Britain · Greece · Norway

Bitty Bits and Bobs

Yes, it’s Bits and Bobs, back again in a little bitty fashion. This temporary name also fits our love of cheesy alliteration around here. There still isn’t a great deal of exciting royal news, but let’s soldier on with what we have.

The Week in Getty Images

Two of the Benelux royals represent in orange, one in crazy pants, the Spains were out everywhere, and the Chelsea Garden Show went on in a virtual fashion. See it all here.

Other Voices Other Blogs

  • The Royal Hats blog has continued valiantly on in the face of an Ascot free year. I have to thank her for showing me the way to the Milliner’s Guild Instagram Challenge, where people are re-creating their favorite Ascot looks. Also, here is a great look back, suggested by ardent royalist Mitten Mary.
  • Mary From the Start is up to 2012. They featured Margrethe’s 40th Jubilee celebrations and I have no memory of this gold lame jacket.

Two Weddings that Weren’t

I can’t tell you how depressing it was to type out that header. Both of these weddings would have been barn burners for royal watching. It seems the couples have come to terms with the situation, and I hope they are planning something spectacular for royal watchers in the future.

Theodora Greece promises a celebration in Greece once it’s safe. We’ve talked about the enormous social capital of the Greek royals, and how they are close to everyone. You know that when this wedding does come off, it will be a bonanza of royal sightings.

Princess Beatrice had already planned a smaller, more intimate wedding, but I am sure there would have been plenty to talk about between tiaras and dress designers and immediate family guests. Oh, well, next year will be big.

Happy Birthday

Jetsun Pema celebrated her 30th birthday and, generous as she is, gave us a present. Look at the gorgeous photos of the new family configuration, including the bébé. The name will be made public in the next few days.

The Brits Being Veddy British

I am quite relieved to see that the coronavirus isolation hasn’t taken any of the zip out of HerMaj. Here she is with her favorite animals, doing her favorite activity.

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Charles loved his grandmother. This is very sweet.

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“We decided each movement should reflect an important aspect of her character. The smile, the love and the sense of duty which remained deep right to the very end.” . 🎧 The Prince speaks of the special piano concerto that he commissioned in memory of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. . ⬅️ The piece will be played in full this evening during the second of two special programmes on @ClassicFM. Tonight’s programme will be presented solely by The Prince of Wales, who will highlight the great importance of classical music, particularly during this difficult time. His Royal Highness will add to last night’s programme with more of his favourite classical pieces, of which two were recorded by The Duchess of Cornwall’s musical patronages, @nyo_gb and @lcoorchestra. . 📻 Tune in to Classic FM from 8pm or follow the link in our bio.

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Let’s End with a Classic Princess

Isn’t this a lovely photo of a lovely young girl? Behold Princess Astrid at the time of her re-unification with her family, post World War II.

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21. mai var det 75 år siden Prinsesse Astrid og Prinsesse Ragnhild møtte sin bestefar, Kong Haakon, igjen etter fem års fravær. – Det ble et hjertelig møte med bestefar. Han synes nok vi var blitt store, for vi var jo bare småpiker da vi måtte forlate far og ham i 1940, forteller Prinsesse Astrid, fru Ferner. Prinsessene reiste fra USA med fly til Skottland, og deretter med tog til London. – Mens vi ventet i Skottland, torde vi ikke å spørre om annet enn et glass vann. Vi hadde hørt at det var knapt med mat i Storbritannia – så da ville ikke vi spørre om mat, forteller Prinsessen. Prins Harald kom med neste fly. På stasjonen i London ble prinsessene møtt av Kong Haakons sjåfør og kjørt rett til stedet der Kong Haakon og Kronprinsesse Märtha oppholdt seg. Kronprins Olav hadde allerede reist hjem til Norge. Prinsesse Astrid forteller at Prins Harald og Kong Haakon raskt fant tonen. – De to første dagene snakket de engelsk med hverandre. Harald skjønte forståelig nok ikke hva bestefar sa. Han snakket jo avslepent dansk. Kronprinsesse Märtha og barna bodde sammen med Kong Haakon i påvente av at alle fem skulle reise sammen hjem til et fritt Norge den 7. juni 1945. Foto 1946: A. B. Wilse / @dekongeligesamlinger #kongehuset #prinsesseastrid #frigjøring #hjemkomst #dekongeligesamlinger

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What did I miss?

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Historic HerStory – Henrietta of England, Pearl Lover

This one is for the pearl lovers and history buffs among us – and if you are both, you are in for a bit of fun ; ). Thank you to geogirl for this post.

A Bit of Background

Henrietta of England (26 June 1644  – 30 June 1670) was the youngest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland and his wife, Henrietta Maria of France. Henrietta fled from England to France with her governess at the age of three.  When she first arrived, she was known as Henrietta d’Angleterre or the princesse d’Angleterre.  She eventually moved to the court of her first cousin Louis XIV of France, where she was known as Minette.

While living at the French court, the princess was given the name Anne in honour of her aunt, the French queen Anne of Austria. During the Fronde, the civil war that raged in France between 1648 and 1653, Henrietta and her mother stayed at the Louvre.

On April 1, 1661, Henrietta married Philippe I, Duke of Orleanss, brother of King Louis XIV.  He was known as Monsieur and she became known as Madame.  She was the sister of Charles II (of England) and he agreed to give her a dowry of 840,000 livres  and a further 20,000 towards other expenses. She was also given, as a personal gift, 40,000 livres annually and the Chⴥau de Montargis as a private residence.

In 1667 Henrietta began complaining of an intermittent, intense pain in her side. At 2 o’clock in the morning of 30 June 1670, she died.  She was thought to be poisoned.  Seventeen French and two English physicians, the English ambassador, and roughly 100 other onlookers observed the autopsy, and though the official report stated “death from cholera morbus (gastroenteritis) caused by heated bile,” many observers disagreed.

The Henrietta Pearl Challenge

Quite a dramatic life, right? One of her compensations, other than being royal, was owning a lot of pearls. The lady doth bedeck herself. Weigh in below on which pearl configuration works best for you.

Which pearl placement pleases you?

Random Royaling – The Masked Mathilde

Modeling good behavior and a twist on the Natan style, Queen Mathilde cut quite a figure in a flowing royal lady orange pantsuit and matching protective mask. She recently visited the Gediflora Chrysanthemum nursery, which specializes in the propagation of chrysanthemums, focusing on sustainable entrepreneurship.

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I spent a good twenty minutes on Getty looking at the gorgeous photos of the Old Masters Museum visit by Tils and Phil. You should check them out, too. They are full of gorgeous light and beautiful art. Mathilde wore a floral Erdem midi, which reminds me strongly of the Vilshenko that Mary and Charlene wore a few years back.

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Mathilde, accompanied by Princess Eléonore, visited the  Kamiano restaurant for homeless people. The restaurant has provided strong support to vulnerable populations during the pandemic. Tils wore a pale blue Giorgi Armani blazer, and alas, no matching mask.

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How do you feel about Mathilde’s pandemic wear?

Sweden · Tiaras

In Defense of the Tiara – The Cameo

Time for a perennial love it or hate it tiara…the Swedish Cameo Tiara. This one dates back to the coronation of Napoleon, apparently made for Josephine by the court’s jeweler Marie-Étienne Nitot.

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Upon Josephine’s death in 1814, it seems her son, Eugene inherits the tiara. Eugene was later created Duke of Leuchtenberg by his father in law, King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. Eugene’s eldest daughter, Josephine, married Crown Prince Oscar of Sweden, with the Cameos accompanying her to Sweden. They then take a winding trip through the Swedish Royal Family: from Josefina to her daughter Eugenie; Eugenie to her nephew Eugen (who loaned them to Crown Princess Margareta); and then Eugen to Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a wedding present.

Two of Sibylla’s daughters wore the tiara for their weddings, as well as the current Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria.

The Case For the Tiara

LuckeyGirl: This one did take me a while to warm up to. While never actively hating it, it was one of those “oh…that tiara” ones. Until Victoria wore it on her wedding day. It was absolute perfection with her wedding gown, and became a firm favorite; I even started liking it in previously outings (except Silvia’s wedding look…still don’t like that one). The history is one of the draws, but I love the idea of a tiara with nary a diamond (yes, I love the Cut Steel too…oh, future post…).

The Handbag: I love it. It is my favorite tiara. Is it intrinsically pretty? Hmmmmm, well you have to love cameos and gold and that is a hard sell. I love it because it is history in jewelry form – come on, it dates back to Napoleon. I also love that it is distinctive, that it comes with an awesome whatever-you-call-it parure (you can tell I am not the jewelry expert around here), and that is a challenge to wear. I still maintain that the one truly successful contemporary outing was on Vickan’s head, at her wedding.

The Case Against the Tiara

LiL: DISCLAIMER: Written prior to my complete Cameo tiara awakening. You aaaall think you know where this is headed, right? Not so fast. I mean, yeah, I still don’t care for it, but…BUT. I don’t hate it anymore. That’s something, right? I think it’s all of the photoshops I’ve done of it over the years that has softened my opinion. I really love it “on” Maddie and Sofia. So yeah, not a hard pass anymore. More of a “If I have to, okay. But don’t expect me to wear it all the time.”

OC: This was a tough one for me, but overall it’s a no. Victoria SLAYED on her wedding day, and the history on this piece alone should put me in the Yes column but I just can’t. The gold and the mismatching of the cameo colors with seed pearls makes me bonkers. I only want to see it in photos of Victoria’s wedding. The parure is also generally hideous.

Now for the fun…love it or leave it?

How do you feel about the Cameo Tiara?

The Designer Diaries – Norman Hartnell: Pt. 6

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the series can be found by clicking on the appropriate links. Make sure you check out all of the links for the photos as well. They’ll lead you to lot of fun things!

One of the main reasons Norman Hartnell became the “go to” designer for three generations of royal ladies (after the Gloucester wedding he also picked up Queen Mary as a client) was no doubt his discretion, his ability to create just the right gowns for the occasion, and his ability to grasp what royal dressing was all about. He understood that royalty should be elegant rather than fashionable; more timeless than trendy. Today we’ll take a look at some of his designs for Elizabeth and Margaret’s formal wear, as well as some of their daywear.

Gowns for Princess/Queen Elizabeth. The one on the left has “reject” in the top left hand corner. I wonder why? It looks good to me!

Gowns for Princess Margaret.

Elizabeth. Dress or suit, hat, gloves, jacket or coat. Very much like what her mother wore during the war years, but designed for a young princess/queen. A working “uniform” that HM, as well as countless other royals, still employs today.

Margaret. Perhaps a bit more “trendy” as she was further down the chain, but still very royal in design and execution.

Lastly, I tried to match an outfit from sketch to final design so we could see how it all worked out in the end. Instead of spending days and days and days combing through a gazillion photos, I decided to feature two from The Queen that were fairly obvious to figure out. First up is a dress that became known as “The Magpie Dress.” This gown was very well received in it’s day, as it “became a best-selling pattern for women who wanted to sew it at home, as well as selling in the thousands in Oxford Street.”

Next up is HM’s green maple leaf gown from the 1957 tour of Canada and the US. Government House commissioned Hartnell to make this gown especially for HM, and make a gown he did. Fashioned out of satin and green velvet maple leaves, it was embellished with tiny flowers and beads. HM wore the gown to the State Banquet at Rideau Hall.

There you have it! Part six in the books. I have enough for two more installments if you are interested. One on miscellaneous royal gowns, and the final will be on Hartnell’s wedding gowns. His over the top style really lent itself to weddings and I have a few gowns that I think you’ll enjoy.

So which of these, if any, are your favorites? Can you figure out which dresses these sketches turned into? Are you interested in the last two parts? Leave your comments and photos below!