It is no secret that I love Kate – the Duchess of Cambridge, that is – and use her as every day inspiration. As the editor of What Would Kate Do?, I am up to date on all-things-Kate; her style, her shopping trips, her charitable causes, etc. Thousands upon thousands of women look to the Duchess of Cambridge daily with the WWKD question.
In my research for www.WhatWouldKateDo.com, I have come across many other royal ladies – women who represent elegant, luxurious, refined lifestyles from Europeans castles and foreign palaces. They embody the same great qualities as Kate: modern yet traditional, trendy yet timeless, powerful yet humble, witty and poised. These five royal women are fantastic role models for you, the next generation, and every woman in the world:
Queen Letizia of Spain
Queen Letizia, formerly Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, was an international television journalist in Spain, Mexico, and the United States. Her extensive career brought her to some of the biggest events of our time, including Ground Zero in 2001. She came from a working class Spanish family and, despite being a divorcee, commoner, career-focused woman, won the heart of the heir to the Spanish throne. These qualities were uncommon for the future Queen, but Letizia’s driven nature has made her into a powerful, beloved consort.
As Princess of Asturias, Letizia worked closely with Spanish charities, undertook numerous royal tours, and worked as global ambassador for Spain’s rich culture. She has two daughters, Leonor and Sofia, and the family resides at the Palace of Zarzuela. Read more about Letizia at www.LetiziasCloset.com
Need inspiration? Letizia mixes high street and designer fashions, especially Spanish brands like Zara and Felipe Varela.
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
Crown Princess Victoria is the eldest daughter of the King and Queen of Sweden and heir to the Swedish throne. A 1980 Act of Succession secured her right to the throne ahead of her younger brother, Prince
Victoria is extremely well educated, having studied at Université Catholique de l’Ouest and Yale University. She worked at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and trained as a soldier at the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre. As Crown Princess, she has traveled on numerous state visits and supports dozens of charities, including the World Childhood Foundation and the International Paralympic Committee.
In 1998, media outlets reported that Crown Princess Victoria was suffering from a severe eating disorder. In an effort to escape the pressures of royal life and the spotlight, the princess fled to New York to recover and continue her studies at Yale. While in New York, she would meet her future husband – Daniel Westling. A happily ever after in the end!
Need inspiration? Victoria takes fitness and health very seriously. She enjoys staying active by running, playing games with her daughter, and working out her with her husband.
Princess Madeleine of Sweden
Princess Madeleine of Sweden is Crown Princess Victoria’s younger sister. As fourth in line to the throne, her opportunities as a royal are very different from Victoria’s. Princess Madeleine is also well educated – she can speak four languages, studied Art History, Ethnology, Modern History, and Child Psychology.
Madeleine focuses on charitable work, with an emphasis on children’s charities. She is patron of Sweden’s Make-A-Wish Foundation, worked for Child Protective Services in New York City, interned at UNICEF, and currently works full time for the World Childhood Foundation.
In 2010, Madeleine broke off her engagement to long-time boyfriend due to a cheating scandal. Like her sister, she escaped the pressures of the spotlight to New York. In the United States, Madeleine healed and bloomed into a powerful, successful young woman. There, she met American Chris O’Neill – her own Prince Charming.
Need inspiration? Madeleine is often seen going on casual, midday walks – with her husband, her dog, or little Leonor in the pram!
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti was born in Argentina – a far cry from her current home in Amsterdam. Before meeting Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, she was a very successful, independent woman. Maxima earned her Masters degree while working in international finance and teaching ESOL and Mathematics. She lived in New York City when she met “Alexander,” who was secretly the heir to the Dutch throne.
Maxima’s father, Jorge Zorreguieta, was an Argentine cabinet minister during the Dirty War – a 7-year period of military regime. His connection with the government’s mass murders and guerrilla warfare made Maxima and Prince Willem-Alexander’s relationship controversial. In the end, Willem-Alexander realized he could not live without the vivacious, charming Maxima and insisted on marrying her.
Willem-Alexander and Maxima became King and Queen of the Netherlands in 2013. As Queen, Maxima works with numerous charities, with some focus on immigrant integration, social welfare, and LGTB rights. She serves as a wonderful ambassador for the Netherlands and represents her country with great flair.
Need inspiration? Maxima loves daring accessories, like giant hats, statement earrings, and bold shoes!
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
When Mary Elizabeth Donaldson met Fred at the Slip Inn during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, she could hardly imagine she would become Crown Princess of Denmark. Mary led a quiet life in Tasmania – her father was a professor – where she played sports, took flute lessons, and studied French. She studied at the University of Tasmania and received graduate-level certificates in advertising. Mary would work in various marketing and advertising roles before moving to Europe to be with Fred.
Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark proposed to Mary in 2003, and in 2004 she became Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. Since then, Mary has taken an extremely active role in her royal life. She established the Mary Foundation, which works to improve lives compromised by environment, heredity, illness or other circumstances which can isolate or exclude people socially. She also works closely with the World Health Organization, the International Committee of Women Leaders for Mental Health, and the Danish fashion industry, among others. In 1997 – before meeting Crown Prince Frederick – Mary’s mother tragically and suddenly passed away. Mary was only 25, and the tragic loss has stayed with her. She often works with children and families who have suffered similar losses.
Mary is known for her fairytale romance, but also for her inspirational elegance. Despite a very common childhood, she has become a poised, refined woman in the royal spotlight.
Need inspiration? Mary likes to ride her bike around Copenhagen, often taking her children to school in an attached wagon.