18 September 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Swedish Royals Host the Sweden Dinner

King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip, and Princess Sofia were on hand Friday to host the annual "Sweden Dinner" at the palace. The dinner honors guests making contributions in different areas from all around the country.

Henrik Garlöv/Kungahuset.se
My hands-down fave here: Victoria. Looooooove this off the shoulder look for her. Sure, I'd ditch the watch and go with some strappy sandals - there's always room for a quibble or two - but it's very pretty. It's a fairly inexpensive choice for her too, $273 from By Malina.

By Malina Othelia dress
I realize some may find this a little too informal when there are men in tuxes. For that, though, you must consider the context of the event:

Henrik Garlöv/Kungahuset.se
Guests wear business suits, tuxedos, short dresses, long dresses, traditional dresses, and so on. A lot of different walks of life represented here. So it works for me.

Henrik Garlöv/Kungahuset.se
In that context, then, it appears that Queen Silvia's motto for the evening was simply to be seen. Print on print, texture on texture, color on color. It's...a look, alright.

Henrik Garlöv/Kungahuset.se
In comparison, Princess Sofia's shimmering pink seems incredibly tame. We previously saw this Stylein dress all tiara'd up; is it missing something without the extra sparkle? I vote yes.

17 September 2018

Monday Tidbits for September 17: Monarchs and Regalia

Let's start with some awwws:

--Remember Princess Madeleine's tea party, where she donned a full tiara getup to entertain kids dealing with serious illness? Last week, it was King Carl Gustaf's turn. Seven-year-old Akram, who has leukemia, was welcomed to the palace with the full ambassador treatment - including meeting a king in uniform with a sword and the whole deal. The visit was also coordinated through Min Stora Dag (My Big Day). The royal court's Instagram has a video and more pics.
Raphael Stecksén/Kungahuset.se

--Another Swedish update: Swedish authorities arrested someone in connection with the theft of royal regalia that happened in August. The stolen goods - two crowns and an orb - have not been recovered. [AP]

--Certainly you want to see some footage of Queen Margrethe in crafty mode, including trying on the hat/mask things she's making. She is a treasure. The Danish royal court released the footage in advance of an exhibition of the scenery and costumes created by the Queen. "Eventyrdronningen" ("Adventure Queen") opens later this month at the Amalienborg Museum. [YouTube]

--And finally, Luxembourg's grand ducal family released a new group family photo! There are also photos of the little kids here. [Twitter]
Cour grand-ducale/Lola Velasco

Coming up this week: A formal dinner in Sweden, and more...

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

14 September 2018

Royal Trip of the Day: Crown Princess Mary in Finland

Crown Prince Frederik had some surgery recently and had to cancel several planned engagements. One he was no longer able to fulfill was an official visit to Finland, but never fear, Mary's here! Crown Princess Mary stepped into her husband's shoes and began the visit yesterday.

Day 1 in Finland
So instead of me telling you that Frederik wore a suit, I get to tell you that Mary wore a suit. This one's more interesting, though (sorry Fred); it's from Finnish brand Andiata. Mary comes prepared. Looks fabulous in motion. Maybe just a little shapeless when standing still because of the open long jacket - only a tiny bummer since any trip like this is full of posed pictures with officials and whatnot.

For an evening dinner, Mary put one of her favorite strategies for styling midi skirts to work again: a slightly off the shoulder open neckline and a pump with a bit of interest. It's just about the best way to handle this length, no? Especially when the skirt has some fullness.

Billed-Bladet screencap; see video here
Success again! The trip continues today (Friday).

13 September 2018

Tiara Thursday: The Countess of Villagonzalo's Meander Tiara

We've covered tiaras that can be necklaces, tiaras that can be brooches, and tiaras that can be reduced in size...but a tiara that's actually two tiaras stacked on top of each other might be a new one for our Thursday spotlight. It's a double decker diadem!

 The Countess of Villagonzalo's Meander Tiara
Spanish jeweler Ansorena crafted this tiara around 1900, just around the time that jewelers were beginning to master the use of platinum. The lightness and strength of the metal allowed for a delicate and intricate Belle Époque design. (Interestingly, Ansorena's archives note the tiara was conceived as early as 1890, just ahead of the rise of platinum.) The tiara includes approximately 33.5 carats of old brilliant, single, and rose-cut diamonds. The construction features millegrain detailing and knifewire tracery.

Top portion of the tiara
Together, the whole diadem is a lot of look - but it separates into two pieces, both of which can be worn on their own as tiaras. The top tiara has a band of meandering Greek key motifs in the center; forget-me-not flowers and trailing laurel leaves representing true love and the triumph of love fill out the rest of the piece.

Bottom portion of the tiara, as a tiara and as a necklace
The bottom tiara can be removed from its frame and worn as a choker necklace. It features a lacework lattice design with a central handkerchief motif.

Esperanza Chávarri Aldecoa, the Countess of Villagonzalo, wearing the tiara in the fashionable low style circa 1920, with an additional diamond tassel at the center
Although not owned by a royal family, this diadem would have seen plenty of royal events courtesy of its owner, Esperanza Chávarri Aldecoa, the Countess of Villagonzalo (1893-1982). The Countess was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria Eugenia, wife of King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Victoria Eugenia was another Ansorena patron; the jewelers created the Fleur de Lys Tiara among other Spanish royal jewels. (And they're still doing so, with the Ansorena Princess Fleur de Lys Tiara as an example.)

The Countess of Villagonzalo's diamond necklace
The Countess' tiara passed down through her family over the years, and is now headed for the auction block. It will be sold at Bonhams London on September 26th. The pre-sale estimate is $100,000 - $160,000. It's not the only Villagonzalo jewel to hit the market this year: Christie's sold a diamond collet necklace - pictured above and worn by the Countess in the portrait above - for around $370,000 in June. A similar necklace was owned by Queen Victoria Eugenia and it is a part of the joyas de pasar, the jewels she left in her will to pass from queen to queen.

A two-for-one tiara: yes or no?

12 September 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Máxima's Double Event Monday

Queen Máxima doubled up on her events on Monday. She also doubled up on her outfits, and doubled up on her experiments in balancing volume.

Queen Máxima opened the Theater De Blauwe Kei during a visit to CHV Noordkade.
Embed from Getty Images
This dress has a little bit of interest on the one side, sort of a built-in shawl turning into a flowy ruffly thing (please try to keep up with my technical terminology). It's not a particularly voluminous dress, so it's well-matched to a bigger brimmed hat. There's balance here. Throw in a pair of swinging aquamarine earrings and you've got a winner.

She also attended the G20 Workshop of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.
Embed from Getty Images
On the other hand, pairing a voluminous floral blouse with a voluminous pair of culottes is...well. This one fell right off the balance beam, didn't it.