27 June 2017

Tuesday Tidbits for June 27: Summer Photos, Summer Dresses

Here we go:

--ICYMI, we finished up Royal Ascot this weekend with Days 4 and 5 over at the Jewel Vault, including QEII and the few royal guests that were in attendance. And the Queen wasn't done; she and Prince Philip, in his first public appearance after his recent hospital stay, enjoyed some polo on Sunday.

--Haga Palace wished everyone a glad midsommar with cute new photos of Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar last week. [Photos: Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se]

--Guess which royal drew this frank comment: "She was such an attractive woman, why be so haughty, arrogant and awkward?" That and a few more behind the scenes royal tidbits in this interview with photographer Reginald Davis. [Express]

--Princess Charlene was joined on the balcony by a pair of curly-haired munchkins for the St. John's Day festivities in Monaco. [Facebook]

--A German princely wedding, and one heck of a tiara to boot: Princess Sophie of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg married Count Constantin Fugger von Babenhausen this weekend wearing a substantial family diamond tiara with emerald drops. [Primavera24]

--And finally, Queen Mathilde will happily co-sign Princess Estelle's idea for an airy white dress for a summer day at the palace.
The King and Queen with Henry Kissinger for the Brussels Asia Society Dialogue
Belgian Monarchy

Coming up this week: A Máxima catch up, I suppose, and more...

Tidbits is your spot for topics we haven't covered on the blog. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

26 June 2017

Tiara (and Hat) Watch of the Day: Luxembourg's National Day

While the Brits were hatting it up at Ascot, Luxembourg's grand ducal family did the same for National Day. They even one upped them a bit by donning their best chapeaux and a selection of family tiaras. It was, however, a sadly small group this year; while most (if not all) of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess' five kids usually join their parents for the event, this year they were joined only by the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess.

The Te Deum at the cathedral
RTL screencap
Princess Stéphanie surely did her best to give us all the sartorial interest we were missing out on with a smaller family group. It was a valiant effort, primarily involving a hot pink cape dress which I probably should love, given my usual cape weakness.

RTL
And perhaps I would love it, if it were just a teensy bit less...craft project-y. Hmmmmmm.

Earlier at the official National Day ceremony; the ladies also wore these outfits for the National Day parade
Cour grand-ducale/Claude Piscitelli/tous droits réservés
I preferred Stéphanie's offering from earlier in the day, an orange Paule Ka dress paired with some fun Rupert Sanderson shoes. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa did not opt for an outfit change between day events, simply adding a matching hat to her red Yves Dooms coat and dress. I can't blame her. That's classic as classic can be, and she looks absolutely impeccable.

Maria Teresa must have known she was looking good, because she turned up to the evening's gala wearing what is basically just the gown version of her day outfit. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?
The National Day gala
Cour grand-ducale/Claude Piscitelli/tous droits réservés
The Grand Duchess wore, again, the Belgian Scroll Tiara. The Hereditary Grand Duchess wore the family's parure of oval amethysts, including the petite bandeau tiara she has worn in the past. The story here is that purple dress. That very familiar purple dress...
...there it is. Stéphanie's mother-in-law wore the dress in 2008 during a state visit to Sweden (a dress memorable to me because Maria Teresa apparently removed her tiara after seeing the Swedish royal family roll up without their diadems, awkward). The grand ducal family has one large, magical one-size-fits-all closet from which they all shop, or so it seems. Luxarazzi has an entire series of posts covering their clothes swapping twin moments. First they test my love for capes, now they're testing my love of purple and amethysts. Hmmmmmm.

For full National Day coverage (and more fashion IDs), Luxarazzi has you covered as always.

23 June 2017

Royal Fashion Awards: Royal Ascot 2017, Days 2 & 3


Update: You can check out the remainder of the Royal Ascot fashions - from Days 4 & 5 - here at the Vault!

Aaaaaaand we're back to Britain's annual hat festival, with royal goodies from Days 2 and 3 (which is Gold Cup Day, or traditionally Ladies' Day, and often the moment many reserve for their best hats).

Already covered at the Vault: QEII on double duty for Day 2 plus Camilla and a decked out Duchess of Gloucester, and the Queen holding fast to her Most Colorful title on Day 3. And now for some awards for a selection of the rest of the royal racegoers...

Best in Dress
Princess Eugenie
and
Best in Unnecessary Layering
Princess Beatrice
The jumpy claps over here when I saw Eugenie sporting one of my favorite Preen dresses, you have no idea. I think this might be as close as it gets to a universally flattering shape, and it certainly flatters this York sister in both cut and color. LOOOOOVE. And then there's Beatrice, which would be a love if it weren't for one big caveat. When I first saw this, I thought it was an odd dress, designed to make it look like she'd paired a longer sleeve shirt underneath the short sleeve dress. But it turns out...
Eugenie's Elle stretch-cady dress from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi; Beatrice's Tilt China Midi Dress by Amanda Wakeley
...it looks like that's actually what she did? Huh? I am entirely too confused about this to fully appreciate her beautiful fishtail braid spin on hat hair. Or to appreciate how great the dress itself is on her. Or to appreciate how great it is to see Amanda Wakeley back on the royal scene. Huh.

Best of the Light Colors
The Countess of Wessex, Day 3
I keep waiting for the new Countess of Snowdon to bring it like I know she can. I'll keep waiting. In the meantime, of the multiple royal ladies trying out that ubiquitous royal palette of cream and white on Days 2 and 3 (like Zara Tindall), I'm giving my blue ribbon to the Countess of Wessex.
Wave Textured Stripe Dress Ivory from Suzannah, done with a bespoke top for Sophie
Not entirely sure why the need to customize here, but she kept the best part. Use those chevrons to your favor, yes indeed.

Most Exuberant Use of Prints and Colors
The Princess Royal, Days 2 & 3 and Princess Alexandra, Day 2
There's all those pale colors and then there's Princess Anne and her tablecloth jacket followed by a rich green with a certain eau de Robin Hood, plus Princess Alexandra in a riot of prints with a hat to match (she's the one on the receiving end of Anne's smile in the top pic, with her back to us). A breath of fresh air, I declare!

Best Mini Me Act
Princess Haya and Sheikha Al Jalila
Dubai Media Office
I'm so enjoying the mother-daughter act happening in the Dubai contingent. First we had matching pattern + white outfits on Day 1; now we have the sharing of a universal rule for Ascot success: a solid color dress is the perfect canvas for your froofy hat. Princess Eugenie co-signs this strategy.
Dubai Media Office
Butterflies for the young sheikha are such a perfect touch of whimsy. I'm clearly charmed, since I don't normally make this many comments on the apparel of the kids. (Princess Haya posted some sweet pics of the family on her Instagram, noting that Jalila has been their lucky charm at Ascot this year.)

Best in Hats
Countess of Wessex, Day 2
Carrying the torch from our first set of Ascot awards to our second, Sophie knows what's up. Such fabulousness resides in this Jane Taylor chapeau, I shall not even spend much time questioning its accompanying Emilia Wickstead dress.
Mimi cut-out back cloqué dress by Emilia Wickstead, shown in green
Not even gonna question it. Nope. Such restraint.

Who wins your awards on Days 2 and 3?

The hat fest continues today and Saturday!

22 June 2017

Tiara Watch of the Day: The Dutch State Visit to Italy

In this busy royal week, we're swapping Tiara Thursday for a double dose of tiaras in action.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima are currently on a state visit to Italy and Vatican City, and the only surprising thing here is how long it took Máx to wear some Valentino.

Presidenza della Repubblica
Here's the arrival outfit. Perfectly lovely! It is from Natan, and the way that you know that is because it looks suspiciously familiar.
Belgian Monarchy
Yup, Queen Mathilde got there first with her own customized version. Perfectly lovely, I say again. But if we were going to go with a blush pink floral, then I'm going to pout that Máxima didn't repeat her perfect Valentino outfit from William and Kate's wedding.

Valentino was not her choice for the state banquet either, even though the designer himself - the master behind Máxima's wedding gown - was present for the event. She fulfilled another one of our requests instead.
We wanted a better look at the Jan Taminiau gown she wore to Willem-Alexander's 50th birthday party, and the Queen replied with a hearty "I'm right on top of that, Rose!" It's every bit as satisfyingly dramatic as I'd hoped.
Presidenza della Repubblica
Is it safe to call the Mellerio Ruby Tiara Queen Máxima's new favorite diadem, would you say? I'm saying yes. Feels like she's been gravitating toward it for events when she doesn't wear one of the bigger tiaras. The trellis necklace with its interchangeable clasp definitely is a current fave and who among us can blame her for that?

Bonus tiara! Prince Jaime of Bourbon-Parma, King Willem-Alexander's cousin, is the current Dutch ambassador to the Holy See, so he attended the state banquet with his wife, Princess Viktória. She borrowed a tiara from the Dutch vaults: the diamond base of the Antique Pearl Tiara, without any pearls. Máxima wore it this way when she attended Haakon and Mette-Marit's wedding while she was still a royal fiancée, and it was a great option for this black tie event. Viktória's diamond crescent brooch is also from the Dutch vaults.

This is day 2 of the trip, and everything but the hat is a page ripped straight out of Queen Letizia's book (seriously). Beating the heat in the sleekest possible way? Yes please.

A post shared by Blauw Bloed (@blauwbloedtv) on
There's the Valentino! It only took until a concert on day 2 for it to appear. This pink Valentino gown dates back to Frederik and Mary's wedding in 2004, and it got a makeover three years ago when she added some lace to the layers. But you can color me shocked that this wasn't an excuse for some new Valentino.

The trip continues at the Vatican today.

21 June 2017

Royal Fashion Awards: Royal Ascot 2017, Day 1

It's time for Ascot! {clears throat} {puts on best Oprah voice} You get a hat! And you get a hat! EVERYBODY GETS A HAT!!

Right, enough with the exclamation points. We have today a review of Day 1 of Royal Ascot, which went down on Tuesday. Over yonder at the Vault, you will find appearances from the Queen, Day 1's winner for Most Colorful, and the Duchess of Cornwall, holder of the Best Jewel title. (Plus the Prince of Wales, Best in Spousal Coordination.) And here's everyone else, ripe for the ribbon bestowing:

Best in...Really, Again?
The Duchess of Cambridge
Very pretty and whatnot, this white lace Alexander McQueen dress worn with the Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings on loan from the Queen. Also very much a dead ringer for the outfit she wore last year at Ascot. Second verse, same as the first.
A retail version of the Alexander McQueen dress
Ascot's a chance to have a little fun with your style, so maybe wait until after your second visit to settle on a uniform? Just a suggestion.

Best in Summer Claustrophobia
Princess Beatrice
What a beautiful Claire Mischevani dress for Beatrice. So delicate, and yet also so stifling. It looks hot. It's been awfully toasty over there. Princess Eugenie wisely decided to put comfort first by continuing her sleeveless trend from Trooping the Colour and I can't blame her one bit.

Best in Blues
Autumn Phillips
Zara Tindall was on the same wavelength as Princess Eugenie, and it's hard to go wrong with a solid electric blue dress. This one's from Escada. But for me, Autumn's streak of interesting royal wear continues. Even if I did later realize that this is totally a "replikate" version of the red print dress Kate wore in Canada last year. (Do you think Kate did a double take?)
Autumn's dress by Rumour London
Worth noting the Princess Royal was apparently accommodating the heat as well on Day 1, choosing just a dress instead of her usual dress + coat uniform. She got hug and a kiss from her daughter, like everyone else did. Zara seems a snuggly delight.

Worst in...Really, Again?
Princess Michael of Kent
Kate's the same from year to year and then there's this, which is what Princess Michael also wore on Saturday for Trooping the Colour. I suppose I'd rather have an Ascot strategy than an entire 2017 strategy, if a choice needs to be made. (Prince and Princess Michael's kids were there too; they're in this picture-heavy piece at the Daily Mail, if you're so inclined.)

Best in Hats, Day 1 Runner Up
Princess Haya
Dubai Media Office
As promised, Princess Haya is here to up our couture level for the year. This hat is FABULOUS. It would be even more fabulous, though, if separated from its twin dress, methinks. Too much of a good thing. Haya does rack up some bonus points for teaching her mini me the right way to do Ascot; the young lady with the jaunty hat and pattern combo is Sheikha Al Jalila, Haya and Sheikh Mohammed's daughter, making her Ascot debut.

Best in Hats, Day 1 Grand Prize
The Countess of Wessex
Whimsy! Infinitely amusing tanning possibilities! I'm divided on Sophie's green Emilia Wickstead dress, but a fun hat that hasn't lost its mind is the perfect recipe for a royal topper at Ascot. It is from Jane Taylor, Sophie's favorite milliner.

Bonus Award for Best Recovery
The Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex
A post shared by The Telegraph (@telegraph) on
The Wessexes and the Cambridges paired up for the carriage procession into the Ascot ring, and Sophie nearly ended up falling into Kate's lap while getting situated. Carriages, man. Treacherous vehicles.

Who wins your best dressed titles for Ascot Day 1?

We shall return to Ascot later for more fashions; you can always catch up with Her Maj over at the Vault each day as it happens.