30 November 2017

Tiara Thursday: The Queen Mother's Cartier Bracelet Bandeau

Programming Note: Tomorrow, December 1, is the christening of Prince Gabriel of Sweden! As we have done in the past, we will have full coverage here. There will be an open post with streaming link for those that want to watch live together - or join in later - and we'll have a post up later in the day.

The christening is at noon (12:00), local time. (That's 6 am, Eastern.)


The Queen Mother's Cartier Bracelet Bandeau
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother had a set of bracelets made by Cartier. There's a quintet of these bracelets, featuring three different colors of stones as the baguette center in a diamond bracelet: one ruby, one emerald, one sapphire, and two with all diamonds.

Four of the bracelets; the fifth is another in all diamonds
The bracelets were gifts from her husband, George VI, when the two were newly married and were titled the Duke and Duchess of York. The couple were regular customers at Cartier.

Queen Elizabeth, as Duchess of York, wearing the bracelets
These bracelets were gifts given individually at Christmas and for her birthday in 1923-1925. The fifth bracelet - the second one all in diamonds - is not always referenced, and this set is often referred to as a quartet rather than the quintet that it is. All five are pictured together in Dressing the Queen by Angela Kelly. Elizabeth often wore all of the bracelets at once, as one large and colorful stack of bracelets.

Worn in the bandeau style
In 1925, Cartier supplied mounts allowing any three of the bracelets to be worn together as a bandeau tiara. The young Duchess of York did this through the early 1930s, in an era when a bandeau would have been a particularly fashionable choice.

She doesn't seem to have used the bandeau mounts later on, though she did continue to use the bracelets. Considering that her tiara-wearing habits changed as her husband took the throne in 1936 and she became Queen Elizabeth, this is not surprising; also left behind were options like the Strathmore Rose Tiara, the Lotus Flower Tiara, the Aquamarine Pineflower Tiara, the Persian Turquoise Tiara, and the Cartier Halo Tiara.

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The Queen wears the emerald bracelet between the two diamond bracelets
The bracelets are now with Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen was seen wearing a couple of the bracelets as early as the 1970s. Given that she rarely wears hair ornaments outside of a more traditional tiara, it is once again not a surprise that the bracelets haven't been used in their bandeau style. Will we ever see these used in the hair again? It would take someone with a little creativity in the tiara department, that's for sure. (Perhaps more than we find in the current members of the British royal family...) Needless to say, I'm all for someone giving it a shot.

What's your bet: Will these bracelets ever be worn as a tiara again?

29 November 2017

Tiara Watch of the Day: Sparkle in Sweden and in State Visit Land

Wooooooo, so many tiara appearances to catch up on! And since we're in post-Thanksgiving catch up mode, we're hitting them all at once. Take a deep breath and dive in:

The Swedish royal family held a Representation Dinner at the palace last week.
Prince Daniel, Princess Sofia, and Prince Carl Philip
A tiara appearance and a tiara development, this is: Princess Sofia is wearing her Emerald and Diamond Tiara in a more open fashion than she has done before and she's wearing it without the emeralds! Fabulous ideas, both changes. This makes it more versatile as an all-diamond design and takes care of the awkward perch it held on the very top of her head previously. Together with her repeated Zetterberg Couture gown and her double dates, she's WINNING. (Crown Princess Victoria was in Germany on another engagement.)

Queen Silvia and King Carl Gustaf
Amethysts with a red gown, you say? Amethysts with any gown, I say. (Queen Silvia's wearing Queen Josephine's Amethyst Parure.)

Queen Margrethe went on a state visit to Ghana last week, including a state banquet.
Billed-Bladet screencap
Wearing the petite Danish Turquoise Bandeau for a state banquet like this (abroad, not a white tie event) is a typical choice for Margrethe. I'm just not sure I agree with her that it goes well with allllllllll her turquoise jewels. The necklace, earrings, and brooch were all gifts from her husband. And they - with their bright blue color and bright yellow gold settings - are loud.

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg, accompanied by Princess Alexandra, is on a state visit to Japan, including a state banquet hosted by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
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First of all: Princess Alexandra stepping in to accompany her dad is ADORABLE. (Grand Duchess Maria Teresa has a fear of flying, and had to pull out of the trip.) She and Empress Michiko make a very sweet pair.

ANN screencap
Second of all: Alexandra's selection of a bolero from her mother's closet is an awkward way to finish the look, but it is delightful to see her this blinged up, wearing the Chaumet Diamond and Pearl Choker Tiara plus a delicate diamond necklace her mother has worn in the past. She was given Japan's Order of the Precious Crown, Second Class; for her father, the Order of the Chrysanthemum, Collar and Grand Cordon.

ANN screencap
Empress Michiko opted out of a tiara, as has been her practice for a few years now. No need to worry, though, because it was ALL TIARAS ON DECK for the rest of the imperial ladies.

NNN screencap
Tiaras and parures on deck, thankyouverymuch. The Japanese Pearl Sunburst Tiara for Crown Princess Masako, her favorite.

NNN screencap
As Princess Mako prepares to marry and leave active royal life, she only has a couple tiara appearances left - and the same may go for Princess Mako's Tiara, unless another family member adopts it down the line. For even more princesses present, check this gallery and this huge one.

Phew! From a Thanksgiving coma to a tiara coma, that's the way to go.

28 November 2017

Royal Dresses of the Day: Kate and Mary in Blue

So, about the other stuff that's going on. Lots to catch up on. Blue dresses, namely. Loads of blue dresses. Some involved tiaras, and we’ll get to those this week. First up, these two:

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Royal Variety Performance on Friday.
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Show of hands, who had to double check to make sure this Jenny Packham wasn’t the Jenny Packham from Paris? It’s not. It’s better. And if there was a better hairdo in play here, I’d be properly head over heels. She wore the Diamond Chandelier Earrings on loan from the Queen as she has done several times, which are too fabulous to be playing this game of hide and seek.

The annual Crown Prince Couple's Prizes were presented this weekend. Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary presented prizes honoring work in cultural and social areas, and for up and coming innovators.
Agnete Schlichtkrull/Bikubenfonden
One of the award winners was designer Cecilie Bahnsen, so what did Mary wear? A dress from Cecilie Bahnsen, of course, along with her diamond and pearl wedding earrings. I’m wishing for a different color than this light blue here, maybe?

Agnete Schlichtkrull/Bikubenfonden
Put it together with the shoes, and I’m feeling like Dorothy forgot her gingham for this special trip to Oz.

27 November 2017

Big Royal News of the Day: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are Officially Engaged!

Update #2: The charming interview...


Update: Here's the happy couple!

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Bundled up against the cold in the sunken garden at Kensington Palace for their super quick engagement photocall, Meghan wore a dress from label P.A.R.O.S.H. and a coat from Line the Label. And a nude shoe with some interest, which is the way to do a nude shoe if it is a nude shoe you must do.

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Prince Harry designed the ring, which was made by Cleave and Company. It features a center diamond from Botswana with two diamonds on either side from the personal collection of Diana, Princess of Wales, on a gold band. Simple and good.


Fire up the royal wedding countdown clock! The official one, not the one that's been running since news of this relationship first broke. You know what I'm talking about.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially engaged! Here are the details so far, obviously something that will continue to develop:
  • An engagement photocall and broadcast interview are happening today.
  • The wedding will take place in spring 2018, per Kensington Palace.
  • The couple became engaged earlier this month in London, also per KP.
  • The statement from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: "We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together." 
  • And from Buckingham Palace: "The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness." 
  • And from Meghan's parents:

    21 November 2017

    Tuesday Tidbits for November 21: A New Jewel Loan and More

    Happy Thanksgiving! Unless something fabulous happens, we're hitting pause until next week. Pie for everyone! But first, these bits:

    --The Duchess of Cambridge debuted a new jewel on loan from QEII last night: the Four Row Japanese Pearl Choker, which she wore to the dinner for family and friends the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh hosted for their 70th wedding anniversary. That appearance is covered here at the Vault.

    --Also over at the Jewel Vault, more wedding anniversary stuff: a new set of portraits, and a bracelet designed by Philip himself.

    --Listen, Crown Princess Victoria heard your advice to lay off the H&M for a while, and she would like to invite you, politely, to DEAL WITH IT. Two Erdem x H&M shirts repeated since then (below, and the super frilly one here); she also remembered how much she loves that one H&M dress that she owns in two colors (and shares with Mary and Mette-Marit) and repeated that too. [Instagram, Svenskdam]
    An audience with the President of the European Parliament

    --King Harald spent three days in the hospital with an infection, but he's been released and the palace says he's in "fine form", thankfully. [The Local]

    --New pics of Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar, for their pages on the royal court's site!

    --And finally, I suspect this might be of general interest: Why the Movies Are So Obsessed With Capes. [Racked]

    Tidbits is your spot for royal topics we haven't covered separately on the blog, all week long. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

    20 November 2017

    Princely Event of the Day: National Day in Monaco

    It’s Monaco. It’s National Day. (Er, was National Day. Yesterday.) So, you’ve got your hats. Orders and a gala event, but no tiaras. There Will Be Chanel. Let us review:

    Embed from Getty Images
    Princess Charlene
    Princess Charlene’s here to make me twitchy, spending too much time wondering how different (or not different) in shades her hat might be from the lining of the blue velvet Akris coat to the gloves and the shoes. Very different in some pics, not so much in others. Twitchy.

    Princess Charlene on the balcony with Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella
    Nothing like a couple little rascals to wipe away the twitchiness, well played.

    Princess Stephanie, Princess Charlene, Prince Albert, Princess Caroline
    Princess Caroline and Co. dressed up for their own little audition scenarios, that’s entertaining. The matriarch herself will be auditioning for the role of an Edwardian governess in Chanel today.

    Andrea Casiraghi, Tatiana Santo Domingo, Charlotte Casiraghi, Pierre Casiraghi, Beatrice Borromeo
    Up for the role of Couture Eponine, please welcome Charlotte Casiraghi to the stage balcony.

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    Ready for her role in an updated Bonnie and Clyde, we have Beatrice Borromeo, who has already stolen my best in show award. Pierre and his mustache can be her Clyde. (I’m guessing he and various other family members have joined Prince Albert in honoring the carabiniers, the palace guard, with their mustaches; the carabineri are celebrating their bicentennial and decided to grow mustaches for the occasion.)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Charlene closed the day by posing another critical question: Is a peplum on a sleeve the way to kick me out of the evening coat fan club? (Nearly, Char. Nearly.) Then again, Caroline is wearing festive evening arm warmers, so...

    17 November 2017

    Royal Flashback of the Day: Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding Gown

    Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten
    November 20, 1947
    Westminster Abbey
    With their big 70th anniversary approaching, how could we not revisit this famous royal wedding gown? The dress Queen Elizabeth II wore to marry the Duke of Edinburgh is every bit as much of a dream today as it was back in post-war Britain. It was extravagant yet tailored to the austere times, and the perfect match for an event that, in a way, helped mark a new era. As Jock Colville wrote of the wedding, “The war, it seemed, really was over.”

    The Botticelli inspiration and the wedding gown sketch
    The bride selected leading couturier Norman Hartnell, already a royal favorite, to design her gown. The final design was approved in mid-August, leaving Hartnell’s team less than three months to make the dress. His inspiration for the gown was Botticelli's Primavera and the result was an intricate gown in ivory duchesse satin covered in embroidered garlands created with white seed pearls imported from the United States, silver thread, crystals for sparkle and transparent tulle appliqués.

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    Princess Elizabeth wore a 15 foot court train attached at the shoulders. The train was made of silk tulle embroidered with pearls, crystals and appliqué duchesse satin. She also wore a silk tulle veil under her tiara. The veil was shorter than the train, leaving the embroidery to be the star of the show. The overall effect is quite diaphanous, like a halo of tulle surrounding the bride.

    Royal Collection Trust
    The heavy embellishment would remain a hallmark of Hartnell’s work for Elizabeth for decades to come, and is particularly reminiscent of the gown he created for her coronation. (It is distinctly not reminiscent of his other most famous royal wedding gown, Princess Margaret’s, which had a simpler line thanks to the strong requests of the bridal couple.)

    The train
    Just like everyone else in the country, Princess Elizabeth had to fund her gown with clothing ration coupons. Unlike everyone else, she was allowed 200 extra coupons by the government. Famously, people sent in their own coupons to help the Princess out (these were sent back with a note of thanks, since it was illegal for her to use them). In another sign of the times, the government had to be reassured that the silkworms used to create the gown came from China and the United Kingdom, rather than enemy countries such as Italy and Japan, and the fabric had been woven in England and Scotland.

    The bride accessorized with high heel sandals by Edward Rayne in ivory duchesse satin fastened with a silver buckle ornamented with yet more pearls. Her bridal bouquet was made of white orchids and the traditional sprig of myrtle.

    Royal Collection Trust
    Her bouquet was temporarily lost until someone remembered it was in a refrigerator, just one of several hitches that must have truly tested Elizabeth’s famous sense of calm. The two strands of pearls she wanted to wear also went missing, until it was remembered that they had already been placed on display with the rest of the wedding gifts in St. James’ Palace. Jock Colville, Princess Elizabeth’s Private Secretary, was dispatched to retrieve the pearls, taking the King of Norway’s car – nearly not allowing the King to exit the vehicle before he raced off – and facing an ordeal to convince the officers guarding the presents to allow him to remove the pearls. (They agreed after finding his name in the official program.) And, of course, the tiara broke.

    Royal Collection Trust
    Everything was found and repaired and the bride made it down the aisle with all the appropriate accessories: Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara on loan from her mother, the Queen Anne and Queen Caroline Pearl Necklaces that were among her wedding gifts from her parents, and the Duchess of Teck Earrings she received from Queen Mary earlier in the year.

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    The Queen views her dress at Buckingham Palace, in an exhibition for the couple's 60th wedding anniversary.
    The wedding gown has been displayed many times in the decades since the wedding. It was last on display for the Queen’s 90th birthday (as of this writing). Seventy years on, the fabric is beginning to show its age and I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes on display less often in the future. If you’ve had a chance to see it in person already, you’re lucky.

    Unlike other milestone anniversaries the couple have celebrated, they'll be spending this one privately. Reportedly, a family dinner will be held.

    16 November 2017

    Tiara Thursday: Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara, Revisited

    The diamond fringe tiara, based on the traditional Russian kokoshnik headdress, is an essential tiara design. Given how prevalent the design has been, it's no surprise the huge British royal collection includes multiple examples; there are at least three fringe necklaces and/or tiaras in the Queen's possession today. It's also no surprise that these examples are easy to get mixed up.

    Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara
    Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara is probably the most famous British fringe, thanks to its use as Queen Elizabeth II's wedding tiara in 1947 (although it didn’t exactly behave during its shining moment, managing to break on the young bride – but more on that in a second). Queen Mary had the tiara created after another diamond fringe in the collection apparently didn't suit her needs. The two fringes are still regularly confused.

    Two different fringe tiaras: Queen Mary wears Queen Adelaide's Fringe Necklace as a tiara on the left and she wears Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara on the right
    Queen Mary originally used a piece called Queen Adelaide's Fringe Necklace. Adelaide's Fringe was made in 1831 for the wife of William IV from diamonds previously used by George III. That necklace was inherited by Queen Victoria, who used it as a tiara and a dress ornament. Queen Victoria designated Queen Adelaide's Fringe as an heirloom of the Crown and it has been worn by queens ever since: Queen Alexandra used it as a dress ornament, Queen Mary wore it as a tiara right after George V took the throne, Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) used it as a necklace. It is now with the Queen, who is not known to have worn it publicly. Because of the confusion with Adelaide's necklace/tiara, Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara has often been referred to as the King George III Fringe Tiara or the Hanoverian Fringe Tiara. (The difference between the two was not really clarified until the publication of The Queen's Diamonds by Hugh Roberts in 2012.)

    A sketch of the necklace dismantled to make Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara, a wedding gift from Queen Victoria; Mary wore it in her hair on her wedding day (right), and it is strikingly similar to another wedding gift, the Surrey Fringe Tiara.
    Despite having Queen Adelaide's Fringe at her disposal, Queen Mary decided to commission a new piece that was a little tidier in the graduation of its bars and had fewer diamond bars overall, likely making it easier to wear. Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara was made by E. Wolff & Co. for Garrard & Co. in 1919 and includes 47 diamond bars separated by smaller diamond spikes. As was her usual practice, Mary had an existing jewel dismantled to make the new piece: a Collingwood & Co. stylized diamond fringe necklace she received as a wedding gift from Queen Victoria in 1893. Mary's Fringe Tiara can be removed from its frame for use as a necklace.

    Queen Elizabeth
    In 1936, Queen Mary gave her fringe tiara to Queen Elizabeth, who wore it regularly during George VI's reign. Queen Elizabeth loaned the tiara to her daughter, Princess Elizabeth (now, of course, Queen Elizabeth II), to wear when she married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten on November 20, 1947.

    Princess Elizabeth
    It turned out to be a bit of a problematic wedding tiara selection. On the big day, the tiara suddenly broke while the bride was getting ready. The Queen herself can be overheard telling the story in the video below, while touring the Buckingham Palace exhibition of the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding gown in 2011, with the Duchess and officials from the Royal Collection.

    After the Duchess of Cambridge explains that her wedding team had to experiment with ways to attach her tiara and veil, ultimately sewing the veil to the Cartier Halo Tiara (to which the Queen responds, “Oh yes, one has to do that, in case it comes off,”) the Queen tells the story of how she suddenly learned Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara was also a necklace, at the most inopportune time: “The catch, which I didn’t know existed, it suddenly went [gestures with her hands]. And I didn’t know it was a necklace, you see…I thought I’d broken it…we stuck it all together again, but I was rather alarmed…” According to the book Garrard: The Crown Jewelers for 150 Years, the mother of the bride kept the calm by remarking, “We have two hours and there are other tiaras.”

    Luckily, being a VIP royal bride affords you all the help you need in just such a pickle, and Garrard was able to solve the problem. “I think he taped up the spring,” the Queen recalled. The Garrard book reports that the frame snapped and was taken by police escort to their workroom for a quick fix. You can tell that the tiara had problems in the wedding pictures, because its strict symmetrical design is a little bit off at the center.

    Princess Anne
    That little mishap didn't put the royal family off of using Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara as a wedding tiara, although it did ensure that the Crown Jeweler was on hand next time, just in case. Princess Anne borrowed the tiara from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for her wedding to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973.

    Double fringes: Queen Elizabeth II wears Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara and the City of London Fringe Necklace. (A complete rundown of the jewels in this portrait can be found here at the Vault.)
    The tiara then disappeared into the Queen Mother's vault for several decades as she spent her later years switching between the Greville Tiara and the Oriental Circlet. Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II on her mother's death in 2002. She has worn it a couple of times since, but it hasn't unseated any of her regulars as a favorite.

    It’s such a versatile piece and I always think fringes have a modern edge, despite the fact that this one's a century old. My diamond fringe-loving heart would love to see it used more often, and I continue to cross my fingers that it will become one of her increasingly frequent loans to family members.

    Who would you like to see give this one a spin?

    15 November 2017

    Royal Outfits of the Day: Queen Letizia in Mexico

    Here's Queen Letizia, on a solo trip this week to Mexico for the World Cancer Leaders Summit:

    Visiting the headquarters of Red Cross Mexico
    House of HM the King
    I saw this from the waist up at first and thought, waaaaay too conventional, there must be a Letizia twist somewhere in here.

    Hugo Boss Gingham Cotton Jacket
    House of HM the King/Hugo Boss
    And indeed there was, in the form of a cropped pant! Not exactly a mind-blowing plot twist or anything, just a hint of a Letizia spin.

    Meeting with the President and First Lady of Mexico
    House of HM the King
    What sort of trip would it be without a jumpsuit along for the ride, huh? Not a Letizia trip, that's for sure. This one's Felipe Varela, a repeat. And that's how you do a ponytail for a formal event.

    House of HM the King
    Her hosts changed into something a little more formal for their dinner, which was good because La Reina was looking a little overdressed for a second. (Although if you can't wear as many diamonds as you want, whenever you want when you're the queen...) The bracelets and earrings from the joyas de pasar also made the trip!

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    Attending the conference
    Here's a handbag surprise. I'm firmly in the Red Is A Neutral camp and all, but this seems a sharp stylistic turn from the more formal Nina Ricci outfit, what with the people on there and the chains. No?

    Zara bag

    14 November 2017

    Tuesday Tidbits for November 14: Splendid Jewels, Sumptuous Fabrics

    Opulence ahead:

    --The Japanese imperial family held their autumn garden party, for which they bring out the kimonos and which subsequently is a delightful feast for the eyes. Those fabrics. [Imperial Family of Japan Blog]

    --Fictionally royal: I love this oral history of 1997's Cinderella, starring Brandy Norwood and Whitney Houston, for every possible reason, but most of all for the knowledge that Whoopi Goldberg rejected all costume jewelry and insisted on wearing the real stuff. So she had the filmmakers contact her guy at Harry Winston. SPLENDID. [Shondaland]

    --I am very interested in Princess Haya's dress here, speaking of fabulous fabrics.
    سعدت اليوم بلقاء سيدة كولومبيا الأولى ماريا كليمنسيا رودريغيز دي سانتوس خلال زيارتها الرسمية لدولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة. تربطنا بكولومبيا علاقات متينة على جميع الأصعدة. نتشارك مع السيدة الأولى أهمية العمل الإنساني ونشيد بدورها في إعادة إعمار موكوا بعد الفيضانات التي ضربتها في شهر أبريل الماضي I was pleased today to meet with First Lady Maria Clemencia Rodríguez de Santos during her official visit to the United Arab Emirates. We enjoy strong bilateral relations with Colombia and share with the First Lady the importance of humanitarian work. We commend her efforts for the reconstruction of Mocoa after the floods that hit the city in April.
    A post shared by Haya Bint Al Hussein (@hrhprincesshaya) on

    --The hunt for a missing ruby, fascinating: Who stole Burma’s royal ruby? [BBC, h/t Emi]

    --Australians, mark this one on your calendar: Cartier is bringing a big exhibit to the National Gallery of Australia from March 30 to July 22, 2018. This will include gems like Daisy Fellowes' Tutti Frutti necklace, Elizabeth Taylor's rubies, Princess Grace's engagement ring, and the Cartier Halo Tiara on loan from Queen Elizabeth II. Never miss a chance to see a tiara in the flesh (in the diamonds?), that's my motto. [NGA]
    HM Queen Elizabeth II/NGA

    --The rest of us can be content to view rare gems via photo, and QEII herself gave us a glimpse of rare brooch from her collection last week: a wee swan! [Jewel Vault]

    Tidbits is your spot for royal topics we haven't covered separately on the blog, all week long. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

    13 November 2017

    Royal Events of the Day: The Windsors at Remembrance Ceremonies

    As they do every year, the British royal family spent their weekend in solemn and stately mode, attending the Festival of Remembrance on Saturday and Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph in London.

    MOD Crown Copyright 2017
    The Queen chose to join the newly retired Duke of Edinburgh and the Duchess of Cornwall on a balcony above the scene at the Cenotaph, a first for this year and what felt like a major passing of the baton moment. (The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall were also covered at the Jewel Vault; the Queen's brooch is a regular for poppy-holding and Camilla's has some extra special significance for the event.)

    BBC screencap
    MOD Crown Copyright 2017
    MOD Crown Copyright 2017
    The Prince of Wales led the service and laid a wreath for the Queen in addition to his own wreath. The rest of the wreath-laying regulars joined Charles: the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Princess Royal, and the Duke of Kent.

    BBC screencap
    On another balcony, the Duchess of Cambridge watched the service with Princess Alexandra of Kent and the Countess of Wessex. Both Alexandra and Sophie wore badges from The Rifles; each lady is a Royal Colonel of a different battalion.

    MOD Crown Copyright 2017
    Frivolous as it is to talk about the looks on display here (and, well, this happens to be a blog that specializes in the frivolous, says so right on the sidebar), I think it's worth noting what a sharp look this was for Kate. Very dignified. And just right, I thought.

    Embed from Getty Images
    Her orderly buttoning was a continuation of the theme from the previous evening at the Festival of Remembrance, where she debuted a cozy velvet option.

    Royal British Legion
    Royal British Legion
    The Queen was in a velvet mood as well, just the top part of her dress for a little textural contrast. (She, as well as the Duchess of Cornwall, were also covered at the Vault for this event.) Solemn and stately all around, as always.

    10 November 2017

    Royal Collection of the Day: Erdem x H&M for Victoria and Mary

    You knew that the Erdem x H&M collection was going to be big on the royal scene, right? Erdem = popular with several royal regulars, H&M = popular with several royal regulars, you did the math. We could also deduce that Crown Princess Victoria was likely to be its biggest fan, because she's H&M's biggest royal fan: she's personal friends with the Persson family that runs H&M, she and Prince Daniel paired up with the chain for their GEN-PEP initiative, she's the one that wore an H&M dress to a gala royal wedding. This was expected.

    I did not, however, expect quite this level of enthusiasm. Here's what she's worn from the collection so far, all in the last few weeks:




    A post shared by news about royal family (@newsroyal2) on

    Erdem x H&M
    This is the royal equivalent of running through the store screaming, MINE! MINE! Victoria, calm down.

    Crown Princess Mary, another H&M and Erdem aficionado, managed to wrangle one piece for herself:

    Erdem x H&M
    Probably the most successful Erdem x H&M showing so far, no? Really just because Mary picked the piece that requires the least styling to be successful.

    The question is, what's next? Who's next? Time to get your royal wish lists prepared... (Here's the complete collection and lookbook.)

    Erdem x H&M
    Some of these coats are very appealing to me. Not gonna lie, I kinda want someone to go for the leopard one.