13 December 2018

Year in Review: 2018’s Tiara Happenings

Yes, it’s time to begin wrapping up 2018. We’ll start with a round up of this year’s tiara happenings. It’s been an eventful year in diadems! There were quite a few developments beyond the royal tiaras we saw worn this year; tiaras were sold (Queen Alexandrine's Russian Sapphire Tiara, the whole Bourbon-Parma auction, and more), tiaras went on display (the trio of Fife tiaras at Kensington Palace!), and unfortunately, certain things also disappeared (shame on you, thieves of Swedish royal regalia and the Portland Tiara).

This year also gave us plenty of opportunities to see tiaras in action, from a big tiara’d up royal gathering (that marvelous festival of fringes at Frederik’s 50th birthday party) to wedding tiara surprises and more. You can scroll back through alllllll the tiara appearances we covered in 2018 here.

And those events produced some notable tiara happenings…

The Reappearances
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Any 2018 tiara round up has to start with the reappearance of the Stuart Tiara, right?! Some of us have been waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for Queen Máxima to resurrect the biggest of all the Dutch big guns, unseen since Queen Juliana’s reign. She delivered twice: debuting a smaller version in Luxembourg and the whole monster in the United Kingdom.

Weddings brought even more reappearances – and, in the case of the British royal family, confirmation that two mysterious tiaras do indeed still exist in the vault: the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara (worn by Princess Eugenie) and Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau Tiara (worn by the Duchess of Sussex). Slightly outside of the royal realm, another wedding also gave us an opportunity to see the Spencer Tiara in action once again.

A New Tiara
Princess Marie’s tiara access finally increased in 2018, with the addition of the Nuits Claires Tiara courtesy of an arrangement with Mauboussin. It’s a rare treat to see a newly made tiara in action.

The Debuts
House of HM the King
Queen Letizia headlined last year’s tiara happenings by wearing the Fleur de Lys Tiara for the first time. She followed that up in short order by debuting the two other largest tiaras in the Spanish collection: the Cartier Diamond and Pearl Tiara and Queen Maria Christina’s Cartier Loop Tiara. Elsewhere, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie continued her run through the Luxembourg vaults by debuting the Chaumet Diamond and Pearl Choker Tiara.

What was your favorite tiara surprise of 2018?
Vote in the poll below! (If you can't see the poll, try using a different browser.) 

12 December 2018

Tiara Watch of the Day: More Sparkle in Sweden and the Netherlands

The Dutch and Swedish ladies are here to squeeze in the last tiara events of 2018, bless 'em.

The King and Queen of the Netherlands welcomed the President and first lady of Cape Verde to the Netherlands for a state visit on Monday, including a state banquet.
Queen Máxima continued her recent Claes Iversen streak with this burnt orange gown for the state banquet. This is the third time we've seen this dress and the second time with a tiara - to be honest, it would be neither my first pick for a triple repeat nor my first pick for one tiara appearance, let alone two. Máx clearly disagrees. Fair enough.

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Anyway, she's provided ample distraction by loading herself up with the biggest diamonds worn in the most amusingly casual fashion. The Dutch Diamond Bandeau's tossed on like an afterthought (I mean, it's a good hairdo, this is just one of those times when she really is wearing it like any old headband, which I find hilarious). And she's continuing to find new-to-her treasures in the family vault; this mega brooch with a big fat yellow diamond in the center belonged to Queen Emma. The brooch was one of Queen Emma's wedding gifts, part of a set that also included the diamond rivière that was later made into the Diamond Bandeau. It's a diamond reunion!

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We also have some Bonus Beatrix, yay. Princess Beatrix wore the Antique Pearl Tiara, a diadem I enjoy more each time we see it. 

The Swedish royal family hosted the King's Dinner for Nobel laureates last night.
Meanwhile in Sweden: another killer red gown! This is a drop dead gorgeous moment for Crown Princess Victoria. She paired this fab dress with Princess Lilian's Laurel Wreath Tiara, one of a full diamond tiara line up for the ladies on this evening. (Including Princess Christina wearing the Six Button Tiara again, as you can see if you click through that gallery.)

Sara Friberg/Kungl. Hovstaterna
Princess Sofia's custom gown from Valerie by Valerie Aflalo was a bit fussy for my tastes (the sleeves, I blame the sleeves). Like most things, it could have been improved by an amethyst tiara - she was already wearing the earrings, bracelet, and brooch from Queen Josephine's Amethyst Parure. Swap out the all-diamond version of your Emerald and Diamond Tiara while you're at it, Sofia!

Sara Friberg/Kungl. Hovstaterna
Queen Silvia wore a pink Jacques Zehnder dress - itself a former Nobel ceremony selection - with a refreshing tiara choice: the Baden Fringe. We've seen her wear it in 2016, 2017, and now 2018. (And before that, obvs, this is just a seeming renewal of enthusiasm.) No one wears it like Crown Princess Victoria does, but I must say, I enjoy seeing other takes on it. Fringes (or amethysts) for everyone!

11 December 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for December 11: Trips and Trees and Tiaras Galore

First things first, if you missed out on any of the Nobel fun yesterday, click thyself back and enjoy! More tiara fun awaits us this week, after these quick tidbits:

--Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary made an official visit to Latvia to celebrate the country's 100th anniversary of independence. The trip involved baby blue shoes in a snowy wonderland and this princess-proper arrival outfit, which I would enjoy twice as much without all the bobbly thingys (technical term). [Paris Match]

--Meanwhile, Queen Margrethe ran into the Duchess of Gloucester at a gala dinner for the Danish-UK Association in London. The Duchess is Danish herself, born in Odense. [Instagram]

--The Duchess of Cornwall completed one of her very best annual engagements last week, inviting children with life-limiting conditions to help decorate the Clarence House Christmas tree. This year, a fun addition: reindeer! [Town & Country]
Clarence House

--Over at the Jewel Vault: Flame Lily Alert!

--I expect we'll be talking about this one next week because the time approaches to round up our 2018 bests, but for those that can't wait: The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance to present Clare Waight Keller with the British Designer of the Year Womenswear award last night. [Vogue]

--And finally, a seasonal requirement: Christmas trees at Buckingham Palace, set to (what else) the Nutcracker.

Coming up this week: First we will have MORE TIARAS, from the Netherlands and also night 2 of Nobel glitter. Then it's time to start wrapping up the year with our traditional Best Of reviews!

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!

10 December 2018

Royal Fashion Awards: The Nobel Prizes, 2018

Another year, and my hopes to see the Cameo Tiara in action are once again denied. Nevertheless, the Swedish royal family provided plenty of oohs and aahs as they attended the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm today – with supporting content from the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, too. (Head over to our open post for links to the ceremonies!)

Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia, and Crown Princess Victoria wait to leave the palace in this photo shared by the Swedish royal court.
Sara Friberg/Kungl. Hovstaterna

Most Notable Repeat
Crown Princess Victoria
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It’s actually a little surprising it took this long for one of Queen Silvia’s old Nobel gowns to take the stage again, given how much digging through her wardrobe her daughters have been doing in recent years.

One Nina Ricci gown, two royal appearances
Victoria chose the Nina Ricci gown her mother wore to the 1995 Nobel ceremony today – classic old school Queen Silvia, with the BIG skirt and the BIG back bow. It could be very easily dated and I’m sure for some of you it will be…but call it my weakness for a giant ball skirt, I think she’s pulling this off.

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Victoria wore the Connaught Tiara once again, with Silvia’s diamond floral earrings and the rose brooch from the Braganza parure.

Best Continuation of a Theme
Queen Silvia
Did Queen Silvia note her daughter’s divine use of the Bernadotte Emerald Demi-Parure with a green gown last month and decide it was a splendid idea to continue? All I know is that it was a splendid idea. If Victoria was classic old school Silvia today, Silvia herself is classic new school Silvia. She broke her streak of evenly alternating the Nine Prong Tiara with the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure for a second Pronger year in a row, and I don’t even mind.

Best in Tiara Wrangling, Again
Princess Christina
I’m too lazy to see how many years in a row Princess Christina has won my heart by making some of my least favorite Swedish tiaras look good. She’s the undisputed queen, owning the Six Button Tiara like only she can. Also, I love when she does this evening coat-style look. Luxurious fabrics galore.

Best Dressed
Princess Sofia
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The power of a red dress is real, and this Zetterberg Couture number is a RED DRESS. I’d take the sleeve pouf down a notch, yeah, and yet I still love what Sofia's got going on here. This look has impact.

Sofia also has some jewel intrigue happening; I thought her pearl choker (which is a debut for her tonight) was the same historical piece previously worn by Princess Madeleine, but it is different and something privately owned. Tall chokers are not easy to wear and she’s doing it in truly regal fashion. I love that she’s carried the pearls through with the rest of her jewels, using the pearl version of her Emerald and Diamond Tiara, plus pearl earrings and a pearl brooch.

And a Special Nod to…
Donna Strickland and Frances Arnold
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I really never include the Nobel laureates here because, well, it's just best if we stick to our royal wheelhouse. But I must say this year what an absolute treat it was to see the two women laureates looking so elegant on their big night. Donna Strickland (in red) is a co-laureate for the Nobel Prize in Physics – just the third woman to win it, and the first in 55 years – for her work in groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics. Frances Arnold (in blue) is a co-laureate for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry – the fifth woman to take the prize in history – for her work in the directed evolution of enzymes.

Meanwhile, in Oslo…
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The treat of the day in Norway was not in jewel form – different ceremony and different subject matter, so appropriately not a gala event – but in simply seeing Crown Princess Mette-Marit looking well in her new Fendi dress. She was a late add to the guest list. Queen Sonja repeated her purple velvet Pucci jacket, much worn and with good reason. Plus a sequin beret, because why not?

Who makes your best dressed list for Nobel 2018?

The festivities are not done! There’s a dinner in Oslo tonight and another tiara event in Stockholm tomorrow night, when the King hosts his traditional palace dinner for the laureates.

Open Post: The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, 2018

Here's your open post for those wishing to watch the Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies in Stockholm live today. The gala ceremony begins at 4:30 pm local time (that's 10:30 am Eastern). It's scheduled to last until 6:00 pm. At 7:00 pm the Nobel Banquet begins and this is also broadcast for several hours, so there's lots of time to check in.

Streaming is available via the Nobel Prize organization and through Swedish broadcaster SVT.

Livestream links:

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded earlier in Oslo. You can click here for video.

We will have a full recap post of both ceremonies later in the day. Until then, please mind the comment policy, note that comments that go into moderation on open posts may not be approved, and enjoy!