15 January 2012

Royal Fashion Awards: The Ruby Jubilee Gala Banquet

Now we're talking, kids...this is what we've been waiting for: the grand banquet celebrating Queen Margrethe's Ruby Jubilee. And it was just chock full of interesting gowns and handsome gents, and absolutely dripping with diamonds. First the gowns, then the men, and then the tiaras. Let's get to it, shall we?

Best in Velvet
Queen Margrethe
 Mary's dress is oft-repeated...Carina's attempting a version of what Mary just did at the New Year's Court, except she's drowning in her red velvet ocean instead of working it...Marie-Chantal's dress is not what you want to talk about anyway (tiaras come last, just like a good dessert should)...and that leaves us with the star of the show: Daisy. And it's typical Daisy, isn't it? All together now: luscious fabrics, a little pouf to the sleeve, and the overall appearance straight out of a portrait from the days of yore. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I guess.

Best of the Other Queens
Queen Silvia
L to R: Queen Sonja of Norway, Queen Silvia of Sweden, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
Wearing a long-sleeve gown without looking like you're drowning (see: Carina, above) is tricky, and I'm not sure Sonja and Anne-Marie are winning the battle. But Silvia is - oh, is she. This repeat gown is the absolute perfect choice for an event which requires a grand collar (Sil, like the rest of the guests that have 'em, is wearing the collar of the Order of the Elephant). Gah, this woman needs to teach a master class in overcoming the obstacles of royal dressing.

Best Standout
Crown Princess Mette-Marit
L to R: Princess Benedikte of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Princess Nathalie of S-W-B, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Princess Alexandra of S-W-B, Princess Theodora of Greece
I think if I had my own prison (you know, for serial SHOOTIE offenders and the like), what Bene's wearing there would be the uniform. Purple, but striped loud and proud so everyone knows you're a convict. Other loud and proud ladies at the dinner were Nathalie - making quite the comeback from her somewhat frumpy turn earlier today in a Princess Does Vegas number - plus the va-va-voom factor brought by Alexandra and Theodora. But my favorite is Mette-Marit. There's something about a divine white and this one, delicately patterned all over, gets a big ol' gold star from me.

Best in Bonus Ladies
Countess Sussie
L to R: Princess Elisabeth of Denmark, Countess Sussie of Rosenborg, Countess Anne-Dorthe of Rosenborg
Ah! Some not-so-often seen ladies to enjoy (well, more like not-so-often paid attention to, if we're being honest). Princess Elisabeth, first cousin of Margrethe, has her sapphire tiara which once belonged to Princess Thyra, which is her normal diadem. Countess Sussie is married to Margrethe's first cousin Ingolf, and is winning this game in Queen Alexandrine's Fringe Tiara. And Countess Anne-Dorthe is likewise married to one of Margrethe's cousins, Christian, and is wearing a delicate diamond spike tiara.

Best in Uniformed Gents
Crown Prince Haakon
L to R: Prince Henrik of Denmark, King Carl Gustaf of Sweden, King Harald of Norway, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Prince Joachim of Denmark
 Well, you don't call him Hunky Haakon without good reason.

Best in White Tie Gents
Prince Philippos
L to R: Prince Richard of S-W-B, King Constantine of Greece, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Prince Philippos of Greece, Prince Gustav of S-W-B, Count Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth (Alexandra's husband), Alexander Johanssmann (Nathalie's husband)
Hunky Philippos doesn't have the same ring to it...we need a new nickname for this one. Kids? Ideas?

Best in Usual Tiara Moves, Go Big Division
Queen Silvia
These ladies are all wearing the (or one of the) tiaras they use for those essential "Go Big or Go Home" occasions: Margrethe in the Pearl Poire Tiara, Sonja in Empress Joséphine's Emerald Tiara, Silvia in the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara, Anne-Marie in her Emerald Parure Tiara, and Benedikte in the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe Tiara. Silvia wins for me because, as I said, I'm dying for her whole look here. I wondered yesterday what she'd do to top her two tiara appearance, and she's answered me with the biggest tiara she uses apart from the monster Braganza. I'll take it!

Best in Usual Tiara Moves, Regular Size Division
Princess Nathalie
And these ladies are using their regular tiaras, which aren't the biggest but that's only because they don't have the biggest ones at their disposal. Nathalie is wearing the pearl and star tiara her mother wore yesterday (and she's winning because this time she wore a tiara - sometimes it doesn't take much), while her look-a-like sister Alexandra is wearing Benedikte's floral tiara for the second night in a row. Carina is again wearing this diamond spike tiara, while Mette-Marit is wearing her standard Diamond Daisy Tiara. And Theodora is wearing what was, until her turquoise surprise last night, her one and only tiara: her mother's Antique Corsage Tiara.

{Quick sidebar: many of you have been asking who Carina is, and why she gets to wear tiaras. Carina is the longtime girlfriend of Benedikte's son, Prince Gustav. Gustav stands to inherit leadership of the House of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and all the land and whatnot that comes with. They haven't married because the rules of inheritance include stipulations on who he can marry that Carina doesn't meet. The family is fighting the will in court, and in the meantime they treat Carina as his wife - including tiara-wearing privileges.}

Best Use of a Set
Crown Princess Mary
I hoped Mary would finally bring out the big necklace that belongs to the Danish Ruby Parure - she hasn't worn it since she started playing around with the set, really - and she did! Yay. I also hoped for the major earrings, but I'll take this new version with just one ruby and diamond drop instead. I like this so much more than the pearls she's been hanging from there! She paired all this with the tiara, bracelet, ring, and extra bits in her hair.

Best Surprise...Ever!
Princess Marie-Chantal
No kidding, I gasped when I realized what Marie-Chantal was wearing tonight. This whopper is Queen Sophie's Diamond Tiara - it belonged to Queen Sophie of Greece and was a favorite of King Constantine's mother, Queen Frederika. And it hasn't been seen since Frederika last wore it - and she died 30 years ago. It's been one of those delicious tiara mysteries since then; some people felt it may have been sold off while the family has been in exile. But here it is! And it is GLORIOUS. There are still mysteries - why did it take so long to see it again? And why on M-C, not Queen Anne-Marie? - but she wore it. I know some of you will be on about it being too big and the base that you can see quite clearly in some shots, but I don't care. You can't ruin my tiaragasm. This is a personal favorite of mine, and it is magnificent.

Who's your favorite tonight? 

Photos: bt.dk/b.dk/BilledBladet/Getty Images/Daylife/Zimbio/PPE/Nieboer/DPP