31 January 2018

Royal Trip of the Day: The Cambridges in Sweden, Day 1

Right, well, let's get this out of the way first:

On the evening of the first full day of their official visit to Sweden, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a dinner at the British Ambassador's residence with Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.
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LOL. Okay, giggles out of the way...listen, I think there are people who could pull off this ruffled floral mustard Erdem gown; it's just that Kate, bless her, isn't one of that particular group of chosen ones. You need some attitude to pull off something that's ruffled and floral and mustard all at once. (This is where some of you will jump in and argue with me that it's not mustard, as though calling it some other color name could save the whole thing, and I shall giggle once more.)

Erdem Stephanie floral-print silk crepe de Chine gown for Kate, Stylein dress for Victoria (per Heaven)
I'm not that wild about Victoria's choice either, mostly because I keep thinking she left half her dressing gown on. But any port in a storm, I suppose.

Earlier, the Cambridges had lunch at the Royal Palace with King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, and Prince Daniel.
Raphael Stecksén/Kungahuset.se
Maybe I have ~issues~ with all of Victoria's neckline choices yesterday. The bow on this Ida Sjöstedt dress is strangling her, majorly distracting from what might otherwise have had potential. This Catherine Walker ensemble on Kate is pretty basic...

The Cambridges and the Crown Princess Couple walked to the Nobel Museum after lunch.
Kensington Palace
...and it looks a lovely picture when all bundled up. Victoria improved with the addition of a coat, too (the addition of SHOOTIES and all).

Before meeting the royal family, the Duke and Duchess attended a bandy hockey event at Vasaparken.
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Maybe they just should have stayed bundled up from start to finish, guys. This was a really cute way to start the day.

30 January 2018

Princely Outfits of the Day: Charlene and her Patterns Celebrate Sainte Dévote

Two patterns in a row from Charlene - similar ones, at that - require a check-in:

Prince Albert, Princess Charlene, Prince Jacques, and Princess Gabriella attended the Feast of Saint Dévote in Monaco on Friday.
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Sign me up for this coat. Or for Princess Gabriella's sassy boots, but since I doubt they make those in my size, we'll just go with the coat. (The twins brought the awwws for this event, sharing a little hug. Here's a gallery.)
Loro Piana Reversible Coat
You can sign me up for a knockoff of this coat, that is, because UFO No More identified it and it is an eye-watering $6,975. But it's cashmere! And reversible! Just in case you need any of the justifications that this princess doesn't need to care about.

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene attended a mass for the celebration of Saint Dévote on Saturday.
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Charlene was clearly still in a check mood the next day. This outfit is...remarkably un-Char-like, no? You could cut and paste this outfit onto any number of royal ladies, and that's not usually something I can say for a Charlene outfit. Is that for the better or for the worse? You tell me. I'm still getting over feeling this meh about something she wore that wasn't a shade of blergh.

29 January 2018

Monday Tidbits for January 29: Family Time in Spain, and More

Royal tour action awaits us this week, but first:

--King Felipe turns 50 this week, so the royal house released some nice behind the scenes-style footage of the family together. It's sweet!

--Princess Athena, daughter of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie, turned 6 last week, and the Danish royal household is never short on new birthday portraits. Also sweet!
Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset

--Here's Princess Alexandra visiting The Old Moat Garden Centre last week, cheerfully reminding us that Queen Máxima isn't the only one that can wear all the colors and all the textures at once.
Royal Family

--Speaking of all the textures, this skirt and this shirt on Crown Princess Mary: yes or no?

Coming up this week: Prints galore in Monaco, the Cambridges head to Sweden and Norway, and more...

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!

26 January 2018

Royal Outfit Grab Bag of the Day: Catching Up with Mary, Victoria, Máxima, and Mathilde

Lotta royals in business mode right now; lotta royals in repeat mode right now. Time to check in:

Crown Princess Mary visited the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Tuesday.
Council of Europe
Love this Prada dress. Very smart, very sharp. A good choice for a big speech moment, which is just what she had.

Crown Princess Victoria received the British ambassador on Tuesday, in preparation for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge next week.
That is an excessively floppy bow, but the important point here is that Victoria is back! She's recovered from her illness and is ready to hang out with William and Kate next week. (Obviously we'll be covering that, as if you could possibly doubt it.)

Okay, hang on, let me get you some color up in here...

Queen Máxima opened a Bio Fair last week.
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*blinks* *blinks* Yup, that should do it. This is a one-stop shop for all your texture and color needs, which is...efficient.

Queen Mathilde and King Philippe are at the World Economic Forum this week.
Belgian Monarchy
Hey, maybe Natan should just start leaving the sleeves off these coats for his two best clients. You could call it something like a "cape", maybe, I don't know. I'm just spitballing here. Anyway, Mathilde wore this last month and guess what? It's still groovy.

25 January 2018

Tiara Thursday: Queen Mary’s Lozenge Bandeau

As royal weddings approach and the guessing game turns to tiaras, there’s a lot of speculation about some of the rarer pieces in the British collection. Well, that may be in the collection. Here’s one that’s getting lots of questions:

Queen Mary's Lozenge Bandeau
This diamond bandeau tiara with geometric lozenge motifs belonged to Queen Mary and was also worn by Princess Margaret. What little we can say about this piece is summed up in Leslie Field’s The Queen’s Jewels: “When she was eighteen Princess Margaret borrowed a tiara from her grandmother Queen Mary. This diamond bandeau had lozenge-shaped motifs and was originally surmounted by thirteen large oval oriental pearls set on spikes. By 1946, however, Queen Mary had removed the pearls. In September 1948 the eighteen-year-old Princess wore it when on one of her first official engagements she represented King George VI at the Inauguration of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands in Amsterdam, the Dutch equivalent of a coronation.” (Margaret actually wore the tiara to an evening event for the inauguration. The event itself, like the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander, involved hats instead.)

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Queen Mary wears the tiara in 1935 with the Duchess of Kent
I suspect that the pearls used on top of the Lozenge Bandeau by Queen Mary are the same pearls that once adorned the top of the Cambridge (or Queen Mary’s) Lover’s Knot Tiara. Thirteen of the top pearls from the Lover’s Knot Tiara were detachable, and there are 13 here. The pearls were made detachable from the larger tiara in 1932; by at least 1935, Mary was wearing them on this bandeau. Queen Mary was very fond of her jewel flexibility.

Queen Mary with pearls, Princess Margaret without
Princess Margaret did not wear the pearls on top of the tiara, just the bandeau portion. She first wore it to an event for Queen Juliana’s inauguration in 1948, then during the Dutch state visit to Britain in 1950, and also wore it in 1965.

Princess Margaret in 1950
British Pathe
These may have been her only appearances in the tiara; for a smaller tiara, she more frequently borrowed the Cartier Halo Tiara, before moving on to pieces of her own.

Princess Margaret wears the tiara in 1948 and (lower left) 1965
Nationaal Archief
It’s nothing but question marks after Princess Margaret’s last use of the Lozenge Bandeau, at least to date. The tiara hasn’t been seen since. It’s unknown if the piece still exists, and if so, whether it is with the Queen or went to Princess Margaret. Which makes it a bit of a long shot in any tiara guessing game, I'd say.

IF this tiara is still an option, who would you like to see take it for a spin?

One quick final note regarding a tiara with which the Lozenge Bandeau is often confused: Queen Mary also had a second small diamond bandeau tiara, which she wore with some of her Cambridge emeralds on top (another detachable, flexible option). This bandeau passed to the Kent branch of the family and was most likely later turned into the Kent Diamond and Pearl Fringe Tiara. You can check it out here, in my entry on that tiara.

24 January 2018

Royal Outfit of the Day: Kate Wraps Up in Blue

The Duchess of Cambridge wrapped herself in blue, as she is wont to do, and headed out and about yesterday.

The Duchess of Cambridge visited Roe Green Junior School to launch the Heads Together Mentally Healthy Schools online resource.
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This blue Sportmax coat is apparently a repeat - alas, I have lost track of the current inventory of the blue wing of the Royal Coat Museum - and it is particularly well accessorized here. The Beulah scarf suits the coat perfectly and pulling the deeper blues from the scarf into the navy shoes and bag and the tanzanite and diamond earrings and necklace adds some depth to the all blue outfit.

Kensington Palace
Underneath, a new blue dress from Séraphine. For all the love I have for these types of maternity dresses...dare I say, I miss the coat and scarf.

Should you be in the mood for a little royal speech session, a bit of her remarks at the event is above. The Duke of Cambridge was on the royal speech game yesterday, too, giving a lengthy keynote speech yesterday with some interesting family tributes; see it here or read it here. Just in case you're really in the mood for a royal speech.

23 January 2018

Royal Jewels of the Day: An Engagement Ring Update

In 2013, I ran a series of posts on royal engagement rings from multiple royal families. (You can check them out here.) I have received many requests to update those posts in the years since, and while continuous updates are not a goal I can achieve, we have accumulated enough to do a little update post. Let's add a few from brides of the past five years (and of the year to come!):

Princess Eugenie of York
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We'll start with the most recent addition to the collection, the stunning ring shown off by Princess Eugenie as she and Jack Brooksbank posed in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace after announcing their engagement yesterday. (Her Erdem dress, by the way, is a repeat.) The couple are thought to have designed the ring together.
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Carrying on the British royal family's love of a colored stone ring, this one is a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds, on a gold band. Padparadscha sapphires have a pinky-orange color that varies by stone. Pink engagement rings are a bit of a trend in some circles, from pink stones to rose gold settings, and unusual stone choices are having a new moment in engagement rings, too. But nestling the stone in a ring of diamonds brings it back to one of the most classic ring designs (and understandably draws easy comparisons between Eugenie's ring and those of her mother, or of her aunt and cousin-in-law). I've seen reports place the value of this ring anywhere from £7,000 to £100,000, so - as is always the case - you have to take these figures with a grain mountain of salt.

Meghan Markle
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Meghan Markle's engagement ring from Prince Harry joins Queen Elizabeth II's and the Countess of Wessex's rings on the all-diamond side of the family. The ring is by Cleave and Company and Harry is said to have helped design it; 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. This will look good with a plain Welsh gold wedding band, assuming Meghan is given one in accordance with family tradition. More pictures are in our engagement post.

Princess Sofia of Sweden
The main ladies of the Swedish royal family have a string of diamond engagement rings in classic settings. Prince Carl Philip added to the pile by proposing with a round diamond in a diamond halo on a split shank diamond band. Princess Sofia now wears it alongside her diamond wedding band.

Beatrice Borromeo
Bernd Schwabe - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
There wasn't a here's the ring photoshoot when Pierre Casiraghi and Beatrice Borromeo got engaged, though it seems like this ring is the one: a pear-shaped stone with halo of diamonds on a diamond band. Early reports on their rumored engagement suggested that Pierre had proposed with a pink diamond ring; in some photos, the pear stone looks like it might have some color to it, but it's hard to tell. (Beatrice does have a pair of magnificent morganite earrings reportedly from Princess Caroline, so she is not without her pink stones.)

Ekaterina Malysheva
Axel Hindemith / CC BY-SA 3.0
I don't recall a presentation of the ring when Prince Ernst August of Hanover got engaged to Ekaterina Malysheva, either, so this might be a bit of guesswork as well. This ring with a central sapphire on a thick and detailed diamond band seems to be the one; the bride wore it during the wedding festivities. Sapphires once again prove to be one of the most popular royal engagement rings.

22 January 2018

Monday Tidbits for January 22: A Royal Engagement and More

Windsor Castle's going to get a royal wedding workout in 2018, huh?

--Princess Eugenie is engaged to Jack Brooksbank! The announcement was made today. They'll marry at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, in Autumn 2018.

--Crown Prince Haakon's trying his hand at the royal parent-turned-photographer game with this most casual of snaps, released to celebrate Princess Ingrid Alexandra's 14th birthday.
HRH The Crown Prince

--Celebrity style twin alert: Here's Laura Dern on the awards circuit, trying out the same Stella McCartney dress we saw on Queen Rania back in October. Both demonstrating how a pair of shoes can change the dressiness of a look, I'd say. [Zimbio]

--Royal style twin alert: Queen Letizia's joining the ranks of royals who go shopping in the closets of family members for a little vintage flair. Vanitatis reports that the striped dress Letizia wore to King Juan Carlos' 80th birthday was one worn by her mother-in-law, Queen Sofia, back in 1984. It intrigues me that, of all the things Sofia must be keeping, this is the one she picked. [Vanitatis]

--More birthday snaps released by the Dutch royal house, who celebrated the 75th birthday of Princess Margriet (sister of Princess Beatrix, aunt of King Willem-Alexander) with a couple new portraits.
RVD/Anko Stoffels

--And finally, plenty of updates over at the Jewel Vault: a peek into what the royals were gifted in 2017, a new-to-the-blog and super rare brooch from the Queen, and three lovely royal church-going outfits from the weekend.

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!

19 January 2018

Readers' Favorite Outfits of 2017, Evening Division: The Results, Part 2!

Here we are: The End. It's time for your final five favorite outfits of 2017, the very best that royal evening wear had to offer us:

#5. Princess Sofia at the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Ida Lanto
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A supremely princess-y turn for Sofia on one of Sweden's biggest nights gave her a tidy showing on both your day and evening favorite lists for the year.

#4. Princess Tatiana in Australia in Celia Kritharioti
Princess Tatiana doesn't appear here very often, but when she does, her continued partnership with this Greek designer wins her consistent praise. Also, CAPE!

#3. Queen Máxima at the Argentina State Banquet in Jan Taminiau
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Can't beat a great necklace or a great repeated dress, from the Dutch designer that's landed Máxima her greatest praise - and her second spot on your evening top 10.

#2. Queen Letizia at King Willem-Alexander's Birthday in Stella McCartney
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And finally, the two themes that ran through this year in review ring true once more: it was the year of Letizia, and...

#1. Queen Letizia at the Spanish/British State Banquet in Felipe Varela
House of HM the King
...it was the year of the red dress. I can't think of another year when one person could have taken the top two spots, and I can't think of another year in which it would have been so well-deserved.  La Reina, folks.

So, tell me: How'd your picks make out? Are you in agreement with the group vote?

18 January 2018

Tiara Watch of the Day: Sweden in State Banquet Splendor

The first state banquet of 2018 brings us some tiaras in action for our Thursday treat (with a side dish of other evening fashion from this week, while we’re at it). The Swedish royal family welcomed the President and First Lady of Iceland for a state visit yesterday, and despite being one tiara down for the state banquet – Crown Princess Victoria was out sick – the remaining tiaras did their best to give us a good show.

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Queen Silvia, gearing up for the Winter Olympics by bringing back one of her signature eau de figure skater dresses, let her sash be her stylist for the night.

She pulled her dress from the stripes down the side of Iceland’s Order of the Falcon, and pulled the Leuchtenberg Sapphires from the sash’s main color. It's a very flag-waving look. You'd have a hard time finding a bad situation for those sapphires, though.

The Dowager Countess Princess Sofia didn’t play with any of that, in a black Ida Sjöstedt gown and her wedding tiara with pearl toppers. It’s…a lot of fuss, with the bow and the stuff all over and the clutch and the sash and all the rest on top. A lot of fuss.

Sofia found a little better balance between fussy elements earlier in the week at a sports gala.
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Something about the sportiness of the top isn’t quite matching for me, but a plain top is the way to handle the triple tiered skirt of this lavender By Malina gown. And that plain top makes an excellent canvas for some jewelry interest:

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Fun! And purple, so double fun. (She's also a good advance advertisement for Swedish design here. The dress is from an upcoming By Malina collection, the brand shared on Instagram; likewise, the earrings are by Caroline Svedblom and they shared on Instagram that they'll be available in February. The perks of being a princess, man.)

17 January 2018

Readers' Favorite Outfits of 2017, Evening Division: The Results, Part 1!

There were some surprises in the results from your day division 2017 vote, both in which outfits made your top 10 and perhaps more so in which outfits (and royals) didn't make the cut. Will the evening division be any more predictable? The first half of your top 10, coming right up...

#10. Queen Máxima at the Italian State Banquet in Jan Taminiau
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The winner of your day division poll also had several contenders for the evening division (so many that not all of them got to be included in the vote, because I wanted the options to include more than, like, four royals). This red gown was worn twice in 2017, and while it didn't really resonate with me, it slides onto your list at #10.

#9. Crown Princess Mary at the New Year's Reception in Lasse Spangenberg
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It's not easily classifiable between day and evening, this one, but it's great enough in either category to nab this spot on your list.

#8. Crown Princess Mary at the Norway Birthday Dinner in Erdem
Two spots in a row! After her conspicuous absence from your day division favorites, Mary's not wasting any time making her mark in the evening division. (I'm actually really liking the bow at the waist in the stock photo, now that I'm looking at it again. Game for a repeat, hmm?)

#7. The Duchess of Cambridge at the Spanish/British State Banquet in Marchesa
Royal Family
Huge enthusiasm for this state banquet appearance, despite not really seeing a proper picture from the front (just glimpses in motion and while at dinner). That launches Kate to her first spot on your evening favorites...

#6. The Duchess of Cambridge in Paris in Jenny Packham
British Embassy
...and the first of her two 2017 blue Jenny Packhams grabs her a quick second spot. I preferred the second one; it seemed like more of you preferred this first one. Either way, mission accomplished.

Have your picks made the list yet? Stay tuned for the final five...

16 January 2018

Readers' Favorite Outfits of 2017, Day Division: The Results, Part 2!

I thought there were some real surprises at the top of the pile from your day division favorites. Let's investigate (and click here for #6-10!):

#5. Princess Madeleine at Crown Princess Victoria's 40th Birthday in Erdem
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I honestly forgot about this appearance entirely when making my own lists of 2017 bests, but I can't argue with all the affection for it in the final vote. Erdem has served Princess Madeleine well.

#4. Queen Rania at Jordan's Independence Day
Did this Queen Rania outfit make the list because of this seriously fierce wind-blown photo? Yes. Do you think creating a moment like this is an accident? No. That's planning, and planning is as much a factor in a good royal outfit as anything else, if you ask me. (By the way, some wondered why this outfit wasn't classified in the evening section. I kept it in the day section because Queen Rania's outfits for this event include a nod to traditional style - albeit often in her own, high fashion way - and therefore it is not something that I'd expect to see used as an evening gown on another occasion.)

#3. Princess Eugenie at Royal Ascot in Preen
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One of my personal favorite Ascot outfits last year got a lot of love from your votes, and I hope this silhouette and this color gets a lot of love from Princess Eugenie in the future. It's such a good match.

#2. Crown Princess Victoria at Prince Gabriel's Christening in Pär Engsheden
Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se
The reds are a good match for anyone, as this voting has made clear. Crown Princess Victoria's sharp turn at December's Swedish christening makes her the second and final royal to earn double spots on your top 10.

#1. Queen Máxima at the Woman 20 Summit in Natan
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And there it is, the biggest surprise of all: I wouldn't generally call daywear Queen Máxima's strongest suit, but an excellent pose and an assist from a coordinated bouquet has elevated her and her favorite designer to the very top of your 2017 favorites. Well done, Máx!

Any surprises for you? Did your favorites make the cut?

15 January 2018

Monday Tidbits for January 15: More New Year's Fun

We are not done with the royal New Year's festivities, but first, a documentary update:

--The Coronation documentary, featuring commentary from Queen Elizabeth II herself on her coronation, aired for the first time last night. Highlights and chat are over at the Vault. Also over at the Vault: a splash of purple and pink on the way to church, with a sneaky ruby brooch.

--Luxembourg's grand ducal family held a New Year's reception last week. I get that Stéphanie pulled the black accents from the dress, but still would have loved to see something less heavy. [Facebook, via Luxarazzi]
Cour grand-ducale/Claude Piscitelli

--A shiny Queen Mathilde joined King Philippe for a New Year's reception for European institutions at the Royal Palace, wearing a repeated Natan ensemble.
Belgian Monarchy

--The Japanese imperial family held their traditional New Year's Lectures and their traditional New Year's Poetry Reading last week, both with a dress code of long day dresses and hats for the imperial princesses. The Lectures this year were a special treat, because Crown Princess Masako attended for the first time in 15 years (after withdrawing due to her illness). [Imperial Family of Japan Blog]
Crown Princess Masako, Princess Kiko, and Princess Mako at the Lectures
ANN screencap

Coming up this week: More of your 2017 favorites revealed...

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!

12 January 2018

Readers' Favorite Outfits of 2017, Day Division: The Results, Part 1!

You voted for your favorite outfits of 2017, day and evening division, just before the calendar flipped over. Now, finally, it's time for the results. We're counting down your top 10 favorites from both divisions!

We're starting with your favorites from the day division, part 1:

#10. Queen Letizia at Spain's National Day in Felipe Varela
House of HM the King
A perfectly classic royal outfit which could have appeared on a young QEII or anyone else from then until now, Queen Letizia's suit and surprising royal accessory (a brooch! In traditional brooch position! On Letizia!) just slide onto your top 10 list in the bottom spot.

#9. Princess Sofia at Prince Gabriel's Christening in folk dress
Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se
A traditional outfit of a different sort that also doubled as a big royal surprise takes the next spot, with Princess Sofia's choice to wear the traditional dress of Älvdalen - a dress reportedly made by relatives - to her son's christening.

#8. Crown Princess Victoria in a Birthday Portrait
Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se
Crown Princess Victoria looked like a boss in her 40th birthday portraits, the simple white shirt and white trousers perfectly portraying a princess at work and complementing the sleek backdrop of her home, Haga Palace.

#7. The Duchess of Cambridge at the V&A in Gucci
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The cute mod flair of this Gucci day dress lands the Duchess of Cambridge, one who had an awful lot of potential contenders for the day division, on your list.

#6. Queen Letizia at the UNICEF Awards and Peru Visit in Carolina Herrera
House of HM the King
Letizia's second spot on the list goes to this flippy and fun summer dress from a designer that always serves her well, Carolina Herrera.

Will anyone else hit the list a second time? Stay tuned next week to find out...

11 January 2018

Tiara Thursday: A Fife Tiara Update

When the Fife Tiara took home the #2 spot in your Favorite Tiaras Rematch, I noted that it had achieved its tremendous popularity despite scarce appearances and hardly any public exposure. Well, following news that dropped in December – while we were in yearly review and holiday mode (thanks to those of you that contacted me about it!) – that’s about to change. The Fife Tiara has changed hands, and it looks like you’re going to be able to see it in person.

The Fife Tiara
Quick recap first: The Fife Tiara was an 1889 wedding gift to Princess Louise of Wales, the oldest daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, from her new husband, the Earl of Fife (who was made the Duke of Fife by Queen Victoria right after the wedding). The tiara has diamonds mounted in silver and gold and the design is dominated by a series of pear-shaped diamonds that hang freely in a Gothic-inspired diamond framework. More large pear-shaped diamonds alternate with round diamonds along the top of the tiara. The design is attributed to Oscar Massin because an identical design was included in an 1878 display of his work.

Princess Louise
The Fife Tiara passed to Princess Louise’s eldest daughter, Princess Alexandra, and she, as Duchess of Fife in her own right, wore it to the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937. Alexandra was predeceased by her own son, so the title – and the tiara – passed down to her nephew, James Carnegie, the 3rd Duke. The tiara stayed within the family, though there’s really just about one public example of it in use in recent decades.

The Fife Tiara
Sotheby's/UK Government
And here’s the 2017 update: The Fife Tiara has been given to the U.K. government as part of the Acceptance in Lieu scheme and will be displayed at Kensington Palace! The Acceptance in Lieu program enables taxpayers to transfer important works of art and heritage objects into public ownership while paying Inheritance Tax; the 3rd Duke of Fife died in 2015. The government’s report on items accepted in 2017 (excerpted above and below; the full PDF is here) notes that the Fife Tiara was accepted as “pre-eminent under the second and third criteria” for assessing objects offered, which means that it was determined to have “especial artistic or art-historical interest” and was of “especial importance for the study of some particular form of art, learning or history”.

The government feature on the tiara
The government has now permanently assigned the tiara to Historic Royal Palaces, which manages Kensington Palace and other palaces, for “retention and display at Kensington Palace in accordance with the condition attached to the offer.”

The Fife family is also assumed to be in possession of another major tiara, Queen Victoria’s Emerald and Diamond Tiara. Which is interesting, considering this recent tweet from Historic Royal Palaces:


That would be sight to see, if we're talking about the real deal and if it might be shown at the same time as the Fife. We'll see what happens.

10 January 2018

Royal Outfit of the Day: More Semi-Casual for Meghan

And now for a brief check in with these two cozy lovebirds:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Reprezent 107.3FM in Brixton yesterday.
Embed from Getty Images
Literally cozy here, as the pair are once again winning at the coordinated coat game. It's another Canadian coat for Meghan, from Smythe, paired with a top from Marks & Spencer, trousers from Burberry, and a scarf from Jigsaw.

Kensington Palace
Meghan's once again winning at the semi-casual royal game in this page taken straight from the Things Seen in a, Like, Regular Workplace catalog. It's nice to see a wider leg trouser, and the lightly messy bun keeps it from getting too formal. Like it right down to the tortoiseshell heels.

09 January 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for January 9: Jewel Heists and Picture Highlights

HELLO. It's been a minute since we tidbit-ed together. Let's see if we can remember how it goes:

--Here are two sweet photos of Princess Charlotte, taken by the Duchess of Cambridge to commemorate Charlotte's first day at the Willcocks Nursery School yesterday. (And also, I assume, to commemorate her first contribution to our Royal Coat Museum.)
The Duchess of Cambridge

--I'll buy a ticket for the movie adaptation of this jewelry heist: A pair of jewel thieves pulled off a daring burglary in Venice, stealing earrings and a brooch from the Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajahs exhibition before disappearing into the crowds. The pieces are from the Al Thani Collection, which is owned by Qatar's ruling family and is regularly displayed around the world. [Guardian]

--In more photo news, new portraits of Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent of Denmark were released. The twins celebrated their seventh birthday yesterday.
Jens Rosenfeldt

--Aww, good news: Zara and Mike Tindall announced they are expecting their second child! The baby will join daughter Mia, who turns four later this month. The couple lost a baby after announcing a pregnancy in 2016. [BBC]

--The annual television programs remembering the royal year the Scandinavian monarchies always present us with a few never-before-seen goodies. Case in point: King Harald and Queen Sonja's big 2017 birthday banquet featured their grandkids interviewing some of the royals in attendance, and it's super cute. (Turn on the closed captions for English, and check out Scandinavian Royalty's YouTube channel for the 2017 documentaries and more.) [YouTube]

--Over at the Jewel Vault: I published my big yearly wrap up of QEII's jewels, including my tally of which brooches were worn most often. There's also an alert for a new documentary on the coronation, featuring the Queen herself and one massive brooch.

--And finally, taking a cue from 2017's bests to get a jump on her list of potential 2018 bests, Crown Princess Mette-Marit indulged in the power of a fab red dress at a sports gala this weekend.
Embed from Getty Images

Coming up this week: Time to start digging into the results of your 2017 Favorites vote, plus an update on a fan favorite diadem...

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!

08 January 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Spanish Royals at the Pascua Militar

Of all the ways Queen Letizia could have followed up her spectacular sartorial ownership of 2017, I gotta say, a sharp steer back to Edwardian times is not what I was expecting.

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, King Juan Carlos, and Queen Sofia attended the Pascua Militar, a military ceremony, on Saturday.
And yet! Blue velvet from head to toe for our Spanish queen for her first formal event of the new year, which asks for long skirts in the daytime for the ladies (much like the New Year's Court receptions in Denmark last week).

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Now, I generally approve of draping one's self in velvet whenever socially acceptable, but this particular Felipe Varela number...hmm. The buttons? I think the fancy buttons might be one fussy step too far. The aquamarine Bulgari earrings can stay, because yum.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia returned to this event for the first time since the abdication, and I think Sofia's been saving up all her floral power for this very moment. She is shiny.