26 April 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: More from Meghan

So much going on, let's hit a few more events today:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the Anzac Day memorial service in London yesterday.
UK MOD/Crown copyright 2018
Royals attend a lot of memorials and commemorations, and Meghan's been getting a crash course in all of that this week. She made the perfect choice of somber colors for this dawn service, the first of two for the day.

The Duke of Cambridge joined the couple for the Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey later.
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The second service was another good choice. This Emilia Wickstead outfit is already pre-royal approved, in fact; the Countess of Wessex owns the same style in a cheerier color for cheerier occasions.

Westminster Abbey
The beret-style hat works too. I even have to admit - despite being generally anti-insect adornment - that the single dragonfly on the hat is needed. Solid choices done well, all around.

25 April 2018

Tiara Watch of the Day: The Dutch Diplomatic Corps Gala Dinner

It's about time we saw some Máxima tiara action around here.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, with Princess Beatrix, Princess Margriet, and Pieter van Vollenhoven, hosted their annual gala dinner for the Diplomatic Corps yesterday.
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I've never been wild about the combination of textures and colors and shine on this old Natan outfit, so that's all the more reason to focus on the gems: the Dutch Aquamarine Tiara plus earrings and an aquamarine pendant on a diamond rivière necklace. Starting small to build up to larger things later on, like the state visit to Luxembourg next month, I hope.

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Princess Margriet also had an interesting combination going on with her dress, business at the top and party at the bottom. More classic is her use of the Pearl Button Tiara - her wedding tiara! - with a pearl necklace and diamond and pearl earrings.

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Princess Beatrix stuck to her trademark tiara, Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara. Forever a great match for her, since the shape works just right with her trademark 'do.

They were entertaining in the evening and entertaining during the day, yesterday; the King and Queen received the President and First Lady of Mexico for an official visit and hosted a luncheon.
Presidencia de la República
Just in case the tiaras weren't enough, Máxima offers you something else: the return of your #1 favorite day dress of 2017! Still glorious, do you think?

24 April 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Weekend with the Windsors

The British royal family's busy week continued right into the weekend - we're jumping back to pre-baby stuff here - as they gathered on Saturday for a concert celebrating the Queen's 92nd birthday.

BBC
She came ready to be celebrated in a fancy gold embellished dress with a bunch of pearls and diamonds tossed on for good measure. (You know you can find all those details at the Jewel Vault.)

Royal Family
And a whooollllle bunch of royals turned out to celebrate her in style. You've got your Kents in the box to the left, with the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra in the front; Lady Sarah and Daniel Chatto joined the Gloucesters in the box to the right. The main royal box was stuffed with all available members and members-to-be of the main royal family. Two highlights stuck to this family's favorite color: NAVY.

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Shades of one of Queen Letizia's memorable 2017 ensembles for Meghan Markle, accessorized with a killer constellation purse. CAPE!

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Lady Louise and the Countess of Wessex also went for the usual navy, except Sophie managed to give it a saucy little kick in jumpsuit format. I do appreciate an attempt to spice up a standard.

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Elsewhere in the royal box, I loved Princess Eugenie's light dress and Princess Beatrice's purple dress, because purple.

Meghan's Stella McCartney caped cady dress in midnight blue (per the brand), Sophie's Signature Corset Jumpsuit by Galvan (per Countess of Wessex Blog)
Beatrice's Gareth Pugh silk wrap dress and Eugenie's Max Mara Leandro White Draped Floral Crepe Dress (per Polka Poppins)

Beatrice was saving up her navy for Sunday, apparently, when she attended the National Scout Service and Parade at Windsor Castle. (It's one of those engagements members of the royal family pass between themselves each year.)
The Duke of York
File that hat in the "repeat for Ascot" section of the wardrobe, please! An interesting - and fab - end to a busy Windsor weekend.

23 April 2018

Royal Baby Watch of the Day: Cambridge Baby #3...

Some of you have been on royal baby watch for a loooong time, this time around. The day's finally here.

Kensington Palace Twitter

So here's your post to hang out and await further announcements about the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's third child! Updates to follow...

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Update: It's a boy! 



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Update: Prince George and Princess Charlotte have visited their new baby brother. [Pics: Kensington Palace]



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Update: And the new baby is headed home. Kate wore Jenny Packham to leave the hospital, as she did with her first two. She is also wearing the Silver Jubilee Diamond and Pearl Earrings she's worn before, on loan from the Queen.

Royal Family Channel

19 April 2018

Bonus Tiara Watch: The CHOGM Dinner, Plus Meghan's Latest

Let's dig into the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) festivities for the second time today, because a couple highly anticipated events occurred this evening.

The first, of course, is the tiara-filled dinner hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace!
Royal Family
The monarch got things started in a very sparkly way by piling on the diamonds and the rubies, including surprising us by wearing the Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace last seen on the Duchess of Cambridge and not seen on the Queen herself since the 1980s. Her tiara is the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara (her fave). You can, as always, see a complete rundown of her jewel selections right here at the Jewel Vault.

All available hands were on deck for the dinner, except Kate (for obvious reasons) and Meghan (who did attend a different reception with Harry earlier in the evening, keep scrolling for that). Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were present...
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...and we'll cut to the chase, there were no first tiara appearances for the sisters tonight. Although unmarried princesses have certainly worn tiaras in the past (Anne and Margaret most recently in the British royal family; plenty more outside of that), I'm not surprised that they didn't go digging through the vaults for this black tie occasion. My condolences to those of you nursing deep disappointment!

Plenty of other tiaras on display to soothe that disappointment, though. CHOGM provided a livestream which you can replay here; I have some shots below (just glimpses, mostly, so apologies for quality. We're lucky we got a livestream at all!).
CHOGM screencap
Typical selections for the Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess Royal. We just saw this whole look on Anne during last year's Spanish state visit, with the Festoon Tiara, and her diamond demi-parure. It's the Greville Tiara and the Pear Drop Diamond Demi-Parure for Camilla.

CHOGM screencap
The Wessex Aquamarine Necklace Tiara was looking splendid on the Countess of Wessex, who paired it with a colorful gemstone necklace that's part of a set of unknown origin that she's had for a few years. She appears to be wearing the dress she wore to the Swedish royal wedding in 2015.

CHOGM screencap
Princess Alexandra of Kent chipped in with the pearl setting of her Ogilvy Tiara, nicely accessorized with an intricate pearl and diamond choker.

CHOGM screencap
I was thrilled to see the Iveagh Tiara, such an interesting and intricate piece, make an appearance on the Duchess of Gloucester. She's also doing something interesting with a pair of jeweled clip brooches on her dress, too, so Birgitte's keeping up the good work.

CHOGM screencap
Wrapping things up on the tiara front, Princess Michael of Kent brought the Kent City of London Fringe Tiara out to play, another piece we haven't seen in a while.

While we're on the CHOGM evening topic, just before the big Buckingham Palace dinner, Harry and Meghan attended a Women's Empowerment reception. Meghan wore a power dress, basically:
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That's a great LBD. It's by Black Halo. Not too dressy, not too casual, all purpose as a great LBD should be. And that's as formal as she got today; Harry made a quick change for the Queen's dinner and Meghan will wait for the many such dinners she has in her future.

Phew! These kids are going all out for CHOGM. Gotta soak it up while we can.

Royal Outfits of the Day: CHOGM Week with Meghan and Eugenie

As promised, this week members of the British royal family are out in force for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London. (The formal opening for the meeting is today; the dinner is tonight and we'll be covering that at the Vault and also possibly here). Nearly every senior royal has been assigned a couple heads of state to greet, and they've swarmed a multitude of other events during CHOGM Week. Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Princess Eugenie hit up the Commonwealth Forums yesterday:

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Princess Eugenie loves this floral Whistles dress; she's worn it multiple times and loves to pair it with these boots. The boots are a little heavy for me, but I see where she's going with this match. She's covering her trend bases. (Could people stop referring to this look as "daring", though? It's only daring if you didn't realize she had legs before. Argh.)

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Meghan's ensemble may be attempting to cover a few too many bases at one time. This is a pretty awkward rendition of the "jacket, but who needs sleeves" look, and I will forever feel that crossbody bags are best left to casual outfits.

Kensington Palace
It's a shame, though, because all these pieces - the Camilla and Marc blazer, the Altuzarra dress, the Tamara Mellon heels - have such potential on their own. Remix it!

18 April 2018

Royal Shoes of the Day: Green for Victoria and Sofia

Outside of the super matchy-matchy world of Queen Máxima, green shoes aren't something we see much of around here. Except for this week, when they appeared not once but twice in Sweden!

The Swedish royal family received the Prime Minister of India this week.
Henrik Garlöv/Kungahuset.se
Crown Princess Victoria started things off with bright green shoes and a bright green clutch paired with a new dress from the brand & Other Stories. Green's a natural match for a floral print and a great focal point in an outfit with such a busy print. Well played.

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Princess Sofia attended the UNDP's Spring Gala last night.
Princess Sofia used a tiny peek of a pair of green shoes to liven up a black outfit; this skirt was part of an Ida Sjöstedt outfit that made me reference the Dowager Countess when she wore it the first time, but here it's delightful. (I originally thought the skirt was part of a gown, and I've never been so glad to learn it was separates.)

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The choice of a green shoe isn't random; Sofia's letting her black outfit act as a canvas for all sorts of interesting accessories. Well played again, Sweden.

16 April 2018

Breaking Tiara News of the Day: Queen Letizia Wears the Cartier Diamond and Pearl Tiara

It's always headline news around here when Queen Letizia decides to dig something new out of the vaults.

The King and Queen of Spain hosted a state dinner for the President of Portugal during his state visit to Spain today.
House of HM the King
This is her first time wearing the Cartier Diamond and Pearl Tiara, which belonged to Queen Victoria Eugenia and went to Infanta Maria Cristina before making a return to the main line and being worn by Queen Sofia and (on one occasion) Infanta Cristina. (Check out the tiara's full story here.) This is my favorite of the larger Spanish tiaras and it looks perfect on Letizia, tipped back just a bit.

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She paired it with the diamond earrings from the joyas de pasar and, of course, the sash and star of Portugal's Order of Christ.

House of HM the King
Just as she continues to experiment with jewels, Letizia continues to experiment with new designers, wearing a dress here by Ana Locking. This dress is a full-on Monet: a gorgeous star-filled evening sky from afar but a hail storm so harsh it'll rip your sleeves when viewed close up. But it definitely calls for a pearl tiara and this one's a winner, so I can only be all on board.

Monday Tidbits for April 16: Fancy Stuff Ahead (We Hope)

Looking ahead:

--The British royal family will be out in force this week as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) comes to London. This includes a dinner hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace which, while usually a black tie dinner these days, has remained a tiara event for the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall, when in attendance. This is receiving extra attention this year because this is an all-hands-on-deck event, with even Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie in attendance. No way to know if everyone will be in tiaras, or what coverage will be available, but we will wait and see. Of course we'll cover what we're able to here and at the Vault. (Do note, however, that the "rule" that unmarried women can't wear tiaras is easily disproved with many examples of unmarried princesses in tiaras over the years.)

--Crown Prince Frederik turns 50 on May 26th and the Danish royal family is gearing up for several festivities in his honor. More than a week of celebrations will include a family balcony appearance and - this is where our ears perk up - a gala dinner at Christiansborg Palace, with guests from home and abroad, on the big day. They've also released two new portraits. [Photos: Steen Evald/Kongehuset]


--Did you know King Philippe is a painter? Here he is working on a portrait of his uncle, the late King Baudouin, in a picture released with thanks for all the well wishes he received on his 58th birthday on April 15th.
Belgian Monarchy

--A new documentary is airing tonight (Monday) in the U.K. on ITV. The Queen's Green Planet features QEII in conversation with Sir David Attenborough in the gardens of Buckingham Palace; the Queen's wit is getting good reviews. (And, pro tip: you can check out the brooch she wears right here at the Jewel Vault.) [Express]

--Speaking of the Jewel Vault: QEII and her doggos held an audience this past week, and she appeared in some cheery purple.


Coming up this week: Jumpsuit action and more...


Tidbits is your spot for royal topics we haven't covered separately on the blog, all week long. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

12 April 2018

Tiara Thursday: Queen Victoria’s Emerald and Diamond Tiara, Revisited

Programming note: We'll be back on Monday!

Our recent festival of Fife tiaras continues with an updated post for Queen Victoria’s Emerald and Diamond Tiara:

Queen Victoria's Emerald and Diamond Tiara
Historic Royal Palaces
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s shared love of art and design resulted in many an exquisite treasure, including jewels like her Sapphire Coronet and the Oriental Circlet. “Albert has such taste and arranges everything for me about my jewels,” Victoria wrote. This Gothic-inspired emerald and diamond tiara is another example, a piece personally designed by Prince Albert and commissioned in 1845 from the London jeweler Joseph Kitching for £1,150.

Historic Royal Palaces
Historic Royal Palaces
The tiara, nearly a full circlet in shape, has a base of cushion-shaped diamonds and step-cut emeralds topped by a graduated row of 19 inverted pear-shaped emeralds; the largest emerald weighs in at 15 carats. The tiara completed a parure of emeralds and diamonds previously gifted to the Queen by her husband, including a necklace with 9 clusters of emeralds surrounded by cushion-shaped diamonds, a pair of pendant earrings, and a brooch featuring a 20-carat emerald.

The parure: Necklace, earrings, brooch
Historic Royal Palaces
Queen Victoria was thrilled with her emerald tiara gift, referring to it as a “lovely Diadem of diamonds and emeralds designed by my beloved Albert” and writing of her husband’s “wonderful taste” in her journal.

The Royal Family in 1846, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Royal Collection
She chose to wear the emerald tiara in the family portrait she commissioned from Franz Xaver Winterhalter the following year, entitled The Royal Family in 1846. For that family portrait, she paired the tiara with a different set of brooches and earrings.

With the emerald parure 
Royal Collection
She was later painted wearing the tiara with the parure that exists today.

Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine
Queen Victoria loaned the emerald and diamond tiara to her granddaughter Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine in the 1880s; on that occasion, it was worn around a cap likely as part of a costume.

The Duchess of Fife, 1960 
British Pathé
The tiara ultimately ended up in the possession of another granddaughter, Louise, the Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife, daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. The parure has since remained with the Fife family. It was worn to the State Opening of Parliament in 1960 by the then-Duchess of Fife, one of the only examples of the diadem in use.

Historic Royal Palaces
The family has allowed the tiara to be shown on exhibition – and, of course, has just now loaned it on a long-term basis to the Victoria Revealed exhibition at Kensington Palace alongside the Fife Tiara and the Fife Fringe Tiara. The rest of the emerald parure is also on show, ready and waiting for your admiration. It already has mine; this is one of my absolute favorite pieces. Magnificent.

Have the new pictures (or an in-person view, perhaps) changed your view of this tiara?

11 April 2018

Royal Flashback of the Day: Charles and Camilla's Windsor Wedding

News continues to trickle in regarding the upcoming wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle; the most recent tidbits included the announcement that the guest list will skip the politicians/dignitaries/assigned reps of foreign royal families in favor of guests that know the couple personally. (This is not at all surprising.)

As speculation runs high, it's worth taking a look back at other weddings held in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Past Windsor weddings may not bear any resemblance to the Harry & Meghan Show, of course - or the Eugenie & Jack Show! - but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a bit of a royal wedding flashback anyway.

Might as well start with a couple that just hit another wedding anniversary, right? It's been 13 years since the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall tied the knot in a civil service at the Windsor Guildhall followed by a blessing service at St. George's Chapel. Camilla wore a stunning Robinson Valentine coat and dress with a Philip Treacy headpiece as a lovely substitute for a tiara. It's one of my favorite royal wedding looks - and it made your list of favorites, too.

The video above includes their entrance and the two below have some longer clips, including the small walkabout they did after the service. Waste some midweek time on nostalgia...

10 April 2018

Royal Outfit of the Day: Máxima's Many Stripes

The Dutch royal family attended the Koningsdag concert last night.
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Queen Máxima did not decide to get crafty with King Willem-Alexander's old ties, or maybe with some old Hogwarts banners she had lying around, believe it or not. This is a Mary Katrantzou dress - one she loves enough for a second outing.

It's a lot of dress and that's something I say often when it comes to Máxima but this is a lot a lot, if you know what I mean. It's like a marathon for the eyes, there's nowhere to rest. I'm exhausted just looking at it. Phew.

09 April 2018

Monday Tidbits for April 9: Couples Who Coordinate and More

Here we go:

--A little casual couple coordination courtesy of Charles and Camilla on their trip to Australia, which also provided opportunities to partake in some of their favorite activities, such as meeting dogs and wearing sunglasses. [Hello]
Clarence House

--More couple coordination from Harry and Meghan - a little more intentionally this time - as they visited trials for the Invictus Games. [Town & Country]

--Charlotte Casiraghi attended an event in New York and gave us the best glimpse yet at what we assume to be her engagement ring. [Paris Match]
A post shared by @miss_nostalgiamc on

--And finally, April 8th marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of King Christian IX of Denmark, the "father-in-law of Europe". The story of his large family and their path through the royal families of Europe was told in a lovely documentary called A Royal Family and you can currently find it here. [YouTube]


Tidbits is your spot for royal topics we haven't covered separately on the blog, all week long. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

06 April 2018

Royal Exhibition of the Day: Queen Margrethe's Wardrobe on Show

Denmark is offering you another chance to check out some of Queen Margrethe's couture in the flesh fabric: 37 outfits and 42 hats are included in From the Queen's Wardrobe, on show in The Old Town in Aarhus until September 9th. Margrethe seems to be very generous in allowing her clothing to go on display regularly, as well she should be; these are works of art, with every bit of care taken in their design as any of her other artworks.

Queen Margrethe viewing the exhibition
She dropped by to open the exhibition herself recently, coming face to face with the fairytale gown she wore to celebrate her silver wedding anniversary with Prince Henrik. It must have been a poignant moment, walking through these gowns that represent so many happy memories with her late husband.

In Balmain
This white gown by Balmain, for example, was a wedding gift to Margrethe from Danish designer Erik Mortensen, who was working for the French house. Exquisitely embellished, this is couture at its finest.

For the Crown Prince's wedding
This is a modern favorite of mine, the floral gown with bow sleeves made by Mogens Eriksen for Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary's wedding in 2004. I do love a great floral gown. It was covered by a spectacular pink coat for the wedding ceremony (and that pink coat has since been made into a different dress). We covered Queen Margrethe's whole sparkling look on that day here.

And then there's that silver wedding dress, the most theatrical confection of tulle purchased by Margrethe and crafted by Jørgen Bender with close up-worthy details galore. (See more about the dress and event in our past post here.)



The Danish royal family shared even more examples in a gallery post from their Instagram. Has anyone ever loved tulle or a big sleeve more? She knows how to turn it up, that Daisy. Well worth seeing in person.

Photos: DR screencap/DR

05 April 2018

Tiara Thursday: The Fife Fringe Tiara

The recently unveiled tiara display at Kensington Palace included a surprise bonus tiara, one that we haven’t covered in depth. Let’s get right on that:

The Fife Fringe Tiara
Historic Royal Palaces
The Prince and Princess of Wales, later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, gave this diamond fringe tiara to their daughter, Princess Louise, as a gift for her 1889 wedding to the Earl of Fife (who was made the Duke of Fife by Queen Victoria right after the wedding). Purchased at Hancock’s, the tiara includes graduated rays of pavé-set diamonds in white and yellow gold.

Princess Louise wearing the Fife Fringe as a necklace
It’s the most classic of fringe tiara designs, in which the taller rays alternate with slightly shorter rays of a different design. Like most classic fringes, it can be worn either as a tiara or as a necklace. It became a favorite of Princess Louise and she wore it both ways.

The fringe as a necklace on Louise (left) with her grandmother Queen Louise of Denmark (center) and her mother Queen Alexandra (right)
By Peter symonds - Own work, GFDL
It was a fashionable choice for years and a look at the mother of the bride’s own jewel vault shows that fringes were on her mind at the time: Alexandra requested a fringe variation of her own, Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara, as a gift for her silver wedding anniversary in 1888, one year before her daughter was married.

Louise wearing the Fife Fringe as a tiara
These tiaras were inspired by the kokoshnik headdresses of Russia and grew fashionable at the imperial court; Alexandra’s request for a version of her own was said to have been inspired by the jewels of her sister, Empress Marie Feodorovna.

Princess Alexandra wearing a (possibly different) fringe tiara
The fact that this tiara is such a model of the popular fringe design means that it is also very difficult to distinguish from other fringes. Princess Louise’s daughter, Princess Alexandra (who became the Duchess of Fife in her own right), also wore a fringe tiara, but this may have been an entirely different tiara; Alexandra was married to Prince Arthur of Connaught, whose mother also had a diamond fringe tiara. Caroline Dewar wore one when she married the future 3rd Duke of Fife in 1956, possibly the Fife Fringe.

The Fife Fringe Tiara went unseen for several decades (and has sometimes been reported as having been auctioned off), but we now know that it is still with the family.

On display at Kensington Palace, on the right
Historic Royal Palaces
It has been loaned on a long-term basis to Historic Royal Palaces for display alongside Queen Victoria’s Emerald and Diamond Tiara and its parure, which is also still with the Fife family and on long-term loan, and the Fife Tiara, which was given to the U.K. government in lieu of inheritance tax following the death of the 3rd Duke of Fife. See it while you can.

Is this on your list of best fringes, or is it more of the same to your eyes?

04 April 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Easter in Spain

The Spanish royal family does Easter in Palma de Mallorca, a more casual and less hat-filled affair than the British royal family does, because they just don't roll that way and variety is the spice of life and whatever.

Queen Letizia, Infanta Sofia, King Felipe, the Princess of Asturias, King Juan Carlos, and Queen Sofia
House of HM the King
A touch of nautical fun for Queen Letizia, a Hugo Boss/Carolina Herrera combo kept light and bright by the polka dots on the top.

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And you can never really go wrong with a yacht-ready ensemble here, so I'll give it a thumbs up.

House of HM the King
Queen Sofia's traditional necklace of Easter egg pendants had some competition for most festive accessory this year thanks to the tie flair of the two kings: floral (or something) for Felipe and pink for Juan Carlos. Although Sofia's necklace still clearly wins as it does most years, because obviously.

This whole occasion has been somewhat overshadowed in the past day by a short video clip that seems to catch a strained family moment as they left the cathedral, when Queen Sofia's attempt to pose with her granddaughters was obstructed by Queen Letizia. (You can see it here.) (And Princess Marie-Chantal, wife of Sofia's nephew Crown Prince Pavlos, decided to weigh in on Twitter against Letizia, raising some eyebrows.) So now the topic of conversation has turned to the supposedly strained relationships in the family. Which...ugh. The whole thing is so messy. If you ask me, this little video means a whole lot of nothing. People are using their interpretations to confirm whatever they already thought, as people are prone to do. *shrug*

Anyway, that's the elephant in the room. Back to the clothes? Back to the clothes.