Belgium · Britain · Japan · Netherlands

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

It’s Prinsjesdag week! We will have two Prinsjesdag posts: today we’ll ask the community to post their favorite Prinsjesdag dresses from the past (worn by Max, Oma or the royal of your choice). On Tuesday we’ll follow the action with an open post. We hope everyone jumps in with their favorite comments and photos of the ongoing action. Next week we’ll return to weddings on Tuesdays.

This weeks Hall of Fame vote will be Grand Duchess Stephanie – Evening division. We think you’ll be surprised when you review some of her evening looks. We sure were. The woman has worn some things that just announce “Grand Duchess.”


Look who we found! Princess (always Queen Oma to us) Beatrix attended the Zwaluwen Youth Action event, an initiative to help young athletes to raise money for their peers with muscular diseases. Holy bows, Oma ; ).

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Queen Mathilde attended the Global Summit for Vaccination in Brussels, wearing an ensemble by by Dries Van Noten. I like the color and wish for a bit more shape, somewhere.

I know I keep returning to her tour to Canada, but she’s just so darn engaging. Princess Takamado (Hisako) wore an unusual for Japanese royalty floral dress during her recent visit to Edmonton, Alberta.

The Duchess of Sussex is returning from maternity leave. Last week she debuted her capsule wardrobe collection. Sussex Royal released some photos of thrilled clients trying on some of the pieces.

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Last month, The Duchess of Sussex surprised Smart Works clients during the capsule collection shoot in west London…Today, The Duchess, alongside @SmartWorksCharity – in partnership with @InsideJigsaw, @JohnLewisandPartners, @MarksandSpencer and @MishaNonoo – are incredibly proud to reveal to everyone, #TheSmartSet – a five piece capsule collection that will equip the Smart Works clients with the classic wardrobe pieces to help them feel confident as they mobilise back into the work space. • “Since moving to the UK, it has been deeply important to me to meet with communities and organisations on the ground doing meaningful work and to try to do whatever I can to help them amplify their impact. It was just last September that we launched the ‘Together’ cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen in Grenfell. Today, a year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good. Thank you to the four brands who came together in supporting Smart Works on this special project – placing purpose over profit and community over competition. In convening several companies rather than one, we’ve demonstrated how we can work collectively to empower each other – another layer to this communal success story, that I am so proud to be a part of” – The Duchess of Sussex The collection – which features a shirt, trousers, blazer, dress and tote bag – will be on sale for two weeks starting today, with the objective of selling enough units to give Smart Works the essentials they need to help dress clients for the coming year! For every item bought during the sale of the collection, one will be donated to Smart Works, this 1:1 model allows customers to directly support the Smart Works women by playing a part in their success story – how they look and more importantly, how they feel. Photo © @JennyZarins

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This and That

The trio of Prince Harry, Queen Letizia and Prince Daniel celebrated their shared birthdays on September 15th. Quick – who is 47? Who is 35? Who is 46? Daniel, of course, was born on the day Carl Gustaf became King. If you ever have to make up a royal trivia game, that day is full of fodder.

If you want to hire out some fantastic replicas of the British Crown Jewels – among various other things – LiL found this for us. Dare I say some of these are an improvement over the genuine article? Or you could call on this company. If you click the link you will see an excellent replica of the Vladimir.

What did I miss?

Belgium · Denmark · Greece · Italy

Royal Wedding Gowns – 1930s Glam Squad

Welcome our Royal Wedding Gown feature, where we look at royal gowns from a different perspective. Today we’ll talk about how flat-out glamour, paired with royal accessorizing, can transform an ordinary bridal look into that worthy of a royal wedding.

You’ll notice that the thirties plays a big role in my glam squad contingent, and there’s a good reason for it. Despite the terrible Depression, or maybe because of it, some of the most glamorous looks of the last century came from that decade.

Previous entries in this series include: Danish Heirloom Lace , Royal Wedding Venues, Venue Size and Scale, Historical and Artistic References, Orange Blossoms, British Embroidery. and Sparkles and Glow.

Bride: Princess Ingrid of Sweden
Designer: Unknown

Princess Ingrid of Sweden married her third cousin (from both sides of the family) Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark on May 24, 1935. Her wedding was a significant media event of the day, and anticipation was high with regard to her wedding dress. She did not disappoint. Her dress was described as a “simply cut” white gown, done up in either silk or crepe satin. Features of the gown included high neck, a draped bodice, and long sleeves. The royal touch was the 20-foot train, trimmed with lace worn by Ingrid’s mother Princess Margaret of Connaught on her own wedding day in 1906. As we discussed previously, the heirloom lace veil has since been worn many descendants of Ingrid or their brides on their own wedding day. The fitted gown had a high glamour quotient, but was “royaled up” both by the train, the lace, and by the sentimental addition of the diamond “Daisy” brooch, gifted to Ingrid by her father and reportedly fashioned from diamonds owned by her mother. Ingrid’s daughter Margrethe also wore this brooch on her wedding day.

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Bride: Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark
Designer: Edward Molyneux

Princess Marina, Wikimedia Commons

Princess Marina was considered to be one of the most glamorous women to marry into the House of Windsor.  For her 1934 wedding to Prince George, Duke of Kent, British designer Edward Molyneux fashioned her a 3/4 sleeve, cowl-necked gown made from silver and white brocade with a flower design. To up the pizzazz even further, he lined it with silver lamé. Since it was a royal wedding, he also added a fifteen foot court train. The bride wore a veil of handmade lace and white tulle that had been worn by her mother and sister at their weddings. You can now send your hearty thanks to Princess Marina for securing the whole shebang with the Kent City of London Fringe Tiara, starting the now de rigueur tiara appearance at British royal weddings. Now that’s royaled up glamour!

Bride: Marie José of Belgium
Designer: Unknown, but said to be by some sources her husband

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Our next 1930s bride is Marie José of Belgium, or, as she is rather dramatically known, the last Queen of Italy.  She was also called the May Queen, due to her short 30 day tenure during that month. If you want to read about her rather scandalous life, the Wikipedia entry is a good gateway. But we are concerned with her gown.

On January 8, 1930, she became the Princess of Piedmont  (Principessa di Piemonte) when she married  Prince Umberto of Italy. She wore a gown that owed a lot to the previous decade. It was a loose shift design, with detailing at the hip. In a twist on royal wedding dresses, the design was said to have been highly influenced by her husband. She wore a lace veil secured by the dramatic version of the Musy Tiara, recently featured here.

There are also a few contemporary photos said to be of the couple on the same day, where the bride is wearing a shorter bridal gown, sans the Musy tiara. If anyone has insight on this sartorial mystery, let us know!

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A final look at our glam squad. Sigh.

Who's the glammest to you?
Belgium · Japan

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

Handbaggers, it’s either feast or famine in Bits and Bobs and we are definitely feasting this week. Let’s not waste any time…


Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako get top billing because they attended an event close to my heart: a national meeting for the promotion of healthy oceans and an exhibition and reception for sea enrichment. Masako is just firing on all cylinders these days – Empressing suits her.

Princess Takamado (Hisako) continues her sunny tour of Canada; stopping here in Mississauga while sporting a jaunty peach ensemble.

Mathilde visited the Biennale Arte Venice 2019, and I love this soft green hat and overall flowing ensemble from Natan.

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And, why, yes, she is channeling her Benelux Queen sister, Max, again. One day we’ll have to do an entire post on these twin ensembles. Royal Hats has the scoop on the hats here!

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#stylecheck Queen Maxima & Queen Mathilde wearing almost the same dress😍 Which look do you prefer? Please remember to evaluate the outfit not the person. [This was spotted by me & the edit is made by me too,please give credit if you use it!] #royalstylewatch #royalfashion #queenmaxima #queenmathilde (Der “Stylecheck” ist eine Reihe auf meiner Seite die euch vermutlich schon aufgefallen ist. Dort poste ich Royals die sehr ähnliche oder sogar gleich Looks tragen, zum Teil auch Royals und Stars. Dabei liegt der Fokus auf der Mode und nicht auf den Personen. Ich bitte euch wirklich, stets für das Outfit zu stimmen was euch stiltechnisch besser gefällt, abgesehen davon ob ihr die Person total mögt oder auch nicht. Auch ich bewerte hier stets den Stil.)

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Victoria stepped out smartly in this repeat Rodebjer pink suit with a blouse by the same manufacturer. I love the zhuzzed up earrings.


The Brits are grabbing some last minute leisure time before the autumn duties close in. The Queen made an appearance at the Braemer Games with the delightful Autumn Philips, both in fabulous hats. Peter, Charles and Cams were also there, but Autumn is just pulling me in here. Megan came back to her home country to see her friend Serena Williams play, and I can honestly say I covet her J. Crew cardigan and dress, but have no event at which to wear them, alas.

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Handbag Announcement

We are mourning the last of the ROYGBIV posts, but we want to keep the audience participation generated by those posts alive while OC and her typing fingers take a break! Starting this Thursday and continuing as long as we can make it last, we are introducing the Hofdame Hall of Fame.

A hofdame will choose a royal and what they consider that royals best ensemble. We will indicate the category, which will be either day or evening. We will take into consideration the entire look, which includes accessories – tiaras, too, if applicable.

We understand that our commenters may feel very differently, and may even completely disagree with our choice. We invite you please post your own nomination for that royal’s best look in the comments. The top two ensembles will appear in the Hofdame Hall of Fame; one from us, one from the crowd.

Our first Hall of Fame nominee is Crown Princess Victoria, in her best evening ensemble. Start thinking about your nomination now, and we’ll see everyone on Thursday to battle it out.

So, it was a busy back to work week. What did I miss here?

Belgium · Luxembourg

Royal Wedding Gowns – Fur Trim

Welcome our Royal Wedding Gown summer series, where we look at royal gowns from a different perspective. Sometimes it’s the little things that elevate a gown, and sometimes its the big things, like having a winter wedding so high-profile, that you trim the gown in actual fur.

Previous entries in this series include: Danish Heirloom Lace , Royal Wedding Venues, Venue Size and Scale, Historical and Artistic References, Orange Blossoms, British Embroidery, and Sparkles and Glow.

Bride: Fabiola de Mora y Aragón
Designer: Cristóbal Balenciaga

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To appreciate this dress, with its throwback use of fur, you have to understand the time and the occasion. You couldn’t get a grander event than the wedding of Fabiola de Maora y Aragon and King Baudouin on Thursday, December 15, 1960. An aristocrat was marrying a King, and everyone, including the bride, knew they had to show up, and show up well.

Fabiola chose a designer from her country, Spain. Cristóbal Balenciaga set about designing a gown that met both the importance of the occasion and the season. The white silk gown showcased Balenciaga’s signature simple tailoring. The bodice was fitted, with a high neckline and three-quarter length sleeves. The skirt featured a drop waist and a full skirt. The neck and waist were trimmed with white ermine – actual ermine – which bordered the 7-meter train.

BAUDOUIN 1st, King of the Belgians, and Dona FABIOLA leaving the cathedral of Brussles on their wedding day (December 15, 1960). BAUDOUIN Ier, roi des Belges, et Dona FABIOLA, à la sortie de la cathédrale de Bruxelles, le jour de leur mariage, le 15 décembre 1960.

She wore the Nine Provinces Tiara, which had been given to Baudouin’s mother, Princess Astrid, when she and Prince Leopold married in 1926. Fabiola finished off the entire ensemble with elbow length gloves, and a regal air.

Bride: Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista-Falla
Designer: Balmain

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Maria Teresa was a wealthy Cuban exile when she met her love, Hereditary Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, while attending college in Geneva. The bride-to-be was a commoner and an exile from the New World. It was rumored that their marriage announcement was not met with overall joy within Henri’s family. Perhaps to quell the uneasiness, Maria Teresa chose Balmain, an established society couturier, to design a dress that announced “royal” as she walked into the chapel.

The couple married Valentine’s Day wedding in 1981. Balmain designed a dress made in white silk and embossed it with an intricate pattern. The public photographs of the day rather unfortunately wash out many of the details. The pattern does not appear well, and it’s difficult to discern the subtle shaping of the bell skirt and leg-o-mutton sleeves. I also miss a good photo of the train, which extended from the shoulders and flowed two meters to match the veil length. The jewel neckline, cuffs and hem, lined with fur, are visible. It sounds like a lot of detail, and it is, but it was well designed enough not to overwhelm the petite Maria Teresa.

Maria Teresa wore the Congo Diamond Tiara, brought to Luxembourg from Belgium by her mother-in-law, Belgian princess Josephine-Charlotte.

Bride: Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria 
Yves Doom

Marie-Christine is the oldest child of Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria and his wife, who was born Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg, a sister of the current Grand Duke. Although Marie-Christine is not a well-known royal, she is a granddaughter of a Grand Duke, and can boast of a long royal pedigree.  

For her marriage to Count Rodolphe de Limburg-Stirum on December 6, 2008, Archduchess Marie-Christine wore a season-appropriate coat dress in thick ivory satin, with the sleeves heavily trimmed in fur. The dress was said to be designed by a Belgian design house, Yves Doom. I can’t seem to find any information on that designer and thus can’t confirm if the fur is real or artificial. I would suspect the latter, given current sensibilities, but being a royal gown may mean all bets are off. The tailored coat extended into a plan four-meter train.

Marie-Christine wore an antique heirloom lace veil from the Habsburg family. The bride nodded to Luxembourg by donning a diamond floral tiara owned by the Grand Ducal family and wearing the same pearl earrings that her mother and her grandmother Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte wore for their wedding days.

Bride: Adélaïde Drapé-Frisch
Designer: Diane Lelys

When Adélaïde Drapé-Frisch married Marie-Christine’s brother, Archduke Christoph, I realized that both winter weddings and fur trim are Luxembourg family traits. The two tied the knot on December 29, 2012.

The bride channeled her inner Anna Karenina and wore a dramatic dress made of thick duchesse satin. The ensemble was topped with an exaggerated peplum jacket which featured an over-sized fur-trimmed neckline and cuffs. The full skirt flowed into a lengthy train. She wore the same tiara and Habsburg lace veil as her sister-in-law Marie-Christine, but despite that, and the fact that both dresses sported fur trim, they have entirely different effects.

Which fur wedding gown boils your potatoes?
Belgium · Netherlands

Random Royaling – 75th Anniversary Celebrations

Throughout 2019 and 2020 the Netherlands will commemorate the 75th anniversary of their liberation at the end of the Second World War. To start the celebrations, Willem-Alexander and Maxima , along with Philippe and Mathilde, appeared at Terneuzen in Zeeland.

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Maxima is wearing a white blouse and raffia skirt from Natan, and you can see some really nice close ups at ModekoninginMaxima. Mathilde is wearing a repeat white and black print by Esmeralda Ammoun , which I have always found extremely flattering.

But the big news? WAX in a beard. I feel a Spam a Man coming soon, right?

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WAX in a beard, yes or no?