29 April 2015

Royal Visit of the Day: April 29

Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine, with her husband Chris O'Neill and daughter Princess Leonore, have been in Rome and Vatican City this week. They were there primarily to attend a conference focusing on child trafficking (below), organized in part by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Queen Silvia has been an advocate on this subject for some time and opened the conference; Princess Madeleine is joining in her mother's work in this area and with the World Childhood Foundation.
It also happens to be an area of focus for Pope Francis, and Queen Silvia dropped by for an audience on Monday, and she brought the whole family too. Chris O'Neill is Catholic, no doubt a reason why he and little Leonore tagged along.
I was surprised to see the family put on one of the most formal papal visits we've seen in a while, dress code-wise. Both wearing traditional black, Queen Silvia stuck with a long skirt and heavy pearl jewels, while expectant Princess Madeleine wore a black dress and short jacket with a long single strand of pearls. The royal ladies wore heavy black mantillas and their portrait brooches.
Vatican dress code protocol has gotten much less rigid in recent years. We've gone from the days of tiaras and veils to optional head coverings and daywear; even the color code of white for those with privil├Ęge du blanc and black for others has been relaxed under Pope Francis. (The current pope has much more pressing concerns than dress code, like hanging out with his tiny new BFF.)
I always love a good mantilla appearance, but I love it even more as it becomes more of an optional thing, honestly. It's up to them and they chose to go fancy, and that's always a decision I can get behind.
Video: The audience

Photos: via Getty Images as indicated