December 2023
Vol 44 No 12
Kenya, the first Commonwealth state visit of Charles III's reign; the Prince of Wales's Earthshot endeavours; significant royal birthdays in Denmark, Spain and Sweden; Beaton and Holbein's exquisite portraits.
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Ingrid Seward
Editor-in-Chief of Majesty Magazine
Ingrid is acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent writers and commentators on the royal family and has published over 15 books and contributed numerous articles to publications worldwide. Ingrid is in the unique position of knowing many members of the royal family personally and through Majesty enjoys a special relationship with the Royal Household.
Letter from the Editor

Charles III struck an unexpected personal note when he began his speech at the State Opening of Parliament – the first delivered by a king in more than 70 years – by acknowledging ‘the legacy of service and devotion to this country’ shown by ‘my beloved mother, the late Queen’.   

The ceremony was a return to the spectacular traditions of a full state opening and came towards the end of an exceptionally busy year for Their Majesties. Outlining the proposed legislation on behalf of his government the King read the speech in clear, dispassionate tones, glancing up every few moments to acknowledge those present in the packed House of Lords. 

It was the first time that the monarch had worn the Imperial State Crown since his coronation in May and it is possibly the only year of his reign in which he will wear it twice. As the King calmly read the speech, the Queen sat serenely at his side with her lady companions, the Marchioness of Lansdowne and Lady Sarah Keswick, behind her. All three ladies were wearing the cream dresses they wore at the coronation, only this time they didn’t have rain and wind to contend with when they arrived. Camilla also wore the Diamond Diadem for the first time, which complemented her coronation gown designed by Bruce Oldfield. Queen Elizabeth II wore the diadem at her first State Opening of Parliament in 1952 as the Imperial State Crown wasn’t an option before her coronation the following June.

While his father was opening the British Parliament, the Prince of Wales was nearly seven thousand miles away in Singapore attending the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony. Created by the prince, the Earthshot Prize is in its third year of ten, and every year five winners each receive £1 million to magnify the scale of their ideas. In the absence of the Princess of Wales, who stayed at home to support Prince George through his exams, Prince William enjoyed the company of Australian actor and environmentalist Cate Blanchett, an Earthshot Council member since the prize’s inception and one of the award presenters.

In his speech the Prince of Wales stressed that the year had been ‘one of great change and even greater challenge’. He went on to say that ‘we owe it to the generations that will follow us to work together for both their future and the future of our planet. It is my belief we will find the courage to do so.’ Brave words and reminiscent of his father’s beliefs. It must be extremely rewarding to the King to know that William has taken up his mantle and is fighting hard for a sustainable future for the world.

However hard the year has been and however tragic world affairs continue to be, there should always be time for celebration. Stories of hope, however small, will always fill us with optimism. Here at Majesty we wish our readers a very happy Christmas and hope that 2024 brings cheer to us all.

This Issue's Features
CECIL BEATON – THE ROYAL PORTRAITS: Photographs that helped to create the public face of the House of Windsor are appraised in a sumptuous new book
A DAY TO REMEMBER: Prince Christian of Denmark’s coming of age is celebrated with panache in Copenhagen, as Trond Norén Isaksen reports
SEED OF AN IDEA: The Prince of Wales’s four days in Singapore for the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony and other activities, by Victoria Murphy
THEN & NOW: Kenya is the first Commonwealth country to receive a state visit by the King and Queen in the new reign, by Richard Palmer
SILVIA: The energetic Queen of Sweden will be 80 this month, but Her Majesty has no intention of slowing down
NOTEBOOK: The must-see exhibition ‘Holbein at the Tudor Court’ has opened at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
LADY OF SPAIN: A 60th birthday profile of Infanta Elena, daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía, by Coryne Hall
Our round-up of photographs shows royal families of the world at work and play
Robert Golden reflects on various aspects of regal life, both ancient and modern

See more issues

Vol 45 No 6
Vol 45 No 5
Vol 45 No 4
Vol 45 No 3
Vol 45 No 2
Vol 45 No 1
Vol 44 No 11
Vol 44 No 10
View More

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