29 June 2017

Tiara Thursday: Countess Alice’s Diamond Floral Tiara

The Swedish royal family said goodbye to a friend and longtime advisor when Countess Alice Trolle-Wachtmeister died on Monday at the age of 91. Countess Alice served the Swedish royal court for nearly 40 years, serving as First Lady of the Court from 1978 to 1993 and then afterwards serving as Mistress of the Robes to Queen Silvia until illness forced her to retire in 2015 at the age of 89. She was a close friend to Queen Silvia, having helped her adjust to life in Sweden after her marriage, and served as a mentor to the younger family members. So essential was Countess Alice to the Swedish royal family and court, the King refused her resignation several times.

Countess Alice Trolle-Wachtmeister at Princess Madeleine's wedding, 2013
By Frankie Fouganthin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Countess Alice Trolle-Wachtmeister may be familiar to you if you follow the Swedish royal family closely; the delicate diamond floral tiara which was her constant companion at gala events may also be familiar to you, if you’ve ever camped out with us on tiara watch during Swedish royal events. A closer look seemed an appropriate tribute for our weekly tiara feature.

Countess Alice's Diamond Floral Tiara
[Cropped] By Frankie Fouganthin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Her diamond floral tiara features a central large flower with 16 petals and a single diamond center. To the sides sit two slightly smaller flowers, each also displaying 16 petals and a single diamond center. The floral buttons are surrounded by diamond foliage.

Wearing the tiara (and a kicky pink dress) in 2010
for Crown Princess Victoria's wedding
Some have noted the similarity between this tiara and the Strathmore Rose Tiara in the British royal collection, both jewels nestling floral buttons into a diamond leaf pattern. Perhaps an even better comparison can be made to Japan’s Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara. The 16-petal chrysanthemum imperial seal is repeated here, making Countess Alice’s tiara something of a petite version of the tiara worn by Japanese empresses.

At the Nobel Prize Ceremony, 2011
SVT screencap
The tiara may be a family heirloom, though (to my knowledge) its precise history is unconfirmed. Alice herself was a member of the Tornérhielm family and she married within the Swedish nobility, to Count Hans-Gabriel Trolle-Wachtmeister in 1949.

As a member of the Swedish royal court, Countess Alice had ample occasions to use this tiara, and use it she did: at Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquets, royal weddings, state banquets, and more. She wore it with evening gowns and with her court dress uniform, a distinctive navy velvet dress with puffed sleeves featuring a white ribbon lattice. (The same uniform can be spotted today on Queen Silvia’s ladies-in-waiting and on the head of Crown Princess Victoria’s household. These ladies will also wear tiaras if they have them for gala events.) Her diamond floral tiara was the perfect accessory for the position and the perfect fit for Countess Alice, whose presence will be much missed.

Where does this rate on your floral favorites list?

28 June 2017

Royal Outfits of the Day: Queen Máxima's Recent Shenanigans

Selected recent shenanigans, to be precise. And what shenanigans they have been! We pick up where we last left Queen Máxima, on the tail end of the Dutch royal couple's state visit to Italy.

The King and Queen visited a soccer clinic, followed by a dinner, on day 3 of their Italian visit.
Some would wear a jersey to a sportsball sort of event. Maybe a nice pair of sneakers. Our Máxima, one of a kind gem that she is, chooses to wear the net.
Dress from Valentino Spring 2016 RTW
I did say that I wanted the trip to produce a new Valentino purchase. Perhaps I should have kept my mouth shut.

Day 4 of the Italian state visit.
That is one distractingly gravity-defying hat, perched there like a hula hoop in mid swing. Might be that she needed a dress this busy just to balance the focus.
Zimmerman Tropicale Crinkle Dress in printed silk crinkle georgette (per ModeKoninginMaxima)
Zimmerman/RVD
I'm giving her all the credit and then some for the dress though, because I would not have thought a "mustard floral" would look cute on anyone, and yet here we are.

Back home for the opening of the European Academy of Neurology congress.
The last time she wore this, I said that adding too much of an accent takes away the delight of an accent. Now look what she's done: added yet another green accent piece in the form of a wee hat. Oh well. At least these shoes deserve a little attention. I think they're a far more interesting choice than a boring old pump, and around these parts, I can always use something more interesting than a boring old pump shoe.

27 June 2017

Tuesday Tidbits for June 27: Summer Photos, Summer Dresses

Here we go:

--ICYMI, we finished up Royal Ascot this weekend with Days 4 and 5 over at the Jewel Vault, including QEII and the few royal guests that were in attendance. And the Queen wasn't done; she and Prince Philip, in his first public appearance after his recent hospital stay, enjoyed some polo on Sunday.

--Haga Palace wished everyone a glad midsommar with cute new photos of Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar last week. [Photos: Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se]

--Guess which royal drew this frank comment: "She was such an attractive woman, why be so haughty, arrogant and awkward?" That and a few more behind the scenes royal tidbits in this interview with photographer Reginald Davis. [Express]

--Princess Charlene was joined on the balcony by a pair of curly-haired munchkins for the St. John's Day festivities in Monaco. [Facebook]

--A German princely wedding, and one heck of a tiara to boot: Princess Sophie of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg married Count Constantin Fugger von Babenhausen this weekend wearing a substantial family diamond tiara with emerald drops. [Primavera24]

--And finally, Queen Mathilde will happily co-sign Princess Estelle's idea for an airy white dress for a summer day at the palace.
The King and Queen with Henry Kissinger for the Brussels Asia Society Dialogue
Belgian Monarchy

Coming up this week: A Máxima catch up, I suppose, and more...

Tidbits is your spot for topics we haven't covered on the blog. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

26 June 2017

Tiara (and Hat) Watch of the Day: Luxembourg's National Day

While the Brits were hatting it up at Ascot, Luxembourg's grand ducal family did the same for National Day. They even one upped them a bit by donning their best chapeaux and a selection of family tiaras. It was, however, a sadly small group this year; while most (if not all) of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess' five kids usually join their parents for the event, this year they were joined only by the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess.

The Te Deum at the cathedral
RTL screencap
Princess Stéphanie surely did her best to give us all the sartorial interest we were missing out on with a smaller family group. It was a valiant effort, primarily involving a hot pink cape dress which I probably should love, given my usual cape weakness.

RTL
And perhaps I would love it, if it were just a teensy bit less...craft project-y. Hmmmmmm.

Earlier at the official National Day ceremony; the ladies also wore these outfits for the National Day parade
Cour grand-ducale/Claude Piscitelli/tous droits réservés
I preferred Stéphanie's offering from earlier in the day, an orange Paule Ka dress paired with some fun Rupert Sanderson shoes. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa did not opt for an outfit change between day events, simply adding a matching hat to her red Yves Dooms coat and dress. I can't blame her. That's classic as classic can be, and she looks absolutely impeccable.

Maria Teresa must have known she was looking good, because she turned up to the evening's gala wearing what is basically just the gown version of her day outfit. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?
The National Day gala
Cour grand-ducale/Claude Piscitelli/tous droits réservés
The Grand Duchess wore, again, the Belgian Scroll Tiara. The Hereditary Grand Duchess wore the family's parure of oval amethysts, including the petite bandeau tiara she has worn in the past. The story here is that purple dress. That very familiar purple dress...
...there it is. Stéphanie's mother-in-law wore the dress in 2008 during a state visit to Sweden (a dress memorable to me because Maria Teresa apparently removed her tiara after seeing the Swedish royal family roll up without their diadems, awkward). The grand ducal family has one large, magical one-size-fits-all closet from which they all shop, or so it seems. Luxarazzi has an entire series of posts covering their clothes swapping twin moments. First they test my love for capes, now they're testing my love of purple and amethysts. Hmmmmmm.

For full National Day coverage (and more fashion IDs), Luxarazzi has you covered as always.

23 June 2017

Royal Fashion Awards: Royal Ascot 2017, Days 2 & 3


Update: You can check out the remainder of the Royal Ascot fashions - from Days 4 & 5 - here at the Vault!

Aaaaaaand we're back to Britain's annual hat festival, with royal goodies from Days 2 and 3 (which is Gold Cup Day, or traditionally Ladies' Day, and often the moment many reserve for their best hats).

Already covered at the Vault: QEII on double duty for Day 2 plus Camilla and a decked out Duchess of Gloucester, and the Queen holding fast to her Most Colorful title on Day 3. And now for some awards for a selection of the rest of the royal racegoers...

Best in Dress
Princess Eugenie
and
Best in Unnecessary Layering
Princess Beatrice
The jumpy claps over here when I saw Eugenie sporting one of my favorite Preen dresses, you have no idea. I think this might be as close as it gets to a universally flattering shape, and it certainly flatters this York sister in both cut and color. LOOOOOVE. And then there's Beatrice, which would be a love if it weren't for one big caveat. When I first saw this, I thought it was an odd dress, designed to make it look like she'd paired a longer sleeve shirt underneath the short sleeve dress. But it turns out...
Eugenie's Elle stretch-cady dress from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi; Beatrice's Tilt China Midi Dress by Amanda Wakeley
...it looks like that's actually what she did? Huh? I am entirely too confused about this to fully appreciate her beautiful fishtail braid spin on hat hair. Or to appreciate how great the dress itself is on her. Or to appreciate how great it is to see Amanda Wakeley back on the royal scene. Huh.

Best of the Light Colors
The Countess of Wessex, Day 3
I keep waiting for the new Countess of Snowdon to bring it like I know she can. I'll keep waiting. In the meantime, of the multiple royal ladies trying out that ubiquitous royal palette of cream and white on Days 2 and 3 (like Zara Tindall), I'm giving my blue ribbon to the Countess of Wessex.
Wave Textured Stripe Dress Ivory from Suzannah, done with a bespoke top for Sophie
Not entirely sure why the need to customize here, but she kept the best part. Use those chevrons to your favor, yes indeed.

Most Exuberant Use of Prints and Colors
The Princess Royal, Days 2 & 3 and Princess Alexandra, Day 2
There's all those pale colors and then there's Princess Anne and her tablecloth jacket followed by a rich green with a certain eau de Robin Hood, plus Princess Alexandra in a riot of prints with a hat to match (she's the one on the receiving end of Anne's smile in the top pic, with her back to us). A breath of fresh air, I declare!

Best Mini Me Act
Princess Haya and Sheikha Al Jalila
Dubai Media Office
I'm so enjoying the mother-daughter act happening in the Dubai contingent. First we had matching pattern + white outfits on Day 1; now we have the sharing of a universal rule for Ascot success: a solid color dress is the perfect canvas for your froofy hat. Princess Eugenie co-signs this strategy.
Dubai Media Office
Butterflies for the young sheikha are such a perfect touch of whimsy. I'm clearly charmed, since I don't normally make this many comments on the apparel of the kids. (Princess Haya posted some sweet pics of the family on her Instagram, noting that Jalila has been their lucky charm at Ascot this year.)

Best in Hats
Countess of Wessex, Day 2
Carrying the torch from our first set of Ascot awards to our second, Sophie knows what's up. Such fabulousness resides in this Jane Taylor chapeau, I shall not even spend much time questioning its accompanying Emilia Wickstead dress.
Mimi cut-out back cloqué dress by Emilia Wickstead, shown in green
Not even gonna question it. Nope. Such restraint.

Who wins your awards on Days 2 and 3?

The hat fest continues today and Saturday!

22 June 2017

Tiara Watch of the Day: The Dutch State Visit to Italy

In this busy royal week, we're swapping Tiara Thursday for a double dose of tiaras in action.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima are currently on a state visit to Italy and Vatican City, and the only surprising thing here is how long it took Máx to wear some Valentino.

Presidenza della Repubblica
Here's the arrival outfit. Perfectly lovely! It is from Natan, and the way that you know that is because it looks suspiciously familiar.
Belgian Monarchy
Yup, Queen Mathilde got there first with her own customized version. Perfectly lovely, I say again. But if we were going to go with a blush pink floral, then I'm going to pout that Máxima didn't repeat her perfect Valentino outfit from William and Kate's wedding.

Valentino was not her choice for the state banquet either, even though the designer himself - the master behind Máxima's wedding gown - was present for the event. She fulfilled another one of our requests instead.
We wanted a better look at the Jan Taminiau gown she wore to Willem-Alexander's 50th birthday party, and the Queen replied with a hearty "I'm right on top of that, Rose!" It's every bit as satisfyingly dramatic as I'd hoped.
Presidenza della Repubblica
Is it safe to call the Mellerio Ruby Tiara Queen Máxima's new favorite diadem, would you say? I'm saying yes. Feels like she's been gravitating toward it for events when she doesn't wear one of the bigger tiaras. The trellis necklace with its interchangeable clasp definitely is a current fave and who among us can blame her for that?

Bonus tiara! Prince Jaime of Bourbon-Parma, King Willem-Alexander's cousin, is the current Dutch ambassador to the Holy See, so he attended the state banquet with his wife, Princess Viktória. She borrowed a tiara from the Dutch vaults: the diamond base of the Antique Pearl Tiara, without any pearls. Máxima wore it this way when she attended Haakon and Mette-Marit's wedding while she was still a royal fiancée, and it was a great option for this black tie event. Viktória's diamond crescent brooch is also from the Dutch vaults.

This is day 2 of the trip, and everything but the hat is a page ripped straight out of Queen Letizia's book (seriously). Beating the heat in the sleekest possible way? Yes please.

A post shared by Blauw Bloed (@blauwbloedtv) on
There's the Valentino! It only took until a concert on day 2 for it to appear. This pink Valentino gown dates back to Frederik and Mary's wedding in 2004, and it got a makeover three years ago when she added some lace to the layers. But you can color me shocked that this wasn't an excuse for some new Valentino.

The trip continues at the Vatican today.

21 June 2017

Royal Fashion Awards: Royal Ascot 2017, Day 1

It's time for Ascot! {clears throat} {puts on best Oprah voice} You get a hat! And you get a hat! EVERYBODY GETS A HAT!!

Right, enough with the exclamation points. We have today a review of Day 1 of Royal Ascot, which went down on Tuesday. Over yonder at the Vault, you will find appearances from the Queen, Day 1's winner for Most Colorful, and the Duchess of Cornwall, holder of the Best Jewel title. (Plus the Prince of Wales, Best in Spousal Coordination.) And here's everyone else, ripe for the ribbon bestowing:

Best in...Really, Again?
The Duchess of Cambridge
Very pretty and whatnot, this white lace Alexander McQueen dress worn with the Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings on loan from the Queen. Also very much a dead ringer for the outfit she wore last year at Ascot. Second verse, same as the first.
A retail version of the Alexander McQueen dress
Ascot's a chance to have a little fun with your style, so maybe wait until after your second visit to settle on a uniform? Just a suggestion.

Best in Summer Claustrophobia
Princess Beatrice
What a beautiful Claire Mischevani dress for Beatrice. So delicate, and yet also so stifling. It looks hot. It's been awfully toasty over there. Princess Eugenie wisely decided to put comfort first by continuing her sleeveless trend from Trooping the Colour and I can't blame her one bit.

Best in Blues
Autumn Phillips
Zara Tindall was on the same wavelength as Princess Eugenie, and it's hard to go wrong with a solid electric blue dress. This one's from Escada. But for me, Autumn's streak of interesting royal wear continues. Even if I did later realize that this is totally a "replikate" version of the red print dress Kate wore in Canada last year. (Do you think Kate did a double take?)
Autumn's dress by Rumour London
Worth noting the Princess Royal was apparently accommodating the heat as well on Day 1, choosing just a dress instead of her usual dress + coat uniform. She got hug and a kiss from her daughter, like everyone else did. Zara seems a snuggly delight.

Worst in...Really, Again?
Princess Michael of Kent
Kate's the same from year to year and then there's this, which is what Princess Michael also wore on Saturday for Trooping the Colour. I suppose I'd rather have an Ascot strategy than an entire 2017 strategy, if a choice needs to be made. (Prince and Princess Michael's kids were there too; they're in this picture-heavy piece at the Daily Mail, if you're so inclined.)

Best in Hats, Day 1 Runner Up
Princess Haya
Dubai Media Office
As promised, Princess Haya is here to up our couture level for the year. This hat is FABULOUS. It would be even more fabulous, though, if separated from its twin dress, methinks. Too much of a good thing. Haya does rack up some bonus points for teaching her mini me the right way to do Ascot; the young lady with the jaunty hat and pattern combo is Sheikha Al Jalila, Haya and Sheikh Mohammed's daughter, making her Ascot debut.

Best in Hats, Day 1 Grand Prize
The Countess of Wessex
Whimsy! Infinitely amusing tanning possibilities! I'm divided on Sophie's green Emilia Wickstead dress, but a fun hat that hasn't lost its mind is the perfect recipe for a royal topper at Ascot. It is from Jane Taylor, Sophie's favorite milliner.

Bonus Award for Best Recovery
The Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex
A post shared by The Telegraph (@telegraph) on
The Wessexes and the Cambridges paired up for the carriage procession into the Ascot ring, and Sophie nearly ended up falling into Kate's lap while getting situated. Carriages, man. Treacherous vehicles.

Who wins your best dressed titles for Ascot Day 1?

We shall return to Ascot later for more fashions; you can always catch up with Her Maj over at the Vault each day as it happens.

20 June 2017

Royal Trip of the Day: Mary and Frederik Host Naruhito

Crown Princess Mary had a run of engagements last week. This was because Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan was in town. And also Crown Prince Frederik was there. But anyway, Mary:

Crown Prince Naruhito arrived for his solo visit to Denmark to mark 150 years of Danish-Japanese diplomatic relations.
To hat or not to hat? That was the question. Mary's greeted colleagues in situations like this previously without a hat. Japan, however, is a more formal monarchy. Or maybe this visit is a touch more formal or maybe she just wanted to get in at least one hat, I don't know. As the only royal lady present, it was up to her. So she split the difference and accented her Erdem dress with a little fascinator thingy at the back. I think it was the right call. And I say that as one who generally finds these wishy-washy non-hat things annoying as can be.

The trio attended a concert on Friday.
The visit started out a little Kate-esque, honestly; first Erdem, then Alexander McQueen. This one brings echoes of that Barbara Casasola dress from Kate's closet, just to drive the point home. Countdown to when Kate will take this one on, anyone? Or at least one of the York sisters, right? If they do, I hope they do it Mary-style. This works.

Queen Margrethe also hosted a dinner for Crown Prince Naruhito.
Floral dresses, I'm good with. But somehow it's always a bit of a letdown when you figure out that it's a floral top and a matching floral skirt instead. I mean, right? Or is it just me? Don't ask me to explain this. I can't solve the world's mysteries. I just know that this visit hit a floral peak with that opening Erdem and should have left it at that.

Erdem dress, Alexander McQueen off the shoulder knit dress, Ganni floral top and smocked waist skirt (h/t to Heaven)

19 June 2017

Monday Tidbits for June 19: Uniforms, Both Nautical and Not

We did the Trooping the Colour thing over the weekend, and I'll be entering my Monday with Prince George's look of boredom firmly etched on my face. Let's see what we've got to distract us...

--There are few stories more compelling than that of the life of Countess Mountbatten of Burma, who passed away last week at the age of 93. One of the Duke of Edinburgh's first cousins and a more distant cousin of the Queen's, Patricia Knatchbull survived the IRA bombing that took the lives of her father and her son. We chatted a bit about her and her wedding last year, when we covered the Mountbatten Star Tiara. [New York Times]

--If Trooping the Colour didn't satisfy your need for Prince Harry in uniform, you'll be glad to know that he was very dashing indeed earlier in the week as he took the salute while attending Beating Retreat on Horse Guards Parade. [Telegraph]
Kensington Palace

--Royal Ascot is coming up this week and we will have coverage here as well as at the Jewel Vault. That means that we're about to see some of Princess Haya around here, so if you're not quite sure who she is, now's a great time to check out this interview with her. Get yourself familiarized before her couture show rolls into town. [Tatler]

--We've already seen several interesting brooch picks from QEII over at the Vault this month. She and Prince William had a touching joint engagement in London and - on the same day - she picked up a new garnet addition to her brooch collection. Then, over the weekend, she brought out one very rare diamond brooch (rare enough that I didn't even recognize it at first). My Ascot hopes are too high already.

--Do we think that the Duchess of Cambridge will ever run out of nautical-themed outfits for her many nautical-themed engagements? I appreciate that this one, at an event for the 1851 trust on Friday, isn't terribly literal. It's more classic than anything else. I like it a lot - but you rarely have to sell me on a cropped pant with a heel. [Zimbio]
1851 Trust

--And finally, while Kate was doing navy below and white up top, Morocco's Princess Lalla Salma flipped the script on that classic uniform. She sported a classic navy blazer with white trousers while she and King Mohammed VI hosted a visit from France's president and first lady. [Paris Match]

Coming up this week: A royal visit to Denmark and - as promised - Ascot galore...

Tidbits is your spot for topics we haven't covered on the blog. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

17 June 2017

Royal Fashion Awards: Trooping the Colour 2017 (Updated)

The Windsors are out in force today for Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade. Are you excited?!
Good! We've got fashions to review:

Best Dressed
The Queen, Obviously
ITN screencap
You should get the best dressed title on your official birthday anyway. In this case, Her Maj would get this one no matter what because I adore this icy blue outfit. More on that, plus her Brigade of Guards brooch, over at the Jewel Vault. (You will also note that the 96-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, as well as the 81-year-old Duke of Kent, chose to wear morning dress instead of their heavy uniforms and big bearskin hats this year. Makes sense.)

Best in Jewels
The Duchess of Cambridge
This Alexander McQueen is a little too sweetly pink for my tastes, and the waist looks less like a feature you'd emphasize and more like something you'd cover up with a belt. But! Never mind all that. Because HELLO, earrings...
Sgt Rupert Frere/MOD Crown copyright 2017
...oooh. On loan from the Queen, these Diamond Pendant Earrings are undeniably evening baubles. The fact that she wore them for a day engagement is, for this magpie, just the BEST THING. They make the whole outfit.

Best in Repeats
The Duchess of Cornwall
I do love this embellished collar jacket on Cams. Why? Well, because she once wore it with one of her most fascinating (and enormous) brooches. Instead of repeating that orange stone pin, she used her diamond Cosmos Clip Brooches and her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings. The coat really could have used a bigger brooch statement this time around.

Best in Contrast
Autumn Phillips
Speaking of pretty in pink, combining a magenta hat with a jade green dress is MUCH more my speed. Unexpected, and perfect. That's another well played royal appearance from Autumn, who joined the balcony this year with husband Peter and daughters Savannah and Isla.

Best in Florals
Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice
Why wouldn't you go with a light floral on a hot summer day, eh? I can find nothing to argue with in either of these choices. Even Beatrice's fondness for a boater hat - which can sometimes end up a little unintentionally comical - works here.

Who makes your Trooping 2017 best dressed list?


Update:

RAF/MOD Crown copyright 2017
Here's the whole famdamily up on the balcony! Nearly fifty family members, I'm seeing? You can click to enlarge the pic above. We'll zoom in...

RAF/MOD Crown copyright 2017
The Gloucesters held court on the left side, together with the Duchess of Kent, Princess Alexandra of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent with their whole beige and white coordinated family. Classic elegance from both Lady Gabriella Windsor (center, white hat) and her sister-in-law Sophie Winkleman (a.k.a. Lady Frederik Windsor, center, white hat with pink). Prince Edward's hanging out there too, attending solo this year.

RAF/MOD Crown copyright 2017
More Kents - Kents everywhere! - occupied the right side of the balcony. Julia Ogilvy (daughter-in-law of Princess Alexandra) is a standout in the center with her huge hat and a tan background floral dress that fits right in with what the Yorks brought to the party. Also of note: Lady Amelia Windsor (granddaughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and recently in the news as a Dolce & Gabbana model) is sporting a navy and white turban-thingy borrowed from her mother, the Countess of St. Andrews, who wore it to the Queen's birthday service last year.

16 June 2017

Royal Dresses of the Day: Swedish Royals at the Polar Music Prize

Red alert! Red alert! Crown Princess Victoria wore her hair DOWN!

The Swedish royal family attended the ceremony of the prestigious Polar Music Prize, awarded this year to Sting and Wayne Shorter.
She SORTA wore her hair DOWN! This is a rare and caps lock-worthy thing. Soak in the variety, because it could be years before you see it again. Victoria usually goes a little bit "edgy" for this music event, this year scooping up her leftover aluminum foil and fashioning herself a silver frock with modern jewelry to boot. It's a whole sculptural thing. And the softness of the half updo actually works as a sort of anchor to this space age craft. She's pulling it off.

The crinkles do take over without the bouquet, though. Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine came dressed as their own bouquets, pretty in pink flowers.

I'm getting a strong sense of déjà vu for Madeleine. Following up on her large floral skirt and blouse from the last Nobel Prize ceremony, I find myself wondering just how many of these combos a single closet could need? Will we ever see the pieces split up and styled differently? These are the questions. (Bonus Princess Christina and Tord Magnuson sighting behind Madeleine and Carl Philip! She's been laying low for a while after having a stem cell transplant to fight cancer, so it's fabulous to see her out and about.)

15 June 2017

Tiara Thursday: Princess Ashraf's Ruby Tiara

Emeralds are by far the most represented colored stone in the abundant royal jewel collection once used by Iran's former monarchy. But when they did rubies, they did them well.

Princess Ashraf's Ruby Tiara
Pyramids of smaller rubies support clusters of large rubies surrounded by diamonds in this tiara, which is also accented with marquise and round diamonds and topped by a graduated series of pear-shaped diamonds. The ruby diadem was worn by Princess Ashraf ol-Molouk Pahlavi (1919-2016).

Princess Ashraf
Wikimedia Commons
Princess Ashraf was the twin sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. Princess Ashraf wore the tiara to one of the gala events celebrating the coronation of the Shah and the  Shahbanou (Empress Farah) in 1967. This was a prosperous time for the Iranian jewel collection; several parures were commissioned around this time from Van Cleef & Arpels for use by family members and the Empress at the coronation. (Princess Ashraf wore an emerald tiara to the coronation itself.)

I've always found this tiara to be among the ruby-iest of tiaras, if you know what I mean. Whereas many ruby tiaras are mainly diamonds with just a sprinkling of red stones, this one has a large number of rubies and showcases them well. There are some large and valuable stones here, yet the design has a lightness to it. It wears its carat weight well. Princess Ashraf's Ruby Tiara made a strong showing when you voted for your ultimate ruby tiara, and I suspect it would have a place on the favorites list of many a ruby fan.

Princess Ashraf wearing the ruby tiara
via
The drawback here is that there isn't a lot of evidence of the tiara in use. And there is not likely to be any in the future, either, because the tiara belongs to the state. As part of the crown jewels, it (and many other tiaras) remained behind when the Iranian monarchy was abolished and the imperial family fled the country in 1979. These jewels are still with the state and are housed in the National Treasury of Iran in the Central Bank in Tehran. It's a good one to spark the imagination, though...

So: A place on your favorites list for this one, or nah?