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.