30 November 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: The Coats & Hats of Mathilde & Máxima

Queen Mathilde and Queen Máxima found themselves on the same wavelength last week. (As they do, like, every other week or so.) This particular wavelength is the check coat + accent color accessories one, a tried and true formula on which they each put their own spin.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde visited Germany last week.
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Mathilde pulled a berry-licious shade out of her pattern and threw on a wide brim hat and matching purse, gloves, and shoes. That bit of swing on the coat? With that length? Yes, please. 

Queen Máxima participated in the second day of the Singapore state visit last week.
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Máxima was even more understated - inasmuch as we can call a big ol' olive hat understated, really. This one is much more attractive than anything I can call a big ol' olive hat has a right to be. I do love it.

Queen Máxima presented the Prince Bernhard Culture Foundation Award this week.
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Nothing to do with coats and hats, but you didn't really think we were going to leave it at Máx's most understated look, did ya? Not content with her tulip field look from this Claes Iversen color scheme, she's ordered one with a few more trimmings for the festive season. I wouldn't recommend this piñata look to anyone else on our regular rounds, but I don't know. I think she's pulling it off.

28 November 2018

Breaking Tiara News of the Day: Queen Letizia Debuts Another Tiara

Making breaking tiara news twice in one year! Way to go, Letizia.

The King and Queen of Spain hosted a state banquet today for the President and first lady of China during their state visit to Spain.
House of HM the King
On the heels of her debut of the Cartier Diamond and Pearl Tiara earlier this year, Queen Letizia has worn for the first time the other large diamond and pearl tiara lurking in the vaults: Queen Maria Christina’s Cartier Loop Tiara, last worn by Queen Sofia. (As always, click the tiara name for more on its history.)

House of HM the King
Letizia repeated the superb black velvet Felipe Varela dress she wore when debuting the big Fleur de Lys Tiara, and once again it proves to be the perfect backdrop for a mega tiara and a smattering of other major diamonds: the earrings and twin bracelets from the joyas de pasar.

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Also much like her debut of the big Fleur de Lys Tiara? This major diadem WORKS for her. She carries it - and styles it (did I tell you how much I love this dress?) - just right. And needless to say, she's welcome to keep up this string of debuts as long as she likes.

The Queen accompanied the first lady for events earlier in the day.
House of HM the King
Earlier in the day, the Queen made some headlines for a less fancy choice: an ASOS dress with floral and bird embroidery that costs just $119.
It's cute!

The previous day, the King and Queen hosted the presidential couple for a private dinner.
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While we're catching up on the state visit, one of those delectable diamond bracelets appeared yesterday with another repeated Felipe Varela dress. Wear 'em as often as possible, Queen L. As often as possible.

Royal Outfit of the Day: Mary at the Crown Prince Couple's Prizes

The annual Crown Prince Couple's Prizes were presented this weekend. Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary awarded prizes honoring work in cultural and social areas, and for up and coming innovators.
Bjarne Hermansen/Bikubenfonden
As she did last year, Crown Princess Mary used her prize appearance to try out something new-to-her in Danish design: bridal designer Maria Fekih (per StyleofMary and Heaven). It's a wool crepe cocktail dress with gold glitter dots on the top, overall a basic addition to the Little White Dress section of her wardrobe.

Maria Fekih "Esther" Dress
Mary added a matching belt with the gold dots. I kind of want a solid gold belt instead? Maybe?

Bjarne Hermansen/Bikubenfonden
Definite yes on the metallic sparkle shoes, though. And perhaps one of the rare times when I'll also give a strong yes to a coat simply draped over the shoulders. (Although when one can fully cape it instead, one should definitely still cape it.)

As perfectly demonstrated when the couple visited the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art during their trip to Aalborg for the prizes, see. CAPE IT.

27 November 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for November 27: Thieves! (And a Jordan Update)

Oh dear:

--The Portland Tiara was stolen last week. Thieves broke into the Portland Collection Gallery at the Welbeck Estate, smashed the armored display case, and made off with the valuable and historically important Cartier tiara, plus a diamond brooch. The brooch was created from diamond clusters that were once a part of the tiara. We covered the tiara's story a couple years ago, when it went on display to the public along with a rotating selection of treasures from the collection of the Dukes of Portland at their country estate. Horrendous news. [Nottingham Post]
The Portland Tiara
Nottinghamshire Police
The diamond brooch, also stolen
Nottinghamshire Police

--Over at the Jewel Vault, the Queen flipped things around for a change.

--What has Queen Rania been up to? Patterns, that's what. First, a cozy coat for a proud mom moment watching Princess Salma's Commissioning Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
Royal Hashemite Court Instagram

--And second, a really fun Andrew GN number as she and King Abdullah visited Japan. [Twitter]
Queen Rania Instagram

Coming up this week: Covering our M bases, I guess, with Máxima, Mathilde, and Mary. Also, a state visit from China to Spain.

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!

22 November 2018

Tiara Watch of the Day: The Netherlands/Singapore State Banquet

Hey-o, some more tiaras before we skedaddle for the holiday! I'm not even going to fuss with the day stuff, I'm cutting right to the sparkly bit:

The Dutch royal family hosted a state banquet for the President of Singapore and her husband on the first day of their state visit to the Netherlands.
So Queen Máxima is really into these oversized belt outfits by Claes Iversen: we also saw them at the Liberation Day Concert and during the British state visit. I'm not sold on a belt buckle this big for a tiara-level occasion, though. But I will take all the single sleeve interest I can get.

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Máx accessorized her berry palette with rubies and diamonds. We saw her chose the Ruby Peacock Tiara for a black tie banquet in Canada and it works in the same context here, at an evening where the ladies left the sashes at home. The rubies and diamonds echo the red and white in the flag of Singapore - although rubies are a popular choice for Máxima anyway, no reason needed. I like the Peacock on her a lot; it is, I would say, among the most festive jewels in the Dutch collection. And Máx, you know, is a festive gal.

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More tiaras were on hand! Princess Beatrix chose her favorite, Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara. Throw on a diamond rivière, a sprinkling of diamond stars, a purple dress (and some purple eye shadow, bless her), and you're good to go.

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Princess Margriet pulled another tiara from the smaller end of the family vault for the evening's festivities: the Dutch Emerald Parure Tiara. This one really suits her - kind of a pointless thing to say because I can't recall a tiara that doesn't suit Margriet - but her hair backs up the taller top point of this one nicely anyway.

Princess Laurentien was there, too; you can spot her towards the beginning of this video shared by Rick Evers. She wore the Dutch Aquamarine Tiara. (Worth your time to watch the sparkle in action here, by the way.)

And that's that! Enjoy your Thanksgiving, if you're celebrating. We'll see you back here on Tuesday.

21 November 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Monaco National Day & Sussex Royal Variety Round Up

Time to clear the decks from Monday's big events, because there's another state visit happening and a holiday coming up. Let's do this snap judgement style. (Psst: Tomorrow is a US holiday but we will likely have a state visit post up, so do check in.)

Monaco's princely family celebrated National Day, starting with a Te Deum, review at the palace, and some window balcony appearances.
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Princess Charlene, in Akris: The hat can stay. So, that's something.

Princess Caroline, in Chanel: This hat can go. Or at least the lace band can go.

Princess Stephanie: Red! Color suits her.

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Tatiana Santo Domingo: She could nearly pass for a Windsor with her solid navy coat and Philip Treacy headpiece. It's the interesting shoes that give her away.

Princess Alexandra: Her mother's daughter in that suit, that's for sure.

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Beatrice Borromeo, in Armani Privé: Chocolate velvet accents? YES PLEASE. Winter neutrals done right.

Monaco Info
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The Babies: Grandma Caroline quite literally has her hands full these days. Two out of three 2018 family additions made their debuts: Francesco (son of Pierre and Beatrice) and Maximilian (son of Andrea and Tatiana).

The family also attended the evening gala.
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Princess Charlene, in Akris: To be impressed by her commitment to lining up her Order of St. Charles sash with the color division in her gown, or to be confused that it now looks like a racing stripe...that is the question.

Princess Caroline, in Stella McCartney: Queen Letizia's sublime appearance in a version of this dress is a hard act to follow. Not really advisable to try, honestly.

Beatrice Borromeo, in Armani Privé: Once again taking the prize. 

Elsewhere, on Monday the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the Royal Variety Performance.
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Duchess of Sussex, in Safiyaa: Nope. To all of it. Sorry. Blame it on that added halter strap (which is tacked on there like it was a hasty decision, which it probably wasn't, which makes it worse).

20 November 2018

Tiara Watch of the Day: The Belgian/French State Visit

Lots of royal events yesterday. I'm going to start with a woman that I think really hit it out of the park all day: Queen Mathilde.

The Belgians welcomed France for a state visit, and as you might expect when an important neighbor comes to visit, it warranted something a little special. Queen Mathilde went full couture and turned to custom designs from the two labels that dress her best: Dior and Armani.

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For the day, Mathilde wore Christian Dior. She started wearing couture pieces from the legendary maison when Belgian designer Raf Simons was at the helm. I think this is her first Dior since he left, and it maintains the same high level. Beautifully cut and crafted. This is one of her best outfits of the year.

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I might have called her day outfit the best of the year - but then the state banquet happened. And just look...

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Armani, man. Recalling the magnificent off the shoulder black velvet gown from a few years back, this burgundy velvet is classic glam at its very best. The only problem here is not Mathilde's problem, really; had she been wearing a thinner sash, she could have gotten away with this placement. The wider version that belongs to France's Legion of Honor, however, doesn't make the turn at the shoulder as well. (Not all orders offer a thinner sash for women.) It's the only mark against what is otherwise perfection.

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Don't miss the sparkle on the sleeves. Oh, and the tiara: the bandeau portion of the Nine Provinces Tiara. Fits right in with how Mathilde has been using the tiaras at her disposal since becoming queen: an important tiara for an important state visit, but not the full thing as a big European monarchy-to-monarchy visit might warrant.

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Squint through this slightly awkward double row group pose, and you'll find Prince Lorenz, Princess Astrid, Prince Laurent, and Princess Claire. Princess Astrid wore the Savoy-Aosta Tiara; Princess Claire wore her Pearl and Diamond Tiara. We do always appreciate a couple bonus diadems.

19 November 2018

Monday Tidbits for November 19: Weddings and Tiaras Ahoy

Tiara sightings right now and (hopefully) in the wedding-related future:

--The Greek royal family announced the engagement of Princess Theodora, daughter of King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie, and Matthew Kumar. The Princess is an actress (as Theodora Greece) on The Bold and the Beautiful and her fiancé is a lawyer in Los Angeles. Theodora will be the last of Queen Ingrid of Denmark's granddaughters to marry; all the rest have continued the family tradition of wearing the Khedive of Egypt Tiara with the family's antique wedding veil on their wedding days.
Greek Royal Family

--Zac Posen posted a few more pictures of the custom gown he made for Princess Eugenie at her evening wedding reception: the back before the York rose/wheat ear embroidery was added, and the waistline. [Instagram]
Zac Posen Instagram

--The Belgian royal household posted a new set of portraits of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. Queen Mathilde is wearing a repeated Armani Privé gown and the full Nine Provinces Tiara. [Photos: Royal Palace]

--Over at the Jewel Vault: We covered Charles' birthday party, of course, and you can scan the comments for pictures of guests that have been added since the day. And then QEII teamed up with King Harald for an engagement since he was in town and all.

--A tiara sighting last week in the United States! Princess Margriet continued her tradition of bringing something sparkly from the Dutch family vaults with her to attend the annual Peter Stuyvesant Ball in New York City. She wore the diamond base of the Antique Pearl Tiara, without the pearls on top. [Telegraaf]
Telegraaf screencap

--And finally, there's a new picture special for Prince Charles' birthday with photos by Chris Jackson, including this precious moment with Prince Louis.

Coming up this week: Um, a whole lot. Monaco's National Day, a state visit in Belgium, and the Sussexes at the Royal Variety Performance - that's all happening today - plus a state visit to the Netherlands later in the week. We'll do our best to get to it all...

 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!

16 November 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Kate's Repeats

The Duchess of Cambridge's been on a repeat streak lately, have you noticed? Not everything has been a repeat, obvs, but she added two more to the list this week:

On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited South Yorkshire.
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She did some shopping in the expansive blue section of her wardrobe first, bringing out this Eponine London number from last year. Serviceable then, serviceable now.

On Thursday, the Duke and Duchess visited BBC Broadcasting House during Anti-Bullying Week.
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Then it was time for the third appearance of this Emilia Wickstead dress. This engagement featured perhaps the strongest speech William's ever given, calling out technology companies for their lack of action on cyberbullying. (You can read it here or watch it here.) Which means that it was a smart choice for Kate to dig out a repeated outfit, because it kept the fashion conversation to a minimum and left more space for coverage of the speech. It wasn't the day for her to debut the head-to-toe neon zebra ensemble she's definitely got sitting in the back of her closet.

I've seen a lot of theorizing on why, since returning from maternity leave, Kate's been in a repeat mood. But most explanations you want to throw at it will work (she's just reviewed the floor plans for the future Royal Coat Museum and it turns out the square footage situation is already a nightmare!), so I have a different question for you: not why but what?

For the purposes of our Friday frivolity, what do you want to see her dust off next? Today I'm feeling like that Armani suit needs another round...

15 November 2018

Royal Jewels of the Day: Marie Antoinette's Jewels at the Bourbon Parma Auction

Looking for the Prince of Wales' birthday party coverage? Click right here to check it out at the Jewel Vault.

Yesterday, Sotheby's auctioned what they called "one of the most important royal jewelry collections ever to come to auction," a collection of jewels belonging to the Bourbon Parma family. The sale offered the tantalizing prospect of owning jewels that belonged to Marie Antoinette - some of which hadn't been seen in public in 200 years. Add in jewels that come from the rest of the family's long and rich royal roots, including Habsburg heritage, and you have a sale chock full of history.

When King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette prepared to flee Paris in 1791, the Queen packed her diamonds, rubies, and pearls into a wooden chest and sent them to the care of her family in Vienna. The King and Queen were captured and later executed in 1793. Their only surviving child, Marie-Thérèse (known as Madame Royale) was released a few years later and made it to Austria. There she was able to collect her mother's jewels from her cousin, the Austrian Emperor.

The Marie Antoinette jewels at this auction went from Marie-Thérèse to her niece and adoptive daughter, Louise Marie Thérèse of Artois, Duchess of Parma. The gems then traveled down Louise's tree of descendants to her son, Robert I, Duke of Parma, and then his son, Elias, and his wife Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria.

The highlight of the auction was this "exceptional and highly important natural pearl and diamond pendant", a natural drop-shaped pearl. As set when owned by Marie Antoinette, it was the pendant on a three row pearl necklace.

The pearl pendant had a pre-sale estimate of $992,810 - $1,975,692. It sold for $36,165,090. Yes, that's right. THIRTY-SIX MILLION DOLLARS. Technically $32 million plus fees. (You could say there was a bit of hype around this auction.) Sotheby's says that's a record price paid for a pearl at auction. The buyer has so far wished to remain anonymous.

This triple strand of pearls was used to hold the pearl pendant above originally; the pearls have been restrung since then and the necklace is now shorter. The necklace brought in the second highest price at the auction: $2,278,499.

Third highest price at the auction went to another piece with  Marie Antoinette history, a double ribbon bow design set with cushion-shaped and circular-cut diamonds dating from the second half of the 18th century. It has a supporting a detachable pear-shaped diamond pendant of yellow tint, probably dating from the early 19th century. Price: $2,099,793.

The highest price for a tiara at the sale went to this very symbolic diadem. The diamond tiara is attributed to Hübner in 1912 and includes fleur de lys motifs millegrain-set with multiple cuts of diamonds. The three largest motifs are detachable and can be worn as brooches. The diamonds were originally set in a plaque of the order of the Saint-Esprit of Charles X, King of France. Price: $967,990.

This "superb diamond demi-parure" went for $848,853. The diamonds come from Charles Ferdinand d’Artois, Duke of Berry, Charles X’s son; Marie-Thérèse of France, Madame Royale, Marie Antoinette’s daughter; and Princess Isabelle of Croÿ, Archduchess Frederich of Austria.

The demi-parure consists of a diamond rivière composed of a graduated row of cushion-shaped diamond collets, with detachable pear-shaped pendants; a brooch set with cushion-shaped diamonds, with three detachable pear-shaped diamond pendants; and a pair of earrings, each set with a cushion-shaped diamond. The brooch can also be worn as a clasp for the diamond rivière.

That's just a few of the highlights from the auction. One of the most important royal jewelry collections ever to come to auction sounds about right to me.

14 November 2018

Tiara Watch of the Day: Sweden's State Visit from Italy

The Swedish royal family welcomed the President of Italy and his daughter for a state visit yesterday with all the appropriate pomp and circumstance - glittering state banquet included.

Welcome ceremony first, though. This is a loose blue color scheme for the ladies and I like the assortment very much. I don't often have a lot to say about Queen Silvia but there's some frills here and some accent teal and I'm digging the combo. Crown Princess Victoria's blue is nicely detailed; I won't be surprised if some other royal Hugo Boss aficionados pick up Princess Sofia's dress.

By Malina Ginger Dress in Dove Blue for Victoria; Hugo Boss Contoured Business Dress in Blue for Sofia (per Heaven)

For the state banquet, some pretty big jewels came out to play. (Yay!)

Queen Silvia's not about to let the fact that she chose a blue stone (the luscious Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure) stop her from wearing purple. Atta queen. Her sash is the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, same as the other members of the royal family are wearing.

Crown Princess Victoria was the one that really surprised me. The Bernadotte Emerald Demi-Parure is a big set and I love seeing these pieces become a more regular part of her repertoire, combined with a new gown and the Six Button Tiara. This is, like, Nobel-level dressing up. I APPROVE.

Zetterberg Couture for Sofia (also per Heaven)
Princess Sofia's skirt is actually from a wedding collection, yet it doesn't ping overly bridal to me. I'm always game to see how a ball skirt is styled. She left the green gems to her sister-in-law and wore her Wedding Tiara without emeralds.

Is this a warm up for next month's Nobels? Because I'm ready.

13 November 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Letizia and Mathilde

Just a couple of queens, going about their queenly business.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia started a state visit to Peru yesterday.
House of HM the King
Unfortunately for Letizia, that queenly business isn't quite as glam on this state visit as it would be back home; they didn't have a big fancy state banquet. (And when I say unfortunately for Letizia, I mean unfortunately for us.) Letizia has a new Carolina Herrera dress and it is fine. Stripes! What's not to like?

The King and Queen attended the Valencian Economy Night last week.
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I'll get some jewels in here somehow, don't you worry. Letizia's black diamond earrings and the bracelets from the joyas de pasar spiced up her repeated Hugo Boss jumpsuit at this previous event. That's how you do it.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde commemorated the centenary of the armistice with events including a special Last Post ceremony and a concert with the Canadian Governor General as a guest.
Belgian Monarchy
Belgian Monarchy
Queen Mathilde's always going to look sharp when she needs to, she's got this down pat. Her green concert outfit is a repeat, but I'm here for any time she wants to throw in some accent accessories. The blush pink shoes and bag make the look for me.

12 November 2018

Monday Tidbits for November 12: Birthdays and Remembrance

In case you didn't tune in over the weekend:

--A lot of remembrance events are happening since this year marks the centenary of the armistice. We covered the British royal remembrance events in full over at the Vault, so hop over there to get caught up: Festival of Remembrance, Remembrance Sunday, and the Armistice Centenary Service.
MOD Crown copyright 2018

--Additionally, Prince Harry visited the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey again. It's a solemn duty but regimental mascots will always lighten up the mood. That's Watchman VI, the incoming mascot for the Staffordshire Regiment Association, terribly excited to see the royal guest. Watchman V, the outgoing mascot, is over it. Seen plenty of royal guests in his day. [Zimbio]
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--In Japan, the imperial family held their Autumn Garden Party. The great news here is that Crown Princess Masako was able to attend the full party for the first time in 15 years. (Also there were kimonos, which is always great news.) [Imperial Family of Japan Blog, NHK]

--I didn't really care for the documentary on the Queen and the Commonwealth earlier this year, but the BBC did a good job with another one for the Prince of Wales' 70th birthday. Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70 is available here (as of this writing). Here's the best bit:
Chaz is as delighted by turkeys as his mother is by cows, this family loves their livestock.

--That documentary gave us a new photo of Prince Charles bonding with Prince Louis and the Duchess of Cambridge. New stamps released for his birthday give us a new portrait of Charles with Prince William and Prince Harry. [Hello]
Royal Mail

--And finally, also over at the Jewel Vault: The Queen herself says these diamonds are "magnificent ones". 

Coming up this week: Spain is out state visiting, Charles has his birthday, 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!

09 November 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Earrings & Lace with Mary & Kate

Finishing the week with two ladies who unknowingly coordinated on the same fabulous theme: mega earrings with lotsa lace.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Tusk Conservation Awards last night.
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It's baaaaaack! Kate finally repeated the Jenny Packham teal dress that's been a fan favorite ever since she wore it in 2012. Still a fan favorite?

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The first appearance, at the Team GB gala in 2012.
I'm gonna say yes, with the caveat that I miss the updo. She gave it a MAJOR earring upgrade this time, going from faux stones to Diamond Chandelier Earrings on loan from the Queen - but you can only see them in select pictures from the night. (Also, remember the back? Crime to cover that up, really.)

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary attended a dinner as their tour of Italy continued this week.
Mary's right in step, making her contribution with a Dolce & Gabbana basic black lace dress. (Italian designers for an Italian trip, see. She also wore some Armani.) And she's still doing her part to further the Purple Is The New Black cause, bless.

Shabana Earrings by Amrita Singh
Also doing her part for today's mega earring theme! Not mega in value, perhaps, but about as mega in scale as you can get. Maybe would've preferred something with a silver tone to go with the purple, though? 

During their trip, the crown princely couple had an audience with the Pope.
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This one works with our theme too. Mary stuck to the traditional choices when visiting the Vatican, black with a veil. Traditional jewelry, even, adding a brooch and wearing pearl and diamond earrings. I detect a collar clash between her coat and shirt, but the rest of this is pretty solid.