Being a Royal is usually a pretty buttoned-up job, but this week showed us that wearing a crown isn’t always synonymous with looking picture-perfect. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands got her hands dirty on a volunteer job with her husband, King Willem-Alexander, and a countess living in the UK opened up on television about what it was like to live with a man who was one of Putin’s closest confidantes. Elsewhere, Princess of Victoria of Stockholm made a public appearance with her family in a continued campaign to put divorce rumors to rest, and Queen Letizia made a stylish appearance at a charitable event. Here’s everything you need to know.
A QUEEN GETS HER HANDS DIRTY: Most royal appearances are marked by perfect tailoring and style, but Queen Maxima of the Netherlands bucked that trend last weekend as she pitched in – literally – grabbing a fork and hefting forkfuls of straw across a barn as she got stuck into some volunteer work. The royal, 50, who was accompanied by her husband King Willem-Alexander, 55, visited the Care Farm Op Aarde (On Earth) in Brielle. The country’s care farms are operated by people facing either physical or mental illnesses and challenges.
Dressing appropriately for the task at hand, she donned jeans and practical trainers. She kept warm in a white charity zip-up jacket, matching Willem’s look. Keeping the look relaxed, Maxima opted to wear her locks loose and un-styled, matching her casual outfit perfectly.
Donning a pair of protective gloves, Maxima did her bit for NLdoet, making herself useful on the farm. The royal was pictured in a pair of military green wellies and protective gloves as she grabbed a fork and enthusiastically starting mucking out the barn.
The Queen was also pictured chatting and laughing with the farmer and other workers as she wiped the bench down with a cloth. Meanwhile, her husband Willem was snapped engaging with workers as he wielded a yellow cloth, to help with some cleaning. The down-to-earth pair, who have been married since 2002, share three daughters. Maxima has reportedly said that she had no inkling that Willem-Alexander was heir to the throne when they first met.
A COUNTESS DISHES ON PUTIN: A countess whose ex was a member of Putin’s inner circle opened up this week about what life is like as one of the Russian president’s insiders – and painted a grim picture of life as one of the dictator’s main men. Countess Alexandra Tolstoy shares three children with billionaire financier Sergei Pugachev, who was known as ‘Putin’s banker’ before he fell foul of the Kremlin and fled the country. He is now considered a ‘traitor’ by Putin.
While Alexandra never knew Putin closely, her estranged husband – who she called a ‘microcosm’ of the Russian president – worked in close proximity with him and described his ‘spontaneous’ behavior to her. Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine this week, the 48-year-old called both Putin and her ex ‘massive narcissists’ who can do ‘do incredibly self-destructive things’ when they feel threatened. Pictured: Alexandra and Sergei in happier times.
‘Sergei himself told me a lot about Putin and I would say he doesn’t act with a strategy, I think that is a misconception,’ Tolstoy shared. ‘I think he’s very spontaneous and his ego plays a huge part, there’s a lot of speculation about whether he’s ill and his face seems to imply that with his huge bloating….When they are on the back foot they will lash out and do incredibly self-destructive things, because what Putin is doing is so destructive for Russia’.
Alexandra, who lives in the UK with her three children Aliosha, Ivan and Maria, says that she and her nine-year-old daughter are ‘crying all day long’ because of the conflict. ‘Nothing that I have gone through compares to what is happening in Ukraine and it’s devastating, even my nine-year-old daughter, we’re just crying all day long’, she said.
ALL SMILES IN STOCKHOLM: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden looked cheerful last weekend during the celebrations to mark her name day. The occasion marked the first full return to the celebrations since 2019, after the event was canceled in 2020, and pared back in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic. According to Swedish tradition, various names are associated with certain dates, and Crown Princess Victoria’s is celebrated on March 12th.
The Swedish heir to the throne, 44, was joined by her husband Prince Daniel, 48, and their children Princess Estelle, 10, and Prince Oscar, 6 at Stockholm’s Royal Palace.
Crown Princess Victoria stepped out in a chic all-grey ensemble, donning a knee-length wrap coat, grey gloves, and a scarf. Her hair was swept back into her signature smart bun, and her make-up was natural. Husband Prince Daniel complemented her look with his own dapper outfit comprising a grey coat and scarf, over a dark suit. The children were also matching in their grey clothes.
The appearance follows rumors – which have been publicly and strenuously denied by the couple – that they are facing marital struggles. At the end of last month, Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel strongly denied rumors of divorce via a post on Instagram. ‘In normal cases, we do not comment on rumors and speculation. But in order to protect our family, we want to make it clear, once and for all, that the rumors that are now spreading are completely unfounded,’ the couple said.
A WAR OVER WORDS IN DENMARK: The four children of Crown Princess Mary (pictured here in red) have appeared in a rare TV interview to mark their mother’s 50th birthday – but while they extolled the royal’s more positive qualities, they also took the time to poke some gentle fun at their mom’s Australian accent.
Her Royal Highness was a marketing manager at an advertisement company when she met Crown Prince Frederik in a pub in Sydney during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. She moved to Europe in 2001 and was married three years later, pushing herself to learn Danish fluently in order to prepare for her new life helping to lead a country.
But according to her eldest daughter Princess Isabella, 14 (pictured here, left) her efforts aren’t completely spot-on compared to a native Danish speaker. ‘She has an Australian accent, so there are some words she says a bit funny,’ the young girl said, according to Now To Love magazine. Despite the hilarity, her family did honor their mother by calling her an extremely hard worker who constantly reminds them how lucky they are to live in Denmark.
As she was growing up, Crown Princess Mary’s mother Henrietta ‘Etta’ Donaldson regularly reminded her that ‘you can only be yourself’. And while simple, those five words have stuck with the Danish princess since her mother’s tragic death from a heart condition when she was just 25 – three years before she met Prince Frederik. Speaking to Eurowoman Magazine before she turned 50, the Australian-born royal said that advice had been with her during her most challenging moments.
‘She was absolutely right about that. I have reminded myself of those words when I have occasionally [felt like I was going to] lose myself,’ she said. ‘My life has offered great changes, joys and sorrows… It’s so hard to see when it is so close and so personal, but as you get older, you learn to appreciate the time you had together as a gift. And the loss offers something that you wouldn’t have otherwise. It makes a strong person.’ She continued: ‘I would love to have more time with my mother. She is part of me.’
LETIZIA STEPS OUT: Queen Letizia of Spain showcased her effortless sense of style as she attended an event at the city of León Auditorium on Tuesday. The mother-of-two, 49, was hosted by the Spanish Federation of Rare Diseases as the organization celebrated its 25th anniversary. The elegant royal, who wore a mask in line with local regulations, opted for subtle make-up and styled her glossy brunette hair with loose-waves for a relaxed look.
Adapting to a well-thought-out color scheme, Letizia also choose suede pink court heels that matched the hue of her skirt and top perfectly. To finish off the ensemble, the monarch cinched her waist with a black leather belt featuring a small buckle and opted for a solitary gold ring on one hand.
The Spanish Queen waved and smiled at well-wishers as she arrived at the event. She appeared in good spirits as she was greeted by Leon’s regional president, Alfonso Fernandez Manueco. Letizia also spoke with the Strange Diseases Federations president, Juan Carrion, Health Minister, Carolina Darias, and Leon’s mayor Jose Antonio Diez. Later taking center stage, Letizia gave a speech to her audience in the auditorium and was given the chance to celebrate the scientific work being done to treat rare diseases.