29 April 2011

Royal Fashion Awards: Foreign Royals at the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge's Wedding

We handled the Windsors, now it's time to move on to the visiting royals. Not as big of a turn out as we're used to with those wonderful Scandinavian weddings, owing to the Windsors' restricted invitation policy, but there's still plenty to chat about. So let's get rolling:

Best in National Dress
Princess Lalla Salma
Left to Right: Princess Mabereng Seeiso of Lesotho, Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco, the Queen of Malaysia, the Queen of Brunei, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand
I love when ladies bring their national dress, or the dress appropriate to their religion, to international events. All of these are intricate, with a hefty dose of color. Princess Mabereng looks fantastic in those bright colors, and both Queens are lovely in blue. But my best goes to Lalla Salma, whose gorgeous dusty rose ensemble is the perfect complement to her crowning glory: those red locks. Plus, she needs some love - poor Princess was identified as Lalla Salma of Thailand, Sheikha Mozah, and other variations in the press photos.

Best of the Simple
Charlene Wittstock
L to R: Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Charlene Wittstock, Crown Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia
It's hard to get a nice clean line wrong, which is probably why Queen Anne-Marie usually turns up in some variant of this outfit and why Crown Princess Katherine chose this direction for her wedding ensemble. But for Charlene, now, I was surprised and fascinated. Her last turn at a proper hatted event was National Day, and after that I was expecting nothing less than over the top. Maybe that's why her simple turn ends up the best of the pack for me: it's surprisingly understated, elegant, and lady like, and Char looks pretty. Sometimes that's all it takes.

Best of the Worst
Queen Margrethe
 L to R: Queen Sonja of Norway, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
Sometimes things are the worst because they aren't flattering - sorry, Maria Teresa, the flaps on that jacket need to have a pow wow with Sophie's situation from last night - and sometimes they're the worst because of incidentals. Like color, on Sonja, which I think was pale pink but looks a whole lot like white. Add in the white tights, and as soon as that coat closes over the red, she's Nurse Ratchet. And sometimes outfits end up on the worst list for reasons entirely apart for their appearance: I mean, seriously, Margrethe? This thing again? If you weren't even going to spring for a new outfit, you should have just sent Fred and Mary. Let them do it up right.

Best of the Almost
Princess Mathilde
L to R: Queen Sofia of Spain, Princess Mathilde of Belgium, the Princess of Asturias
Here we have the ladies that almost made the best dressed list, but for a few pesky details. Queen Sofia, for example, is in a great color with a cute little fascinator, but she's bedazzled her buttons with craft store rosettes. Letizia looks fantastic, that's a great color, and I do believe I could love the Depression era chic dress, but then she put on her hat. It's almost as though, for her first proper hatted experience, she got a little too excited and decided to smush every possible millinery element together: statement brims! nets! feathers and dohickeys! I know it'll be a long time before you get to wear another hat, but sheesh, Leti - pace yourself. Mathilde, on the other hand, gets the hat and outfit right, but the shoes are like a giant stop sign. So chunky, and so dark. Make it a sleek nude pump, and I'm sold, so she wins this one for me.

Best of the Best
Crown Princess Victoria
 L to R: Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Princess Ameerah of Saudi Arabia
Oh, this was a hard choice. So many lovely ladies at this wedding! Máxima looks fantastic in Valentino: perfect color, lovely lace, I even love the turban (only on Máx!). Ameerah is a new discovery for me, but I love her already. Beautiful outfit and amazing hair. Plus, Wikipedia tells me she's a women's rights activist back home, and bonus points are certainly awarded for that. Marie-Chantal came kitted out in a very M-C sort of outfit. Much like Máx, there are certain things that only she can pull off, and I think this is her at her finest.

But at the end of the day, the first one that stole my heart wins the game. How gorgeous does Victoria look? The color, the hat, the hair, the shape - every piece is working. Best of the best for me.

I'm not missing as many royals here as I am for the Windsors, but there are a few holes. Notably, my girl crush Sheikha Mozah was on the confirmed guest list but I haven't seen a sign of her. Let me know if you spot anyone I've missed!

Who makes your best- and worst-dressed among the foreign royals?

Photos: Getty Images/Daylife/AP/Reuters/Dan Kitwood/Zimbio/Bauer Griffin