Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair.
On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a contingent of royals from Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain and Belgium attended the official ceremony in Oswiecim, Poland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in a commemorative ceremony held at Methodist Central Hall Westminster. Prince Charles, Grand Duke Henri and Crown Prince Haakon were among world leaders attending the Fifth World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem. There will be no fashion commentary in the post and we ask respectfully that we also refrain from it in the comments.
The first month of 2020 is almost over and do you know what that means? Happy first anniversary to The Handbag! Our first live post was January 30, 2019. Sniff…..our little baby is growing up. On a serious note, thank you to my fellow Hofdames for supporting me in every possible way, and to this community for tuning in, contributing, and in general making this a great, civil place to be. We know how rare that is in internet-land. As for today’s Bits, it’s long, folks. You may want to break it into pieces and digest it slowly over your Monday.
Everything royal you may have missed from the week of January 20, including a snazzy coat worn by HerMaj – Getty Photos
We have believed this for a while, but now the real media is getting involved. Is Camilla giving the younger royals a run for their money, style-wise? The Telegraph has some answers. If you can’t see behind the paywall, call out Lesleyc in the comments. Camilla’s Dior and her general sartorial shining.
The World Economic Forum always includes a gaggle of royals (Is that the same term I used last week? Let’s just say these official terms are fluid.) Maxima strode in wearing a couple of bold, flowered coats. The red is from Valentino and the multi-colored number is Oscar de la Renta. A breakdown of the outfits in their entirety can be found on Modekoningin Maxima.
Mathilde and Philippe were there for the first three days, and it’s a pity we don’t have access to better photos of Mathilde’s red suit because it looks fabulous. The Belga images are here. Buy ten of these, Mathilde!
Prince Daniel was in attendance, and of course Prince Charles was there. His meeting with Greta Thunberg has been big news. I do wonder what their conversation entailed, the meeting of the minds between two passionate environmental advocates.
Kate is heavily involved with the Holocaust Survivor Portrait project, an important endeavor as this part of history moves out of living memory and into the history books. The link is really worth a read. Kensington Palace has released a few of the photos and they are haunting tributes.
The Duchess also photographed Yvonne Bernstein with her granddaughter Chloe. Yvonne was a hidden children in France throughout most of the Holocaust, travelling in the care of her aunt and uncle and frequently changing homes and names. pic.twitter.com/eA51kjLyyV
The New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Sumida, Tokyo, is a very big deal indeed. So big, the Imperial family attended the final nine bouts, and the Empress wore a traditional kimono in honor of the event. Per Prisma on Twitter, it is not always typical attire for the event (Empress MIchiko often wore western clothes), but it is not unusual, either.
On January 25th, Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako and Princess Aiko watched the final 9 bouts at Day 14 of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Sumida, Tokyo. 📸 Daily JP, Kyodo, Nikkansports, Yomiuri pic.twitter.com/N5XGVLWJb6
Two of the Japanese royal women looked quite smart in shades of green. Princess Hisako and Empress Masako, at the All Japan Orchid Association and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery Awards, respectively. Green certainly suits agriculture awards ; ).
Is it odd that the flowing floral actually works on Laurentien – of all people? I think of her wearing modern clothing on the wacky side, but this rather conventional outing is so pretty. She is supporting National Reading Breakfast Days, a cause that I am fully onboard with.
Princess Laurentien of The Netherlands attended the opening of the 17th edition of the National Reading Breakfast Days at the Zoetermeer Stadhuis-Forum Library located in the province of South Holland. pic.twitter.com/zGRG7vQaQI
Lots of Queen action last week, and although every Queen is mindfully recycling here, it’s worth a peek. Let’s get to it. It’s not polite to keep Queens waiting.
Philippe and Mathilde held a New Year’s reception for members of the diplomatic corps, including ambassadors and consuls, assigned to Belgium. It’s a new year, but it’s the same old Natan. Remember the designer was responsible for 72% of her public wardrobe in 2019, and she’s starting 2020 in the same vein. Per Modekoningin Mathilde, it’s a repeat from 2018. Do love her hair here.
More repeated Natan florals! This time on Maxima, on her way in to the first reception of the 2020 year. Per Modekoning in Maxima this is a repeat from 2017, and I have to admit I liked it the first time around better. Something about the hair up made it work – but it seems warm for a windy day, right?
Queen Letizia met with representatives from FEDICINE (The Federation of Cinema Film Distributors) at Zarzuela Palace, and looked appropriately wintery in her repeated Hugo Boss blouse and Herrera skirt. Regal Fille has extensive photos and the lowdown on the accessorizing.
Queen Mathilde wore a repeated red silk chiffon Dior dress (from November 2018, see Modekoningin Mathilde) to the Belgian diplomatic reception. The Queen and King host dignitaries and representatives from the European Union at the annual event. I think the red is a great color for the Queen, but I really want to add some interfacing to the neckline. Regardless of what I think about the details, it’s a classic Queen look for Mathilde.
Queen Letizia, on the other hand, went contemporary for a visit to FEDER (Spanish Federation for Rare Diseases) headquarters . She sported a Uterque Houndstooth Blazer and leather pants. The proportions are working here, since the longer, boxier blazer balances out the slim line of the lower half.