25 November 2011

Flashback Friday: Ladies in Uniform

Lord knows I love a man in uniform - I certainly take every possible opportunity on this blog to point that out. But as I said when we saw Mary in her military best a few weeks ago, I also love a lady in uniform, and I decided that it's high time we threw a little appreciation in the female uni direction.

Spotting royal ladies in uniform is not nearly as common a sight as it is with their male counterparts, but that doesn't mean they don't have just as much aplomb when they do bust out the bona fide military fashion. Some of them have spent actual time in training with the military, and some wear the uniforms of their honorary appointments (and others wear non-military uniforms), but they always do whatever group they're representing proud.

Princess and Queen Elizabeth
World War II really did require all of Britain's resources, including the future Queen. Princess Elizabeth trained up as a mechanic, and later sported a specially designed uniform to ride sidesaddle each year at Trooping the Colour. She stopped riding during the ceremony when her trusty horse Burmese was retired in 1986, and now rides in a phaeton for the event.

Princess Astrid and Princess Anne (twice)
Not to worry, though, there's another fierce lady keeping Trooping the Colour from being a male-dominated royal event: the Princess Royal. Anne is the royal I most often call out for looking crazy good in a uniform, and I wouldn't mind if she just went ahead and ditched all of her 1980s treasures and went the uniform route every day. Princess Astrid of Belgium, another sovereign's daughter, also gets a piece of that sentiment. She's always sure to wear her uniform for National Day, and she always looks smart as can be. I think she might operate best with a limited hat selection, to tell you the truth.

The Countess of Wessex, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the late Princess of Wales
Like Anne, Camilla and Sophie also have honorary military appointments to their names. They refrain from using their ceremonial uniforms like their sister-in-law does, but are always game to muck in and suit up when they visit their regiments. See how delighted Sophie is to be donning that helmet? That's dedication, friends. Diana held a few honorary appointments of her own, but was most famous for her cheeky takes on military style rather than any actual uniforms. The only proper uniform I've ever seen her in (perhaps someone else will have another example to share in the comments) is not military, but from the Red Cross.

Princess Iman, Queen Noor, and Queen Rania
Over in Jordan, they have a tradition of sending certain young family members to Sandhurst in Britain for military training, and the females are no exception: Princess Iman (daughter of King Hussein and Queen Noor) is a grad. And neither Queen Noor nor Queen Rania are strangers to wearing the uniforms of their honorary military positions.

Princess Marie, Charlotte Casiraghi, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Crown Princess Mary, Crown Princess Victoria
In Denmark, Princess Marie holds down the fort on the civil side of things with the Danish Emergency Management Association, and Charlotte Casiraghi does the same in Monaco with the Maritime Police. Crown Princess Mette-Marit has participated in exercises with the Norwegian Civil Defense, while Crown Princess Mary has trained with the Danish Home Guard. As part of her training as the future Queen of Sweden, Crown Princess Victoria did a training stint with the military. But as awesome as that picture of Victoria in face paint is, nothing quite compares to this:
The future Queen Margrethe
Tell me something: is this the best picture ever, or is this the best picture EVER? You are correct, it is the best picture EVER. Way to rock the shades, Daisy. And though we might not see her in uniform these days, she once spent time with the Danish Women's Flying Corps.

Who wears the uniform best?

Photos: BilledBladet/Polfoto/Daylife/Getty Images