13 November 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Letizia and Mathilde

Just a couple of queens, going about their queenly business.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia started a state visit to Peru yesterday.
House of HM the King
Unfortunately for Letizia, that queenly business isn't quite as glam on this state visit as it would be back home; they didn't have a big fancy state banquet. (And when I say unfortunately for Letizia, I mean unfortunately for us.) Letizia has a new Carolina Herrera dress and it is fine. Stripes! What's not to like?

The King and Queen attended the Valencian Economy Night last week.
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I'll get some jewels in here somehow, don't you worry. Letizia's black diamond earrings and the bracelets from the joyas de pasar spiced up her repeated Hugo Boss jumpsuit at this previous event. That's how you do it.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde commemorated the centenary of the armistice with events including a special Last Post ceremony and a concert with the Canadian Governor General as a guest.
Belgian Monarchy
Belgian Monarchy
Queen Mathilde's always going to look sharp when she needs to, she's got this down pat. Her green concert outfit is a repeat, but I'm here for any time she wants to throw in some accent accessories. The blush pink shoes and bag make the look for me.

12 November 2018

Monday Tidbits for November 12: Birthdays and Remembrance

In case you didn't tune in over the weekend:

--A lot of remembrance events are happening since this year marks the centenary of the armistice. We covered the British royal remembrance events in full over at the Vault, so hop over there to get caught up: Festival of Remembrance, Remembrance Sunday, and the Armistice Centenary Service.
MOD Crown copyright 2018

--Additionally, Prince Harry visited the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey again. It's a solemn duty but regimental mascots will always lighten up the mood. That's Watchman VI, the incoming mascot for the Staffordshire Regiment Association, terribly excited to see the royal guest. Watchman V, the outgoing mascot, is over it. Seen plenty of royal guests in his day. [Zimbio]
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--In Japan, the imperial family held their Autumn Garden Party. The great news here is that Crown Princess Masako was able to attend the full party for the first time in 15 years. (Also there were kimonos, which is always great news.) [Imperial Family of Japan Blog, NHK]

--I didn't really care for the documentary on the Queen and the Commonwealth earlier this year, but the BBC did a good job with another one for the Prince of Wales' 70th birthday. Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70 is available here (as of this writing). Here's the best bit:
Chaz is as delighted by turkeys as his mother is by cows, this family loves their livestock.

--That documentary gave us a new photo of Prince Charles bonding with Prince Louis and the Duchess of Cambridge. New stamps released for his birthday give us a new portrait of Charles with Prince William and Prince Harry. [Hello]
Royal Mail

--And finally, also over at the Jewel Vault: The Queen herself says these diamonds are "magnificent ones". 

Coming up this week: Spain is out state visiting, Charles has his birthday, 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!

09 November 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Earrings & Lace with Mary & Kate

Finishing the week with two ladies who unknowingly coordinated on the same fabulous theme: mega earrings with lotsa lace.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Tusk Conservation Awards last night.
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It's baaaaaack! Kate finally repeated the Jenny Packham teal dress that's been a fan favorite ever since she wore it in 2012. Still a fan favorite?

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The first appearance, at the Team GB gala in 2012.
I'm gonna say yes, with the caveat that I miss the updo. She gave it a MAJOR earring upgrade this time, going from faux stones to Diamond Chandelier Earrings on loan from the Queen - but you can only see them in select pictures from the night. (Also, remember the back? Crime to cover that up, really.)

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary attended a dinner as their tour of Italy continued this week.
Mary's right in step, making her contribution with a Dolce & Gabbana basic black lace dress. (Italian designers for an Italian trip, see. She also wore some Armani.) And she's still doing her part to further the Purple Is The New Black cause, bless.

Shabana Earrings by Amrita Singh
Also doing her part for today's mega earring theme! Not mega in value, perhaps, but about as mega in scale as you can get. Maybe would've preferred something with a silver tone to go with the purple, though? 

During their trip, the crown princely couple had an audience with the Pope.
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This one works with our theme too. Mary stuck to the traditional choices when visiting the Vatican, black with a veil. Traditional jewelry, even, adding a brooch and wearing pearl and diamond earrings. I detect a collar clash between her coat and shirt, but the rest of this is pretty solid.

08 November 2018

Tiara Thursday: Queen Alexandrine’s Russian Sapphire Tiara

Multiple readers have contacted me about news of this tiara coming up for auction. I hear ya, let's cover it:

Queen Alexandrine's Russian Sapphire Tiara
Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers
Queen Alexandrine’s Russian Sapphire Tiara was a gift to Princess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1879-1952) when she married Prince Christian of Denmark in 1898. The couple later became King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine. The tiara was given by Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia. Nicholas II, descended from the Danish royal family through his mother, was a cousin of the groom. The bride had Russian family connections as well, firstly through her mother, Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna.

Queen Alexandrine's Russian Sapphire Tiara
This imperial wedding gift diadem is attributed to jewelers C.E. Bolin in St. Petersburg, circa 1897-1898. There are eight oval-cut Ceylon sapphires weighing 33 carats in total, with old mine- and single-cut diamonds weighing 53 carats in total. The piece is mounted in gold and silver and the base is wrapped in velvet ribbon.

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Queen Margrethe wearing a different set of sapphires from Queen Alexandrine
Queen Alexandrine had another magnificent set of sapphires that is currently in the collection of Queen Margrethe and includes earrings, a necklace, and a brooch/pendant. Another sapphire and diamond brooch of Queen Alexandrine’s is now with Princess Marie, who regularly wears it as a pendant or brooch.

Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde wears an earlier version of the tiara
Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers
The Russian Sapphire Tiara, however, went down another branch of the family. It became a wedding gift once more when King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine presented it to Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark on her marriage to their second son, Prince Knud, in 1933. Prince Knud became the Hereditary Prince of Denmark when his brother, King Frederik IX, ascended the throne in 1947. Because Frederik IX had daughters but no sons, Knud was his heir. Hereditary Prince Knud was moved down in the line of succession in 1953, however, because the Danish Act of Succession was changed to allow women to inherit the throne. Frederik’s eldest daughter, Margrethe – the current Queen of Denmark – then became the next in line.

Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde wears pieces of the tiara as a necklace, with Princess Thyra's Sapphire Tiara
The Russian Sapphire Tiara was originally a flexible piece able to be worn in several ways. Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde wore it as a smaller tiara and as a necklace before having it set in the larger tiara format it has today. The Hereditary Princess also had another sapphire tiara, Princess Thyra’s Sapphire Tiara, which she is shown wearing above. That tiara later went to Caroline-Mathilde’s daughter, Princess Elisabeth, who passed away in June 2018.

On her death in 1995, Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde left the Russian Sapphire Tiara to her youngest child, Count Christian of Rosenborg, and his family. It was worn by Count Christian’s wife, Countess Anne Dorte, to multiple Danish royal events. Count Christian passed away in 2013; Countess Anne Dorte passed away in 2014.

The tiara is held by Martin Hans Borg, Bruun Rasmussen's specialist in art and antiques from Russia
Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers of Fine Arts
The tiara is now the property of their three daughters, who have chosen to sell it. The tiara will be the highlight of an auction on November 30, 2018 at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers in Copenhagen. The auction press release includes a comment from Count Ingolf of Rosenborg, the only living child of Hereditary Prince Knud and Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde:
"As a boy, the jewellery of the ladies wasn’t exactly at the top of my mind. But my mother, Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde, received the piece of jewellery as a wedding gift from my grandmother and grandfather (her in-laws, King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine), which was originally a gift from my grandmother and grandfather's relatives – Tsar Nikolai II and Tsaritsa Alexandra of Russia. It was a Russian piece of jewellery with sapphires and diamonds, which my mother used both as a necklace and as a bandeau, as can be seen in photographs from back then. At a later date, my mother had the jewellery changed to its present form, and I remember very well her wearing this Russian sapphire tiara."
The auction house has done additional research to document the tiara’s provenance, clarifying that the tiara was a gift from the Tsar and Tsarina in both newspaper reports of the time and by finding a bill that included a similar description. The diadem’s auction estimate is set at DKK 1,500,000-2,000,000 (about $225,000-$300,000).

07 November 2018

Royal Outfit of the Day: Crown Princess Mary in Italy

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary are on an official visit to Italy. You will be 0% surprised to see that Mary started off with some princess perfection.

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were received by the President of Italy and his daughter
Palazzo del Quirinale
See? This is a perfect understanding of the occasion. It's not a state visit, so no need to go all out with a hat and all that jazz; a structured white dress made interesting with texture and a belt is the right level of formal. She threw a brooch on there for good measure.

Palazzo del Quirinale
Both the brooch and earrings are from Ole Lynggaard, representing for Danish design as she usually does.

Ole Lynggaard
The Leaf Brooch in 18 karat gold was designed by Charlotte Lynggaard. You may remember it from the larger Leaf Hair Jewel she wore to King Carl Gustaf's birthday dinner in 2016.

Ole Lynggaard
The earrings are from the Winter Frost collection (stud and pendant), in 18 karat white gold with diamonds. These are so delicate and just *chef kiss*.

Mary wasn't just princess perfect on day 1, she was also princess practical and princess prepared - with a shoe change on hand for a visit to the Baths of Caracalla.
No point in trying to hoof it around landmarks in your heels, man. My mom and the Keds that carried her from the parking lot to the office back in the day approve. (Lemme also draw your attention to Fred in the three piece suit there. Giving it a bit of effort himself.)