17 March 2012

Royal Fashion Awards: The Cheltenham Races, 2012

It's Cheltenham time once again, but sadly this year's annual race meeting didn't seem to attract as many royals as it did last year. Alas! We trudge on:

Best in Coats - Zara Division
Day 1
Left to Right: Days 1, 2, 3, 4
Never fear, though - Zara Phillips can always be counted on to bring the fierce racing style in Gloucestershire. A parade of lovely coats this year (including a Katherine Hooker number also owned by Kate), but my favorite was the gray Tonia Bastyan from day 1. She just looked ridiculously chic working that fur collar.

Best in Hats - Zara Division
Day 4
L to R: Days 1, 2, 3, 4
Look, fellow royals! Zara has proven that you can have all the explosive, feathery fun of a fascinator without bolting anything to your forehead. Love, love so much her saucy Amy Money chapeau from day 4, and am wishing now more than ever that she'll turn up for Ascot this year.

Best in Typical
Princess Anne
L, Day 2; R, Day 4
Zara's mum turned up for days 2 and 4...and she was there. That's about all you can say about that. 

Worst in Oh No, Here We Go Again
The Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla showed up too, for Ladies' Day, and earned one big Here We Go Again eye roll from me, and not because of the outfit - though, fair enough, we've seen that polka dotted business and that dowdy hat one too many times. I'm rolling my eyes at the brooch. With due apologies to emeralds and diamonds around the world, every time we see this brooch we have to go through the whole "She's wearing Diana's jewels! ZOMG How Dare She!" business [insert exasperated sigh here].
The brooch, which depicts the feathers of the Prince of Wales, belonged to Queen Alexandra and has been passed down from there. Some believe that there is a second identical brooch that belonged to Queen Mary (thus opening up the possibility that Camilla is wearing a different brooch than Diana wore). I don't, but it doesn't matter. The answer to the question "Is Camilla wearing Diana's brooch?!" is NO either way.

Do you know what I mean? I mean, it's not "Diana's" brooch. It's Queen Alexandra's brooch. It is a Prince of Wales brooch. Many ladies over time have rightfully worn it, including both Diana and Camilla. And everybody getting all in a bunch over it is why we can't have nice things, like the reappearance of the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, say, or that magically delicious sapphire choker Diana wore (both on my wish list for future Catherine appearances but for which I fear I might be waiting forever to see because of the inevitable Diana comparisons).

Okay, sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now, and ask you:

Which look wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup for you?

Photos: Daylife/Reuters/Getty Images/Big Pictures Photo/Alan Davidson/The Picture Library/Pete Goddard/Splash News/The Daily Mail