29 July 2016

Royal Exhibition of the Day: July 29

Buckingham Palace just threw open their doors for summer tours, and this year's special exhibition is so perfectly tailored to this blog, I could cry.

Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen's Wardrobe is really an exhibit in three parts. The first opened at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in April, the second is open now through October 2 at Buckingham Palace, and the third opens at Windsor Castle in September. Between the three, more than 150 outfits from the Queen's wardrobe will be displayed.

Buckingham Palace has the Queen's two most famous outfits, her 1947 wedding gown and her 1953 coronation gown. Both highlights of Norman Hartnell's distinguished couture career and true showcases for British craftsmanship, they're on display together for the first time. (That Botticelli-inspired embroidery on her wedding gown's sheer train never gets old. It's so dreamy.)

I'd like a number on the tonnage of beads and other sparkly bits on display here, because no one does embellishment quite like Her Maj in the evening. The exhibit showcases the skill required to make these outfits as well as the thought and diplomacy behind them (above, blue and white with maple leaves for Canada, yellow with wattle sprigs for Australia, blue with Olympic ring-esque details for Montreal in 1976). The outfits span all the decades of the Queen's life, right up until today; above, you can spot the yellow outfit she wore for her 90th birthday service this year and the radioactive green she busted out at this year's Trooping the Colour.

There's a true mix of stuff on display here: the family christening gown, the dresses worn by Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret at their parent's coronation, military uniforms, jubilee outfits, outfits worn to family occasions, and more. Even the dapper Duke of Edinburgh gets a nod - one of his suits is included! (Above, a rousing game of match the outfit to the family wedding.)

Check in at the Jewel Vault in the coming weeks for flashbacks showcasing some of these special outfits and the events to which they were worn. I also recommend checking out the Royal Collection Trust's Instagram, where they've been posting fascinating close ups and videos. And if you're going - or have already been! - to these exhibitions, do tell: What are you most looking forward to seeing?

28 July 2016

Tiara Thursday: The York Diamond Tiara

On July 23, 1986, Sarah Ferguson arrived at Westminster Abbey to marry Prince Andrew with her veil covering her face and a large wreath of flowers on top. She departed the abbey as the Duchess of York, wreath and blusher removed to reveal a diamond tiara made of leafy diamond scrolls and diamond collets mounted in platinum. It was a grand introduction for the British royal family's newest member, and for their newest tiara addition.

The York Diamond Tiara
Original reports on the wedding noted that the new Duchess had borrowed the tiara from a family friend, information which was apparently released from Buckingham Palace. Soon enough, however, the tiara was said to have been purchased from Garrard for Sarah by the Queen. (I suppose there are many advantages to having then-crown jeweler as a “family friend”.) The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh also purchased a diamond demi-parure from Garrard for their new daughter-in-law, a set that includes a necklace, earrings, and a bracelet.

Video: The tiara makes its big debut around 5:30.
In her day, Queen Mary gifted her daughters-in-law parures from her own collection; the Queen today prefers to loan gems from the collection to family members as needed. This apparent purchase of a tiara for a new family member is an exception to the rule, and the possible motivation behind it has been the subject of much speculation in the years since. Some have tried to tie that in a negative fashion to the Queen’s personal feelings about the match. It’s a connection implied with the full benefit of hindsight, knowing that the marriage would end in divorce, and one with which I cannot fully agree.

Saudi state visit, 1987. The earrings and necklace are part of the demi-parure mentioned above, a wedding gift from Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Whatever the circumstances, this tiara became the Duchess of York's one and only diadem. She wore it for multiple events during her marriage – and this was a time when it was still the norm to take tiaras along on royal tours, a tradition that has sadly been almost entirely relegated to the past for everyone but the Queen - and the tiara remained with her afterward. She last wore it in 2001, attending Elton John’s White Tie and Tiara Ball.

Canada, 1987. Her ruby and diamond necklace and earrings are speculated to have been a Middle Eastern gift.
I’ve always thought she got pretty lucky on the tiara front, all things considered. It has a great all-purpose type of design, simple and pretty and easy to match with just about anything else. It also suited its wearer wonderfully, nestling in her red curls with just enough height to be seen. It made for a fantastic wedding tiara, and I hope we’ll see it again someday at a York princess wedding.

A favorite royal wedding tiara for you, or not?

27 July 2016

Royal Florals of the Day: July 27

Queen Letizia attended the 25th Annual FEDEPE Awards yesterday.
Well lookie here, my favorite living shampoo commercial is still killing it! She totally knows she's killing it, too, which is even better. Just strolling by, casually scooping up yet another Perfect Summer Queen trophy to put up on the mantel.

House of HM the King
The dress is from CH by Carolina Herrera, so no wonder I love it. It's a floral with a twist, in a subtle embossed texture instead of a colorful print. She emphasized the floral theme with earrings also by Carolina Herrera.
CH by Carolina Herrera
Just...you know. {contented sigh of loveliness}

Queen Letizia presented the National Fashion Awards last week.
Other florals have also been in the mix. She wrapped herself head to toe in Spanish fashion for this event honoring Spanish fashion - obviously - and pulled out an old Zara dress for the occasion. The showpieces here were the earrings by Anton Heunis, featuring brass, antique silver plate, Swarovski crystals, and amethyst drops with lions and...bugs.
Anton Heunis
Okay, but I'm just going to need some assurance here that we won't be taking the bug thing to Máxima levels in the future.

26 July 2016

Royal Dresses of the Day: July 26

Charlene's been getting her glam on. (Again! Keep it up, Char. We need the gowns now more than ever.)

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene attended the annual Red Cross Ball
in Monaco on Saturday.
Purplish floaty glam is probably the best sort of glam, scientifically speaking. Just a bit gravity defying at the top and simple enough everywhere else to let that shine. Also, HELLO, take a pause for those earrings. Adding a couple of diamond waterfalls to your outfit can never be a bad thing.
I feel, though, that the diamonds aren't the story here. (I KNOW.) It's the dress - or, more specifically, the dress designer, because Armani Privé is back! This is a bespoke design based on the Spring 2016 couture collection; you may remember the general idea from Queen Mathilde's debut of another such dress back at King Carl Gustaf's birthday bash.

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene also attended the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation 3rd Annual Saint-Tropez Gala last week.
And this is another recent Armani Privé look, a bespoke number from the Fall 2016 Couture collection, something a little more along the clean lines I usually expect to see Charlene wear.

Armani was Charlene's constant go-to for special events in the run up to her 2011 wedding and for that stupendous wedding gown. But then she took a sharp turn, swapping in Akris as the favorite, while Armani was nowhere to be found. This has always intrigued me. Were there just several collections in a row that she didn't care for, or did something else go down? It's a mystery. As long as Armani's back in play, I don't really care. It's just a good fit.

25 July 2016

Monday Tidbits for July 25: Taking to the Sea, and More

In case you missed my note on Friday's post, we're swapping over to our usual summer schedule since things are starting to slow down on the current events front. All that means is Tidbits will be on Mondays and we still post Monday through Friday, with one post instead of the usual two on Thursdays for the rest of the summer.

And so, without further ado, some tidbits for your Monday:

--Prince George turned three, and of course there were some new snaps to celebrate. The family obsession with stripes lives on! [Hello]
Matt Porteous/KensingtonRoyal Twitter

--Those other Cambridges - you know, the ones with their names on the swing George commandeered - will not be attending the Rio Olympic Games, so they had to take to the sea at home to get in their mandatory matching team shirt time. [Zimbio]
Video: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the America's Cup World Series

--Over in Japan, Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako, and Princess Aiko visited Nara and Kyoto. I rather like Masako's long gray dress, especially the wrap detail on the top. [Imperial Family of Japan Blog]
NNN video

--I bet you this "mishap" was the best part of Prince Charles' day. [Express]

--And finally, also taking to the sea and wishing everyone a good summer: Princess Ingrid Alexandra, in this beautiful shot shared by Crown Princess Mette-Marit on her Instagram.
A photo posted by @crownprincessmm on

Coming up this week: A little glamour in Monaco, and at Buckingham Palace too...

Tidbits is your place throughout the week to share things we haven't covered yet and for all your off topic chats. Enjoy!  

22 July 2016

Royal National Day of the Week: July 22

How many synonyms are there for "classic"? I might need them all.

The Belgian royal family celebrated National Day yesterday, attending a Te Deum and a parade. King Philippe, Queen Mathilde, and their four children (Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eléonore) were in attendance.
This whole picture could serve as the definition of the word, as a matter of fact. Paste it right there in the dictionary. This is one nice, elegantly dressed family all around - a model of royal special event dressing, basically.

Royal Palace
Mathilde, of course, was dressed by Natan in a new pale pink dress of organza and lace, topped by a matching hat from Fabienne Delvigne. And matching accessories all the way down, because Mathilde. Princess Elisabeth was looking a little chic too, in a dress from Brussels-born Diane von Furstenberg (per ModeKoninginMathilde) and her updo. Introducing them to #TeamUpdo early and often is a parenting decision I can get behind.
Happy Friday to all you members of #TeamGloves. She has one glove removed for shaking hands, in case you're wondering.

Later, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde visited the festivities in the park.
Royal Palace
This is a lovely summer dress - and such a great spot for a colorful belt - just to cap the day's successes.

On the other hand, here's Prince Laurent, the King's brother and resident family black sheep, chatting on his phone during the parade. For the second year in a row.
And sitting all by himself on his section of the dais, because his wife, Princess Claire, and his sister and brother-in-law, Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz, didn't attend. Astrid's absence in particular is very unusual. Speculating on the status of an alleged rift in the Belgian royal family has been a popular gossip sport for years, and...well...this year's National Day didn't do anything to help. (To be fair, Astrid and Lorenz did go to a Te Deum in a separate town earlier, and Astrid had another engagement in the evening. They also went to a pre-National Day concert with Mathilde and Philippe.) I'm not among those royal watchers that enjoy picking apart who misses each event and why/why not, but - if this is actually much ado about nothing - I am surprised to see a rumor mill so willingly fueled.

Programming Note: Starting next week, we'll move to our usual summer posting schedule while most of the royals are hidden away on holidays. That means Tidbits moves to Mondays, and we continue with posts on Monday through Friday, with one post instead of two on Thursdays. See you Monday!

21 July 2016

Tiara Thursday: Elizabeth Alexeievna’s Diamond Kokoshnik

Elizabeth Alexeievna’s Diamond Kokoshnik
It takes a lot to make a jewel sparkle even in a black and white photograph, but here we are: Brazilian diamonds en masse in a tiara with not one but two rows of large single diamonds. The base has a central medallion and a series of closely packed diamond rays, resting underneath a row of dangling diamond pendants that must have sparkled like crazy in movement. This is all topped with a row of upright diamonds, accentuating the strong inverted v-shape of the diadem.

Elizabeth Alexeievna wearing this tiara, 1820s
With all those high quality diamonds, it can only be a relic of Russia’s lavish imperial days. The tiara belonged to Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna (1779 – 1826), who was born Princess Louise of Baden and married the future Alexander I of Russia in a match made by Catherine the Great. This diamond tiara was created in the early 1800s, and shares a love of pendant diamond stones with the Russian Nuptial Tiara, which was made around the same time and for the same empress.

Alexandra Feodorovna
A century later, the tiara appeared on the head of Alexandra Feodorovna (1872 –1918), the wife of Nicholas II. But like the rest of the tiaras worn by the last Russian empress and her court, this one was headed for an uncertain future.

The Russian jewels amassed, 1925
Elizabeth Alexeievna’s tiara can be spotted on the table of treasures taken into possession by the government after the overthrow of the monarchy. Much was sold by the government in the 1920s; some pieces were sold intact, and others were broken up and sold stone by stone. Like many of the other pieces you can spot on that table, this diadem has never been seen again.

Are you hoping this one will magically reappear some day?

Royal Photocall of the Day: July 21

The Swedes decided to get in on the family photocall trend this summer, gathering at Solliden for the press after celebrating Crown Princess Victoria's birthday. This is like a royal version of Keeping up with the Joneses, and I love it.

Video: The photocall in action
And...yup, they've hit all the usual royal family photocall requirements: kids who have no idea they shouldn't be going about their normal business, adults crossing their fingers the kids don't have a meltdown, and general awkwardness. That's pretty much it, those are the only requirements. Oh, and a dog. Gotta have the dog in there.

Expressen screencap
On the sartorial side of things, it's possible that Princess Madeleine has come up with the absolute perfect summer photocall outfit. The top - which The Royals and I informs us is Valentino - is not too casual, and perfect with a cropped pant. A doubly perfect selection when you know you have a runner on your hands. Summer style done right, I say.  

For more: see Hello and Expressen for photos.

20 July 2016

Royal Wedding Flashback of the Day: July 20

Lady Helen Windsor, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, married Tim Taylor on July 18, 1992. Her Catherine Walker gown - so difficult to construct, the designer later wrote she nearly had to bribe her team to create it - became one of the highlights of Catherine Walker's considerable royal dressing career. (Walker herself passed away in 2010, but her legacy continues today. Lady Gabriella Windsor and the Duchess of Cambridge are current royal fans.)
The bride borrowed the Kent Diamond and Pearl Fringe Tiara from her mother. The tiara was most likely created from a diamond bandeau from Queen Mary, a piece that the Duchess of Kent wore on her own wedding day. The embroidery on the dress took its cues from the tiara, so - combined with her pearl and diamond necklace and earrings - this is one of the best examples of jewelry working with a wedding dress to create a complete look.

The arches at the neckline were inspired by the St. George's Chapel venue, an influence that is clear without becoming overwhelming. It's not The Cathedral Gown - as opposed to, say, The Bow Gown - but those details still give this dress its originality. I think it's a bit dated, from today's perspective, but it still holds its own and I still consider it anew each time I see it. (This time around, I realize that I never really considered her bouquet, or how she held it. Suddenly realizing that it included purple - I'm just generally not here to look at the flowers, okay? - makes me love this look even more.)

19 July 2016

Royal Outfit of the Day: July 19

The Danish royal family gathered for their annual summer photocall on Friday, with the royal couple and the crown princely family.
Whilst Henrik tried something new (was "experiment with facial hair" on his retirement bucket list?), Mary tried something old: another variation of the casual boho look, her favorite sort of summer photocall costume.
In the Mary Does Boho Summer Games, I'll give it the silver medal. (In these Games, the gold obviously must go to 2012's festival of Free People patterns, the bronze to last year's maxi skirt effort, and a yogurt lid on a string of paper clips to 2014's muumuu of which we shall not speak.)

Sabine dress by SEA, per Heaven
Better without the cardi? Sure. But I'm not about to let a chill ruin my appreciation of a cute dress. In conclusion:
 Pretty much.

(Click here for a video in which Josephine's got the moves and Isabella chauffeurs like a boss, or here for a gallery. There are a few bonus family members to be spotted as well.)

17 July 2016

Sunday Tidbits for July 17: Abdication...or Not, and More

(Updated to add: Next post will be on Tuesday!) Picking up with this week's international royal intrigue:

--More on the big question in Japan: "Emperor Akihito does not necessarily intend to relinquish the throne early, but has indicated he is prepared to abdicate if he becomes unable to fulfill his duties, government sources said Saturday." [Japan Times]

--I feel obliged to tell you when royal paths cross: Before heading home to celebrate Crown Princess Victoria's birthday, King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia stopped in Germany to attend the opening of the CHIO Aachen equestrian festival, where they met up with Princess Benedikte. [Zimbio]

--A little bonus tiara action, if you haven't seen it already: Hereditary Prince Franz Albrecht zu Oettingen-Spielberg and Cleopatra von Adelsheim were married in Germany last weekend. The bride wore a romantic dress by Luisa Beccaria and a lovely tiara from the groom's family; Beatrice Borromeo was in the wedding and (according to media reports) Prince Harry was in attendance. [Schweizer Illustrierte, Hola]

--Speaking of: Prince Harry took an HIV test live on Facebook, just to show how quick and easy it is, which is pretty excellent. [Washington Post]
Kensington Palace video screencap

--Over at the Jewel Vault: Take Your Grandparents to Work Day turned into Swap Out Your Prime Ministers Day. Most politics are improved by the addition of emeralds, I find.

--And finally: Princess Alexandra is, as ever, the loveliest.

Coming up this week: Danish summer fun, and more...

Sunday Tidbits is your place throughout the week to share things we haven't covered yet and for all your off topic chats. Enjoy!  

15 July 2016

Royal Birthday of the Day: July 15

I have only cuteness to offer today. Perhaps that's what we need.

Crown Princess Victoria turned 39 yesterday! The Swedish royal family celebrated Victoriadagen at their summer residence of Solliden Palace on the island of Öland. They do this every year, greeting the crowds outside the palace first, with a concert later in the evening.

Victoria's dress - possibly the epitome of a simple summer dress, not exactly casual but not dressy either - was worn previously for those cute photos with Estelle and Oscar for National Day last month (and is by Ralph Lauren, per The Royals and I). Estelle, of course, is sporting one of her mother's old dresses.

And then there was wee Prince Oscar, blissfully unaware that he was supposed to be impressed.

For the concert, Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria switched into their traditional costumes from Öland, as they always do. The rest of the family joined in (but sans costume, because it's just Victoria and Silvia for this event).

New this year: Estelle! She attended the concert for the first time, rocking some serious ear protection. If you have to wear ear defenders, you might as well make 'em hot pink.

For Princess Sofia and Princess Madeleine, it all came down to the shoes. I had no idea espadrille wedges could get so clunky so quickly, just due to a black heel. I ought to thank Sofia for this key lesson. And finally, just in case you needed it, Madeleine's offering up a lesson of her own: there doesn't have to be anything boring about a nude shoe. A+ work.

Photos: via Getty Images as indicated, and SVT screencaps

14 July 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Takamado Diamond and Pearl Tiara

Interesting business going down in Japan right now: Emperor Akihito has reportedly expressed a desire to abdicate in the coming years, according to news outlets citing government sources. The Imperial Household Agency, however, denied the reports, so conflicting information abounds. Akihito has been on the throne since 1989, is 82 years old, and has had health difficulties. There hasn’t been an abdication in Japan in around 200 years, so - if anything happens - it would be unprecedented in the modern era.

Anyway, it doesn't take much convincing to get me to put up a Japanese tiara for our Thursday evaluation.

Princess Takamado in Sweden for the wedding of Princess Madeleine, 2013, wearing the Takamado Diamond and Pearl Tiara
Not being a big follower of the Japanese imperial family and its many members, my first introduction to Hisako, Princess Takamado, came at the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O’Neill in 2013. The smiling, chatty princess represented Japan wearing a tiara of diamonds and pearls in scroll motifs with single diamonds and pearls across the top. Those top stones give the tiara a firework-like touch, an extra dose of energy in a diadem that otherwise conforms to the purely white, often scrolling tiaras that make up the vault of the Japanese imperial family.
Prince and Princess Takamado during their wedding ceremonies
It’s the same tiara she wore during her wedding ceremonies in 1984, and it was likely made for her at that time. She was Hisako Tottori when she married Norihito, Prince Takamado, the first cousin of Emperor Akihito. The couple had three daughters and were the most widely traveled members of the imperial family before Norihito’s untimely death in 2002, when he collapsed while playing squash with the Canadian ambassador and subsequently died of heart failure.
Frankie Fouganthin/Wikimedia Commons via CC BY-SA 3.0
Princess Hisako has continued to be one of the most active and widely traveled members of the imperial family in the years since, which brings us back to Sweden and this tiara's international spotlight. As is usually the case with jewels presented to new members of the family and those coming of age, the Takamado Diamond and Pearl Tiara comes with a complete matching parure (set) of jewels: earrings, a brooch, a pair of matching bracelets, and a ring.
Tiara, bracelet, earrings, ring worn in Sweden, 2013
Frankie Fouganthin/Wikimedia Commons (cropped) via CC BY-SA 3.0
Princess Hisako has other tiaras at her disposal – on subsequent visits for Swedish royal events in 2015 and 2016, she wore two different tiaras – but this might be the one that suits her best.

Is this a standout for you, or just another in a row of nearly identical imperial tiaras?

Royal Outfit of the Day: July 14

We should probably record this moment here. Officially. Just for the sake of posterity, and whatever.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the men's final at Wimbledon on Sunday.
WILLIAM DID NOT WEAR A BLUE SUIT. Mark it on the calendars, for this was a momentous day. He looked really good - #TeamShades never hurts, mind you - and now I wonder if maybe Charles could influence him to break up that endless run of navy in other ways too. Probably best if I don't get my hopes up.

Alexander McQueen Obsession print dress
The other Cambridge wore a new dress from Alexander McQueen. I've seen a lot of picking apart of this print (lipsticks, lip prints, skulls, butterflies, and a lot more), but I'm just glad to see her in something that keeps a bit of the delicious weirdness of McQueen intact.

13 July 2016

Royal Outfits of the Day: July 13

Okay, let's see what goodies we've got in the recent Mathilde pile...

Queen Mathilde's been on a working visit to the United Nations in New York, speaking on sustainable development and on children in armed conflict.
Royal Palace
Big stuff here, important stuff. Obviously crucial to note, then, that I think she might be doing something different with her hair. And that I like her in yellow. (She wore this dress last year, for one of her best 2015 appearances.)

The King and Queen of the Belgians received the Duke and Duchess of Wellington at the Castle of Laeken.
Royal Palace
 I don't know what brought the Duke and Duchess to Belgium, but you shouldn't need a reason to gather your smartest navy and white ensembles together. Full marks to both ladies. (Who left King Philippe out of the blue memo, eh?)

The King and Queen received the President and First Lady of Argentina.
An elegant neckline is making this otherwise typical Mathilde ensemble worthy of note. The color combo, though...pass.

King Philippe, Queen Mathilde, and Princess Elisabeth attended a religious procession.
Royal Palace
But Mathilde's never going to pass on any color combo with orange. Even if the absence of a favorite partner in orange crime means drafting one's daughter in to play the role of the Seussical twin.

12 July 2016

Royal Outfits of the Day: July 12

Here's a lesson from Letizia to you, kids:

Queen Letizia, along with King Felipe, attended the Iberdrola 2016 Scholarships last week.
Never miss an opportunity to pose like a shampoo commercial come to life. The right amount of carefree hair flip can elevate any basic floral dress to a summertime delight, you see?
Dress from Zara
(Bonus life lesson from Letizia: Also never miss an opportunity to pair anything with a pink purse.)

Queen Letizia welcomed Michelle Obama to Spain at the end of last month.
House of HM the King
But wait, she's not done with the teachable moments! She'd also like to demonstrate that the potential cuteness of hanging out with your new BFF can occasionally override all fashion choices.
Dress by Nina Ricci
I like - nay, love - Letizia in red and in Nina Ricci, but this dress leaves me feeling a bit meh. It does not matter, however, because she and FLOTUS together give me the warm fuzzies. 

Queen Letizia presented the Queen Letizia Awards 2015 on Friday.
House of HM the King
The previous two examples were a little older, but we've already learned our lesson on the smartness of pairing textured blue jackets with bright white basics. Bears repeating, I suppose.

11 July 2016

Potential Royal Couture of the Day: July 11

Let's ease our way into the week with some pretty, courtesy of the Fall 2016 Couture shows. As always, we're previewing just a few designers that happen to be royal faves. Click the names to go to the full collection:

Valentino flashed back a cool four centuries or so with a collection filled with ruffs and puffed sleeves and everything else that would have been at home in the time of Shakespeare. Will Crown Princess Mette-Marit's love of high collars and ruffles see her turn into a player at the Globe Theatre? We shall see.

Elie Saab's New York-inspired collection included some of his signature embellished gowns, along with some lush fall colors and rich fabrics. There were even a few matching gowns for the littlest fashionistas, because scoring points in adorableness never hurts. I would love to see some of these velvets interpreted on the Nobel stage by our Swedish ladies, or gracing the steps of the Luxembourg palace.

Armani's collection is the one most easily transferred to the royal runway, with lots of jacket and trouser combinations. I fully expect to see Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Queen Mathilde scoop up some of these looks, and I think they'll suit MT particularly well.

And a few more:
  • Giambattista Valli was particularly...fluffy this season.
  • Fendi's venue is a sight to behold, even if they aren't among those we often see on our regulars.
  • Chanel was maybe more for Princess Caroline and less for her kids this season.
  • Ralph & Russo's show made me pine for their line to be better represented on the royal stage (same thing I wish most seasons, really). Until then, Sheikha Mozah can rock their capes by herself.

Photos: Vogue

10 July 2016

Sunday Tidbits for July 10: Families and Florals

When the family photocalls start rolling in, you know the summer holiday season approaches:

--Somebody needs to wrap the Dutch royal family in cushions or something: Queen Máxima suffered a mild concussion in a fall on July 1st, and the Princess of Orange turned up at the family's annual summer photocall on Friday on crutches, thanks to a sprained ankle. (These latest mishaps come after Princess Alexia broke her leg skiing earlier this year, and Máxima was down with a kidney infection late last year.)
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima with their daughters (L to R: Princess Ariane, the Princess of Orange, Princess Alexia) at Friday's photocall
RVD/Patrick van Katwijk
RVD/Patrick van Katwijk

--Just in case you missed it: Prince Félix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg are expecting baby #2! The little brother or sister for Princess Amalia, born in 2014, is expected in the fall. [Hello]

--I love both the Countess of Wessex's dress here and the whole idea behind the BFG Dream Jar art installation, with which both Sophie and the Duchess of Cornwall are involved. [Countess of Wessex Blog, Royal Family]
Visit London screencap

--Over at the Jewel Vault: Holyrood Week! Packed engagements in Scotland every day last week, including a calming visit to the Scottish Parliament and the delightful froofiness of the Order of the Thistle service.

--And finally: Of course Queen Margrethe owns more than one floral coat. This one is just a touch less bright than her most famous example, and comes from Danish brand Eva & Claudi. [YouTube]

Coming up this week:  Soothe yourself with some couture, and more...

Sunday Tidbits is your place throughout the week to share things we haven't covered yet and for all your off topic chats. Enjoy!  

08 July 2016

Royal Outfits of the Day: July 8

Right, so: Cambridge, Duchess of.

The Duchess of Cambridge announced the winner of the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2016 on Wednesday.
Sometimes I wonder if I am seeing the same thing as everyone else, for I find this neither as "daring" nor as much a departure as others seem to think. But I too am glad to see this paired with a sandal rather than a pump. The photo above holds the primary appeal for me. (Because everything looks better in motion, while walking down stairs. It is known.)
Barbara Casasola dress, a new designer for HRH
Maybe part of the reason that I don't see the dress as a huge departure for her is because the fabric panel effect has the sportiness I could easily imagine Kate wearing at Wimbledon (minus the uncovered shoulder and such). She did not go for tennis whites this year, though. 

The Duchess of Cambridge and The Countess of Wessex attended Wimbledon yesterday.
Once again playing along with my tour repeat game, the Duchess brought back the yellow and white Roksanda Ilincic dress she wore on arrival in Australia during the 2014 Tour de Cambridge. This dress, I like it - but we're at Wimbledon, so I will always like #TeamShades even more. (Note as well that she's done all of us that care about this sort of thing a solid by repeating the new earrings she debuted under a cloak of hair the previous evening. They're from Soru Jewellery, with baroque pearls and Swarovski crystals.)
Just to make it even better, Sophie turned up! I am just now realizing that I never really looked at these Suzannah separates when she wore them to Ascot. Topping things with lizard wing hats can be a touch distracting.