Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Queen's 90th: Her Majesty Photographed with Royal Children & William's Candid Interviews

The much hoped-for 90th birthday portraits of the Queen shot by Annie Leibovitz were released to mark the milestone. Taken on Easter Monday at Windsor Castle the photos are a fantastic way to celebrate the day. In the first photo, HM is pictured with her two youngest grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


Her Majesty is photographed in the Green Drawing Room with, from left to right, James and Lousie - son and daughter of the Wessexes, the little darling holding the Queen's handbag is Mia Tindall, daughter of Zara and Mike, Princess Charlotte on the Queen's lap, Savannah Phillips, Prince George and Isla Phillips. Savannah and Isla are the daughters of Peter and Autumn.


It's a real treat to see a photo of the monarch holding her youngest great-grandchild Charlotte. The Princess celebrates her first birthday on 2 May and it's lovely to see a recent photo of her. She's grown quite a bit and reminds me of both her grandmother Carole Middleton and her great-grandmother the Queen when she was a child. Who do you think she resembles? It is understood Kate took her own snaps on the day - for the family album.


More from the Mail Online:

'Cheeky little Mia Tindall can be seen proudly holding up her great-granny’s £1,000 Launer handbag in a moment, says one who was there, that was totally unscripted. The moment with Mia was completely spontaneous, it was not staged at all. She just picked up her great-granny’s handbag and that was it,’ they said. It was, they revealed, a ‘happy, chaotic, warm afternoon’ with the parents of the children all present and trying to catch their offspring’s eye.
Taking pictures of children is like herding cats but for that split second, it just worked. Annie [Leibovitz ] has children of her own and knows her stuff. There was a very definite idea behind the set,’ said a royal aide. ‘The Queen wanted a portrait of the youngest members of the family, the other end of the generational spectrum. You have the two youngest grandchildren, who are quite a lot younger than the others, and the great-grandchildren. It was a happy, nice, relaxed afternoon. There was a lovely feeling to it. All the parents were helping to get the shot right – a classic composition, rather like an Old Master but with a modern twist.'

A closer look at Charlotte and George.


And as requested, a close up of Mia Tindall :)


Her Majesty was photographed with her daughter Princess Anne in the White Drawing Room at Windsor.


Annie Leibovitz also captured Her Majesty with her two corgis, Willow and Holly, and two dorgis – corgi-dachshund crosses – Candy and Vulcan on the stone steps at the East Terrace of the castle's private grounds.


American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz has gained worldwide fame for her work. In 1970 she landed a job at Rolling Stone and went on to create a distinctive look for the publication. Her work has taken her to Vanity Fair, and on to a host of campaigns and exhibitions. Below, her photographs of Angelina Jolie, President Barack Obama and Cate Blanchett.

Annie Leibovitz

Indeed, it isn't the first time the photographer has worked with Her Majesty. Ms Leibovitz took a selection of memorable photographs of the Queen in 2007.

Annie Leibovitz

The photoshoot led to quite a bit of controversy at the time. More from the Telegraph:

"Leibovitz's encounter with the Queen at Buckingham Palace last year was filmed for a BBC documentary series. The footage led to 'Queengate', when a trailer was misleadingly edited to give the impression that the Queen had stormed out in a huff, and led to the resignation of BBC1 controller Peter Fincham. During the shoot, Leibovitz asked the Queen to remove her "crown" - actually a tiara - for a "less dressy" shot. The Queen, wearing a ceremonial robe, retorted: "Less dressy? What do you think this is?"
Writing about the exchange in a new book, serialised in the October issue of Vanity Fair, Leibovitz said: "I thought she was being funny. English humour. But I noticed that the dresser and everyone else who had been working with her were staying about 20 feet away from her."
The Queen was late for the sitting and the entire shoot was done in less than 25 minutes, Leibovitz added. She went on: "Right after we finished, I went up to the press secretary and said how much I loved the Queen. How feisty she was. Later I mentioned to a couple of friends that she had been a bit cranky, but it was nothing unusual."

The photo of the Queen with the children proved a favourite for the papers.

The Mirror / The Telegraph

Princess Charlotte wore a pink patterned dress by Spanish brand M & H. You'll note the outfit is incredibly similar to the cardigan and dress by the brand Charlotte wore for six-month photographs and the family's Christmas photos. M & H confirmed the dress and cardigan come from their winter collection. Charlotte also wore tights from Amaia Kids and white shoes.


Big brother George wore the £36 Fina Ejerique Wool Blend Knitted Cardigan (with thanks to Prince George Pieces) and a shirt with a peter pan collar, shorts, his Amaia Kids socks and shoes.

Burattino Kidswear

If there're any updates to ID's on items worn by George and Charlotte, the post will be amended to include the information.

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To mark Her Majesty's 90th birthday, Prince William has given a series of interviews opening up on a range of topics, including his admiration for his grandmother, fatherhood, his vision for the monarchy, and his reaction to recent criticism. I particularly enjoyed his interview with the BBC's Nicholas Witchell - the veteran correspondent has quite a history covering the royals. Prince Charles was famously overheard saying, "I can't bear that man. He's so awful, he really is," during a photo session at Klosters ski resort with William and Harry in 2005. Thankfully, his interview with William went very well indeed.


A few of the most interesting quotes from the interviews. When asked if he shared the Queen's devotion and duty:

"I think royal duty is extremely important. It’s part of the fabric of what the Royal family and any future monarch has. I take my responsibilities very seriously, but it’s about finding your own way at the right time, and if you’re not careful, duty can sort of weigh you down an awful lot at a very early age, and I think you’ve got to develop into the duty role."

When asked if he is a reluctant royal:

"To be honest, I’m going to get plenty of criticism over my lifetime and it’s something that I don’t completely ignore, but it’s not something I take completely to heart. I’m concentrating very much on my role as a father - I’m a new father and I take my duties and my responsibilities to my family very seriously, and I want to bring my children up as good people with the idea of service and duty to others as very important. But if I can’t give my time to my children as well, I worry about their future. 
Plus… I find the air ambulance role very important to me; it’s serving the community, working alongside extremely good professionals in the medical profession, and then there’re my royal responsibilities which I still keep going. And when the Queen decides she’s going to hand down more responsibilities, I’ll be the first person to accept them."

When asked if he has the full support of the Queen and his father:

"Absolutely. My grandmother and my father are 150 per cent supportive behind everything that I’m doing – and Harry and Catherine. They very much understand whilst my grandmother is still extremely active at the helm of the Royal family, as the monarch.  My father is incredibly busy with his charitable activities and other responsibilities – there’s the time now and the space to explore other means of doing a worthwhile job. And for me, the air ambulance is an incredibly important part. It’s not going to last forever, but I think it’s important."

When pressed on how long he expects to remain with the EAAA:

"I’ve a contract and when that contract runs out that will probably be the time that I finish."

On what sort of king he hopes to be:

"It’s something that occupies a lot of my thinking space as to how on earth you would develop into something modern in today’s world. I think the Royal family has to modernise and develop as it goes along and it has to stay relevant and that’s the challenge for me. How do I make the Royal family relevant in the next 20 years’ time  - you know  - it could be 40 years’ time, it could be 60 years’ time  - I have no idea when that’s going to be and I certainly don’t lie awake waiting or hoping for it because it sadly means my family have moved on and I don’t want that."

William was also asked whether George had any inkling he would one day be king:

"As far as we’re concerned, within our family unit we are a normal family. I love my children the same way any father does and I hope George loves me the same way any son does his father, so we are very normal in that sense. And there’ll be a time and a place to bring George up and understand how he fits in the world. But right now, it’s just a case of keeping a secure, stable environment around him and showing him as much love as I can as a father."

In another interview with Sky's Rhiannon Mills, William spoke of the Queen's influence on his life since he lost his mother and recalled a funny incident. Rhiannon shared this image from the interview via Twitter.


On having the Queen as a strong influence after his mother died:

"She's been a very strong female influence, and having lost my mother at a young age, it's been particularly important to me that I've had somebody like the Queen to look up to and who's been there and who has understood some of the more, um, complex issues when you lose a loved one. So she's been incredibly supportive and I've really appreciated her guidance."

And a childhood incident at Balmoral he's never forgotten:

"We  were on a quad bike in Balmoral and we were chasing Zara around who was on a go-cart. Peter and I managed to herd Zara into a lamppost and the lamppost came down and nearly squashed her. I remember my grandmother being the first person out and running across the lawn in her kilt. She came charging over and gave us the most almighty bollocking.
That sort of stuck in my mind from that moment in that I really should be a little bit more careful about what I'm doing and try not to kill my cousins."

The interviews were very interesting for a variety of reasons. I don't think we expected to see William respond to the recent "work-shy" criticisms, however, I think it demonstrates they have been met with a degree of concern within the household and there was an eagerness to address it. From William's interview, it would appear he does not plan to continue working with the EAAA when his contract finished next spring. It may be a good time for him and Kate to gradually take on a larger role within the Royal family and forge foundations for their future roles as Prince and Princess of Wales and eventually King and Queen in an increasingly changing world.

I think it's important for William and Kate to really build on the success of the tour whilst prioritising their children and balancing family life. There's nothing official in the way of a Palace announcement, but judging from William's comments a change could be in the air.


To watch William's interview and much more, Sky's The Queen at 90 can be viewed here.



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I just had to share this lovely piece of footage from BBC One's documentary Elizabeth at 90, featuring William and Harry watching footage of the Queen with Charles when he was a child. Harry remarks: "He walks like George. There's a purpose to the walk," William replies. There's been golden nuggets of info and videos thanks to the landmark birthday.


All that remains is to send Her Majesty the happiest of birthday wishes. Long may she reign.


Prince Charles is hosting a private dinner for HM's 90th tomorrow, so we may see arrival/departure photos. If not, William, Kate and Harry will host President Obama and the First Lady for dinner at KP on Friday evening.

239 comments:

  1. Rebecca - Sweden20 April 2016 at 22:33

    There is so much goodness in this picture! Yes, they look sighty unnerved, and yes, I'm not sure the photoshopping looks exactly how I want it. But who cares. Because it's so magnificent! The Queen is holding Charlotte, Mia is holding the Queens bag, George is fiddling with his buttons, Isla is wearing a kilt!! I am so happy that we got a picture like this!

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    1. I also find that the picture of the Queen with the very young ones is such a precious one… but the one I like best is the one with the Queen, Charles, William and George. I just love it, actually!
      They all look fantastic with a true smile, confidence and unity -and I find the message so clear, in a very peaceful but firm way: Here is the true line to the throne; don’t forget that the other ones are ‘just’ supporting us, give them a break and let them breath (Kate included ;-)

      …And yes, as Charlotte wrote: « All that remains is to send Her Majesty the happiest of birthday wishes. Long may she reign. »

      Isabelle

      Delete
  2. Sarah Maryland USA20 April 2016 at 22:39

    Omgod i died! And you are right! Baby charlotte reminds me of carole 100 percent!

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    1. She is so similar to Carole isn't she. I don't see the Queen in her at all.

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    2. I have always thought she is all Windsor, I don't see the Middleton family in Charlotte very much. It's something in her eyes that is just like the Queen to me.

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    3. I don't see Carole in her at all. No offense. I never have so far. I wonder who the Queen thinks she takes after.

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  3. Wow!! What an amazing amazing picture. George and Charlotte (and little Mia oh my goodness) are the cutest, along with the rest of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Fabulous!! I think Charlotte definitely looks like a Middleton. She looks very similar to Kate as a baby. And George seems to be getting cuter by the day!

    I thought that that interview was really fantastic. I don't think anyone is concerned per se, as William said, he'll be getting criticism all his life. He seems to understand and accept his duty and especially after these recent interviews and engagements, I see him being just like his grandmother, serving his country until the day he dies. I personally don't begrudge him this time to do what he wants especially as it seems as though the Queen and his father refuse to slow down! I'm sure in the next 60 years we'll see William take on more and more ;)

    Thank you Charlotte for another *insanely speedy* post. You are truly amazing!

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    1. I too liked the interview and thought William was very matter of fact. I'm glad he took the bull by the horns. He (they) will never please all of the people all of the time. If they have the support of the Queen and Charles (not a surprise really), and are mindful of their roles, the rest will fall into place. Naturally, they should consider the impression they make, but they cannot allow themselves to be dictated to by the more fickle and unkind members of the public.

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    2. Right'O Royalfan. I totally agree with your analysis. One can read between the lines and assume and rightly so, that William & Harry losing there Mother is a wound that will not heal. I feel for them that because of who they are constantly they being reminded of that lost. However, I do feel that after that lost, HM played a very important role in both their lives and still do. I love that they show that love and have such deep respect for her as a mother figure and it goes without saying, as Queen or as they call her at times, The Boss.

      All the best Royalfan--love your commentaries.

      RW.

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    3. Adm-could we please have side-by-side photos of Kate's one year birthday photo
      (in Carole's arms) next to the current snap of Charlotte Elizabeth?
      Then this little princess Charlotte photo next to little princess Elizabeth.
      (ignoring the later's blond curls.) If available, also one year photos of Michael
      and Carole. I think it is counter-productive to compare baby photos to adult
      photos. Not a fair comparison. Since Charlotte is a baby, baby pictures it is.

      I know you encouraged us to play the "who does she most resemble" game,
      but I feel it just encourages dissension and pointless arguments.

      To me, best part of this post is you, Charlotte adm, not only provided very
      pertinent quotes along with your commentary from the various interviews, you made it very convenient for
      us all just to judge for ourselves by providing all the interviews in one place.I consider this tactic to be the hallmark
      of quality journalism. Thank-you.

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster21 April 2016 at 19:25

      I disagree that the public that supports the monarchy is "fickle". The public wants an active prince and princess - that was what was expected - even promised, when William married Kate in grand style at public expense at Westminster Abbey after almost a decade of having time to enjoy youth and pursue a military career, without assuming the duties of his role.
      The public that follows the monarchy, makes for the most part a distinction between mere celebrity - a pretty young woman who dresses well and a nice young man who likes to fly, - taking into account the position William and Kate hold and the responsibilities that come with it and the fact they represent their nation. To me, this is a very positive thing - that something is asked of William more than just being out there - that people want to know what sort of king he will be, that what causes interest him, of whether he is a man with the depth and sense of duty to give meaning to a role at a time when that role and the inherent inequality that it carries with it is being increasingly questioned. William takes the privileges very readily but still seems to shy from the responsibilities - something not completely expected in a man of thirty-four.
      I thought Edward's definition of the monarchy very telling - he made it clear it is an emotional response, one that has something more than simple reason behind it. William is going to have to be more than a nice glib bloke to carry that position throughout the years - and I find the public demands a very healthy thing - a reminder that he will carry enormous responsibilities, unique privileges, deference that no wealth or celebrity can buy, and huge expectations.
      In the lifetime of most of us, the queen, and before her, her father and grandfather, gave the monarchy life by embracing duty as a reason for its existence. Edward VIII was criticised for putting his personal feelings before duty. No one puts William's wish to be a wonderful father as quite the same thing, but it is always worth remembering that young men and women every day are asked to put the safety of their country before their family wishes and often endure lengthy separations from their families because of that. Personally, since William is to be king, I would like to feel he cares as much about the nation as he does being super-dad to George and Charlotte - in fact, by caring for their nation, he cares for their future- just as every mum and dad who go to work are providing for their children's well-being and future, even if they may have to spend precious hours away.
      The monarchy has never been about giving its bearers an ideal life - one free from criticism and expectations - their situation is unique. If my belief in that and my sometimes feeling of discomfort that William feels unhappy with the burden of duty - just as I feel discomfort for anyone who seems unhappy with their responsibilities, makes me "fickle", so be it.
      The queen's sense of duty seems almost part of her - we never feel she is struggling with it, and in continuing it in old age, she seems to welcome it. So does Philip. Charles has many flaws but seems filled with passion about many things concerning the people he will rule. And William - I hope, but don't know. Just call me Fickle Julia.

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    5. Leo, have you had a chance to watch the interviews yet? Do you think he was
      lying when he said duty was important to him and that he will willingly accept
      more duties as the Queen " hands them down?" (BBC Witchell interview)
      Also, have you read the quotes Charlotte included?
      Do you seee William's very subtle remarks about too much attention to duty is
      not always a good thing.I think in the Sky news interview with Edward, he also hinted at the pitfalls of choosing duty over family-about how busy the Queen ( he did not call her Mum) was when he was a child.
      I think the Queen is expressing her regret in allowing William to prioritise his family. And yes, anyone who now insists William chooses which royal duties
      he will do is living in another world. The Queen is" The Boss."

      Delete
    6. Thank you, RW. That is very kind of you! And I hope to continue to enjoy YOUR input here as well........ :)

      Julia, I think you're a bit hard on W&K, but I would not call you fickle! :))

      My reference to the more "fickle" members of the public was not directed at people who actually support the monarchy. To be honest, I'm not sure the word "support" applies. Perhaps *follow" is a better way of putting it. They follow the monarchy, but are never satisfied. They want black when they receive white. When they receive white, they want black. Perhaps the big picture is not appreciated...or they simply want entertainment value. I don't know, but I DO believe that people like that are impossible to please and one could go mad trying to do so.

      Delete
  4. Happy Birthday HM! I'm so sorry and mean no disrespect, but Mia steals the show. Holding the Queen's handbag is priceless!

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    1. Agreed! That was the first thing I noticed when the photo appeared on my Twitter feed. Happy 90th birthday to HM!

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    2. Couldn't agree more. It's a great shot.

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    3. Yes, she did and Peter Phillips' little one standing off to the left of the picture, posing just like her great gran with her arms behind her--precious beyond belief.

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    4. I agree. Nice to see the kids from the rest family too. Mia is a cutie for sure with that bag.
      Happy 90th birthday to HM!!!

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    5. I think the scene-stealing Mia With Granny's Purse demonstrates the genius
      of the photographer. She quickly dispatched with the elephant in the room
      potential of the Queen's ever-present bag and turned it into part of the
      story.What little girl doesn't love a purse? Mia seems so proud to be
      given this important task. Meanwhile, HM seems completely oblivious to the
      fact that the purse that rarely leaves her arm is intrusted to a two year old.
      Kind of puts to rest the more bizarre guesses of the purse's actual contents.Ha!
      I think Annie managed to dispatch with that purse in the other shots, too.

      After the massively unfair (Corgi-wise) attention HM horses received in the first film, I
      feel HM pooches have had their moment in the sun.

      Such a lovely picture of the Queen and the Princess Royal, seen as loving
      Mum and daughter.

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    6. PS- I ust read the DM remarks about Mia that you included. If the purse-holding
      was spontaneous, even better; but Annie made the decision to go with it. She could have just as easily returned the purse to HM and gone on with the shoot.

      I am curious which of the RF members/staff present shared the info with the DM?

      Delete
  5. Happy Birthday Your Majesty. May you have many more years to reign and to enjoy your lovely family.

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  6. Now THIS is what I was hoping for, and looking forward to seeing!! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT A LOT!!!! Such a warm loving photograph with her grand children and great grand children. I hope there's one with the WHOLE immediate family as well.

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  7. I LOVE THE NEW PICTURE! It is so nice to see the Queen with all of her young grandkids!! I can not wait until they release more of them!
    Looking at Williams face when he was talking about being work shy, for him he had a little smile on his face at first but when the interviewer mention the Duchess being Work Shy, William's face got way more stern. I think He knows how much she does behind the seasons, so he get protected of her about being called work shy.
    But of course that is my take on it!

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    Replies
    1. behind the scenes not season...oh darn.

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  8. Princess Charlotte has a strong resemblance to her Gan Gan. Not anyone else.

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  9. So so happy to see Her Majesty holding Princess Charlotte. That will be a very special photo to Charlotte throughout her life, no doubt.

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  10. I really hope that there will be a brand new COFFEE TABLE BOOK that shows unseen rare images of the Queen's past as well as the ones with the current younger lot i.e the great grand kids. I'd love to buy it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lekheeka: Yes, COFFEE TABLE BOOK (s) and I will be purchasing all.

      The photo is precious. It is a moving portrait of HM as a great grandmother and all the children are precious and adorable.

      RW.

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  11. Oh my goodness !! Absolutely precious. Love it.

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  12. Awesome! Just a gran and her grandkids. Happy birthday from America your majesty! Lovely family you have. :)

    Imagine how much fun those cousins have playing together!

    Mia with the purse! Too cute!

    Charlotte looks a lot like the Queen.

    The photoshopping takes some time to appreciate, though.

    Thanks for your speed, Charlotte!

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  13. Alejandra Ramírez20 April 2016 at 23:00

    Excellent post Charlotte! I like the photo but I find the quality or the filter used to be a bit weird. Maybe it's her style or something?
    Anyways it's a historical moment and a nice photo of the family!
    Thank you for sharing! :)

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    Replies
    1. It is meant to resemble an oil painting.

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    2. Alejandra Ramírez21 April 2016 at 04:13

      Thanks!

      Delete
    3. Anon:00:36. Very astute observation and I totally agree.
      Regards,
      RW

      Delete
  14. That picture of the Queen and the grandchildren is amazing. How cute is Mia Tindall with "Gan-Gan's" purse? James looks like all the Windsors. I think Charlotte looks a lot like the Queen, but there's also something of Carole or Kate herself there too. I love the little girls' frilly socks. Love George's Fair Isle jumper (sweater in the U.S.). Love the setting. Annie Liebowitz has been one of my favorite photographers for decades. Thank you for the additional information about her.

    William's interview was good. I am among those who hope he takes on more royal duties sooner rather than later, but of course not to overshadow those still capable and desirous of working. I can think only that it will be good for him and for the monarchy's future. It is a good thing to hear him thinking about its relevance going forward as far as 60 years.

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  15. I love the photo with princess Anne- very relaxed

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    1. Zora from Prague21 April 2016 at 07:18

      Yes, I agree - I think I haven't seen a better mother&daughter photo of HM and Princess Anne!
      The picture with the royal children is absolutely beautiful!!! What a lovely birthday treat - for us all.
      Have a great and special day, everyone!

      Delete
    2. Caroline in Montana21 April 2016 at 15:48

      I agree, I think thats one of the best photos of the Princess Royal ive ever seen.

      Delete
  16. Such a cute shot with the kids! Love that little imperfection with C's dress. Males it so down to earth, normal.

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  17. Is Princess Charlotte holding something in her hands?

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden21 April 2016 at 00:35

      I read it's a small toy horse :)

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    2. A plastic horse as reported by one present during the shot.

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    3. Tedi in California21 April 2016 at 00:48

      I think she is. Looked like a pair of reading glasses. Ha!

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    4. Yes, looks like perhaps a miniature horse, or deer? Maybe she loves animals!!

      Wonderful post and thank you as always, Charlotte!

      alexandra, fl

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  18. Sarah from Calif.20 April 2016 at 23:38

    Precious💝💝💝

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  19. This is such a classic royal picture of HM and her grand and great grand kids!!XOXO

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  20. This photo is just lovely. George is a combination of William and Michael, and Charlotte is all Carole. :) It's a beautiful photo without a doubt and I can't stop smiling at Mia with the Queen's handbag! Too cute!! :)

    I also like the photo of the Queen and Anne...very much. What a warm and natural shot of the two of them.

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    1. Tedi in California21 April 2016 at 00:49

      I agree, the photo of HM with her daughter is beautiful.

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    2. I see a lot of the Middleton side in Charlotte too, Carol, Pippa and even a touch of Michael.

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  21. Terrific photo. Love how happy she looks with all the children. When I first saw it, I thought that it looked like a portrait. It would be stunning with that finish printed on canvass.

    The interviews with William were quite interesting. You could definitely tell that there has been long term vision for his future. It would be nice for him to leave the EAAS at the end of his contract if he feels it is time. If I think back, the timing does seem to be right for him & Kate to step up their royal life. Married 5 yrs, 2 kids which by that time would be almost 2 & 3. George starting school, both 35 or close to it, Queen 90+, Phillip 95+, etc. I still think after Kate's maternity leave ended we started to see a gradual ramp up in duties that will continue on a steady pace over the next two years. They definitely have the long term end fame in mind which may not make sense in the short term but will when change has come.

    I also think TRH & Harry will become full time royals at the same time.

    Interested in reading Julia's comments and thoughts on the interviews.

    Happy birthday to the Queen.

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  22. This portrait of the Queen with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren is priceless. I have to say that Mia definitely steals the show in this one. Charlotte is beautiful and has grown so much, as has George. I believe Charlotte is wearing the same outfit she wore in the family picture they had taken last October. I hope we can see some close-up photographs of her for her first birthday. She does look like Kate and Carol, with a little bit of William too.

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  23. The photo of all the great grandchildren is fantastic of course, but I'm especially struck by the photo of Anne and HM. Very close, warm and motherly.

    Too bad Camilla's grandchildren weren't included in the photo. It saddens me to think HM might not recognize step-family in the same way as blood family.

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    1. I don't think Camilla's grandchildren belong in this picture. Including her granddaughter among the bridesmaids was nice, but these are the Queen's descendants. This picture is about the future of the royal family.

      Delete
    2. None of Camilla's grandkids are in this pic at all. Louise and James are Edward's kids. Savannah and Isla are Ann's grandkids as is Mia.

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    3. Caroline in Montana21 April 2016 at 15:54

      No way should Camillas grandkids be in this picture. They are not part of the royal family.

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    4. agreed. in no way at all, can I imagine any REMOTE reason for Camilla's grandchildren to be in this picture at all. There's no connection whatsoever.

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    5. Amen. Camilla's grandchildren have no place in that photo. No offense to her grandchildren.

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    6. Sorry, but no...just no.

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  24. Sarah MAryland USa21 April 2016 at 00:52

    I also to have to say i am just so inspired by the queen. That whole generation actually. But the queen especially. I couldn't imagine what she has been through and the fact that she has emerged as a woman I am in awe of. I just turned 25 in Feb. so I am now the age she was when she became queen. I couldn't imagine that responsibility.
    Now at the age of 90 she still caries out as much engagements as she did when she was my age! She still rides horses (which I love)
    Actually, learning about the royal family got me into history more and now I am studying to be a social studies teacher.
    I think it is funny I have such a fascination with the royal family considering I am an American whose ancestors fought the british in the revolution! But it goes to show just how amazing the queen is!

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  25. Tedi in California21 April 2016 at 01:00

    Love these pictures. The one with the grandchildren and great grandchildren is priceless. They are all adorable. And, Mia with the purse, love it. I do see Carole Middleton in Charlotte. They are all so lovely.
    I really enjoyed William's interviews. He comes across as a very intelligent, thoughtful and charming man. I believe that he has his priorities in order, and the approval and support of the Queen and his father.
    There will always be those who criticize, it comes with the territory, but he has his head on straight, and the Monarchy is in good hands.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is exactly what I thought when I saw the picture of the Queen, Charles, William and George: long term thinking and the monarchy is in good hands!
      Isabelle

      Delete
  26. Sara from Canada21 April 2016 at 01:14

    What a treat! It's especially precious seeing the little great grand-daughters; many of whom are fresh faces.
    In my mind it would have been a "neater" generation photo to have been exclusively the great-grandchildren (James & Louise don't look so impressed being with the kiddos, and who's to blame them:), and then one photo with the grandchildren. Either way they will be the youngest or oldest in the photo, so one may as well make it generational.

    I also don't see the Queen in Charlotte. But I sure am trying! Can anyone tell me what they see that is similar?

    Finally, William's interviews. William, oh, William. The master of deflection. A few observations: 1)He emotes more when he his interviewed by a female; 2)He really didn't answer most of the questions in his interview with Witchell. It must be so frustrating as an interviewer knowing you're not getting anywhere. 3)In the last question when Witchell has a preamble about William's first moment growing up realizing he was different, etc, and if George has an inkling about this. . .William gives nothing. Now it would be quite interesting & unusual if he said: "I remember the day when. . .and I realized. . .and George will. . ." etc. I wouldn't expect that. But just answer the question. You can still make it vague, but make reference to the question, like "I know George, like me, will grow up realizing his role. . ." The question wasn't about whether he loved him, or what kind of environment he is providing. It simply was a query about George's psyche as a 2 year old; because let's face it his destiny is unique. 4) Using the word "normal" for William & Kate puts them in a precarious position. If they want to be normal, then they shouldn't be publicly funded. Simple as that. I think that word offends many. If one is truly a monarchist and believes in classes of people with "blue blood" that should be funded by others, one cannot afford to throw around the word "normal." It puts this whole structure at risk.
    And again, one doesn't have to wear one's heart on one's sleeve to answer a satisfying question. But alas, I do believe William's defensiveness is from a wounded (albeit perhaps not admitted) heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. William answered every question. It may not have been the scoop the journalist hoped for, but William did not dismiss him. He also had every right to stand his ground and not be backed into a corner. I also happen to think there's an element of class in vague answers.

      Regarding the question about George in particular... What more could William say without it being psychoanalyzed to death? I thought his answer was appropriate. George is in nursery school, after all, and a long way from being crowned king. He *is* exposed to royal life, but inside their four walls, I think their priorities are on the money...surround him with love, stability and security. Did the journalist hope to learn that they have him practicing to balance a crown on his head...or attempt to unlock the red boxes? Silly question...probably YES! ;))

      Delete
    2. Gorgeous though the photo is of the great grandchildren, I do agree with you about Louise and James. Louise looks far too tall in the composition and James looks as though he is trying to edge away. This also led me to realise that Prince Andrew's family is the only one of the four that is excluded. His children don't yet have their own children but are excluded from this image because they are adults.

      Delete
    3. Being a monarchist is not necessarily "believ[ing] in classes of people with "blue blood" that should be funded by others".

      Delete
    4. I agree with royalfan. William was very forthcoming in the interviews. He stated his case eloquently and firmly. He is doing the right thing in my view. We here in North America tend to require instant gratification in everything. Everything has to happen right now. The British take the long view. They always have. William has a long life in front of him and plenty of time to grow into his duty. It's not like he isn't doing anything. My goodness, I have a 33 year old son and while he works and is awaiting the birth of his first child, he certainly isn't as diligent as William is.

      In his early 30s Prince Charles hadn't even married yet, let alone started a family. Charles was still living the bachelor life and was under immense pressure from the media and the people to "get on with it".

      I have to say though, royalfan, do you really think Kate doesn't have him practicing with the crown? I was kind of hoping she was....

      Delete
    5. As I suggested in the last comments, we need to be careful about taking words and phrases out of context in these interviews. William specifically qualified
      his use of the word "normal" by saying.."in my family" and relating to his love for and relationship with his children. He did not say he was average in
      life-stye or accommodations. To use his speaking of his love as normal fathers have
      for his children as an excuse to throw in "tax-payerfunded" seems to say more
      about the commenter than it does about William.
      I actually said "Oh, no, William," to myself when I heard him say "normal."
      Even though he quickly explained what he meant by the word, I knew that would
      be ignored by some.

      Delete
  27. A truly beautiful picture. To quote Tedi from CA, " they are all so lovely". This image will be treasured by all of these children their whole lives. Little Mia Tindall is giving PG a run for his money in the cuteness overload category.

    I guess I'm the only one who doesn't see Carole Middleton in PC. She has Carole and Pippa's eyes but beyond that I don't see much of a resemblance. From the eyes down, I think she looks like a Windsor but not necessarily the Queen. As a child the Queen had very pronounced features. PC's features are softer. There is one photo out there of Lady Sarah Chatto at a year and I think PC looks an awful lot like her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tedi in California21 April 2016 at 02:20

      My comment below was not in response to your post Erika!

      Delete
    2. I know Tedi :) I posted my comment before you posted yours.

      Delete
    3. I have to agree Erika,Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones was the first person I thought of when I saw this photo of Charlotte

      Delete
    4. I looked up Lady Chitto just because of this comment Erika. I totally agree that Charlotte favors her.

      Delete
    5. Gan, Gan, Carole, the Queen Mum, Sarah Armstrong. All strong contenders. It will be fun to find out as time goes by. The Queen Mum is still in the lead for me, at the moment.

      Delete
  28. Tedi in California21 April 2016 at 01:51

    ...and there you go. As I said there will always be criticism.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Prince William's Interview as not at their apartment, it's in the State Apartment "Audience Room", If you look at the background of the interview, you will notice a desk with a building on it.

    Which you can compare with this video interview of William from a few years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTTXPd8iLsQ
    obviously same room.

    The Carpet is different, But that has changed a few times over the years. https://twitter.com/Gertsroyals/status/657260302615126016.

    KP has described this room as "the audience room at Kensington Palace where The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry receive all of their official visitors." This is the room us usually see, it is used for smaller meetings. There are a few other State Apartment rooms they use depending on the size and occasion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for identifying that room! The building on the desk is a model of Whitehall from the Linley company.

      Delete
    2. Yes. Thank you.

      Delete
  30. Love the photos with her grandkids and great-grand kids. I also really enjoyed the video of the Queen at 90. Thanks for posting that Charlotte. I thought it was insightful. It was nice to see Prince Edward, as he wasn't in the last video we saw. I thought William was more relaxed in this interview rather than the last one with the older man interviewing him (sorry, can't recall the name)--but I think the questions this time were less pointed. I enjoyed some of the stories too like the one William shared about nearly killing Zara. lol. It would be nice to one day have an interview with the Queen herself as she nears the end of her life--how fascinating to hear *her* side of everything--meeting people, the pressures, the learning-on-the-job, what it felt like sitting on that throne being crowned, etc etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where was this second video posted?

      Delete
  31. I love these family group pictures, and the beautiful pictures of the Queen that have appeared for her birthday. (But what was the Palace thinking? Its picture of her, that accompanies the description of her birthday activities, is utterly dreadful!)

    I was a bit surprised to see Louise and James, but in a way they are the leaders of the younger generation. The little great grandchildren are precious. And I love the symbolism of the four receding mirror images and the clock in Annie Leibovitz's picture. What, by the way, is the massive brass(?) object to the right of the photo. And please explain to me where the picture has been photoshopped. This seems to be such a frequent comment about photos, and I can never figure it out.

    As for the photo of the Queen and her three successors, it is also lovely. I would only have looked for some large leather bound books in place of the foam blocks. Prince George looks quite happy in that picture, and relaxed in the great grandchildren picture. Typically of tots her age, Charlotte looks slightly stressed. But she obviously likes her horse as much as Mia likes the Queen's handbag!

    I have only watched the Wichell interview, and I thought William did a masterful job. That shriveled little journalist was completely unable to ruffle William's calm. His well thought out answers gave us a good look at his plans for his life. I am so glad to see him so in control of himself and his future. And I love his dedication to his family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2:13, I thoroughly enjoyed your analysis of William's interview. :)) William was not rude, but he stood his ground. The man has a set and isn't afraid to use them. I admire him for that!

      Delete
    2. Hi, royalfan, thanks and see below for my comment about how often you and I agree!

      Delete
  32. In case anyone doesn't know:

    On twitter you can add your congratulations to those of many fellow twitteranians from around the globe - hashtag #HappyBirthdayYourMajesty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. twitteranians. Francis, did you just coin a new word? seriously. It works.

      Delete
    2. Twitterists has a nice ring to it. Or twitteristas. :)

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the link Francis.

      Delete
  33. These photos & those for the postage stamps are just delightful. Contemporary yet clearly in the tradition of formal royal photos. The one with Princess Anne really captures the softness in both expressions.

    I got up early today to have breakfast with my gran before heading to work. She loved the photos & had some interesting & feisty things to say:

    ‘It’s good to see the Queen & her family so happy these days. She’s seen a fair bit of drama over her lifetime. For the royal media pack this settled & content BRF may be ‘dull’ but it’s what the public likes. No one wants o see the dysfunction of the ‘annus horribilis ‘ again except the journalists & those who support a republic.

    On the Camilla Tomingly article - it's just milking the last drop out of the visit to India & Bhutan in the most cynical way. But she overplays her hand. Whether you’re a journalist or a politician it’s never a good idea to play the public for fools. We could see the professionalism & the work that went into the royal visit for ourselves. We also saw the Cambridges out in 41C heat without hats & dressed up to the nines so that the media pack could get the photo they wanted at the Taj Mahal.

    On Prince William’s interview – well he deals with the questions in a calm & common sense way.

    If a neighbour or young man in our family was:

    - working part-time as an ambulance pilot
    - being a hands-on father to his small children
    - national president of a whole lot of sporting, arts & community organizations
    - actively running & promoting his own charitable & environmental foundations
    - doing diplomatic visits to countries like China, India, Bhutan on behalf of the government or visits to Commonwealth countries on behalf of the Queen
    - doing investitures, participating in national & international ceremonies, accompanying the Queen in accrediting overseas diplomats etc

    would we consider him to be a lazy sod with no sense of duty? Of course not.

    And yes he has a small staff to support him but when the rubber hits the road he’s the one carrying out the duties & the one who’s accountable. I’ve been around as long as the Queen & as far as I’m concerned the future of the monarchy’s in good hands.

    But I’m glad he’s cleared up the question of how long he intends to be working as a helicopter pilot. This should stop some of the unhelpful speculation.’


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tedi in California21 April 2016 at 02:38

      Amen.

      Delete
    2. blue wren, your grandmother is a very wise and sensible lady. Her common sense is also appreciated. Thank you for sharing her take on it... :)

      Delete
    3. blue wren, please thank your grandmother for her excellent comments! She is such a wise and sensible lady. And it's comforting to know she's older than me. :-)

      Delete
    4. Blue Wren: I agree with you wholeheartedly. Best Wishes.
      RW

      Delete
    5. Kate, Texas, USA21 April 2016 at 05:03

      I don't know your grandmother, but I adore her. Keep her chats and quotes coming. I so enjoy hearing them! Thanks for posting! :)

      Delete
    6. Blue wren, THANK YOU for putting into words so very eloquently how I and I am sure a lot of others truly feel about the Prince and Catherine.

      Delete
    7. Exactly blue Wren. Wise and life-encompassing words. Glad people are seeing the big picture. There are many aspects to life, even for royals. And there are several aspects in royal stories. Media plays a role too.

      Delete
    8. Rebecca - Sweden21 April 2016 at 13:24

      Thank you! And as always, your gran is one smart cookie! I always value hearing her very astute comments :D

      Delete
    9. Carol from Connecticut21 April 2016 at 13:28

      blue wren, your gran sounds like an awesome lady! Loved her comments.

      Delete
    10. funny, 04:01

      Delete
    11. Beautifully said. Thank you Blue Wren and many thanks to your grandmother for her insight. She has put things into perspective.

      Delete
    12. What a wonderful granny you have blue wren. I couldn't agree with her more.

      Delete
    13. Love this, blue wren! :)

      Delete
    14. Royalfan, i think you and I have been revealed as twins! I had to read both of our comments twice and then look at your name again to be sure I had not posted twice. Not the first time we have agreed! Anon 4:01. :-)

      Delete
    15. Julia from Leominster21 April 2016 at 19:43

      Blue Wren - I always hate being the voice of dissent - and hope in a year or so, William will take on more and that will change, but the work-shy comments are alleged to have initiated directly from William's workmates. It's easy to forget that and that he took the month of December off - not for royal duties but for unclear reasons.
      Yes, if I sat with a neighbour in my kitchen and he said he was having to work Christmas because some other bloke wasn't carrying his load, I would think that other person must be a bit of a slacker. And when there is little evidence that William is spending much time on his royal duties other than an occasional meeting with the foundation - people are going to wonder what he is doing with his time.

      Witchell pointed out in that interview that William is juggling three things, parenthood, royal duties and his job - I know people who are intensely ambitious who manage that sort of juggling successfully, but for most, it means no one thing is being done as well as it could be. So I will be glad if William does indeed put this helicopter job aside next year, allowing ample time for both his family and royal duties.

      Delete
    16. Blue Wren-looks ike my comment to you hours ago isn't going to appear.
      I wanted to add my alto to the chorus literally rejoicing in your astute, fact-based remarks.
      One can no longer deny that William is ready, willing, and able to accept
      further duties when the Queen sees fit "to hand them down." It is clear now
      that William does not shirk royal dutues, rather is doing exactly as his
      father and HM have approved.

      Delete
  34. Dear Queen Elizabeth II,
    Happy 90th Birthday!
    ------------------------

    Zara’s daughter sure holds the secret to the mystery many have wanted to know. What is in that bag? That is a memorable image. QEII is a very blessed human being and an exceptionally lucky monarch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There go all those theories of it containing a self-detonating bomb. lol

      Delete
    2. Caroline in Montana21 April 2016 at 16:16

      Anon 13:39 - I had the same thought! I now figure there must be no handgun or device in there!!

      Delete
    3. Now the mystery is the bag itself. It looks like a fabric version of the Queen's bag in the same shape and size/ a casual version never seen before? May be it holds miscellaneous and treats for the kids to behave?

      Delete
  35. Yeah!!! Yeah!!!!!!
    Great pictures.... HM and grandchildren and greatgrandchildren; HM and daughter.
    William's interviews emphasises what many have been saying on this blog. Good job Charlotte.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wonderful family photos, I have watched the family from across the pond for at least 75 years I am 81+. Does everyone forget that Charles is next inline for the throne not William!!! Charles was very jealous of Princess Diana's popularity.
    Therefore It seems that William and Kate have to walk a very fine line in their duties not to Overshadow Prince
    Charles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that comment, Anon 03:27, and thanks for posting your age and experience. You are only a few years ahead of me, and I agree with you. It is all too easy for Charles to become invisible during a week like the past one. He no doubt has to accept that during a tour requested by the government, but he could disappear altogether if William and Catherine were out in public on a daily basis.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous in Colorado21 April 2016 at 20:03

      @Anonymous 03:27: Exactly! Prince Charles is next in line, not William....people seem to forget that when criticizing William's workload. Charles, the "forgotten prince", as mentioned in a TIME article a few years ago. It's an unfair moniker as his duties are quite admirable & he stands for many incredible causes.

      Love everything about this photo! Those sweet faces surrounding the beautiful Queen. Mia certainly stole the show!

      I wish someone would ask William & Catherine: WHO DO YOU THINK CHARLOTTE RESEMBLES? Would love to hear it from them!!

      Delete
  37. Rose from Montreal Canada21 April 2016 at 03:31

    The photos are simply priceless. Thanks Charlotte.
    Happy Birthday Your Majesty

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for a pic of the queen where she is wearing a collared coat!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. hmm happy birthday Queen Elizabeth hmm its priceless too see the grandkids and with their grandmother mia steals the show and she could say grandma let do these charlotte looks good in hair barrettes the isla and savannah looks cute in outfit lil mia she really own the stage I like prince George cardigan too much

    charlotte love the videos

    ReplyDelete
  40. Lovely to see the Queen with all of her great grand children and Louise and James. It sends a great message that she chose to include all of this generation and the picture of her and Anne and her and her dogs after the picture with the heirs- so lovely to include her loved ones beyond those in the direct line of succession. Re photoshopping- I cant tell exactly what has been done either, but the close up of HM and PC does have a painting like quality that seems odd. But happy birthday to the Queen, so wonderful to have this time in her life to share with her family. I hope there are more pictures of Charlotte for her birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I LOVE the lushness of Annie's photo - like an oil painting.

    I LOVE the quote from William regarding raising George with the awareness of his role of future King. The fact that love and a secure family unit are number one priority for TRH is not a surprise, but it is lovely the way he articulated it. That is how the family have decided to raise him royally - by providing a solid foundation so when the time comes to prepare him for his future role, George will have resilience, compassion and grounding to deal with his duty. He's not next in line, so it's not a conversation they may have even had with him, hence William's hesitancy to answer the question directly.

    Cara, Australia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How does one explain royal duties to a three year old anyway. Trying to keep him from constantly chasing Lupo around, (anyone remember their family dog running to the one "safe" place they'd found when the going got tough?), antagonizing his sister as young boys are apt to do, reining in his being "a little monkey" and "naughty", probably takes up most of their time. George doesn't seem like the type to let any grass grow under his feet. I picture George will be more like a King Henry VIII type personality, tempered with love and good sense though. Just a guess. As it is, just being around his Gan Gan and Charles, KP, Sandringham, etc. George probably inherently picks up pointers on many aspects of being Royal.

      Delete
    2. Cara, "George will have resilience, compassion and grounding to deal with his duty." Very nicely said. And a noble priority for the monarchy. Train up a child in the way they should go and they won't depart from it. George is going to have a lot on his plate throughout his reign. He will shine through it all with those attributes solidly instilled in him. Foundation, foundation, foundation.

      Delete
  42. Good for you William!!! I really respect the way he addressed the question of being 'work shy'.

    "There's the time now to explore other means of doing a worth while job... it's not going to last forever but it's important".

    "They (Queen and Charles) understand there's the flexibility right now whilst I'm relatively young and they're very active".

    It's obvious that he knows his time with come, as third in line, but for now he can keep doing what he's doing with the support of his family Good for you, William.

    Cara, Australia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is second in line. George us third.

      Delete
  43. Here's a story I have to share - I sent a note to my 72 year old mom who is new to the blog. She texted me

    Do you think they have any idea how many smiles they create? That's one of the perks of being a "Royal"

    My mom got me out of bed when Chatles and Diana got married. - We're here in California - and we've loved the royals my whole life.

    Perfect!! Long live our queen!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad your Mom awakened you for that piece of history. That was a monumental wedding.

      Delete
  44. This entire month has been a photo and event extravaganza the likes of which we won't see for a long time! The India tour and HM's Bday has been a cornucopia of, well, everything Monarchy! I overall loved Lebovitz's picture of HM and the grandkids, really lovely. And I love that there was no "hierarchy" positioning among all the children. What a lovely group of kids. And it's interesting to see that the photograph, I think, has a paint-like quality to it. One isn't quite sure if it's photography or painting, so it's quite modern, I think, in its blend of media. All this said, I don't think the photo captures little miss Princess Charlotte very well. Hopefully we'll see some more pics on May 2. As for William, I like him. And I think he responded to criticism because it was serious enough (again, coming from parties who always have his back). While I feel he and the Duchess could be more publicly active, that's not what upset me about the whole William work "crisis." I think he indeed deserves to devote time to his job and to prioritize his family. He's the second in line, not the first. However, didn't the whole stink about his duties start when it was reported that he was NOT actually working the hours he claimed to be working as a pilot? Correct me if I'm wrong, because I'd love to be wrong. Not fulfilling the hours he claimed to be working really got to me–and still upsets me rather the fact that he was not on public duties. And, if I remember correctly, that's also what got other people upset. So, if anyone would like to comment with journalistic fact-checking, I'd love to know.

    Anyhow, to end on a sweet note: I would love to wear HM's wardrobe. That pink hat. It stole my heart, it's so breathtakingly beautiful. Oh, to be able to pick ONE hat to keep from her closet! Silvia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was reported from the start that William's hours in the EAAA is less than other full time pilots. That remains the same. Those who were angered were the ones who believed unnamed, unverified reports that William only reported to work a few times in the early part of the year. But his colleagues only had good things to say. His shifts could have been clumped up to at certain weeks. IMO, the press was trying to change the narrative and picked on a vulnerable time and aspect of his life. They know he's a good husband & father, and there are no scandals. IMO the criticism is slightly unfair, but expected from the media.

      Delete
    2. Jean from Lancs21 April 2016 at 15:04

      The Daily Mail seems to believe that if someone hasn't taken a photo and sold it to them. then he must not be at work. As people get used to him arriving in odd places, they stop bothering.
      I have personal experience of stories the DM can construct, so I never believe anything they report.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Susan, for taking the time to respond. I did some digging and most articles followed the line of the one linked below (Charlotte: not sure what your link policy is, if not OK obviously do remove this!). In the end, it seems there is a lot of he said she said and, to me at least, it seems that while William was not violating his terms of contract, he could have been doing a tad more as far as public duties are concerned, i.e. that down time did not mean a prohibition against public duties and, moreover, he does not work the same number of hours as a full time pilot. Look, at the end of the day I think it's not a big deal but if I had to sum it up it was: Public "Look, HRH, your flying contract commitment is less than that of other pilots precisely because you are a Royal and should do public duties." William "Hey, I keep my contract, I'm not the first in line here, my family is important but....*turns red* maybe you are a tiny bit correct and I should step it up a bit when I can." That's it. Anyhow, I will drop the pen here and return to our regular fashion commentaries.... :) ;) Silvia

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-william/12169134/Prince-William-unable-to-carry-out-more-royal-duties-because-of-aviation-industry-red-tape.html

      Delete
    4. A fabricated tempest in a tea pot. Supercilious.

      Delete
    5. It's all a moot point anyway as we have William's unequivocal statement that
      he will do more duties as the Queen sees fit. He said he's ready with both hands, I believe. Meanwhile, see Blue Wren's comment above.

      He may not have wanted or the Queen allowed him to say the Queen is Boss then,
      but he's saying it now. He should have never been put in the defensive position in the first place. The tabs found an open door and rushed in.

      Delete
  45. Tammy from California21 April 2016 at 05:10

    My favorite picture of the royal family OF ALL TIME! That picture is absolutely precious! What a blessed woman to have such a lovely group of grandbabies. Baby Tindall is as cute as a bug's ear!

    I agree with you Charlotte, Princess Charlotte looks very much a mix between Gan Gan and Granny Carole!

    Hip Hip Hooray! Long Live The Queen! The happiest of birthdays to Gan Gan!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Kate, Texas, USA21 April 2016 at 05:35

    What a precious picture! You can really sense the Queen's happiness in the picture. I think she joyful and content in life and with her family. I love little Mia with Gan Gan's handbag. How cute is that? Charlotte is so sweet and has definitely grown. I do think she is a mix of Carole Middleton, the Queen, and the Queen Mother. I think her eyes are Middleton, but all other features are the Queen and Queen Mother. So pretty! All the children are so sweet! Such a special treat for us all!

    I enjoyed the interviews and videos. I think William was warm, but firm and confident. I do hope both he and Kate start to step up Royal duties in the coming months, but I am glad he has had time to invest in his family and the community. I really love and appreciate what he had to say about raising George and Charlotte in a secure, stable environment showering all the love he can. Royal or not, that's what all children want and need. It shows what a good father William is. :) Again, great interviews.

    Happy Birthday to Her Majesty! I hope she feels loved and celebrated and enjoys the family time together. I pray the year ahead will be full of life, love, and blessings for our Queen!

    ReplyDelete
  47. JMS from Texas, USA21 April 2016 at 05:37

    Wow, great photos. Annie did a great job; it cannot be easy herding active kids together to get that special shot! In the midst of it call the Queen looks calm, cool and collected. We wouldn't expect anything less from HM, yet, she's no different from any ordinary grandmother or great grandmother gathering her brood around her to take a special portrait. Job well done! As for William's two interviews, some seem to believe they were in response to the recent criticisms by some in the media. I think otherwise, but whatever the reason, I think he handled them brilliantly. I also agree with him that he will continue to have to deal with criticisms from those who feel he's not fulfilling his duties the way they feel he should, that goes with the job. I am impressed with how he handled it. He knows he has the support of the Queen and the Duke as well as his father, and will continue to take his lead from them. As he said in Bhutan, she's not only his grandmother, she's The Boss! So if anyone thinks for one minute that this Queen would allow any of the Senior Royals to shirk their responsibility and duty to The Firm and thus the country, really doesn't understand what this woman is all about. The fact that William has been able to work as an emergency helicopter pilot means that's a decision approved and sanctioned by the Queen and Prince Charles and has not been, as some has repeatedly stated, an arbitrary and unilateral action on William's part. So to continue that narrative is just ludicrous and reflects just a total lack of understanding on how The Firm really works. William will continue to do what The Queen allows him to do and when she decides to delegate duties, he'll step up as expected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I felt like when he said something to the affect of "when the queen gives me more duties I'll take them" (obviously, I'm paraphrasing), it was his way of diplomatically saying "hey, I've done everything my father and grandmother has asked me to do. They are all still very active and I can't just demand I be given duties. They're running the show and I'll gladly do what is asked of me but I'm not the boss right now folks!" Lol

      Delete
    2. Caroline in Montana21 April 2016 at 16:32

      I thought that William and Catherine were NOT Senior Royals yet? Can someone please clarify this for me?

      Delete
    3. Rebecca - Sweden21 April 2016 at 18:48

      They are senior royals in succession and closeness to the throne, but part-time royals in the "working scheduel" meaning they do less things, but the things they do are usually rather high up the pecking order (like state banquets and tours) or at least high profile. At least that is how I see it.

      Delete
    4. They are senior royals, just third tier senior royals.

      Delete
    5. Julia from Leominster21 April 2016 at 19:55

      Respectfully, I think that view of the queen is completely wrong - by all reports the monarchy is very decentralised with members deciding what they will do. I think the queen would leap in the air with happiness if William took on a full-time role - (and she is one of the few ninety-year-olds who might be able to do that) but I don't think she will push. Everything said in those interviews other than William's remarks about stepping up if asked, spoke of that - listening carefully to Edward and Sophie and the light guidance alluded to by Kate and William himself.

      Senior royals is one of those troublesome definitions but going back to the Jubilee it becomes easy, the only royals to appear on the balcony with the queen, (Philip was ill) were senior royals. Not Anne, so hard-working and so clearly close to her mother, not Andrew, said to be the queen's favourite son - not Edward and Sophie with this current impressive interview and numerous charitable endeavours- Just Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Harry. Those are the senior royals, by definition of Charles - the next king. It relates not to age or to work or to closeness, but to place within the royal family. Should something happen to the queen and Charles tomorrow, William would be the next king.

      Delete
  48. Happy Birthday, HM!!! Long may you reign! You are a great matriarch to a wonderful family!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Eve from Germany21 April 2016 at 07:42

    Happy Birthday, Your Majesty!!!! Long may she reign!!
    I love all the photos - also very much the one with Princess Anne. Somehow I can see her love for her mother in the way she looks - a mixture of proud, even protective and "I know how she really is, you know..." - very nice and very special!
    I have been one of those who saw Carole Middleton in Princess Charlotte for some time but this photo with her on HM´s lap reminded me instantly of my very first reaction when looking at her on Prince George´s lap last year - for some reason I INSTANTLY thought of King George V - the way she looked and her eyes. So it´s going to be interesting to watch her growing up.
    I´m glad Prince William adresses the critizism and what he said during those interviews confirmed my own impression that he is and will be concentrating on his family as long as that is possible. I have said many times over that his and Kate´s number of appearances in public will increase quite dramatically as soon as he becomes Prince of Wales - and that will not change until their death. So I think it´s only sensible to make the most of the time they have now together as a family - you never get a second chance for that.....

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  50. Theresa, from Paris21 April 2016 at 08:22

    A very, very Happy Birthday, Ma'am !!!!!
    What a wonderful example Her Majesty is ...

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  51. Cuteness overload! What a bunch of good looking children.
    I beieve Charlotte is holding HM's glasses.
    How sweet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's an animal. If you look closely u can recognise its legs.

      Delete
  52. I do hope that there was also a pic of The Queen, Princess Royal, Zara and Mia together. We probably won't get to see it it was snapped. I thought Mia stole the show holding the handbag!!!

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  53. charlotte when will be the bbc special

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  54. Beautiful photo,so obvious the kids know Her Majesty very well and are very relaxed and happy in her company. One slight criticism,I do feel the kids outfits are so obviously chosen to match HM and that this makes them all look rather stiff and old fashioned. I realise this fits in with their rather format surroundings but is a little out of touch with how other families would do group shots of different generations. Do you think Kate,Autumn and Zara were requested to dress their kids in boring round neck pastel cardis and white shirts/ blouses? Hardly a coincidence

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think many modern families dress their families to have a cohesive look for family portraits. It is a portrait, not a snapshot. Makes perfect sense to me.
      I do wish they had done something with Lady Louise's hair though. It looked unkept and messy.

      Has anyone ever seen anyone ever even touch the Queen's purse before? :) That was very surprising.

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    2. Absolutely stunning and beautiful photo- everyone looks absolutely spot on perfect - as only Leibovitz can do it! Turly truly special the shot with her and the grands and greats!
      I'm giggling a bit with your comments Anon 11:29... I have an American background and many of my friends in the States- go through excessive gyrations and manipulations to "coordinate " dressing for family shoots-Indeed it is a fine and exceedingly common practice. You would only have to see the "equally contrived" efforts of many families when they take family photos there - "matching jeans with white shirts"-"everyone in purple...or blue, or whatever colour" for a family shot ( some can actually be rather amusing, or bad, silly- or even occasionally successful...) to understand that " this family" is no different in their efforts here ith thier own family photo shoot. -With the exception being that they sat in full knowledge of the fact that their family photo would go 'round the world! - where most other families do not have that "burden" upon them. - I think that their effort therefore is no different than anyone else's to look coordinated- and that being said, I think it actually is a remarkably well -achieved effort! It's a lovely lovely shot- and given QE age- there may - or may not be another opportunity. Hardly a photo to trash- it's virtually faultless , imho.

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    3. Little Mia is channeling the Queen with her handbag. Isla looks like Prince Philip, standing a bit apart, her hands behind her back. Savannah, like her grandmother, has her arm affectionately around the Queen. She is becoming a beauty. The Quen, probably unknowingly, is holding Charlotte's skirt in her mother's often blown up style. Annie Leibovitz wisely left all those idiosyncrasies alone! So cute.

      Delete
    4. Whoops, meant styled.😃

      Delete
    5. Of course the color scheme is not a coincidence. The colors , texure, and lighting remind me of Renoir's work. At any rate, the photographer, truly an artist herself, had a plan and the result is glorious.

      I must add, I am no art expert-regarding the Renoir comparison.

      Delete
    6. Bertil-UK, I think I understand what you're saying. I have seen some "interesting" family photos and I prefer a candid holiday shot over one packed with props any day. :) Having said that, I do believe the goal here was to create a cohesive image and it was a job well done. Also consider the rather dramatic background of the photo; there was enough going on and a "softer" look was appropriate, IMO.

      Delete
  55. Such good photographs. The stamp one was perfect portraits of all four- the Monarch and three future kings. It was lovely that they chose to share the full photograph of the working photography for the stamps. Interesting to have a glimpse behind the scenes and a real sense of the little prince's personality and the bond between him and his father. As an aside people ask all the time for natural photos and then when we get a delightful work in progress there are sighs that bits weren't photoshopped out. I thought the Queen and the children photograph is as one would expect extremely original and every time one looks at it one sees more. For the person who asked photoshopping now means manipulating an image. It can be anything from simple cropping and dust spot removal to creating an artisic image as the children photo is. I really liked how Annie has taken the richness and colour of portraits painted in oils from previous centuries and on that background superimposed our Monarch and the children all in pastels , light over the past and going into the future. A clever photograph that could be enlarged printed on one of the exciting mediums now being used and hung as a large portrait. A very loving portrait of the Queen and Anne rooted firmly in the present, with no heavy colour from the past.. The Queen and the corgis etc is a good picture too, excellent composition and an iconic representation of the Queen, but it unlike the others gave me an uneasy vibe.

    I listened to both Prince William's interviews. Thought he spoke well and very much as I had expected. For anyone, like I was, who was a child in a bad divorce situation, the importance of creating a stable loving and above all peaceful environment for ones own children, to not make the same mistakes is paramount. There has been this tiny window where Prince William has had the chance to provide this for his very young family and am I glad he has been able to this. I suspect that the Queen will do very few evening engagements in the future but perhaps more luncheons and that Prince Charles will pick up the ceremonial and head of state type stuff and the Princes and our Duchess a lot of the rest. Hence Friday's dinner.

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    Replies
    1. The one with the corgis gave me an uneasy vibe also, Alimai. Don't know why.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps I did not word my question clearly. I know what photoshopping is, and I know how to do things like cropping, straightening, enhancing colors and clarity, toning down flash reflections, etc. My question had to do with identifying photoshopping in royal photographs, which some people seem able to do. Work on a photograph by an expert photographer should not be visible. I often read suggestions of photoshopping that seem intended to question the authenticity of a picture. I do not see the evidence of editing in Annie Leibovitz's photo, and I am hoping that those who do will describe it in detail.

      Delete
    3. Probably the angles, the dark sky, the grey stones, and it being an old castle.

      Delete
    4. Re: the Corgi photo. Perhaps the cloudy, dark, perhaps ominous sky?
      Or that HM seems to be ascending a stairway that leads to nowhere, other than
      those dark skies.
      OK Rebecca. Call it a stretch. But given some of Annie Lubowitz's past
      works, maybe. Did I just mash up her name?

      Delete
  56. Maggie - Minneapolis21 April 2016 at 13:54

    Wonderfully adorable picture!
    Is it possible Prince George is wearing the same outfit that he had on at Charlotte's christening under this blue cardigan? I know that was a year ago and he's grown a lot since then, but the shorts looked big on him at the christening, and now are several inches higher off his knees than the christening ones which could account for him growing, and its the same Peter pan collar too.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Maggie - Minneapolis21 April 2016 at 13:57

    Oh never mind the collar has less red detailing this time.

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  58. I adore these pictures, but am I the only one who wonders why, with as fabulous a dresser as the Countess of Wessex is, her children are not well-styled for a portrait of this import? James shirt is tucked in with an awkward fold and looks a little rumpled. His hair is just harsh bangs down, rather than a nice combing back like a young William usually had. And you can see the rubber soles of his shoes, rather than a pair of dress shoes. I'm not criticizing *him*, just really confused why such a stylish mother would send her children for a historic portrait looking so rumpled and blah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wouldn't it be nice to have Oprah or Barbara Walters interview William, and then, separately and on another day perhaps, interview Kate by herself?

      Real interviews by people who know how to get real substance and revelations from the interviews in the best possible way.

      Delete
    2. The Queen looks so beautiful in the pink hat and pink suit. She has had such a very enriched and significant life. What an adventure.

      Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth, and many more.
      Thank you for all your years of faithful service to others.

      You have certainly been the one who has "Kept Calm and Carried On." I think they made those coffee cups and t-shirts just for you. :)

      Delete
    3. Annie did a perfect job of marrying the history and elegance of the castle and monarchy to the contemporary family of the current Monarch. She did it in a warm and human way all the while making it look like an oil portrait which really captures the essence of the all those aspects beautifully.

      Delete
    4. Lady Louise is wearing a nice dress. As for James, he seems to have misplaced the required cardigan. That crease in his shirt indicates a lack of photo editing!

      Delete
    5. Would love for Wiiliam and Kate do a joint interview.

      Delete
  59. Holly, I thought the same thing and James needed to be closer and Louise's hair needed styling. The all black was not flattering either. Sophie missed the mark on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  60. These pictures are so cute!! Charlotte, George!! Savannah holding the Queen's purse!!
    How sweet!
    I love that the entire world is celebrating the Queen's birthday! #HappyBirthdayYourMajesty today is trending worldwide on twitter and even in my country! Here' in Italy the hashtag is the second top trend, just because the first one is dedicated do the birthday of Rome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, it's Mia Tindall, not Savannah! I think she resembles his dad!

      Delete
    2. It was Mia holding the Queen's purse. The daughter of Zara

      Delete
  61. How William could even take that male interviewer seriously is beyond me. The female interviewer was not much better in my opinion. William handled their ineptness though with aplomb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. milk toast. Those interviews were milk toast at best. Anything good from them came from William. I felt so sorry for him bring stuck with those interviewers.

      Delete
  62. Was it just me or did Edward and Sophie's interview make Kate's interviews stellar by comparison?

    Edward and Sophie were hesitant in their responses, mumbled their words, trailed off in their sentences, kept looking nervously to each other for reassurance and many of their responses lacked substance.
    Kate has been criticized for all of those things. But this time Edward and Sophie take the cake. They both seemed incredibly insincere to me, and somewhat out of touch with any semblance of normal life. Not to be negative. Just giving my opinion on their interview.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden21 April 2016 at 18:54

      Hmm, I dont agree. The only thing I reacted on was that Sophie talked about the queen as if she was the family (which in a way she is), not only about the queen as she had known her, but also about the Queen when Edward was a child. I'm sure it is because she has heard the stories from Edward and the Queen, but it seemed a bit odd to me. I think they did alright :)

      Delete
    2. I agree about the tone of the interview. Sophie repeatedly referred to getting
      away to Balmoral and Sandringham as a family and to how close she and Edward
      lived to the Queen,which meant her children spent a lot of time with her.
      There were references to Christmas at Sandringham (the photo shown did not
      include the Cambridges) and Easter at Windsor-the video was from this year.

      I didn't notice Edward deferring to Sophie, but she frequently glanced over at
      him as though seeking approval or corroboration.
      Of course, this is just my impression, but I think I understand why some
      felt she was more royal than the royals. She was in PR when Edward met her.
      She knows her way around an interview. I won't compare it to other interviews.

      Delete
  63. Theresa, from Paris21 April 2016 at 15:16

    I'll probably be the only one, but I am bit disappointed with Annie Leibovitz' choice of filters and coloring for the photos. I know they are supposed to ressemble oil paintings, but I find that coloring awfully gloomy and moody, whereas the occasion is such a happy one.
    I do love the way all the characters are sitting and looking, though, with a special mention for Mia and the handbag !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden21 April 2016 at 18:55

      I read that the Queen wanted it to look like an old painting, and in that case it's rather successful! :)

      Delete
  64. Jean from Lancs21 April 2016 at 15:22

    What a wonderful set of photos. The expressions on the children's faces are a joy.
    It reminds me so much of a photo of my late mother on her 70th birthday with her 11 grandchildren aged from 12 to the youngest aged 1. They had a wonderful afternoon when my husband took the photo and like the royal children, look a little less than brushed and polished. My mother is dressed like HM was on her photo.
    I hope HM's photo brings as much joy to her family as that one has to me.
    Happy birthday Your Majesty and may you have many more to enjoy the company of these gorgeous children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ages of HM great-grandchildren are:1, 2, 3, 4, & 5.
      I think the photographer was trying to avoid "brushed and polished," also.
      Such a nice story about your family, Jean.

      Delete
  65. The Queen looks so lovely and informal in these portraits, what marvelous work. So glad they chose Annie Leibowitz for this historic occasion. The casual style is her signature. Mia picking up the famous handbag is priceless. I see much more Windsor than Middleton in Charlotte. She has the Queen's slightly imperious and distant gaze.

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  66. I thought William's interviews were wonderful - he was confident, careful, kind, and most of all focused on his most important role - that of being a father. He does not want his children to grow up in the unstable environment that he and Harry had to, and it is obvious that providing them with a loving, secure, and happy home is top priority. It should be! If I could say something to the media that have been hounding him these last few months, it would be this - "Back off and let him be a dad, an air ambulance pilot, and the Duke of Cambridge he is striving to be. He has done nothing wrong and has not deserved any of the name-calling and ridiculous criticism that has come his way. William understands duty and responsibility very well, and right now, his unwavering duty and responsibility needs to be for his family and the community he serves through his work. He is working hard to balance and juggle everything, and he should be affirmed instead of criticized."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen! He will Belong to The Country First & Foremost Soon Enough..... Let him now make use of the gift he's been given of Time...The Time to Focus First & Foremost on His Family & Being of Service in his mode of choice as a Pilot....for now. He has The Blessings of The Queen & His Father. As He so beautifully said.... He will be King, but that means that His Family will all have moved on & if He's reluctant of anything, it's eventually having to say Good bye to His Grandmother & His Father. He's a Good Man, A Devoted Father & Husband & will make a Devoted Purposeful King..... All in due course.

      Delete
    2. I think Charlotte looks like a "Minny Me" of The Queen:) Especially when looking at The Queen as a little Girl. I also see a lot of William in the Queen's face when She's making that famous Speech The Queen gave on her 21st Birthday! I always think of Diana when it comes to William's looks, but the particular angle with her nose & shape of her younger face during that Pledge of Service Speech is, to me, strikingly like William.

      Delete
  67. Dear Charlotte and all others in UK,

    I have one question for you. Tonight there will be a documentary on BBC One - A Family tribute. As far as I know, it can not be seen online/live outside UK. Or I am wrong? I would really like to see this. Hope anyone can help.

    And Charlotte, thank you for all your hard work regarding your blog. You have a number of fans :)

    Warm regards from Slovenia,
    Sophie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome Sophie,

      Sophie, just a silly question. Are you close to where Melania Trump was raised? Your country is majestically beautiful, btw.

      Delete
  68. Maybe Louise and James did not like being bunched together with the "babies". Perhaps they were hoping to be photographed with William, Harry, Peter, Zara, Beatrice and Eugenie. Their generation.

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  69. Thank you so much for the close ups Charlotte.

    Princess Charlotte does appear to be holding a horse.
    Mia looks like her daddy. Charlotte looks like Carole or Sarah. It is so hard to determine. She's a little chameleon. Thanks again for the close ups. Those really helped. I assume Kate was probably snapping photos at the stamp photo session also?

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  70. Charlotte. I know you are busy, but..... :)

    do you think you could include with the close-up we have of Charlotte today, similar close-ups of the Queen, the Queen Mum, Sara Armstrong, Carole Middleton, and Pippa as close to Charlotte's current age as possible so we can more easily do side-by-side comparisons at a glance? Is that doable?

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    Replies
    1. I like the photo of the Queen and Anne, and I must say Anne hasn't looked so relaxed and happy in any photos I have seen of her recently. She looks young there even with her standard hairdo. The only change I would liked to have seen is for the Queen to have placed her left hand on Anne's right knee and Anne then put her left hand and put it on her mother's hand or to have had them turned in more to each other or something. The Queen just seems so distant the way it is. Given that Anne has said that she and her mother haven't always gotten along at times, a little more interaction in the photo would have been even sweeter. But it is still a nice photo.

      Delete
  71. Not to be off topic, but as I was looking for baby pictures to find out who Princess Charlotte might most resemble, I ran across an article in the Daily Mail commemorating the Queen's 60 year reign and listing baby photos and captions regarding all her godchildren and children. I was surprised to find that Charles Spencer, Diana's brother, has Queen Elizabeth as his godmother. I found this surprising, given his somewhat scathing eulogy at his sister's funeral. It wasn't very flattering to the royal family, and understandingly so, but still, the Queen is his godmother. She is also godmother to George Percy's father I believe, and others that might surprise you. Very interesting article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a small world in the Royal realm. Very, very, interconnected and for centuries.

      Delete
  72. Looks like Princess Charlotte might be walking already. The soles of her little shoes seem to say so.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Julia from Leominster21 April 2016 at 20:21

    First of all, the photos. They are absolutely wonderful. I liked the photo Leibovitz took before but these are exceptional. The children are too precious - Mia looks to be such a cheeky monkey. I was a bit surprised to see Louise and James included but from an emotional viewpoint - it makes sense - they are of that generation.
    I particularly loved the one of the queen and Anne - it reminded me of me and my mum. I've had the feeling those two are very close, girls often are with their mums, and Anne shares the queen's sense of duty and she is also very much her father's daughter- which I'm sure is a huge plus in the queen's eye as she loves Philip so much.
    And of course, I loved the dog photos!!! A fabulous foursome.
    The documentary was wonderful - I truly enjoyed hearing from Edward and Sophie who offered so many insights - it was especially interesting hearing Edward's take on growing up - clearly being a child of a working monarch did not affect him long-term.
    I loved the generational portrait as well - lovely to see George smiling. I never worry about photo-shopping, royal photos have always been touched up one way or the other. I agree it would have been nice having George stand on books but perhaps too unstable.

    Speaking of dogs, William's interview reminds me of Dr. Johnson's comment of dogs - it's not that one can dance well on its hind legs but that it does it at all. The recognition of the need for that interview is an important step. The choice of one of the toughest of royal reporters (loved that shriveled little man remark and suspect Nicholas Witchell would appreciate it as well - he was the one so disliked by Charles) is also important. I was pleased with the announcement William might not renew his contract - I feel strongly it is time that happens - but there was a "probably" in there so time will tell.
    As for William, he spoke in a poised way. I would never have expected him to say his family didn't support his decision or that he wasn't prepared to step up - no interview will bring that out. On paper, the mention of the importance of royal duties was welcome since, if they are not important, the reason for a monarchy is cast into doubt, but William does seem to have an issue with duty - one I might expect in a twenty-five year old, but not a thirty-four year old. It is in theory a position for life, but as I have said before, I doubt abdication will be the dirty word to William it is for the queen, and I won't be surprised (although I probably won't be alive) if he retires - letting George come to the throne, at a reasonable age. I don't even think this is a bad thing.
    But I do wish William wouldn't always make duty sound like a dish of spinach he has to eat. That isn't the case with his grandmother, his grandfather or his father, and not even with his mother. It does worry me, more obviously than most here, but at the same time, I think duty can sound more fearsome before you embrace it - once you do, passions and interest can be allowed to develop. It's a bit like starting school - some thrive immediately, others dread it at first, but turn out to be good students. So I hope it will be for William, because duty - not charm or beauty, is why the queen is so beloved, duty is what has seen her through troubles and disagreements with her subjects. It is the rock of the monarchy today.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Did anyone else notice that Charlotte is holding a small toy horse? What a lovely hat tip to the Queen's love of horses and riding.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Great coverage, Charlotte! I love these photos but even after seeing the live footage of the exchange between Annie Leibovitz and the queen, I still think Leibovitz acted like a mannerless ass during that photo shoot and now, after reading her comments, I think that even more. The queen came across as annoyed but still gracious, which is to be expected. She's posed for photographers with more talent than Leibovitz.
    But the photo of the queen and Princess Anne is lovely. I think their relationship has been one of the better-guarded secrets of the royal family and they always seemed and continue to seem like they have a loving, close relationship, inasmuch as that is possible with the Windsors.
    Little Mia is absolutely adorable and looks like her mother. One can only hope that William encourages (and Kate and Carole Middleton allow) George and Charlotte to have the same kind of close, friendly, loving relationship with their royal cousins (Mia, Isla, Savannah) that William and Harry have had with Zara and Peter, Eugenie and Beatrice.
    Not quite sure who Charlotte resembles now. At first I thought she really, really looked like Kate but she's starting to look more like her dad.
    Unfortunate that James and Louise were herded into the photo with the younger children who aren't even of their generation. They ARE the youngest of the queen's grandchildren so not of an age to interact much with William, Harry, Eugenie, Beatrice, Peter or Zara but too old to play much with the toddler great-grandchildren. I've read a number of different accounts that say James and Louise are among the queen's favorites. Louise looks very much like her grandmother did at that same age.
    Great coverage again, Charlotte! Hopefully we'll have some photos from tonight's birthday dinner. Kate appeared to be wearing a dark green lace gown.
    Happy birthday to the queen and long may she continue to reign! What an amazing lady!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where did you see C inthe green lace gown?

      Delete
    2. When the Queen Mother died, Princess Anne immediately went to Windsor Castle and a day or so later was seen out riding with the Queen. There are various pictures of them together at events where they really seemed to enjoy each other's company.

      Delete
  76. Tedi in California21 April 2016 at 21:59

    Happy Birthday to Her Majesty. A remarkable lady, who has devoted her life to the service of her country. May she continue her reign for many years to come.

    ReplyDelete
  77. One more comment - I gather from William's comments that somewhere along the way, there was a "come to Jesus" moment from either his father or the queen (more likely from both).
    Even though they all claim they don't read newspaper coverage, that coverage shapes public opinion (the majority, not the handful who show up at appearances and read online blogs - no offense, Charlotte!) and it's the representatives of that majority who decide on how much financial support to provide to the royal family. Watch how fast the wealth accumulated by the Duchy of Cornwall would fall if Charles had to pay for police protection for himself and his wife and his sons and their families.
    The queen and Prince Charles understand that for the monarchy to continue in the UK, they HAVE to be seen as making some contribution. They certainly do but I'm sure that the intense scrutiny and continuing criticism of William's seeming unwillingness to take on any more royal duties, along with the same from Kate, is a cause for concern. Especially when William and Kate are compared with Prince Andrew, who famously loves the perks of his luxury lifestyle but doesn't do much to earn those.
    It's perfectly understandable that William and Kate don't want to work while their children are little but I'd guess that's a wish that every set of young parents in the UK - and all over the world - have.
    Since there's never been any mention, even in the pieces critical of William's work schedule with the air ambulance, of when he would leave that service, I expect the raft of criticism from even the diehard royal and royalist reporters and continuing dim coverage in the UK media has prompted the decision to serve out his contract and then not renew.
    However, it remains to be seen whether he and Kate then take on a busier royal schedule, since both of their children will be out of infancy. With those comments, William has more or less indicated they will be full-time royals.
    The India/Bhutan trip showed once more that they are both good at what they do and certainly capable of doing more. Let's hope they do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read the Court Circular and you'll see that Prince Andrew still has a busy schedule even though he gave up his government title. He recently flew to China for a full day of meetings, then flew back. He is still promoting British business intensely, with lots of meetings.

      Delete
  78. Hi,

    to ano: 18:45

    You were asking me, if I am close to town where Melania Trump lived.
    Slovenia is not big county, so you can come from one side to the other in about 2 to 3 hours. So I am close :)
    And thank you for your compliment, it is very beautiful country, very green.

    Happy Birthday to your Majesty!

    Sophie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sophie. :)

      Delete

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