09 March 2016

Tiara Watch of the Day: March 9

This was supposed to be the week we delighted in a British/Spanish state visit (moment of silence for tiaras unseen.........sigh). But at least Belgium still has our backs! King Philippe and Queen Mathilde invited the President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, and his partner, Daniela Schadt, for a tiara viewing party state visit to Belgium that started yesterday.

It began, as all good state visits do, with the hats.
Here's an ensemble you could use as an illustration in the dictionary for "Classic Queen Dressing": take a coat with some interest to it, add a tastefully simple hat and other accessories in a coordinating color, and voilà! You've got yourself a royal outfit.

Belgian Monarchy Twitter
I happen to like Mathilde's version of the classic a great deal, particularly the soft colors. The dress underneath has some interesting seaming going for it, but it's not as notable as the coat.

Then again, when you're standing inside this sort of chandelier extravaganza, who has time for the dress?

And then came the tiaras!
First surprise of the night: Queen Mathilde's Laurel Wreath Tiara is back in tiara mode, after having only been seen once as a necklace since she took over the queen consort role. Good. I like that she can keep us guessing, even with a smaller tiara collection than many of her peers.

As for her dress, I should like it. I should. It's Mathilde's version of that dress from Crown Princess Mary's wardrobe that makes me swoon every time. But somehow...this one's not quite singing to me like the other one does. (I am not saying we have a copycat situation here, but lest anyone think that is the case, we will note that Mathilde's had this dress for more than a decade - much longer than Mary has had hers.) The dress does pick up on the gold stripes of her Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany sash nicely, so I can see why she chose it for this event.

Belgian Monarchy Twitter
The King's siblings were also present for the state banquet (except for sister-in-law Princess Claire), and Princess Astrid provided us with our second surprise of the night: she wore Queen Elisabeth's Diamond Bandeau tiara, which belongs to Queen Paola, instead of her usual Savoy-Aosta Tiara. (That's her in the yellow dress; click here for a closer pic.) I have seen some draw conclusions already as to what this might mean for the tiara's current or future ownership, but I think that's a bit hasty. For now, it's just nice to see her get some variety!

Two surprises makes for a very nice tiara outing overall, don't you think? Well done, Belgium.