30 April 2016

Royal Fashion Awards: King Carl Gustaf's Birthday Banquet


Unlike the fancy white tie, Braganza Tiara-deserving banquet held for his 60th birthday (flashed back to here and here), King Carl Gustaf's 70th just warranted black tie. But praise be to the tiara gods, they threw in some diadems anyway. I knew Queen Silvia wouldn't let us down.

They even gave us a group photo! Everybody's wearing their commemorative birthday medal.
Group Photo, Click to enlarge (Peter Knutson/Kungahuset.se)
Row 1: Queen Silvia, King Carl XVI Gustaf
Row 2: President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Dorrit Moussaieff, Queen Margrethe II
Row 3: President Sauli Niinistö, Queen Margarita, Jenni Haukio, Prince Albert II, Princess Beatrix, King Philippe, Queen Mathilde
Row 4: King Simeon II, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Hereditary Prince Alois, Hereditary Princess Sophie
Row 5: Crown Princess Margareta, Prince Carl Philip, Princess Madeleine, Mr. Christopher O’Neill
Row 6: Prince Radu, Princess Christina, Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Princess Benedikte, Princess Hisako of Takamado, Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Row 7: Thomas de Toledo Sommerlath, Ralf de Toledo Sommerlath, Tord Magnuson, Princess Margaretha, Princess Birgitta, Princess Désirée, Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld
Row 8: Ewa Westling, Olle Westling, Marie Hellqvist, Erik Hellqvist, Eva Maria O'Neill


For now, a partial edition of Royal Fashion Awards, hitting just the biggest talking points.

Best in Contrast
Queen Silvia and Queen Margrethe
Which did you see first in that group photo: all the tiaras, or one serious orange dress? Even thoroughly tiara-focused me has to admit it was the latter. Queen Silvia combined all her favorite things - shine, sparkle, and diamonds including the Connaught Tiara - in one bright dress made even brighter by the addition of a pink shawl in her hand. (Yes, Virginia, there was a butt bow. Actually, it was more like a...tail feather. Ripe for the shaking.) Queen Margrethe made for a bit of a tonic in her soft blue dress, her second repeat of the day from her own most recent big birthday celebrations. She wore the Baden Palmette Tiara.


Best in Designer Sharing
Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine

A new Elie Saab for Victoria, AND a repeated one for Madeleine. Is it my birthday too? You'll remember Madeleine's; she wore it for her pre-wedding dinner, Victoria wore it for Margrethe's birthday dinner, and now it's back in the rotation.

The dresses weren't the only thing up for sharing. The Swedes did what they do best and swapped their usual jewels all around. Princess Madeleine returned to her favorite Modern Fringe Tiara, but wore the diamond epaulette earrings first worn by Victoria to her pre-wedding event. Madeleine's 18th birthday tiara, the Aquamarine Bandeau Tiara, showed up on aunt Princess Christina; while Victoria wore Princess Lilian's Laurel Wreath Tiara again, her own favorite Baden Fringe was taken for a spin by aunt Princess Birgitta. And the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik that has been favored recently by Madeleine and Christina was once again back with its owner, Princess Margaretha. Follow all that?


Most Surprising Meh
Crown Princess Mary
Oh, this one hurts. Mary threw away a tiara opportunity in favor of a Charlotte Lynggaard for Ole Lynggaard Leaf Hair Jewel (which I tried to make myself believe was part of the Naasut Tiara for as long as possible, but it isn't). The earrings are also new, and specially designed. I'd applaud this if it were sneaking in a hair ornament at a non-tiara occasion, and perhaps I will one day in the future.
It's not just the lack of tiara that leaves me all kinds of meh about this appearance, though. (Honestly, it isn't.) This YDE by Ole Yde dress is so much like a few floral dresses in her closet for day appearances (some of which are also Yde), it feels like a day appearance from the knees up. It's not a badly put together look at all, it's just...meh.


And the rest...
Video: Royals start arriving around 1:40
If I can update this post with more detail later, I will. Until then, let's hit the roster of royals and all their tiara identifications. Here are the royal tiara wearers you can see in that video, with links to the tiaras if we've covered them:
There were more as well, but I'll leave you with just one of my favorites: the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Turquoise Tiara, on Hereditary Princess Kelly!



Sunday Tidbits will be up on Monday for you. 


Royal Fashion Awards: King Carl Gustaf’s Birthday, Concert and Day Events

The celebrations for King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 70th birthday have been going on all week, building up to today’s festivities. As for our Royal Fashion Awards, well, they’re just beginning…

Best in Concert Sparkle
Photo: Kungahuset.se
A dress code of suits for the men at Friday night’s Nordic Museum concert didn’t stop Queen Silvia from bringing the full-length sparkle with a diamond necklace and few bits and bobs from the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure thrown in for good measure, bless.
She gives her public what they want.

Most Mixed Concert Bag
Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine
Her daughters were more of a mixed bag, Princess Madeleine on the shorter side in Erdem and Crown Princess Victoria in a promisingly different silhouette brought down by a bit of over-accessorizing. Enthusiasm appreciated, anyway.


Today, things got started with a morning Te Deum followed by some outdoor tributes – including Prince Oscar’s first balcony appearance! – and a lunch at Stockholm’s City Hall.


Best in Pink and Statement Hats
Queen Silvia
Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine had the same idea for their day outfits, with pink coats and serious hat style from Philip Treacy. I love that Silvia went big without going nuts, and I love her choice of burgundy accessories. Win.
I should be focusing on Madeleine’s hat here, but instead I can’t stop thinking it looks like she has her headphones around her neck when the coat is on. Makes a touch more sense when you see there's a whole garden of a Giambattista Valli dress underneath that pink Alexander McQueen coat.

Best in Fresh
Crown Princess Victoria
Victoria’s Dolce & Gabbana striped dress surprised me at first. This turned out to be a good thing, because paired with her big white hat, it was a much-needed anecdote to the run of pastels on display courtesy of most of the rest of the guests. LOVE.
{As always, a required moment of silence for Estelle's wee throne.}

Honorable Attendance Mention
Princess Sofia
Princess Sofia pulled back her attendance at the birthday events, to no one’s surprise as she just gave birth not even two weeks ago. But she did make a point to attend the Te Deum and balcony appearance, and she looked fabulous in a light Hugo Boss dress with a By Malene Birger coat added outside.

And for everybody else…
An interesting brooch headlined Princess Christina's blue look as she attended with the rest of the King's sisters, Princess Désirée, Princess Birgitta, and Princess Margaretha.

Princess Hisako of Takamado was a second row standout, brighter than the sun and with more hat personality than we usually see from the Japanese imperial ladies. Prince Albert of Monaco, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein, and some of the German royals can also be spotted above.

By the time the party moved outside, a full Where's Waldo? royal spotting game was in play. A minty fresh Queen Margrethe and a cozily wrapped Princess Beatrix quickly became one of the day's best dynamic duos.

Princess Märtha Louise and husband Ari Behn are the sole reps from Norway now (following yesterday's tragic helicopter crash in the country). She always brings the intrigue, in a metallic number that also would have been at home at the previous evening's concert. Crown Princess Mary repeated her Oscar de la Renta coat paired with purple accessories, which obviously that makes me happy. Also present and elegant: Princess Benedikte and the royal couples from Serbia and Romania. (As well as other international royal guests not named here!)

One last thing:
Just so you  know, the Estelle fan club begins with her godmother.


We’ll be back later for the evening's black tie banquet (with tiaras!), so stay tuned.

Thanks to Heaven and Sarah at The Royals and I/Swedish Clothing IDs for being on top of the designer identifications! Check their post here for more on the Swedish royal family's choices.

Photos: SVT screencaps unless otherwise noted

29 April 2016

Royal Flashback of the Day: April 29

A note to start: I expect we'll be up and running this weekend for the festivities for King Carl Gustaf's birthday in Sweden, so check back in!

Well, I think we have to do it. I think we have to talk about THAT HAT.
Princess Beatrice attended the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, April 29, 2011, wearing a coat by Valentino Couture. Princess Eugenie wore Vivienne Westwood

Pro: There's a part of me that really admires Princess Beatrice for wearing that hat. Somebody had to fly the flag for the nuttiest and most sculptural creations that British millinery had to offer, and bless her heart, she flew it high enough to cover everyone in the family and then some. (I'm not even sure if she knew what was coming; in this ABC video on Philip Treacy ahead of the royal wedding, Beatrice herself says she had no idea what he was making for her. The designer has steadfastly named it as one of his favorites ever since.)
On the Valentino runway
Pro: This coat ranks among the best things Princess Beatrice has ever worn. It is loveliness personified (not that anyone was paying attention, thanks to what was going on north of it) (oops, forgot we were still on the pros, SORRY).

Pro: You can't say she didn't make the best of it. No royal outfit has ever been quite so widely piled upon, which can't have been easy to take. But she chose to have a sense of humor about it, auctioning the hat for $130,000 for charity. Good on you, Bea.
Both Princesses wore hats by Philip Treacy
Con: IT'S BANANAS. Stop it.


{Sidebar: Is that a giant flying bug on Eugenie's hat?? Did we know this?? I am freshly traumatized.}

And a note to finish: If you're in the mood for even more royal wedding nostalgia, head over to the Vault, where we're flashing back to QEII and Camilla - plus, an opportunity to watch the whole wedding again. You know you want to...

28 April 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Tiaras of the Duchess of Cambridge

It's been five years since the Duchess of Cambridge married into the royal family, and in those five years, we've seen four tiara appearances from her. But in those four tiara appearances, we've seen her wear three different tiaras on loan from the Queen. This is a good batting average, folks. In the context of the British royal family, in fact, it is an excellent average. A retrospective (and as always, click the name of the tiara for its full story):

I assumed that her wedding tiara would be her go-to tiara for a few years after the wedding, but I was wrong. (And happy to be wrong, since I'm not a huge fan of this one.) As of this writing, we haven't seen it since. While I do not think that four events is enough evidence to make any conclusions about tiara preferences, I will note that this tiara has a long history of being ditched when better options come along.

When Kate attended the Diplomatic Reception in 2013 (her second-ever tiara appearance), the Cartier Halo Tiara was on loan for an exhibition in Paris. A second tiara was required, and this choice - beyond being a personal favorite of mine - very handily answered for us the question of what happened to the Lotus Flower Tiara after Princess Margaret passed away. This was also the Duchess' pick for her third tiara appearance, the Chinese state banquet.

ITV
The fourth tiara appearance (Diplomatic Reception, 2015) was the biggest surprise of all. I'm still holding out for a better look at this iconic tiara, but so far? Well, love. Obviously.

Which is your favorite tiara on Kate?

Royal Celebration of the Day: April 28

Birthday month, Part 87: King Willem-Alexander celebrated his birthday yesterday at Koningsdag, or King's Day, with all kinds of celebrations and markets across the Netherlands and all kinds of shenanigans. The royal family joined the festivities in Zwolle for the day.

The King and Queen with (left to right) Princesses Ariane, Alexia, and Amalia
Photo: RVD
Queen Máxima went playful and a little bit retro in a midi skirt with some swing in a vibrant floral print by Natan, topped by a pink twinset and a wide brim pale pink hat. Paint this in white or gray and I'd swear she stole it from Lady Sarah Chatto's closet - and that's not a comparison I ever thought I'd make.
But this is Máxima, and so the theme is hot pink instead, and all the better for it. Apparently it was rather cold out there, which is a shame, because the black wrap tossed on top kind of ruined the whole proportion thing she had going on. A queen's gotta do what a queen's gotta do, I guess.

They were joined by Willem-Alexander's cousins, the four sons of Princess Margriet with their respective wives. That's Princess Annette over there in the pretty floral coat, with Prince Bernhard, Prince Pieter-Christiaan, and fellow cardigan-lover Princess Anita to the right.

And wait, what's this?
Prince Constantijn, the King's brother, and wife Princess Laurentien
My favorite Missoni coat has found another royal model in Princess Laurentien, following in Crown Princess Mary's footsteps. It looks every bit as excellent here as it did there, just as I suspected it would look excellent on anyone. Let's make this the Sisterhood of the Traveling Coat, see who else we can get to wear it. I volunteer to go next.

27 April 2016

Royal Outfits of the Day: April 27

A sampler platter of recent choices out of Spain, shall we?

Queen Letizia closed a conference on rare diseases last week
House of HM the King
My absolute favorite take on this collar? Nah. But it is flippy, as is her hair, and I like a bit of flip with an otherwise prim neckline.
Magrit shoes
I'm also unreasonably happy that she didn't just go with a plain old nude pump here. It's the little things, you know.

Lunch for the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, with this year's honoree, Fernando del Paso
House of HM the King
This is very monochrome, from her lips to her toes. Verging on too monochrome for me, but saved by the fact the fact that more Letizia in red (red Carolina Herrera, at that) can't be a bad thing.

Presentation of the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the highest literary honor in the Spanish-speaking world, on Saturday
House of HM the King
I can say only what I said last time around: lose the jacket to this Felipe Varela ensemble. Also, lose the Bulgari aquamarine earrings. (So that you can give them to me. I need them. For reasons.)

26 April 2016

Royal Flashback of the Day: April 26

The poor Countess of Wessex suffered a nasty fall while riding just a few days before the 2011 wedding of William and Kate, complete with a broken rib and several others badly bruised.
In hindsight, I like to think of her dress for the pre-wedding dinner as an aesthetic expression of that suffering. It was an expression of something, anyway. The fabulous necklace and earrings she wore of white and yellow diamonds was the best bit, but alas, they seem to have been a loan for the evening from G. Collins & Sons (here's the necklace on their Instagram, as pointed out by Anna from the Countess of Wessex Blog).

Never fear, she was back on form for the wedding proper.
Looking back at these outfits five years on, some have grown in my esteem, and some have, well, fallen pretty hard. Add this one to that first category. A big royal wedding requires a special outfit; Sophie's Bruce Oldfield couture ensemble interprets that in a luxurious and detailed way but not in an over the top way. It's a crucial distinction, I think.
Or, at least, it is when considering an outfit that one can wear multiple times. Swapping out the hat, she repeated the outfit for Trooping the Colour in 2012 (coincidentally, the Queen repeated her own outfit from the 2011 wedding then too). She did the same thing in 2013 at Sandhurst, using a big brimmed hat. I do not believe we have since seen the red dress repeated, but I am prepared to block it out in case we ever do.

25 April 2016

Royal Color Scheme of the Day: April 25

You remember our Seussical twins from last year, don't you? They're at it again. Well, sort of at it again.

Queen Máxima repeated her bright coral orange coat dress, this time pairing it with tan accessories.
King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, and Princess Beatrix attended the presentation of the Four Freedoms Awards
I...think I miss the Seuss-ian plumes of blue?! This coat dress is practically neon, it can't be tamed by sedately colored accessories. I give the bright color award here to Princess Beatrix. (That is a diamond dragonfly brooch at Máxima's waist, I should add. I'm all for having some fun with brooch positions, but this seems a particularly swattable pose.)

Queen Mathilde held up her end of the bargain by continuing their original orange and blue color scheme.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde opened the Ghent Flower Show
Royal Palace
And she followed through on the accessory flair for both of them (yes, that is one of their favorite head bandage hats, and there are orange gloves and an orange purse involved). I do prefer this balance of orange, says one who doesn't care for much orange to start with.

While we're on the Mathilde subject...
Queen Mathilde attended a concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Scala & Kolacny Brothers choir
Royal Palace
Oh yeah, this is a jumpsuit. I'd say I'm surprised to see this particular royal jumping on the jumpsuit train, but I should have seen it coming. Just when you think Mathilde's the predictable one...
Diane von Furstenberg jumpsuit, per ModeKoninginMathilde
Lyst

24 April 2016

Sunday Tidbits for April 24: Birthday Month Isn't Over Yet

Let's kick this off with a little round up of what's been going on at the Jewel Vault, for those of you wondering where the coverage of the recent British stuff is at:

--POTUS and FLOTUS visited. They were chauffeured by Prince Philip and entertained by Prince George, which is what you call the Complete Windsor Experience.
Photo: Kensington Palace

--Here's the Queen's birthday walkabout from Thursday.

--Here's commentary on that darling four generation stamp release.

--And here's some chatter on those Annie Leibovitz portraits. Plus, view the Sky News tribute to QEII, featuring a joint interview from the Earl and Countess of Wessex and one from the Duke of Cambridge.
Photo: Annie Leibovitz/British Monarchy

--Finally, here's another television feature from the BBC, Elizabeth at 90 - A Family Tribute. If you're only going to watch one of these, make it this one. It's lovely.


Now, onward! Or backward, actually. A few more things from the week that was:

--The name and title of Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip's baby boy was announced by the King at a cabinet meeting on Thursday. Welcome to the world, HRH Prince Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil, Duke of Södermanland! Here's his first picture, taken by the proud father.
Photo: HRH Prince Carl Philip / The Royal Court, Sweden

--Also, the family held their traditional Te Deum to celebrate the birth on Friday. Something must have gone awry when Crown Princess Victoria was wrapping her present for Alexander, for one of her rejected test bows somehow ended up on her head. [ParisMatch]

Both: The Royal Court, Sweden

--I can see why Crown Princess Mette-Marit brought along a change of shoes for this engagement, which involved visiting a fishing boat, but that doesn't mean her choices aren't still giving me shoe whiplash. [NRK]

--If you're trying to get your party guests seated, just tell them it's a soufflé. This helpful tip and more from this article on Lady Elizabeth Anson, party planner to the Queen, royalty, celebrity, etc. [New York Times]

--The Queen wasn't the only one celebrating on April 21st: Princess Isabella of Denmark turned nine and showed off her long locks in new photos taken by her mother.
Photo: HRH The Crown Princess of Denmark

--And finally, the Prince of Wales became the Prince of Denmark yesterday. Marking the 400th anniversary of the Shakespeare's death will do that to you. [Telegraph]


Coming up this week: More catching up with other monarchies, and birthday/anniversary month continues...

Sunday Tidbits is your place throughout the week to share things we haven't covered yet and for all your off topic chats. Enjoy!

22 April 2016

Royal Flashback of the Day: April 22

Birthday week - month! - continues with the second part of our flashback to the glorious royal-filled white tie banquet celebrating the King of Sweden's 60th birthday in 2006. We tackled the monarch generation; now we tackle the heir generation. The then-heir generation, actually, because a lot has changed in ten years.

The heir couples of the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, and the Crown Princess of Denmark with Prince Carl Philip, Princess Madeleine, and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
Photo: The Royal Court
For the Swedish family, this was a perfect time capsule of this era in their royal style (right down to Queen Silvia's green shoulder scrunchie). 
Especially Victoria, who loved those dresses with this type of fitted top, spaghetti or skinny strap, and a train. The styles have changed, but the tiaras haven't: Princess Madeleine's favorite is still the Modern Fringe Tiara, and Crown Princess Victoria's signature is still the Baden Fringe Tiara.

Earlier this year, we flashed back to King Harald's birthday celebrations in 2007, where Princess Mathilde took over a similar group shot with her confetti skirt. One year earlier, it was her twin Máxima doing just the same, arising from a pouf of red tulle by Benito Fernandez to showcase the Mellerio Ruby Tiara.
Crown Princess Mary, attending without her Fred, borrowed Máxima's date. She also should have borrowed a bit of her pizzazz, because this dress is the blerghiest of blerghs, a non-color that doesn't do her own coloring any favors. Her Wedding Tiara is practically invisible, but her aquamarine jewels remain a highlight.

Outside of the group photo, I do adore Princess Marie-Chantal and her diamond fringe tiara, which is one of the best fringes around in the classic style. I also have a soft spot for her style overall...
...although I do think there should be limits on the amount of bodice clutter allowed when a sash is in play.

There are more guests to be spotted in the brief video below, including Princess Lilian, the King's sisters, and representatives from Jordan.

And with that bit of royal spotting, we wrap up our King CG 60th flashbacks! We're ready to go for this year's events in a week. The Norwegian and Danish courts have confirmed that most of their members will attend (Harald, Sonja, Haakon, Mette-Marit, Märtha Louise, Ari, Margrethe, Frederik, Mary, Benedikte), Mathilde and Philippe will reportedly attend again, a Spanish rep, the Romanians, and maybe more. Attendance is still being confirmed.

21 April 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara, Revisited

The 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II falls on a Thursday, so how could we not use this auspicious occasion to revisit her very favorite tiara? It’s practically our sworn duty. (Today’s the big day, so happy birthday, Your Maj! Full birthday event and portrait coverage happening over at the Vault.)

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara
The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara was one of many wedding gifts given to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (known by many as May, and later as Queen Mary) when she married the future King George V in 1893. You’ll never guess who gave it to her...that’s right, it was the girls of Great Britain and Ireland. Specifically, a committee of them chaired by Lady Eva Greville (not the same lady as the Greville bequest, mind you). The committee raised around £5,000 and purchased this tiara from Garrard before donating the remainder of the funds to charity at the Princess’ request. Quoted in The Queen’s Diamonds by Hugh Roberts, Queen Mary wrote to Lady Eva that the tiara “will ever be one of my most valued wedding gifts.” She did not lie.

Queen Mary, wearing the tiara with the original pearls
Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons (1, 2)
The tiara is a diamond design of festoons and scrolls set on a bandeau base of round and lozenge-shaped diamonds. It was originally topped with nine large pearl finials, and could be worn as a necklace or used in a smaller coronet style. In the hands of Queen Mary, always fond of a jewel makeover, the original version did not last forever. In 1914, she removed the pearl finials (they went to the new Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara) and replaced them with simpler diamond collets (taken from the dismantled Surrey Fringe Tiara); she also removed the base of the tiara and used it as a separate headband.

The tiara, as given to Princess Elizabeth
In 1947, Mary gave the tiara to her granddaughter Princess Elizabeth as a wedding present, and the Queen is said to affectionately call it “Granny’s tiara” to this day. Right away, with tiara occasions coming back in vogue after the war, this became a frequently worn piece.

The Queen wears the tiara without the bandeau base and with her sapphire necklace and earrings from her father
Associated Press via Wikimedia Commons
Though the bandeau base was also given to her as a wedding present, the Queen has indicated that she did not know the two pieces belonged together until after Queen Mary’s death in 1953. She told the story while she was filmed sitting for a portrait: “When my grandmother gave me the tiara for a wedding present, I only discovered after I had succeeded and got into her safe, that I realized she’d taken the base off it…So it’s back on again…I suppose that she thought, you know, the child’s only 21, doesn’t need a very big one. And anyway, she had mountains of hair, too, she had that very tall way of wearing her hair, so she needed something very high.” (You can see the exchange, with now-disgraced entertainer and painter Rolf Harris, in this video.)

At the White House, 2007
White House/Eric Draper/Wikimedia Commons
In 1969, the Queen added the base back on to the tiara, and it’s been the same ever since. Though she'd already been queen for some time when she added it back in, it seems a fitting queenly makeover. 


“The Queen is the only person who can put on a tiara with one hand, while walking down stairs,” Princess Margaret once said. Of all the tiaras in her collection, there’s none the Queen has more experience attaching than the Girls Tiara, which is said to be light and easy to wear. “Granny’s tiara” has appeared on stamps, on currency, and in portraits. It was the tiara of choice for the Queen’s historic 2011 state visit to Ireland, as it has been for countless other state visits and gala occasions. Thanks to the frequency with which the Queen wears it, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara is as close to iconic as a tiara can get.

Video: The tiara sparkles at the 2014 Singapore state banquet. See a complete breakdown of her jewels at this event here

We last discussed the tiara when it came out as the winner in a little poll of your favorite tiaras in 2011. It was and is my absolute favorite too; I fall in love with new tiaras all the time, but in the end, I can never argue with the perfection of this diamond beauty.

Your favorite: yes or no?

Photos: Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II unless otherwise noted

20 April 2016

Royal Flashback (and News Update!) of the Day: April 20

First of all, your news update: Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip welcomed a baby boy yesterday!

 
The baby's name and title will be announced Thursday by the King at a cabinet meeting, and the family's traditional Te Deum service will be held on Friday.

Now let's turn to another Swedish birthday, in the form of our ongoing flashback to the celebrations for King Carl Gustaf's 60th birthday in 2006. We've covered the black tie private party, the hat-filled day events, and now the big show: the white tie banquet at the Royal Palace. A similar event will be held for this year's 70th birthday celebrations, but - alas! - it looks like it might be black tie. I'm prepared to cling to the tiara memories if necessary.

Quite a turn out in the heads of state and consorts department a decade ago, no?
Left to right: President and First Lady of Iceland, Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, King and Queen of Norway, King and Queen of Sweden, Prince Henrik of Denmark and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, President of Finland and her husband, Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, King and Queen of the Belgians
Photo: The Royal Court
You no doubt recognize Queen Sonja's getup from Norway's latest batch of formal portraits; she paired it with the family emerald parure here back in 2006 too. Queen Beatrix turned up in glorious fashion, like a sparkly mermaid with a sarong, wearing Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara. Queen Paola wore Queen Elisabeth's Diamond Bandeau and a wrap big enough to cover most of her dress.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa turned up in what is, in my considered opinion, the most awkward piece of royal Art Deco jewelry out there. It's a sapphire and diamond necklace, and it can also be worn as a tiara, if you must. She chose a more elegant tiara, the Chaumet Pearl and Diamond Choker Tiara. As the name suggests, that one can also do necklace duty.

Queen Margrethe was unable to attend, so Queen Silvia picked up the slack in the voluminous sleeve department. Well, less of a sleeve and more of a massive scrunchie wrapped around the top of the dress, I suppose. Then she balanced that out with alllllll the diamonds, including the biggest of the big guns, the Braganza Tiara.

The Greek royal couple weren't in the posed photo (not being reigning sovereigns, you know), but I must throw some praise Queen Anne-Marie's way. I love this dress! Metallic and mauve are not two things I'd put together, but it's really lovely, and an excellent platform for the Greek Ruby Parure. There's no mistaking it, this is a dress for a queen.

As always, this was just a selection of guests. But stay tuned: part 2 of the tiara fest - featuring the younger generation - is yet to come!

19 April 2016

Royal Birthday of the Week: April 19

Queen Margrethe celebrated her 76th birthday on Saturday, and if there's one thing we know, it's that Daisy loves her some birthday celebrations.
She also loves her this turquoise coat. She really, really loves it (and she just wore for the Mexican state visit). It does allow her to wear the turquoise earrings that were a past birthday gift from Prince Henrik, so. There you go. (You may also want to click here and see what the couple sported for a trip to the theater that evening. Nobody does Zbornak quite like our Daisy.)

Here's the full scene in front of the balcony, by the way. There's always a part of me that wonders if the camera will turn around and reveal, like, eight people on their way to lunch, clapping halfheartedly. (See video from the balcony appearance here.)

The rest of the family was on hand as always. Prince Joachim and Princess Marie on one balcony with Princes Nikolai, Felix, Henrik, and Princess Athena (poor Athena, just at the right height for the balcony railing to completely block her view this year)...

...and Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent, and Princess Josephine on the other balcony. This coat on Mary entirely livens up the rather plain outfit underneath. It holds the power to liven up a whole balcony of suits, even, while still not being brighter than Margrethe's turquoise. That's a good coat.
Magenta wool crepe coat from Goat, per StyleofMary

The Danish royal family also wrapped up their state visit from Mexico last week, including a visit with the First Lady for Mary and a return dinner with the whole family. I won't make you go cold turkey on Bhutan, and I won't make you go cold turkey on prints either.
This outfit is a repeat, and the skirt from Ganni somehow always looks better to me when seen on its own, rather than when worn. I still like it, but I'm pretty sure you'd want that to go the other way around.
See a gallery from the second day of the visit here.

Photos: Det Danske Kongehus video screencaps, StyleOutnet, via Getty Images, Ganni