27 May 2016

Royal Fashion Awards: Prince Oscar's Christening (Updated)

Programming Note: It's a holiday weekend in my corner of the world and a holiday weekend for the blog too! We will return on Wednesday.

Prince Oscar of Sweden, Duke of Skåne has been christened, and the Swedes have had another chance to break out the baby sash of the Order of the Seraphim. We’re all winners today. (Watch the ceremony here, and see our open post here.)
Nobody can outdo a baby in an elaborate royal christening gown – the one worn by Prince Oscar was first used in 1906 – but Oscar’s attentive entourage still brought their best for us to review. We've got some awards to hand out, yes we do.

Update: And we have some beautiful official photographs as well! Check them out throughout the entry, and click to enlarge.

Best in Family Coordination
Crown Princess Victoria & Co.
Anna-Lena Ahlström, Kungahuset.se
Victoria was summery in a white By Malina dress and Philip Treacy hat, and maybe just a touch sporty too, given the almost mesh-like effect of this dress and the mesh on the hat. A good look? Absolutely. Made even better by the addition of a Mini Me? You better believe it.
Read more about the brooches - portraits of the King - worn by the Swedish royal ladies here.
Princess Estelle matched her mother in white, with a wee fascinator occupying her usual hair bow spot like millinery training wheels for a future hat star. I think it’s the strand of pearls that really did me in.

Best in Other Family Coordination
Queen Silvia
Henrik Garlöv, Kungahuset.se
Another christening, another soft color, another shift dress for Queen Silvia. I can’t blame her for sticking to any of those, nor can I blame her for opting for an outfit that allows her to wear this pearl necklace. The outfit's standard, the hat's deceptively nonstandard - all business at the front, with a little sculptural party at the back.
You  know what I really loved about this choice? She coordinated perfectly with Daniel’s mother, Ewa Westling, who also looked quite elegant. How can you not love a united grandma front?

Most Dramatic Godmother Style
Princess Madeleine
Anna-Lena Ahlström, Kungahuset.se
I imagine Madeleine has already been fielding inquiries from Queen Máxima about this dress – no way does a sleeve this dramatic slip past our Dutch queen. Perhaps Madeleine needed some literal room up her sleeves for tricks with which to wrangle a squirmy Princess Leonore. Prince Nicolas, on the other hand, sat with Chris O'Neill and contentedly and hilariously played with what appeared to be a light-up toothbrush.
Madeleine's dress from Roksanda Ilincic
Madeleine exercised restraint in every other aspect of this outfit and balanced the interest of the sleeves with the texture of the floral headpiece, making this perhaps the most successful royal implementation yet of that mad Lumière sleeve.

Most Sparkling Godmother Style
Crown Princess Mette-Marit
Well, of course Mette-Marit didn’t wear a proper hat. (If you were expecting her to, you were just setting yourself up for disappointment, be honest.) I’ll accept it on grounds of pure sparkliness, from the headband to the pearl and diamond earrings to the diamond and aquamarine brooch interestingly deployed at her neckline.
Henrik Garlöv, Kungahuset.se
Even the dress seemed to have a bit of flash under the lights, which came as a welcome surprise. She's another that can work this schoolgirl neckline, even with the headband addition - but again, this one's taken up several notches by the jewels.

Best in Superhero Style
Princess Sofia
Is Sofia actively campaigning for a spot on my list of favorite royals? Because wearing a cape to a christening is one heckuva campaign strategy, I'll tell you that much.
This cape-back dress from Antonio Berardi (a designer I’d like to see more royals wear, by the way) is beyond fabulous. She’s got me excited for Prince Alexander’s christening already.

Most…Interesting in the Millinery Show
Princess Christina
Is it a giant goth flower? Is it the aftermath of a helicopter crash? Princess Christina’s millinery selection is a story prompt waiting to happen. Princess Margaretha, the only other one of King Carl Gustaf’s sisters to attend, was a more calming vision in purples.

Best of the Millinery Show
Crown Princess Mary
This christening was a sea of little fascinators and other hat-ish sorts of things. Thank the hat gods for Mary and her giant statement chapeau! This is a loud hat done in a quiet sort of way, though, not in an oops-I-got-lost-on-the-way-to-Ascot sort of way. (Although she could wear this to Ascot, and she should, so let's brainstorm a way to get her there tout de suite.)
Dress by Max Mara (per StyleofMary), hat by Susanne Juul
She sweeps the Best in Guest stakes with zero competition in sight. Very well played indeed.

Who makes your christening best dressed list?

A few more official photos for the road (all by Anna-Lena Ahlström, Kungahuset.se):

BIG thank you as always to Sarah from The Royals & I/Swedish Royal Clothing IDs for speedy dress identifications!

Photos: Kingahuset as indicated, SVT screencaps, Getty Images as indicated, Avenue32, Net-a-porter, Max Mara

Prince Oscar's Christening: The Open Post

Greetings! This is the place to chat if you'll be watching and enjoying the christening of Prince Oscar of Sweden, son of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. The service is scheduled to start at noon in Stockholm. Update: The christening is now over, but you can watch the replay at the link below, usually available for a limited time.

The Swedish royal court released the names of Prince Oscar's godparents yesterday:
  • HRH Crown Prince Frederik
  • HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit
  • HRH Princess Madeleine
  • Mr. Oscar Magnuson (Victoria's cousin)
  • Mr. Hans Åström (Daniel's cousin)

Here's our post on the christening wrap up. Please mind the comment policy as always, and have fun!

26 May 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Tiaras of Princess Laurentien

Quick programming note: Prince Oscar's christening is tomorrow! If you're planning on watching live, you can join us here for an open post. The service starts at noon in Stockholm (and here's that time zone converter again). A link to stream will be included in the open post. Now, on with today's regularly scheduled programming...

Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands turned 50 yesterday, and you know I like to celebrate with tiaras. Laurentien, wife of Prince Constantijn and sister-in-law of King Willem-Alexander, doesn't have a lot of tiara events on her schedule; the odd gala event at home and the occasional big international event is pretty much it. But even so, the generous lending policies in the Dutch royal house mean she's tried out a fair few tiaras. It's time for a tiara retrospective - as always, click the tiara name for more.

She started out with a classic when she married Prince Constantijn in 2001, complementing the strong lines of her wedding gown with a laurel wreath tiara somewhere around 200 years old.

Laurentien also took on another plant-based classic in her early princessing days, wearing the family's Ears of Wheat Tiara to the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in 2001. The tiara does better with a little hair piled up behind it, but the motif certainly worked with the dress.

The inverted v-shape of this tiara has a tendency to look like it's about to fall off the head, something I found emphasized when Laurentien wore it. (Not that it was much noticed with this particular outfit. No, it wasn't one of her bests - but we needn't dwell on that for this birthday girl.)

Princess Beatrix's favorite tiara has graced Laurentien's head a couple of times. The diamonds in the center of each motif can be replaced with rubies; Laurentien is partial to wearing it with only one central ruby, which I don't quite understand when you could have the more complete look of three rubies. It's my favorite tiara on her anyway. Just as it suits Beatrix's hair, it also suits Laurentien's short 'do.

That short 'do makes her uniquely suited to show off tiaras with detailed bases, and she certainly did so with the family's aquamarine tiara. That massive aquamarine pendant hanging from a bow brooch associated with the Stuart Tiara/House Diamond Parure doesn't hurt, either.

What's your favorite tiara on Princess Laurentien?

Royal Duo of the Day: May 26

How much do we love a queen's night out? Queen Mathilde invited Queen Máxima to attend a session of the piano finals for the Queen Elisabeth Competition last night.
Royal Palace
Queen Máxima tried out a long tunic over a pair of trousers. This is a strategy regularly deployed by the Duchess of Cornwall for evening events (day events too), and it can be surprisingly glam when done right. Of course, Camilla's tunics usually aren't adorned with doilies.

Queen Mathilde's sartorial highlight for the competition came a little earlier, attending another evening with King Philippe.
Royal Palace
Would not have thought Mathilde would go for the semi-boho look, but it totally works for her. She got the styling just right here, from the hair to the chunky gold accessories. Diane von Furstenberg proves to be a good choice once again.
Diane von Furstenberg

25 May 2016

Royal State Visit of the Day: May 25

The Norwegian royal family welcomed the President and First Lady of Poland for a state visit this week. The welcome ceremony on Monday was dampened (literally) by a dreary rain...

L to R: Princess Astrid, Crown Prince Haakon, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, President Andrzej Duda, King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Princess Mette-Marit
Liv Osmundsen, Det kongelige hoff
...and it seems the royal welcoming outfits were dampened by a bit of the same. It's a fair bet Queen Sonja's incongruous choice of heavy black boots with this lovely bright outfit was influenced by the puddles outside. Likewise, the need for constant umbrellas obscured Crown Princess Mette-Marit's very interesting striped hat selection. What would look like an Ascot prison break on many might just be working for her, if only we could see it better. Blame it all on the rain.

Mette-Marit actually wore galoshes outside, as you can see in the above video. Comfort and safety must have been the primary concerns, because she ended up pulling out of the evening's state banquet due to her ongoing back pain issues.

Queen Sonja brought the ruffles in her place. Extra ruffles, actually, just to make up the difference. It's a curious match for the grand Norwegian emerald tiara, but that's never stopped her in the past. Princess Astrid gamely sported her most antenna-esque aigrette (which, as you may have seen me tweet, is amusingly animated in movement).
Presidency of the Republic of Poland Twitter
Mette-Marit wasn't down for long, thankfully. She returned on day 2 with a soft pink reminder that she looks excellent in pastels. (Hopefully she'll stay well - she's got Prince Oscar's christening on Friday to attend! Everyone's calling Crown Prince Frederik as a lock for a godparent, and I think M-M is too.)

24 May 2016

Royal Florals of the Day: May 24

Nothing brings a royal turnout quite like a flower show, and the Chelsea Flower Show is king when it comes to royal attendance. QEII led a pack of Windsors to view the garden displays yesterday, sporting a brooch directly tied to the show itself (and, of course, you can read all about that at the Vault).

The Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Countess of Wessex, and the Princess Royal were a few of yesterday's royal visitors.
The Royal Family
While the Duchess of Cambridge occupied headlines in her repeated Catherine Walker coat, my true favorites were those who took the day's floral theme literally. (They weren't my favorites because they took the theme so literally, okay, but it's a happy coincidence and I'm running with it.)

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie
A good show from the York sisters, I thought. There's a casual lack of coordination in Beatrice's outfit that actually works for a day out like this, and the peekaboo panels on Eugenie's skirt touch on the floral theme without overdoing it. If that white dress doesn't say springtime, I don't know what does.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with going Full Floral. In fact, sometimes that's just what's called for.
The Countess of Wessex
Oh, how I love a little interest in the shape of a skirt. Adding the black jacket brings this Alexander McQueen dress down just a notch without sacrificing any interest. This feels like the perfect way to do a modern floral in a non-grandma's sofa sort of way. Another win for Sophie, and my absolute favorite for the day.

23 May 2016

Royal Outfits of the Day: May 23

Queen Máxima christened a ship last week, and you know what that means: time to break out the hats.
(Okay, not that she needs a ship christening to break out a hat, but she's certainly not going to pass up the opportunity.) This navy outfit falls into the simple + lovely category - one of my faves - and it's the perfect canvas for some mega jewelry. Big sapphires would have been just the ticket, but she opted for some pearl earrings and a combo of long necklaces, which was effective anyway.

Mega jewelry was also the theme of the evening when the royal family held their annual dinner with the Diplomatic Corps last week.
A photo posted by @abaca_royalty on

She unearthed an old red Natan outfit and headlined the outfit with the Mellerio Ruby Tiara, which seems to be one of her favorites. Seems she's been doing some digging around in the jewel vault (surprise, surprise), because she took a piece of the Mellerio parure's devant de corsage (a large brooch or stomacher) and used it as a pendant for another brooch.
Queen Juliana wearing the devant de corsage, and Máxima wearing this dress several years ago
Hey, if anyone out there is going to bring back the stomacher, it'll be Máx. Let's get to work on that.

22 May 2016

Sunday Tidbits for May 22: New Baby, New Tiara Event

Let's go:

--Tiara event! And the one time per year we get to see a crown in actual use: ICYMI, the State Opening of Parliament was covered at the Jewel Vault this week, with Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall in attendance. Camilla's hitting the rare occasion when I don't really mind an exact repeat, because the look is just that good.
UK Parliament via CC BY-NC 2.0

--Prince Amedeo of Belgium and his wife, Elisabetta (Lili), welcomed a daughter this week! Amedeo is the son of Princess Astrid of Belgium, and a nephew of King Philippe. Their baby girl is named Anna Astrid after her grandmothers.

--Another unexpected edition of who wore it best: the Duchess of Cornwall or Dame Helen Mirren in a black and blue lace Bruce Oldfield dress? Not even a twirling Dame Helen can make me believe the transition at the waist isn't awkward. [Go Fug Yourself]

--Here's a really interesting look behind the scenes of the making of Queen Mathilde's two hats for this week's Jordanian state visit, from Fabienne Delvigne. [Facebook, h/t Royal Hats Blog]

--What's the King of Bhutan been up to? Oh, just personally cooking a lunch for schoolkids.

--The Women Deliver conference was held in Copenhagen this week, keeping Crown Princess Mary busy and attracting a host of royal guests, including Princess Mabel, Queen Máxima, Princess Benedikte, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

--And finally, we'll see Mary and Mette-Marit together again soon: Haakon and Mette-Marit will also be attending Prince Oscar's christening on Friday. SVT will broadcast the christening starting at 11:30 local time (here's a time zone converter), and we will have an open post here.

Coming up this week: Catching up with Máxima (speaking of tiara events), and more...

Sunday Tidbits is your place throughout the week to share things we haven't covered yet and for all your off topic chats. Enjoy! 

20 May 2016

Royal Flashback of the Day: May 20

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel will christen their son, Prince Oscar, in one week (and there will be an international royal crowd! Billed-Bladet reports Frederik and Mary will be there, with more guests to be confirmed).

Victoria knows a few things about a good christening. Sure, she has Princess Estelle's under her belt, but she was collecting godchildren left and right for years before that. I mean, there's a whole section of her Wikipedia page devoted to a list of her godchildren (16 on the list today, apply your own Wiki disclaimers). She's godmother to the future queens of the Netherlands and Norway and the future king of Denmark, to name just three. So let's see a few of the outfits she's worn while on godmother christening duty - just a selection, because, well, that's a whole lot of christenings.

2004: The christening of Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway
If you remember the orange ensemble Victoria wore to Felipe and Letizia's wedding, then you're experiencing the same déjà vu as I am. (The christening was April 2004, the wedding was May 2004. Perhaps there was a sale on brightly colored florals that season.) This one's a lovely color and fun for a spring christening, but it soooorta looks like there's some sushi on her head.

2004: The christening of Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands
All the good stuff was happening in 2004, royal event-wise. Repeating an outfit worn to Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium's wedding the previous year, I find this very much dated and I find myself rooting for a comeback for that hat. That's a serious hat.

2006: The christening of Prince Christian of Denmark
We actually just flashed back to this outfit - Victoria wore the jacket, hat, and shoes with a lighter colored skirt later that year for her father's 60th birthday celebrations. I'm throwing the video in here mostly because I never miss a chance to go completely off track and admire Crown Princess Mary's diamond and sapphire brooch (a gift from Queen Margrethe, and a Connaught heirloom).

2008: The christening of Princess Eléonore of Belgium
Oooh, let's end it on a high note. This suit is the best. It's sparkly, and the shape is killer enough to override any sparkleblergh-type concerns. It's just pretty. This is a strong front-runner for my favorite Godmother Victoria outfit. I'm sure the list of godchildren is not complete, so I'll keep the top spot open...

19 May 2016

Tiara Thursday (with Bonus State Visit): Queen Rania’s Boucheron Bracelet Tiara

Jordan’s King Abdullah and Queen Rania are in Belgium for a state visit this week. A state banquet with King Philippe and Queen Mathilde offers the rare (these days) chance to see Queen Rania in a tiara, which is exciting…even if her particular tiara choice is not so exciting.
Belgian Monarchy
Squint real hard and you’ll see that Rania has selected her Boucheron Bracelet Tiara for the occasion. It’s her most frequently worn tiara over the past few years, but we haven’t covered it here – until now.

Queen Rania's Boucheron Bracelet Tiara
Boucheron made this tiara for Queen Rania, and she debuted it in 2008. It’s a modern design with two simple rows of diamond on either side of the head meeting in the middle with a swirl. Three drop diamonds dangle from the ends of the rows in the center. As the name suggests, it can be used as a tiara or as a bracelet.
The tiara made high profile appearances marking the tenth anniversary of King Abdullah’s reign in 2009 and at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in 2010. Tiara events for Rania are rare at best these days. My tiara loving heart wishes she’d go all out when she does get a chance to sport one (we’ve covered two she’s worn – the Boucheron Emerald Ivy Tiara and Queen Alia’s Cartier Tiara, neither of which she owns personally – and there are at least two more), but I am not surprised that she opts for the sleeker, smaller model more often than not. It suits her and it suits the modern style with which she goes about her queenly business.

She opted for the Boucheron Bracelet Tiara again at last night’s Belgian state banquet, worn with a stunning pair of diamond earrings. Queen Mathilde wore the bandeau portion of the Nine Provinces Tiara. I thought a visit from another monarchy might have brought out the full version of the tiara (with its upper arches and large diamond collets), but she correctly interpreted what her guest would bring.

Sash swaps were in full swing: Jordan’s Supreme Order of the Renaissance for Queen Mathilde, the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali for King Philippe, and Belgium’s Order of Leopold for both King Abdullah and Queen Rania.
Mathilde picked up on the red stripe in her Jordanian sash in stellar style in this red gown, with some tiers at the bottom and sequin fun at the top. A little bit of sparkle, a little bit of movement, and a great shape for her.

Queen Rania’s Balmain skirt was made entirely of sparkle and movement, basically.
On the Balmain runway
This reminds me of the black skirt Queen Máxima wore in Denmark last year. Much like Máxima, Rania made the simplest possible tiara choice – in this case, the Boucheron Bracelet Tiara was the right pick.

We’ll end with the beginning, the official welcome yesterday. King Abdullah and Queen Rania arrived late Tuesday, with official day 1 stuff happening on Wednesday.
Queen Rania Instagram
I'm giving everything I've got to Mathilde here: LOVE. What a perfect spring state visit welcoming outfit. She was on point yesterday.

18 May 2016

Royal National Day of the Week: May 18

Yesterday was National Day in Norway, an occasion I love because it gives us a chance to see the Norwegian royal family all decked out in their glorious national costume (bunad). I adore a good bunad, I think I've mentioned that six or seven hundred times; they're specific to regions, and they have the loveliest details. I'm no expert (and I know we have some out there), but I love reading about them. Fall down this rabbit hole with me, will you?

The day started with the crown princely family greeting the children's parade outside their home, Skaugum. Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, and Prince Sverre Magnus were present. Even family pet Milly Kakao gets decked out in her own ribbon.

Mette-Marit wore her Rogaland bunad, which she received for her confirmation and which was embroidered by her grandmother. Ingrid Alexandra wore a new bunad from Vest-Agder. It's the second of a series that will outfit her for life, a gift to her as a baby from her mother's home, Kristiansand. Sverre Magnus' outfit is also from Vest-Agder, and Haakon is in the bunad of Asker, where their home is located.

Then it was on to another parade, viewed from the palace balcony with King Harald and Queen Sonja. The ladies usually leave the traditional dress behind for this portion and go for the regular royal coat + hat thing, but not always and not this year. The gents changed into their top hat finery, as usual.
Lucky M-M has several styles to select from - make that very lucky M-M, since these can be pretty expensive - so why stick with just one for the day? She made a quick change into a Hardanger bunad given to her as a wedding gift. Queen Sonja's incredibly intricate East Telemark bunad is a favorite; though not lacking in options herself, she often reflects her family's Telemark roots.

Last but not least, they even united with #TeamShades, for one brief, shining (literally) moment.

Have I convinced you to spend some time in this rabbit hole with me? Good. Here's more:

Photos: via Getty Images as indicated and NRK screencaps

17 May 2016

Royal Outfits of the Day: May 17

These two outfits don't really have anything in common, other than the fact that they are bright. Bright and discussion-worthy...

Princess Charlene launched the American branch of the Princess Charlene Foundation in California last week.
Is this why Charlene wears the neutrals all the time, so that when she does bust out a bright color, it will knock you right over? Because this stopped me in my tracks. Orange! What a fabulous color for her, and the sleek cut of the dress is right up her alley.
Roland Mouret Dunmore crepe-paneled matelassé dress via Net-a-Porter
The dress is another surprise, a Roland Mouret design instead of one of her regular labels. Her Los Angeles trip was pretty much all RM ensembles, actually (see galleries here and here), which prompted me to spend no less than 20 seconds googling (#research) whether they're a sponsor of the charity. No matter - I want to see more.

Elsewhere around the globe, Crown Princess Mary seemed to be wearing a basic blue dress, not too remarkable but a great strong, bright color anyway. Or so I thought...
Crown Princess Mary attended a reception at the Australian ambassador's residence for the Copenhagen Women Deliver conference.
YDE jumpsuit, via Moda Operandi
The jumpsuits and the culottes have united, and they're coming for us all. Save yourselves.

16 May 2016

Royal Repeat of the Day: May 16

The Crown Prince Couple's Culture Prizes, 2013
Lisbeth Grosmann/Bikubenfonden via CC BY-ND 3.0
Crown Princess Mary has a few dresses from YDE by Ole Yde in her collection, including this semi-regular repeat. It's a floaty dress in the palest of pinks, with a triple tier skirt and an off the shoulder ruffle at the neckline. We've seen this dress in the past with a large, loose bow in black at the shoulder, a feature that often prompts Mary to pair the dress with black accessories, like the Ole Lynggaard earrings and cuff worn in 2013 (above).

Attending a dinner for the Royal Danish Yacht Club's jubilee on Friday
See video here at Billed-Bladet
For a dinner celebrating the Royal Danish Yacht Club's 150th anniversary over the weekend, attended by the crown princely couple with Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik, the dress appeared once more. The loose black bow has vanished this time, leaving in its place a floral decoration in the same color as the rest of the dress. (I believe she also wore it with this shoulder decoration in 2010 for then-Prince Philippe's 50th birthday in Belgium, so it may be interchangeable.)

Also gone, apparently? Mary's need to wear this dress with black accessories. While I thought I'd miss the contrast, I'm actually loving the lightness left behind. This is a supremely twirly dress, full of excellent movement, and the light touches of gold match the feel of the frock. (See, I've got all the praise for a golden hair ornament when it's used to add some fun at a non-tiara event.) Full marks.

P.S. Queen Margrethe wore a necklace of signal flags, because of course she did. (The flags spell out ALEXANDRINE, an heirloom from her grandmother.)

15 May 2016

Sunday Tidbits for May 15: Your Weekly Portrait Update, with a Bonus Kimono

Well, there was a Nordic state dinner at the White House, but not a Nordic monarch in sight. Why haven't they catered their diplomacy to my specific interests, huh? Anyway...

--To say thanks for the congratulations on Prince Alexander's birth and to mark Prince Carl Philip's birthday, the Swedish court released some gorgeous family pictures with Princess Sofia and their dog, Siri. The family was photographed at Drottningholm. (All photos: Erika Gerdemark, The Royal Court, Sweden. Click to enlarge.)

--Princess Benedikte opened a new Fabergé exhibition at the Museum at Koldinghus which showcases pieces from the Russian court jeweler owned by the Danish royal family. I'm sure that's gorgeous and all, but mostly I just wanted to tell you that I am ALL ABOUT her saucy pink hat. (Also, see if you can spot the family members that bring us full circle with our most recent tiara post.) [JydskeVestkysten]

--Prince and Princess Akishino are on an official visit to Rome, the highlight of which has undoubtedly been Princess Kiko's stunning kimonos. [ParisMatch]

--People are talking about the Adolfo Dominguez clutch carried by Queen Letizia - which, granted, is quite the conversation piece - but forget that and talk to me about these earrings. [Hola]
Letizia's earrings are from Mango

--And finally, over at the Jewel Vault, QEII finally got a trophy she can really use: a Tesco gift card. Update: Sunday's birthday extravaganza featuring most of the royal family has been covered over at the Vault.

Coming up this week: Mary rediscovers a dress, Charlene discovers a color, and more...

13 May 2016

Royal Event of the Day: May 13

This is not really a sartorial thing, but I can't think of a better way to end the week than with a few highlights from the Invictus Games in Orlando. The closing ceremony was last night, and the whole games have been chock full of not only Prince Harry goodness, but goodness of every kind.

A short look at the Games

Speeches from Prince Harry and Michelle Obama at the opening ceremony

Prince Harry tries on USA Invictus Team Member Elizabeth Marks' Team USA jersey in the competitor's tent at the swimming pool. She joined him for an interview on ESPN, which you can see here, and gave him back the gold medal she won because she wanted it to go to the British hospital that saved her life at the last Invictus Games.

I have so many favorite moments, I just don't even know where to start. Have you been following the Invictus Games? I hope you'll share your favorite moments in the comments.

(On the other hand, if you are in the mood for something sartorial, check out this week's garden parties at Buckingham Palace over at the Vault, here and here.)

12 May 2016

Tiara Thursday: Queen Alexandrine's Fringe Tiara

Our recent chats about the tiaras at Crown Princess Mary's disposal have given way to a few discussions about a fringe tiara in the Danish royal family. There's one to be found in the extended branches of the family: Queen Alexandrine's Fringe Tiara, featuring rays of diamonds of graduated size with diamond spacers between, is currently worn by Countess Sussie of Rosenborg.
Queen Alexandrine's Fringe Tiara, worn by Countess Sussie
Many fringe tiaras are referred to as Russian tiaras, thanks to their roots as jeweled versions of traditional Russian kokoshnik headdresses, which were popular at the Romanov court. This one actually is a Russian tiara: Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna (1860-1922) received it as a wedding gift from her uncle, Tsar Alexander II, when she married Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1879. Anastasia was a fascinating character - after her husband died, she had an illegitimate son fathered by her personal secretary, and was known to enjoy her time at the tables in Monte Carlo - but it is her daughter that gives the tiara the name and royal association by which we know it today.
Queen Alexandrine's Fringe Tiara
Alexandrine Auguste of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1879-1952) married the future King Christian X of Denmark in 1898. Queen Alexandrine inherited this fringe tiara from her mother and wore it often, both in the stylish bandeau style across her forehead in her earlier years and atop her head in the traditional manner later on.
Anastasia Mikhailovna (left) wearing a fringe tiara that may be this one; Alexandrine (right)
It is thanks to Queen Alexandrine that we associate this tiara with the Danish royal family, but it didn't stay in the ruling branch very long. She left it to her son, Prince Knud (who actually was next in line for the throne for a time, until the laws were changed to permit female succession), and it was worn by his wife, Princess Caroline-Mathilde (1912-1995). It is now with their son, Count Ingolf of Rosenborg, and is worn by his second wife, Countess Sussie. Princess Elisabeth, Ingolf's sister, has also had occasion to wear the tiara. Big Danish royal events often include the extended family, so we have plenty of opportunities to see this in use, and I think Countess Sussie wears it very well indeed.
Video: Gala performance for Queen Margrethe's 70th Birthday, 2010. Zoom ahead to 4:57 for a glittering view of this tiara in action.
Diamond fringe tiaras have a tendency to look like clones of one another in their simplest form, but Queen Alexandrine's version puts an interesting spin on the basic design. The tallest pieces are almost like the rays of Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara in a more spaced out arrangement, with their diamonds of graduated size. The smaller pieces between are noticeable in a photograph of the tiara alone, but disappear when in use. The spaces they create give the tiara a lighter, more airy feel than many of its fellow fringe designs. I adore the fringe tiara in its most classic format above all, but this variation has a lot of appeal.

Where does this fall on your list of favorite fringe tiaras?

Photos: DR

Royal Style Triplet of the Day: May 12

This looks familiar...
Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary hosted a dinner for the Copenhagen Fashion Summit at Amalienborg, where they received the President and First Lady of Honduras.
Photo: Presidency of Honduras
I predicted Mary would be next to sport this H&M dress after we saw it on Crown Princess Mette-Marit and in two different colors on Crown Princess Victoria. Mary was smart to wait two years after those appearances to give us some time to recover from the overload of this dress in 2014. She was smart to wear it for this occasion, too; the Copenhagen Fashion Summit focuses on sustainability, and this dress is from the H&M Conscious Collection, which has the same focus (H&M also sponsors the summit).
This dress is just screaming out for some shoe interest (hello, see the model). Mary got us part of the way there in yellow pumps, but my wait for something really fierce continues.

11 May 2016

Double Tiara Watch of the Day: May 11

State visit month promised, and state visit month is already delivering.

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg arrived in Finland for their state visit, where a gala banquet was held. And they've swapped orders, in proper state visit form: the Order of the White Rose of Finland for Henri and Maria Teresa, the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau for President Sauli Niinistö, and the Order of Adolphe of Nassau for first lady Jenni Haukio. The grand ducal couple received their orders at an earlier state visit. (For galleries from the first day, see here.)
Office of the President of the Republic of Finland
The Grand Duchess brought along her tiara and her Elie Saab. (She must have known I needed a fix. What a gem she is.) The Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara is a perfect choice for this dreamy dress. A+ state visiting.  

Elsewhere, the Swedish royal family welcomed the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, at the start of her state visit. Only King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia were on the schedule to participate, but in a lovely surprise, they were joined for lunch by Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip, and Princess Sofia. (Here's a gallery from the welcome.)
And thank heavens for Sofia, because those shoes are giving me LIFE. All the jumpy claps for a hot pink shoe with a little bling on front to wake up an otherwise lovely but quiet outfit! (These should look familiar to Sex and the City fans - and lucky Sofia, she has the blue version too.)
Victoria's dress from The Fold, Sofia's shoes from Manolo Blahnik
Victoria's pink dress is absolutely lovely - and entertaining, too, because it has recently been making the rounds as a less expensive option for the Duchess of Cambridge's pink peplum Alexander McQueen look.

No princesses were on duty for the evening's state banquet, alas. Alas for us, who are missing out on additional tiaras, but a bonus for Queen Silvia, who doubled up on her handsome escorts.

She's a Chilean flag come to life in her repeated blue gown, her red Order of Bernardo O'Higgins, and her white diamond Party Antler Nine Prong Tiara topper. That's one way to do your diplomatic dressing. Festive!