Random Royaling – Luxembourg National Day

Luxembourg’s National Day (Journée de la Fête Nationale) brings together the senior members of the family to celebrate the Grand Duke’s official birthday. There are several events, one of which is a ceremony at the Philharmonie Luxembourg. For the occasion, Maria Teresa wore a lovely Lanvin Embroidered Silk Neoprene dress, while Stephanie and Alexandra wore pastel shades. Alexandra apparently raided her mother’s closet for her blue suit; there were sightings of MT in something very similar in 2003 . Stephanie is wearing a Sophie Habsburg design, a new designer to me, and one that I think “gets Steph”. Bonus Henri and other gents in morning suits, my personal favorite type of semi-formal men’s dress.

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The entire family participated in various events both leading up to and on the day itself.   Stephanie wore yellow Natan for a visit to Esch-sur-Alzette, at the start of the official celebrations, and MT wore a rich Etro Floral evening jacket (that I covet!) to a torchlight tribute and fireworks display. The small glimpse we have of Alexandra’s jacket intrigues me as well. It has been described as this Etro Ikat-Print.

In the evening, the Grand Duke and Duchess hosted a reception attended by all their children other than Prince Felix. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Louis, Princess Alexandra and Prince Sebastien all gussied up and came out to celebrate. Tiaras were on tap: the Luxembourg Turquoise for Alexandra, the Belgian Scroll on Maria Teresa, and Stephanie in the Nassau Floral with one of the Nassau Rose brooches. Stephanie’s long red column of a dress is terrifically flattering, and the black is a sophisticated choice for Maria Teresa. Alexandra’s evening gown is a remade gown from her mother.

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What is your take on the Luxembourg National Day celebrations? Sartorially satisfying or not?

Britain · Denmark · Monaco

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

…..or, more accurately, things we missed while looking at something else. Please add your own royal-related news in the comments. Anything we haven’t discussed or things that are coming up is welcome news here. You know our motto: Keep it Royal and Keep it Fun.


The very active Crown Princess has been participating in royal runs, making visits to patronages, and keeping her promises. She’s also popped off to Paris for a couple of days on an official trip.

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Princess Caroline, Charlotte and Tatiana all attended Karl Lagerfeld’s memorial, Karl For Ever. It sounds like QUITE an event, and something that Karl himself would have loved. Caroline’s devotion to both the Chanel brand and Karl’s memory is a testament to their enduring friendship. I am not hating Caroline’s blouse, although it contains elements I usually disdain. Quite the opposite.

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Great Britain

The Energizer Bunny Her Majesty The Queen, fresh off Ascot, was back at Windsor to attend the Royal Windsor Cup Final. If there was ever any doubt, this proves that Betty loves horses veddy veddy much.

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This and That

Crown Princess Victoria is promoting Stockholm as a possible venue for the 2026 Olympics. Just in time for another royal romance to start at one, don’t you think?

Queen Sonja is recovered and back to exhibiting her Sonja sense of fun. She posed with Queen Maud at the new exhibition marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of Maud. The exhibition, called “Queen’s Meetings,” covers Norway’s first ladies from Queen Maud to Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

The 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival was held in Monaco. Princess Charlene wore a white gown, with a pair of black shoes that I am still puzzling over. She also channeled her inner flapper the evening before.

The Japanese Crown Prince muses about the future, given the family’s declining numbers.

There is a rumored Cambridge tour in the works for this autumn, in Asia. This is in addition to the (again, rumored) Sussex tour to yet unamed African nations. Neither has been confirmed by official palace sources.

BFFs Felipe and Albert hung out for a while, almost completely under the radar.

We know we missed a lot of royal news while focused on Ascot. Bring it on in the comments!


Housekeeping – What to Expect

First, a hearty thank you to all of you who support us. We are coming up on six months of blogging, and it’s been a great ride. We have been building this bridge under our feet as we go, so we appreciate everyone hanging in here while we figure out what works and what does not.

What Works

  1. Open Posts – We get great participation, and they have really gone a long way into making this a community.
  2. Interactive Posts – We love that you jump into things like the ROYGBIV posts. We have as much fun as you do!
  3. Polls – We love them. You love them.
  4. Defense of the …. – These have really generated some great discussion, particularly LuckeyGirl’s tiara posts.
  5. Royal Retrogravures – The community appears to love walking down memory lane.
  6. Spam a Man – Do we have to explain why it works ; )?

What Doesn’t Work

  1. Long Trip Recaps – They seem to occur too late, and do not generate much discussion.
  2. Royal Recaps – We suspect people read recaps on other blogs (which is GREAT, we do too) and they may be superfluous here.
  3. Anything too long, too “lecturey”, anything that doesn’t invite your participation.

Going Forward

With all that in mind, we are dropping the Royal Recap feature and instead adding a shorter “Bits and Bobs” feature, that will run on Monday most weeks. We’ll drop in a few things we missed during the previous week, with some links for those who are interested in pursuing the information. We ask that you add whatever you want to talk about (royal-related only!). If there is no Open Post that week, we’ll sticky it so it stays on the home page for the week. If something special is going on and we have an Open Post, that will take precedence.

For royal tours of great interest, we will provide an Open Post. Jump in and add relevant information, as long as it relates to the tour! We’ll update those as quickly as possible.

We’ll end the week with OrangeChia’s regular feature on Thursdays – yes, she is extending her ROYGBIV – and LuckeyGirl’s Defense posts on Friday. Unless there is something special going on, the weekend is a place of rest here at The Handbag.

The rest of the week is pretty fluid, but you’ll be happy to hear that lovinlorne has a GREAT new feature coming up. I won’t spoil her surprise but I think you’ll love it. LuckeyGirl and I have been working on some wedding posts that we hope will enliven the dog days of summer.

Again, thank you all. This place would simply be a boring corner of the internet without you.


Random Royaling – Order of the Civil Merit

King Felipe and Queen Letizia, accompanied by Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia, attended the Order of the Civil Merit (Orden del Mérito Civil) ceremony at the Royal Palace. Established by King Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1926, the order rewards civic virtues of officers in service for the State.

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There isn’t much intel on the dresses worn by Letizia, Leonor and Sofia, which is too bad because they are good. Letizia’s dress features tabs decorated with jeweled buttons at the waist. She is wearing her Bulgari aquamarine earrings and a diamond and sapphire bracelet. Excellent up close photos are available at New My Royals and Queen Letizia Style.

I particularly like Sofia’s cream dress with a bow gathering the fabric at her waist, an usual design feature that’s still appropriate for her age. Leonor’s dress features a pattern, slightly high waist and 3/4 length sleeves. She accessorized with her Order ribbon. Both girls seem significantly more mature than the last time we saw them, but that happens at their ages.

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Yes indeed, there is grown-up Sofia and grown-up Leonor, lurking in those faces.

What do you think of the Spanish women in this outing?


Brit Brief Open Post – Ascot Week

Royal Ascot runs from Tuesday, June 18th to Saturday, June 22nd. The Royal Procession occurs daily at 2pm sharp, and is followed by six races. Be prepared for five days of non-stop socializing, sartorial swish and millinery madness! This year we hope to see King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima among the attendees, as well.

A greeting from the Queen herself:


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Okay! Now that all of the photos appear to be in, I can clean up this mess of a post! Sorry for the haphazardness of it all, but I tend to get excited about these things ! LOL

First up is the star of the show, our dear Betty in what is believed to be an Angela Kelly creation. Doesn’t she look happy to be there!

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WAX and Max (or should I say MAX!) seemed thrilled to be attending their first Royal Ascot! Max is in Natan, with a super fun hat by Dutch designer Berry Rutjes. She is also wearing diamond earrings assembled from the Stuart tiara.

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Thanks (again and always) to Triple-A, who pointed out the Stuart connection!

Chaz and Cams were there too of course, accompanied by Will and Kate. Camilla was wearing a lovely pink dress and a great hat, but that’s all I’ve got. If anyone has more info, please share! She does look lovely though.

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I keep going back and forth over Kate’s dress. Sometimes I really like it, sometimes not so much. But considering it’s from Elle Saab and it’s not crusty, maybe it’s a win for me after all. Her hat is by Philip Treacy. And “Hello Mr. Wills!”

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Tomorrow is Sophie and Edward’s 20th Wedding Anniversary, and they look every bit as happy as they did then! I’m tugging at my collar just looking at her, though. Wickstead really likes making those high necklines, doesn’t she? I haven’t found any info on the hat yet, but it’s not going to be a favorite. At least for me. YMMV.

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The York sisters were there too. I don’t have any info on Euge, but Bea’s dress is by Maje and the hat is from Bundle MacLaren. I’m afraid that I can’t say either one’s outfit is doing it for me this year.

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Tindalls were present, with Zara in Zimmerman. I really want that to be her name now. More floral print from neck to ankles. But she looks great and happy to be there and that’s what counts.

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Last but never least is Princess Anne. No information on her outfit I’m afraid, but not all that surprising since it’s no doubt been lost to history. I do happen to like this on her, though. Typical, sturdy, no nonsense Anne wear.

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I’m still on the lookout for Princess Haya, and will update again as soon as I find her.

Please add your photos and comments to this Open Post, and we will also update as the week progresses.