30 September 2016

Royal Tour Update of the Day: September 30

The Cambridges are still in Canada, I don't know if you noticed. LET'S RECAP:
A series of greens, including a cute green dress? Check. Best shoes of the tour (yeah, I said it) - worn with a Carolina Herrera debut? Check. Casual outfit I'll take right off her hands? Check. Little bit of Canadian design thrown in there? Check.

Least favorite dress of the tour? ....Yeah, check. Best use of pint-size distractions? Also check, so really, that all evens out.

Outfits included a green Dolce & Gabbana dress (sans clock), a repeated green Hobbs coat (not pictured), a red Carolina Herrera coat, and a cozy coat from Canadian label Sentaler. She also wore some earrings of Canadian design.
Photos: Kensington Palace, Sentaler, Matches
Plus, a knit dress from See by Chloé for the children's party.
Photo: Net-a-porter

Hang on, just a little bit more cute for your Friday...
There we go.

29 September 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Cambridge Sapphire Parure

The origins of this set of jewelry are old, and as is the case often with old jewels, things change over time. Pieces are added/subtracted/changed within the parure, and so on. And this set passed through the hands of Queen Mary - the consort of George V, and a woman who never met a jewel she didn't want to alter - so change was practically a foregone conclusion.

Princess Augusta of Cambridge, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
The Cambridge Sapphire Parure takes its name from Augusta of Hesse-Kassel, who became the Duchess of Cambridge in 1818 when she married Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge and tenth child of George III. The Duchess of Cambridge gave these sapphire and diamond jewels to her daughter, also named Augusta, when she married the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in 1843.

Queen Mary
We've come across both of those names here in the past, because the Duchess of Cambridge was grandmother to Queen Mary, and the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was Mary's aunt (as well as her godmother and frequent correspondent). The Cambridge emeralds and the Cambridge Pearl Pendant Brooch came from the Duchess of Cambridge; the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara was inspired by a piece worn by both ladies.

Princess Marina wears the tiara to the State Opening of Parliament in 1960
British Pathé screencaps
These family connections also provided the path for the Cambridge sapphires to enter the British royal family, when Queen Mary inherited them from her aunt in 1916. In 1934, the parure was Mary's wedding gift to her goddaughter Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, who was marrying Mary's son Prince George, Duke of Kent. Queen Mary set all her daughters-in-law up with substantial jewels, and I'm guessing she couldn't pass up the significance of giving her goddaughter jewels she received from her own godmother.

Princess Marina in the original tiara
According to Leslie Field's The Queen's Jewels, the oldest parts of the set date from approximately 1800, and originally included a tiara, a necklace, and a stomacher that could be separated into three brooches. Queen Mary added to the rest of the set and increased its flexibility. The Cambridge Sapphire Parure Tiara consisted of a substantial tiara of graduated sapphire and diamond clusters set on top of sapphire and diamond scroll designs; given the difference between the tiara in the portrait above and the later photographs, the number of sapphire elements appears to have changed over time. The accompanying parure, at its most extensive, allowed that tiara to be worn a pair of earrings, a long necklace or a shorter choker necklace, a stomacher, smaller brooches, and bracelets. Some of those pieces included detachable pendants, and the overall flexibility means some pieces may have done double duty.

Princess Marina died in 1968, at which time the parure went to her son and daughter-in-law, the current Duke and Duchess of Kent. Eventually - and quietly - it seems the tiara was sold. It came to auction as a necklace, with seven tall sapphire elements. Its current whereabouts are unknown.

The Duchess of Kent wears the new Cambridge Sapphire Parure Tiara
In lieu of the grander tiara, a smaller one was created by using five large sapphire and diamond clusters from the long necklace and arranging them on a frame, button style. The Duchess of Kent wore this version of the tiara with the shorter necklace, earrings, and a brooch. Even this reduced set has basically ceased to be seen in public, however, as the Duchess withdrew from many official royal events. She hasn't been seen in a tiara in years. Even in a reduced state, the Cambridge Sapphire Parure is a grand set of jewels, and one that would be nice to see worn again.

New style or old style tiara, what's your pick?

28 September 2016

Royal Outfit Grab Bag of the Day: September 28

I love it when royals get together and I love it when they unknowingly coordinate themselves at the same time. A unified color scheme kicks off our latest grab bag edition:

While in New York last week, Crown Princess Victoria and Queen Rania attended the 2016 Global Goals Awards Dinner.
The blacks and whites and grays ruled the day here. Queen Rania has one of my favoritest ever Peter Pilotto dresses, but even that's not enough to distract me from Victoria's overwhelming jewelry set. Imma need at least the necklace subtracted here.
Queen Rania's Peter Pilotto dress, Crown Princess Victoria's Baum und Pferdgarden skirt (previously worn here)

Queen Rania attended an event for the Royal Health Awareness Society.
Queen Rania Instagram
Speaking of Queen Rania and speaking of black and white outfits, how great is this? The more stripey goodness, the merrier, I say.

Crown Princess Mary attended the Design Awards 2016 last week.
Feels like Mary's also been all about the prints n' patterns lately, right? I think this is a pretty successful version. Or at least I would think it was a successful version, if I could stop thinking that top yellow flower is some giant pesky name tag. I've apparently been compromised by whatever Victoria was so dutifully sporting at the top of our post.
Alice + Olivia dress (thanks to Heaven)
Mary and Fred are on a working visit to Washington, D.C. and Boston at the moment, by the way, so cross your fingers for something fab.

27 September 2016

Royal Trip Update of the Day: September 27

Might this be the best version of a red-in-Canada outfit yet?

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended an evening reception at Government House on Monday, which was Day 3 of their Canada tour.
It just might be. This reception seems to be the most formal event on the itinerary, and she turned it up several notches accordingly. This is good, friends.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi dress, via Net-a-porter
Sure, I'd swap the shoes - I'm usually a red shoe lover, and yet nope - but the dress is from Preen, a label that does these solid color, slightly full skirt dresses so well, and it works no matter what. This is very good.
With her repeated Soru earrings, we also have the second appearance of the Queen's Maple Leaf Brooch. Ya gotta give her credit for wearing that diamond-packed sucker every chance she gets, right? That's the spirit.

(Also on the jewel front, by the way, I talked a bit about Kate's earrings from Sunday and a pair from the Queen's jewel vault over at the Jewel Vault.)

26 September 2016

Monday Tidbits for September 26: Royal Movie Night, and More

ICYMI, we covered the arrival of the Cambridges in Canada this weekend, and we have on ongoing open post for your tour chats there. Elsewhere:

--The Countess of Wessex arrived in London to finish out her DofE Challenge and received a warm welcome home from the Earl and their kids. She blogged along the way at the royal family's site. [BBC, Royal Family]
BBC screencap

--This is cozy: Norway's royal family held a little movie night in the park! A big movie night, really, by the looks of that crowd. They screened The King's Choice (Kongens Nei), about King Haakon VII and the German invasion of Norway in World War II. [VG]

--The Duke and Duchess of Parma christened their third child, Prince Carlos Enrique Leonard. King Willem-Alexander, cousin of the proud father, was one of the godparents and he brought his family along to Italy for the christening. Queen Máxima wore a repeated Dolce & Gabbana dress. [Blauw Bloed, Telegraaf, Gazzetta Di Parma]

--And finally, here's the fabulous Princess Alexandra, elegantly rocking the perfect color combination.

Coming up this week: We'll be checking in with the Cambridge tour again, and more...

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

24 September 2016

The Cambridges in Canada: Your Open Post

And they're off! The Cambridge family has landed in Victoria, Canada, kicking off a week long tour.
You knew it was only a matter of time before William converted them all to the blue suit brigade. The Duchess is handling her part of the family coordination scheme in a blue Jenny Packham dress, with maple leaves all around (a blue Lock & Co. hat adorned with maple leaves - this is the same designer that did 2011's red maple leaf hat - plus the diamond Maple Leaf Brooch on loan again from the Queen). Really lovely.

We'll be checking in with the tour periodically over the next week on the blog. For those of you that want to discuss the whole thing as it happens, you're welcome to use this post throughout. As always, mind the comment policy and enjoy!

23 September 2016

Royal Flashback of the Day: September 23

The Cambridge family lands in Canada on Saturday! Yes, we will have a weekend post once we see what sort of sartorial selection the arrival brings.

But first, let's flashback one more time to their 2011 visit to the country, and one more frequent royal tour feature: the good old flag interpretation.

By tsaiproject [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
A white Reiss dress (repeated from the couple's engagement photographs) and a red maple leaf-adorned Lock & Co. hat made for an unmistakable interpretation of the Canadian flag for Canada Day festivities, with the Queen's diamond Maple Leaf Brooch added in for good measure. This outfit seems a bit...contrived, I want to say, but that's a silly thing to say when any outfit echoing a country's colors and/or motifs is by nature at least a little bit contrived. Still, some outfits seem to work a little harder at it than others.

This outfit, on the other hand, was a nod instead of a blinking arrow. A red Catherine Walker coat and a repeat of that loaner brooch closed out the Canadian leg of the tour. Can't ever go too wrong with the classics, can you?

So, what's to come? We'll find out this weekend. See you then.

22 September 2016

Tiara Thursday: Doris Duke's Diamond and Pearl Cartier Bandeau

Doris Duke's Pearl and Diamond Cartier Bandeau
Doris Duke (1912-1993) was the “world’s richest girl”, or so the headlines liked to say. Her father, tobacco magnate James Buchanan Duke, left twelve-year-old Doris and her mother, Nanaline, an estate valued at as much as $100 million when he died in 1925.

Doris Duke with her first husband, James H. R. Cromwell
The fortune funded a wide variety of interests for Doris throughout her life. She was a notable collector of art, wine, real estate, and fine jewelry, just to name a few of those interests. Her mother also had an exquisite jewelry collection, which Doris inherited in 1962. Among those pieces was this pearl and diamond bandeau tiara.

The tiara modeled at a Christie's event before auction in 2004
Cartier made the tiara in 1924, and it was bought by either Nanaline or James B. Duke in March of that year for $23,000. The platinum-mounted tiara has a striking stair-step design created from old European-cut diamonds, and features a single natural pearl at the center and two pear-shaped diamonds on top. It was designed to be worn in bandeau fashion across the forehead, as was the fashion of the time. The tiara is unmistakably Art Deco; at the time of its sale, it was noted as a superb example of early tiara work from that era.

Video: The auction of Doris Duke's jewelry
And sold it was, eventually. Doris Duke was dedicated to philanthropy throughout her life, and the billionaire left much of her estate to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation when she died in 1993. Her jewelry collection and other items from her estate were auctioned by Christie’s in 2004 to benefit the foundation.

The jewelry auction brought in close to $12 million, setting new records for the sale of a private collection. The Art Deco tiara was bought by Cartier for $298,700. The jeweler added their creation back to their collection and it now makes the rounds at various exhibitions, and even makes the odd photoshoot appearance (as modeled above). I usually love a tiara with a nice architectural feel to it, but this one's geometry seems a little harsh in use today (though I'll note that it's hard to judge this as it was meant to be worn, in the fashion of its time). As a display piece, however, it's a refreshing change.

Too many hard angles for you, or just right?

21 September 2016

Royal Event of the Day: September 21

Yesterday was Prinsjesdag in the Netherlands, when the monarch reads his speech from the throne to the government, and - relevant to our purposes - the Dutch royal ladies get all dressed up. It's usually a yearly highlight for Queen Máxima, but was it this year? LET'S DISCUSS:

(Hang on, bear with me for a second as I do my traditional explanation for those unfamiliar with this style of dress.) Hats with long skirts/dresses and sashes are the dress code for the day for the women, something that used to be pretty common at formal royal events, but which has died out over the years. No tiaras, because this is a day event; no sashes for the men, because those aren't worn with morning dress. Willem-Alexander, before becoming king, wore a uniform and used a sash with that. Now he wears a small order pin on his lapel, as does Prince Constantijn. (Okay, NOW let's discuss.)

Queen Máxima chose Claes Iversen as her designer for the day. She opted for a blue blouse tucked into a long golden skirt with blue embellishments and topped the whole thing with one of her favorite giant hats from Fabienne Delvigne. My first thought? This is what dressing for your sash looks like - she's all in tune with the Order of the Netherlands Lion here.

My second thought? If last year was the closest she's come to eveningwear territory at this event, this is a hard swing back to daywear, from the skirt+shirt combo to the sizable hat. Is it a swing for the better or a swing for the worse? I'm honestly not sure. I preferred last year's look, but she set the bar epically high for herself after that.

The best thing here is the best thing nearly every year: the jewels, of course. Those lusciously giant sapphire earrings and Queen Wilhelmina's huge sapphire bow brooch at her waist! The belt buckle placement is probably partly practical (big brooches are a tough sell on tops with no structure), and it is entirely genius with this outfit. Plus, if you ever need a reminder to sit up straight...

But wait, there's more! Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien were in attendance as usual, Laurentien sporting one of the family's bug brooches and big earrings previously worn by Máxima. Her sash is that of the Order of the House of Orange.

Whereas Máxima's Prinsjesdag outfits are clearly geared toward future gala gear reuse, her sister-in-law is stocking up for any future chain mail needs. And given her history with interesting fabrics at this event (last year, she went all Missoni-esque in a chevron knit; the year before, it was formal corduroy), she's right on brand. As ever, we commend her for keeping it interesting for us.

Photos: NOS screencaps, via Getty Images as indicated

20 September 2016

Royal Trips of the Day: September 20

When the United Nations kicks into gear, the royals come running to New York City. A grab bag sampling of recent royal NYC looks:

Princess Madeleine attended the World Childhood Foundation USA Thank You Gala 2016 in New York last week.
From gala dinner to gala toga party without a change required, so handy! Really, this repeated Jenny Packham gown has a whole ethereal thing going on that's quite pleasant, but that bodice also has a whole patched up wardrobe malfunction thing going on.
Jenny Packham Fall 2012 RTW

Crown Princess Victoria started her visit to New York City by supporting Swedish fashion at the Capsule show.

It's zebra and also not zebra, all at once, and I'm all for any compromise that brings us closer to the zebra side. I like the way she's wearing this. Great choice for the venue.
Dress by WHYRED, h/t The Royals and I

King Felipe and Queen Letizia started a visit to New York at the UN headquarters.
House of HM the King
Now THIS, this is lovely. And you won't be at all surprised to find that it is by Carolina Herrera, as tends to be the case with most of my favorite Letizia outfits these days. You just keep up those Herrera shopping sprees, Queen L.
Letizia's version, and a gown adaptation from the Carolina Herrera Fall 2016 runway
House of HM the King/Vogue

19 September 2016

Monday Tidbits for September 19: Cycling Royals, Castle Tours

Bicycling monarchies, all the rage...

--The Countess of Wessex is ready to head out for her challenge for the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, in which she will cycle from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace in London. She gave an interview to ITV News, and shared some personal photos from training on the royal family's Instagram. [ITV, Instagram]
The Royal Family Instagram

--The Belgian royal family's getting in on that cycling fun, too. The family hit the road for car free day and open monuments Sunday in Brussels. In more glamorous news, Queen Mathilde repeated a long Diane von Furstenberg dress (which you can see at the end of this gallery, following some really sweet photos of a different visit). She first wore it back in May. [Twitter, ParisMatch]
@MonarchieBe/Belgian Royal Palace

--Over at the Jewel Vault, possibly the fanciest state visit of QEII's reign, at least in terms of jewels.

--Take a peek inside Château de Berg, residence of Luxembourg's grand ducal family! Grand Duchess Maria Teresa showed a Belgian television show around as the family prepped for an official dinner. [RTBF, h/t Luxarazzi]
C'est du Belge

--And finally, Prince Harry had a birthday last week, so the Fug Girls celebrated with a giant slideshow of Harry hotness. Indulge. [Go Fug Yourself]

Coming up this week: Swedish glam, a big Dutch event, and more...

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

16 September 2016

Royal Outfit of the Day: September 16

I feel like closing out the week with some simple perfection.

Queen Máxima attended the presentation of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge this week.
Ahhhh. Give me a sleek white dress (this one's Gucci, but take your pick) any day. So very refreshing, no?

Máxima has her working visits and her visits where the full queen press is required, and you can tell the difference by the size of the hat. This is max Queen Máx, but the understated neutral accessories are letting that divine white dress take charge. Just as it should be. A+.

15 September 2016

Tiara Thursday: Queen Victoria's Strawberry Leaf Tiara

Following news of an uncertain future for one of Queen Victoria's most famous tiaras, the tale of another Prince Albert-influenced piece that drifted away:

Queen Victoria's Strawberry Leaf Tiara
Queen Victoria's Strawberry Leaf Tiara was a much-altered tiara, both during and after Queen Victoria's time. In the 1840s, Joseph Kitching (maker of Queen Victoria's Sapphire Coronet) made a ruby and diamond bandeau for the sovereign; other ruby and diamond jewelry was altered and created by Kitching and later by Garrard throughout the decade. (Royal Magazin elaborates on the pieces and alterations here.) In 1860, Garrard redid what is thought to have been Kitching's ruby and diamond bandeau.

Queen Victoria painted by Winterhalter wearing what appears to be the ruby bandeau, 1855
The revised ruby and diamond diadem featured thirteen strawberry leaf motifs interspersed with fourteen lozenge motifs, all on a ruby and diamond band. The tiara was the main piece in a parure that included a necklace, earrings, and a brooch. As with most of the jewels created for Victoria, the ruby set's design has been credited to the taste of her husband, Prince Albert.

Princess Beatrice
Queen Victoria gave this ruby parure to her daughter, Princess Beatrice, as a wedding present in 1885. Beatrice was her youngest child, and one she kept close even as she withdrew from other family members and from court life after the crushing blow of her beloved Albert's death in 1861. (She was opposed to Beatrice's marriage, actually, wanting her to remain as her companion and secretary. She consented after the couple agreed to live with her so that Beatrice could still fulfill those roles.) Victoria continued to wear mourning colors for the rest of her life, including an almost complete avoidance of colored gemstones. She only made a few exceptions, including wearing this parure at Princess Louise's wedding in 1871 and her continued use of the small sapphire coronet. The rubies were among several jewels the Queen chose to hand over to family members, while certain other pieces were named as heirlooms of the crown and thus designated to stay with the sovereign line.

The Marchioness of Carisbrooke (left) and Queen Victoria Eugenie (right)
Princess Beatrice had her mother's tiara enlarged, adding an additional gallery of strawberry leaves at the bottom. Her daughter, Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, was pictured wearing the ruby tiara; Beatrice left the parure to her son, the Marquess of Carisbrooke. As Geoffrey Munn details in Tiaras: A History of Splendour, the Marchioness of Carisbrooke sent the diadem to Cartier in 1933 to have the rubies removed, leaving an all diamond tiara. That brings us to its last known configuration. However, a diamond brooch/pendant was sold at Bonhams in 2009 with auction notes stating that it was believed to have been a part of Queen Victoria's Strawberry Leaf Tiara (one of the lozenge pieces between the leaves); the owner's family had a connection to the Carisbrookes. As for the rest of the tiara? Well, it remains a question mark.

With or without rubies, which would you have?

Photos: Cartier Archives, Royal Collection Trust, DR

14 September 2016

Royal Event of the Day: September 14

Ah, autumn. A time for pumpkin spice, a time for...parliament openings, at least for select royal families. The Swedes kicked things off yesterday by attending events for the opening of their parliament. Dress code: black and white, a little nod to the old court dress days. With hats and/or a selection of that's-not-a-hat hats, as the Swedish royal family often tends to sway.

Even Silvia got in on the trend in a donut hat masquerading as a pillbox. This is not a gripe, though. That black suit is pretty much impeccable. Honestly, I don't have much to gripe about here, and griping's my specialty.

See? Everyone looks very smart. Princess Sofia has knocked me straight over with her sleek black dress and - wait for it - not a middle part to be seen in that 'do, a refreshing change. Princess Madeleine's right on trend with that Colonel Sanders blouse, which I'd like very much if it didn't have to fight with the details on the jacket and the texture on the skirt. (I said I didn't have much to gripe about, mind.)

In the evening, they headed out for the traditional concert. Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Sofia skipped it, but Princess Madeleine brought all the look we needed. Let's call this one the Saucy Dowager Countess.

13 September 2016

Royal Outfit Grab Bag of the Day: September 13

One question mark, two exclamation marks:

Queen Rania received a humanitarian award on Sunday at the Celebrity Fight Night Italy benefiting The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.
In the midst of thinking to myself how dedicated Rania is to her humanitarian work, as she received another honor for it, I also couldn't stop wondering about her curious choice of shawl and shoe color - blue, with a red dress - and why she needed to carry that shawl around in every single picture from the evening. (Hey, I have a frivolity disclaimer on this blog for a reason.) Turns out it's not a shawl at all.
Atelier Versace Fall 2016
It's a train with two skinny pieces of blue and red, and it's attached from the back of the shoulder all the way down. And she carried it everywhere, except when she needed both hands to make her speech and get her award. (You can see it in action on the runway here.) I never thought I'd be rooting for an unrelated shawl, but here we are.

The Countess of Wessex attended the St. John Ambulance's Everyday Heroes Awards last week.
This is hot. I would've loved a strappy shoe here, but that doesn't change the hotness factor.
Stella McCartney dress, per the Countess of Wessex Blog
She's also managed to score a hit from the hit-or-miss Stella McCartney, which is a win on its own.

Princess Charlene and the princely family attended the annual Pique Nique Monegasque this weekend.
This is lovely. Precisely the thing for a beautiful day outdoors...when one is a princess, making an official appearance, of course. Which she is, and therefore she hit it just right.
Vilshenko dress
This is also the best royal Vilshenko dress we've seen so far. Add that to the list of achievements.

Photos: via Getty Images, Vogue, Lyst, Net-a-porter

12 September 2016

Monday Tidbits for September 12: New Friends, Great Speeches

Here we are again:

--King Harald went viral with a speech he gave at a palace garden party on September 1st (I shared a photo of the family at the event last week). If you haven't seen it, it's worth your time. English subtitles for a portion of the speech are in the video below; the Royal Court has an English translation of the full transcript. [Kongehuset]

--Check out some rare photographs from inside the Winter Palace, residence of Tsar Nicholas II, before the revolution. [Russia Beyond The Headlines]

--Princess Mako made an official visit to Paraguay, and a lovely kimono was involved. [ParisMatch]

--Princess Madeleine shared a sweet snap of Prince Nicolas making a new friend last week, captioning it "Love at first sight."
Princess Madeleine of Sweden Facebook

--Click over for model David Gandy, stay for the Prince of Wales and his natty evening kilt attire. [Hello]

--And finally, over at the Jewel Vault: Her Maj does the Elie Saab thing before Elie Saab was doing the Elie Saab thing, plus one mega brooch that desperately needs to reappear.

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

09 September 2016

Royal Fashion Awards: Prince Alexander’s Christening

It just wouldn’t be a royal year without a Swedish christening, and we’re lucky enough to get a double dose this year. Prince Alexander – son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, latest addition to King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia’s growing pile of grandchildren – is up today, so put on your replica baby sash and get ready. (Missed the christening? You can watch it here, and you can revisit our open post here.)

Best in Callbacks
Princess Sofia
Callbacks to Carl Philip and Sofia’s wedding were found in the floral color scheme and in Sofia’s designer choice for the day. Wedding gown designer Ida Sjöstedt created this custom lace suit, continuing to prove that white is a pretty foolproof selection for a christening outfit.
Princess Sofia continues to be a bit hat-averse, but there weren’t too many guests that wore anything more than a fascinator or headband. The pearl look here is a nice touch, adding some textural contrast to the ensemble. Sofia's brooch - which all the ladies of the family wore - is the King's portrait, Sweden's version of a royal family order.

Best in Mini Me
Crown Princess Victoria (and Princess Estelle)
It was Elie Saab and coral guipure lace for godmother Victoria today, with a low ponytail and a matching lace headband. The lace on the headband was a little bit of lace overkill for me, especially in this color. I was very glad to see we didn’t get shoes to match. (You know I don’t love a color when it’s even testing my Elie Saab adoration.)
On the other hand, there is no limit to the amount of this color I can tolerate when it means that Estelle gets to be her mother’s mini me for the day. (Second christening in a row that calls for a mini me reference, mind you. They’re a fully coordinated act.)

Best in Kid Wrangling Attire
Princess Madeleine
I’m still waiting for my promised sleeve-off, but given that it’s pretty obvious Chris and Madeleine have their hands full with toothbrush-chewing Prince Nicolas and squirmy Princess Leonore, I’m not surprised Madeleine opted for an outfit without anything that might get in her way.
This is one stylish kid wrangling outfit, though. I love the way the sharp collar on this Erdem dress works against the softer floral motif, and accessorizing with a simple bow at the back of her updo was just right. Once again, she might be my christening best dressed.

Best in Color Traditions
Queen Silvia
We’ve seen Silvia in soft pink for the christenings of both of Crown Princess Victoria’s children and in blue for both of Princess Madeleine’s children. New kid, new color, moving into the magenta/purple spectrum now. Could we get a nice rich purple sometime? Just putting my request in early, Your Maj.

Best of the Best
The Kids
These are royal events, sure, but the Swedes also makes sure that they are family events above all. Meaning: the kids run the show! Prince Alexander was happy to display the ins and outs of an heirloom christening gown, as it was visible that it was left a little open in the back (common, since the gown has to fit multiple babies in multiple sizes). The King gave him the Order of the Seraphim, which he promptly used as a little post-baptism snack – just in case you wondered why we see the Swedish baby sashes at christenings and never again.
Awwww. And that’s why we love a Swedish christening!

Who's winning your awards today?

Photos: via Getty Images as indicated, SVT screencaps, Moda Operandi, Lyst

Prince Alexander's Christening: The Open Post

Kate Gabor/The Royal Court, Sweden

Greetings! This is the place to chat if you'll be watching and enjoying the christening of Prince Alexander of Sweden, son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia. The service is scheduled to begin at noon, local time, and will be held at Drottningholm Palace Chapel. Update: The christening has ended.

The godparents are:
  • HRH Crown Princess Victoria (Carl Philip's sister, obviously)
  • Lina Frejd (Sofia's sister)
  • Victor Magnuson (Carl Philip's cousin)
  • Jan-Åke Hansson (Carl Philip's friend)
  • Cajsa Larsson (Sofia's friend)

Please mind the comment policy as always, and have fun!

08 September 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Tiaras of Queen Anne-Marie

Programming Note: We will have an open post tomorrow for those that wish to enjoy Prince Alexander's of Sweden's christening. The guests begin arriving at 11 am, and the service starts at noon, local time. (Here's a time zone converter.) Links to livestream will be included in the open post. See you then!

Queen Anne-Marie turned 70 on August 30, which means it's time for a sparkly celebration, only slightly belated. The daughter of a Danish king, Anne-Marie married a Greek king - one of the last examples of marriage between big royal houses, just as the practice began to grow increasingly rare. Her tiara collection happens to be one that has benefited handsomely from a history of jewels traveling from country to country, often courtesy of royal marriages. (As always, click the name of the tiara for its full story.)

Each of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid's three daughters received a tiara for her 18th birthday. Queen Ingrid was a Swedish princess by birth, and created Anne-Marie's 18th birthday tiara by reconfiguring a Swedish jewel, a floral stomacher from Queen Victoria of Sweden. The Antique Corsage Tiara is now mainly a loaner for Anne-Marie's daughters and daughters-in-law, as she herself uses her larger tiaras.

She married the Greek king wearing a Danish tiara borrowed from her mother, which she later inherited. This started a wedding tiara tradition in the family that continues today, with all of Queen Ingrid's female descendants wearing this tiara for their weddings. The thing about the Khedive of Egypt Tiara, though, is that it wasn't really a Danish tiara. It's been a transient diadem from the start: Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden to her daughter Queen Ingrid, and then on to Queen Anne-Marie.

As a new 18-year-old queen consort, Anne-Marie was handed two big parures with Greek history. (The emeralds have Russian heritage as well, so our tangled web of royal family trees is still well represented.) This promptly became a favorite, and remains the tiara that you are most likely to see Queen Anne-Marie use.

The ruby tiara, which has a little bit of country swapping in its past as well, might be my favorite from Anne-Marie's stash. This might largely be because she pairs it with that really gorgeous metallic mauve gown, one of my favorites from her wardrobe. Sometimes it's all about the styling.

But wait, there's more! Yes, on at least one occasion, Anne-Marie borrowed Queen Sophia's Star and Pearl Tiara, a tricky tiara she wore rather well (and another with a country-hopping past!).

Which tiara is your favorite on Queen Anne-Marie?