Luxembourg · Photoshops · Tiaras

What if Wednesday: Stephalux!

Congratulations to Stéphanie and Guillaume, who are expecting their first child in May, 2020! Let’s take a look at the Photoshops I have done featuring this lovely lady in celebration of the happy news. There are only a few, but they’re all tiara related, so that’s something, right?!

The Chrysoprase Tiara, circa 1835. The Victoria & Albert Museum.
The Barberini Sapphire Tiara
The Murat Tiara
And because everyone enjoyed it so much, the “redesigned” Lannoy Tiara.

What do you think? Can she pull off these heavier tiaras, or should she stick to light and airy? Let me know! And once again, huge congratulations to the entire Luxie crew!


Open Post – Diplomatic Reception Buckingham Palace

It is a good thing we are virtual reporters and not required to be physically present at all these tiara events this week! Tonight is the Queen’s annual Diplomatic Reception, or what we call around here “Spotting tiaras in the back seats of cars as they drive by”. All joking aside, although much of the reception is not documented, there are, on occasion, photos released. It might be our lucky year. If not, it’s identifying tiaras through car windows for us.

From the official website:

The Diplomatic Reception is the main diplomatic social event of the year in London and reflects The Queen’s importance in the country’s diplomatic relations. It is the largest reception held at Buckingham Palace and takes place annually in early December. Over 1,500 people are invited from around 130 countries, including members of the British government, past Prime Ministers, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and other public figures.

The Royal blogging gods were kind, and we did get some photos!

Our lady’s ensembles for the evening are all stunning, and a few surprises are in store, too. The Queen is wearing an Angela Kelly “state” gown, two of the Cartier Quintet bracelets and the Vladimir tiara with the emeralds. All of which is terrific but it’s the necklace that has everyone in a tizzy. Is it new? We’ll keep you updated if and when we find out.

The Duchess of Cornwall is wearing a (new! but similar!) cream embroidered gown by Bruce Oldfield and the Greville Boucheron. The Duchess of Cambridge is making me fan myself. She is sporting a gorgeous navy velvet gown by McQueen, the Lover’s Knot, the Queen’s Diamond Chandelier Drop Earrings, and the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace.

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Many thanks to the folks on Twitter for the quick identifications and for all the humor. JR, the Royal Watcher, Camilla’s Closet and so many more, you are all the best!

Norway · Sweden

Nobel Ceremony – Open Post

It’s finally here! Nobel Day!

Official program:

Click to jump to:


The day kicks off not in Sweden, but in neighboring Norway where King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will be in attendance at Oslo City Hall while the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tonight a banquet will be held at the Grand Hotel in Oslo.

Live stream:

The Norwegian Royal Family at Oslo City Hall. Queen Sonja is repeating a Pucci outfit. She sparkles away like a little jewel box in her sequined hat. Mette-Marit is wearing a repeat Valentino coat and Prada headband. The coat is a repeat from 2009 and 2014, and the clean lines really suit her.

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The Nobel Peace Prize winner Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Abiy Ahmed Ali.

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The Royal Family released a photo from the evening banquet. Mette-Marit is wearing a Pia Tjelta gown, and Sonja is in a modified gown by Dundas.

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Zinash Tayachew, the Prime MInister’s wife, is wearing a lovely blue beaded dress of unknown provenance. The couple met while serving together in the Defense Forces, and have three daughters.

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Tonight is the Award Ceremony, held at the Stockholm Concern Hall, where King Carl XVI Gustaf hands out the awards. Joining CG on stage are Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.

Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia, Princess Madeleine and Carl O’Neill are also attending and will be sitting in the first row of the audience.

After the Ceremony there is a dinner in Stockholm City Hall, where we get to see our Royals and the Nobel Laureates descending those fabulous stairs!

Live stream award ceremony:

Live stream banquet:

You knew I had to work this in somehow… 😉

Let’s just get this one out of the way first. Per JR on Twitter, Crown Princess Victoria is wearing the Baden fringe tiara, the Braganza Rose diamond brooch, and a Bernadotte diamond rivierè. The dress is by Swedish-Eritrean designer Selam Fessahaye, and to say it is controversial sartorially is an understatement. It is important to note that the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded earlier today in Oslo, was given to the Prime MInister of Ethiopia for his role in ending the 20 year war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The choice of dress designer may be a diplomatic nod.

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Princess Madeleine and Princess Sofia both brought tiara surprises. Sofia has developed yet another iteration on her wedding tiara by adding turquoise, and Madeleine zhuzzed up the Aquamarines even further by added a diamond rivierè to the base. Madeleine is wearing a gown by Angel Sanchez, and Sofia’s gown (thanks, Mrs. D.!) is by Emelie Janrell.

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Queen Silvia repeated the fabulous gold and cream Elie Saab, which she debuted in Beirut last month, and added Queen Sofia’s Diamond tiara (Pronger to you all) and Queen Josefina’s Pearl & Ruby brooch.

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Everyone made it down the stairs at the banquet – whew! I am always holding my breath because stairs and ballgowns can be treacherous, but the Swedes handle it every year.

Here are some tiara close-ups at the tables.

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Some good full length shots of Maddie, Silvia, and Sofia’s gowns.

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Victoria’s gown, in motion. You tell me if you think this worked! I’ll only say that it definitely gave us something to talk about!

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We will update the post as pictures start rolling in, but please feel free to post in the comments, and let’s have some fun!

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Belgium · Luxembourg

Royal Wedding Gowns – Eighties Excess

This is the last in our series on royal wedding gowns. We hope you enjoyed the tour, which took us through family traditions, cultural aesthetics, matching gowns to venues, scaling gowns to the occasion, coats and wraps galore, and many other aspects of designing a royal wedding gown. If you want to revisit any part of it, go to “Find that Post” on the header, select “Recurring Feature” and “Royal Wedding Gowns”.

We are leaving with a fun post by revisiting the era of excess, otherwise known as the eighties. Big sleeves, big hair, big design, big, well – everything. If you are wondering where the granddaddy of all big dresses is, we have already covered that one! Take a trip back and enjoy some other gowns.

Bride: Princess Astrid of Belgium
Designer: Louis Mies

The daughter of King Albert and Queen Paola married in 1984, and the operating word on her gown is leg-o-mutton sleeves. No one ever remembers that gown was made of taffeta, had a massively long train and some lovely lace insets. The sleeves simply take over.

Brides: Princess Marie Astrid and Princess Margretha of Luxembourg
Designers: Unknown

The mini-marriage boom in Luxembourg occurred in 1981 and 1982, with Hereditary Grand Duke Henri marrying in 1981, and his two sisters in 1982. Just in time for ruffles! The older of the sisters, Marie Astrid, married first. Her gown featured ruffles at the sleeves, v neckline and waist. The gown also featured an assymetrical wrap that secured the skirt adorned with – you guessed it – ruffles.

Princess Margretha, Grand Duke Henri’s younger sister, married a few weeks later. The gown has many similarities to her sister’s, in this case, though, the ruffles decorate a high neckline and are even more liberally applied to the sleeves. The same volume can be found in the skirt, though! It remained 1982 ; ).

The eighties were my heyday, and I have more than my share of fondness for their more outrageous elements. The good news is that all of these marriages have lasted, and there are many children from the unions. The big, of-their-times dresses made not a difference to long term happiness, and they give us something to look back on with, we hope, amused tolerance if not outright appreciation.

What part of the "Eighties Excess" is your favorite?

Open Post – King’s Banquet for Nobel Laureates

It’s such an amazing week for tiara lovers. The second night of Nobel festivities is here! The annual royal banquet dinner will be held at the Royal Palace tonight, 7:30 local time.

Our Royal ladies have been known to wear some repeats for this event, but they always find new ways to make them shine.

We’ll play today much like yesterday, with an Open Post for chatting and posting. As always, we will update with photos as they becoming available. In the meantime, have fun documenting the festivities in the comments.

Here is a link to see the Dinner:

Silvia looked beautiful in a repeated blue Georg et Arend dress and the Connaught tiara. I love these earrings. Thanks to Tiaramania for this lovely photo!

Crown Princess Victoria’s gown is courtesy of her wedding dress designer Pär Engsheden, Princess Sofia’ flowered gown is by Ida Lanto, and Princess Madeleine is also sporting flower appliques, courtesy of Ida Sjöstedt . All photos courtesy of Svensk Dam.