Wimbledon 2020

Wimbledon was scheduled to begin today, but… yeah. Luckily for us British Royalty has been a fixture at Wimbledon since The Prince of Wales and Princess Mary made their first appearance at the tournament in 1907 (and one member of the family even played in it!), so we have plenty of pictures to remind us of happier times.

When I hear Wimbledon I think Kents. Prince George, The Duke of Kent was president from 1929 until his untimely death in 1942. Princess Marina took over at that time and served until her death in 1968. The present Duke of Kent, accompanied for many years by The Duchess of Kent, has held the title since 1969. I don’t think anyone who saw it will ever forget poor Jana Novotná crying her eyes out on the Duchess of Kent’s shoulder after a devastating loss in 1993, only to come back and win it all in 1998.

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Other members of the family have helped out as well.

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There have been quite a few familiar faces in the stands over the years. But when push comes to shove, it’s all Brits all the time.

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So who was the member of the family that actually played in Wimbledon? That would be The Duke of York. Prince Albert partnered with his Equery, Wing Commander Sir Louis Greig, in the doubles tournament in 1926. While the Duke was considered to be an excellent player, he was no match for the pros and they were booted after the first round. At least they tried.

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Do you have any favorite Wimbledon photos from over the years? Feel free to discuss and share below!

Japan · Netherlands · Spain · Sweden

Random Royaling – Florals and Prints

I like them. Either I have been worn down or these are just good prints.

Felipe and Letizia continue their tour around the country. In Majorca, Letizia wore a print dress by Maje, and another pair of lace up shoes by Mint and Rose. She accessorized with a nice tan, of which I am envious.

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I wish we had a better photo and more intel on Victoria’s dress. It might be among the best print I have ever seen her wear. Daniel and Victoria were visiting various sites around Stockholm to review progress against Covid 19.

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I dag och i går genomförde Kronprinsessan och Prins Daniel fyra besök i Stockholmsområdet relaterade till covid-19-pandemin. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Med besöken önskade Kronprinsessparet att dels uppmärksamma företag och organisationer som ställt om med anledning av pandemin, dels visa uppskattning till sjukvården. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Läs mer på ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📌 Kungafamiljen är angelägen om att visa sitt stöd för de insatser som görs i olika delar av samhället för att bekämpa covid-19-pandemin. Genom samtal, digitala möten och besök informerar sig Kungafamiljen om hur pandemin påverkar Sverige. Besök planeras utifrån rådande rekommendationer och med en strävan att inte i onödan ta verksamheternas tid och resurser i anspråk. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📷: Victor Ericsson/Kungl. Hovstaterna

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I am really soothed by the gentle print on Masako’s suit. It adds a nice summery note to her usual daywear. She and Naruhito were receiving a briefing on elder care.

Polka dots? Navy? I don’t know if I could love Margriet any more. This is a fresh and lively look for a visit to the Red Cross in Utrecht. She is the honorary Chair of the Red Cross in the Netherlands.

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⁣Prinses Margriet bezoekt het Rode Kruis in Utrecht. Het bezoek staat in het teken van de werkzaamheden van het Rode Kruis in de bestrijding van de coronapandemie. Prinses Margriet is erevoorzitter van het Nederlandse Rode Kruis.⠀ ⠀ De Prinses gaat in gesprek met vrijwilligers over hun inzet en werkzaamheden tijdens de coronapandemie. Zo is er o.a. een belteam dat belt met mensen die om hulp hebben gevraagd via het landelijk telefoonnummer van het Rode Kruis.⠀ ⠀ Ook spreekt Prinses Margriet met betrokkenen over o.a. een coronatestlocatie voor mensen die met de fiets of te voet komen, die het Rode Kruis Utrecht in samenwerking met de GGD heeft opgezet. Daarnaast wordt gesproken over de voedselpakketten van het Rode Kruis voor mensen die door de coronacrisis hulpbehoevend zijn geworden.⠀ ⠀ #werkbezoek #rodekruis #coronavirus #covid19 #prinsesmargriet #prinses #princess #royalvisit #Utrecht @rodekruis 📸Rode Kruis – Arie Kievit

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Let’s toss a throwback in here. It fits our print theme. Aren’t the Haga princesses just lovely here?

Weigh in on the florals: yeah or nay?


Random Royal Rotogravure

Princess Beatrix, daughter of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, with her sister (in the cot), Princess Irene. March 4th, 1940. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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Skeptical Oma is skeptical. I guess all big brothers and sisters are a bit put out by the “newbie”. Even royal ones. Can you find any photos of royal siblings giving each other the side-eye? Share below! If you can’t find Sibling Side-eye, feel free to post sibs in general, in prams/cots, or in various stages of disgruntlement.


The Designer Diaries – Norman Hartnell: Brides Pt.1

Featured Photo: “The Wedding Dress of 1928”. “Be Dazzled!” p. 80

And we’re back! Chapters of the previous Hartnell series can be found here. Just scroll down until you find the “Designer Diaries” tab and hit that arrow.

Norman Hartnell created his first wedding gown in 1927 and it was all uphill from there. Weddings were a huge source of income for him, as he would not only design for the bride (who was more likely than not one of his former debutante clients), but also for the bridal party, the mother of the bride, the bride’s family members, and quite often the groom’s family as well. Most brides would also have him create their honeymoon wardrobes and trousseau, making him money hand over fist.

The dresses featured in this installment will range from 1927 through 1938, and are very good examples of the many embellishments and fine embroidery that his brand became known for. There are a lot of photos, so you should probably grab your favorite beverage and settle in. It’s going to be a while. LOL.

The first bridal gown Hartnell created was for the October 1927, “second” wedding of Daphne Vivian to Henry Thynne, 6th Marquess of Bath. (Due to parental disapproval, they were first married in secret at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, in 1926.) The gown was made out of nets of silver and gold, and the press at the time declared her the “eighth wonder of the world.”

Henry’s sister, Lady Mary Thynne (who was a bridesmaid to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon), was a great friend of Daphne’s, so when it was time for her wedding a month later to Lord Nunburnholme, she naturally commissioned Hartnell as well. The photo isn’t very good, but there is a video.

Photo Credit: “Be Dazzled” p.82

1927 was also the year he made the gown for the wedding of Barbara Cartland. Hartnell had made her presentation dress, so she naturally chose him to do her wedding gown. Although he didn’t design this one himself (that honor went to the bride), I included it here. The dress was made of white tulle, with frills of tulle forming the lower skirt and the lower part of the sleeves. The train was of white satin embossed with pale pink flowers and edged with ermine, which had been worn by her mother at her own wedding. The veil was of white tulle. Cartland would later say that her dress had been a disaster, due to her lack of design skills. Hartnell agreed.

Our next gown was declared, “The Wedding Dress of 1928”, even though it was never used in a wedding. There is a very long story behind it, but I’ll keep it short. This dress was donated to the London Museum in March of 1928, after it was used in a charity fashion show. It’s made out of pale pink satin and decorated with flowers outlined in clear glass bugle beads and silver metal thread. The center of each flower is a cabochon pearl that has been dyed pink. The dress has a dropped waist and a pale pink crepe de chine silk underslip, with two deep layers of netting attached to the hem. It also features ten metal weights suspended from strips of tape attached internally to the waistline, keeping everything smooth and sleek. The train is made of pink silk net.

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If you liked that gown, you’ll love this one. Hartnell created a dress almost identical to the one above, but this time it was for an actual wedding. The Bowes Museum has possession of this gown and describes it as follows: “Silk satin and silk net embroidered with silver lace, bugle beads and pearls. This is a romantic creation with deep medieval-style sleeves. The graduating design of flowers on the drop-waisted skirt is echoed in satin on the train.” Make sure to click through to see the entire dress.

He designed the dresses for at least two of the Guinness sisters weddings, one in 1929 (Oonagh – Top) and another in 1930 (Maureen – Bottom).

Blogger Fiona from My Blogging London Life was kind enough to let me use some of her photos for this series, and these are the first set. She attended the “Hartnell to Amies” exhibit at The London Fashion Museum several years ago and took some fabulous photos. You really need to check out her blog. Lots of goodies! Here is Oonagh’s gown close up.

It’s not a great photo, but this is Maysie Gasque who was the Woolworth’s heiress. She married barrister John R. Robertson in 1930. Here is a link to a video of their wedding.

Next up is a gown worn by Deirdre Hart-Davis for her marriage to Ronald Balfour. Deirdre was the niece of  Lady Diana Cooper, Viscountess Norwich, who was considered one of the “Bright Young Things” of 1920’s London.

Although Hartnell was best known for his elaborate embroidery, this dress shows that he was just as comfortable fashioning simple designs as well. This gown was made in 1934 out of plain, unadorned white satin.

And our last dress belongs to actress Jeanne Stourton, who wed Ralph Robert Watts Sherman Stonor, 6th Baron Camoys in 1938. It appears some crazy times were had during that marriage. Her story could certainly keep you entertained for a while.

So what do you think? While the 20s gowns aren’t particular favorites of mine, the 30’s most certainly are, and all are truly works of art. It’s no wonder all of the young brides were hot on Hartnell’s trail! OH! One more thing. In the “gift that keeps on giving” department, I came across ANOTHER video having to do with the Gloucester wedding. THE GIFTS! Check ’em out! and be sure to comment on everything below.

Belgium · Monaco · Spain

Random Royaling – Summer Dresses and Masks

Philippe and Mathilde recently visited the Institute of Tropical Medicine. Mathilde repeated her floral Natan, worn previously for Albert and Paola’s anniversary celebrations.

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Earlier in the month, Mathilde visited the Van Eyck museum in Bruges, wearing another floral Natan. A Natan is a Natan is a Natan but the matching mask makes my day.

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Felipe and Letizia are paying a visit to the Canary Islands to support their pandemic recovery efforts. Letizia is wearing a summery midi by Zara and espadrilles by Macarena. The royal lady ponytail is very much appreciated by this hofdame.

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Albert, Charlene, Jacques and Gabriella watched the traditional Fête de la Saint-Jean from the balcony of the Palace The celebration starts the evening before, and includes a bonfire, which seemed to be a favorite with the kids. Charlene is sporting her braids, and there are some excellent photos at New My Royals that show them to full effect. The dress may be black or dark navy, but the styling reads very summery to me. Excellent effect with the red lip, as always Miss Charlene.

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Let us know what you think of the summery style of these royals!