31 August 2015

Monday Tidbits for August 31: Traditional Dress Both Big and Small, and More

Let's start our week off with some cuteness, shall we?

--WEE BABIES in WEE NATIONAL COSTUMES. What more could you ask for? More on Prince Albert, Princess Charlene, Prince Jacques, and Princess Gabriella at the traditional picnic in Monaco here. [Hello]

--Queen Silvia also spent some time in traditional dress this week (minus the pacifier). This gallery also includes Crown Princess Victoria in a nice light dress for a prize presentation this week. [Paris Match] 

--This gallery of Princess Marie's recent events should be subtitled A Love Affair with Patterned Dresses. I'll take the turquoise-y one, please and thank you. [PurePeople]

--We marked the wedding anniversary of one pair of Norwegian love birds last week, and another pair did the same this weekend: King Harald and Queen Sonja celebrated 47 years of marriage. Relive her wedding gown and their long road to the altar with my post from three years ago.

--Queen Paola has been ordered to take a complete rest for undisclosed health reasons, the Belgian palace announced this week. She and King Albert were scheduled to attend the Biennale in Venice, which would have been their first official public appearance in months, but all engagements for the royal couple have been canceled. [Brussels Times]

--Rayanne Graff is a countess now, FYI. [Vanity Fair]

--Leave it to Crown Princess Mary to make a skirt in a tricky length look picture perfect (at the Index Award, and also everywhere else). [SN]
A photo posted by Danish Design Centre (@designcentret) on

--And finally, over at the Jewel Vault, I'm flashing back through the decades of QEII's reign as we approach the day when she'll pass Queen Victoria in the record reign stakes. Come for the jewels, stay for the foreign royals and the ill-advised hats.

Coming up this week: Swedish newlyweds and more...

28 August 2015

Royal Hats of the Day: August 28

The hats are back! The surest sign yet that things are picking up speed once more in the royal world.

Queen Máxima opening a house for people with autism
I definitely like Máx in her trademark brights, but soft pastels with a hint of pink in the jewels and a hat that's big brimmed without overtaking the scene is the perfect way to get back to work. Simple and lovely, no?

Elsewhere, in hat returns...
Crown Princess Mary opening a new psychiatric hospital
Mary's really been piling on the engagements lately, and this remixed combo of reused pieces earns an A+, I think. She must have an entire section of her closet devoted to dresses in this basic silhouette, but when it works, it works.
Signe Bøgelund-Jensen dress
Then again, I'm so happy to see some proper princessing in action once more, I may be grading on a curve.

Photos: via Getty Images / Twitter / Polyvore

27 August 2015

Tiara Thursday: Princess Chichibu's Honeysuckle Tiara

Princess Chichibu's Honeysuckle Tiara, as worn by Empress Michiko

This is the third of the tiaras currently at Empress Michiko's disposal to be covered here (previously: the Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara and the Meiji Scroll Tiara) and I find it to be the most delicately designed of the three. The tiara features diamond honeysuckle or palmette motifs with large diamonds at the top and in the center, separately by diamond loops filled by lines of diamonds in graduated sizes.
Prince and Princess Chichibu, who wears this tiara
The tiara was worn by Setsuko, Princess Chichibu (1909-1995), who was married to Prince Chichibu, the second son of Emperor Taishō and Empress Teimei. She wore for their wedding photo in 1928 (above), and it may have been a gift to her when she married into the imperial family. Giving tiaras to incoming brides is still a tradition today, and much like those given now, it appears that there was originally a matching necklace and probably a full parure to go along with the diadem. Princess Chichibu was the aunt of the current emperor, Akihito, and the tiara has been worn by Empress Michiko in recent years.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko
Princess Chichibu's Honeysuckle Tiara stands apart from the other two tiaras in the collection of the Empress because it is the only one not traditionally reserved for empresses, but it shares the same all white color scheme as the rest of the imperial tiaras. This basic honeysuckle/palmette design has been a popular tiara motif over the years, in examples such as the Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara and royal newcomer Princess Sofia's Emerald and Diamond Tiara, though I find that this one has a special lightness to its design. It's currently out of commission, so to speak, because Empress Michiko stopped wearing tiaras a few years ago (the weight is thought to be hard on her - I believe she has back/neck issues).

How do you rate this version of a honeysuckle tiara?

Photos: via Getty Images, Wikimedia Commons/Imperial Household Agency, Thai Monarchy

26 August 2015

Royal Wedding Anniversary of the Week: August 26

Sølve Sundsbø / Det kongelige hoff
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary yesterday! I think a little wedding flashback is in order for these Norwegian lovebirds.

Video: Ceremony highlights
Mette-Marit's gown from Ove Harder Finseth is a mass of silk crepe and silk tulle that deserves to be seen in motion, so we're doing this video style. This perfect cloud of a wedding dress came in fourth in our 2012 poll of your favorite royal wedding gowns (revisit that post for more dress details here).

Video: The wedding waltz 
Even in its dancing state, it manages to look like a nest of swans instead of a pile of bunched up fabric. Dreamy.

Video: A performance by Sami musician Mari Boine during the ceremony
We're talking about a Scandinavian royal wedding here, so be sure to allot some time for quality tiara spotting for all the royal guests in attendance.

Video: Norwegian musician Jan Garbarek plays as the couple leave the church
One final opportunity to see the dress at work. Did I rewind this over and over again just for the tiny moment when her train slides down the step like a silk waterfall? I couldn't possibly say.

25 August 2015

Royal Florals of the Day: August 25

Some of our Scandinavian friends are returning to the royal grind, huzzah!
King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, and Prince Daniel attend Radio Sweden's 90th anniversary celebrations on Friday
They're back, and they're coordinating their floral themes. Heaven knows I love a retro vibe, and Victoria's midi skirt is getting the job done. I love Silvia's classy suit, too...although I confess that for a hot minute there I honestly worried that she'd gone full figure skater and pulled her hose down over her shoes.
Victoria's skirt from Baum und Pferdgarden

On Saturday, Victoria teamed up with the crown princess next door for the Climate Pilgrimage 2015. Hey, if there's anyone you can count on to keep a floral theme going, it's Mette-Marit.
I'm sure Crown Princess Mette-Marit's dress needs no introduction, as you likely recognize it as another version of a dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge in Australia, from Australian brand Zimmerman. This must be a dress with some sort of magical powers, because it's looking great on two very different ladies and fitting right in with both of their individual styles. Now I want one.
Mette-Marit's dress from Zimmerman
There was plenty of walking in this engagement, hence M-M's Melanie-Griffith-Working-Girl shoe choice, and Victoria's flats. But they soon changed into casual gear, which was an excellent excuse for Vic's sassy fedora to ride once more.
Passing the baton (the water bottle) from Norway to Sweden.
Kungahuset instagram
 It's so handy when monarchies are right next door. More official hanging out, please.
Photos: via Getty Images, Baum und Pferdgarden, Lyst, Kungahuset