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Order of the Garter–more fun!

The appointment of the Knights and Ladies of the Garter is in The Queen’s gift, without Prime Ministerial advice. Queen Elizabeth has appointed Felipe VI, King of Spain, a Stranger Knight in 2017 and Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands as a Stranger Knight in 2018.  As we all know, both Kings attended this year’s Garter Service.

Another fun fact is that our very generous contributor Gert-Jan de Wit  was in attendance at Windsor and has graciously allowed us to share some of his photos!  (You can see more of his work by taking a look back at the Corps Diplomatique Dinner posts) and by clicking on his name to see his website.  A huge thank you to Gert-Jan for always being so supportive of the Handbag–we can’t thank you enough!  Let’s get started!

The Princess Royal and the Duke of York

Elizabeth II has also created other Stranger Knights in the past.  Time for you to show us your research skills and show us your favorite photos of Garter Days past including Stranger Knights in the comments! 

Here’s a hint:  start with relatives of those Kings we see here in Gert-Jan’s amazing photos!


St. Patrick’s Day Parade with The Irish Guards

It has quickly become one of the most anticipated events on the royal calendar. Shall we take a look at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade? I think so. And don’t forget about the slideshows!

As he has for the past six years, Domhnall the Irish Wolfhound (who joined the Guards in 2013) led 350 of his fellow soldiers in the St. Patrick’s Day parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow. 

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“Domhnall’s role is very monumental”, said Aidan Cathcart, Domhnall’s former handler and the regiment’s former drummer, in a 2018 BBC interview. “He is the first guy on the parade, the main guy on the march. It’s a pretty important day for him.” When asked if Domhnall gets nervous during his big day Cathcart said, “He takes it all in his stride.”

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Domhnall receiving his sprig of shamrocks.

Many feel this will be Domhnall’s last parade, as he is nearly seven and beginning to slow down. Hopefully he’ll be able to retire soon, maybe even after training a replacement to take over such an important role. 

Hmm? What? Oh, yeah. Will and Kate were there too. She wore a green, military-styled jacket by McQueen, with a very jaunty little percher. I quite like it. Will as always wore his “Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me – Come to Mama” Irish Guards uniform.

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Commonwealth Day 2019

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On Monday, March 11 the British Royal Family celebrated Commonwealth Day 2019. The senior members turned up at Westminster Abbey in their coated and hatted best.

Queen Elizabeth led the pack in a lovely shade of purple, wearing the Kent Amethyst brooch.

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall was also in purple, wearing a floofy hat.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wore a repeated red Catherine Walker coat, last seen on the Australia/NZ jaunt.

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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wore a new Victoria Beckham dress with a cream coat. Not 100% behind her hat, reading a bit “1970s nurse” to me.

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PM Theresa May was also in attendance, adding one more to the floofy hat squad.

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What do you think about this year’s attendees?