The first sleepy week of 2019 might have just passed, but there’s been no shortage of tattoo news to mark the beginning of the New Year. Hello! Magazine kickstarted the inking stories with a feature on members of royal families across the globe who have opted for some permanent decorations.

You might be surprised to learn that King Edward VII himself once got a tattoo – and that was all the way back in 1862. Today, the only British heir known to have a tattoo is Lady Amelia Windsor. In fact, she has several! With images on her wrists, rib cage, and shoulder blade, it’s clear that she shares her ancestor’s passion for body artwork.

Other notable royal figures with tattoos include Princess Sofia of Sweden, Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, and even Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who will one day rule the country.

Meanwhile, Inked Mag has also published an intriguing feature on renowned New York tattoo artist Josh Lord. If you’re a tattoo enthusiast who has ever visited the Big Apple then you will recognise East Side Ink, where Josh has created designs for the Avengers cast and Daniel Day Lewis, among others.

During the interview, Josh talks about getting his start all those years ago when tattooing was still illegal in the city, as well as describing his vision for East Side Ink when it was first founded. He emphasises his perfectionist attitude to the trade, stating: “If you work hard on the details that no one sees, then everything that they do notice will have to be good.”

Nowadays, Josh also works on creating temporary tattoos for TV and movie stars onscreen. It’s incredible to read about his journey from a novice apprentice to a master of the tattooing art!

If you’re wondering what the top tattoo trends will be during 2019 then Refinery 29 has you covered!

They have just released a feature on the upcoming designs that they believe will start to spread like wildfire this year. These include the increasingly popular hand tattoos, as seen on tattoo fan Ariana Grande, especially when presented as a series of smaller images rather than one larger piece of art.

While we’ve all been labouring over our Instagram accounts, and trying to embody the success presented by influencers and celebrities, Refinery 29 experts suggest that tattoos that don’t look like perfect works of art will also become popular this year. Let’s all embrace this focus on being human and just a little flawed!

From ear tattoos to cartoon designs, there’s plenty to choose from in the tattoo culture trends this year.

On a more serious note, CNN has done an in-depth feature on the ancient traditions in Japanese tattoo culture, which are under threat in modern society.

The centuries old practice of “tebori,” or hand etched tattoos, is still practiced in certain venues in Tokyo, and CNN speaks to one practitioner named Ryugen. However, the influx of western tattoo designs has swamped the ancient art of tebori as Japanese people increasingly prefer foreign inkings.

The article also touches on the stigma that still surrounds tattoos in the island nation. Ryugen explains: “If people have any visible tattoo they can be really afraid of getting fired from their job. So they tend to hide them.”

Hopefully, with the possible relaxation of future tattoo laws and a more open minded societal approach, tattoos will be more readily accepted and more safely accessible to inking fans in Japan.