Royal Round Up: Charlene and babies, Amalia, Maxima, Mette-Marit, Letizia

Here’s an old school Royal Round Up with no Brits in sight (until later today when I cover Kate’s return visit to the Anna Freud Centre – which may get covered tomorrow depending on how busy I am). This one’s got Princess Charlene celebrating Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella‘s first birthday; Princess Amalia celebrating her twelfth birthday; Queen Maxima visiting a hospital; Norway releasing Christmas photos; and Queen Letizia attending Journalism Awards.

Princess Charlene Jacques and Gabriella first birthday
[Gaétan Luci/Palais Princier]

Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella celebrated their first birth anniversary on December 10. Prince Albert and Princess Charlene brought the babies out for a birthday celebration at Place d’Armes Hotel where they introduced the babies to members of the public (mostly schoolchildren). They had two cakes – one blue, one pink – which were made by the Hotel School of Monaco. Prince Jacques even walked a bit (around 1:15 in the video below). For more photos, go here.

I think it’s great that the schoolchildren got to meet Jacques and Gabriella and even touch their little baby hands. That’s got to be a cool experience for the schoolchildren, and it’s great that the babies are being introduced to the public bit by bit so early on, that way the babies won’t be frightened of the press and public later. Also, Albert and Charlene seem to be really proud of their babies and want to show them off, which is great to see.

Speaking of birth anniversaries, the Princess of Orange (Princess Catharina-Amalia) turned 12 on December 7. The Dutch royal family released a photo of the Princess and her sisters on horseback. I really want to go horseback riding now.

L-R: Princess Ariane (and Fredje), Princess Amalia (and Safary), and Princess Alexia (and Pixie).

Princess Amalia 12th birthday
[RVD, Jeroen van der Meyde]

Speaking of the Dutch royal family, Queen Maxima visited the Alexander Monro Breast Cancer Hospital in Bilthoven on December 8. This clinic is the first specialized breast cancer clinic in the Netherlands, and uses a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach which includes diagnosis, operations (including reconstructions), chemotherapy, after-treatment and psychosocial support, physiotherapy and genetic counseling all under one roof. Maxima met with doctors and nurses working at the hospital and met with some patients to talk about their experiences.

The Royal Family of Norway released a set of photos for Christmas. The photos were taken at Skaugum and include King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Ingrid, Prince Sverre, and Marius Borg Høiby. You can see the full album here.

By the way, I love that Mette-Marit’s son from a previous relationship gets included in the royal family photos and National Day and such.

Last week, on December 10, while the Swedes were rocking tiaras at the Nobels and Duchess Kate was visiting Action on Addiction, Queen Letizia was rocking a jumpsuit for the ‘Mariano de Cavia’, ‘Luca de Tena’, and ‘Mingote’ Journalism Awards Dinner at Casa de ABC in Madrid.

Letizia wore a black Felipe Varela jumpsuit with cut out detailing at the top, trimmed with black crystals. Letizia opted for her Yanes diamond chandelier earrings and a low updo with a center part (which, as we’ve seen with Sofia, I’m not a fan of). Leti was accompanied by her husband, King Felipe, who wore a three piece suit.

In other Spanish royal news: Felipe and Letizia will pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom next year, March 8-10, 2016. The couple will stay at Windsor Castle.

Double the tiaras – yay!

52 Comments on Royal Round Up: Charlene and babies, Amalia, Maxima, Mette-Marit, Letizia

  1. rhiannon
    December 15, 2015 at 7:17 am (3 years ago)

    I love this, KMR!

    The twins are so cute. I love how they dress little Jacques. There’s something about dressing a baby/toddler as an older man makes me smile. These two babies are being introduced the right way. I love Char’s haircut more and more. She is a brave soul for wearing a cream coat with babies and cake nearby.

    The Dutch princesses are so cute with Alexia looking just like Max. I’m always happy to see Max in whatever capacity. I adore Her.

    Leto looks beautiful and I want Felipe to being back the beard! The Norwegian pictures are quote nice. Iso it bad to say that I wish for Marius to be a bit of a heck raiser? He has a look of a mischievous young man. Extra kudos to the royal family for including him. I respect Haakon even more because of it.

    Thanks for a breath of fresh air with the other families.

    • Lindsey from DC
      December 15, 2015 at 12:34 pm (3 years ago)

      I am also such a Max fan! She is by far my favorite royal. She’s genuinely warm and engaged. I also love that she takes fashion risks. I might not always like them, but I appreciate that she doesn’t wear the same things over and over. I’m happy to see that the Dutch princesses seem to have her wonderful, warm smile!

      • LRB
        December 16, 2015 at 8:50 am (3 years ago)

        Quite agree I love Max. I like that she takes a few risks and we don’t always love what she wears but it’s always fun and her smile lights up everyone around her – no huge teeth needed!

  2. Lauri from Ca
    December 15, 2015 at 7:30 am (3 years ago)

    I just love these Royal Roundup posts, so thank you very much KMR!

    I saw the video of little Jacques walking and he’s doing a damn fine job of it! Those two are such little cuties and their parents look so proud of them, what a beautiful family! I agree KMR, what a great way to introduce the twins to the people of Monaco, especially the children that Jacques will one day be the Prince of. I noticed this time Albert seemed to be carrying Gabriella around more while Charlene held Jacques.

    I love the royal Christmas pictures when we get a glimpse at the inside of their homes, and I reall like the colors of MM and Haakon’s home, very cozy! It’s great that MM’s son Marius is included and he seems close to Haakon but I wonder if he enjoys it. I’m only saying this because teenagers can be quite sullen and sulky and tend to think most family style events boring and sooo uncool 🙂

    Love, love, love this look on Letiza!!! Of course I love most looks on her, so there you go. I wonder if the Cambridges will meet the Spanish royals in March? It would be great if Letiza took Kate under her royal and fashionable wing, she could be a great mentor for Kate, as she is outside the BRF, her and Felipe are a fairly modern royal couple, she has a fantastic work ethic and she just kills it fashion wise. Of course this will probably never happen, for lots of reasons but I can dream.

    • Herazeus
      December 15, 2015 at 2:03 pm (3 years ago)

      Let’s just hope that if the Cambridges *are* included in the visit, that they will recognise Felipe *this* time. They didn’t the last time they met him!!!!

      • katemiddletonreview
        December 15, 2015 at 2:13 pm (3 years ago)

        Which is odd since he was at their wedding so they should have known how he was.

        • Herazeus
          December 15, 2015 at 8:08 pm (3 years ago)

          At the very least, they both lack the level of smarts that should have told to look to their programmes and work out who was who based on the order of arrival at the event because that would have been part of their briefing.

          And also not to make it so obvious that they didn’t have a clue who the other guests were.

      • Lauri from Ca
        December 15, 2015 at 2:37 pm (3 years ago)

        I’ve never heard about this before, you must tell about this! When and what happened?

        • Herazeus
          December 15, 2015 at 8:21 pm (3 years ago)

          It was at one of the centenary ceremonies that took place in Belgium last year.

          William and Kate didn’t appear to recognise Felipe when he arrived for the ceremony. The few glances his way were completely blank. And they didn’t give him his due as the King of Spain.

          It was weird because he’d been very publicly installed as the King of Spain a week or two before.

          Not helped by the fact that the people further down the line to his seat acknowledged him. It made the WK omission more glaring.

          • Lauri from Ca
            December 15, 2015 at 9:20 pm (3 years ago)

            Thanks for bit of education Herazeus! That sounds like an embarrassing moment for the Duke and Duchess.

          • katemiddletonreview
            December 15, 2015 at 11:12 pm (3 years ago)

            Felipe was made King in June 2014, the WWI commemoration took place in August. So Felipe had been King for almost two months when that happened.

          • Bets
            December 17, 2015 at 3:34 am (3 years ago)

            What is the protocol for a prince and his wife meeting a king? Would William be expected to bow/head nod and Kate curtsey? I don’t know the etiquette, but it seems pretty shocking that they didn’t acknowledge them as high ranking royals though. Or appear to know who they are. Don’t they have advisors on hand to help with that sort of thing?

          • Seth
            December 17, 2015 at 8:01 am (3 years ago)

            Bets, That is usually the protocol b/c the King and Queen outrank a Duke and Duchess, regardless of country. There is video on YouTube of Diana and the Princess Anne curtsying to Queen Beatrix during a state visit in the early ’80s. Of course William the Petulant often forgets to bow to the Queen, who’s his own grandmother and Sovereign so that could be part of it as well.

          • Lisa
            December 17, 2015 at 10:45 am (3 years ago)

            So we’ll probably get treated to one of William’s little head nods and Kate’s wretched rapid fire bobbing curtsy.

  3. ABKM
    December 15, 2015 at 8:39 am (3 years ago)

    Ah, there’s nothing like a good round-up!

    I’m mostly marveling at how quickly all the kids are growing up. It seems like just yesterday that Amalia was born, let alone her sisters, and look how big they are now! Amalia looks very poised on her horse.

    The Norwegian kids have shot up lately, too. Ingrid looks so much like her dad, and Sverre Magnus sure takes after his mom. As you mentioned, the Norwegians always seemed to make sure that Marius knew he was as much a member of the family as his siblings, and that welcoming nature is part of what impresses me about them.

    Albert and Charlene’s kids are sweet, and their parents definitely seem proud. I see a lot of Grace Kelly in Jacques’s face.

  4. Ray
    December 15, 2015 at 9:01 am (3 years ago)

    Great picture of the Dutch princesses, and I can’t get over what a “mini me” Mette Marit’s oldest son is to her. And seriously, find me a royal with a warmer, more genuine smile than Maxima. Can’t be done!!

  5. Laura
    December 15, 2015 at 9:17 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you KMR, for the post.
    Arianne, Alexia and Amalia look very bubbly and cute girls. They look very confident which they obviously get from Maxima. It makes me want to go horse riding and proud of my eldest niece who is learning to ride. I like how they dress in different colours. Happy Belated birthday Amalia. Maxima comes across as a charismatic and caring person.
    Letizia looks glamorous in the jumpsuit. I do like the decollage is that the right term at the top of the jumpsuit.
    The Norwegian family photos do give a glimpse of their home life which is not seen very often. I like the photo of them around the Christmas tree. Ingrid looks very grown up.

  6. MYR
    December 15, 2015 at 9:20 am (3 years ago)

    Love the Round Up Posts!! Thanks, KMR!!

  7. R
    December 15, 2015 at 10:22 am (3 years ago)

    Albert looking delirious as always and Charlene’s hair is getting shorter and shorter; she is not well mentally IMO. And wow the Norwegian royal family actually look half-way normal sat close together on that sofa! Compare that with our (UK) royal family sitting stiffly on their gold chairs a mile away from each other.

    • G.
      December 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm (3 years ago)

      What I like about KMR, other than all the great writing and information, is how differently we all seem to view various royals. I see Prince Albert and Princess Charlene as a happy couple who are smitten completely by their two little ones. Looks like a lot of love among the four of them.

      • katemiddletonreview
        December 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm (3 years ago)

        I, too, think Albert and Charlene look completely in love with their babies.

    • katemiddletonreview
      December 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm (3 years ago)

      I don’t see how cutting her hair means she’s not well mentally.

      • Lauri from Ca
        December 15, 2015 at 2:33 pm (3 years ago)

        If short hair is the litmus test for mental well being I must be very troubled indeed. R, you might want to rethink that statement.

        • R
          December 15, 2015 at 4:39 pm (3 years ago)

          Women (yes I am one) often cut their hair drastically when experiencing trauma and/or when about to embark on a major life change. Also when they’re past the point where they feel the need to attract men so for a fairly young woman like Charlene short hair is thus odd…..she also seems like she is often so tired and/or weak that smiling is difficult for her. I think she might be suffering from depression.

          • Lauri from Ca
            December 15, 2015 at 5:27 pm (3 years ago)

            Hahaha!! I can guarantee that I haven’t experienced any trauma lately and frankly look and feel much more attractive with short hair even if I might be “past the point”…. 🙂

          • Laura
            December 16, 2015 at 1:54 am (3 years ago)

            My hair is growing but I had Chickenpox last year. I took care of myself for most of it and my hair was sadly neglected. I was told that my haircut showed my face better but I do prefer it shoulder length at least. One of the plus’s for Kate is that we can see her face more clearly. I think the most natural long hair was when Kate Kate had was at St Andrews.

          • Lisa
            December 16, 2015 at 10:19 am (3 years ago)

            I don’t think the haircut has anything to do with her mental health. Charlene is positively glowing since the twins arrived and she and Albert have never looked happier with each other and their little family.

            I’ve worn my hair short most of my adult life. It’s longer now than it has been in quite some time. If I decide to cut it all off again, does that say something about my mental state? I think she just cut it shorter because she wanted something easier to deal with as she has two active toddlers on her hands.

  8. LadyBlueRibbon
    December 15, 2015 at 11:04 am (3 years ago)

    LOVE those weird looking babies! Thanks KMR for the update!

  9. jenny
    December 15, 2015 at 11:59 am (3 years ago)

    Oh, the twins! How adorable. Belated Happy First Birthday little ones. How fast they have grown.
    And, Jacques walking! Too cute. I also agree that Albert and Charlene are over the moon with their wee ones and are presenting them in the best possible way. These two will not be afraid of the photographers and media reps in coming years as they are learning the Royal Ropes early on.

    Loved the other photos, too. Leti looks great in that jumpsuit. Wow! As for her taking Kate under her wing, I doubt Kate would listen. A nice idea, though.

    The Dutch princesses are adorable and their mother is just terrific. Her kind and friendly demeanor with the cancer patient was very real and very endearing. Another birthday greeting to Amelia!

    And, the Norway Royals — Haakon is so hot! His wife — just beautiful. Their tree was very understated. I think ours at home has a bit more bling without being gawdy. In fact, I am loving our tree. Wish Maddie was old enough to appreciate it! Oh, well, there will be many of photos of her being held in front of the tree that she can look at in later years!

    Cheers, all. And, KMR, a really fine post. Thanks!!!

    • jenny
      December 15, 2015 at 12:03 pm (3 years ago)

      Forgot to say that I love the photo of little Gabriella with the birthday cake. She looks like another fire cracker in the making — like Leonore! And, the picture of Charlene cradling her son’s head when he was fussy is really sweet. Albert and Charlene are so in love with their kids and not afraid to show it.

      • Lindsey from DC
        December 15, 2015 at 1:38 pm (3 years ago)

        Agreed. I also like that they let their child have a pacifier in one of the pics. Makes them seem more real and less like props

      • Cathy
        December 15, 2015 at 7:53 pm (3 years ago)

        I agree Jenny, I was wondering if Gabriella will be another wriggler too!? I love that they are bringing out the babies and getting them used to a crowd of e staring at them. I like that Charlene was getting them to touch people’s hands too. There will be no fear in those twins and they will have a sense of who they are when older. Great thinking!
        Thanks for the round up of the other royal families, I especially like the Norwegian Royal family all crammed on the sofa, like a normal family but still royal?

        • Sunny
          December 15, 2015 at 8:21 pm (3 years ago)

          Agreed Jenny. All the pictures are so natural and real, you feel like these could be friends– like Char could turn and ask if one of us could hold a cutie while she grabs her purse. So spontaneous and sweet.

          • jenny
            December 16, 2015 at 4:01 pm (3 years ago)

            Oh, Sunny, I love that. Can you imagine if Charlene did ask you to hold one of the twins? Also, agree with Cathy and Lindsey!

  10. G.
    December 15, 2015 at 12:33 pm (3 years ago)

    I love seeing the royal round up KMR. Sweet family Christmas photos from the NRF. Heavens, we saw more than a chair. Getting intrusive!

    Cute as buttons the three lovely princesses. Are we to see and know they have horses? Especially, isn’t it a risk to know the names of their horses. Too intrusive!

    The adorable Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella out among the public on their birthday. Prince Albert and Princess Charlene are allowing children to touch their hands. Are they nuts?

    Haven’t any of these royals learned from the royal expertise of William and Kate. Never show a Christmas photo. Never show a family pet without throwing a fit. And the very worst of all, never, ever let a commoner child touch a royal child. These royal families don’t get it at all.

    • katemiddletonreview
      December 15, 2015 at 2:19 pm (3 years ago)

      I know, right. Craziness from these people!

      • Lauri from Ca
        December 15, 2015 at 2:34 pm (3 years ago)

        You two are so funny, hahaha

    • JustMe
      December 15, 2015 at 3:30 pm (3 years ago)

      They also look natural and unphotoshopped (is that a proper word?) – clearly they are royal amateurs!!

  11. Lindsey from DC
    December 15, 2015 at 12:38 pm (3 years ago)

    I might be out on my own on this but, I’m NOT a fan of Letizia’s jumpsuit here. Maybe it’s because I am just not a huge fan of her. She seems to look forced and not very warm.

    I also don’t think a jumpsuit is a very “Queen” outfit. I think they look trendy and fashionable on young celebrities but Letizia is not a celebrity, she is a QUEEN. I feel like overall she hasn’t grown into her role in her fashion or how she carries herself. I get more of an “aloof starlet” vibe from her, not queen.

  12. LRB
    December 15, 2015 at 1:05 pm (3 years ago)

    Long time lurker first time poster. As a Brit I think Wills and Kate have so much to learn from their European equals. To mean something you have to engage and for us to want to finance you with our taxes you have to give something back. We can argue about whether the skirt length is right or we like Leti’s jumpsuit ( which I do!) but what we want is substance. Diana had it is spades, as does Harry and many of the ‘ new’ royals in Europe like Max, but Kate just doesn’t get it.
    I thought I should start actually commenting so I get and invite to the next royal wedding. Rhiannon please put me on the guest list.

    • Sunny
      December 15, 2015 at 8:28 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi LRB!
      You are absolutely right, substance is everything. It comprises heart, naturalness, a certain amount of intelligence or at least being smart enough to listen to intelligent advisors. W&K desperately need to do a reassessment. For Leti’s jumpsuit, I think a dazzling sleek jacket and two mini jeweled hair clips would take the outfit to a more regal yet sophisticated level. here at KMR is very excited about the pending nuptials for our favorite Ginger Beard. Glad you’re hear to share the laughs and tears

  13. Herazeus
    December 15, 2015 at 2:10 pm (3 years ago)

    This is really juvenile of me, but I always chuckle that the accronym for the heir to the Dutch throne is POO. It’s gives me a bigger laugh because the current heir is a child and therefore still in that naughty giggles at words stage of her life.

    • katemiddletonreview
      December 15, 2015 at 2:12 pm (3 years ago)

      lol, I hadn’t thought of that.

    • JustMe
      December 15, 2015 at 3:26 pm (3 years ago)

      lol – I really hope when they are marking her school items they use the initials from her name and not her title!!

  14. Seth
    December 15, 2015 at 4:11 pm (3 years ago)

    It’s interesting to me that the King is on the armrest of the couch, looking as casual as a King can look. We’d never see Philip or Charles sitting on the armrest of a sofa, let alone the Queen. He just has a casual, cool (if a 79-year-old sitting on an armrest is ‘cool) look, like “Yep, I’m here… no biggie.” 🙂

    • Sunny
      December 15, 2015 at 8:32 pm (3 years ago)

      Good point, this almost looks like a private family photo. Nice

  15. Lisa
    December 16, 2015 at 10:25 am (3 years ago)

    This is a great update! Love the twins. I think Albert and Charlene are doing a great job getting them used to seeing people and letting the people actually get to know the babies a bit. They definitely look like they’ve got their hands full now that they are walking.

    Happy Belated Birthday to Princess Amalia. They all look very happy. I’ve never ridden a horse but it looks like it could be fun.

    Max is Max and she does things well. (I’m not talking about her hair…lol) She always comes off to me as being very involved in the visits she makes and just seems to have a wonderful sense of joy that she lets shine when it is appropriate.

    On the Norway front, it is great that they include Marius in the photos. He could have easily been tucked away on the royal end of things, but it shows they care as a family. At least it does to me.

    As for Leti and Felipe’s upcoming visit to Great Britain, I’m sure W&K will be included in the festivities and one would hope they would apologize for their rudeness at that event. That was really unbelievable. I love Leti’s outfit but I can’t see Kate taking any advice from her. Kate’s advice comes from Ma and William. And we’ve seen the unfortunate results of that.

    I love these round ups of all the other families. It always leads to searches for more information. Thank you KMR!

  16. Bets
    December 16, 2015 at 6:14 pm (3 years ago)

    Aw! Love this whole post! The twins are so sweet and I agree that they are clearly their parent’s pride and joy. I love that they had little schoolchildren meet them. What a perfectly sweet way of introducing them to people at a young age. This is probably very strange, but I see parallels in the ways the different Royal families raise their children and the way me and my sister were raised. I was shy and had some major health problems and so my mom and I became extremely close and she was very overprotective of me. My sister was outgoing and healthy as a horse and she was pretty much left to sink or swim (she swam). While I love my mom to bits, I have to say that it was a lot harder for me to learn to be independent and stand on my own and people outside my immediate circle terrified me. I am still shy, but very happy and have wonderful friends, but I do wish that I had been exposed to more when I was little, so it wouldn’t be such a shock to make my way in the world as an independent adult. I thoroughly approve of exposing kids to people early on, especially if crowds and cameras are going to be a huge part of their future. I know some parent’s response is to hide and shelter their children away from everything that isn’t pleasant and controlled, but it’s really doing them a huge disservice in reality. The Scandinavian Royals are all doing an amazing job of balancing private family time with time spent engaging with their people and preparing their kids for the future. Oh, also, I love Max! That woman just glows.