Royale Noir: secret XP theme uncovered (download)

If you don’t fancy the back story, skip directly to download.

Royale NoirSometime after the launch of XP, somewhere in Redmond, someone on the Microsoft design team was in the progress of developing something for Media Center. It was believed to be too powerful for public consumption and forever archived in the servers at 1 Microsoft Way. Now, a young hobbit man by the name of W3bbo saw light of this unheard of theme, and traveled far and wide to uncover its mysteries. One theme to find. One theme to upload. One theme to rule them all.

Devoted Channel9 member W3bbo spotted an interesting theme on one of the “people_ready” television commercials airing in the Kingdoms. After some dedicated searching, he finally uncovered this mystery Windows XP theme by Microsoft. W3bbo writes,

During Royale‘s development (the XP Media Center theme), the graphic artists also produced a black version of the skin, sans the overused “glass” effect. The result is an aesthetic black skin named “Royale Noir”, it even works with Office 2003.

Since the skin was never released (or reached final adjustments) there are a few issues with it: some of the colors don’t meet the overall “feel” (they’re too purple-ish compared to the greys of the bitmaps) and the inactive titlebars are a little too dark.

You’ll find it’s been signed by Microsoft and doesn’t require a custom UxTheme.dll in case there are any doubts as to its authenticity.

If you already have Royale installed, you’ll need to remove it as both of these skins share the same name.

This skin has not been released to anyone outside Microsoft, until now.

Royale Noir screenshotRoyale Noir screenshotRoyale Noir screenshotRoyale Noir screenshot

Without a doubt, XP Media Center’s Royale theme was a huge improvement over Luna. It updated the cliché beveled look-and-feel if XP to a contemporary glossy style, whilst keeping similar color schemes and layouts. In my opinion, it was the most usable non-standard XP theme available.

Royale Noir is an almost exact copy of Royale except with a dark purplish tint. If Royale was day, Royale Noir is night. No doubt about it, this is a ‘dark’ theme. If you’re the sort of person who likes bright and vivid colors, stay away from this theme.

As W3bbo pointed out, there are quite definitely issues with this theme due to its incompleteness. The most obvious being, the “Start” button’s hover and active states are unchanged from Royale, inconsistent with the purple tint surrounding. However, there is even a color scheme for Office 2003 so it will not default to the blue Luna colors.

Looking at it from the big picture, Royale Noir is a welcomed alternative to the extremely small collection of verified-by-Microsoft XP themes. However being incomplete, it is not recommended for the general consumers. Enthusiasts are welcomed to try it to stand out from the crowd, but even still, you’ll feel right at home with the familiar Luna/Royale style.

As I emphasize again, I take no credit for this amazing find. W3bbo did an amazing job uncovering this mystery XP theme.

672 insightful thoughts

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  2. Long, looking at all the attention being given by you (and others) to Vista’s themes, it seems like that’s the only thing newsworthy with Vista…

  3. I can’t get this theme to apply. I extract the files to a royale noir folder, and drag the folder to my themes folder and click on luna and nothing happens.

  4. can someone help me with this please. i did exactly what the instructions say (i’m not a noob at computers) and the option “Noir” is not coming up under the color scheme drop box. are there more specifics that the instructions did not go over? i would really like this cool theme, so any help would be appreciated

  5. I also thought this did not work when I first installed it. But then I discovered the trick.

    Go to the Appearance tab and you will see that you have two choices under “Color Scheme.” Select Royale Noir.

    It is also possible to rename the luna.msstyles file to royale.msstyles and use the *.theme files that came with the Royale download that was on Microsoft Download Center or the ones in Media Center Edition. It is probably also possible to just save your current theme. But take care to save it in %SystemDrive%\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes.

    And Long thanks for allowing us to download this. I’ve been using Royale for almost a year, but having another color scheme is great. The only down side to me is the Start Button.

  6. well dude it would be cool if it doesnt show the blue color also if it was all black then it would be a really nice theme now its like,, ok sowhat?

  7. This is f-ing SWEET! I love the whole noir artistic feel, in movies, and games like Max Payne, so this just takes the cake.

    Now if someone would complete it…. like that pesky start button.

  8. Very cool. I’ve been using Royal for awhile, and this is a great change. The only bummer is that the Office 2007 beta doesn’t take advantage of it (bad programers, BAD) but other then that it’s great.

  9. Can’t get this to work, I install properly but once I click on the Luna.msstyle, the window pops up, I can select Royale Noir, but it displays nothing and throws an error message if I try to apply it :/

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  11. People experiencing problems with this are likely having the extracted luna.msstyles replaced by the System File Checker. SFC replaced the file on me in less than 5 seconds.

    you can still apply the theme, but you have to be quick about it and run luna.msstyles immediately after extracting it, select the changes and apply them within that 5 seconds or you have to extract the file again.

    YMMV

  12. I installed it properly, etc., and it works correctly. Every time I turn on the computer, it reverts back to Windows Classic and I have to go back and click on luna.msstyle again. Has that happened to anyone else?

      1. I had the same problem for a while, but recently there was a System Update and now it boots up with it already loaded. I was so happy to find that out!

  13. i cant get it to work….i have the royale theme downloaded and i’ve already run it, but when i go to c:windows/resources/themes and go into royale all i see is the “windows visual style file” and the shell folder…i cant find the “luna.msstyles” file, also…since its a rar file, what do you use to open it?

    any help would be appreceaited

  14. In order to fix this, you’ll have to actually do some renaming after extracting. Extract it to “c:\windows\resources\themes\luna2″ and rename “luna.msstyles” in that folder to “luna2.msstyles”

    It’ll work perfectly and even show up in the display properties dialog.

  15. @Alpesh: I get too much of that to care anymore. Besides, anyone visiting those sites don’t get ‘real’ information. Another reason to look for the genuine istartedsomething badge. ;)

  16. Complete roxage. I like how it works even without Media Center; I’ve been jealous of that theme for a while. Freaking Luna. >_>

    Or maybe I’m just a moron and could have went out and downloaded Royale somewhere anyway. In any case, thanks W3bbo! Your website is fascinating!

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  18. i must be a little slow, don’t make fun of me, but when you refer to extracting the file, is that just downloading it to the /theme folder?

    i’m gonna need a lot of help, i think this theme looks tight, just need a little help getting there

  19. @TJS: Dude, download the one posted by Christen in the link above. It’s the fixed Royale Noir theme and it’s in a self-installer format. Remember to thank the guy that made it. :)

  20. I need help. Whenever I download the file, it opens in Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, and I can’t get it to extract. Can Someone help me please?

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  23. If you’re having trouble opening the .rar file that this comes in, you can download the free program 7zip at http://7zip.org

    Once you’ve downloaded and installed 7zip, you can right click on the .rar archive and extract it, and then click on luna.msstyles in the royale_noir directory (it should be in the same folder where you just extracted the .rar file)

    Finally, now that it’s installed, right click on your desktop, click properties, go to the appearance tab, and select the color scheme “Royale Noir”

    If, like me, you find the titlebars a little large, you can click on advanced, select “active title bar” from the dropdown menu, and change the font size to 20.

  24. If you’re having trouble opening the .rar file that this comes in, you can download the free program 7zip at http://7zip.org

    Once you’ve downloaded and installed 7zip, you can right click on the .rar archive and extract it, and then click on luna.msstyles in the royale_noir directory (it should be in the same folder where you just extracted the .rar file)

    Finally, now that it’s installed, right click on your desktop, click properties, go to the appearance tab, and select the color scheme “Royale Noir”

    If, like me, you find the titlebars a little large, you can click on advanced, select “active title bar” from the dropdown menu, and change the font size to 20.

  25. Help!

    This theme looks so kick-a*s but I can’t get it to work on my system. I extract it to the folder, and then double-click as instructed. Sure enough the display properties window comes up, but when I try to select “Royale Noir” and hit “apply”, I get this typically infuriating Windows error message:

    The visual styles could not be applied. The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.

    What in the name of 1’s and 0’s does THAT mean?

    -Jeremy

  26. I actually designed a skin quite similar to this for a program we are working on, without know about this skin. Damn you Microsoft, steal me ideas lol. Nah it wasnt really the same. Similar colour scheme was about it.

    I like it though. But I may get a little sick of though after a while. Thanks for the link.

  27. Ha, i never even realized that the MCE my pc came with has a different look from my girl’s lappy’s regular xp. And i sometimes work on them both at the same time. I am somewhat colorblind…. Anyway, the two sure as hell look different now! Thanks, W3bbo.

  28. Microsoft seems to have found the colour scheme appropriate for the launch of the Zune. If you go to Zune.net, you can find the new, finished Zune theme, which is exactly like Royale Noir except that the Start button is orange in the spirit of the Zune. Huzzah for official releases of alternative OS visual styles!

  29. I get the theme to apply when i click it through the .rar folder, i also extracted the folder to the Themes, but everytime i start the computer my settings go back to windows 2000 or something like that and my desktop changes to the classic XP one, how do i get it to stay the royal noir all the time?

  30. i always can apply the skin onto my desktop, but whenever i shut my computer off or when i log off my account, it just doesnt work…[my computer has only one account...therefore i am the admin of my computer]how do i fix that?

  31. Hi & thanks

    in 3rd screenshot above there is a tiny progress bar
    beside searchbar in Ffox,there is an add-on named “download statusbar” that put something like this on status bar,anyone know what’s this,or how you put it there?

    thanks in advance

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  33. wonderful….i was just looking for a black theme that will suit to my winamp black skin…and seew ht i have got…just amazing buddy hats off to u..!

  34. Anyone thinking that the Zune theme and this Royale Noir theme are the same must have some kind of vision impairment. There are many notable differences…mostly being the shades/hues of the theme and the orange start menu bar. Zune = gray/black ; Royale Noir = blueish/gray/black

    This theme rocks though…for sure. Thanks iss!

  35. there is also a great theme for opera web-browser in same colors named lix. go for it and hf
    great thing this black edition

  36. Yea.. why is it unfinished? seems pretty finished to me. And best of all you can choose from the blue Royale and the new Zune theme from this Royale Noir theme. Definitely pretty awesome!

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  40. I really like this theme, however, i cant get it to be “permanent”. When i shut down my computer i have to MANUALLY reset to this theme… is there a way around this? I did follow the instructions correctly and I’m unsure as to why this is happening.. any one know a remedy?

  41. I’ve tried both the Zune theme and the Royale theme, and everything seems to be fine except that when I browse/explore a data CD-R or data DVD-R, the icons for directories do not display the default/regular beige-colored windows folders, and instead have been replaced as Internet Explorer “e” icons. Does anyone else have this issue? I haven’t applied any other skins or themes to my system. It is the default Windows XP installation and all I am trying out are these 2 themes but they both seem to exhibit this same minor issue. Any help is appreciated.

  42. I have taken an interest in this program but I dont know how to extract and carry out the nessisary steps for installing this program, someone help me. Btw Im useing this great transparency program called FocusAlpha available @ Majorgeeks.com I think it will look even cooler w/ this program. You guys should try it. ^_^ http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=5197

  43. Its not working, when I down load it its a file thats not in a folder, and its by its self.

    I sent it exactly where it said, and i tryed every other place i could possibly think of and its not showing up on color schemes.

    I’ve never done this before but I am “computer savy”

    NO OTHER SITES ARE ANY CLOSER TO HELPING

    Is there any other program i need to have…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. this shit is so fucking anoying

  44. ya props for that, and its great i uninstalled that imatition royal noir hack. Too all you people that dunno how to use the file get winrar Doh

  45. Hey, I downloaded Royale Noir but I was not able to find the “luna.msstyles” file that you extract it from some one please help me thanks

  46. hey…i downloaded the royale noir theme from here…..it got installed and stuff…and looked absolutely fab…but everytime i restart my comp…a diff theme comes other than the noir…..in the sense a xp modified theme appears….what do i do…..pls help guys…

  47. This theme is cool, it reminds me of a Stylexp theme I once used, but without needing that horrible program installed. The fact that it’s not permanent is annoying, but it’s a bit of a ‘hack’ theme anyway.

    For those that are having trouble:
    download WinRAR from http://www.rarlab.com and install it. This means you can open and extract the file. Extract the folder part (Shell) to c:\windows\resources\themes
    and then simply double click on the luna.msstyles file from within winrar. Then go to the appearance tab of your display settings (right click on the desktop and then go properties) and select Royale, and underneath choose from either Royale Blue or Royale Noir.

  48. I need help. If I save the file, its not a zipped folder and I can’t extract. It’s the unknown program icon. How do I make it a zipped folder?

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  50. I’m considering downloading this theme. I just have one question. Does the theme revert after shutdown for everyone? Because if not, could somebody please try to figure out what is different for the people for whom it is permanent.

    I don’t want a temporary theme.

  51. I really like this theme but I had to change back to the Windows XP theme because my PC kept freezing and I had to restart. It’s really annoying because this theme looks so much better!

  52. Hey, Everyone i guess this theme is good, But i have a better one you can pute any colour you want to..etc to download it just go to http://www.google.com and right Top themeXp, And select any web youll finde it and then just download Trust me its so good, Have fun.

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  54. i have a problem i got the theme applyed and everything but every time i turn it off or restart it switches back to the classic view can somebody help.

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  56. it patches uxtheme.dll patching uxtheme.dll is very very bad idea my computer became slow after patching i will not do it no more like this i am using royale better then that or use zune

  57. WOW nice just installed to my D (not system restore) drive my sys is E now lol so yeah installed to my D just incase i f**k up like i did with VTP lol :\
    but nice ;)

  58. I’ve just installed this myself, as well as everyone else in my apartment.
    Very cool skin – I just hope we avoid most of the freeze/shutdown problems that others have been running into.
    This will tide me over until Vista gets better…

  59. i downloaded service pack 2
    especially so windows media player 11 would match my royale noir theme XD
    thx dudes!
    i’ve been roaming the world(Internet) for themes for a while now
    and this one beats them all!

  60. I don’t have the media centre edition but, I downloaded this, created a folder called Royale and renamed the msstyles file as Royale.msstyles and now I have both the noir and the original blue theme that comes with the media centre edition!

  61. I like this theme. however, everytime i turn off my computer it gets removed and i have to download it again. what do I do to keep it there?

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  63. Thanks for this theme, its all great except for the start button. I like it when its not highlighted, but once you scroll youre mouse over it it goes green, which makes the black other colors look lame :x. But when you click the start button it goes to dark metallic green, which is pretty cool. Thanks a lot. Osiris

  64. marvelous, grate, extraordinary… Hats off to you dear. Thank u very much. I got the thrilling of achievement after completing the above task.
    the step by step procedure is given very nicely without any confusion to followers.

    thank you.

  65. To prevent the new theme from going away when you restart, make sure you save the zip file to your hard drive instead of simply opening it. Then, after you have completed the instructions at the top of this page, AND BEFORE YOU CLICK “APPLY” OR “OK”, go to the Themes tab and click Save As. This will allow you to save this in your themes folder, and everything will stay intact next time you restart.

    1. did the thing you told but didn’t make any difference, besides, it’s just the same problem as in my LE5 theme. got any better ideas?

  66. I’m having a problem, after i applied the theme my desktop just shows up as a blank color and when i switch it back to my old theme, my desktop shows the pic i set for my desktop for a while but then turns back to a solid color, can someone help me! Thanks!

  67. This theme is banging. I have just upgraded my packages to Office 2007 and you can choose those to show in black so was a big gutted that my desktop was still silver. That’s not a problem now!!!! Brilliant!

  68. Hello guys, wazzup?

    This theme look neat ! If you wanna check out another cool theme follow these steps:

    1.Go to http://www.google.com

    2.Search on “Zune Theme” (without quotes)

    3.And press the first 1 and download!

    4.Enjoy :)

  69. THIS IS AMAZING

    thanks SOSOSOS much

    i hate the look of windows XP the “Luna” style
    SO UGLY

    but this is awesome
    i looked on so many other sties, but only this one worked
    :>

  70. love it!! LOVE IT it’s awesome, i wa so sick of blue, green and silver
    thanx for the remixed- royale link too love it

    thanx

  71. OH MY GOD!
    Thank you so much, sir!
    This is … so amazing! I’ve always gone with the Win98 look because I thought the other themes looked so horrid, and I didn’t want to install some shitty program to skin XP for me. I never knew this exist. Thank you, thank you!

  72. love the black .. but for some reason when i restart my comp it goes away and bring up the classic theme… is there a reason for this?? would love suggestions!

  73. Thank you Swerve – you are a legend for addressing a query everyone else either couldn’t, or just ignored. You’re clearly the only one with the skills that can pay the bills. Cheers

  74. this theme (the Royale one) matches Microsoft Office 2007 perfectly! Brill customisation! but, is there anyway you could change the heading bar for Explorer, it’s a bit too harsh

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  76. I have run this theme on all of my computers in the house and at work. All has been great until Service Pack 3 was d/lded on this computer. After that, my wonderful Royale Noir theme has gone. I select it the media centre in the themes tab, but in appearances, the selection has reverted to the two originals and only allows me to choose blue green and silver colors for buttons etc.
    If anyone has a way to resolve this it would be great, as I have not varied this theme since I installed it 12 months ago.
    Beware if you update with service pack 3 everyone, you’ll lose your theme.

  77. hey i download and applyed it but when i turn of the comp and restart it donest come up with it?
    how can i set it so it stays up all the time even after a resart of the computer??

    Cheers!!!

  78. Oo this is exactly what I was looking for. It nearly matches AeroFox, except it has a slight blue tint. Ah well, good enough for me!

  79. Looks very nice with the FireFox 2 theme ‘Blue Moonlight Vista’.

    Thanks for the theme, been using it for almost a year now.

  80. Every time I turn off my computer, and when I go on it after it turns into windows classic white skin.
    How do I make it stick to the same skin.
    :)

  81. hey this OK I guess but I found a even cooler theme, and it saves it on your Appearances.
    Because this theme is annoying cuse when you restart your computer or turn of it gets rid of it so download myn.:
    :) go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=75078 :)

  82. This is freaking amazing its not much but it is so cool looking and i found this look to be the only real advantage of vista… I also feel better that apparently Microsoft authorized it

  83. this theme is cool, cuz i love black color!

    but every time i turn off my lap top and the next day turn it back on, the theme is gone, kinda like it did not save.

    what do i do to keep this theme permanent?

  84. I SAW THIS THEME ON MY NEPHEW I WAS LIKE WHAT THE HELL THIS IS COOL THEN I WENT TO MY COMPUTER AND I WAS LOOKING FOR IT AND I GOT IT ITS COOL

  85. Hey!! Everyone who has a problem about that when you restart your computer, the theme you set is gone.

    As one of the guest above suggested:
    To prevent the new theme from going away when you restart, make sure you save the zip file to your hard drive instead of simply opening it. Then, after you have completed the instructions at the top of this page, AND BEFORE YOU CLICK “APPLY” OR “OK”, go to the Themes tab and click Save As. This will allow you to save this in your themes folder, and everything will stay intact next time you restart.

    Yeah, you just follow his suggestion. And your theme won’t be away when you restart your computer. I just miss to Save As before I click OK. However, it has been solved and I’m now enjoying my new theme very much.

    Thanks

  86. thanx dude u rule i like the roylal theme better than the royale noir also the zune theme is cooler than royale noir (p.s. im using zune theme right now)

  87. it dosent look like a standard xp theme. the start button has a bit of a suspect edge and turns green when you hover over it.

    you sure this isnt a custom one?

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  89. okay im confused i downloaded it and applied it but whenever i restart my computer it changed back to the classic windows style and the royal noir goes away =/

  90. Drew, if you have service pack 3 installed, this will not work, however Royal Zune does. Also, I have found some systems that are HP Dell etc don’t all like this theme.

  91. Please Help. Im having hugge dificulty in downloading Royale Noir, I managed to download just the files for Appearance but not for themes, as In my desktop doesnt change. Surely it cant be this difficult.

  92. Many many thanks for this theme. I really like it because it is the simplest theme and still aesthetically improved I was looking for it. Regards.

  93. go to crystalxp .net on that site they have everything from wallpapers to full themes its all free you don’t have to sing up

  94. WOW ! A 4 year post but can understand why. ITS FANTASTIC!!! Thanks for this hats off 2 u.
    Oh and for any1 else who has probs keeping theme applyed when restarting.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    THERE IS A LINK FOR A EASY INSTALL DOWNLOAD OF THIS!!! dated: April 28 2008 :-)
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    AND HERE IS A FIREFOX ADD-ON TO GO WITH IT https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4908
    LOOKS SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD TOGETHER! NOT FAR FROM PERFECT IF YA ASK ME!

  95. Well, I looked through all the comments and did it all right. But my computer is still stuck in the Windows Classic theme. I had it on the Zune theme, but then I logged off and on, and now it’s in the Windows Classic gray theme. I also can’t do anything in the all programs area of the start menu. It’s sort of freaky.

  96. nah its a shit sloppy MS job.. my mods to this theme are 10x better , and way way better than the crap vista aero style…. better than anyone elses mods of it aswel I might add.. good luck finding it though

  97. Excuse me. So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.
    I am from Zealand and too bad know English, give please true I wrote the following sentence: “This focus, made as a warm process hair or disease, is administered on conditions that sustain more also when they are smaller.”

    THX ;-), Willard.

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  99. hello! this is great. it looks great. i dont even mind the start lighting up green either.
    hope there will be more color eventually. but this black will be a good change for a while.
    thank you so much for this.

  100. whatever what the heck u no wut wud be nice? if something like this would come out for win7starter. man i’ve been waiting for a release that will Actually let you change the color of the taskbar that is hack or not. i don’t care but LONG ZHENG MAKE SOMETHING THAT WILL LET U DO THIS FOR WIN7STARTER!!

  101. Thanks so much for this one! I’ve been really really bored with the regular themes and this is what just I’m looking for. Simple but nice, and best of all I didn’t need to install any third-party applications :]

  102. Hey I saw this and i had to get it! its realy nice, but i cant find it when im looking at the appearence settings, Im wondering what i did wrong.
    Ps
    I did the extraction to the right place F.Y.I

  103. Thanx very very much it’s one of the greatest themes ever created by Microsoft! I like it so much!!!!!! It’s just what I’ve lookin’ 4!!!!!!!!

  104. this theme is awsome!!!!! just downloaded it and it rocks my favorite is the black noir because the blue is a bit girly (if u know wat i mean)

  105. I’ve seen this theme on someones computer then wanted it’s name and downloaded and said very very very Superb theme. Please send me more links like Royal downloads.

  106. I have created an automatic installer for this awesome theme which has following features and advantages:

    1. The theme didnt contain any .theme file. So a “Royal Noir.theme” has been added which makes applying theme easier.

    2. This theme and default “Royale” theme share same name and everyone needs to delete “Royale” theme for installing this theme. This issue has been fixed and now it shows actual “Royale Noir” name in Desktop Properties so no need to delete anything.

    3. The installer installs the theme in correct folder and also opens the theme in Desktop Properties window. So anyone can easily apply the theme by clicking on “Apply” button.

    Following are the direct download links for it:

    Rapidshare – http://rapidshare.com/files/390091633/Royale_Noir_Theme_for_Windows_XP.zip

    Mediafire – http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?oieoz4a2xio

    Original article containing the installer:

    http://www.askvg.com/download-official-windows-xp-themes-no-uxtheme-patching-required/

    I hope it’ll help people in enjoying this theme. :)

  107. This is officially called the ZUNE theme, look it up on google and click on the first link. It is NOT called Royale Noir! Look up Zune theme for XP!

    1. You are mistaken. The XP theme described on this site is indeed the Royale Noir theme. The above download contains the two Royale themes. Royale is a vivid blue and Royale Noir is a dark grayish blue. The Zune theme is black with an orange start button and is available as a separate download.

  108. I have a HUGE problem with Royale.
    Everything works fine with the upper window bar when i’m using applications like Firefox and popup windows like the one in the Control Panel that allows you to switch themes, however there’s a huge problem with my lower taskbar, with the start menu- it defaults to a grey Classic theme. Furthermore, on windows like Control Panel, the entire window is shown in Classic.

    Can anyone help?

    1. The install instructions described on this site are incorrect and will lead to the theme reverting back to classis upon reboot. Here is the correct method:

      1) Download the zip file

      2) Extract file to>>> C:\windows\resources\themes\Royale (important: note the R is upper-case)

      3) The folder named ” luna.msstyles ” has to be renamed ” royale ” (important: note the lower-case r)

      4) Delete the “read me” file

      5) Go to your desktop and right-click>>>click properties>>>click appearance>>>select a theme>>>click apply>>>click ok

      6) Enjoy your new theme :)

  109. it’s cool but after some time the appearance settings are messed up and u can’t change from royal noir to royale. U can make it normal xp though.

  110. THANK YOU! i’ve been looking for hours for just this! no additional software, no useless junk clotting up my machine! THANK YOU – and EXTRA kudos to the guy that found it orginally! :P THANKS AGAIN

  111. There is one more signed theme. Not as good. It is called zune. It makes the taskbar black with an orange start button and the writing goes smaller.

  112. Thanks and I’m glad this website is still here! For the past 4 years everytime my windows would crash id come back here to reinstall this theme. Thanks again mate

  113. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I was sooooooo tired of gray, blue, green,,,ugh! It looks so much better…yay me! and yay YOU!

  114. I have a huge problem, well I had the old royle noir and It wouldn’t let me change back to normal so I installed your one and it made it even worse , how do I fix it

  115. Noir is the best one for me. But I think the Windows XP themes mechanisms are all missy! If you select the style to Noir or Royale, then save the theme, you cannot select it later, and if you do so, the menu element would have freaky borders. Something like the one the Classic style has. Thats not only for Noir or Royale. Even if you select the Windows XP one, and then Save As Your_Theme, then if you select Classic->OK, then Your_Theme-OK, you will see that freak menu by right clicking anywhere in desktop.

  116. Thanks for the Theme, extremely impressed and happy with it, I love that slick cool black touch to it, even if it’s just a slight color change from the blue royale it’s still an amazing theme change, Great Job.

  117. I have the problem that once the computer is restarted the theme changes back to windows classic and so i have to manually set it to the royale noir theme every time i log in, am i doing something wrong??

  118. Es un tema muy elegante para uno de los más populares sistemas operativos (Windows XP)

    Es extremadamente liviano & lo mejor de todo es que no consume recuersos como la mayoría!!!

    La verdad deberian hacer un tema de Windows 7 para XP así como este!

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  120. Hello,Is there a resolve for the problems viewing the site using internet explorer? Would love to continue using the theme but the majority of the word still sadly uses IE so it is not accessible…….

  121. Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back
    frequently!

  122. Windows XP is still one of the most used OS. It’s incredible for me that it can be that beautiful and, what’s more, powerful even 12 years after its birth

  123. Pingback: Royale Noir" Theme
  124. Ive been using Royale Noir on my xp desktop for years (since before vista was released) and havent had any trouble with it as far as visibility or anything like that. it gets along fine with me, and frankly i think it would work out just grand with any user who wants a black theme.

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