30 June 2011

Royal Trend Watch: Flying the Flag

My Twitter friend @nina_lux drew some attention to a rather interesting accessory sported by the Countess of Wessex yesterday, and she wasn't even talking about the return of the peacock hat.
It's the return of the Union Jack bag! Sophie has carried this eyebrow-raising clutch before:
Emblazoned with the words "Paparazzi", "Britannia Rules", and "Flying the Flag for Fashion", it's a rather cheeky display of one's patriotism, isn't it? Naturally, this got me thinking about other such overt displays of flag-flying furor we've seen from our royals.
Camilla has similar tastes, having made headlines for carrying her mother-in-law's likeness on a purse. Naturally, William's Union Jack vest (which has the Austin Powers saying "Yeah, Baby!" written on it) at Eton came to mind, as did Eugenie's flag confusion when she flew the stars and stripes on holiday. Zara and Harry, meanwhile, gamely sported St. George's flag while supporting England rugby.

(Zara, by the way, will be happy to assist you should you want to fly the Union Jack for yourself:
This hoodie comes from her line of casual equestrian wear.)

Apart from sporting events, we've seen some of these national displays from a handful of other royals over the years.
Belgium's Princess Claire carried a handbag in the shape of Belgium as a part of one of her notoriously themed ensembles for the country's National Day festivities. (You can see the rest of them here. They're something to behold, I'll say that.)

The Dutch have adopted orange as their national color, and their royals are not shy about wearing it in abundance. The actual flag, though, is not so common for patriotic wear, which is why Máxima's jacket stands out.
Not only is this the red, white, and blue flag stripe, the jacket from Jan Taminiau is made from repurposed Dutch postal bags. Kind of clever, no?

Máxima also starts us into the trend of flag jewelry, as she owns a brooch in the shape of the Netherlands flag (see it on display at the World Cup here). The current generation of Danish princes seem to have a fetish for this as well, but instead of brooches, they go for engagement rings.
Crown Prince Frederik presented Mary with a ruby and diamond ring (above left) echoing the red and white of the Danish flag, while Prince Joachim chose to imitate the French flag when he selected a ring for his French love, Marie (above right). Mary's is all right...but perhaps Joachim should have stopped with the flag theme after the ruby and diamond ring he presented to his first wife, Alexandra. (You can see Alexandra's ring, and many more, right here.)

What do you make of this patriotic trend? Delightful, kitschy, or delightfully kitschy?

Photos: Getty Images