28 July 2014

Royal Repeat of the Day: July 28

The King and Queen of Spain visited Santiago de Compostela last week.
A gorgeous dress in the softest of pinks for Letizia last week, a color that I love almost every time because it flatters almost anyone.
And if it looks familiar, that's because this is a repeat from one very notable occasion: the 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
I have to say, I have grown to love the fact that when Letizia wears a hat (which is pretty much only at foreign royal occasions, because the hats-n-gloves thing really isn't the way the Spanish royal family operates) she wears a hat - back in 2011, she stuck just about every kind of hat ornament on the thing she could manage. But still, without the matching accessories, I'm able to pay attention to all the little details on this dress, and I'm appreciating it so much more this time around. Well played.

Photos: Carlos Alvarez and Carl De Souza/AFP via Getty Images

25 July 2014

Royal Family Outing of the Day: July 25

The Danish royal family posed for their annual photocall at the start of their summer vacation at Gråsten Palace.
Luckily a whole family affair offers us a large selection of potential focal points, including a very sharply dressed Princess Benedikte (my personal best dressed for the day), because I don't know what's happening right here:
This is just...I mean...what?! Does it get better in motion?

Video, above
No. No it does not. Le sigh.

Photos: Billed-Bladet video/Robin Utrecht Photography via Getty Images

24 July 2014

Tiara Thursday: The Russian Large Pearl Pendant Tiara

The Russian Large Pearl Pendant Tiara
One of the most imposing pieces in a collection full of imposing pieces, this pearl and diamond tiara was referred to as the Diadem of Ancient Pearls in Russia's imperial family. Made in the early 19th century, it is a complicated structure of Brazilian diamonds and ancient pearls, with a graduated top line and a center row of dangling pearl drops. As originally worn the tiara is shaped tightly and forms a near-complete circle.
Alexandra Feodorovna
The pearl diadem was last worn by the last tsarina, Alexandra Feodorovna. Some have referred to it as her favorite tiara, which I've always found an intriguing statement as she was known for her rejection of the grand court life, a point of contention between the empress and the ladies of the court. Whatever her feelings on this piece, its grand scale was certainly fitting for her place. That same scale would probably make it a very rarely worn tiara if it existed in an active royal family today - but we'll never know, as it was collected with the rest of the imperial jewels by the Bolsheviks when the revolution hit and it's been lost ever since.

Where does this rank on your list of favorite pearl tiaras?

Photos: Fersman/Wikimedia Commons

Royal Birthday of the Week: July 24

Prince George of Cambridge turned 1 this week, and new pictures were released.
No, I didn't forget that Prince George had a birthday. I just like to save up my doses of cuteness for when I really need them, like on a Thursday, when I need one last push to get me to the end of the week. I'm strategic like that.
Just to throw some fashion into the mix: the proud mum wore this cute green Suzannah dress, which we've previously seen her wear under her green Erdem coat.
Photo: John Stillwell/WPA Pool via Getty Images and Suzannah

23 July 2014

Royal Outfit of the Day: July 23

The King and Queen of Spain visited France yesterday, part of their introductory visits to nearby countries.
I do believe I like this one! It's tremendously blergh - some are saying pink, I see beige - but I'm getting something of a balletic feel here, no? Just me? At any rate, we can definitely add anything that reminds me of ballet to my long list of weaknesses.

Video, above

Photo: Antoine Antoniol via Getty Images

22 July 2014

Royal Hat of the National Day: July 22

The Belgian royal family celebrated National Day yesterday. Among other events, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde led the way at the Brussels Te Deum with their four children. The Te Deum was followed by a military parade.
King Albert and Queen Paola stayed away from the first National Day after Albert's abdication, presumably to make sure focus remained on the new faces of the royal family. But, well...
...I think Mathilde had a back up plan to grab that focus, just in case.
(This is a Máxima hat to be sure, and indeed she does have similar models in her closet - though I'm sure she's just as surprised as we are that she wasn't the first to own it in orange. Obviously outfits like this are a long time in planning, but I do suppose some might interpret donning the Dutch national color as a nod to a country in mourning after last week's flight tragedy. Donning it in such an exuberant fashion, however, is all Mathilde.)

Photos: Mark Renders via Getty Images, RTBF video, @MonarchieBe

18 July 2014

Royal Flashback of the Day: July 18

I stumbled on this little gem of a documentary on YouTube the other day, and was quite merrily transported back to London, 1960. It's too good not to share (well, I don't think I've shared it before...), so here's your dose of Friday pretty:

A documentary on Princess Margaret's wedding, in color. Part 1 is above; click here for Part 2 and here for Part 3.
I'm making this a bit of a long weekend, so enjoy one of the best royal wedding gowns of all time in action, and I'll see you back here on Tuesday!

17 July 2014

Tiara Thursday: Princess Alexia's Diamond Tiara

Princess Alexia's Diamond Tiara
Today's tiara belongs to Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark, oldest child of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie. It is said to have been a gift to Alexia from her parents. The tiara is a densely packed design of varied motifs that form ovals around a center line of round diamonds. The largest diamond in the diadem is a pear-shaped diamond mounted at the very top.
In her early years, Princess Alexia borrowed her mother's Antique Corsage Tiara (on at least one occasion), and she followed family tradition as a descendant of Queen Ingrid of Denmark and used the Khedive of Egypt Tiara on her wedding day. But for the most part - exclusively, in years since her wedding - Alexia wears her own tiara. She loaned it for the first time to her younger sister Princess Theodora for Princess Madeleine of Sweden's wedding in 2013 (which Alexia did not attend); at that wedding, their sister-in-law Princess Tatiana was also present, wearing the Antique Corsage Tiara that Theodora usually borrows.
I've always thought this was a great medium-sized tiara for someone that only uses one (and wouldn't we all love to have just one...). The design is, as I said, densely packed, so that from afar it blends together and creates rather solid looking piece; yet when the light catches the tiara just right, the design takes on a delicate lacy feel. Despite the fact that the Greek royals were deposed long ago and hold no tiara events of their own, they have close ties to other monarchies and so their tiara collection still gets a lot of use (particularly in Denmark, as Queen Anne-Marie is one of Queen Margrethe's sisters). And it's always a treat to see Alexia give this one a show.

How do you rate this tiara?

Photos: AOP, Dominique Charriau/WireImage and Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images

Royal Hat of the Day: July 17

Video: Last week, Queen Mathilde christened a new naval vessel.
Oh dear. Mathilde seems to have gotten her head stuck in a roll of masking tape. That's awkward.

Photos: Belgian Defense video

16 July 2014

Royal Visit of the Day: July 16

This week, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia have been on an official trip to Morocco, visiting King Mohammed VI and Princess Lalla Salma. On day 2, the ladies visited a cancer research center.
They were a study in contrasts on day one - Letizia sleek and cool in her gray arrival suit and button-down shirt with fancy skirt for the dinner, Lalla Salma exuberant in her pink trousers followed by a majestic turn in her caftan and jewels - but they were a perfectly matched pair the next day as they took on Rabat in their monochrome outfits. Hilariously well-matched, actually, each with their own little retro flair. They're like two-thirds of a time-traveling royal Charlie's Angels remake waiting to happen. (Someone needs to make that happen.)

Photo: Chris Jackson via Getty Images

15 July 2014

Royal Birthday of the Week: July 15

Crown Princess Victoria turned 37 yesterday and was joined by the rest of the Swedish royal family for their traditional celebrations at Solliden Palace, Öland.
Happy birthday Victoria! Accompanied by the King and Queen, Prince Daniel, and Princess Estelle, the birthday girl started out by greeting crowds dressed elegantly in white with a cardigan, but the fashion "news" belonged to WEE ESTELLE and her WEE PONYTAIL:
That's right, they did it again - another family dress pulled out and given a new life. Love it.

Later, the crew (minus Estelle) was joined by Prince Carl Philip, Sofia Hellqvist, Princess Madeleine, and Chris O'Neill for the annual Victoriadagen concert. As always, Victoria and Queen Silvia wore traditional dress (and they are the only two that do, for this event).
And they promptly got drenched. The concert's been rained on in the past, so everyone comes prepared to model the finest in plastic rain gear. You'd think they could ask for a canopy or something if they really wanted to, but nope - they just embrace the opportunity to laugh at each other as they get trapped inside their ponchos. (And I kinda love that about them. Right?!)

For the concert and some video from earlier, click here.

Photos: Luca Teuchmann/WireImage via Getty Images, and SVT video

14 July 2014

Royal Outfit of the Day: July 14

Make that Princely...er...Casiraghi Outfit of the Day, I suppose.
Charlotte Casiraghi attended the Vogue Foundation Gala in Paris last week.
Well, I do believe Ms. Casiraghi has found the absolute perfect gown to match her nonchalant couture-wearing image - a gown every bit as sleek and cool as she seems to be. Absolutely perfect, no?
Charlotte's gown is from Gucci Resort 2015. She has a long-standing relationship with the label; Gucci designs her equestrian wear and she is the face of Gucci Cosmetics.
Photos: Richard Bord/WireImage via Getty Images, and Gucci

11 July 2014

Potential Royal Couture of the Day: July 11

The Fall 2014 Couture shows happened this week in Paris. Let's do what we do and gaze at some prettiness while making our wish lists for what we hope to see on our favorite royal ladies, shall we? (Click the designer names to see the whole collection.)

Wouldn't be a couture week without Elie Saab doing what he does best. Ornamentation galore combined with lots of ombré effect gowns (as though Elie Saab alone isn't enough of a weakness for me, I have a peculiar fondness for anything ombré, so I'm all over this). As always, the Luxembourg ladies are our best bet to see this in action, and if we cross our fingers maybe a Swedish princess will dip into the pool too.

Valentino put out a very romantic, Pre-Raphaelite-inspired collection. Keep an eye out for Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Madeleine, Princess Marie-Chantal, Queen Máxima, Sheikha Mozah, and more.

Chanel delivered a typically artistic collection with inspiration from Karl Lagerfeld as intriguing as ever ("brutalist and baroque"). I include the video above for one purpose only: the very last look. I wouldn't be mad at all one of the ladies of Monaco wanted to don that fabulous train, wouldn't be mad at all. Pick any occasion, opening a yacht club, I don't even care. That is amazing.

Giambattista Valli's been rather popular with Crown Princess Mette-Marit of late, and Charlotte Casiraghi's been a fan in the past. I wouldn't mind this collection spreading to some other royal ladies too, with its bright florals and affection for full skirts and capes. You can look no further than the styling to see that it's practically screaming for some attention from Sheikha Mozah (head wraps and sunglasses, hello!).

This is just a selection from some of the designers already in the royal mix. Others to consider:
  • Christian Dior has dressed Queen Mathilde a couple times this year (for her French introductory visit and for the D-Day commemoration - both events in France, a perfect marriage since the French label is currently designed by a Belgian, Raf Simons). What we've seen on Mathilde so far has been totally bespoke and not from the runway, but others like Sheikha Mozah and Princess Haya are runway fans.
  • Armani Privé has been a go-to in the past for some of our royal ladies (Queen Mathilde and Queen Paola for special occasions, for example), though again, it's often totally custom work.
  • I'm still waiting for Ralph & Russo (a British label from two Australians) to make an appearance on our British royals, but Sheikha Mozah's already a fan.
What's on your royal wish list?

Photos: Style.com

10 July 2014

Tiara Thursday: The Norwegian Gold Bandeau

During this year's state visit from Germany to Norway, Princess Astrid of Norway wore a tiara that I would say is one of the most unusual tiaras currently in use in a European royal house. Let's give it some attention for an off-the-wall Thursday treat, shall we?
The Norwegian Gold Bandeau
In low bandeau form, this tiara is primarily gold. The gold is studded with a variety of stones in different shapes and colors: green, red, white. It looks petite, but is a complete circlet when viewed from the side, and it's part of a parure with a set of earrings and a brooch. Astrid is said to have inherited this set from her maternal grandmother, Princess Ingeborg of Sweden (1878-1958, a princess of Denmark who married into the Swedish royal family).
Princess Astrid, with close ups on the brooch and earrings
Jewels from Ingeborg can be found in several countries these days, as her descendants reign in Norway, Belgium, and Luxembourg. But I can't help but think that this particular set is lucky that it was passed to Princess Astrid. It doesn't really fit in with current tiara trends, if you will, and I have to imagine that many would leave this one in the vault. Not Astrid, though; she possesses one of the most eclectic collections around, and she wears even the wackiest pieces with regularity. She has exactly the right spirit for it, and I find it hard to imagine a piece like this on anyone else.

How do you rate this unusual bandeau?

Photos: NTB Scanpix/Kongehuset

Royal Outfit of the Day: July 10

Princess Beatrice attended the Serpentine Gallery Summer Party last week.
I didn't have time to cover this one last week, but you knew it was going to come up here at some point, right? I mean, look at this: a full skirt, accent accessories, and PURPLE SHOES. Please. This is 95% of my favorite things, all in one. Plus, she's wearing Nicholas Oakwell Couture, a designer I've been hoping would get some love from the British royal ladies. Oh yes. Gold star worthy, this one.

Photo: Stuart C. Wilson via Getty Images