19 June 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: British Royals at Garter Day

Ah, Garter Day, the one day in the royal year when a dramatic velvet cape and a jaunty feather in your cap isn't just desirable, it's mandatory.

On Garter Day, the Queen gathers the Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior order of chivalry in Britain. Appointment to the Order is the Queen's gift and up to 24 Knights Companion can be members at any time. Two new members were installed yesterday, Dame Mary Fagan and Viscount Brookeborough.

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Then of course you have the Royal Knights and Ladies, those members of the royal family that have the Order of the Garter: the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Princess Royal, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra. Absent this year was the retired Duke of Edinburgh. (Incidentally, Royal Knights and Ladies do not count towards that 24 member maximum. Stranger Knights and Ladies, the foreign monarchs the Queen has honored with the Garter, also do not count towards that max.)

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The members wear their Mantle (robe) and Bonnet (hat), along with the Collar and Great George of the Order of the Garter. (See the links for more details.) No one's mantle is more impressive than Her Maj's own, which requires two pages to manage. It's no surprise that she chose to ride in her car rather than walking to St. George's Chapel with the rest of her crew yesterday. As always, she and her enormous earrings - Queen Mary's Floret Earrings - have already been covered at the Jewel Vault.

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The royal ladies supporting their Royal Knight husbands were the Duchess of Cornwall, the Countess of Wessex, and the Duchess of Gloucester. While Camilla's sharp black and white outfit is new, the hat has been worn with a navy and white outfit in the past. I don't see a huge color difference and yet I don't like the crossing of the navy/black streams even in theory.

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Sophie's remixing her repeats again, including another hat redo. She added some festive frippery of her own to this chapeau and tied in the black from the dress. The dress is an Emilia Wickstead landscape print with horses galloping through it and I gather the print is even supposed to show an abstract Windsor Castle view. A frock with a built-in wink, of course I love it.

Emilia Wickstead Fall 2012 RTW
The Countess was my favorite royal wedding guest when she debuted this dress in Luxembourg in 2012, with a black belt and black accessories. Much as I adore her remixing, I'm thinking we need to bring back the black. No?