27 May 2016

Royal Fashion Awards: Prince Oscar's Christening (Updated)

Programming Note: It's a holiday weekend in my corner of the world and a holiday weekend for the blog too! We will return on Wednesday.

Prince Oscar of Sweden, Duke of Skåne has been christened, and the Swedes have had another chance to break out the baby sash of the Order of the Seraphim. We’re all winners today. (Watch the ceremony here, and see our open post here.)
Nobody can outdo a baby in an elaborate royal christening gown – the one worn by Prince Oscar was first used in 1906 – but Oscar’s attentive entourage still brought their best for us to review. We've got some awards to hand out, yes we do.

Update: And we have some beautiful official photographs as well! Check them out throughout the entry, and click to enlarge.

Best in Family Coordination
Crown Princess Victoria & Co.
Anna-Lena Ahlström, Kungahuset.se
Victoria was summery in a white By Malina dress and Philip Treacy hat, and maybe just a touch sporty too, given the almost mesh-like effect of this dress and the mesh on the hat. A good look? Absolutely. Made even better by the addition of a Mini Me? You better believe it.
Read more about the brooches - portraits of the King - worn by the Swedish royal ladies here.
Princess Estelle matched her mother in white, with a wee fascinator occupying her usual hair bow spot like millinery training wheels for a future hat star. I think it’s the strand of pearls that really did me in.

Best in Other Family Coordination
Queen Silvia
Henrik Garlöv, Kungahuset.se
Another christening, another soft color, another shift dress for Queen Silvia. I can’t blame her for sticking to any of those, nor can I blame her for opting for an outfit that allows her to wear this pearl necklace. The outfit's standard, the hat's deceptively nonstandard - all business at the front, with a little sculptural party at the back.
You  know what I really loved about this choice? She coordinated perfectly with Daniel’s mother, Ewa Westling, who also looked quite elegant. How can you not love a united grandma front?

Most Dramatic Godmother Style
Princess Madeleine
Anna-Lena Ahlström, Kungahuset.se
I imagine Madeleine has already been fielding inquiries from Queen Máxima about this dress – no way does a sleeve this dramatic slip past our Dutch queen. Perhaps Madeleine needed some literal room up her sleeves for tricks with which to wrangle a squirmy Princess Leonore. Prince Nicolas, on the other hand, sat with Chris O'Neill and contentedly and hilariously played with what appeared to be a light-up toothbrush.
Madeleine's dress from Roksanda Ilincic
Madeleine exercised restraint in every other aspect of this outfit and balanced the interest of the sleeves with the texture of the floral headpiece, making this perhaps the most successful royal implementation yet of that mad Lumière sleeve.

Most Sparkling Godmother Style
Crown Princess Mette-Marit
Well, of course Mette-Marit didn’t wear a proper hat. (If you were expecting her to, you were just setting yourself up for disappointment, be honest.) I’ll accept it on grounds of pure sparkliness, from the headband to the pearl and diamond earrings to the diamond and aquamarine brooch interestingly deployed at her neckline.
Henrik Garlöv, Kungahuset.se
Even the dress seemed to have a bit of flash under the lights, which came as a welcome surprise. She's another that can work this schoolgirl neckline, even with the headband addition - but again, this one's taken up several notches by the jewels.

Best in Superhero Style
Princess Sofia
Is Sofia actively campaigning for a spot on my list of favorite royals? Because wearing a cape to a christening is one heckuva campaign strategy, I'll tell you that much.
This cape-back dress from Antonio Berardi (a designer I’d like to see more royals wear, by the way) is beyond fabulous. She’s got me excited for Prince Alexander’s christening already.

Most…Interesting in the Millinery Show
Princess Christina
Is it a giant goth flower? Is it the aftermath of a helicopter crash? Princess Christina’s millinery selection is a story prompt waiting to happen. Princess Margaretha, the only other one of King Carl Gustaf’s sisters to attend, was a more calming vision in purples.

Best of the Millinery Show
Crown Princess Mary
This christening was a sea of little fascinators and other hat-ish sorts of things. Thank the hat gods for Mary and her giant statement chapeau! This is a loud hat done in a quiet sort of way, though, not in an oops-I-got-lost-on-the-way-to-Ascot sort of way. (Although she could wear this to Ascot, and she should, so let's brainstorm a way to get her there tout de suite.)
Dress by Max Mara (per StyleofMary), hat by Susanne Juul
She sweeps the Best in Guest stakes with zero competition in sight. Very well played indeed.

Who makes your christening best dressed list?

A few more official photos for the road (all by Anna-Lena Ahlström, Kungahuset.se):

BIG thank you as always to Sarah from The Royals & I/Swedish Royal Clothing IDs for speedy dress identifications!

Photos: Kingahuset as indicated, SVT screencaps, Getty Images as indicated, Avenue32, Net-a-porter, Max Mara

Prince Oscar's Christening: The Open Post

Greetings! This is the place to chat if you'll be watching and enjoying the christening of Prince Oscar of Sweden, son of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. The service is scheduled to start at noon in Stockholm. Update: The christening is now over, but you can watch the replay at the link below, usually available for a limited time.

The Swedish royal court released the names of Prince Oscar's godparents yesterday:
  • HRH Crown Prince Frederik
  • HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit
  • HRH Princess Madeleine
  • Mr. Oscar Magnuson (Victoria's cousin)
  • Mr. Hans Åström (Daniel's cousin)

Here's our post on the christening wrap up. Please mind the comment policy as always, and have fun!

26 May 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Tiaras of Princess Laurentien

Quick programming note: Prince Oscar's christening is tomorrow! If you're planning on watching live, you can join us here for an open post. The service starts at noon in Stockholm (and here's that time zone converter again). A link to stream will be included in the open post. Now, on with today's regularly scheduled programming...

Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands turned 50 yesterday, and you know I like to celebrate with tiaras. Laurentien, wife of Prince Constantijn and sister-in-law of King Willem-Alexander, doesn't have a lot of tiara events on her schedule; the odd gala event at home and the occasional big international event is pretty much it. But even so, the generous lending policies in the Dutch royal house mean she's tried out a fair few tiaras. It's time for a tiara retrospective - as always, click the tiara name for more.

She started out with a classic when she married Prince Constantijn in 2001, complementing the strong lines of her wedding gown with a laurel wreath tiara somewhere around 200 years old.

Laurentien also took on another plant-based classic in her early princessing days, wearing the family's Ears of Wheat Tiara to the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in 2001. The tiara does better with a little hair piled up behind it, but the motif certainly worked with the dress.

The inverted v-shape of this tiara has a tendency to look like it's about to fall off the head, something I found emphasized when Laurentien wore it. (Not that it was much noticed with this particular outfit. No, it wasn't one of her bests - but we needn't dwell on that for this birthday girl.)

Princess Beatrix's favorite tiara has graced Laurentien's head a couple of times. The diamonds in the center of each motif can be replaced with rubies; Laurentien is partial to wearing it with only one central ruby, which I don't quite understand when you could have the more complete look of three rubies. It's my favorite tiara on her anyway. Just as it suits Beatrix's hair, it also suits Laurentien's short 'do.

That short 'do makes her uniquely suited to show off tiaras with detailed bases, and she certainly did so with the family's aquamarine tiara. That massive aquamarine pendant hanging from a bow brooch associated with the Stuart Tiara/House Diamond Parure doesn't hurt, either.

What's your favorite tiara on Princess Laurentien?

Royal Duo of the Day: May 26

How much do we love a queen's night out? Queen Mathilde invited Queen Máxima to attend a session of the piano finals for the Queen Elisabeth Competition last night.
Royal Palace
Queen Máxima tried out a long tunic over a pair of trousers. This is a strategy regularly deployed by the Duchess of Cornwall for evening events (day events too), and it can be surprisingly glam when done right. Of course, Camilla's tunics usually aren't adorned with doilies.

Queen Mathilde's sartorial highlight for the competition came a little earlier, attending another evening with King Philippe.
Royal Palace
Would not have thought Mathilde would go for the semi-boho look, but it totally works for her. She got the styling just right here, from the hair to the chunky gold accessories. Diane von Furstenberg proves to be a good choice once again.
Diane von Furstenberg

25 May 2016

Royal State Visit of the Day: May 25

The Norwegian royal family welcomed the President and First Lady of Poland for a state visit this week. The welcome ceremony on Monday was dampened (literally) by a dreary rain...

L to R: Princess Astrid, Crown Prince Haakon, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, President Andrzej Duda, King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Princess Mette-Marit
Liv Osmundsen, Det kongelige hoff
...and it seems the royal welcoming outfits were dampened by a bit of the same. It's a fair bet Queen Sonja's incongruous choice of heavy black boots with this lovely bright outfit was influenced by the puddles outside. Likewise, the need for constant umbrellas obscured Crown Princess Mette-Marit's very interesting striped hat selection. What would look like an Ascot prison break on many might just be working for her, if only we could see it better. Blame it all on the rain.

Mette-Marit actually wore galoshes outside, as you can see in the above video. Comfort and safety must have been the primary concerns, because she ended up pulling out of the evening's state banquet due to her ongoing back pain issues.

Queen Sonja brought the ruffles in her place. Extra ruffles, actually, just to make up the difference. It's a curious match for the grand Norwegian emerald tiara, but that's never stopped her in the past. Princess Astrid gamely sported her most antenna-esque aigrette (which, as you may have seen me tweet, is amusingly animated in movement).
Presidency of the Republic of Poland Twitter
Mette-Marit wasn't down for long, thankfully. She returned on day 2 with a soft pink reminder that she looks excellent in pastels. (Hopefully she'll stay well - she's got Prince Oscar's christening on Friday to attend! Everyone's calling Crown Prince Frederik as a lock for a godparent, and I think M-M is too.)