- Words by Mr Mansel Fletcher
On 22 July HRH Prince George of Cambridge will celebrate his first birthday. While the young prince's destiny is to ascend to the British throne, his personal style is not pre-ordained. Like many men he will look to his male relatives for his cues. So as a birthday gift, we've put together a look book, organised by what some might categorise as Work, Casual, Country and Resort, but he'll undoubtedly call Kensington, Sandringham, Balmoral and the Commonwealth.
But first a bit of background on his nibs' cribs. Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace, London, is home for mum and dad, aka the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Despite the unassuming name, Apartment 1A is more like a 20-room mansion within the Kensington Palace complex. It's reputed to have three kitchens, and the fact that two of them are for the staff strongly suggests that Prince George won't ever have to worry about ironing his own shirts.
For a weekend retreat, Prince George will be close to his grandmother. HM The Queen's Sandringham Estate extends across 20,000 acres of the North Norfolk countryside in the east of England, and nearby Anmer Hall is to be the Duke and Duchess' country house (just as soon as the Mr Charles Morris-designed conservatory is finished).
[Apartment 1A is] reputed to have three kitchens, and the fact that two of them are for staff suggests Prince George won't ever have to worry about ironing his shirts
Summer holidays will undoubtedly mean trips to the Highlands: Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Scotland. Like many men before and after him, HRH Prince Albert (HM Queen Victoria's husband) fell in love with the landscape while on holiday in the Scottish Highlands. Unlike most men he acted on his passion and bought an estate for his wife in 1852 and built her a new castle. The royal family has added to the estate over the years and it now covers 20,000 hectares of the northeast of Scotland.
The royal family takes its allegiance to Scotland very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that its members use a different name when they're there – HRH The Prince of Wales becomes the Duke of Rothesay, and Prince George's parents become the Earl and Countess of Strathearn. Perhaps as a result the older generation, in the form of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales, enthusiastically embraces Caledonian style, wearing Scottish garb without self-consciousness.
Finally, there's travel abroad. Earl Mountbatten of Burma (HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's uncle) had it down. When he was photographed wearing a double-breasted suit, drinking tea with a dhoti-wearing Mr Mahatma Gandhi, he showed that the ability to be comfortable around people dressed more casually than oneself is important for heirs to the British throne.