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All Those Family Photos, Only A Glimpse of Kate Tonight, Retail Bits & Bytes

We are back with a look at the historic Annie Leibovitz photographs, some retail updates and other tidbits. The photographs have been seen by everyone, but to memorialize them in this space we share a brief overview.©Annie Leibovitz/PA Wire

The official caption accompanying the image: The photograph shows Queen Elizabeth II with her five great-grandchildren and her two youngest grandchildren in the Green Drawing Room, part of Windsor Castle’s semi-State apartments. The children are: James, Viscount Severn (left), 8, and Lady Louise (second left), 12, the children of The Earl and Countess of Wessex; Mia Tindall (holding The Queen’s handbag), the two year-old-daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall; Savannah (third right), 5, and Isla Phillips (right), 3, daughters of The Queen’s eldest grandson Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn; Prince George (second right), 2, and in The Queen’s arms and in the tradition of Royal portraiture, the youngest great-grandchild, Princess Charlotte (11 months), children of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Daily Mail has a nifty graphic identifying those in the photograph, accompanied by a brief biography of each child.

More about that picture from Patricia Treble’s story in Maclean’s Canada:

Though taken in the splendour of the White Drawing Room, it’s perhaps the most informal of all the pictures, with the Queen and Anne sitting together on a sofa.

As Anne, 65, has aged, the comparisons to her mother have grown. Not only does Anne look like her mother, but she shares her mum’s ferocious work ethic and steel-backed discipline. Then there’s their love of horses and the British countryside. 

The third image shows HM with her beloved dogs.

Although HM’s birthday is marked with Trooping the Colour in June, April 21st is her actual birthday. The day’s celebrations ranged from military salutes to church bells pealing, choirs singing and guns firing.

From The Express:

The pavements were packed with flag-waving, union-Jack wearing royalists all acclaiming the monarch on her milestone. Her arrival was marked by a rendition of Happy Birthday by the Band of the Coldstream Guards.

And from The Mirror’s coverage:

Looking happy and glorious on her 90th birthday , the Queen stood in an open royal Range Rover waving to thousands of people who had gathered in Windsor to help her celebrate.

With 94-year-old Prince Philip at her side, the world’s oldest monarch smiled broadly as the sound of Happy Birthday To You rippled out from the crowd.

The British Monarchy

The British Monarchy

Prince Charles arriving at Windsor Castle this evening with the Duchess of Cornwall.

Clarence House

Clarence House

They were on hand for the lighting of a beacon in honor of the occasion, one of more than 1000 lit this evening. More from The Mirror:

There is a long and unbroken tradition of celebrating royal jubilees, weddings, coronations and birthdays in this way.

Members of the Army Cadet Force are taking beacons to the top of the four highest peaks in the United Kingdom – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Mount Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England, and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland.

People magazine’s Simon Perry shared this image of it glowing brightly at Windsor Castle.

Simon Perry, People Magazine @SPerryPeopleMag

Simon Perry, People Magazine @SPerryPeopleMag

The Houses of Parliament lit up this evening in honor of the event.UK Parliament

Following the beacon lighting, the family moved inside for a formal dinner. Richard Palmer reported more than 30 members of the Royal Family were expected to be among 71 guests at tonight’s dinner. More from his story in The Express:

Charles, 67, hosted the birthday dinner for the Queen with a surprise concert, featuring an orchestra and several guests. They dined on poached fillet of salmon trout, followed by beef in port wine sauce, and then a passion fruit and mango gateau for dessert.

Among those guests, Kate, William, and Harry. IKON Pictures shared this image on Twitter of the trio leaving Kensington Palace for Windsor Castle. As noted in the post’s headline, we had just a glimpse of Kate.

IKON Pictures Twitter (@IKONPictures)

IKON Pictures Twitter (@IKONPictures)

Originally thought to be black, some of us think the dress is more of a dark green or emerald, although that debate continues on Twitter and on Facebook. We pondered whether the Duchess might be wearing a new Dolce & Gabbana frock, while some suggested other designers. Tiffany on the FB page made a good observation, she says the lace pattern looks identical to the lace used for the overlay on the Temperley Amoret gown. In glancing quickly at some of the individual floral elements Tiffany is clearly right.

Temperley London

Temperley London

I have not had time to closely compare the Amoret and Kate’s dress, that is a task for tomorrow morning. It could be a mystery we can’t resolve; no photos have been released from this evening’s dinner.
NOTE: With apologies, I should have included the following in the post last night: Neither Tiffany nor myself is suggesting Kate is wearing the Amoret gown; it is clear from the photo the Duchess is in an entirely different piece. I merely wanted to illustrate the point Tiffany was making about the lace itself. 


An update on the necklace Kate was given by Bhutanese Queen Jetsun Pema. The jeweler who created the piece, Sonam Rabgye, has the necklace available online in 18K gold. From the description: “The Endless Knot necklace is an auspicious Buddhist symbol representing the harmony of wisdom and compassion.”

Sonam Rabgye

Sonam Rabgye

  • The artist says her business goal is to “provide sustainable income to Bhutanese communities through Bhutanese craftsmanship.” Here are a few more photos of the piece in gold, it is also offered in sterling silver
LK Bennett

LK Bennett

  • Kate’s Eponine London Dress worn for a mentoring engagement in March will be re-issued. The company announced that their supplier for the red gingham fabric is doing a limited edition re-weave so they can make more dresses. Anyone interested in the frock should email

©Splash News

  • The winner of our StyleRocks giveaway shared a photo of the beautiful Russian rings necklace she chose as her prize; the piece arrived this week. Annalee, the winner, said in her email that her necklace is “even more gorgeous than I expected! The quality is exceptional…”. 
Courtesy of Annalee

Courtesy of Annalee

  • Hearing from Annalee prompted me to do a quick reminder: the StyleRocks pieces inspired by the royal tour are limited editions. They are doing well so that finite supply is shrinking, something to consider if thinking about one for yourself or as a gift.

A reminder that Friday the Obamas are guests of William, Kate, and Harry for dinner at Kensington Palace. We’ll see you then.


    • The Telegraph’s “How the Queen has stayed stylish for 90 Years” may be read here
    • The Express feature “How Her Majesty became a style icon” is here
    • The Daily Mail’s retrospective on 90 years of the Queen’s fashion is here
  • The Daily Mail’s story with brief bios on all of the children in the photo is here here; The Mirror’s piece introducing readers to the children in the photo is here
  • The Telegraph offers Queen Elizabeth II at 90 in 90 Photographs
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Friday 22nd of April 2016

Princess Charlotte has HM's eyes.

Beautiful portraits. I adore Mia holding HM's purse!


Friday 22nd of April 2016

A frustrating glimpse of Kate's latest dress for us, but hours of fun guessing what it might be, especially for those prepared to study various patterns of lace!

Impressed to see how exquisite the Bhutan Eternal Knot pendant is, though not sure diamond-studded quite fits in with ascetic Buddhism. But a very pretty diplomatic gesture nonetheless.

The Leibovitz pictures remain strange to me. The draining of colour certainly makes the castle surrounds look ancient and forbidding, and presumably monarchical. Those are lovely natural poses both with Princess Anne and the dogs, the former managing to look a deal more human than the ghostly faces of the children in the main birthday photo.


Friday 22nd of April 2016

I find the portrait of HM with the Princess Royal to be one of the most intimate and warm photographs I've ever seen of HM. As discussed during the Cambridges' recent tour, there is so little PDA among the royals. Yet this photo captures a bond between mother and daughter that is so moving to me. HM is sitting so close within Anne's warm embrace. It suggests support and mutual affection, and I'm grateful to see it captured thus.


Friday 22nd of April 2016

So well articulated! Completely agree.


Friday 22nd of April 2016

The Green Drawing Room is gorgeous, Mia is darling, and I love the shyness manifesting in each of the children in their own way. The picture of Anne with her mother is absolutely wonderful; they both look terrific! Beautiful portraits of the Queen, so fitting to celebrate her 90th.


Friday 22nd of April 2016

The Green Drawing room is lovely and it's the perfect backdrop for the photograph of the Queen with the children.The photograph is unusual and interesting. Informal yet with gravitas. Very artistic and it will hold its own against any historic image within the BRF.


Friday 22nd of April 2016

I love the photos that were released for the Queen's birthday. The one with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren is just darling, but my favorite has to be the one of the Queen and Anne. I just love the mother-daughter portrait. Thanks for the great coverage as always!

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