Royal Round Up: Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Sofia (updated with Princess Madeleine)

Royal Round Up: Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Sofia (updated with Princess Madeleine)

Here’s a Swedish royal pregnancy update. Crown Princess Victoria returned to royal duties last week, but she continued her duties this week, and Princess Sofia returned to royal duties this week. Update: Princess Madeleine posted new photos of Princess Leonore and Prince Nicolas.

Victoria at Agenda 2030

Crown Princess Victoria attended the conference “Agenda 2030 – Sweden’s efforts to achieve the global objectives of sustainable development” in Stockholm on Monday, January 18.

Agenda 2030 is a plan by the United Nations to end poverty and hunger, protect the planet from degradation, and ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature. You can read more about Agenda 2030 here.

The conference Victoria attended discussed Sweden’s role in achieving the global targets set forth by the UN, the Swedish Government’s ambitions Agenda, and the different social actors’ roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the global targets.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Victoria a member of the Sustainable Development Goals Advocates of Agenda 2030. Victoria is one of 16 ambassadors appointed to participate in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocacy Group. The group’s task is to promote in different ways the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Victoria said of the appointment: “I am very honored to receive the mission to be one of 16 ambassadors of Agenda 2030. The questions UN development highlights is crucial for the world. I hope to contribute to the important work ahead.”

Press release about Victoria’s appointment.

Victoria at Agenda 2030 2

Victoria repeated an ASOS Maternity black and white graphic print dress she wore on the last day of her October 2015 trip to Colombia. Unlike last time, Victoria wore a black jacket over the dress.

Though February 10 continues to be Victoria’s last scheduled event on the Kungahuset website calendar, apparently Victoria will not go on maternity leave before her baby is born and will continue with her duties until she gives birth.

Victoria maternity leave tweet

Yesterday, January 20, Princess Sofia made her first appearance of the year alongside King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. They attended the Young Music at the Castle festival at the Royal College of Music. They watched the dance performance “The music disappeared”, then a concert with the band Nonsense (pictured with the royals in the photo below) from the Royal College of Music, followed by a concert with students from Fryshuset.

Sofia wore a black and white printed v-neck dress from H&M which cost just $34.99. Sofia forewent the v-neck and buttoned her dress up to her neck.

Sofia at Young Music at the Castle

The Swedish court also released a new official photo of Sofia (taken the same day as the Nobel Laureates dinner).

Princess Sofia

This photo allows us a good look at Sofia’s emerald and diamond wedding tiara, which still looks odd when sitting on her head. The tiara features graduated diamond palmettes topped by nine graduated pear-shaped emeralds. I think it’s cool that the King and Queen bought a tiara specifically for Sofia – especially since new tiaras are a rarity these days – but this one just isn’t growing on me.

Princess Sofia's emerald and diamond wedding tiara

UPDATE: Princess Madeleine posted six new photos on her Facebook page of Princess Leonore and Prince Nicolas. Maddie posted the photos with the caption: “Family time, sadly interrupted. What a pity we weren’t just asked for photos, because here are some sweet ones.”

Madeleine and Chris O’Neill took the kids on a vacation to the Maldives (in a 68,000 SEK a night villa – that’s about 7,900 USD at the current exchange rates) for the New Year and were photographed by the paparazzi. Those photos were printed in Swedish magazines and posted online. I’m going to link to the photos because I post/link pap photos of Kate and George, and so I have to for everyone else in order to be consistent and not hypocritical. You can view the photos here.

I kind of love the way Maddie handled the pap photos, though. Just post her own photos which are better than the pap photos.

Madeleine and Nicolas

Leonore and Madeleine

Leonore on a log Leonore eating ice cream

Nicolas smiling Leonore on the beach

Photos: / Twitter / Anna-Lena Ahlström/ / Princess Madeleine’s Facebook


I want to thank you guys for keeping the comment section a nice place to interact with lately. You all have been really good about keeping things friendly, even though I know sometimes it’s hard to be positive about Kate.

If you do see a comment that you think is rude or offensive, please email me about it directly so I can take care of it (my email is in the sidebar under the “Email Me” section). I don’t want you guys to have to deal with responding to rude/offensive comments because I want this to be a fun, safe place to critically discuss our opinions of Kate and the royals. So email me if there’s a problem and let me know what’s going on and I’ll deal with it for you. Thanks!

164 thoughts on “Royal Round Up: Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Sofia (updated with Princess Madeleine)

  1. Wow, Vic is sticking straight out, it’s gotta be a boy! I had more of the wrap around effect with my daughter, but with my son…well, we had to manoeuvre around tight corners haha. In fact, my daughter thought he was a built in perch, and was a little put out when it mysteriously disappeared. On the other hand, could be second baby phenomenon, so don’t quote me

    1. Victoria is definitely showing. I’m still getting a girl vibe, but that’s just me.

    2. My first was a boy and I stuck straight out – you couldn’t even tell from the back that I was pregnant!

      This time around, my belly is still too small to really see if it’ll be the same or not.

      1. Haha, that’s how it was for me too. My dad (jokingly) emailed me a picture of a python digesting a goat, and he put my name at 8 1/2 months as the caption! I saved it and put it in my son’s baby book. We had a good laugh over that.

        1. Actually, Camille is my son’s name 🙂

          It’s unisex in France.

          We lived for a little while in Québec, but it was just too darn cold for us!

  2. Both ladies look great during pregnancy and Sofia looks beautiful in that official picture. Good on Victoria for working all the way up until the birth unlike some lazy person like Waity

    1. I think the official portrait of Sofia is the most beautiful we have had of her to date.

      Don’t you think Vic is due earlier than announced? I’ve never had a baby but it seems like she is all baby bump and still smiling!

  3. YAY I was hoping you’d post the pics of Madeleine and the kids 🙂 I just saw them on facebook just a few minutes ago and I liked the caption she put with them:

    “Family time, sadly interrupted. What a pity we weren’t just asked for photos, because here are some sweet ones.”

    Leonore and Nicolas are so very cute… love being able to see them grow!

    I am inordinately excited about Victoria’s baby; on pins and needles waiting for the birth, like it’s a family member or something lol What’s wrong with me?!

    I still don’t care for Sofia’s tiara. Too pointy, maybe? Plus, she needs a bigger updo with it, something Audrey Hepburny:

    1. I forgot to include – in the photo of Leonore climbing the tree, there is a little something of her aunt Vic and cousin Estelle in her face!

    2. Sofia really needs to do away with the center part when wearing a tiara. The Swedes usually do great tiara hair, so it’s odd to me that Sofia is struggling so much with her tiara hair. She needs Silvia to give her some pointers.

      1. I think there’s an issue with the sizing of the tiara as well. It is quite possible that the armarture that supports it only allows for it to be oddly perched on top of her head.

        While I do like the palmette motif, I’m not a fan of the teardrop emeralds – especially when they’re upside down – it is just an akward look. Though I love emeralds, I’m generally not a fan of emerald tiaras – possibly because they are not as versatile to match with dress colours. I think it would have been a better option to have given her more of an all-purpose tiara. Both Mary and Mette-Marit were given new tiaras for their weddings – they may be small and dainty (some would call them dinky) but they are incredibly versatile – they go with everything.

        1. June!

          Husband and I have already started the “let’s argue about names” game, although we have a system in place with first name French + middle name American + second middle name Italian…

          I tried to pull for Estelle (if it’s a girl), but it’s considered an old lady name in France and he vetoed it!

          1. That’s nice that you’re honoring both sides (French and American) with the names. I’m assuming some part of the family is originally from Italy hence the Italian second middle name?

            Bummer that the husband vetoed Estelle. It’s a pretty name. Not that you need my suggestion, but I really like the name Leonore (it’s really grown on me since I’ve written it so much), but I’m not sure if that fits the system.

          2. I like that you’re honoring all family sides! My mom is from Barranquilla, Colombia but purposely didn’t give my sisters and I any Spanish first names because it would’ve looked weird with our last name (French spelling, English pronunciation). (Dad is as American as apple pie. 😉 )

          3. My husband’s mother (my MIL) is originally from Italy, so his side of the family all speak French, Italian, and (varying levels of) English. They spend almost every summer with relatives there.

            Since my maternal side of the family are all originally from Sicily (immigrated to US in early 20th century), we tried to reflect the fact that our kids are more Italian than anything else by giving an Italian third name.

            Plus, I was like, if the BRF can give their kids names out the wazoo, SO CAN I hahaha

            Leonore is actually on my shortlist AND it works in French!

          4. I love the idea of having multiple names, royal style. And choosing names with certain origins I think is a great way to honor the families. And I’m totally rooting for Leonore as the name!

          5. @Kimothy

            Yeah, that’s why we give the French first name, because our last name is so very French it would seem odd to pair it with anything else.

          6. Naming babies is not easy. My mom and I have always had a place in our hearts for French names. My mom’s name is Jacqueline, so her mom did, too, My real name is Genevieve, but everyone has always called me Jenny. My husband is the only one who doesn’t – for the most part. He calls me “Vieve.”

            I really wanted to name our baby Juliet, but when she was born, she just seemed more like a Madeleine (which has always been a favorite name of mine). Her middle name is Juliet. I still want a Juliet some day I really love that name, but for some reason our Maddie did not look like a Juliet when she was born. She still doesn’t. Have fun coming up with a name!

          7. What about Camille? That’s my daughter’s middle name, and I love it. No French ancestry, except a bit on my husband’s side. His grandfather’s family was long from Quebec.

          8. Many congratulations and I hope you continue to feel well. So excited to have another KMR baby. The best I will be able to do is a KMR grandbaby, but not for a few years yet I hope!

        1. Thank you! Due in June. The 1st trimester was really rough (couldn’t go to work for 2 months and came close to hospitalization, but didn’t, thankfully), but much better now.

      1. LizB, congratulations! So good to hear that another KMR baby will be here before we all know it. I hope this pregnancy will be a good one and that you have a safe delivery of your new little one. Such wonderful news.

        1. Thank you, jenny!

          Regarding names: the name Juliette is starting to make a comeback in France now, it used to be considered a bit old fashioned. Madeleine is so very pretty!

          Nowadays, the trendy names are all short, and for girls, they all end in -a

          1. Congratulations Liz B! I hope that the rest of the pregnancy goes very smooth for you. Our little girl is named Kiah, which is unusual but the only name we could agree on for a girl. Her middle name is Meghan. If we had of had a boy he would have been called Joshua ( a name we both loved) and his middle name would have been Mathew ( after my late brother).

          2. LizB, so glad you are feeling better. I hope the rest of the pregnancy goes smoothly, too.

            I also like the name Isla (not French), but am thinking of a daughter named Isla Juliet, or Juliet Isla. I better stop these thoughts. It’s way too soon to even dream of another baby!

  4. I’m really proud of my Swedish heritage, though my Swede did get to NZ in the 1840s – does it still count? Victoria will be a great Queen, such a big commitment to her role, as crown princess as well as a great Mum .
    It seems Maddie and Chris had their holiday disturbed by photographers , yet they are still classy and rose above it to share these photos. Thank you!

    @ KMR
    I like your comment at the end of this post. I feel everyone has been adding something of value to the posts in the last few days.
    It brought a tear or two when I read comments people had posted about much loved cats. I was feeling the love going into the stories being shared. And I remembered much loved cats that had come into my life too and are now gone.
    It’s great that we have a place to share here 🙂

    1. Totally counts!

      I thought it was really smart the way Maddie handled those pap pics. Releasing photos of her own means people like me use those photos instead of the pap shots. Also, it shows that people/press shouldn’t buy pap shots because Maddie will release photos of the kids for free.

      I really appreciate that people are keeping things civil in the comments. I want that to continue.

      1. Very smart of Madeleine and Chris, and done with a good deal of maturity and grace. The additional, more intimate Facebook pics of the children complement the pap ones: a nice balance achieved to keep everyone happy: paps get to to make a living, people get to see the children in informal situations. I also liked Madeline being real in her beach gear; no emaciated body or trying to hide away. She looked fantastic, womanly and confident.

      2. I agree with both of you KMR and Jen. I think what Maddie and Chris did was mature and it was a correctly metered response to what happened. Seems like they know that threatening the press or suing them only makes things worse in the long run.

      3. William should learn from Princess Madeleine and Chris. If Will is angry with the media, he brings a baseball bat to the fight and Madeleine brings a fly swatter.

        Princess Madeleine and Chris have beautiful children. She looks so happy in the beach photos.

        C.P. Victoria reminds me of Prince Charles. She works hard and takes her position seriously. She is business minded and is looking toward the future. It seems so much like the way Prince Charles has approached his position for decades. Charles wants to hit the ground running when he becomes king. Unlike Will, who will sit on the sofa eating cheese toast, and decide tomorrow is another day.

        Kate needs to learn from Princess Madeleine about taking control of situations. See the genuine smile Maddie has on her face? It is the face of a full-fledged grown woman who has found a way to mesh a private and royal life into one happy one.

        On a style note, I really like Princess Madeleine’s beach cover up choices. They look feminine, airy and cool. They seem like they would dry quickly after picking up a ocean water wet little one.

        1. 100% agree, with every word! I would love to think the Brits are watching the Swedes and learning, but sadly doubt it.

        2. Also agree with your post, G! William is swinging a Louisville slugger at the press/media and Maddie is just shooing them away LOL!

          1. Petulant boy! Now Momma Scarole is going to have to make more. Not that she would ever complain. She knows her place.

    2. I just realized two Cathys with a C and both of us have Swedish ancestry! I had always thought my family came over around 1902 but my mother recently corrected me and said it was earlier than that and 1902 is when we arrived in Texas. Anyway…both sides came over to the US and still have relatives in Sweden. I keep meaning to do that ancestry DNA test to see what it says.

      I love love love most of the SRF and am so happy when KMR posts about them!

      1. Hi Cathy (2)!

        Or should I say Hej!?

        I wouldn’t bother with doing an ancestry DNA test if you know both sides of your family come from Sweden.

        It would be easy to trace your family back if they entered the US at Ellis Island?

        It’s been harder for me as it seems the Victorian English running New Zealand in the early days of settlement kept terrible records. I still can’t pin down a date when he entered the country but have his naturalisation records from 1852.
        Go back into your family stories and you may find some interesting stuff. My Swede was a “remittance man”. He had done something to offend his parents so they sent him to the furthest place they could find from Sweden as punishment. It must have been a big shock to his system to go from the Swedish Court to a shack in the bush, on an island off the coast of Auckland. Not to mention that he would have been the only Swede in Auckland at that time amongst all those expat British!

        Have fun with your search!

        And, like you, I’m really impressed with the Swedish Royal Family too 🙂

        1. Geneaology is so much fun when you get into it and learn how to read between the lines of all the official information you get from various archives.

          My father has been working on the family genealogy for more than a decade (we can trace his family back to the 1690s) – and boy, has he uncovered some juicy tid bits – one ancestor married his niece and another was married to a man who became a bigamist after he emigrated to the US and left her alone with young children (one of whom died as a baby).

          He has had it printed and bound as a book with photos and all – some of the photos are 100 years old. I also encouraged him to write down some of the family stories/lore: like the foul-mouthed parrot that my great-grandfather bought in a pub and the duel that his aunts husband fought on horseback (he was a French cavalry officer and fencing teacher). My paternal grandmother was on the national fencing team in the 1930s and participated in the European Championship. Her little sister went on to become an Olympic fencer.

          1. It’s great that you were able to write those stories down. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get to some relations before they died and so the stories have gone 🙁
            Through I have connected with other distant family members so we are getting there – slowly!

          2. I’ve been into genealogy for over 20 years, ArtHistorian (since I was in my early teens!). My nana introducing me to our family history + 8th grade American history being introduced = a Kimothy who LOVES history in general AND family history.

            I’ve been able to go as far back as the 1600s on her parents side. On my grandpa’s (her ex-husband’s) side it’s a bit murky because my great-grandfather came here with his mother from Madeira, an archipelago that is between Morocco and Portugal but is part of Portugal.

            My mom is from Barranquilla, Colombia, South America as was her father. My Abu was from Sinamaica, Venezuela (a suuuuper tiny village). All I know is that my mom’s 3x great-grandfather was originally from Holland and had our uber long, Dutch last name shortened to what my mom’s maiden name is today. I know that we have some Spanish (from Spain) and Indian from Abuilto’s (my grandfather’s) side. Noooo idea about Abu’s side.

            Anyway, my nana said that, when she passes, I’ll be getting ALL of her genealogy stuff–and that includes binders of dates and info.

          3. Who knew we had so many genealogists here? I’ve been doing it for about a decade now myself. Since my family hasn’t been in America very long, the distance from my sources has limited my efforts somewhat, but I’ve had a lot of fun and made some great discoveries (though not particularly salacious–I can live with that)!

        2. I was born in Sweden and came here as an adult. I did take the Ancestry DNA and found out I was only 59% Scandinavian, 24% Western European and trace of Finnish/Russian and 3% Irish! My husband, whose family has considered themselves German, found out he is 71% British!

          1. My father has a German sounding (and spelled) middle name so we assumed that he had some German ancestry – and it turned out that we were completely wrong! The name turned out to be a Germanized version of a small hamlet in northern Jutland. This was back in the 18th century. The family had taken the name of their village and then Germanized the spelling when they moved to Copenhagen. At the time Denmark (and Copenhagen) had a large German-speaking population because the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein were still part of Denmark.

  5. Aw! Leonore is just too precious for words! We are going to be full of little swedish babies this year! Can’t wait to see Victoria’s and Sofia’s with their newborns.

  6. YAY!! The Swedes!!

    Vicky looks wonderful!! That belly came out of nowhere hehe. Standing straight and proud–love it!! I like how she doesn’t try to hide it.

    I’ve definitely been warming up to Sofia and I don’t like how other royal message forums have extremely unflattering nicknames for her and people are making comparisons to Kate. Like you, KMR, I haven’t quite warmed up to Sofia’s tiara. The emerald color is good on her but the design seems a tiny bit off. Also, I hope she changes that part-in-the-middle style. It just doesn’t suit her frame, IMO.

    I’m excited to see what Vicky and Sofia end up having. I still say Victoria is going to have a boy but Sofia? I keep on jumping between sides ha! We’ll have to wait and see!

    It’s sad that Madeleine’s New Year’s vacation with her family was interrupted by the paparazzi but I’m glad she shared these photos. Her kids are adorable!! In the picture of Prince Nicolas smiling, I definitely see A LOT of his daddy in him and the one of Princess Leonore with melting ice cream is absolutely precious, IMO.

    Though I’m still a newbie, I’ve noticed the sweetness in the messages. I’m still learning who-is-who here but I like reading/learning a bit on some of the backstories of the regulars here at KMR! 🙂

    1. I’ve seen some of the worst nicknames for Sofia. Some people think the nicknames for Kate and William are mean, but the nicknames for Sofia are flat out despicable. There is a huge difference between calling someone Waity and calling someone a… phrase I will not repeat. I understand people dislike Sofia’s past, but there is no reason for the vitriol she receives.

      I think Victoria will gave a girl and Sofia will have a boy. That’s the vibe I’m getting.

      I’m glad the pap photos didn’t put Maddie off of releasing photos of her kids. Her kids are adorable.

  7. Leonore. She is beyond adorable. That ice cream picture melted my cold heart this morning. Nicolas looks just like his daddy. How awesome is it that Madde provided the pics despite the pap shots? That’s how you drive down the cost of photos. I don’t see W+K ever doing this.

    I love Victoria and her involvement in this initiative. This shows that she is committed and willing to out in work. I think that it’s a girl again. Regardless, she looks healthy and happy. I believe the court said that she will work up to her due date.

    I am a Sofia convert. I was a bit dubious about her commitment to work versus her past. Her past was none of my business. But, I’m quite happy with how she’s jumped in and started meaningful work. I love her picture, but do not like the tiara. I would offer that she makes the tiara look good not the other way around. I just makes her look severe.

    I agree, KMR, that the site is more positive. While we may not agree on all things, we value other’s opinion.

    Thank you for such a beautiful post. Leonore and her cute pouty mouth and sad eyes make me smile.

    1. I’m in Leonore heaven too! I admit she’s my favourite royal and such a cutie pie. Bravo to Madeleine for releasing these pictures.

      Liz B, I wish to you a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby.Such an interesting year this will be with all these babies coming.

      I voted for a girl for Victoria but now that I see her belly I have to agree with Ray, I think it’s going to be a boy. About Sofia, I think she looks pretty and I kind of like she wears an H&M dress. I have said in the past that her style can be improved but all the same, she’s a pretty girl.

      I’m in bed with fever at the moment (called sick at work) and I don’t know a better company than this blog. Thank you KMR for all the work you put into it.

  8. Great round-up. Victoria looks radiant. I had a feeling that although her last public appearance was set she would still work. It just seems like it’s her nature to carry on.

    Sofia looked nice and I’m also glad to see that she is working. It almost seems that she has taken note that people aren’t thrilled with Kate sitting around, but I also think that she likes going to out to do the work because it brings her some attention. Kate could really take a lesson from all three Swedish princesses about working while expecting.

    I’m still not enthralled with Sofia’s tiara. I’m sure it’s worth a pretty penny, but it just looks cheap to me. It’s not her making it look that way, it’s the design. Also I think another hairstyle would help immensely.

    Loved Madeline’s pictures of the children. They are adorable and Nicolas really takes after Chris. I too loved the way she handled the pap photos. William would be tearing his remaining hair out while filing lawsuits. There’s a way to handle things gracefully, royally if you will, and that’s what Madeline and Chris did. ON a side note, do you think they’ll stop at two or will a third pop up?

    Thank you for all of your hard work and for giving us a community where you can say what you like and don’t like about royals without getting banished or shouted down. We sometimes have our dust ups but we manage to work it out.

    Looking forward to the next post!

    1. Yes, Maddie handled the paps with panache! She is amazing!
      Leonore and Nicolas are just so cute. Leonore on the tree trunk does remind me of Estelle. Leonore with the ice cream face — just adorable! Leonore walking on the beach? Just so sweet. And, Nico is getting so big! He’s a doll.

      The family vacation looks like fun to me. Imagine W&K releasing such photos from MustEscape!

      As for Victoria, she is just beyond compare. Working, working, working! And, looking lovely in the final stage of her pregnancy. Well, almost the final!

  9. The Swedish royal family is a class act! I love how they handle the press and they all appear to be genuinely happy and relaxed. I always get the feeling that K and W are very stilted in public and just can’t wait for their engagements to be over.

    1. Agreed! That is exactly how it seems. Maddie handled her unsolicited attention in the best possible way. See W&K, was that so hard?

  10. The Scandinavian royal families look so close together because they are either related by blood or they are cousins. Queen Margrethe’s mother & King Carl Gustav’s father were siblings. King Harald’s mother & ex King Albert’s(Belgium) mother were sisters. My question is when these royals meet what language do they use to communicate? Does anyone know? I’ve been wondering about this for quite some time.

    1. Great question IDA! I think most of the Scandinavian royals are multi-lingual so maybe it’s an agreed upon third language or maybe their languages are similar enough that they can muddle by.

    2. Very good question! I wonder how the various royals speak to each other when gathered together at social event (e.g., Carl Philip and Sofia’s wedding last June). Is there an agreed upon language or do they just politely smile and nod? Hmmm……

      1. Probably English is the default language. But the Scandinavians are very language savvy so between them I would imagine they change languages. Or maybe there is a protocol that says a junior royal when addressing a senior has to use his/her language. That would be interesting.

        1. Perhaps ArtHistorian can tell us if Swedish/Danish/Norwegian are similar enough to be understood between themselves.? I am sure that all European royals senior and junior speak fluent English as a basic requirement, as of course very many ordinary Europeans do.

          Ps I note that another poster has confirmed that these three countries can understand each other! I have a French friend I speak to in English and she replies in French. It works very well we can understand the other but could not speak it so fluently.

    3. Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are languages that are so closely related that we can understand each other whilst speaking out own languages. Norwegian and Danish are so close as to be almost identical, apart from spelling and pronounciation. That is due to the fact that Norway was a domain of the Danish Crown for 400 years. Swedish is a bit more different but still understandable. When I was in primary school, we were taught to read Swedish and Norwegian.

      Most Scandinavians are at least bi-lingual: a necessity of being part of a small language group in a world where English is the lingua franca. The DRF are French speaking as well – Daisy and Henri often speak French with each other, Joachim and his second wife Marie actually bonded about being the only French speakers at the party where they first met. I suspect that Mary and Frederik speaks English between themselves.

      As for the Swedes – Silvia is of German and Brazilian ancestry, so the children may have some German skills as well as English.

      1. For people who “muddle by” when having conversations with one another in their various languages, they sure look happy and comfortable with one another. Queen Margrethe will not have any problem because she is fluent in at least 5 languages. Prince Edward & Sophie always look like “fish out of water” amongst them. I have this feeling that the BRF & the Scandinavian Royals don’t really get along.

        1. It is not just a feeling. The BRF do not get along with any other royals because they do not consider them to be on the same level; they consider themselves superior. The only exception being Princess Di; but then she made it her mission to get on with everyone….

          1. That’s so sad. As she grows older, the Queen rarely goes to the foreign royal functions,only sending junior royals as representatives. The worst episode was during Queen Fabiola’s funeral. Not one BRF came, only a British diplomat/ ambassador represented them. But the Queen did attend king Baudouin’s funeral in 1994. I think that was the last royal funeral she attended. The other Royals always came to her jubilees & other celebrations so why can’t she come to theirs. OK she’s old but so are Queen Margrethe & husband, King Harald & wife, king & queen of Sweden & ex Queen Beatrix. Are there really classes& discriminations among the Royals?

          2. Liz is 89. Harald is 78. Beatrix is 77. Margrethe is 75. Carl Gustaf is 69. So Liz has a good decade on the eldest of the other elderly sovereigns, and two decades on one of them.

          3. Very true. British royals consider themselves superior which in a way is true considering the wealth, the history and their power of influence in all states of commonwealth. Also, BRF is the most known royal family – at least in the western world. I for one, started to discover the European royals from this blog (although knew they existed, I hardly knew anything about them).

            European royals want to be associated with the British ones but this doesn’t apply vice versa. I have the impression that the BRF considers them the poor relatives.

          4. I think the issue of the relative isolation of the BRF from it Continental counterparts is a more muddy and complicated issue than a simple superiority complex. This isolation wasn’t always the state of affairs.

            Granted, many of the Continental monarchies aren’t as old as the British one – only the Danish one is older. Then comes the Swedish and the Spanish (though the latter had an interregnum during the Fascist rule). The Dutch, Belgian and Greek are younger monarchies and the Greek one fell in the 1960s. A lot of RFs fell from power in the wake of WWI and then the Eastern European monarchies fell after WWII because of Communism.

            In the late 19th century, Queen Victoria’s heir Edward married the Danish princess Alexandra – and they went to Denmark almost every summer to vacation with her parents, her siblings and their in-laws, which included the Russian Zar (he LOVED the visits to Denmark where he could be relatively anonymous).

            There were also the marriages between English princesses and Scandinavia princes around 1900. When Queen Ingrid was a girl she regularly visited her English relatives and she was considered as a possible bride for George V’s heir (later Edward VIII and then Duke of Windsor).

            The Norwegian king and his heir lived in London during WWII when Norway was occupied – and I’ve read that the two RFs still have a close friendship (the older generation that is). There also appears to be a friendship between the former Greek royals and the older members of the BRF.

            However, when it comes to the official side of things, then the picture is quite another. I’ve read the the BRF consciously tried to disassociate themselves from the Continental RFs during WWI because they were afraid to appear too foreign to the British public. They even changed their name to Windsor to sound more English. The fact of the matter is that they have a strong German heritage and they were related by blood to the German emperor that Britain waged war against.

            Why that isolation on the public level has continued for almost a century is beyond me. It may very well have to do with individual tempers – that some of the most influential and senior members of the BRF weren’t/aren’t very outgoing and sociable personalities.

            Then there’s the age issue – until the last 15 years there weren’t many social events (apart of round birthdays) in the Continental RFs – weddings, Jubilees, christenings, etc. There really has been a significant gap between the social events of the BRF in the 80s and the social events in continental RFs in the late 90s and onwards. At that time Elizabeth and Philip had gotten old, and Charles and Andrew were divorced. However Sophie and Edward are roughly in the same age group as the younger royal generation among the Continental royals, which is perhaps why they usually represent the BRF abroad.

            The age gap may also explain why the younger generation of the BRF (Will, Harry and their cousins) have had practically NO contact with their European counterparts. There’s a 10 year age gap. Such an age gap usually feels bigger when you are young than when you get older. Then there’s the issue that Will and Harry seem to have been kept very secluded and cossetted after their mother died. I find it sad that they don’t make an effort. Will and Kate’s wedding would have been a perfect opportunity but they didn’t even attend the reception to meet their guests, which I personally find incredibly rude. Then all of them completely ignored Victoria and Daniel at the London Olympics where all of the Danish RF also were present. However, CP Frederik visited the Invictus Games where he and Harry seemed to have a good time together. Will and Kate visited Denmark shortly after their wedding but they didn’t appear very comfortable in company with Mary and Frederik. However, when Charles and Camilla made an official visit to Denmark in relation with QEII’s Jubliee, everyone seemed to get along wonderfully.

          5. I always knew the BRF had/have deep German roots (hello! Prince Albert was German! Haha!) and that Queen Victoria’s children married various royals throughout Europe but didn’t put two and two together regarding current European royals. Thank you for that great post and insight, Art Historian! 🙂

          6. The BRFs German roots go back to the early 18th century. Queen Anne was the last Stuart monarch. She went through 16 pregnancies, most of them were miscarriages and the children who were born living didn’t survive childhood. Though there was a living Stuart heir, descended from the deposed James II (Anne’s father). the British didn’t want him because he was Catholic. Hence, they chose a new monarch from the House of Hannover that had Stuart blood through marriage. The first Hannover king very likely didn’t even speak English. Furthermore, the Hannover Kkings almost exclusively pursued marriages among the German princely houses.

        2. Queen Margrethe II also speaks a almost fluent Swedish – she probably learned that from her mother. I only discovered that when she gave a speech to Carl Gustaf in Swedish. I was like “oh, she speaks Swedish too”.

  11. What a great post KMR!!! I feel like I can truly say positive things about these ladies. without having to twist my words around.

    I saw these photos of Victoria a couple of days ago and am loving the fact that she isn’t trying to hide her belly under tent dresses. And of course she’s working until her due date, that’s just the way she is.

    I have to agree with everyone here, Maddie and Chris handled the pap intrusion with a lot of class and dignity. And how great that they released photos that were so much better than the pap ones?

    I love this photo of Sofia! Her blue dress really seem to make her blue eyes pop, great color choice. I do agree that something is “off” with this tiara, I wonder if taking the emeralds off would help? Also, wearing her hair up in a tiara do would certainly help. Looking at photos of the young Victoria and Maddie wearing tiaras they both wore their hair down a lot so I wonder if tiara hair is something a woman feels she must work toward. Maybe trying to say “yeah, I’m wearing a tiara but I’m still me see my hair is down” rather than “yeah, I’m wearing a tiara and my hairs up and I don’t feel like me”?

    1. I don’t get the style of the tiara. It looks like a row of Christmas trees with green stars on top. Princess Sofia looks beautiful in the photo, but why did they have a new official photo taken just six months after the wedding?

      1. I thought exactly the same – Xmas trees! But I think she needs her hair up above her head so the tiara nestles in hair rather than sits perched on top.

      2. If the emeralds had been in the heart of the trees instead, and the trees tipped with the diamonds, it would have looked a lot nicer(imo). But she should wear sapphires, with those blue eyes, or aquamarines. They would be standout with her coloring.

        1. I agree. The green in it doesn’t go with the blue dress and sash; why not wear a green dress/sash if the Tiara is so important and thus make the emeralds the focal point?

          Also, is she actually wearing it?! It looks photo-shopped on to her head IMO.

          1. Sofia does not get to choose the color of her sash. That sash is the Order of the Seraphim and is always that color blue.

    2. I agree Lauri. I think Sofia looks very pretty in this photo. As for the tiara, I want to like it, but something is ‘off’. I think if the emeralds had been put in the center of each tree, the whole tiara would have looked better. For me, the emeralds look like an after thought and were just awkwardly attached.

    1. She cut it awhile ago. There were a bunch of stupid articles talking about how Sofia was copying Kate (please!). KMR even covered it. I think it was in the middle of Dec.

  12. Darling children. Leonore is beyond adorable. I’m with you, Rhiannon, the photo of her with the ice cream around her mouth was so cute. Also, the one where she is taking a stroll on the beach. Maddie looks great and baby Nicolas is so darling. It suddenly has gotten to be winter here — big time! Expecting a bad snowstorm on Saturday. I wish I was on that beach!!!!

    Victoria is amazing. She is keeping on! Oh, maybe, she is having a boy and Sofia a girl.
    BTW, Sofia is lovely in the photo with the tiara. Just did not think the emeralds went with the dress, but if someone had a tiara made for me, I’d wear it with any and everything!

    KMR, I did not mean to overstep boundaries with my comment concerning the “cat on the computer keys,” I tried to keep it civil, but was offended by the remark. In the future, I will email you and thanks for addressing that and everything else!

  13. I think Vic’s due date is likely much sooner than they have led us to believe. The way she carries makes me say boy but my heart thinks girl. I almost hope for a boy since CG values them so much more. I would hate for Sofia and CP to have a boy and have CG spend the rest of his life thinking about how things “should” have been. I don’t think he’s been vocal about that in years, but I always feel that undercurrent from him. He’s just not a great man. It’s amazing that Vic has turned out so well and is now so seemingly happy and comfortable with herself and her own little family.

    The issue with Sofia’s tiara is that it just looks cheap. I am not implying anything negative about Sofia here. This is all about the ugly tiara. Something went wrong somewhere in the design. It looks like a play toy that a child would wear. She does need some help with tiara hair, but I’m not sure it will make a difference. I do think the new photos of her are some of the best yet. I wish she would get her teeth fixed but I assume that at this point, it would be so obvious that she would prefer to just be happy with herself. Her smile seems to have changed so she doesn’t show her teeth any more, and while she is beautiful, I can’t help but be concerned that she is always having to constantly think to not show her teeth. That’s a hard way to live.

    As far as praise for Sofia “working,” I’m curious about her schedule compared to Kate’s. It seems that they are doing about the same, Sofia took an undercover vacation to NYC, and Sofia is on track to be another Kate with her work and her spending. I know that’s not a popular opinion here, but I think it’s a fair question. Sofia definitely has some nicknames based on her history. Is the reason that we are so willing to forgive Sofia just because we are giving her a chance since she is new and everyone in the situation deserves it? Would you welcome her into your own family knowing all that you know? It was just within the last few days that I answered a poll question here that accused Kate of faking her HG. Why don’t we blink at accusing Kate of making of a medical condition that required hospitalization but we are extremely upset if someone brings up the history of a topless model and blog author who is now a princess?

    Finally, GO MADDE for sharing those pictures. I saw those come across my Facebook feed this morning with the caption and was sad that her vacation was interrupted but so happy to see her adorable kids. All of the children in the SRF seem to be so full of personality and it comes through in their photos. Why oh why won’t William and Kate look at this and understand this is how it is done properly? The pap photo was so useless compared to Madde’s pics. The Maldives is my ultimate dream vacation!

    1. I so agree with you. The way Maddie handled the paps showed true class. I also wonder why the Cambridges don’t follow suit.

      BTW, a friend stopped by yesterday with a PEOPLE Mag that had a story about the Cambridge/Middleton Christmas. Part of the article focused on Carole being spotted with baby Charlotte in one of those front harnass numbers, strolling abaout (if I remember correctly) a crafts fair. What a great Grandma Carole is, etc. The part that really was sickening was when the writer alluded to the fact that Carole was surprised, but happy, to be taking on the new role of Grandma Babysitter, so to speak. I doubt she was ever “surprised” to be responsible at any time for either George or Charlotte. It was all part of the plan, right? Or, am I being mean?

      Oh, and the article also made reference (again) to how William wants the Middletons to always be part of family holidays.. How many times do readers have to be reminded of that fact? I think it is nice in a way, but the Middletons always seem to be enjoying the public spotlight.

      1. Having “Grandma Carole” out and about with Charlotte very obviously strapped to her front is rather at odds with the story that William wants to hide the children away. I’ve also read stories of Carole taking George out for afternoon tea and shopping in Bucklebury too.
        I think the people living in Buckleberry must be very patient to put up with all this extra attention, especially if Carole comes along with POs for George and other police checking out shops etc before Carole enters?

        1. Oh, I agree, Cathy. The article also mentioned George “racing around a tea room,” showing off his little helicopter to patrons as Grandma Carole just sat back and glowed. You are so right. The people in Bucklebury must have a great deal of patience. Carole just cannot wait to get her hands on those kids and take them everywhere. I know most grandmothers feel that way, but she is just very obnoxious in her public displays with the kids. At least, to me.

    2. Cathy2 Kate is a future Queen as it stands of quite a few countries. Sofia will never be queen so she is not training up for that. I would compare her to Sophie who has taken a number of years to grow into her current role, and develop a purpose to her role in the BRF.

    3. Great questions Cathy (2)! I can only speak for myself but here goes:

      1) Sofia and CP have not yet been married a year compared to Kate and Wills 4+ years. During Kate’s first year as a royal I was more than willing to let her have the time she needed to find her royal footing, just as I am happy to allow the same for Sofia. The difference for me is that Sofia is jumping right in and still working with her charity as opposed to Kate who still does as little as possible. 1a) Sofia will (unless a disaster strikes) never be Queen, while Kate (again barring a disaster) will be Queen and matriarch of a monarchy respected for their dedication to duty and service.

      2) I would absolutely welcome Sofia into my family, even knowing what we now know about her past; Kate not so much and here’s why. Yes, Sofia made some poor choices when she was younger but has never tried to deny that but has used those experiences and decisions as a learning experiences. She also co-founded a charity and continues to support that charity. Kate also made some poor choices when she was younger (putting her own life on hold in order to be at the beck and call of a man) but instead of owning those decisions her staff has done all they can to white wash that decade of idleness, including “talking to” reporters who question it.

      3) I really don’t know if Kate suffered from HG or not and am more that willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. However, most women I’ve heard from who’ve suffered from HG question that if Kate did indeed suffer from HG as opposed to bad morning sickness how was she able to take at least two vacations that included 8+ hour flights. when most suffers can barely lift their head off of the bathroom floor?

      To sum it up for me, the major differences between my expectations of Sofia versus Kate boils down to: newness at the job, what was accomplished before marriage, what’s been done since the marriage and lastly as time goes on Kate & Wills are moving closer and closer to the throne while Sofia and CP will move farther and farther away from it.

      1. Thank you for the great response. Laughing at the posture remark below as it is so true!

        I am trying my hardest to give Sofia a chance after my initial very large hesitations.
        I don’t think she’s got the best person to lead with her husband (even though he does clean up oh so beautifully) so my hope is the rumors are wrong and the sisters are friends to her. It’s a tough spot with Madde and Emma.

        If Sofia can become even a fraction of what Sophie has become then I will most certainly become a fan. I guess only time will tell!

        1. Quite agree Cathy 2 but don’t forget Sophie made some very bad choices after her marriage . She , like Sofia hopefully, learned her lessons, kept a very low profile for several years and moved on. I like Sofia, quite appreciate others may not, but I think she is genuinely trying to learn and be an asset. If Victoria and Maddie are the women we believe they are they will welcome a SIL who loves and cherishes their brother, which I think she does.

          1. Dear Birdy, I’m covered in shame that I forgot to point out the posture differences, thank you so much for covering for me !!

            I’ve heard that Victoria was very welcoming to Sofia and made sure she was warmly welcomed into the family. Victoria also attended Sofia’s bachelorette party.

          2. The thing with Sophie is that she paid attention (especially to what The Queen was doing) and learnt. She did make mistakes in the early days and had it hard when she was compared to Diana often. I think Sophie shines at her role now! 🙂

          3. I am also a fan of Sofia! I think she is really trying, she is obviously in love with her husband (and he with her) and I am willing to keep an open mind about her because I love how happy they look together. And I think she is very pretty. She just seems like a good sport to me – I think she’ll give it her best.

      2. Another difference between Sofia and Kate’s schedule is the number of total engagements their royal familes’ do each year. Carl Gustav does the most engagements in the SRF and he does under 300 a year. Plus its only between the 7 main members of the family, so they probably all do under 1000 a year total. Whereas the BRF has the whole extended family doing 3000 engagements a year with Charles and Anne doing over 500 each. So when Sofia did 50 engagements in her first year (compared to Kate’s 34), she was actually doing a lot of work for her royal family.

    4. TL;DR version: The SRF and BRF count engagements differently, Sofia had a better first year as a royal (with 51 engagements) than Kate did (with 34 engagements), and it’s the sexism behind the vitriol leveled at Sofia with which I have a problem.

      Long version:

      Re Sofia’s schedule compared to Kate’s: The SRF does less public engagements as a whole than the BRF do. Also, the SRF count their engagements differently than the BRF do (for example, when Vic and Dan went to South America, each day counted only once on the calendar even though they visited multiple places each day; the BRF would count that as all separate engagements to boost the number count). In 2013, Carl Gustaf did 245 engagements whereas QEII did 344 (Charles did 537, Anne did 454). In 2013, Silvia did 167, Victoria did 98, Daniel did 100, and Carl Philip did 61. In 2014, Carl Gustaf did 264, Silvia did 195, Victoria did 150, Daniel did 132, and Carl Philip did 69. Kate did more engagements in 2012 (111) than Victoria did in 2013 (98). But again, the SRF count their engagements differently than the BRF do, and the SRF do less overall than the BRF. So it’s not wholly accurate to compare numbers to numbers with these two families.

      In 2015, Sofia did 51 engagements (including two two-day trips with multiple visits each day which only counted as one engagement per day, so four total). BUT, Sofia made several multiple-minute long speeches with actual information in them (one in her second language), did a solo overseas visit where she met with diplomats, continued to work with a charity that she founded, made a visit to her charity in South Africa which was not counted on the official calendar, dressed appropriately (no flashings or wind incidents; wore pants and suits), and worked more while pregnant than before she announced her pregnancy. I think Sofia had a pretty good first year as a royal. BTW, Sofia’s 2015 yearly engagement number was only lower than Kate’s by 11 (Sofia did 51, Kate did 62).

      At the end of 2016, Sofia will have a lower yearly engagement number than Kate. Sofia is going to give birth this year and take maternity leave, and Kate is going on a tour which will count as several engagements in one day. Sofia will most likely always have a lower yearly engagement number than Kate because of how the SRF and BRF count their engagements and the fact that the SRF do less overall. But that doesn’t mean Sofia isn’t doing a good job at her role.

      Re Sofia’s spending: Sofia has worn couture gowns which I’m sure cost in the thousands, but she’s also worn gowns that cost less than $200. Sofia has worn very expensive brand-name dresses, but she’s also worn dresses that cost less than $100. Sofia has worn jewelry that cost several thousands of dollar, but she’s also worn jewelry that cost less than $200. So there is a good mix of expensive and not-so-expensive stuff there (just as Victoria does). There didn’t seem to be a lot of repeating of clothes in 2015 from Sofia, but Victoria repeats her clothes a lot so I would expect Sofia to do the same in the years to come. We’ll have to wait and see.

      Re Sofia’s nicknames: Let me be clear, no one deserves to be called the names that Sofia gets called. If Kate were to be called the disgusting names people call Sofia, I would say the same thing.

      Re welcoming Sofia into my family: I do not have enough data to answer that question. In order to say whether I would welcome someone into my family, I would have to have first-hand knowledge of their personality – to know whether they were friendly and someone I liked, or an a-hole – and I do not have that data on Sofia, or any of the royals for that matter. I would side-eye someone with Sofia’s past, but if I got to know them and we discussed their past and how they feel about it and they were friendly and not an a-hole and we got along well, then I would be fine with them.

      Re being upset at people bringing up Sofia’s past and not about questioning Kate’s HG: It’s mainly the way people bring up Sofia’s past. They don’t just say, “Huh, she’s kind of a famewhore given all the things she did, I wonder if becoming a princess was her ultimate goal all along”. They instead call Sofia despicable, sexist names and act like Sofia personally killed their dog all because she dared to pose nude and then marry a prince. It’s similar to how superfans of certain celebrity men (Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Evans, etc.) say disgusting things about the women they date all because a woman happened to date a celeb man their fans like. The hate leveled at Sophie Hunter and Minka Kelly (and others) is ridiculous.

      People question Kate’s HG and cite examples of why they think she was lying about the severity of it, because Kate has a history of lying about things especially to get out of royal duties. But they don’t call her rude, sexist names while doing it. I will grant you that sometimes people get crazy in their Kate-hate, but those types of comments aren’t welcome here either.

      If Kate were to actually get her sh-t together and turn things around and get out there and work, give good speeches, and wear appropriate clothes, her past would be forgiven (or at least not talked about). The reason people still dog Kate is because she continues to this day to act like a terrible royal.

      People seem to actively want Sofia to fail at being a royal because they don’t want to let go of her past and let her move on. They don’t want to acknowledge that Sofia had a good first year as a royal because she posed nude ten years ago. Can she do better? Of course, but she had a good first year.

      BTW, Kate did 34 engagements her first year and that included a tour to Canada and LA which consisted of multiple days of multiple engagements (again, those days would have only counted as one engagement for Sofia), and she didn’t give any speeches. Sofia had a better first year as a royal than Kate did.

      There are some people who claim that Kate could cure cancer and we still would find something to pick on, but Sofia could cure cancer and some people would still call her disgusting names.

      1. KMR thank you for the detailed description. I had no idea of the difference in counting engagements. Looks like the BRF system works in their favour, although as you say, they do more overall.

        About Sofia: haters will always exist, especially in internet anonymity. You should be proud of this blog because we are no haters of Kate. Reviewing her means we haven’t given up on her, we actually care and want her to do better.

        I for one believe in second chances and proving people wrong. So, no matter what her past was, I believe that Sofia has the ability to prove people wrong because she has already shown her commitment. Look at Mette-Marit’s case. People were doubting her because of a much more shady past than Sofia’s and now they are singing her praise. That being said, I hope Kate will eventually prove us wrong, too.

      2. As I recall the BRF also counts getting off and on the plane as separate “events” and I still can’t believe they counted the birth and christenings of both George and Charlotte in Kate’s final numbers count at year end.

        1. There was actually an old British courtier that said that the BRF are very good a looking much more busy than they really are. The way they count engagements (even arrivals and departures) certainly gives credence to this.

      3. +1,000 KMR!! Thank you!!

        I’ve tried to give Kate a pass but, after almost five years of being a bona fide royal, I can’t. She hasn’t learned, keeps on making the same mistakes and, IMO, burned some bridges to get to her goal/prince.

        So far, Sofia has knocked it out of the park and it hasn’t even been a full year. Yes, she’s done “things” in the past but who hasn’t? Sigh….

    5. Some statistics:

      The BRF has 15 working royals.
      The SRF has 7 working royals.

      In 2015:

      The BRF made 3734 total engagements.

      HM => 341 => 9.13%
      DoE => 250 => 6.70%
      PoW => 527 => 14.11%
      DssCorn => 235 => 6.29%
      DoC => 122 => 3.27%
      DssCam => 62 => 1.66%
      PH => 108 => 2.89%
      DoY => 275 => 7.36%
      EoW => 354 => 9.48%
      S, CssW => 218 => 5.84%
      PssAnne => 544 => 14.57%
      DoG => 270 => 7.23%
      DssG => 145 => 3.88%
      DoK => 202 => 5.41%
      PssAlex => 88 => 2.35%

      The SRF made 853 total engagements.

      KCG => 255 => 29.89%
      QS => 171 => 20.04%
      CPV => 150 => 17.58%
      PD => 131 => 15.36%
      PCP => 70 => 8.21%
      PS => 51 => 5.98%
      PM => 25 => 2.93%

      If you take just the top 7 BRF members, the total is 1665:

      HM => 341 => 20.48%
      DoE => 250 => 15.02%
      PoW => 547 => 32.85%
      DssCorn => 235 => 14.11%
      DoC => 122 => 7.33%
      DssCam => 62 => 3.72%
      PH => 108 => 6.49%

      Compared to the SRF:

      KCG => 255 => 29.89%
      QS => 171 => 20.04%
      CPV => 150 => 17.58%
      PD => 131 => 15.36%
      PCP => 70 => 8.21%
      PS => 51 => 5.98%
      PM => 25 => 2.93%

      1. The numbers are still misleading since the SRF doesn’t count 5 engagements in one day as individual like the BRF. The BRF includes everything. They would probably include sneezing as a duty as well ;). I just wonder what the SRF numbers would be like if they counted each thing like the BRF does.

        The point though from all this is, Sofia still has done more than Kate when you compare each woman’s first year. Which is kind of sad when Kate had a tour and still didn’t do as much as Sofia her first year. And Sofia isn’t even in line for the throne like Kate is. It just shows how little Kate does even after 5 years. Kate’s first few years are allowed to slide, but by this point she really needs to step it up! Her work shyness is showing.

        1. I said that in my previous comment:

          The SRF does less public engagements as a whole than the BRF do. Also, the SRF count their engagements differently than the BRF do (for example, when Vic and Dan went to South America, each day counted only once on the calendar even though they visited multiple places each day; the BRF would count that as all separate engagements to boost the number count). In 2013, Carl Gustaf did 245 engagements whereas QEII did 344 (Charles did 537, Anne did 454). In 2013, Silvia did 167, Victoria did 98, Daniel did 100, and Carl Philip did 61. In 2014, Carl Gustaf did 264, Silvia did 195, Victoria did 150, Daniel did 132, and Carl Philip did 69. Kate did more engagements in 2012 (111) than Victoria did in 2013 (98). But again, the SRF count their engagements differently than the BRF do, and the SRF do less overall than the BRF. So it’s not wholly accurate to compare numbers to numbers with these two families.

          Any way you slice it, though, Sofia has had a better first year as a royal and worked harder that Kate.

          1. I know you did. I was reiterating what you said that even with the different numbers, Sofia did better. And I was wondering how much higher the SRF numbers would be if they counted like the BRF? And how much lower BRF would be if they didn’t count every little thing. I was agreeing with you that the numbers are deceptive!

          2. Oh, my bad. I don’t think the SRF numbers would be too much higher, but they would get a little boost. I think the BRF numbers would be significantly lower if they were counted the way the SRF numbers are.

      2. Even without taking account of methodology Sofia ( not Royal for the whole year of course) looks good compared to Sophie who I thinks she compares to in terms of seniority. Well done Sofia, Kate take note! Sofia already looks more comfortable in her role than Kate, and I hope she continues to tag along with the King and Queen because she will learn so much from them. Kate started doing that then presumably thought she knew it all.
        Whilst we all probably disagree to some extent with what she did,Sofia worked and supported herself. One lesson I think she will have learned in that job is how to read people because trust would have been important. If so, that will stand her in good stead.

    6. Cathy (2)

      It is correct that carl Gustaf was VERY unhappy when the Swedish Parliament changed the law of succession to absolute primogeniture (the firstborn inherit regardless of gender) – and I do think that he favours his son, which I find sad.

      I don’t think he is a bad person but I do think that he has a weak character (especially considering the rumours of his infidelities). He was quite a playboy before he married.

      I have the impression that he lacked a firm hand during his upbringing, which sadly isn’t surprising since both his parents died in a plane crash in Copenhagen in 1947 when he was 9 months old. He was raised in his grandfather’s court.

  14. When it comes to languages, the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian, are similar enough that we can understand each other. Furthermore, every Swede under the age of about 70, speaks fluent English, having had to study it since grade school. In addition, you are required to take at least one or two more languages in High School. Television shows in Sweden are not dubbed, but subtitled, so my nephews and nieces from a very early age were able to communicate with their American cousins.

    1. evchen, thanks for all the insider information. I tend to wonder how the royals communicate at royal weddings and other times they get together.

    2. I live and teach English in France, and I’m convinced one of the reasons French people struggle so much with English (compared to Northern Europeans) is that they dub *everything* into French.

      I tell my students to watch as much as possible in English with subtitles.

      1. LizB,

        I have Austrian family and they dub everything in both Austria and Germany. Just like in Sweden, Danish television uses subtitles instead of dubbing. I also grew up watching Swedish television, which certainly made me more fmailiar with the language.

        I quite agree that television/movies, etc. are wonderful and subtle teaching aids when it comes to language skills. When I was in school, the language classes in French and German often went to the cinema to watch foreign language films. One of my German teachers even used music by having us sing German songs in order to make pronounciation easier.

        1. Currently, I teach adults in a professional atmosphere, but before, when I taught at a lycée (and before that, a gymnazium in Slovakia), I used the popular American and British songs I heard on the radio in the classroom – they loved it! The teens were constantly surprised when they learned the actual meaning of the lyrics they parroted – so much fun!

          Learning French, I know watching their tv and movies helps me tremendously, especially if I put the subtitles in French as well.

    3. Puts the British to shame we are very poor as a nation at other languages, largely because most people in other countries speak English as their second language.

      1. I studied for my MA in England and quite a few of my fellow students were a bit envious that I was multi-lingual. They just hadn’t had the same need to learn a foreign language as people from small language groups – and Danish is a very small language group, there live twice as many people in the Greater London area than in Denmark all-together, a fact that I find rather mind-boggling when visiting London. 😉

        1. There is an old fashioned saying probably from colonial times but well known in the UK. When you are abroad if you find that people don’t understand English just speak louder!! Amazingly almost anywhere you go in the world you can survive with English – I’ve been to remote areas of China in the 1980’s , Tibet , Sierra Leone – and that is why we are so lazy!

      2. Americans are bad, too. Everyone else speaks English so we are not forced to learn a second language.

        1. Learning a second language is a great skill for anyone, especially so when it is of non indo European family (like mandarin…) because it makes the brain think so differently.

          Brits and Americans have been teaching the rest of the world English for so many years. That being said, the establishment of English as lingua franca has deprived the native speakers of the learning skill. Moreover the domination of English has almost led to the paradox that English is not anymore considered a second language – only a basic requirement.

          1. I also find it interesting though that English is understood differently by different nations. It’s not just the obvious – pants to me are underwear – it is in the nuance and the way we interpret things, often linked too to sense of humour. I think some of the dust ups on here have started with a slight misjudgement of whether a comment is serious or tongue in cheek.

          2. I think a lot of the dust ups have been because people jumped to conclusions about a comment.

          3. You may be right Birdy. I usually enjoy the informal language used here by the native speakers but if I don’t understand something I try not to jumb into conclusions and misinterpretations.

  15. I know others have said it, but I agree! I love how Maddie and Chris handled the papp photos. They turned around a released better ones! Will and Kate should take some notes. Their photos were really cute too. Just shows how most people can take pretty decent photos. Have there been articles raving about Maddie and Chris’s photography skills :)? LOL

    And good on Victoria not hiding out at the end of her pregnancy. The Swedish women don’t seem to think you need to hide a pregnant belly at the end, unlike the BRF who go into hiding. Good for them! I love this family more and more.

  16. I understand Madeleine wanting privacy on vacation, but really! The photographers found them on their honeymoon in the Seychelles, so of course they would find them in the Maldives. The pictures were taken on the beach, and it was just of the 2 of them. Also, I think they are very lucky to have so few pictures taken while they live in London, where they could be getting harassed every day!

    1. There were other pap photos that were of Maddie, Chris, and the kids. They just weren’t put online at that site I linked.

      1. I also think they were also papped quite a bit while living in NY just not with the same diffusion the Cambridge would get. while they expect some harassment with how much they share and give access to maybe they expect less intrusion

        1. I’ve seen pap shots of them in NYC and on previous vacations before. The pap shots of Maddie don’t get as much widespread coverage as the Cambridge pap shots because Maddie doesn’t get as much widespread coverage as the Cambridges in general, but Maddie has been followed by the paps for years. I like that Maddie doesn’t let that stop her from sharing photos of her kids, though.

  17. Does Sofia dye her hair? I remember at her engagement when people were saying it’s great that she went back to her natural hair color.

  18. Correct me if i’m wrong but I can’t remember an official portrait of Kate being released, other than the painting unveiled when Kate was first pregnant with George.

    1. Kate and William had an official photo released before their tour of Canada. Before that it was their wedding photo and engagement photos. But I don’t think there has been an official solo photo of Kate.

    2. The BRF don’t seem to do regular portraits really, especially not all together dressed up in their finery & RFO’s. Shame really.

      1. I think I have only seen of the Queen and Princess Diana. I get the feeling that after everything went “wrong” with Diana (+ Fergie) the firm makes sure no one is held in such high esteem again and avoid the whole princess image.

  19. Victoria looks beautiful! She looks really happy and well rested. I love that she released a statement about working throughout her pregnancy. If I didn’t know better, I would wonder if that was a dig at Kate. I doubt it, but if I was a dedicated, hardworking Royal and the laziest, most disingenuous clotheshorse gets praised for things like getting out of be, not flashing people and breathing, I might feel a little bitter about that. I know I’m in the minority here, but I am a Sofia fan and think that she’s been doing very well for a brand new Royal. She’s also working through her pregnancy and looks amazing and appropriate. I LOVE that her dress (which I love) is actually affordable. It’s incredible that given the two women’s very different backgrounds, you would expect Kate to be the classy one. Instead, Kate looks awful, frumpy and old for her age and can’t pull off a good appearance or speech. Additionally, Sofia gets criticized for her erotic modelling/reality TV past, but hasn’t done a single thing wrong or embarrassed the SRF. You can put thousands of pounds worth of clothes, shoes and hats onto someone and if they’re not naturally classy, they’ll make it look tacky (see:Kate’s boots at Christmas). Princess Sofia looks radiant in a dress that most women can afford. And love the pics of the little cuties! So darling.

  20. Victoria is amazing. I love her and I’m not the least surprised that she intends to work until she gives birth. Definitely a modern professional woman. She looks great too. So looking forward to the joy this year will bring to this family who have become dear to me.

    Sofía looks quite pretty in that picture.

    Applause for Maddie lol I loved her response to the paps. It was nice treat for us and very smart move. The kids have grown! Adorable too. I will miss little Leonore as a fun toddler.

  21. Victoria is glowing. I noticed how the bump was sticking out. To be honest I think I will wait and see but I voted for a boy as I had to choose one option in the poll. They say if a girl is born first then the girl will be maternal towards the other child when it comes. Good for Victoria to carry on working. I think the photos of Nicholas and Leonore are adorable. I like the photo of Leonore with the ice cream. Well done to Madeline for posting these photos. They are much better than the paps photos and it shows a willingness to not hide away.

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