so nice to see you covering the Norwegian Royals. I adore them being of Norwegian descent.

  6. Love the new Roundup feature. It's termendous fun to see what all the royals are up to.

    The Danish princesses really look so royal with their sashes, brooches and tiaras. I agree Mary's dress is quite a princess fantasy one but there are worse things, and the pink is so pretty on her. Marie looked lovely in red but something about the shape doesn't seem quite right. She is so petite, the drop waist doesn't quite work.

    Love the elegant cream on Mette-Marit and glad you are featuring her and Haakon, two of my favourites, but I'm a bit old-fashioned - I think the coat should be longer than the dress, even if the hem is pretty lace.

    Mathilde and Birgette both looked fabulous. Love that cornflower blue on Birgette. I'll be so glad when William and Kate start interacting with other European royals and the Commonwealth events.

    Maxima --hmm. Not my favourite royal, fashion-wise, at least. But the Dutch seem to love - or loath her. She does generate interesting opinions and features flamboyant attire.

    Letizia always looks polished and wears beautiful clothes but somehow, she never looks quite like a royal to me, more like a celebrity. I'm not sure why. Maybe, she's just a bit too slim and perfect.

    The Queen - what can I say - regal in royal blue - an icon!

  7. The Queen looks lovely. Love the smile. And Maxima looks wonderful. I love large hats and she can really pull it off.

    Mary's gown is beautiful (and I could see Kate in it), but Marie's is positively STUNNING! OMG. I have never seen a nicer version of the lace accent. I love how sheer, soft and feminine it is. And not ornate as some of them tend to be. A real winner in my book. (I'll take one midnight blue.) :)

  8. Jennifer from Wisconsin21 March 2014 at 01:31

    I think all the ladies look beautiful. I can almost imagine Kate in the red lace dress with an updo and tiara. Thank you from the nice break from Real Estate Law! Now back to that- sigh :)

  9. The Roundup is great, it was lovely to see Sophie at the hospital, extremely emotional for her though.
    Letizia not keen on those pants of hers at all.
    QMII love her outfit so befitting for the Queen that she is.
    Mary adore her dress, the material as is the color so soft and feminine, the jewellery is also great.
    Marie whilst her hair is lovely, the dress just doesn't seem to suit perhaps it's the color and the material seems to crease rather badly.
    Mathilde looks lovely, nice hat.

  10. I didn't know sophie almost died. what a beautiful and strong woman did that all while her husband was away. God bless her.


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