Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The Queen's 90th Birthday Party

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Today, Her Majesty, the Royal Family, and the entire Commonwealth celebrated the Queen's 90th birthday. It is an impressive milestone and it touchingly marked via a number of family centered photos and special tv programs, in addition to a host of live events which you may have followed in the UK. Among the various released photos was this shot of the Queen with her great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren taken by Annie Leibovitz.


Obviously, some of the excitement of this picture focused on the two little Cmabridges. Princess Charlotte got pride of place sitting in the lap of the Queen, which according to the picture byline is a royal tradition, while the future little king stood close by. I will just jump out and admit I was disappointed in this photo. I appreciate the stylistic elements--the juxtaposition of the colors of the room and the colors of the figures, and contrast of the grand surroundings of the Green Drawing Room at Windsor with the relaxed ensembles and artsy stances of the children, and I of course acknowledge the sweet, human aspect of the happy Queen surrounded by her grandchildren...but. I thought it was too much. Really, I think it was the color contrast that bothers me. 


I love how George has maintained his thoughtful intensity. It has been his trademark from his infancy--that first unimpressed look he gave the rainy Wellington tarmac--and I absolutely love it. He seems very observant and intelligent. The little prince is a little more bubbly, although no less cherubic, in the postage stamps released to commemorate the Queen's birthday, which feature four generations of the monarchy:


This photo looks a little odd until you see the way the Royal Mail portioned it to work for individual stamps:



The Telegraph ran a fascinating piece after chatting with the photographer Ronald Mackechnie. In the piece he described working with Prince George:
He was absolutely charming, as you can see from the picture. You only have a short window of opportunity with small children, but Prince George was on good form and everyone seemed to enjoy seeing him enjoy the day. He was fascinated by my lights and all the kit, and he was quite happy standing on the blocks. I took maybe 80 or 100 shots, but when I saw this one I knew straight away that was it.
Getting the positioning was an arduous task:
Because the picture was going to be turned into stamps on a sheet, each person’s head had to be in exactly the right place. A millimetre the wrong way on the final stamp sheet would have made the perforations too close together, so I had to make sure everyone was spaced the right distance apart.”
He had computer monitors in the room with templates of the final stamp sheet so he could make sure each person’s head fitted into the right frame.
Buckingham Palace had supplied Prince George’s exact height so he could work out how to get his face a similar height to the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge.
The entire article is so interesting and I encourage you to read it here.  The Queen concluded her birthday with a family dinner at Windsor Castle. William, Harry, and Kate were photographed by Niraj Tanna leaving Kensington Palace. Kate is sitting between the two guys, which I find amusing and charming at the same time.

Niraj Tanna
Niraj had a bit of a run-in with royal protection officers who weren't thrilled the photographer was hanging around getting snaps. 


Apparently, he told the protection officers that he wasn't fascinated by the royals, just good at his job. Since Tanna is one of, if not the, foremost royal paparazzo and this would be a night you'd expect to catch a glimpse of the royals on the way to Windsor, it seems  unlikely the PPOs don't know Tanna and a silly question to be asking. Not a good tone to set on what was a such a joyful day. 

In any event, Kate seems to be wearing a green dress, but it has also been suggested that it is black. Some are hoping a few commemorative shots will be released, but since we have had several family shots already, I doubt we will see any photos immediately. More likely they will filter out as the Diplomatic Reception images have, but we shall see! 

See you tomorrow as William and Kate are hosting the President and First Lady for dinner at Kensington Palace. 



64 comments:

  1. The lace on the sleeves of this dress is identical to the lace overlay on the Temperley London Amoret gown Kate wore years ago.... I think this might be a bespoke Temperley London dress! I hope there are more photos <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could be; I see what you mean! I think the dress style looks like the D&G's she's recently started wearing. Hopefully in time we will find out :-)

      ~ A

      Delete
  2. Suzanne in ColoradoApril 21, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    I have been waiting for your comments , Jane, but I couldn't disagree with you more! I loved the photo with the children! That classic setting with all of those beautiful young faces and the Queen looking so relaxed, brilliant! Such a wonderful juxtaposition. I thought that I read somewhere that this was the Queen's idea?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this photo- and I am sure the family is going to enjoy it too. Many in the Royal Family are realizing that Gan Gan may not live forever. I have watched a couple of the ITV videos and it really is nice to hear the love and affection that the family feel. I am sure, like any mother or grandmother, the Queen feels happiest with her pets and family all under one roof (even for just dinner!). I hope she has many more happy years to celebrate and wish her a lovely birthday. On a side note, Charlotte and George look very different --even their eyes are different colors. We'll have to see how they grow up! I didn't catch the pony in Charlotte's hands- how cute and of course, Mia Tindall steals the show with Granny's handbag!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HoosierLori
      Agree with all your thoughts.

      Delete
  4. The birthday celebrations have been lovely, and we seem to be enjoying a feast of royal appearances/photo releases! I dread a potential coming famine, but given recent criticism of Will, I'm sure he and Kate will stay active.
    I think his recent interview addressing the controversy was well handled. I think a lot of people don't give him enough credit for the royal duties he's performing at home--he's raising a future king! What more important royal duty is there?
    All in all, a joyous birthday week for HM. Long may she reign!
    -TMM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fully agree. They are raising two children who will spend their lives on a world stage. They chose to be with their family and not leave their upbringing to nannies and governesses. Why people take issue with that befuddles me.

      Delete
  5. In regards to the postage photo, I understand they probably added and subtracted blocks until they got the right height...but am stumped as to why they didn't try something classier like hardcover book or a trunk.

    Jane, I too was very amused that Kate was sitting in the middle of the back seat! When it's the three of them, do they not normally travel in two cars, or one in the front seat? How long is the drive from KP to Windsor? Adorable is another word to describe her in an expensive dress/gown riding in the middle seat. Ha!

    ~ A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The blocks are not seen on the postsge stamp. The picture with the blocks showing was released to point out how the picture was done for the stamps

      Delete
    2. Anon 9:34 ~ I am well aware of that. Knowing the entire photo could be publicly released, or so cherished it privately used by the family (I.e. becomes framed), means in my opinion they could have aesthetically staged the photo better. My opinion.
      ~ A

      Delete
    3. But not everyone is thinking of a polished finished product in the work done ahead of a finished product. Who knows if they planned on showing the whole photo till after, and why not really show how most photos are done. In the real world you would not even have cute blocks but it would have been a turned up tupper ware bowl:):)

      Delete
    4. Anon 11:20pm I don't claim to be an expert, but photography is a hobby (I will take photos for close friends and their families) and I am friends with professional photographers. They get creative with their surroundings for props, or invest a lot of money in props. Trunks and the like are not uncommon to have to use for posing children on. So while I see your point that publicly releasing it may have been an afterthought, I still think it it is within reason that they could have planned that prop much better :-)

      ~ A

      Delete
  6. If W&C remain visibly active in royal duties it won't be because of recent criticism.
    Most engagements and royal events are set up months in advance and would already be in the works.
    He may follow the Queen's directives but I doubt he would allow KP to schedule an activity just to counter criticism.I don't know how long it takes to pull together security, local law enforcement, venue/charity arrangements as well as coordinate with other royals,but I think it takes a bit of time. The interviews were a part of the birthday events and
    possibly a way for the Queen to speak through William. I doubt KP had much to do with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note: This was meant as a reply to TMM 8:46. Apparently it wandered off.
      anon 9:17

      Delete
    2. Anon 9:17
      Agree

      Delete
  7. Would have been nice to see Charlotte in a different outfit! Mia Tindall is a cutie! I also like the photo of Isla Phillips and her outfit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a different outfit to the one she was previously photographed in

      Delete
    2. Mia is a cutie and why waste money on anything new? It was in fact a different outfit, but who cares?

      Delete
  8. Lovely to see a photo with HM and the children. I think that the strong colors of the room make everyone look a bit washed out. A photo outside, in the natural light with minimal photoshopping, would have been wonderful.
    Interesting photo/story by Tanna. Kate looks like she may be turning away from the camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Talking to Harry sitting next to her on the other side.

      Delete
    2. I love the artistic historical point of view of the photo with the kids. This is a photo for the ages, it can compete with past oil paintings. I really love it.

      Delete
  9. Jane I agree with photo impression- of course I loved seeing it and the children so adorable & the concept too, but there is something odd that catches me every new glance: garish isn't the right word but I keep thinking fake background or Adams family ish contrast to people and background or colours? Bemusing, but still a lovely photo to see!
    Theresa
    Australia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The portrait is art, not a snap with the I-phone, or in my day- whip out the Brownie, line 'em all up
      facing the sun ,and click.

      A Brownie, for the younger readers, an old, box-style camera- a (cheap) favorite of
      the 50's and 60s.

      Delete
    2. It was meant to resemble an oil painting. Very artistic and lovely.

      Delete
  10. Hello Jane,

    Thank you for your post when you're so busy.

    This is a momentous day for Her Majesty. God bless her and all she has accomplished.

    We really are being spoiled with all the coverage. I would encourage everyone to go to the BBC site and listen to Prince Charles reciting a beautiful adaptation of a speech, blessing the first Queen Elizabeth, taken from Shakespeare's Henry VIII. It is amazingly appropriate for the second Queen Elizabeth too.

    The photo of the children with HM is quite something. There's so much to take in. I have to think more about Jane's opinion but I think she may be right about the clothing not being quite uniform enough. Still to wrangle all those kids...

    I think this evening Kate may be wearing the Dolce&Gabbana dress which she wore to the Festival of Remembrance last November. I think it just looks green because of the flash photography.

    Imagine the security asking the photographer what he's doing there??? I bet he just rolled his eyes...

    Looking forward to whatever may come out of the Obamas' visit.

    Rest in Peace, Prince. Some royalty is made, not born!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Alejandra RamírezApril 21, 2016 at 10:45 PM

    Great post! Your comments on the photo are spot on! I don't like the effects added to it, although someone told me it was done lika that to resemble an oil painting.
    In any case, the children look adorable.

    As for tonight's dress, we have been battling with the color and the design. I say it's the black D & G worn for the Remembrance services, but it's almost impossible to be certain. :p

    P.s. Love the super upper close up of the photo!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love the photos. Stamp and family. Annie L is very artistic. The Annie L photo is very artistic and historical. In my opinion she brought in many shades of meaning and nuance to the photo. It is dark to a degree, and also loose and casual. I find it a fascinating piece and worth viewing over hundreds of years. Many photos are very much of a specific time and moment, she truly has tried to capture an artistic centuries upon centuries view of the Royal Family. If you think of this as a history piece of art I think it will make sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, it is a work of art. The Ronald Mackechnie photograph was perfect, a real treat, delightful, this one is on another level, not so easy to look at,but a real work of art.

      Delete
  13. I agree with you, Jane, that I don't like the lighting of the photo of the Queen with the children. I think it was the wrong room. The dark green doesn't do it for me. Little Mia is the star of the show in that photo - so cute! I also wish Charlotte would have been in a different dress. She does look completely different from George but I hope she keeps those brilliant blue eyes. They remind me so much of the color of Diana's eyes.

    I was thinking that, for a family dinner, Kate would probably recycle instead of wearing something new but it doesn't seem to be the case. This is obviously a dark lace and, for black tie, it would most likely be a gown. The lace doesn't seem to match the two black lace gowns we've seen her in before so we'll just have to wait...patiently...sort of.

    It's been a lovely day for Her Majesty. Reading all of the articles, seeing all of the photos, and watching the videos has been a great deal of fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am of the opinion that Kate only recycles for public engagements. And her clothes for personal events are also more expensive too. I find it a tad manipulative and don't care for it.

      Delete
    2. Nonsense. Most private family engagements are total recycles. We typically only see new at Christmas which straddles public/private.

      Delete
    3. And her skinny jeans "uniform?" Certainly worn for personal engagements, the boots,
      the casual jackets-all recycles.
      Manipulative? How?
      Examples of outfits worn privately more expensive than her engagement outfits, please.
      Perhaps you are referring to that infamous DM article with a photo of Kate shopping and showing price tags on the items of clothing. As I remember, most of them, if
      not all, had been around awhile.

      The work clothes are paid out of a different fund-Duchy of Cornwall. She may have to re-cycle due to limited funds.
      Private clothes paid privately. It is nobody's business.

      Delete
  14. I love the colouring of the photo - there's something about it that reminds me of Diego Velazquez's paintings of the Spanish royal family. Very fanciful I know!But that's what I thought as soon as I saw it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree!! "Las Meninas" painting.

      Delete
    2. Las Meninas - omg - I have been saying that to everyone since the photo was released.

      Delete
  15. hello,
    Could you post the documentaries made about the queen and her family to commemorate her birthday please?
    Thank you for all your posts

    ReplyDelete
  16. Or can we watch them on the internet fully?
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://youtu.be/De2ddCbb4ws

      http://youtu.be/7TfKuULa88Y

      Delete
    2. Thank you :)

      Delete
  17. It's too much like a painting - if they wanted a painting they should have had one commissioned.. the "photo" otherwise is really beautiful but should have been more like just that a photo - Lady Louise is the spitting image of her grandmother - it's incredible to see the modernity creeping in among the names of the great grandchild - I bet you the Queen never thought she would have had great grandchildren named Isla, Savannah and Mia - all beautiful names but not traditionally royal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or a granddaughter named Zara. ha!

      Delete
  18. I like the photo myself, mostly because it IS different. I agree Mia steals the show and in that unplanned purse grab. I wish Charlotte had worn something that didn't look just like the fall picture of the family but that's minor.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I totally love this picture and I agree, it does sort of resemble the Velazquez painting a bit.

    I watched the BBC documentary last night which goes through old footage, shot by the Queen's parents, the Queen and other family members, dating back to the Queen's childhood and it was really wonderful - one of the things that struck me is that Lady Louise Windsor looks so much like the Queen at the same age!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the photograph too. It's different and, because of that, interesting. It conveys a richness without being ostentatious. A piece of art, actually. Great historical representation of the youngest generation.

      Delete
  20. Tanna is gross. Calling him a "photographer" is a bit of a stretch. The RPOs are probably tired of him hovering around all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite right. I saw film of Kate leaving home on her 25th birthday for the first time recently. If that had happened to me or my partner I would absolutely despise the press/paparazzi. They might be public figures but there should be boundaries.

      Delete
  21. After a very long i have visited this page and feeling very good... old memories rewind
    HAPPYBIRTHDAY THE QUEEN WITH MANY MORE FULL OF JOY AND HAPPINESS WITH FAMILY
    love prince george

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have heard all the "reasons" why some believe that Kate is purposefully dressing the children in very similar outfits for pictures and I think she is wrong to do this. Get over yourself, Kate. People hardly ever get to see the kids, to make the pictures as boring as possible (outfit repeat, repeat, repeat!) is so silly. So what if it sells out of some brands dress or jumper? Big whoop. Let the public have some good, interesting, fresh pictures of the children. I am dumbstruck by some of these decisions that K & W make.... Mountains out of mole hills. The bigger goal should be creating wonderful pictures to share with the public. Not worrying about whether some company will make a extra buck. Very immature on Kate's part, IMO.

    And Sophie's kids...... I feel so bad for them! To dress them like that for an official picture with the Queen??? Outrageous. The little boy doesn't even have on proper dress shoes. And the clothes are ill fitting, look cheap, and are wrinkled. Why would their Mom do that to them?

    George looks like Kate and her Dad, Charlotte looks like Carole and Pippa. Both very much Middletons. Which is good because the Windsors aren't exactly lookers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't understand your criticism of the children's clothing. Charlotte has worn similar clothing in two pictures, George is wearing fair isle style woolies in two pictures but different shorts. In other pictures they have been dressed differently. Maybe Kate (or William) just thinks they look cute in flower prints/pink and fair isle. Louise looks fine. Maybe James chose his own outfit and is happiest and most comfortable in those clothes.

      Delete
    2. Wow Anonymous 2.31

      And you know that Kate dresses them like this because? Do you have some inside the? You are assuming things from reading yellow magazines.

      If I found an outfit I liked for my children I bought multiple sets or dresses. Typically all in the same colour scheme. I adore Charlotte's little pink flowered dresses. The tights anD sweaters are standard. As to George I am sure he has many pairs of blue shorts. Who cares?

      I find your comment about Louise and James to be quite rude dear. There is nothing wrong with their clothes. I have read it was a long day spent with much laughter and frolicking. All children get 'wrinkled and dishelved' from playing. I don't see WRINKLES per se anyway.

      Lastly I don't think Kate needs to get over herself and to say that the Windsors are not lookers is again rather rude dear.

      I am not sure who is and who is not mature here. I am always bothered when a person attacks children....you can say it's a kind the parent but you are pointing out how bad the kids look. That isn't fair play dear. It's a family photo and not a formal photo. Not going in a museum. Family pics. For family. They shared some.
      I have to say that omg I have many a family photos like this posed where we all look like we just rolled out of bed. It's not easy taking photos of so many children.

      Delete
    3. Oh and Charlotte looks exactly like the Queen. Take a look at some pictures. It's amazing.

      They are Windsors and LOOKERS

      Delete
    4. Talking about making a mountain out of a "mole hill". I love that this is a great picture of the Queen and her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Why not just love the picture for its value as a great family photo.

      Delete
  23. Love these! And I'm so excited about the pics of the Cambridges with the Obamas! We get to see inside Apartment 1A!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I actually really love this picture! I think I even squealed when i saw it. Yes, it probably is a little darkly lit for my liking but it looks so rich & luxurious- if such a thing can be said about a photo. The style holds my attention never minding the subject.

    Omg.... HM holding Princess Charlotte. That alone would have been enough for me. But to have HM with all her great grandchildren & youngest grandchildren. What a treat!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. While I quite like the photo of the Queen and grandchildren, I take your point about the coloring. At brief first glance there are echoes of that very odd family portrait of the Danish Royals with the royal heir looking almost a bit creepy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this photo, it is very artistic. It will be worth looking at 200 years from now and 500 years. It is not just a phone snap of a moment but a document of history.

      Delete
  26. George holding hands with Prince William is cute.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi there,

    The New York Times is running a feature on Lady Elizabeth Anson, one of HM's cousins and a party planner. She gives some anecdotes about the royal family, and tidbits about planning William and Kate's wedding!!!! Seems like it went down interestingly ;)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/24/style/queen-party-planner-lady-elizabeth-anson.html

    I thought you might enjoy these new details, especially since you do such a good job knitting together information about the Cambridges as it emerges--slowly!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Is the Queen wearing the POW tartan?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Sonja from BavariaApril 23, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the photo for the stamps! George looks so cute and happy, it is so sweet that Wills is holding his hand.

    But the photo of the queen with all her grandchildren? I don't really like the lightning/style, it looks like a painting by Rembrandt or so, not like a photo... all the colours are so gloomy! Mia is cute holding the bag, and Charlotte with the toy horse in der hand. George looks rather... not grumpy, maybe pensive or shy? But I know from tons of photoshoots with my cousins that little boys just don't want to smile for the cameras :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I wonder how long it took to get all 8 to look right there!!! Lol I love the colors and now I need to know more about the Green Drawing Room!! I also wonder what the more seasoned royals think about during pictures???

    ReplyDelete
  31. The photo with Black Lace Dress or Grown if it is not new, I have two choices either the Black Lace Coctail Dress by Dolce & Gabbara or the Black Lace grown by DVF Zarita, hopefully we will get a better picture to know for sure

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think the photo of HM and the Grandchildren is perfect. I like the dark shades of green, contrasting with the colors of the Children's clothing. It is a beautiful picture of expression, of them just being themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I think the picture of HM and the children is beautiful. I love the dark green color contrast with the colors of the children's clothing. The picture shows the expression of them just being them selves. I think it's perfect!

    ReplyDelete

The rules for commenting are simple: be polite. Please be respectful of the BRF/Middletons, even in criticism; please be respectful of your fellow readers, even in disagreement. Vulgarity will disqualify a comment.

Debate is welcome, direct and personal insults are not. Topics we tend to avoid here: "does Kate work enough?" and "Is Kate too skinny?" Everything is subject to approval.

I (Jane Barr) moderate all comments. If a comment is live, I approved it. If you find something offensive, or think my approval was an error, please email me at princesskateblog(at)gmail.com.

At times, an acceptable comment just goes missing. If you felt your comment should have been approved, but did not show up within five hours, again, pop an email to the above address.

Happy chatting!