05 June 2012

Royal Fashion Awards: The Thanksgiving Jubilee Service

The final event of the official jubilee weekend was a service at St. Paul's Cathedral followed by receptions and a balcony appearance. Though Prince Philip's absence was strongly felt, it was a wonderful event - and there were plenty of wonderful fashions (and diamonds). Let's get to it:

Best in Jumpy Claps
Queen Elizabeth
She did it!! She wore the Cullinan III and IV brooch, rocking 158 carats of diamonds (as you do). That’s my jumpy claps for the year, then. I don’t even care about the rest of the outfit, but for those of you that do, she sported a mint green concoction by Angela Kelly of tulle embroidered with star shaped flowers and silver thread with a chiffon drape studded with Swarovski crystals. It rather reminded me of a super hero’s cape, which I thought was quite fitting.

Best of the Best
The Duchess of Cambridge
Left to Right: the Countess of Wessex, Princess Eugenie, the Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Sarah Chatto, Lady Frederick Windsor
I asked and I wished for something fabulous and new from Sophie and once again my dreams have come true; I’m particularly loving her jaunty Robin Hood chapeau. Eugenie’s in purple, so obviously she makes the list (we all have our weaknesses); Lady Sarah’s her normal sophisticated self which I die for every time (and I do believe the lady was rocking some diamonds herself); and Lady Frederik (Sophie #2, if you like) had some great detailing under that coat. But Kate came out on top in her lace McQueen. I thought she was – if I may be blunt – chic as hell.

Best in Kids
A Tie
L to R: Lady Louise Windsor, Margarita Armstrong-Jones
 Lady Louise and Margarita, a double dose of precious. No point in choosing a winner here!

Fanciest Hat
Lady Helen Taylor
L to R: the Princess Royal, Autumn Phillips, Lady Helen Taylor, Princess Michael of Kent, Princess Alexandra of Kent
 Camilla (as we will see) did her best to run away with the major hat glory, but she failed thanks to these ladies. A turquoise bird met an untimely end on Anne’s head, while her daughter-in-law Autumn seems to have let gravity get the best of her with the tipped angle of the side flower on her hat. The Kent ladies, Princess Michael and Princess Alexandra, went the large but elegant route, but it was another Kent lady that ran away with the prize: Lady Helen. I don’t even know what is happening up there, but she can go right on with her fur-wearing, crazy hat bearing self.

Best of the Rest
The Duchess of Gloucester
L to R: Viscountess Linley, Lady Nicholas Windsor, the Duchess of Gloucester and the Countess of Ulster, Lady Rose Gilman, (above) the Countess of St. Andrews, (below) Julia Ogilvy
 A spot of elegance from a selection of lesser-known Windsors. I’m loving the Duchess the most, if only because she hasn’t pulled another repeat from the last big royal event.

Worst Dressed
Zara Phillips
L to R: the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Beatrice, Zara Phillips, the Duchess of Kent
Camilla’s outfit looks fine in pictures, but in movement at the service it looked so heavy and stiff, I can’t give it any love. Beatrice had the opposite problem in my eyes: I liked the glimpses I saw in action, but now I can see we have a droopy situation on our hands (she did sport some fierce shoes, to be fair). The Duchess of Kent made a rare appearance and though I’m happy to see her…that is just not the outfit for her. The worst, however, goes to Zara, who seems to be a genie just a little too squished into her bottle. This is not the fierce Zara that I adore so.

UPDATE: By overwhelming popular demand, I present to you the royal men and their morning dress. (This is not all the men, but it is most of them.)

Best in Men
The Prince of Wales
L to R: the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex
I have much love for all the men, but nobody puts it together quite like Charles: the trim, the accessories…the man has style. And yes, he and his sons also have top hats for the carriage procession back to Buckingham Palace.
And for that reason, William and Harry take the next top two spots.
L to R: Tim Laurence, Peter Phillips, Mike Tindall, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent
L to R: Lord Nicholas Windsor, Tim Taylor, Prince Michael of Kent, Lord Frederick Windsor, Viscount Linley, Charles Armstrong-Jones
I will give the fourth spot to Prince Michael, for being the only other royal to display a bit of that same style Prince Charles rocks so well. Panache, I say. Well played.

Who makes your best and worst dressed lists?

P.S.: Should you find yourself lost in the midst of the extended Windsor family, I'll point you in the direction of an illustrated guide to the Windsors I posted in advance of William and Kate's wedding.

Photos:  Getty Images/Reuters/Daylife/Zimbio/WPA Pool/Newspix/Belga/Profimedia/Daily Mail