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from rocky road to red carpet


Lost Jewels

+ Kate




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The Imperial Crown of Austria was made in 1602, and last worn in 1835 by Emperor Franz II, the only Doppelkaiser (double emperor) in history; he founded the Austrian Empire two years before dissolving the Holy Roman Empire.

‘A crown is just a hat that merely lets the rain in’ King Frederick the Great (1712-1786)


Welcome to

Distances seem shorter than ever. The Channel Tunnel, high-speed trains, aviation, but also the internet have all brought people closer together. In royal circles they have looked across the border for centuries. Marriages between royals took place not only out of love, but also (and especially) to strengthen the ties between countries, and to increase capital and influence. A famous example was the marriage between Dutchman William and Mary of England. They were offered the throne and reigned together over England, Scotland and Ireland. The ancestry of the European royal houses reveals international family ties. Not only is Queen Victoria seen as ‘the grandmother’ of Europe, also the blood of Josephine de Beauharnais, first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, flows through the veins of the palace residents of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Luxembourg. Even the United States, Australia and Argentina have links with the monarchy, as their citizens Grace Kelly, Mary Donaldson and Máxima Zorreguieta literally found their prince on a white horse. The Crown brings all the royal families together for you. Our magazine crosses borders and offers a reliable and fascinating insight into contemporary royal dynasties and past monarchies, in a stylish, glossy and sophisticated wrapping. The Crown is the spin-off of Dutch magazine Vorsten (translation: Monarchs), for more than 40 years a household name in the Netherlands in terms of royalty news coverage. Royals open their palace doors to our reporters, and even read the Dutch version of The Crown themselves. Although it is not very regal behaviour, I would like to scream from the rooftops how proud this makes me! The Crown is produced by true royalty specialists. We follow international news closely. I will give you a few personal examples. The first royal wedding I attended was that wonderful big day for the Earl of Wessex and his Sophie. I was also sitting in church (among royal invitees like The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall) in church, when King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands was inaugurated, and last year I wandered through the corridors of the imperial palace of Japan. Let me take you on a journey through this first edition. In old Russia we will introduce you to Grand Duchess Anastasia and her sisters. We speak to Queen Margrethe of Denmark and the beautiful Princess Haya of Jordan. We will tell you the story of the missing jewels of Sisi, the Austrian Empress, whose life was turned into a romantic trilogy of films starring Romy Schneider. We take you to Monaco for a moving portrait of Princess Stephanie – the youngest daughter of Princess Grace, the beauty who traded Hollywood for a life next to the Mediterranean Sea. And we venture a little further away, to the country of the dragon: Bhutan. The young King Jigme was recently voted the world’s most beautiful head of state, but dare I say that he pales into insignificance compared with the ultimate beauty of his great love Jetsun. We take a look into royal wardrobes across the globe, and hold a magnifying glass up to many sparkling jewels. Prepare to be dazzled! The editorial team of The Crown is ambitious: only the best is good enough for you! We are happy to share our love for the wonderful topic of royalty with you. At your service!

Justine Marcella Editor-in-chief The Crown



The Crown!

‘Máxima literally found her prince on a white horse’






Only the best is good enough for you






On the cover 8 36 42 80 86

Catherine, the island princess Sisi’s lost jewels

138 64 THE CROWN of Württemberg 66 Bhutan’s beautiful King & Queen 74 Queen Noor & Queen Rania: advocates

Sandhurst: no privileges for princes

of their Islam

Princess Stephanie of Monaco: ‘My mistakes

Netherlands, Belgium, Spain

love for horses

Palace Power Heels have shaped me’


18 Norway’s Mette-Marit: her transformation 20 The other Princess Charlotte 26 Dutch King on a bike 28 Queen Margrethe of Denmark – an interview 34 Danish Royals at their most glamorous 50 Fashion: dresses for little princesses 56 Alexander, Napoleon & Josephine – an exhibition

92 Three new kings within a year: the 100 Following in Napoleon’s Parisian footsteps 106 The Princess Royal’s fashion sense 112 Princess Haya of Jordan speaks of her 118 No tiara but… 124 The real Romanov sisters 130 Fashionable queens and princesses 138 When the spare becomes heir 144 Next issue 146 THE CROWN of Imperial Austria 7

atherine, Style icon, working mother and married to a prince; all three describe Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge. Like her colleagues on the European mainland, she is in the spotlight almost every day. But unlike Mรกxima, Mary or Mette-Marit, who regularly meet each other at royal events, Kate seems to have little contact with her fellow citizens who, like herself, married a prince. BY SIMONE LAMAIN

the island princess


On 2 March 2013 Willem-Alexander, then still Prince of Orange, and his wife Máxima play host to a number of European heirs to the throne. Representatives of most reigning monarchies are present: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg. But the British are missing. As heir to the throne, it is The Prince of Wales who should have attended, but he is a lot older than Willem-Alexander’s generation – and his son William is not the first in line. This precisely illustrates the unique position of William and his wife Catherine. Both were born in 1982 and sit between two royal generations. The only prince and princess they match in terms of age are Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and his wife Stéphanie of Luxembourg – but there does not seem to be much contact between the couples – and Andrea Casiraghi, born in 1984 (son of Caroline, Princess of Hanover), but the relationship between the Windsors and Grimaldis is not what you might call close. Besides the generation gap, there is another reason why William and Kate meet so few other royals: William is not yet the heir to the throne. It is true that he is taking on more and more representative tasks together with Catherine, but his father Charles will be the one ascending the throne upon The Queen’s passing. This is the very reason why William and Kate are hardly ever present at royal parties – where protocol reigns – as they are not on the guest list. Which is a true shame for them, since weddings and anniversaries are excellent opportunities for princes and princesses to maintain good contact. All these moments pass Catherine by, because the British royal family chooses to send The Earl of Wessex and his wife Sophie to these types of events instead. One of the few times the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in the company of another European royal couple, was back in November 2011. William and Kate were seen at the UNICEF office in Copenhagen, packing aid boxes for refugees in Eastern Africa, together with Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and his wife Mary.



The Duchess of Cambridge does have a lot of contact with royals in her direct surroundings, like Princess Eugenie (1), The Princess Royal (2), The Countess of Wessex (3 and 6), Zara Tindall (4) en The Duchess of Cornwall (5). 2



5 6 4

Mary had visited the area shortly before, and the Cambridges mainly shared romantic memories of that part of Africa, as Kenya is where William asked Kate to marry him. It seems the two are getting on well with the Danish couple, but there is no news of a follow-up meeting. We only know that Frederik and Mary phoned London just after the birth of Prince George in 2012, to congratulate the new parents. In August 2013 William and Kate represented The Queen at the commemoration of the start of World War I in Liège, Belgium. On this occasion they met with the Belgian royal couple, the Spanish King Felipe and the Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg. But there wasn’t much time to converse, as they left shortly after the ceremony to attend the next event in Mons. Meetings of Kate with her European colleagues are therefore quite rare. And that is why she not only misses enjoyable moments, but also the opportunity to share experiences and exchange advice on protocol, clothing and dealing with the press, to name a few examples. Like so many of the current generation European princesses (of whom Máxima, Mathilde and Letizia are now the wives of heads of state), Kate is a commoner. It would be nice for her to receive some support from colleagues who are in the same boat and who are likely to encounter the same problems.


A place alongside William ‘Stay true to yourself.’ This was the advice Queen Máxima of the Netherlands gave Kate Middleton shortly before she was due to marry Prince William, on 29 April 2011. They proved to be wise words. As the spouse of a prince, Catherine had to get used to life in the public eye. This was clear from the moment William and Kate announced their engagement. Whereas many couples choose to speak briefly with the press and invite different media reps to pose questions, William and Kate decided to invite one journalist friend only, who was allowed to interview them. Kate admitted beforehand that she was really nervous. Understandable but not necessary, as the engagement was not a sensitive matter. Unlike that of Argentinianborn Máxima, who married into the Dutch royal family, and read out a statement referring to her father’s past role in the Videla regime. Also unlike Norwegian Mette-Marit, who burst into tears while apologising for her wilder years. The conversation with William and Kate was a peaceful and rather uneventful one. Still Kate let out a sigh of relief when the cameras stopped rolling, stating: ‘I’m no good at this!’ For many people it was the first time they had heard Catherine speak, so she can be assured they were quite forgiving that she was nervous.

Busy with typical ‘princess activities’.

Kate has little opportunity to exchange advice and experiences with colleagues

A joint interview with your (future) husband is extra tricky, because you should not interrupt and you have to give the other person space to share his or her views. And the heir to the throne – and second in line – is the most important person, with the partner playing a subordinate role. When the Spanish Felipe and Letizia answered press questions following news of their engagement, Letizia tried to explain how she would gradually phase out her work as a journalist, when Felipe interrupted her. ‘Let me finish’, Letizia responded, ‘I know exactly what I am talking about.’ She said it with a smile, but the Spanish were nevertheless taken aback: Letizia should not have been allowed to speak to her husband like that in public. Catherine does not seem the kind of person to take the lead, she is happy with her place next to William. According to insiders she has had a positive influence on her husband: William used to like going to parties before he was married, but now prefers to stay at home with Kate and watch DVDs together. The couple lead a rather secluded life, which started in Anglesey, Wales, during the first few years of their marriage. Even though they also have a London apartment in Kensington Palace, they ended up spending most of their days at the Sandringham estate, some 125 miles outside the capital.

Unfortunate photos A royal life is not just lived at home; the nation wants to see and hear you. Public speaking may not be the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite pastime, but a year after she was married she had her first public speaking engagement. The timing was similar for other European princesses also speaking in public for the first time – with the exception of Mette-Marit, who had already completed a short speech just a month after her wedding, during an introductory tour around Norway. Most other princesses are ready for their first public speech about a year after they are wedded. Often they choose a subject close to their heart, such as their own charitable foundation. Belgian Mathilde, married to the current King Filip, spoke for the first time at the launch of the Princess Mathilde Foundation, which focuses during the first few years on the problems of vulnerable children. Mathilde is a professional speech therapist, and explained that her studies have taught her how to listen. ‘By listening in silence, you give the other room to talk, give a voice to people who are more vulnerable than yourself.’ Queen Máxima had her first public speech in 2003, during the presentation of the yearly Apples of Orange awards, given to Dutch institutions that set an example in the field of welfare support and social cohesion in the Netherlands. Her first speech was comparatively harder for her, because


1 2



Kate with William and the Belgian royal couple at the commemoration of the start of World War I in Liège, Belgium (1 and 4). In action, together with Frederik and Mary in Copenhagen, for UNICEF (2 and 3).

Dutch is far from being her native language; Máxima only learnt Dutch the year before her engagement in 2001. ‘You will understand, that it is rather exciting, with so many critical eyes and ears in the room – and I include those of my husband, here in the front row too.’ Catherine’s husband was not there at her first public speech, but she did mention him. ‘I’m only sorry that William can’t be here today. He would love it here,’ Kate said at the opening of a children’s hospice. She had clearly rehearsed, she spoke calmly and the performance went smoothly, though she mentioned at a reception afterwards that she found making such speeches unnerving. Catherine is a perfectionist and felt unsure of herself. Perfectionism and the desire to have everything under control is what we generally observe when the Cambridges deal with the British press. Instead of a yearly or twice-yearly photoshoot at which the entire press is welcome, like in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain or Denmark, William and Kate have chosen to distribute family photos themselves. After the birth of Prince George, Catherine’s father took pictures of the young family with their dog Lupo. The nation was happy with the snaps, but professional photographers complained about the poor quality. When Charlotte was born, Kate was the one who took pictures of her children. Near their home at Sandringham, no one is allowed to take photographs of the royal family. Of course, William and Kate patiently posed when they left the hospital following the births of their two children, and when Prince George accompanied Kate to William’s polo competition, photographs were promptly printed in every paper. But Catherine doesn’t always have control over the things that are published about her in the press. Unlike her European colleagues, she has had to deal with many unfortunate pictures. Photos of Kate sunbathing topless can be blocked as an invasion of privacy, but it is remarkable how


often the wind has free reign over the way her skirts and dresses move. So remarkable, that The Queen apparently advised her granddaughter-in-law to wear longer dresses and have weights sewn into the hems. Advice that Kate clearly didn’t follow up, as a few months later, in Australia, things went wrong again. These incidents make it all the more clear that a royal life also means being publicly scrutinised. Whether your name is Mette-Marit, Letizia or Kate, to the press and public you are fair game. Spanish Queen Letizia has been criticised for being too serious. Even her own husband Felipe told her to smile a bit more. Mette-Marit has been accused by a sociologist of leading too luxurious a lifestyle. A princess should be a role model, said the sociologist, who compared Mette-Marit with the prototype 1950s woman: married to a rich man and only occupied with her own little family.

A princess of flesh and blood Kate neither manages to escape criticism – for example, that she is seen too little in public. That she is wearing clothes that are too expensive. That she is on holiday too often. Some criticise her personality – that she appears almost invisible. That she is so focused on her role and such a perfectionist that she leaves no room for spontaneity. Her audience does not get to see the real Kate. Author Hillary Mantel criticised The Duchess of Cambridge along these lines back in 2013. In a lecture she compared Kate with a ‘shop-window mannequin with no personality of her own’. Catherine appeared to have been designed by a committee and built by craftsmen. She is becoming nothing more than a jointed doll, gloss-varnished, with a plastic smile. Mantel’s comments provoked many responses. Prime


Kate and William are not (yet) part of the kind of friendships that other royals like Máxima, Mette-Marit, Mathilde, Mary, Victoria and their husbands share. Right: The wind often has free reign over the way Kate’s skirts move. The Queen gave her advice on how to avoid this...

Minister David Cameron rushed to Kate’s defence: ‘What I have seen of Kate at public events is someone who is bright, who’s engaging, who’s a fantastic ambassador for Britain.’ Mantel’s speech caused a lot of fuss, which showed that The Duchess of Cambridge is generally liked by a large part of the British population. They see how happy she makes William, and pictures of two young parents with two adorable children are naturally well-received. It is clear the British would like to see more photographs of Catherine and her kids, but equally there is understanding and respect for the Cambridges’ wish to keep their family out of the public eye. During important royal events, such as Trooping the Colour and the Buckingham Palace garden parties, Catherine is obviously present. During the past four years, The Duchess of Cambridge has supported various charities. She is the patron of the Royal Foundation, which Prince William and Prince Harry are also involved with. Kate also has her own charitable organisations – art, youth and health being her focus areas – and when she visits one of her charities, we see an engaging princess with a keen interest in others. We should not forget that Kate has only been married to William for four years, and is therefore still rather new to the Windsor family business. She is young, far removed from the throne and has proved that she is an intelligent and stylish wife and mother, who does not seek publicity, but is quite happy with her place next to her husband. William recently praised his wife, telling the press: ‘Catherine has been doing an amazing job as a mother and I’m very proud of her.’ Queen Máxima’s advice still applies: stay true to yourself. Given a few more years, in age and experience, Catherine is likely to come out of her shell, be herself a bit more, and let go of her perfectionism. Critics will have to acknowledge that under that layer of perfectionism there’s a princess of flesh and blood, with a warm heart for the people she meets.

From party scene to future Queen



Meet the stunning Crown Princess Mette-Marit from Norway. A natural beauty, even without her powder-coloured Valentino dress or glistening diamond jewels. Unlike a blonde, plaited Disney princess, she didn’t quite follow the yellow brick road to end up at the Oslo palace. Before she married the heir to the throne – the masculine, handsome Haakon – she already had her own story. At the time of their engagement, she was a controversial figure in the Norwegian media, and not just for being a single mother. Mette-Marit admitted she had a history of wild partying on the drugs-and-party-scene of Oslo. Her future father-in-law, King Harald V, supported his son. Harald had to persuade his own father decades ago to allow him to marry a commoner, and was convinced about his son’s choice too. Moved to tears, Mette-Marit made a statement to the press and stole Norway’s hearts. Since then, the story has continued like all fairytales, with a ‘happily ever after’. The Crown Princess has become one of the most popular members of the Royal House of Norway, focusing on areas like HIV and AIDS and improving conditions for children and young people with special needs.


CHA RLO TTE... The other Princess



On 2 May 2015 the British celebrated the birth of their Princess Charlotte. Precisely 199 years ago – to the day – another Princess Charlotte was the centre of attention: it was the day Charlotte of Wales married Leopold, later the King of the Belgians. She was beautiful, spirited and loved by the British people, but sadly died at the age of 21 during childbirth.



It is 2 May 1816 and London is bustling: today is Princess Charlotte’s wedding day. The streets are jammed with people trying to catch a glimpse of the royal couple. The groom is unknown to many British, but his appearance is promising. Charlotte also looks the part, in a dress of silver lamé, trimmed with Brussels lace and the hem embroidered with flowers and shell motifs. It’s a fairytale wedding. When Leopold during the ceremony promises to share his wealth with her, she bursts out laughing. Leopold’s fortune isn’t extensive, but she is not bothered in the slightest: the Princess is happy!

First engagement

A bracelet with a portrait of the young Princess Charlotte. In 1848 her husband Leopold gave the jewel to Queen Victoria as a gift. Dutch Hereditary Prince William, the later King William II, was briefly engaged to Charlotte.

Carlton House, the house in which she married Leopold, was Charlotte’s birthplace. She entered the world on 7 January 1796, a tangible reminder of an unhappy marriage between George, The Prince of Wales, and his first cousin, Caroline of Brunswick. The only reason George married Caroline was a pledge by parliament to settle his huge debt… apparently not a very stable foundation for love and romance. When George met Caroline for the first time, he was quite taken aback and called for a brandy; Caroline was a warm-hearted woman, though anything but regal in her behaviour. According to contemporaries, she swore like a trooper and smelled of the stables. George couldn’t find anything attractive in her. They got married three days after their first introduction, and exactly nine months later their only child was born: Charlotte. Initially George displayed fierce pride in his daughter, and he told his mother that he would shower Charlotte with attention and affection. He clearly wasn’t referring to the relationship with his wife, who he’d sent a letter shortly after Charlotte’s birth, stating that she was not to interfere in the upbringing of her baby girl, and was only allowed to meet Charlotte under supervision. Caroline left Carlton House when Charlotte was just one-and-a-half years old. A few years later, George accused Caroline of having given birth to an illegitimate child. Further investigation showed no evidence, but he continued to accuse her of having affairs throughout her life. George was no angel himself, as he soon resumed his old ways, paying most attention to his mistresses. With a mother she was barely allowed to see and a father whose attention gradually diminished, Charlotte experienced a solitary childhood. It was pretty hard for her, because she was a spirited child – and temperamental, which was proof to her father that she resembled her mother, and should therefore have a strict upbringing. ‘Princess Charlotte must renounce the foolish thought that she has a will of her own; so long as I live she will be subject to me, whether she be 30, 40, or 50 years old.’

A team of four people had to ensure that Charlotte would behave like a real princess. Her language was foul, she blurted out everything that popped into her head, and during one tantrum she even threw the Archbishop’s wig into a fireplace. Yet there was also plenty of reason for optimism. Charlotte proved to be highly talented musically, and played the harp, piano and guitar. She was also fond of romantic poetry by Lord Byron and read Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility in one go. She felt


Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, whom Charlotte married in 1816 (image below). He later became the first King of the Belgians.

an affinity with protagonist Marianne Dashwood, aiming to follow her heart in love. But the chance for Charlotte to meet the man of her dreams was rather slim, knowing her father was intent on keeping her indoors. Much to Charlotte’s dissatisfaction, he forbade her to attend balls and soirées. In 1811 George became Prince Regent, when King George III’s insanity rendered him unfit to govern. Despite her isolated youth, Charlotte appeared quite popular with the British population, making her a competitor – likely incited by her mother – to George. Caroline supported her daughter’s wish for more freedom, and in 1813 Charlotte was finally allowed to attend a party. With his daughter entering adulthood, George wanted to be closely involved with her choosing a marriage partner. He even had a preference: Dutch Hereditary Prince William.


Right: A buste of Charlotte, now at Buckingham Palace. Below: The funeral procession of Princess Charlotte. Below right: One of Charlotte’s dresses.


Charlotte was passionate, wearing her heart on her sleeve; Leopold kept his thoughts to himself Charlotte, being the rebellious teen, was naturally opposed to the Dutch Prince – purely based on the fact that her father had chosen him. She heard through the grapevine that William was rather scrawny, not particularly handsome, though sociable and good at the waltz. Charlotte tried to avoid William for as long as possible, but their meeting was inevitable. The Prince Regent introduced them to each other on 11 December 1813. In a letter to a friend, Charlotte labelled William ordinary but lively, and fairly animating. Her father George grabbed the opportunity to place Charlotte’s hands into those of William, making it the moment they were deemed officially engaged, though this had to be kept a secret for some time.


Fickle Charlotte may have been moderately positive about William, but she also anticipated problems. As the only legitimate grandchild of King George III she was heiress to the British throne. Moreover, she wanted to stay in Britain after her marriage; the Netherlands did not appeal to her. ‘Holland is a very odd place I believe, in which society and everything else is quite different from any other place. Even now I doubt being much amused there,’ she wrote in a letter to a friend. When William returned to the Netherlands for the inauguration of his father on 30 March 1814, serious doubts started to creep in. ‘Orangitis’ she called her mood. Questions turned to anger when Charlotte wasn’t allowed to read her own matrimonial contract. The result was a deepening distrust of her father. She suspected that the Prince Regent wanted her to leave the country because he considered her a threat. The wedding contract was complex in any case, as William had become heir to the throne in his respective country. The Dutch Prince returned to London in late April, because he received signals that Charlotte wanted to break off their engagement. Charlotte proved to be fickle, and a difficult period ensued. One moment she was proud of William, because he wanted to speak with her father about the wedding contract, the next moment everything about him was wrong. One evening a bowl of fruit was served during a meal, a point at which Charlotte remarked for all to hear: ‘I hate oranges.’ When she finally saw a draft version of the marriage papers, and read that she was to stay in the Netherlands at least two months every year, the bubble burst: Charlotte notified William by letter that their relationship had hereby ended. She explained that she had no intention of hurting him, but that she did not want to leave the country and preferred to stay close to her mother. Two months later, however, mother Caroline left for Italy. Charlotte would never see her again.

Ideal husband Charlotte didn’t grieve over William for long. Soon her thoughts were with other men; like Frederick of Prussia. And Leopold of Saxe-Coburg,

a German prince who came to London as a diplomat to negotiate peace after the Napoleonic wars. He later became the first King of the Belgians, but of course Charlotte did not know that when she met him. Shortly after their encounter Leopold returned to the European mainland, whereupon Charlotte realised she wanted to marry this man. A correspondence between the couple began. The letters ran via Charlotte’s uncle, the Duke of Kent, as Charlotte had been kept under house arrest by her father in Windsor’s Cranbourne Lodge since the debacle with Prince William and her subsequent ‘whims’. The correspondence with Leopold lasted for a year and a half, during which Charlotte’s feelings for the German prince began to run deeper and deeper. ‘You will be the sole object of my heart and my thoughts, and I will never deceive you,’ she wrote to her dream prince. The words could have come straight from the mouth of Marianne Dashwood, heroine of Sense and Sensibility. Once Leopold returned to London in 1816, the Prince Regent gave his consent for the royal wedding. After their marriage, Leopold and Charlotte moved into Claremont House, near Windsor. Their marriage appeared happy, even though Charlotte and Leopold were polar opposites. Where Charlotte was passionate, wearing her heart on her sleeve, Leopold kept his thoughts to himself. He was Charlotte’s ideal husband, and when the time came for her to become Queen, she wanted him to carry the title of King, not Prince Consort. The entire nation shared in their joy when Charlotte, after two miscarriages, fell pregnant again. There were even bets placed on the child’s gender. But Charlotte was on a strange diet, which made her weak when she went into labour. On 6 November 1817, five hours after the birth of her stillborn son, Charlotte passed away herself. Leopold was inconsolable and so were the British people. Charlotte symbolised the future of the British monarchy: a young, beautiful woman in the prime of her life. So different from her father, so different from her mother. Everybody grieved; even the poor and the homeless wore black mourning bands. The shops closed for two weeks. Lord Byron honoured Charlotte with a poem. Charlotte’s final resting place was in the crypt under St. George’s Chapel. A sculpture in the chapel depicts Charlotte and her baby being carried to heaven by angels. Charlotte’s death created problems with the royal succession. One of her father’s brothers needed to produce a child in wedlock. A year and a half after Charlotte’s passing, her uncle, the Duke of Kent, fathered a baby girl, Victoria. She became Queen in 1837, had nine children and became the matriarch of the current British royal family. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, born on 2 May 2015, is her latest royal descendant.



A bike, a bike...

My kingdom for a bike Ever seen a monarch on a bike? You stand a good chance in the Netherlands! For more than a century, the OrangeNassau family has been known as ‘the bicycle monarchy’. As a young girl, Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962) was the only future for the Dutch royal family. The council of ministers therefore decided that she would not be allowed to ride a bicycle – too dangerous! But being a real Dutch girl, she couldn’t resist. The Dutch watched in disbelief as their queen cycled by, but they approved, and the popularity of the monarchy increased as a result. Her daughter Juliana (below), who was Queen from 1948, followed her example and made many public appearances on a bicycle. Former Queen Beatrix, mother of the current King, didn’t use a bike as much as her mother Juliana – though when young she cycled to school – but she did sometimes ride through the windmill-sprinkled landscape for a working visit. Today’s King Willem-Alexander and his family, however, seem to use a bicycle quite often. He and Queen Máxima even pedalled away in New York, and His Majesty marked the 50th anniversary of a regional bike tour with his attendance. Just like his grandmother Juliana did for its 10-year anniversary.


Queen Margrethe:

‘I can honestly say I’ve had incredibly HAPPY YEARS’

Queen Margrethe of Denmark – along with her husband Prince Henrik – kindly welcomed us to her palace for an interview. The Queen talked freely about her life and her family, and explained why she will never abdicate.



m More than an hour before the interview with Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik begins, we are allowed inside the Fredensborg Palace, through the back entrance. It is the Spring and Autumn residence of the Queen and her husband but, due to extensive renovation works at Amalienborg Palace, they have decided to remain here for the time being. Jackets are left in a room with two curious ashtrays on the table. The tour through the palace begins. Via a room where a guestbook adorned with the Queen’s monogram lies on a marble console, next to another porcelain ashtray, to a room decorated with portraits of today’s royal family and a remarkable, stuffed animal in the corner. It is a snow-white, unicorn-like creature with bright blue eyes, standing upright on a rock. A giant horn sticks out from its forehead, pointing towards the ceiling. “Shot by the Prince Consort himself,” a courtier dressed in red says with a wink. It transpires that tables without ashtrays are a rarity in this house, which is unsurprising when you consider that the Queen is an unapologetic chain-smoker. ‘I smoke wherever there’s an ashtray,’ is one of her famous quotes. Before we enter the room in which the interview will take place, we cross the Dome Hall, where royal receptions are hosted and where Greek-Danish Prince Philippos was seen last year climbing to the top of a huge Christmas tree to hang some decorations. ‘A beast of a tree with Philippos the Christmas elf at the top,’ his sister Princess Theodora jokingly shared on Instagram. Adjacent is the Garden Room, a large and beautiful space with gold-upholstered furniture and frames in


Louis XV style, paintings and a wide view of the garden. Engraved on the windowpanes are some well-known names; they are inscriptions recalling visits from Winston Churchill and Thai King Bhumibol among others, as well as the British royal couple ‘Lilibet’ and Philip. Also engraved are the names of just about every one of Queen Margrethe’s relatives – or Daisy according to the inscription – who were present at the grand Christmas celebration of 2006, to which Margrethe not only invited her own family, but also those of her two sisters Anne-Marie and Benedikte. Queen Margrethe and Prince Hendrik enter the room, the latter enthusiastically kicking off the conversation with a warm welcome in his native French: “Bonjour, bienvenue.” The Queen invites us to sit down.

‘Danish people are so happy because we do not live in a large country’ Your Majesty, Denmark celebrated your 75th birthday this year with several festivities. How do you feel about marking this birthday?

“We are very fond of birthdays in Denmark. Most Danes like celebrating birthdays. It seems to be just the way we are. We always seem to be very conscious about the 5’s and the 10’s, so indeed about the 75’s as well.” Your Royal Highness, this year you are celebrating your 48th wedding anniversary. What would you say is the secret to a happy marriage?

“To marry a beautiful wife. I did! The key is to always think of doing what is best for one’s country. We live for Denmark. We live to be as good for the nation and for each other as possible. And we are very happy if we manage that.” Your Majesty, shortly before this interview Denmark – known for being #1 on the World Happiness Index – was rocked by the Copenhagen terror attacks. What was your response?

‘Obviously, what happened (on 14-15 February, ed.) was a big shock for everybody. It certainly left a mark on people throughout Denmark. I suppose – looking at it realistically – what happened in Paris in January made us think: ‘Will we be next’? And the sad truth is, we were. Everybody was shocked but not that surprised, because well... it is the way the world seems to be these days. You have to face the fact that there are people who are prepared to do things you would never have imagined a few years ago. But that is the way things are. I think I can safely say that I feel really proud of my countrymen, because I think they have stood up to it very well. People were shocked, and they are grieving, but they also have a fairly realistic attitude towards what occurred: that these things shouldn’t but can and do happen. We have to face things as they are, and carry on from there. I do not believe the Danish have become less happy... but yes, perhaps a bit more realistic.” Your Majesty, why is it that – at least before these sad events – the Danish population is deemed so happy?

“I always maintain that one of the reasons I can see Danish people being particularly happy is that we do not live in a large country. We have just 5.5 million inhabitants, so imagine if each person knows a hundred people, then everyone knows a relatively larger proportion of the population. Whenever you meet Danes they always know

somebody that you have met as well. There is always that connection. The fact that distances are not that great, and numbers are not that great, largely defines the way we are in Denmark.” Your Majesty, besides being Queen of Denmark, you are also a mother, a grandmother, and godmother to the King of the Netherlands. Can you tell us what advice you gave Willem-Alexander when he ascended the Dutch throne?

“I would not want to try and be the wise aunt; I am not very good at that. I have full confidence in him. Willem-Alexander is a very able man. An extremely bright man. I would also like to add young man, because he is younger than me, and the same age as our children. I know he is a conscientious person, and he has a marvellous sense of humour. That is certainly important, and makes a great difference to your daily life. Things can be made easier or more difficult, and if you have a sense of humour it will carry you through. At his side he has his wife, the Queen, who is also an extremely able and conscientious person. You could feel their huge sense of responsibility the moment they ascended the throne. A responsibility that I can say for sure brings a lot of joy. To be actually working for your country, all the time, for the rest of your life – at least in my case (laughs) – is a mission that really counts. But I have never felt very good at giving advice.” Your Royal Highness, would you say that life as a spouse of the head of state is difficult?

“Máxima carries the title Queen, meaning she takes part in the life of her husband and her nation. I have always said: I should be a partner – but that is not how I am considered. I am not on the same level as my wife, which to me is completely incomprehensible. All the queens in the history of the world have made their husbands king consort, so why should I be ranked lower than my wife (with the title prince consort, ed.)? I will never accept this, it is unfathomable. What I do not understand is why we needed to copy an exception that was invented in England some two hundred years ago (Queen Victoria’s husband Albert was the first to have held this title, ed.) Why? The Dutch have copied it, and they have their reasons (at this point Queen Margrethe gives her husband a poke). But why did the Danes copy England, and not Spain or Scotland (countries that opted for king consort, ed.)? I don’t think I will ever understand it.”


Names of guests and family members are engraved in the windows of Fredensborg Castle. ‘It is an old tradition,’ Queen Margrethe explains.

Your Majesty, the abdication of Queen Beatrix in the Netherlands was followed by that of the King of the Belgians and the King of Spain followed her example. Did you consider doing the same?

“First of all, the Netherlands has a tradition; it is the third time in a row that a monarch abdicates. In this country we have always stayed until we fell off the branch. When my father died and I became Queen, I said - because I knew: ‘This is for life. This is the destiny you have and this is what you are going to do for as long as you live – to the best of your ability. Whether it is for the short or the long haul.’ And so far it has been quite long. But I can honestly say that I’ve had very, very happy years. I am wellsupported by my husband, which is very important. We both feel really involved with the daily life of the country. It is a responsibility but also a joy to represent your country. State visits have changed a bit over the last few years. In the early days, in our case, we fulfilled a representative role: we made speeches, we were shown around in every country, photographs were taken… It was grand and in many ways a lot of fun. Nowadays it has become much more important to try and do something for your country in terms of trade, to make connections that benefit your country. It is worthwhile doing something that could be of use both to your nation and to the host nation.” Your Majesty, art and design are often an essential part of your state visits. Why is this so important to you?

“It is one of the ways people are able to reach each other: through culture. Not everyone is interested in the promotion of trade and industry, and so on, but culture is something everybody can relate to. It is a tool to promote one’s country; to show who you are, what you do, what music you love, what artists you have. I believe it is an important way of reaching out to another country.” Your Majesty, there is a lovely tradition in this palace: names of guests have been engraved in the windows of this room. How did that come about?

“And not just in this room, because there is a limited number of windows here. It is an old tradition. It started in the 19th century when my greatgreat-grandfather was King. He was known as the father-in-law of half of Europe. He brought his family together in this palace, because it is a very large place with a lot of rooms. You can house quite a number of guests.


In those days people were sentimental; people would put their names in the windows. Sometimes they involved silly little phrases – for example, cousins would tease each other by engraving funny little remarks on each other’s windows – but also just names and dates. My parents developed the tradition about fifty years ago, by asking guests on state visits and very special occasions to write their names on the windows. We have kept this up because it is quite interesting and fun too. Window-makers use a type of pen with a small, diamond tip to cut the glass. By scratching into the windows, you can actually write with this instrument. I believe in the old days they used the diamonds in their jewellery collection to make these engravings. It is a nice tradition that we keep up. That goes for presidents, for royalty, and for emperors too.” Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness, you have both reached an age at which your peers in Denmark are generally enjoying their pension. Fellow monarchs across Europe are also hanging up their crowns. Is it at all possible for you to take it a bit easier?

Queen Margrethe: “We are both still very busy people, but the Crown Prince and Princess have plenty of work as well. They have taken over certain tasks from us. There is still plenty of work to be getting on with, so we keep ourselves busy. I am afraid we find that we do not have as much time to spare for our grandchildren as we should.” Your Majesty, do you recognise your character traits in your grandchildren?

“Of course we do. We see and enjoy them growing up. It is fun to discover characteristics from the various parts of my husband’s and my family. Occasionally you see something and say: ‘Oh, that is exactly like…’ Take Prince Christian, the Crown Prince’s eldest son – he moves in exactly the same way as his father. Don’t you think? He reminds me so much of Frederik. He is not as shy as Frederik was at that age, but his movements are a carbon copy, which is really amusing .” Your Majesty, is Denmark a difficult country to become part of?

“It is very much a question of wanting to be open to the country where you arrive. My husband has integrated very well in Denmark; he is very open to it. (Addressing the Prince Consort:) And I think Denmark has been very open to you too.”


‘It is something you will do for the rest of your life’



impress Dress to


Now in Denmark they know how to dress for a formal event! The royals seem to be grabbing every opportunity to flaunt all their glitters and sparkles. Take the latest official portraits of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. The heir to the throne, wearing his navy uniform – decorated with a row of medals and insignia – and his sabre, is in no way inferior to his wife, who dazzles with jewels from the ruby parure, which includes a tiara, necklace, brooch and earrings. If we had not known about Queen Margrethe’s refusal to abdicate, this would be the ultimate photograph with which to announce a new king and queen.



lost jewels

As the Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, Elisabeth – wife of Franz Joseph – possessed an unrivalled treasure trove of jewellery. After the death of her son Rudolph, however, she hardly looked at them again, and the jewels were dispersed, disassembled, even stolen. The whereabouts of most of the original pieces remains a mystery to this day. BY MARTIJN AKKERMAN


The same tiara and same necklace, which through the use of variously coloured stones appear different.



In 1865

Franz Xaver Winterhalter painted an iconic portrait of Empress Elisabeth (1837-1898), who close relatives referred to as ‘Sisi’. She was dressed in a crinoline with star motifs by Parisian couturier Worth, wearing nine visible eightpointed diamonds in her hair from a set of 27 (see painting detail bottom left). The wax hair of the Empress in the Viennese Madame Tussauds features several ten-pointed stars with a central pearl, which are fairly striking copies of the originals. In fact, the Empress possessed several star-shaped jewels, both eight- or ten- pointed, with and without central pearls. These jewels were produced respectively by jewellery purveyors to the royal household Köchert and Rosette & Fischmeister. Elisabeth had already received a star-studded tiara in 1854 as a wedding gift from her husband Franz Joseph. When Empress-dowager Caroline wanted to admire the jewels up close, her lace scarf got caught in them, dropping the tiara to the floor and breaking it. Everyone present saw this as a bad omen, and indeed the marriage of Elisabeth was not particularly successful.



Henceforth in mourning


Following the death of her son Rudolph in 1889, Sisi wore only black clothes and mourning jewels, mostly made of jet. Some pieces have survived, mainly because of their low intrinsic value (see photos right). During her last public appearance in 1896 in Budapest, an eyewitness noted: ‘There she sat in the throne room of the royal palace in her Hungarian costume of black adorned with lace. Everything about her was sombre. From her dark hair fell a veil of black. Black were the ornaments in her hair, black her pearls, everything black, only her face was marble white and ineffably sad... a mater dolorosa.’ That same year, at the dinner of a state visit by the Russian Tsar, the Empress wore a tiara with black pearls and black diamonds, which was probably last worn in 1950 by former Empress Zita before it disappeared without a trace. Because Sisi no longer wore her jewels, some of them were stored in a glass case in the imperial treasury, while the rest – including a pouch containing 27 stars – were donated to her favourite granddaughter Erzsi, Prince Rudolph’s only daughter. At the outbreak of the Second World War, helped by some of the court servants, Erzsi buried her whole jewellery collection in the garden of her royal palace in Vienna. Initially nothing was retrieved after the war ended, but years later a renewed search with a metal detector resulted in the discovery of five boxes. However, their contents disappeared soon after the excavation. It has never been ascertained whether the jewels were stolen or if Erzsi sold them herself, after she married in 1948 for a second time, to socialist politician Leopold Petznek, and became known as the ‘red archduchess’.


After the death of her son Rudolph in 1889, the Empress only wore black clothes and mourning jewels. A tiara with black pearls and diamonds was probably last worn in 1950 by Empress Zita (below), but has now disappeared.

Only a few of Sisi’s jewels have been preserved, such as some jet ornaments and the occasional diamond star 39


Only a few of Sisi’s jewels chave been preserved. A star with a central pearl came into the possession of a maid’s relative, who lent it to a 1998 exhibition about Sisi in Palace Shönbrunn. There, the jewel was stolen in spectacular fashion. A Canadian thief dropped by parachute from a small plane above the palace. After breaking in he swapped the jewel with a cheaper version from the museum’s gift shop. The theft remained unnoticed for weeks. The Canadian was arrested in 2007 in connection with a robbery, and the star was then discovered in his grandmother’s house in Winnipeg and eventually purchased by the Viennese imperial palace Hofburg.


Disappearing act During the inspection of jewellery at the annual European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht last April, I had my annual rendezvous with fellow inspection member Archduke Geza von Habsburg-Lotharingen. He is a descendant of Empress Sisi, being a great-grandson of her second daughter Gisela. He gave me first-hand information of what happened to the personal jewels of his greatgreat-grandmother that were kept in the imperial treasury. These jewels had been preserved in the so-called Showcase XIII. In 1918 they were sent to Switzerland for safety reasons, at the order of Emperor Karl. But influence from a close friend called Bruno Steiner, and a rather sinister jeweller from Bern, Alphonse Sondheimer, led to all the stones being removed from their mountings and sold. The mountings were melted down for recasting. Steiner and Sondheimer proved to be crooks and disappeared. None of the jewels were ever recovered. A few big diamonds, such as the yellow Florentiner and two white ones, the Badener and the Frankfurter, were most likely reshaped to make them unrecognisable. The contents of Showcase XIII seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth. What we are left with are a number of duplicates, decorated with Swarovski crystals and manufactured with the aid of old photographs and portraits. This way, do we get some idea of the importance of Sisi’s collection. Ultimately, four small jewels with diamonds and pearls from Sisi’s private collection have been preserved in the Hofburg. They date from after 1870, when the crinoline was abolished and the fashion of a smaller frame allowed for wearing smaller jewels than before. They include two jewels with trefoil motifs, and a third brooch in the shape of the letter E. The fourth, a refined rod brooch, likely served as a makeshift safety pin – used for keeping lingerie in place at a time when the elastic band did not yet exist. These four are the remaining tangible evidence of the enormous jewellery collection once owned by the beautiful but unhappy Austrian Empress, who was eventually killed in 1898 by an anarchist. Even the small, diamond-studded piglet that she carried with her all her life as a good luck charm, could not have prevented this from happening.

She carried the diamondstudded piglet with her all her life as a good luck charm


Royal Military Academy Sandhurst


privileges FOR


Many kings are not only head of state but also the supreme commander of their army. To be as prepared as humanly possible, princes (and princesses!) often acquire a good military foundation at Sandhurst, where the British royal military trains them to become officers.


Students are turned inside out, both physically and mentally. For King and Country. Or rather, for The Queen – whatever your background


As British king in the making, Prince William passed through the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the leading educational institution of choice for British officers. But he wasn’t the only one to choose this academy in order to expand the royal cv. Young men and women with blue blood enrol at Sandhurst from far and wide. The Emir of Qatar, King Hussein and King Abdullah II of Jordan, Prince Victor Duleep Singh (son of the last Maharaja of Lahore); these are just a few names on a long and illustrious list of alumni who once walked the corridors of the 200year-old building. The complex is sometimes described as a kind of Hogwarts, the boarding school in the Harry Potter series – only with weapons instead of wands.

No special treatment Weaklings don’t make it to the finish line. Cadets who refuse to polish their shoes, iron their shirts or adhere to the rules, do not need to bother registering. Diva behaviour is not appreciated. Officer-cadet King Hussein was once seen yawning during a parade. As a punishment, his sergeant sent him running to the front of the complex, where the statue of Queen Victoria is positioned, so he could offer her his apologies before having to rush back into line. The king sprinted away, but didn’t return. Two hours later, the sergeant found him fast asleep in his bed. Hussein explained he had offered his apologies to Queen Victoria and she had told him he was a little tired and he should go and have a good sleep. Which punishment then awaited him, has never been revealed. If we are to believe the ‘common’ students, their royal colleagues receive special treatment. During lengthy training exercises in the woods of Wales, the cadets from the Middle East, in their muddy uniforms, soaked to the bone, are indeed handed out extra clothing, which the British would only receive in the Arctic. However, this has nothing to do with royal descent, simply that they are not used to the cold. The severe hardships and unyielding tests have a profound impact on many. Cadets must undertake ordeals such as digging trenches with no sleep until they are finished, even if it takes them more than 48 hours.


Students are turned inside out, both physically and mentally. It is all about survival. They are trained to pull the trigger if necessary, in order to save the lives of people from their platoon. For King and Country. Or rather, for The Queen – whatever your background. King Abdullah of Jordan remembers his time at Sandhurst well: ‘The training course was designed to be tough, and the military brass fully expected people to quit. They were weeding us out and wanted to keep only the ones who would not cave in.’ Whether blue or red blood runs through their veins, the exercises at Sandhurst are the same for all cadets, without exception. ‘At Sandhurst and during my year in the British army I was treated very much like the other cadets and second lieutenant,’ Abdullah, who started in 1980, explains. ‘That was important because […] I was determined to make a career in the army. I did not want to roll up in a Mercedes from time to time and inspect the troops as an honorary colonel of the regiment. I wanted, as much as I could, to be just another army officer, to lead and fight with my men.’

To war zones Is there a student who has never cheated? Or asked for just that little bit of help when he wasn’t really allowed to? They exist everywhere – including this military training school. In a voicemail message, which was hacked by tabloids, Prince Harry asked his private secretary to ‘please, please’ help him write a paper on the 1980 siege of the Iranian Embassy in London. Which is indubitably against the rules. ‘I need to write an essay quite quickly on that, but I need some extra info. Please, please email it to me or text me,’ the Prince was heard asking. The recording was played during a lawsuit against tabloid journalists. Calls by Catherine, now The Duchess of Cambridge, were also hacked. One of her voicemails gave a sneak peek into the life of her thenboyfriend William at Sandhurst. The prince was heard saying: ‘Hi baby, sorry, I have only just returned from a nightly navigation exercise. [...] I had a busy day today. I’ve been running around the woods of Aldershot chasing shadows and getting terribly lost, and I walked into some other regiment’s ambush, which was slightly embarrassing because I nearly

1. 1. Alumnus King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan visiting Sandhurst. 2. The Countess of Wessex inspecting the guard of honour. 3. The Jordanian Prince Hamzah al Hussein. 4. Current monarch King Abdullah. 5. William and Harry. 6. The statue of Queen Victoria.



4. 5.




The Queen handing over a new colour to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1953. Right: During his graduation ceremony in April 2006, Prince Harry can hardly suppress a smile when his grandmother walks past him.


Inspection of the newly graduated troops by The Queen 47

got shot.’ Not by live rounds, William confides to his babykins – his pet name for her – ‘but by blank rounds, which would be very embarrassing though.’ Major General Pearson, commander of the institute, acknowledges that every royal has experienced the same horrific regime as all other officers-in-training. Just like Prince Harry, Crown Prince Leka of Albania, the Sultan of Brunei, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, and Jean, Henri and Guillaume of Luxembourg, King Abdullah was prepped at Sandhurst to fight in conflict zones. ‘During the Falklands War, which began in April 1982, we were given dog tags for the first time – metal tags that soldiers wear around their neck with personal information so they can be identified if they are killed in battle,’ Abdullah writes in his autobiography. ‘I called my father and told him they were issuing us with dog tags and it looked like we might be deployed. Without a pause, he said: “If they go, you go with them.” As it turned out, another unit was sent.’ Although Harry embraced the challenge, William was less eager to be deployed to war zones. But: ‘The last thing I want is to be mollycoddled or wrapped up in cotton wool,’ the Prince stated before commencing his Sandhurst training. ‘I would not want to be kept back for being precious, or whatever, that’s the last thing I’d want.’ Prince Harry was over halfway through his training of more than forty weeks when William enrolled. The older brother finalised his studies at the University of St Andrews first, after graduating from Eton, while Harry had chosen to go travelling for a year, before making use of his entry offer at Sandhurst.

Basket full of sandwiches ‘The first five weeks were hell,’ the King of Jordan recalls. ‘We marched for hours on the parade ground, woke up before dawn to go running in the pouring rain, and shined our boots endlessly. I thought “What the hell have I got myself into?”’ But beautiful memories also linger among the royal alumni, such as the James Bond theme party, when partners were also invited. William arrived with Catherine, who was reportedly


dressed in a wetsuit. William himself was photographed as a Bond girl in a green bikini. An officer had taken the picture and sent it to a tabloid, which eventually decided against publishing it. After the initial weeks at Sandhurst, there are opportunities to go home. Which is relatively easy for the British princes – but for royalty from Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as well as sheiks from Kuwait or the Emirates, returning home for the weekend appears to be a little trickier. Abdullah sometimes opted to go to London, as Jordan was too far away. There he met up with Crown Prince Hamad of Bahrein, who was one of his father’s good friends and who he regarded as an uncle. Hamad had already graduated Sandhurst; he knew the tricks of the trade. He decided to give Abdullah a basket full of sandwiches, prepared by the Dorchester Hotel; back at Sandhurst, Abdullah was the hero of his platoon. Years later, when the young crown prince had become king, Hamad’s grandson also enrolled at Sandhurst. Abdullah, during a visit to London, ordered him a similar basket of sandwiches from the hotel, offering it to the grandson of Hamad. ‘I had all too vivid recollections what he was going through,’ the Jordanian monarch explained. Prince William finished Sandhurst in December 2006. The Queen, The Prince of Wales and other members of the royal family were present at the graduation ceremony, as was the woman who the prince eventually married in 2011, Catherine. The Queen inspected the troops of freshly graduated cadets, and stopped in front of her grandson to speak a few words to him; what she said, made William smile. Sandhurst is an unforgettable experience, with lessons that have a lifelong impact. Abdullah of Jordan remembers Sergeant Lawly, ‘a philosopher in a soldier’s sort of way’. During a moment the two shared on an exercise, the sergeant addressed the king-to-be: ‘Mr Abdullah, there is something I’ve been meaning to tell you.’ He waited a short while to give his words deeper meaning. ‘You’re always going to be in the shit. It’s just the depth that is going to vary.’ Abdullah adopted that as his motto. ‘To this day I still think of his words whenever I am facing a tough situation.’


Although Harry embraced the challenge, William was less eager to be deployed to war zones



1. The brothers William and Harry. 2. Prince William on an exercise. 3. King Olav of Norway speaking to Prince Hamad of Qatar in 1971. 4. Prince Josef-Emanuel posing in front of a portrait of his grandfather, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg. 5. The Sovereign’s Parade, keystone of the graduation ceremony: the commander following the cadets by horse – always a white horse – into the main building of Sandhurst.





Dresses for princesses During major royal events, princes and princesses appear in classic dresses and tailored suits, often made especially for them. But in their ‘free time’ they are dressed like any other child: comfort is king. BY JOSINE DROOGENDIJK




‘I had a set playtime with father […] I was fitted into a beautiful open-necked, sleeveless dress with a wide belt, with samecoloured straps across my shoulders. When the fitting was done, I was guided via a large staircase through the big hall into my father’s office, where the fun began.’ These words were written by former Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, in her memoirs about life as a child at the royal court. The personal and detailed memories clearly show that Wilhelmina’s dress code was quite unlike that of the queens following in her footsteps. Today’s successor Princess Amalia often wears jeans, summer dresses and practical sandals when playing in the grounds of her home Eikenhorst. Comfort is paramount, so a child can really be a child.

1. + 3. + 14. Princesses Leonor and Sofía (Spain), 2. Princes William and Harry (Great Britain), 4. + 12. Princess Ariane (Netherlands), 5. Prince William (Great Britain), 6. + 7. Prince George (Great Britain), 8. Queen Wilhelmina (Netherlands), 9. Princes Christian and Vincent, and Princesses Isabella and Josephine (Denmark), 10. King (then Prince) Willem-Alexander (Netherlands), 11. Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine (Denmark), 13. Princesses Beatrix, Irene and Margriet (Netherlands).

Fitting the moment Amalia’s mother, Queen Máxima, clearly prefers practical and contemporary clothing, just like her royal peers throughout the world. Take Spanish Princess Sofía and Princess Leonor, who are dressed in shorts combined with a summery top and sandals during their holiday. Or the offspring of Mathilde, Mary, Mette-Marit and Victoria, who are similarly attired and indistinguishable from other kids their age. During important and historic events, however, princes and princesses are dressed in quite a different fashion: jeans and cool sneakers are exchanged for classic dresses and tailored suits, often specially designed at the mother’s request. Letizia chose very sophisticated dresses with bows for her two princesses to wear at the coronation of King Felipe. The choice of smart, classic clothing for formal occasions is not new; Princess Beatrix and her contemporaries have observed such etiquette for years. At the 1980 inauguration of Beatrix, her boys Willem-Alexander, Friso and Constantijn were kitted out in smart trousers and jumpers with a tie. Once they returned to the royal grounds, the fancy clothes were quickly exchanged for everyday wear so that the princes could play in the gardens of Castle Drakensteyn. Brands that were popular during the 1980s at royal courts have almost disappeared and been replaced with new fashion labels. One of the most well-known is run by Greek Princess Marie-Chantal, who created her own label. Her wish to start a kid’s clothing brand was a direct result of the clothes on offer in London, where the princess lives. Every time Marie-Chantal went out to buy clothes for her children, she returned home frustrated. She clearly wasn’t charmed by the ‘cool girls’ fashion in striking colours, and decided to set up shop herself. Her intention was to open just one store, but her label was such a big hit that a second shop quickly followed suit. Now her clothes are sold worldwide to, among others, Danish Crown Princess Mary and Swedish Crown Princess Victoria. A relatively new brand gaining a lot of ground within royal circles, is Pili Carrera. The Spanish label became an instant hit in the Netherlands because of the yellow dresses worn by Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane during the abdication ceremony of their grandmother Beatrix. A few months before, the fashion house sent some catalogues to Queen Máxima, and were completely surprised when the princesses wore their dresses. Whether the


Princess Isabella and Prince Christian (Denmark).
















1. Princess Estelle (Sweden), 2. + 3. Princesses Leonor and Sofía (Spain), 4. + 5. + 6. Princess Amalia (Netherlands).

Queen tipped off her royal peers after her husband’s inauguration is only guesswork, but in mere months the children of Scandinavian Crown Princesses Mary and Victoria and Spanish Queen Letizia were spotted wearing the brand. There are a number of kids’ fashion labels proving pretty popular at royal courts. For several years the French brand Bon Point has been a huge favourite among the royal mothers, who also like to shop at Cyrillus, Nanos and J. Crew. The now discontinued Portuguese brand Papo d’Anjo always enjoyed a lot of royal patronage. Their colourful dresses with big prints sold like hot cakes and proved very suitable for informal functions such as photo sessions, a first school day or meeting Santa. 4



Many other addresses The royal mums have a number of addresses to hand so they can successfully kit out their offspring. Máxima likes to go shopping in her birth country Argentina, where children’s clothes are generally more classic than in Europe. For example, the pink and white dresses her three girls wore during their 2010 photo session were bought at La Folie Jeans in Buenos Aires. Dresses like these are priced at around £ 300 (US$ 474), but there are affordable brands selling quite similar styles. A good example are the bright fuchsia dresses the princesses wore for their 2012 shoot, which were purchased from Santa Sabina and inspired by traditional Mexican fashion. Similar styles are available for less than £ 100 (US$ 158) on European mainland. Even within royal families clothes are passed down and worn by younger siblings; Queen Máxima has made it no secret to family and friends that she wants to avoid her girls being spoilt. Only during important events do the three princesses wear uniquely tailored clothes. Swedish Princess Estelle often appears in her mother’s childrenswear; thirty years ago Victoria wore many classic dresses featuring ruffles and smocking. By choosing vintage for her daughter, she shows her sense of fashion and references her remarkable family roots. The Duchess of Cambridge may have leafed through some royal history books herself before she chose toddler George’s outfit for the christening ceremony of his little sister. Prince George donned red shorts and a white shirt with red embroidery for the occasion – which happened to be near-identical to the set his father Prince William wore thirty years before, when he visited his newborn brother Harry for the first time in hospital. Copies of George’s £ 85 (US$ 134) outfit by Rachel Riley sold out within a day. Just a month earlier, George appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony, wearing the sky blue outfit that Prince William had worn on his own balcony debut back in 1984. Demonstrating quite a different way of being fashion-conscious, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway sells her daughter’s clothes via the internet – a most extraordinary yet not entirely unexpected move; Mette-Marit has sold her own clothing via Norwegian website Bloppis before, and enthusiastically joined in the promotion of a book about sustainable clothing. On the website where the Norwegian princess’s clothes are sold you can see that Ingrid Alexandra mostly wears clothes by Poppy Rose and Petit Bateau. In this way, royal fashion is literally accessible to everyone.


1 3

The Duchess of Cambridge may have leafed through some royal history books herself for inspiration

The love between Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais is legendary. The struggle – and friendship – between the French Emperor and Russian Tsar Alexander I is as well-known. But the fact that Alexander and Josephine also had dealings with each other is less common knowledge. Until 8 November 2015 an exhibition at Hermitage Amsterdam explains the many sides of the relationship between these three extraordinary people.





“If this story hadn’t really happened, Hollywood could have invented it!” Paul Mosterd is deputy director of Hermitage Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and talks about the exhibition Alexander, Napoleon & Josephine, a Story of Friendship, War and Art from the Hermitage. “This really is a great movie topic. Two men with blood on their hands and seas of misery between them, who happened to be quite fond of each other at the same time. And a self-made woman, hyper-intelligent, with lots of good taste in and knowledge of art, who stood next to her man and helped him reach the top. And then there’s the relationship between Alexander and Josephine… ingredients that make this story so unique.” The history of the two Emperors and the Empress is told by Hermitage Amsterdam. Mosterd: “There was never any question of a love triangle, but those three were very important to one another and had a lot to do with each other. We wanted to show that in this exhibition. Josephine de Beauharnais is one of the great women of history. That is why we wanted her to play a role in this exhibition on an equal par with Napoleon and Alexander. A lot of what is on display here also originates from her collection.”

Napoleon rejected

Top: A ring made of gold, silver, diamond and enamel, with the monogram of Tsar Alexander I. Above: Two sworn enemies becoming friends leads to comments throughout Europe, as seen in this cartoon.


Before the protagonists of this story met, they had already had a lot of dealings with or at least heard of each other. Emperor Napoleon of France, for instance, waged a war against Tsar Alexander I of Russia for years before they met in the flesh for the first time on 25 June 1807, to negotiate a truce. Mosterd: “The two men just clicked. They met each other on a fleet of boats in the Neman River, near Tilsit, and sent all generals, lieutenants and guards away, so they could have a conversation between just the two of them. And they really were the only ones there; there was not even an interpreter present, because Alexander could speak French – probably better than Russian! – due to his regal upbringing.” What followed was a two-week period in which both Emperors felt they had found a friend for life. The Tsar had heard the most improbable stories about Napoleon for ten years, and was impressed by his military achievements. “You could compare Napoleon’s curriculum with the classic ‘paperboy to millionaire’ story. Alexander was deeply impressed by this. Someone who had been able to work his way up in this manner was something he had never experienced in Russia,” says Mosterd. Napoleon, in turn, must have fallen for the Tsar’s irresistible charms. “He wrote very highly of Alexander in his letters to Josephine.


Top left: A portrait of Tsar Alexander I (1810-30) by François Gérard. Top right: A portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte (1796-97) by Antoine-Jean Gros. Above: The meeting of Alexander I and Napoleon on a raft on the Neman River, 25 June 1807 (print around 1807).

‘If I were not Napoleon, I would have liked to be Alexander’ (Showing respect, even after the Emperor has been defeated)


Above: A portrait of Eugène de Beauharnaus by Johann Heinrich Richter. Right: The silk robe with lace and embroidery, probably made by court designer Picaud, 1804-1805, worn by Eugène de Beauharnaus at the crowning ceremony of Emperor Napoleon.



‘Let him take the hand I offer; let him remove to my territory’ (After defeating Napoleon, the Tsar offers him exile)

They spent evening after evening together, they invited Goethe to their second get-together, they staged plays.” On 9 July, when the treaty was ratified, Alexander personally waved Napoleon goodbye from the Neman’s shore. Even after their parting, the emperors kept in close contact and often wrote to each other. And they showered each other in gifts: fur coats, complete Sèvres crockery sets, malachite vases. As players on the world stage, however, they obviously kept a close eye on what the other one was doing, and whether the agreements of the treaty were being honoured. Which was not the case. Relations started to cool down when Napoleon – in the meantime divorced from Josephine – asked Alexander for his sister Anna Paulowna’s hand in marriage in 1810. The Tsar formally replied that his mother was opposed to the idea. Anna Paulowna eventually married the later King Willem II of the Netherlands, while Napoleon wed Austrian Archduchess Marie-Louise. The friendship deteriorated further, and on 10 June 1812 Napoleon declared war on his former friend. He crossed the Neman River with the largest European army ever, and though the troops managed to reach Moscow, Napoleon was eventually defeated. He was chased all the way back to France by the Russian army, led by Alexander. On 31 March 1814 the Russians marched into Paris, the Tsar seated provocatively on a white horse that was once a gift from the French Emperor. Alexander offered Napoleon refuge in Russia, which he refused, and on 20 April the former Emperor was exiled to Elba, off the Italian coast.

The tsar who came to tea Tsar Alexander remained in Paris and decided to contact the woman he already heard so much about: Josephine de Beauharnais. Entirely against the rules of protocol – because he was superior to her in rank – Alexander requested an audience with the former empress. She was unsure whether to receive him or not, but her daughter Hortense believed it might be a good idea and persuaded her mother to do so. In early May, the Tsar visited Josephine at Château de Malmaison, where she had lived since her divorce. Paul Mosterd: “They actually really liked each other; he wrote to his mother that he had met one of the most beautiful women in Europe. Alexander came to tea, they dined together, they wrote to each other. And she gave him one of the most beautiful gifts she had to offer, almost a token of love: a gigantic cameo that was taken by a French soldier from the Vatican. That cameo is one of the highlights of this exhibition.”

Top: Parts of the ‘Egyptian crockery’ from Josephine’s collection, probably made by Sèvres. Above: The death mask of Napoleon (6 May 1821) that, via a convoluted route, ended up in the Hermitage.


‘My husband does not love me, he worships me. I think he will go mad’ (The Empress after divorcing Napoleon)

The legacy of Josephine The story of Alexander and Josephine does not end with her death. Mosterd: “The Tsar bought part of her art collection: 38 paintings and four sculptures. No doubt he felt it important to preserve it, because it served as a memento to the month they spent together. But it was in any case a very impressive collection, with works by great masters such as Rembrandt and Da Vinci, and the Italian sculptor Canova. Josephine had clearly had a good eye for art.” Eventually, many more of Josephine’s objects ended up in Russia. In 1829 the Tsar bought another thirty of Hortense’s paintings, and from Eugène’s inheritance, a vast collection of furniture, tapestries, silver, bronze, porcelain and personal items – part of which can be seen in the Hermitage. This was because Eugène’s son Maximilian eventually married Alexander’s niece, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna and settled in St. Petersburg. Mosterd: “The newlyweds were given one of the most beautiful residences, the Mariinsky Palace, which was built especially for them. Maximilian brought all sorts of items from his grandmother’s and father’s estate, mainly personal items such as Napoleon’s death mask, now on display at the exhibition as well. Equally special is the robe Eugène wore to Napoleon’s coronation as Emperor – a robe that has never been on show, as it is usually kept in a closet in the Hermitage’s St Petersburg depot. But even this masterpiece has come to Amsterdam!” After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the possessions of Maximilian’s offspring in Russia were nationalised, and lots of furniture, tableware, trinkets – and the aforementioned mask and robe – were given to the Hermitage State Museum, together with lots of different tsars’ former possessions. Many striking objects from Josephine’s legacy are on display in Amsterdam, though it also focuses on her ‘real-life’ legacy: her descendants. Mosterd: “I find this one of the most beautiful parts of the story. The two dynasties, the Romanovs and the Bonapartes, are no longer on the throne, but Josephine’s great-greatgrandchildren are, among others, the King of the Belgians, the Queen of Sweden, the King of Norway, the Danish Queen and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg – all because Eugène’s daughter, Josephine of Leuchtenberg, married the later King Oscar I of Sweden and Norway. Although Josephine was very worried about her children’s future in the last days of her life, everything turned out all right. The Crown Princess of Sweden married wearing her tiara, and the name Josephine can be found in several dynasties. How beautiful can it be?”




Josephine was very worried about the future, especially the future of her children Eugène and Hortense. Could they maintain their positions and possessions? And however charming she thought Alexander was, she realised that a friendship would be mostly beneficial to her. Meanwhile, she just tried to enjoy the regular presence of the endearing tsar, who became so fond of her that he even asked her to move to Russia, where a palace awaited her. Mosterd: “Then the city of Paris started to gossip, in response to which the two friends started inviting other people to their social gatherings, ensuring there were always several guests at the table. And while Napoleon sat moping on his little island – where he was told all about what was happening at Malmaison – those two were clearly having a ball together.” That is, until Josephine caught a terrible cold during an evening walk in the garden. “It was clear that she was dressed too lightly (according to the latest fashion, admittedly) and was perhaps a bit under the weather already. Alexander was very worried and sent his personal physician along, while keeping contact through Hortense, who stayed at her mother’s bedside. When Josephine died of pneumonia on 29 May 1815, Alexander organised the funeral, with a Russian guard of honour and a huge amount of pomp and ceremony. The funeral was such a grand affair that it was attended by tens of thousands of people who came to say their goodbyes to their former Empress.”

Alexander, Napoleon and Josephine. A story of friendship, war and art from the Hermitage is showing until 8 November 2015 in Hermitage Amsterdam. Information: Left page and below: Two pieces of furniture from Malmaison, a guéridon (small table) from early 19th century and a console table (1790-1800). Above left: A portrait of Josephine de Beauharnais, 1812, by Firmin Massot. Above right: The Gonzaga Cameo (3rd century BC) that Josephine gave Tsar Alexander as a present. Right: Crown Princess Victoria wearing a tiara that once belonged to Josephine. Far right: Josephine’s daughter Hortense being chased by Napoleon in the garden of Malmaison, detail of the painting Festive Reception at Château de Malmaison in 1802, around 1894, by François Flameng.


‘I begin my reign with profound emotion at the honour of accepting the crown, aware of the responsibility it entails’ King Felipe VI of Spain (1968)



Mary of Modena’s Crown of State was manufactured in 1685 by goldsmith Richard de Beauvoir. The rock crystals in this crown replace the diamonds that were hired for the 1685 coronation and subsequent ceremonies.


Bhutan’s royal couple

The DRAGON 66 



In the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, time seems to stand still. A journey through the Land of the Thundering Dragon is a journey through enchanting valleys, Buddhist monasteries, sacred temples and lush, green rice fields. Reigning the state of Bhutan is King Jigme (35), married to Queen Jetsun (25). A portrait of a young royal couple who we rarely hear about in the West. BY CARLIJN STRODIJK


Although ‘Dragon King’ Jigme Khesar was only 20 years old when his father renounced the throne, he didn’t arrive at the job entirely unprepared. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck (1955) of Bhutan, a teenager himself when he ascended the throne in 1972, wanted his son to stand in good stead and helped him to solidly prepare for his future royal responsibilities. He often took his son along with him during visits throughout the country to meet the people, and he regularly sent Jigme to international events to represent his country. The young prince attended the 2006 celebration of Bhumibol’s 60th anniversary as King of Thailand – Jigme being the youngest of all the royal guests in attendance. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was born on 21 February 1980 in the Dechencholing Palace in Thimphu, capital city of Bhutan, which is located 7,500 feet above sea level. He has a sister, Princess Ashi Dechen Yangzom (1981), a brother, Prince Dasho Jigme Dorji (1986), four half-sisters and three half-brothers. After graduating college in Bhutan, Jigme went abroad to study – to the United States, followed by a programme at the University of Oxford. All of his studies have focused on leadership and international relations. At the end of 2005 King Jigme Singye announced his abdication, in favour of his eldest son. In December 2006 Jigme followed in his father’s footsteps, and he was ceremonially crowned the fifth Dragon King of Bhutan in November 2008. To welcome the new King, residents of the Asian mountain state painted the street signs, displayed festive banners and decorated roundabouts with flowers. It took some time for the coronation ceremony to come to fruition, but it coincided with the centennial of the Bhutanese monarchy. That day Jigme addressed his people: ‘Throughout my reign I will never rule you as a King. I will protect you as a parent, care for you as a brother





Top left: The royal couple visiting The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House (2011). Above: The King and Queen meeting Japanese Empress Michiko (2011). Left: Jigme being crowned the fifth Dragon King of Bhutan by his father.

At the opening of Parliament on 20 May 2011, King Jigme announced his engagement to Jetsun Pema: ‘As King, it is now time for me to marry. After much thought I have decided that the wedding shall be later this year.’ He also spoke of his bride: ‘For the Queen, what is most important is that at all times, as an individual she must be a good human being, and as Queen, she must be unwavering in her commitment to serve the people and the country. As my queen, I have found such a person and her name is Jetsun Pema. While she is young, she is warm and kind in heart and character. These qualities, together with the wisdom that will come with age and experience, will make her a great servant to the nation.’ The King’s fiancée was born on 4 June 1990, the daughter of pilot Dhondup Gyaltshen – grandson of a governor – and Sonam Chuki, a member of one of the oldest noble families of Bhutan. Her family and the royal family already knew each other. Jigme and Jetsun were even



and serve you as a son. I shall give you everything and keep nothing; I shall live such a life as a good human being that you may find it worthy to serve as an example for your children; I have no personal goals other than to fulfil your hopes and aspirations. I shall always serve you, day and night, in the spirit of kindness, justice and equality.’ These appeared to be sincere words. The new King continued the developments towards a parliamentary democracy, which his father had begun. In 2007 a ‘trial vote’ for parliament was held, followed a year later by the first real elections.

King Jigme addressing his people: ‘I shall always serve you, day and night, in the spirit of kindness, justice and equality’

related already by marriage: Jetsun’s grandfather was the half-brother of the second King of Bhutan’s spouse. Moreover, Jetsun’s eldest sister Yeatso Lhamo is married to King Jigme’s brother. The two met each other for the first time when Jetsun was only 7 years old, during a family picnic in Thimphu. Little Jetsun then clung to the 17-year-old Jigme and said: ‘I’ll go with you,’ to which the Prince replied: ‘When you grow up, if I am single and not married and if you are single and not married, I would like you to be my wife, provided we still feel the same.’ The fairytale wedding between the King and Jetsun – known as the ‘William and Kate of the Himalayas’ because of their popularity – took place on 13 October 2011. At precisely 8.20 am that day – the ideal time according to the royal astrologers – King Jigme Khesar entered the inner court of the 17th century Punakha Dzong monastery, and ascended the high steps. A few minutes later his bride appeared, walking across a wooden footbridge over a wide river, preceded by a procession of monks dressed in red – carrying cymbals, drums and horns – and flag bearers. She entered the monastery, under the watchful eye of baby elephants in colourful decorations. The wedding – the largest media event in Bhutan ever – was a traditional Buddhist ceremony. That day the bride officially became the Queen of Bhutan; Jigme formalised this by placing a silk embroidered crown on her head. After the formal inauguration, the couple went outside to be greeted by thousands of citizens. Foreign dignitaries were not invited; this was a celebration for Bhutan and the Bhutanese.

After her wedding, the Queen accompanied her husband during several foreign visits. Wherever they appeared, the King was seen holding his wife’s hand. ‘Young people will start to copy that,’ Bhutanese students said. The King openly talks about his love for his wife. Even though polygamy is legal in Bhutan – his father has four wives who are each other’s sisters – King Jigme is loyal to one woman alone. Like princesses and queens in Europe, Jetsun is committed to many charities. She is Patron of the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature, and works closely with organisations that strive for the care of children with special needs. In her free time she enjoys drawing, painting, sculpting and basketball – she was once the captain of her school team. She also has a gift for languages: besides Dzongkha – the language of Bhutan – Jetsun speaks fluent English and Hindi. King Jigme likes to travel. He mainly does that within Bhutan, to remote rural villages. During these trips he often stays with local residents in their homes, where he likes to help out in the kitchen, cutting onions with them. He once stopped at a school during his travels, where he decided to cook for seventy students. The King also invites ‘ordinary people’ for tea. His country hugely appreciates his personal style: Jigme is incredibly popular and poster-sized pictures of him adorn many a teenage girl’s bedroom. He isn’t called The People’s King for no reason. Via his Facebook page he keeps more than 190,000 followers up to date on his and his wife’s whereabouts and activities. And all because he wants to stick to the words he spoke when he became King: ‘I shall give you everything.’



Noor &Queen Rania Jordanian advocates for their Islam




Islam has an image problem. It is globally associated with extremism, while Islam according to Queen Rania and Queen Noor of Jordan is a religion of peace, tolerance and mercy. And for them it’s about time the world saw its true nature.

During the World Economic Forum in Jordan last May, Queen Rania of Jordan spoke out strongly against Islamic State (IS) and its attacks on civilisation. IS forces had captured the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria and were threatening to destroy its ancient monuments: ‘Palmyra is one of the greatest treasures in the region and indeed in the world – it shows how we’re facing a global threat, not just against Arabs or Muslims, but against the entire civilised world… This is heart-breaking; this is the heritage of the world and humanity, and we all have a responsibility to preserve those sites.’ Jordan is at war. When it became clear in February that a Jordanian jet fighter pilot had been brutally executed by IS – despite intense negotiations to free him– the King of Jordan immediately returned from the United States and visited the headquarters of his armed forces. ‘The blood of martyr al-Kasasbeh will not be in vain’, a furious Abdullah announced to the outside world. Jordan’s response was a bomb strike on IS targets. His wife Rania did not use the same harsh words as the King, but she also conveyed her disappointment that the extremist acts committed by IS were done in the name of Islam. ‘The Muslim is the man they murdered. The one who observed the pillars of his faith, who honoured his parents and served his country. A man who made it his mission to defend his country and his faith, a mission he lived and died by,’ she stated. For years Rania has been dedicated to her fight for the justice of Islam, just like former Queen Noor. Both women are not just known for their beauty but also for their poise, their feet firmly planted in the 21st century. They are devoted to their faith, though they do not want to express this by wearing a headscarf in everyday life – a hijab, seen by many westerners as inextricably linked to being a Muslim. ‘The hijab is a choice; a woman wears the hijab because she believes in it and she has the right to wear it, not because she is forced to,’ Rania clarified in an interview with American talk show queen Oprah Winfrey. ‘Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and mercy. It is a source of comfort and strength for more than 1.6 billion Muslims,’ she shared on her Facebook page on the day


Dark days The two Jordanian queens were happy with the so-called Arab Spring, which by the end of 2010 seemed to be blossoming. It was a time when revolutions and protests really brought about change to the Arabic world – a process of democratisation. It was also a time when the world had a different view of Muslims, but now that the violent IS, claiming to speak on behalf of Islam, is dominating the headlines, the Arab Spring seems a long way away and an Arab Summer further removed than ever. ‘But,’ says Noor, widow of King Hussein, ‘All revolutions, as sudden as they sound, rarely produce results immediately. Momentum builds over time. It can take years or generations.’ According to both queens, the view that the western world now has of Islam and Muslims is very much distorted. ‘Islam brings people together, instead of dividing them,’ Queen Noor stated some years ago, during a visit to Maastricht in the Netherlands. ‘We must try and bridge the stereotypes, the prejudices and the fear of the unknown. It divides people in Europe, the Middle East and on every continent. This polarisation leads to tragic conflicts.’ These are values she was taught by her husband; when she married him she converted to the Islamic faith, and he gave her the name Noor (‘light’). ‘He opened my eyes to the power of the Islam, the vision of the prophet Mohammed.’ King Hussein is sadly missed by many Jordanians, and even more so by his children and widow. On the anniversary of his death this year, Noor tweeted: ‘Missing our beloved King Hussein in these dark days. Rest in peace my love. Your example is a moral compass.’ Earlier she had said: ‘We need to find and develop a way to move forward instead of repeating the mistakes of the past.’ Wise words, but how to achieve such a goal? Maybe the answer lies in a tweet by a girl, which the queen dowager retweeted for her own followers: ‘If we only listen to the people with guns, we only encourage them to continue using them.’


Rewrite our narrative For Rania it is clear what should happen with IS. ‘Most importantly, to eliminate the ideology of hate and terrorism,’ the Queen proclaimed, ‘not just militarily, but ideologically as well.’ In her opinion, the acts that dominate the news have nothing to do with Islam. ‘A minority of irreligious extremists is using social media to rewrite our narrative... That’s what IS is doing to the Arab world.’ In a speech, Queen Rania compared the image of Islam with social media, something both queens frequently use, enabling them to reach millions of people around the world. ‘Now, what if we had a profile picture for the Arab world?’ she asked the audience. ‘What would it look like?’ Not the best, she continued. Despite its rich, ancient culture, the cosmopolitan character of 350 million people, and the belief in tolerance, peace and compassion, the picture of Islam is reduced to a series of executions recorded and distributed by IS. ‘This is their version of the Arab world story,’ Rania says resolutely, ‘Their plot hijacks our identity and rebrands us.’ According to Rania, ‘wherever feelings of dissatisfaction and injustice prevail, extremism is fed.’ Employment is key, and education is the road to achieving this. That is partly why Queen Noor believes in the newer generations, specifically the United World Colleges (UWC), a global group of colleges with students from more than 140 countries. Queen Noor, who has been UWC president for twenty years, says: ‘If you listen to the students at this school – they come from all over the world – you can hear that they are really animated and excited, while at the same time radiating with pride. They work together; they become friends, even if they have been born as each other’s enemies. This is how they were raised. They learn to understand by working together, developing friendships and creating a different future.’ Rania shares Noor’s view. ‘For the sake of each one of us... for the sake of Islam and the Arab world... for the future of our young people, we must create a new narrative and broadcast it to the world. Because if we don’t decide what our identity is... and what our legacy will be, the extremists will do it for us,’ the queen emphasises. ‘If we do not write our story, theirs will endure.’


she attended the March of the Republic with her husband in Paris, following the bloody attack on the editorial department of a French satirical magazine.



‘Their plot hijacks our identity and rebrands us’



‘Missing our beloved King Hussein in these dark days’ 79

HAUTE High heels at court

SHOETURE In preparation for a life at the Danish court, Mary Donaldson enrolled at Starmaker Agency in Sydney. During her six-week stay, the Australian was taught to walk elegantly in high heels. This was no unnecessary indulgence, as royal events are rarely performed in comfortable shoes. BY JOSINE DROOGENDIJK


In the 15th century one wore chopines as a mark of wealth: shoes with a cork or wooden base, sometimes more than 20Â inches high.

L.K. Bennett

Just like The Queen, The Duchess of Cambridge shows a clear preference for classic, unobtrusive shoes. During royal events she is regularly seen in sand-coloured court shoes by British fashion brand L.K. Bennett. These pumps can easily be combined with different outfits, and are more comfortable to wear than they appear, because of the platform sole. Catherine seems to have set a trend: Queen MĂĄxima (Netherlands), Crown Princesses Victoria (Sweden), Crown Princess Mary and Princess Marie (both Denmark) have all been seen wearing the same shoes.



From left to right: shoes worn by Dutch Princess Beatrix, Dutch Princess Mabel, The Queen and Norwegian Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Judging by the choice of shoes worn by the current generation of` queens and (crown) princesses, there appears to be increasing demand for exclusive, often high-heeled, shoes.

Shoes have always played an important part at royal courts. In the 15th century people in Venice wore chopines as a mark of wealth: shoes with a cork or wooden base, sometimes more than 20 inches high. The height of the base was an indication of the wearer’s social standing: she literally towered above the common people. The chopines didn’t offer much comfort, but with a little help from a servant the ladies occasionally managed a short walk. In the 17th century a new shoe trend appeared at the court. Noble ladies and gentlemen wore shoes with a high red heel, echoing the fashion statement of French King Louis XIV. By means of a royal decree, the king tried to prevent the population from following his trend, but this proved difficult to enforce. The satin mule, often worn in the 19th century, was replaced in the 20th century by practical footwear. During the First World War, women took over a lot of work commonly carried out by men, putting aside the heels and fragile materials. The passion for beautiful shoes returned in the fifties, however, alongside shorter skirts and a renewed focus on femininity. Queens and princesses appeared in pumps with beautifully decorated ankle straps, while wearing evening shoes with diamond clasps at galas and concerts. Someone who reacted quickly to this renewed attention was Salvatore Ferragamo. Within just a few years he became an international shoe designer, with customers like Eva Péron and Marilyn Monroe. Fashionconscious princesses also knocked on his door for exclusive, tailor-made shoes, which were often the precursor of new trends. The Italian shoe designer is no longer alive, but shoes by fashion house Ferragamo are still popular at court. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands for example, owns several sets in her collection, and Dutch Princess Beatrix also walks the walk in the leather pumps with a signature bow. The former monarch’s collection contains the classic model Carla in several colours, which are almost always worn during work functions. The Princess imitates brand-loyal Queen Elizabeth II, who has been wearing the same type of footwear by Anello & Davide in London Kensington, for more than 50 years. The calfskin leather pumps with golden clasp are made-to-measure from a wooden ‘last’, made from measurements of The Queen’s foot, and cost about £ 1000 (US$ 1500) a pair. According to the supplier, The Queen orders two new pairs of shoes a year and has them reheeled when they wear out. To prevent The Queen from getting blisters, a member of staff known as ‘Cinders’ breaks in the shoes, wearing beige cotton ankle socks while trotting up and down the palatial corridors.


Unlike Queen Elizabeth, the new generation queens and princesses are less eager to stick with one established style. In their world, heels and platforms are interspersed with bold boots, peep-toe shoes and eye-catching sandals. Judging by the royal ladies’ shoes of choice, there is increasing demand for exclusive, mostly highheeled footwear – beautiful yet impractical shoes causing painful and swollen feet. Queen Letizia of Spain was so burdened by her heels during the inauguration of her husband Felipe, that she had them swapped for similar peep-toes offering a bit more comfort. Queen Máxima, of Argentinian origin and now married to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, often takes a second pair of shoes with her on work visits, so she can take off her high heels as soon as the official programme has come to an end. Her collection always allows for suitable alternatives; in the past few years she has worn three hundred different pairs during public events. A large part of her collection is purchased from the Italian designer Sergio Rossi, who designs many peep-toes and slingbacks. Belgian fashion house Natan also delivers large quantities to Máxima’s residence. While choosing her clothes, the Queen regularly orders shoes to match, which Natan then coats or dyes in the same colour. It saves Máxima a lot of time, assuring her of always having appropriate footwear – not easy when you wear size 10 shoes. Queen Máxima isn’t the only royal who orders shoes coloured to match her wardrobe. Princess Beatrix has her shoes dyed at Palette Coloured Shoes in Amsterdam. Shop owner Leslie Haasewinkel still remembers how this royal relationship began. “Soon after I had launched my business here in 1990, a chambermaid visited me. The Queen required a pair of green-blue shoes for Prince’s Day (the Dutch State Opening of Parliament, ed.) in 1992, and I had the honour of coating them with the fabric of her dress.” The shoes got the royal stamp of approval, and Beatrix became a regular customer. Of all the royal shoes that Leslie has delivered in the past few years, one pair has a special place in her heart: Máxima’s wedding shoes. Leslie: “She chose the model Catherina. I was a little afraid that something may go wrong with the coating, or that the shoes would be smudged during the fitting. I ordered two pairs, just to be sure.”

High heels are being interspersed with peep-toes

High heels have become the norm: comfortable shoes are seldom spotted during royal functions.


Queen Letizia of Spain was so burdened by her heels during the inauguration of her husband Felipe, that she swapped them for similar peep-toes that offered a bit more comfort.


Boots by Natan


As part of its collection, Belgian fashion house Natan sells high-heeled suede, knee-high boots. Queen Mathilde of Belgium was one of the first to wear these daring boots, with Dutch Queen Máxima, Belgian Princess Claire and Luxembourg Grand Duchess Maria Teresa following suit, even ordering multiple pairs. Thanks to this royal promotion, the boots – with a price tag of £ 430 (US$ 672) – have been selling like hot cakes.

‘King’ Louboutin

French King Louis XIV actually chose to wear red high heels to compensate for his short stature, but in a short period of time they became a status symbol among the upper echelons of society. Even today, many queens and princesses opt for shoes with a red sole, thanks to a stylish Frenchman: Christian Louboutin. The shoe designer began his own label in 1991 and can now count almost all princesses among his regular clientele. The Duchess of Cambridge owns at least one pair of Louboutin boots, a gift to her from Victoria Beckham. Princess Eugenie has been spotted on several occasions wearing various models of Louboutins, including the Bandra Sandals. They are not deemed very comfortable, but in the designer’s own words, this is not seen as a priority.




Princess Stephanie of Monaco

‘My mistakes have shaped me’ For years, Stephanie of Monaco was known as ‘the wild princess’. The princess who had no regard for protocol and did things her own way. Who wanted to prove she was independent and could build her own career. So she released a swimsuit line, had a global hit, raised three children from two fathers, and had countless relationships with some very interesting characters. Stephanie has since calmed down. Whenever she is in the spotlight, it is not because of a new romance, but because of her commitment to good causes. BY SIMONE LAMAIN



‘My life goal is to be there for others, suffer with them, help them, listen to them.’ Stephanie looks back at her former life without regret. ‘If I had any regrets, I would never have become the woman I am today. I am comfortable in my own skin and proud of all that I achieved. Even my mistakes have shaped me, have given me power.’

Crazy about animals

Stephanie Marie Elisabeth was born, on 1 February 1965, the third child to Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. She loved gymnastics, horse-riding and romping. Her mother nicknamed her ‘my tomboy’. From an early age, Princess Stephanie developed an interest in the entertainment industry. Grace talked to her about Hollywood, and a very young Stephanie felt honoured to meet celebrities like Roger Moore, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra. Prince Rainier, who in 1974 created the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo, instilled in his daughter a deep passion for circuses. Rainier would have loved to have been a ringmaster, and Stephanie similarly became enchanted by the circus world. Rainier and Stephanie, moreover, both loved animals. At Roc Agel, the holiday residence of the Grimaldis on the mountain Mont Agel, several animals such as chickens and cows, but also llamas, a hippopotamus and a rhinoceros, grazed the area. When Rainier stayed at Roc Agel, he wanted to feed the animals himself and Stephanie was eager to help him. Stephanie remembers her father’s words to this day: ‘Unlike people, animals will never betray you.’ Stephanie’s carefree youth came to an abrupt standstill on 13 September 1982, when she and her mother were involved in a serious car accident. Princess Grace died a day later. Stephanie was not able to attend her mother’s funeral because she had to remain in hospital. The accident was a turning point in Stephanie’s life, when she lost the person most precious to her. ‘All I could think is: why did I not die in the same instance as my mother?’ To make matters worse, rumours were spread following the accident that Stephanie, not Grace, had been at the wheel at the moment of impact. Stephanie stayed silent, until seven years later when she felt strong enough to share what the accident had done to her. ‘I remember every minute of it... I can now at least talk about it without crying. But I still can’t talk with my father


1. Princess Stephanie with her first husband Daniel Ducruet and their son Louis. Together they also had daughter Pauline. 2. With her two daughters Pauline (far right) and Camille. 3. Princess Stephanie being carried by her mother, Princess Grace. 4. Flanked by her son Louis and daughter Pauline during a circus visit. 5. In 2004, with her second husband, Portuguese acrobat Adans Lopez Peres. Their marriage, just like her first, only lasted one year.

about this, because I know how much it hurts him and I don’t want that, because I love him.’ After the accident, Stephanie lost her mother, her female role model and her guide. She felt she would have to shape her life all by herself. And she realised that life can be over just like that. ‘I have undertaken so many things, because I have always been aware that life can suddenly end, and I wanted to get everything out of it,’ she later says. It may explain the turbulent life that ensued, with jobs as fashion designer, fashion model, waitress, singer and actress. Princess Stephanie tried to break free from her background, literally showing her wild mane: during her first job at fashion house Christian Dior she turned up with an orange hairdo. When told this was not acceptable, she returned the following day with green hair. She acted impetuously in her private life as well. To her family’s chagrin, she regularly appeared in the tabloid press with different boyfriends. These affairs placed a huge strain on her relationship with her father; Rainier banned his daughter from the palace twice. But the palace doors did not remain closed forever, and after a turbulent phase Stephanie returned to Monaco.

Removing prejudices

When Rainier was taken into hospital in the spring of 2005, Stephanie could regularly be found at his bedside. Rainier died in April, breaking Stephanie’s heart. She no longer had parents, nor a husband. Her life revolved around her three children: Louis (1992), Pauline (1994) and Camille (1998). ‘My children are the heart of my existence. I share everything with them.’ Because she had to live without her mother from the age of 17, Stephanie was very close to her own children. They were allowed to make their own decisions, but Stephanie also shared her experiences with them and was there to offer advice and guidance. She was pretty outspoken when it came to going out at an early age. ‘Nowadays, people aged 14, 15 already hit the nightlife and start drinking so young, it is so decadent.’ In order to give her children as normal a childhood as possible, Stephanie kept them out of the spotlight for as long as she could. Only in recent years have Louis, Pauline and Camille accompanied her on official occasions.


1. 3.




Princess Stephanie is fond of animals. And her love goes further than just dogs; she saved two elephants from death. It is clear where this love of animals comes from: her father loved them so much that he built his own zoo.


can be found on the streets together with volunteers, calling on people to have themselves tested for HIV. On World Aids Day she organises auctions for the charity, and gives interviews trying to dispel the prejudices against Aids patients.

Traces in the face

Stephanie’s big heart is not only aimed at her family or people with an illness. In 2003 she rescued two elephants from the zoo in Lyon. The animals were in danger of being killed after being diagnosed with tuberculosis. Stephanie, convinced that the animals would be euthanised unfairly, arranged to take care of them; Baby and Nepal now live a life of luxury at Roc Agel. Stephanie’s actions are a testament to her upbringing by Rainier, who loved animals so much that he started his own zoo. ‘My father gave me the courage to fight for them, to never give up.’ Stephanie is closely involved with the care for the pachyderms. Whenever possible, she stays over at Roc Agel, so she can get up at 7 am to feed the animals herself. Stephanie says she has no problem with the ageing process. Her face shows signs of age, but that is no reason for her to start using Botox. ‘I have wrinkles because I am smiling too much. That is not bad. Every age has its advantages.’ The wild one, the rebellious princess with the string of relationships, has found peace. Now that she is 50, she looks back on her life with deep gratitude. ‘I love life and all it has brought me. I enjoy every moment that is given to me to live.’ Her biggest wish is to see her own children growing up to be happy adults. ‘They are beautiful persons and I want them to continue this way and become happy.’ So what about the future? She likes to keep this wide open. ‘I live from day to day. I can’t say that I’ll be living the same life in a few years’ time. Things keep changing, because my own children are growing up. And one day I will be a grandmother...’


Following the death of Rainier, Stephanie assumed the presidency of the annual Circus Festival in Monaco. ‘The love for circuses is in my blood. You have to be open to the magic and have your eyes light up and become a child again.’ Stephanie took her role very seriously. She became actively engaged with all sorts of activities surrounding the festival: she visited circus schools, compiled the programme, and even arranged hay for the animals. Asked what made a circus magic, she replied that the circus is about forgetting your own problems and making others happy. ‘My father always said that being a clown is the hardest circus job. Great clowns are always unhappy people, who make others cry with laughter once they enter the ring.’ Stephanie saw a clear link between the work of a circus artist and her own contribution to the fight against Aids. ‘I want to do everything in my power to give happiness to others. Some people tell me it’s not good for my image to focus my energy on people with Aids, but I don’t care.’ Stephanie’s commitment to the cause started when she met an old acquaintance; a lady suffering from Aids herself, who had a mental breakdown. Stephanie responded by founding Fight Aids Monaco, an organisation that, in addition to prevention, focuses on reducing the psychological distress for Aids patients. It is a theme close to her heart. ‘Many patients tell me that they suffer in isolation, and that they’re afraid of being cast out by their family. Many of them are ashamed to tell the people around them that they are ill. I recognise their fear because in the past I also suffered from the judgements of others.’ In 2010 Stephanie opened Maison de Vie, a house in which people with HIV or Aids could escape the interference of the outside world and recuperate. Since 2006 Stephanie has been Goodwill Ambassador for the fight against Aids on behalf of the United Nations. She makes trips that include Madagascar and South Africa, while remaining active in her own country. At home she

At 66, The Prince of Wales is still waiting for his cue to take centre stage.

The Prince of Wales is witness to a change of rule in the Netherlands for a second time.

New kings conquer Europe

IF THE CROWN FITS, WEAR IT The Prince of Wales is now the longest heir-in-waiting in British history; for his nearly 90-year-old mother resignation is not an option. But ‘The King is dead, long live the King’ is no longer the motto defining all monarchies. Within about a year, three European nations exchanged sovereigns: in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain the older generation of monarchs have made way for new leaders – and the kingships suit them. BY JUSTINE MARCELLA


The royal couple and their three daughters celebrated with the local citizens until well in the evening.

THE NETHERLANDS King Willem-Alexander

Inaugurated: 30 April 2013 Predecessor: Queen Beatrix Age: 48 Married to Queen Máxima Father of Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane Successor: Amalia, Princess of Orange

‘I feel fortified by the knowledge that making way for my successor does not mean that I am taking my leave of you all. I hope still to have plenty of opportunities to meet many of you. I am deeply grateful to you for the trust that you have placed in me throughout the many rewarding years I have had the privilege of being your queen.’ A few days before her 75th birthday, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced that she would be stepping down that same year, to make room for her son to take the throne. She had been Queen for exactly 33 years when she handed over the reins on national holiday 30 April 2013 to her son, King Willem-Alexander.

King WillemAlexander followed in his mother’s footsteps, exactly 33 years since she became Queen 94 

Many royals came to Amsterdam to attend the functions and festivities. The Prince of Wales was witness to a change of rule in the Netherlands for the second time. He was there when Beatrix was inaugurated in 1980, and he and Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, were present together at the ceremony in 2013. Because the King of the Netherlands will not be crowned, the crown was laid down together with other regalia at the so-called credence during the inauguration. There was also a copy of the Dutch Constitution and a copy of the Statute of the Kingdom. Tens of thousands of people who had flocked to the capital city, many dressed in orange, were able to follow the change of rule via video screens. Some blinked away a tear when the King thanked his mother, his predecessor. ‘You were utterly dedicated to the duties of your office. But you were also a daughter, a wife, a mother and head of the family. And you have always sought to do full justice to each of those responsibilities. Sometimes you felt torn, but you combined your many duties with great inspiration. You never refused a request for help. Even in times of personal sorrow you supported us all in the most loving and dependable manner.’ The royal couple and their three daughters celebrated with the local citizens until well in the evening. The Dutch people presented themselves along the waterfront to the King, who passed by on a boat. From athletes to DJs: modern Netherlands is ready for the next generation. In the months that followed the King and his wife, Queen Máxima, travelled through all the provinces of their nation, the neighbouring countries and the European kingdoms, to present themselves as the new King and Queen of the Netherlands. Willem-Alexander’s mother now carries the title Princess and has delivered on her promise: she is still committed and visible as a representative of the royal family.


Philippe took the oath on the constitution in parliament 96 


King Philippe

Queen Paola straightens King Albert’s tie shortly before he announces his abdication.

Inaugurated: 21 July 2013 Predecessor: King Albert II Age: 55 Married to Queen Mathilde Father of Princesses and Princes Elisabeth, Gabriël, Emmanuel, Eléonore Successor: Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant

It was a unique event in Belgian history: a voluntary abdication. King Albert II stepped down on 21 July 2013 in favour of his son Philippe, who was inaugurated as the seventh King of the Belgians. A previous abdication occurred under pressure. In 1951 Leopold III had to resign his post because he had lost the confidence of the population; during the Second World War he chose a totally different direction from the government in exile. King Albert explained in a televised speech that his age and his health no longer permitted him to perform his royal duties as he would have liked. ‘The moment has arrived to carry over the torch to the next generation.’ In Belgium, the change of rule happened in a less exuberant fashion than in the Netherlands. No royal robe, no international royalty attending, and fewer spectators.

Philippe took the oath on the constitution in parliament, in the presence of the people’s representatives and family members. He thanked his father. ‘Sire, for 20 years, you have maintained […] trust by showing yourself to be on the one hand close to everyone, warm and profoundly human, and on the other attentive and committed in the exercising of your responsibility as head of state.’ After the ceremony Philippe appeared with his family and parents on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Brussels to greet his countrymen as their new King. Following their Dutch colleagues, the royal couple have been visiting the regions of Belgium and making lightning visits to friendly European nations. King Albert (81) and Queen Paola (78) retain their title, but will no longer take on royal duties. They are enjoying their peace and freedom.


The inauguration of King Felipe was a sober affair, without the presence of other dynasties’ representatives.


King Felipe VI

The new King emphasised his desire to meet the demands of modern Spain 98 

King Juan Carlos had been struggling with his health for years. His daughter Cristina and son-in-law Iñaki were wrapped up in a corruption scandal and the King came under fire because he hunted elephants in the presence of a ‘good lady friend’. The position of the once-popular King had been unstable for quite some time. Nevertheless he announced that his 76th birthday was the reason for wanting to give up the throne. His son Felipe, he assured the Spaniards, ‘has the maturity, preparation, and sense of responsibility necessary to assume the title of head of state and open a new era of hope which combines the experience and momentum of a new generation’. A succession was organised in a hurry, because it was to take place within three days of the King’s announcement. The formal inauguration of King Felipe was a sober affair, without the presence of other dynasties’ representatives. A conscious choice, in line with the new King’s character and the financial crisis that caused many Spaniards to struggle to keep their heads above water. Although the monarchy in Spain is purely ceremonial, expectations of Felipe were high. In his speech, the new King emphasised his desire to meet the demands of modern Spain. ‘The Crown must remain close to the citizens, acquiring and maintaining their appreciation, their respect and their trust; to do so, the Crown must safeguard the dignity of the institution, maintain its prestige and conduct itself straightforwardly, honestly and transparently, in accordance with its institutional role and its social responsibility. […] Today, more than ever, and quite rightly, citizens are calling for moral and ethical principles to inspire our public life and for behaviour to be exemplary in this respect. And the King, as Head of State, must not only lead but also be at the service of this just and legitimate demand made by the citizens.’ After being sworn in, during which the King’s mother was present, though not his father, the new royal couple rode along the most beautiful monuments of Madrid, and then appeared on the palace balcony, flanked by their daughters and the former King and Queen. The new royal couple is very active and highly visible, together, and as individuals. King Juan Carlos maintains the title King, his wife Sofia remains Queen, but they have both taken a big step back. Yet they have not disappeared completely off the radar. Juan Carlos represented the King in Uruguay during the inauguration of its new president, just as Felipe represented his father when he was King, during visits to Spanishspeaking areas outside of Spain.


Inaugurated: 19 June 2014 Predecessor: King Juan Carlos Age: 47 Married to Queen Letizia Father of Infantas Leonor and Sofía Successor: Leonor, Princess of Asturias


Napoleon in his coronation robe, 1809.

Ceremonial sword, 1804, worn by Napoleon during his coronation in Milan.


Napoleon in Paris

In the footsteps of...

(and Amsterdam) On a stroll through Paris you will come across a remarkable

amount of Napoleon references. These are a nice addition to the exhibition Alexander, Napoleon and Josephine in Amsterdam, where objects currently on loan from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg tell the story of the French emperor and the relationship with his first wife and the Russian tsar. BY DÉSIRÉE RAEMAEKERS

❶ Crowned in Notre Dame

The story of Napoleon as Emperor starts here, at the Notre Dame in Paris. On 2 December 1804 he was crowned Emperor of France, after which he crowned his wife Josephine Empress, an event that made a big impression on his contemporaries. The cathedral was lavishly decorated for the occasion, with Napoleon requesting court painter Jacques Louis David to hide the gothic ornaments from vision as much as possible. The outdoor walls were therefore covered with painted wooden panels, while the interior was lined with velvet. A few months later Napoleon repeated the process by crowning himself King of Italy at the cathedral of Milan. The ceremonial sword used for that occasion has been preserved, and will be on show at Hermitage Amsterdam until 8 November 2015. • Metro: St-Michel Notre Dame • RER: Cité


❸ The Tuileries Palace disappears

When Napoleon came to power in 1799, he made the Tuileries Palace, next to the Louvre, his residence. The palace was completely redecorated and refurnished in the fashionable Empire style. Later, King Louis-Philippe and Emperor Napoleon III also lived here. Wings were added, connecting the palace to the Louvre. In the large courtyard created as a result, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel – built between 1806 and 1808 to commemorate Napoleon’s victories of 1805 – was becoming rather enclosed. The Tuileries Palace was set on fire during the rule of the Commune in 1871, and finally demolished in 1883. The area was redeveloped as a park, stretching from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde. The visibility of the Arc de Triomphe has since much improved.

❷ Masterpiece in the Louvre

Many objects related to Napoleon, such as paintings, furniture and crockery, can be found at this former palace of French kings (until Louis XIV moved his residence to Versailles). If you have time for a visit, go and see the huge canvas (20ft 4in × 32ft 1in) in room 75 of the Denon wing, depicting the coronation of Josephine by Napoleon. Even if you have seen many reproductions of this masterpiece by Jacques Louis David, the real thing is far more impressive. You can see the painting’s amazing details up close, such as the bees embroidered on the coronation cloaks of the new emperor and empress. Napoleon chose this insect as one of his imperial symbols (in addition to the eagle and the N crowned with a laurel wreath), replacing the French lily. He wanted to refer to the Merovingian dynasty, which he regarded as the origin of the French monarchy. Golden cicadas found in the tomb of the first Merovingian King Childeric I, were interpreted as bees, explaining his choice.

• Metro: Tuileries

• Metro: Palais-Royal/Musée du Louvre

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Emperor Napoleon on horseback, bronze, 1846.

❹ On a pedestal at Place Vendôme

All kinds of statues have been made of Napoleon – in myriad materials and sizes, both for public spaces and private homes. One of the best-known sculptures of the emperor can be found on top of a 138ft-high column that Napoleon had erected in 1810 at the beautiful Place Vendôme. The monument was intended to glorify the participation of the French army in the successful Battle of Austerlitz five years earlier. The obelisk is decorated with bronze panels, cast from the bronze of cannons that were captured during the battle. The panels together form a 699ft-long frieze – with scenes in bas-relief of the battlefield and objects referring to military and victory – which are wrapped around the pillar. It is topped by a bronze statue of Napoleon as Roman Emperor, complete with toga and laurel wreath. Incidentally, the column will be obscured until the end of 2015 due to renovation works, covered with scaffolding and canvas that details the history of the square and the column in particular. • Metro: Tuileries, Opéra

❺ Madeleine: no temple

Napoleon knew only too well to whom he owed his military successes: his army. He commissioned several monuments to his Grande Armée, including a temple built on the foundations of a demolished church. The starting point for the design was the Greco-Roman temple – Napoleon had a great love for the classics and surrounded himself with antiques, as well as contemporary items inspired by them. But the building wasn’t finished until 1842, when Napoleon had long been exiled and deceased, and no one had any desire to honour his army any more. The building was turned into a church: l’Eglise Sainte-Marie-Madeleine. • Metro: Madeleine

Buste of Napoleon by Canova, marble, 1825.

Easter service on Place de la Concorde, watercolour, circa 1814.

❻ Heart of Paris: Place de la Concorde

It must have been Napoleon’s nightmare: a large army having an Easter Mass at the heart of his Paris. And yet that is precisely what happened in April 1814. The square that held thousands upon thousands of allied forces – with the Tuileries and the Louvre in the background – was the Place de la Concorde. At that time the characteristic Luxor obelisk had not yet been erected, it would be placed there in 1836. Two decades earlier a guillotine occupied the square, ending the lives of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette, among others. Following the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815, victor Tsar Alexander I of Russia organised a Mass in the square in honour of the royal couple. • Metro: Madeleine


❼ Names in the Arc de Triomphe

In 1806 Napoleon ordered the construction of the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile, which stands prominently at the top of the Avenue des Champs Elysées. He intended to have future military parades under the arch, but this never happened: the monument wasn’t ready until 1836. But Napoleon must have had a good understanding of what it would look like though; in 1810 a parade was held in honour of his marriage with the Austrian Archduchess Marie-Louise, and the site was covered with a canvas depicting the triumphal arch. The completed structure notes Napoleon’s victories, as well as the names of his generals. • Metro en RER: Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile

Uniform jacket of French marshal, 1803-06.

The greatest imperial gem of Paris is quite well-hidden. Along the Rue de Lille, in a courtyard behind a high wall, you will find the Hôtel de Beauharnais, the city palace of Empress Josephine’s son. Eugene de Beauharnais bought the place in 1803, after which he had a portal in the Egyptian style added. He left the furnishing to his mother and his sister Hortense, who chose the very latest in interior design: the Empire look, inspired by the classics. When the allied forces conquered Paris in 1814, the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III took up residence. Today it is home to the German ambassador, though the building with its beautifully restored interior is open to the public. Free tours in French are organised on Mondays, for which you can book places via • Metro: Assemblée Nationale



❽ Empire in the Hôtel de Beauharnais

Empire seat, French, 1796-1803.

❾ Tomb in Hôtel des Invalides

Our ‘Napoleon in Paris’ tour ends at his tomb in Hôtel des Invalides, a vast complex that includes the Musée de l’Armée. In this army museum an entire section (of twenty rooms!) is furnished with objects telling the story of the Grande Armée, as the army under Napoleon’s was known. The world-famous Ingres portrait, in which the emperor poses in his inauguration outfit, is on display here (left). Napoleon Bonaparte died on 5 May 1821 in exile on St. Helena. His body was transferred to France in 1840, and buried under the dome of Hôtel des Invalides. His remains only found their final resting place on 2 April 1861, in a somewhat pompous tomb.

Sabre of Napoleon, 1750-1800.

Josephine’s Malmaison Just outside of Paris, though easily accessible by car or public transport, is Château Malmaison, the imperial couple’s former country house in Rueil-Malmaison. The manor has a striking entrance in the shape of an army tent and is decorated in the Empire style. After their divorce in 1809, Napoleon gave it to Josephine, who continued to live there until her death in 1814. Her son Eugene inherited Malmaison, but sold it in 1828. In 1842 it came into the possession of Queen Cristina of Spain, who decided to live there until 1861, after which she sold it to Napoleon III, Josephine’s grandson. Since 1904 Malmaison has been owned by the French state and is now a museum commemorating Napoleon and Josephine. • Bus: from La Défense (accessible by underground and RER) bus 258, stop Château Malmaison.

View of Château Malmaison, around 1810.

Final resting place Situated in the nearby Église de Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul is the tomb of Empress Josephine. Her daughter Hortense, Queen of Holland, is also buried here. • By foot: approx. 15 minutes from Château Malmaison.



The Vintage


There is never much attention paid to the dress choices of Anne, The Princess Royal. Newspapers and magazines prefer to report about Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, whose style inspires many people. Yet the Princess Royal’s clothing collection is pretty fashionable, thanks to her sustainable use of vintage pieces. ‘A good suit goes on forever.’ BY JOSINE DROOGENDIJK



As a teenager, The Princess Royal was an example to many British girls

Fitting the tradition of the British royal family and the time in which she grew up, The Princess Royal invariably chooses classical ensembles with matching hats, (long) gloves, colourful scarves and solid stewardess pumps. The new generation of princesses generally opts for a more informal look, but Princess Anne stays faithful to her own chic style.

As a teenager, The Princess Royal (born in 1950) was an example to many British girls: her clothing was colourful and the length of her skirts (short!) perfectly fitted the trends of the 1960s. Yellow was one of her favourite colours, and we see this feature in her wardrobe in many shades. These do not concern any new items, however, as Princess Anne wears her clothes over and over again, with great conviction. During the Trooping the Colour in 1980 for example, she wore a soft yellow coloured coat with a golden belt. Three years later the garment re-emerged during the Epsom Derby, and at Royal Ascot in 1991 Anne wore it again. The outfit stayed in her wardrobe for some time, and reappeared precisely twenty years later at Royal Ascot in 2011. In 2015, the Princess donned the soft yellow creation once more, though this time the matching hat had to make way for a new one with brown accents. The story of the soft yellow coat is no exception. The Princess Royal treats her clothes with care and thanks to the excellent assistance of her right-hand woman Veronica Cain, her vintage garments always look as if they are new. Unlike the younger generation, Princess Anne often chooses the same accessories to go with her favourite outfits. Many sets have been purchased with a matching hat, so that the Princess looks immaculate down to the finest detail. She also has hats in her collection that can accompany multiple outfits. During a horse race in March 2014, Princess Anne wore a black hat with gold accents to complete her red coat with black piping. An unknown design to many maybe, but it wasn’t a new one: the hat saw its debut 45 years earlier in 1969 and in the following years was worn more than once by The Queen’s daughter. According to Anne, she


Above: During the Trooping the Colour in 1980, The Princess Royal wore a soft yellow coloured coat with a golden belt. Right: Her black hat with gold accents can accompany multiple outfits.


Above left: A light blue jacket with a dark brown fur trim appears to have been rediscovered years later. Above right: Since 1982 she often wears a burgundy jacket, usually combined with a skirt of the same fabric as the jacket’s upright collar. Left: For Charles and Camilla’s wedding she chose a bright blue jacket with an elegant bow belt, one she had previously worn during a flower show in 1983. Top right-hand page: The golden horse brooch that she always wears at Royal Ascot.


Anne owes her slender figure to her athletic lifestyle

owes her thrift to her parents: ‘A good suit goes on forever. If it is properly made and has a classic look, you can go on wearing it ad infinitum. Economy is bred into me. My parents believe that things are not to be wasted. That lesson does last.’

In shape Sometimes it seems that Princess Anne wears certain outfits only on specific occasions. A light blue jacket with a dark brown fur trim, first worn by her in 1976, appears to have been rediscovered years later and is now generally worn at traditional Christmas services. The fact that her reuse of clothing is all the more noticeable, does not seem to bother her in the slightest; during important events with lots of media attention the Princess is often spotted wearing well-known outfits with great confidence. The floral dress she wore during the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 for example, made another appearance at the 2008 wedding of Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman. Despite the intervening period of 27 years, Anne still fitted Maureen Baker’s design perfectly, again suitably complemented with John Boyd’s hat. The Princess also dived into her existing wardrobe for an outfit to wear at Charles and Camilla’s wedding. She chose a bright blue jacket with an elegant bow belt, one she had worn previously during a flower show in 1983. As the media were more occupied with the bride and groom, only a handful people noticed Princess Anne’s vintage dress, which still fitted her like a glove after more than twenty years.


Anne owes her slender figure to her athletic lifestyle. The Princess not only attends equestrian competitions, she very much enjoys long rides herself. Like her economic efficiency, the Princess Royal’s passion for horses was instilled in her by her parents. In 1971 she won BBC Sports Personality of the Year and in 1976 competed in the Olympic Games, riding the Queen’s horse Goodwill. Princess Anne’s seemingly most popular garment is quite an understated one. Since 1982 she often wears a burgundy jacket, usually combined with a skirt of the same fabric as the jacket’s upright collar. The Princess has worn this item at least ten times; her favourite attire has even been spotted in an official portrait. Similarly cherished is the golden horse brooch that she always wears at Royal Ascot – commonly on her cloak or gown, but at times also seen on her hat. Variation is not Princess Anne’s strongest point, yet her clothing style is increasingly admired. Vintage is hip, and by still wearing older garments The Princess Royal proves that her British-designed items are of the highest quality.


At the invitation of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), reporter Erieke Kuitert attended the world-famous Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Here she landed an exclusive interview with Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain of Jordan, who has dedicated herself to equestrian sports for years and is a very creditable rider.


Princess Haya of Jordan


June 2014: Princess Haya attends Royal Ascot.

We had an exclusive interview with Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein.

Shortly before the interview Princess Haya, wife of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai and daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, received the badge making her officer of the Légion d’Honneur – France’s highest award. Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented her with the award.

Many congratulations on your appointment as officer in the National Order of the Legion of Honour! What does it mean to have been awarded this honour, the highest in France? “It is a huge honour for me, I do not feel that I deserved this. I accept it on behalf of all the people who have helped me in my life, who have helped in our sport to make everything possible. It’s an incredible honour for me to receive this award, but it’s also an incredible honour for me to be able to work with so many wonderful people who have in every way deserved this more than me.”

You have often said that sports empower women, can you explain what you mean by that? “I think that horse racing is the only sport in which men and women can compete equally. And where able-bodied riders and para-atlethes can compete equally. The reason is simple: the horse makes us all equal. And I think that in every way women are able to do as well as men in this sport, and to shine.”

This year Zara Phillips, the granddaughter of The Queen also competed at the games. Is there a special bond between royal families and horse riding?

June 2013: Princess Haya greets The Queen during ‘Ladies Day’ at Royal Ascot.

“The relationship between humans and horses is as old as time, and has been reinvented throughout the ages in so many different ways. I think our sport is the latest reincarnation of this relationship. I do not think that there is any special link between royal families and horses. Horses are the property, the joy, of all mankind and they have been for ages, but I would say that we are very, very lucky in our equestrian family to have competitors from various backgrounds, including members of royal families who do very well, ha ha!”

Were there no obstacles for you to overcome, as a princess, in order to take part in competitions?

‘I think that horse racing is the only sport in which men and women can compete at equal levels’ 114 

“The only obstacle was mainly my own lack of talent. I think there is never an excuse to use your title as an obstacle. That’s why I love sports: your title doesn’t matter, it’s about what you do. So if there was any obstacle, it was because I had to try harder, I had to do better. And if I could do it all again I would probably have changed some things, such as listen more attentively to my trainers. The normal things that any athlete would do. But no, not for my title.”

You are a mother and wife, and you are busy with official duties and voluntary roles. Do you still have time to ride, and if so, with whom? “I make time to ride, because it makes me happy and because it is part of who I am. I do it whenever I can, there is no fixed schedule. I train a lot with Richard Davison in Newmarket, England, where I have a few horses being looked after. And I am lucky

Top left: Princess Haya of Jordan receives the Légion d’Honneur distinction: ‘It is a huge honour for me; I do not feel that I deserved this.’ Far left: With Queen Rania at the 2008 Memorial Concert to Luciano Pavarotti. Above: Speaking at the Pavarotti Memorial Concert.

enough to work closely with a lot of the showjumpers who were my colleagues. When I have a problem, I call them and they help to train me sometimes.

Are your daughter and son riding yet? “My daughter [Al Jalila, 7 years old, ed.] is riding her ponies and my son [Zayed, ed.] is 3 years old; he prefers riding his tractor, ha ha!”

“The challenges FEI are facing are the same as for any other sports federation. We are doing well in terms of governance, transparency and our commercial portfolio. The decision-making processes are strong and fast. But like everyone else, we face a global recession. We have to fight extra hard to be relevant, recruit new members, keep up the viewership and attract digital visitors, so we can remain in the Olympic programme. In view of these aspects we fight just as hard as the rest. There are many challenges for international federations now but I do not think that ours are tougher than anyone else’s.”

You have already achieved so much. Could you offer us some advice on how we too can make our dreams come true? “I do not think I am qualified to give any advice. When I left home to come here, I felt like any other mother. I wondered whether I had prepared enough and I was worried about leaving my children. I was also afraid I might have forgotten something when packing. I would love to come across as if I am doing everything perfectly, but I’m very happy to be only human. I struggle just like everyone else.”



You are President of the Fédération Equestre Internationale. What are the biggest challenges you are facing at the moment?

‘In essence my only obstacle has been a lack of talent’

Like mother, like daughter? Al Jalila, 7 years of age, likes to ride ponies.



And now for something completely different... ... not a tiara, but a brooch in your hair. Or several jewels, elegantly placed across your hairstyle. Maybe a specially designed piece. Just as regal as a tiara, but a lot more comfortable to wear. BY MARTIJN AKKERMAN



Lucretia van Winter is depicted in an 1825 portrait wearing a feather shaped jewel with ostrich feathers attached to it. The jewel has been preserved by the house of Six in Amsterdam. Lucretia was married to Hendrik Six Esquire. Comparing the actual jewel (left page) and portrait, one can see the artist’s free interpretation!


When Dutch King William II was inaugurated in the New Church in Amsterdam in November 1840, he had portraits made of him and his wife. Queen Anna Paulowna is depicted in a dress with a low neckline and a tiara with pear-shaped pearls in her hair, which is styled in ringlets. As it had been a bitterly cold day, however, and the church appeared difficult to heat up, in reality the queen was wearing a high-necked dress, like all the other ladies present. According to an eyewitness (the daughter of the British ambassador), the Queen even wore an enormous wig, which was covered in large diamonds, to keep out the cold. Unfortunately, no image exists of this description.

Hats, headpieces and herons

Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, daughter-in-law of William of Orange, had several ‘poinçons’. The jewel above differs from the one in the portrait.


Traditionally, tiaras were not the only jewels to be worn in the hair. In early 17th century portraits ladies of the aristocracy and the upper classes favoured a pin-shaped jewel from which a dangling pearl or small gem hung onto the forehead. Such a jewel was usually sandwiched between the head and a metal frame called an oorijzer, which commonly kept lace caps in place. The position of this pin, in possible combination with a cross-shaped pendant on the chest, indicated whether the wearer was married or unmarried, and either Protestant or Catholic. Having the pin inserted on the right, without a crosshanger, meant protestant and unmarried. Inserted left meant married. The Catholic code was reversed, and always combined with a cross-shaped pendant. So pinned in on the right-hand side, together with a cross-hanger, meant Catholic and married. It was a beautiful and practical jewel, which eventually evolved into a bodkin as part of various regional costumes. When cap brooches fell out of fashion in the city around 1650, ladies sought something else with which to decorate their hair. In noble and royal Dutch jewel inventories from the second half of the 17th century we come across terms such as pinson and pinsoen, which are derived from the French poinçon, translating as ‘awl’. Countess Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, for example, had a poinçon with diamonds and pearls in her possession in 1667, which can often be seen in her portraits. Later portraits of Princess Maria-Louise van HessenKassel and Princess Anna van Hanover, married to Prince Johan Willem Friso and Prince William IV respectively, show similar jewels for the hair; a striking way of demonstrating their royal status at a time when the tiara went entirely out of fashion. From the Middle Ages until the late 18th century, the tiara as we know it, was not worn at all. A lady wanted to appear as grand as possible when she went out. The wealthy Lucretia van Winter of Amsterdam, who was married to nobleman Henry Six and temporarily brought the famous painting The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer into the family, is depicted in an 1825 portrait wearing a large feather-shaped jewel set with pearls on her beret, with two enormous white ostrich feathers attached to it. The feathers and jewel have been preserved, in a display case next to the portrait, in the House of Six along the Amsterdam Amstel canal. Such a piece was actually a precursor of the egret, a jewel that holds together a bunch of feathers. The French word aigrette literally means both ‘silver heron’

Many European Queens and Princesses have found an alternative to the tiara

Above: Just like Sisi – Dutch Queens Måxima and Juliana wearing stars in their hair.


Princess Margriet of the Netherlands with a hairpin from Queen Emma’s collection.

and ‘brush’, referring to the long threadlike feathers cascading down an egret’s back. The aigrette jewel was usually adorned with the feathers of the same bird. It is very possible that Lady Six also wore her beret indoors at a time when heating a large house often proved difficult.

Both Princess Charlene of Monaco and Danish Queen Margrethe had branch-shaped jewels worked into their hairstyles.

Brooches worked into royal hairstyles 122 

When the tiara came back into fashion at the end of the 18th century, many noble and royal ladies experienced its drawbacks: a tiara can be pretty heavy and uncomfortable. During a state visit to Japan in the autumn of 2014, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands wore the so-called Würtemberg Diadem for the first time, which seemed to become crooked during the course of the evening. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark also once spent an entire evening wearing a tiara that appeared askew. Fortunately there are alternatives. From the end of the 19th century, many jewels were manufactured à double usage or à triple usage, meaning they could be worn in different ways. The Duchess of Marlborough appeared at the English Court shortly after 1900 with a diamond crescent in her hair instead of the prescribed tiara, against the King’s wishes, who made no effort to hide his displeasure. That would not be a problem these days. On the evening of her husband’s inauguration, Queen Máxima wore the stars of her wedding tiara in her hair – something former Queen Juliana of the Netherlands had done before her during the 1950s. It was reminiscent of the diamond stars in the famous portrait of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter. It has never been proven, but the story goes that these stars were kept in motion by means of a battery, which was hidden in her crinoline. Máxima appeared on her 40th birthday with a hairpin from the collection of former Queen Emma, wife of King William III, a jewel that was seen earlier on Princess Margriet, sister of former Queen Beatrix. Meanwhile, many female members of European royal houses have found an alternative to the tiara. Flowers, butterflies and abstract brooches have already been seen in the hairstyles of Princesses Victoria and Madeleine of Sweden and Queen Letizia of Spain. Queen Mathilde of Belgium wore in her chignon the waterfall brooch made famous by former Queen Fabiola, to a gala dinner on the eve of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Princess Charlene of Monaco had branch-shaped brooches worked into their hairstyles, the latter even at her own wedding. Princess Charlene has never appeared in public wearing a tiara, but she does own an asymmetric hair jewel that Parisian jeweller Lorenz Bäumer designed especially for her. It’s a surprisingly modern and wearable way to show royal status.


Designed for comfort

Left: Princess Charlene with an asymmetric hair jewel specially designed for her; Dutch Queen MĂĄxima wearing a butterfly brooch.

Top: Swedish Crown Princess Victoria with a diamond arrow (Cupid’s?) in her hair, on the eve of her wedding.

In the 1980s Princess Diana also wore a brooch in her hair.

Why choose if both work? Queen Sonia of Norway, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and the Danish Crown Princess Mary combine a tiara with brooches.

Danish Crown Princess Mary wears her ruby tiara with brooches from the same parure.










It struck British writer Helen Rappaport that books about the last Russian Tsar and Tsarina often mentioned their four daughters as no more than a charming and beautifully dressed footnote to their story. So she decided to write the tale of the Romanov sisters herself. The result is an intriguing and vivid account, entitled Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses. “I wanted to give them back their identity, and I wanted to focus especially on their dedication during the war.”






The four sisters at different ages. Left: the whole family.


Helen Rappaport became fascinated by the four daughters of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra when she was doing research for another book about the Romanovs: Ekaterinburg. She felt the Romanov girls had been sidelined by history and wanted to give them back their identities as women. “I have written this book in the hope of people seeing the four sisters as four individuals,” she says. “Because they were indeed. They were very different and had their disagreements, though they shared a strong bond and even decided on a group name: Otma (the first four letters of Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, ed.). When things started to get really hard, during their captivity after the coup, the sisters supported each other, got closer. And they always protected their mother and their brother.” Although many letters and diaries of the sisters have – consciously – been destroyed, enough evidence remained to reconstruct their lives. These testimonies, of grand duchesses and contemporaries, are often very poignant. “One of the most powerful stories I encountered was an article published around 1919 in the United States. In it, a fugitive Russian officer talks about the hospital in which the sisters Maria and Anastasia would visit the wounded. And what these girls kept saying to everyone was: ‘Tell us about the outside world!’ That is what they referred to: the outside world. They felt there was a world outside the palace gates, but they had no idea. They longed to see it, experience it. The war to them was like slightly opening the gates to a vast universe.”

Surrounded by adults The fact that the sisters were raised so protectively, was mainly due to their mother Alexandra. “After the birth of her first child, all she wanted was to be at home with her husband Tsar Nicholas, take care of her family, and just be a mother. She completely forgot that she was a tsarina, and paid little attention to the millions of Russian citizens.” After the birth of long-awaited heir to the throne Alexei in 1904, Alexandra became quite the mother hen, especially once it transpired that the tsarevich suffered from haemophilia, the blood disease that haunted Alexandra’s family. Family life


The Tsarina in her boudoir with Anastasia (next to her on the sofa), Tatiana (at the front) and Maria.



... Olga (1895)

“She was the eldest and very aware of this, feeling she had to be an example to the others. At some point this became a burden, and by the end of her life she increasingly rebelled against it. She was romantic, poetic – she often wrote poems – and of all the sisters she was the best at playing the piano. Olga wore her heart on her sleeve and was very concerned about other people. It affected her deeply that people hated her father so much. Because she loved him, adored him.”

... Tatiana (1897)

“I call her a beautiful enigma. She was the prettiest of the sisters, but very closed and reserved, much like her mother. She was never really open, not even in her letters or diaries. She was a good organiser and very practical; during the war her parents increasingly leaned on her. She worked hard, never complained and was very dedicated. Tatiana was a gifted nurse, she had a real talent for it. In different circumstances I believe she could have become a physician or surgeon.”

... Maria (1899)

“She was the gentle, sweet sister, who was somewhat trapped in the middle, with two sisters above her and a sister and brother below her. She was very friendly and frank, and would have been the darling of her father. I think she would have loved to be married, and to have become a mother.”

... Anastasia (1901)

“Anastasia was the tomboy, the attention-seeker. When she entered the room, she immediately became the centre of attention. She could be mischievous and she loved to tease her sisters, especially Maria. She was also the joker and the actress. I think Anastasia was the most individual of all sisters, with a very strong character.”




On 2 March 1917 Tsar Nicholas II abdicated, following a period of riots, lootings and demonstrations in the capital St. Petersburg, which culminated in a revolution. A few days later the family was placed under house arrest at the Alexander Palace. In the early morning of 1 August, the Romanovs boarded the train from St. Petersburg to Tobolsk in Siberia, a journey of five days and five nights. The house arrest remained in force – the family was only allowed to visit the local church every once in a while. From the end of May, the parents and children stayed in Ekaterinburg, about 350 miles south of Tobolsk, in a cramped and stuffy house with the windows painted white and surrounded by a double fence with high defences. They were surrounded by armed guards, sitting, walking and standing everywhere they went. On the morning of Wednesday 17 July 1918, the family took their final walk – across the yard into a dirty basement.


The sisters’ final year



Right, top to bottom: Maria, Anastasia and Olga during one of their afternoon teas; Anastasia and Maria visiting wounded soldiers; a private photo of the family, coloured by Maria (left); Tatiana nurses a wounded officer. Below: In 1917 the sisters contracted the measles, making their hair fall out in clumps. In early July they decided to shave their heads. Helen Rappaport: “I think it is so brave that the girls are posing like this before a photographer, without their beautiful hair. Out of solidarity Alexei also shaved off his hair.”

revolved around Alexei, who often lay in bed screaming with pain, and was on the verge of death several times. Alexandra also struggled with poor health, and frequently retreated to her boudoir or bedroom. The children sometimes didn’t see their mother for days on end, and sent her worried notes asking how she was doing. The four sisters had little contact with peers. “Occasionally they met up with some royal nephews and nieces during the holidays, but that was about it. The Tsarina deemed the glitterati of St. Petersburg corrupt and didn’t want to expose her daughters to it. Which meant days out were rare, and there were no parties. When Olga and Tatiana were 16, they were occasionally allowed to attend a ball escorted by their father, or to accompany him to the theatre or the opera. That was pure indulgence.” The family rarely stayed at the grandiose residence in St. Petersburg, but led a quiet family life in the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, just outside the capital. In the summertime they sailed the imperial yacht, the Shtandart, through Finnish waters, or stayed in their White Palace in Livadia, Crimea. The children were always surrounded by adults – a few carefully selected companions of their mother, officers of the Shtandart, and the imperial guard, who accompanied the family everywhere they went.

Tsar Nicolas II and his children enjoy the sunshine from the roof of the house they were taken to in Siberian Tobolsk.

When war broke out in 1914, Alexandra sprang into action. She and her eldest daughters Olga and Tatiana trained as nurses, while Maria and Anastasia visited the sick and injured. “Alexandra was often ill herself, but when the war broke out she was up and about within days. She organised mobile hospitals and other places where soldiers could be treated. It was all very impressive, especially the actions of the two sisters. Coming from an overprotective environment, they suddenly witnessed up-close how a leg was amputated. The war gave them access to other people in a way they had never experienced before. Suddenly there were these handsome, wounded officers; all mysterious, dark types with flamboyant moustaches. And they fell in love with those men. Thanks to the war the sisters really came to life.” But their stay in the outside world was quite short-lived: after the revolution broke out in 1917, the family was placed under house arrest. “The final weeks of their lives were spent in a house with the windows painted white; they couldn’t even see what was out there. It was so tragic. They were locked up in that house, with everything closed, while having to deal with a sick mother, a sick brother, and their father Nicholas who kept smoking. How terrible!” Nearly a hundred years after the family was murdered, the girls enjoy an almost iconic status. “They symbolise the murder of innocents, and are highly revered in Russia. They are equally popular among teenage girls in the United States, with several websites dedicated to them. The four girls all have their own fans, who quarrel as to who was the prettiest sister, and so on.” Helen Rappaport is deeply impressed by the siblings. “I have really become attached to them; I feel as if they are my own daughters. They will always stay with me, they have touched something deep inside of me. If I am ever in the position to add more to their story, I certainly will.”


Mysterious, dark types

Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses by Helen Rappaport is published by Pan Macmillan. ISBN: 9781447227175. Recommended retail price paperback : £8.99.



LOOK! Everyone who saw the spectacular wedding gown of Diana, Princess of Wales, is likely to still remember it. Her dress was the first in a long line of distinctive designs that turned the princess into a real style icon. Lady Di carved out her own look. Today’s royal ladies also know how to convey their personality through their dress sense. Nine gorgeous queens and princesses with their own signature look. BY JOSINE DROOGENDIJK


In her free time, Moroccan Princess Lalla Salma wears modern western clothes, and during foreign visits we see her more and more in clothes designed by Burberry and Ralph Lauren. Yet the princess, to the delight of the Moroccans, does not forget her roots. During the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands she wore a beautiful green caftan, and at the wedding of Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy she also chose a traditional gown. The colourful robes were embroidered with silver and golden thread, and decorated with precious stones. Money is clearly no object, judging by the belts made of gold, diamonds and coloured gems. This well-balanced combination of western and traditional clothing means Lalla Salma’s wardrobe is much appreciated in her own country and yet equally praised outside of Morocco.



Princess Charlene of Monaco said herself that she had to get used to swapping her swimsuit for haute couture. She has, however, managed to develop her own style, characterised by minimalist design and a strong preference for black and white. In sharp contrast to the dress sense of her relatives, Charlene rarely wears clothing by Chanel, and prefers to shop at Swiss fashion house Akris. Giorgio Armani can also count her among his client base. Armani: ‘Charlene is without a shadow of a doubt very beautiful. Tall and slim, she is sporty and at the same time has a natural elegance about her. Dressing her is such a pleasure – she knows how to wear my creations with the nonchalance and confidence of youth. I believe Charlene has the ideal figure to show off great dresses, because they highlight the fine curves and beautiful structure of her back and shoulders.’

QUEEN MATHILDE With her yellow ensemble by Flemish designer Veronique Branquinho, Belgian Queen Mathilde knows how to make tongues wag. According to The Huffington Post she looked like Big Bird from Sesame Street: ‘Her fuzzy neon yellow coat and matching pencil shirt bore a striking resemblance.’ Style faux-pas or not, thanks to Mathilde, the Belgian fashion world received plenty of international attention. Other Belgian designers were also asked to create pieces for their Queen, but since she favours classic designs, Mathilde is rarely mentioned in the fashion magazines. The yellow coat was a startling and colourful exception, showing a very different side to the otherwise modestly clothed royal.


DUCHESS CATHERINE Within a few hours the blue engagement dress of Catherine Middleton, from London brand Issa, had sold out on the internet, and replicas were disappearing like hot cakes. The Kate Middleton effect was not limited to the UK, as not long after Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden were spotted in Issa clothing too. Because the Duchess’ wardrobe is not specially tailored for her, it is relatively easy to copy her style. Catherine’s preference for ready-to-wear clothing and her solid style choice – long coats and asymmetrical fascinators – trigger the Kate effect. Anything that Catherine wears, sells out in mere hours.




During official functions, Danish Crown Princess Mary often wears traditional clothing à la Jackie O, but in her free time her style code is bohemian chic. The neat suits give way to long, colourful dresses, often decorated with beads or a print. Along with her stylist Anja Camilla Alajdi, Mary consciously seeks out Danish brands – and the two ladies often attend fashion shows on home turf. The annual Copenhagen Fashion Week can always count on the Princess’ attention. Mary is patron of the ‘Designers’ Nest’ – an award for the most promising design student – and so each year she learns about the newest Scandinavian design talent. As a result she is able to continuously surprise with clothes from up-andcoming names in the Danish fashion industry.

Princess Mabel of the Netherlands described her wedding dress with 248 bows as ‘classic with a twist’. The design kick-started an enduring loyalty towards Dutch fashion house Viktor & Rolf, who already used the bow as their trademark. On her dresses, suits and accessories the bow continued to make an appearance. Her bold style made the princess the designers’ muse. Shortly after a fashion show in 2010, Mabel shared on Twitter: ‘Brilliant! Show was amazing. Beautiful collection and fantastic concept. What artists!’ Mabel’s bond with Viktor & Rolf became quite poignant when her husband Prince Johan Friso fell into a coma after a skiing accident: during the inauguration of Friso’s brother Willem-Alexander, the princess wore a black dress with a white bow on the shoulder, referring to her wedding day and her big love, who could not be present. Three-and-a-half months later Friso passed away.


For Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson’s wedding in 2004, Letizia bought two outfits from Spanish designer Lorenzo Caprille. Not an unusual choice, as the Queen buys nearly all her clothes from her own country. In Denmark she wore a grey top and red skirt for the gala theatre event the night before the wedding, and a red dress to the wedding itself. The designer was quite astounded that the Queen wore the outfits in the wrong order, but on enquiring the reason became clear: Crown Princess Mary herself was wearing a red dress to the theatre. By quickly switching, Letizia avoided a troublesome duplication and didn’t upstage the bride, while being able to still shine on the day in her favourite colour.



For many women in the Middle East, Sheikha Mozah of Qatar is a true style icon. Her western couture dresses are like works of art, such as this dress from the French fashion house Chanel. Existing designs are adapted to Islamic regulations especially for the sheikha, and always include a matching headscarf or turban. The sheikha doesn’t have to watch her pennies, since the royal family of Qatar is very wealthy indeed. Besides, the family bought fashion house Valentino for £ 495m (US$ 780m) back in 2012, indirectly greasing Mozah’s own palms while she is wearing its dresses.



At the request of the organisers, Dutch Queen Máxima appeared at the Arnhem Fashion Biennale 2009 in a creation from the Netherlands. Máxima wore a jacket made from old mailbags by Dutch designer Jan Taminiau. A risky choice of clothing, but perfectly in tune with the festival. Soon the postbag jacket became a real hit in the Netherlands, and the fabric was used for lots of other purposes: school bags, pen cases, refrigerator magnets and sofa cushions. Taminiau couldn’t have wished for a better advertisement and gained a new loyal customer. The postbag jacket marked the start of a long collaboration between the designer and Queen Máxima, who has since added more than twenty Taminiau creations to her wardrobe.

Heirs & spares 138 


Crown Princess Victoria & Prince Carl Philip Prince Carl Philip was heir for precisely 232 days. When he was born on 13 May 1979 he officially took this position, thereby surpassing his sister Victoria, who was two years old at the time. But in Sweden this rule was viewed as quite old-fashioned, so a new law came into force on 1 January 1980, making Victoria retroactively the only crown princess of her generation, while elsewhere men reigned supreme. Daughter Estelle is in more mixed company: Spain, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands will also be having queens.

The birth of royal twins provided Monaco simultaneously with an heir and a spare to the throne. Because males come first in the line of succession in this principality, son Jacques is the heir, even though he is the second-born twin. This is not the only time a second-born takes first place. Although the circumstances were completely different, King George VI - as second child - took over the reins from his older brother when he abdicated. How is succession generally arranged in European royal families? BY DÉSIRÉE RAEMAEKERS


MONACO Princess Caroline & Prince Albert From number one to number two, then number three: Caroline of Monaco, Princess of Hanover, knows all the steps of the stage of honour. When she was born in 1957, she was the first child of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace, and thus regarded as heir to the throne. But in the Principality of Monaco men come first, so when her brother Albert was born a year later, she lost that place. Yet Caroline played an unforeseen, important role in the souvereign state. After her mother Princess Grace passed away in 1982, she assumed the position of First Lady, next to Prince Rainier. And the longer it took for a spouse of Prince Albert to materialise, the tighter her place and that of her children as future monarchs of Monaco appeared to become. But the birth of twins Jacques and Gabriella to Albert and his wife Charlene moved everyone down by two places, and Caroline is now third in line to the throne.

NORWAY Princess Märtha Louise & Crown Prince Haakon In Norway, women were not entitled at all to the throne – until 1971. That year the law changed, but boys still came before girls. This is why Princess Märtha Louise (1971) had to give way to brother Haakon (1973). In the meantime, Norway has also caught up with modern succession laws – though not retroactively, meaning Haakon remains Crown Prince, but his daughter Ingrid Alexandra will become the Crown Princess once he is inaugurated.


GREAT BRITAIN King Edward VIII & King George VI The number two of the family becoming number one, is something Bertie (as he was called in his family) had known all his life. His father, George V, became the king after his older brother Eddy died. But unlike his dad, Bertie never had the chance to prepare himself for his future responsibilities. Whereas George V first became The Prince of Wales and was ‘trained’ to be king, Bertie always lived in the shadow of his big brother David. It was David – charming, handsome, full of self-confidence, popular – who travelled the world as his family’s representative, while the serious, shy Bertie busied himself with the welfare of the working class (he set up a foundation for this) and with his family. It came as a big shock to Bertie when David (Edward VIII) abdicated, meaning he had to take the reins. Bertie became King George VI, and one of his first steps as monarch was to inform court staff that he would not take any calls from the former king.


King Felipe VI overtakes not one, but two older sisters

SPAIN Infanta Cristina, Infanta Elena & King Felipe VI Young Leonor gaining the title Princess of Asturias when her father became the King of Spain, is quite significant. The title was always reserved for the heir to the throne, and in Spain the rule is that sons go before daughters. It seems the royal couple have no intention to expand their family. King Felipe himself benefited from the Spanish succession rules: he overtook not one, but two older sisters (Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina).


BELGIUM Grand Duchess JosephineCharlotte, King Baudouin & King Albert II And then there’s the third child in a family climbing the ranks towards crown entitlement: it happened to King Albert II of Belgium. When he was born in 1934, his sister Josephine-Charlotte – firstborn of King Leopold and Queen Astrid – had already lost her right as first in line to the throne to younger brother Baudouin. Following the birth of Albert, Josephine-Charlotte moved down to third in line. After the abdication of King Leopold III, Baudouin became king and when he died, his brother Albert succeeded the throne. Josephine would never be Queen, but through her marriage to Jean of Luxembourg she became Grand Duchess of Luxembourg in 1964. It was not until 1991 that men and women gained equal status in the Belgian succession laws.


AND THEN THERE IS… The Netherlands



Great Britain

At the emergence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1814, it was laid down in law that women could also qualify for the throne – if there were no men (sons, brothers or sons of brothers) to follow in the ruling monarch’s footsteps. This was quite progressive for those days: among other monarchies Salic Law still strictly applied, dictating men only could become the head of state. After a number of adjustments to constitutional reforms, the full birthright was finally introduced in 1983, meaning girls no longer have to give up their place to boys. And so it is that Amalia has been an heir to the throne since birth and, since the inauguration of her father, has been known as Princess of Orange – the first!

When King William III died in 1890, his daughter Wilhelmina followed him as head of state of the Netherlands. William was also the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, but that nation ruled that women could only become the successor if there was no male heir to be found in the entire Nassau family. And since there was one, Luxembourg finally established its own royal family. It was not until 2011 that the succession laws changed and ended the distinction between men and women. If Prince Guillaume and Princess Stéphanie have a daughter first, she will eventually become the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

Denmark decided by referendum in 2009 that the firstborn would be heir to the throne in royal succession. After curent Queen Margrethe II it will, however, still be men who will be crowned: the first heir is Crown Prince Frederik, followed by his firstborn – young Prince Christian.

The throne in Great Britain is reserved for men – Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George – in the foreseeable future. But the more than three centuries’ old succession laws, in which women could only become the head of state if they didn’t have a brother, were modernised in 2013: from then on, the firstborn child became heir to the throne. The law was even changed retroactively, meaning George would have been in the same position had he been a girl…


The Crown Editor-in-chief Justine Marcella

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NEXT ISSUE no. 2 The Queen at 90 \

Empress Michiko: first civilian at the Japanese court \

An interview with Norwegian Princess Märtha Louise \

‘Grandmother of Europe’ Queen Victoria \

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, a portrait \

The sartorial sense of The Duke of Windsor \

Belgium’s King & Queen: a professional team \

Best Dressed Royal Brides \

Diana, Princess of Wales: jewellery trendsetter \

Royal yacht Britannia, farewell! \

… and much, much more! Issue no. 2 of The Crown goes on sale at the beginning of 2016. Check our website and social media to keep up to date!

‘To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it’ Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)


The crown of the former Kingdom of Württemberg was made in 1806 for King Friedrich I, grandfather of Queen Sophie of the Netherlands.


The crown 2015 1 4  
The crown 2015 1 4