Bhutan · Brunei · Japan

Royal Wedding Gowns – Color

Royal weddings are not always about white gowns. Today we’ll look at color, and how it is reflected in the wedding ensembles worn in Japan, Brunei and Bhutan. Previous entries in this series can be found on the header, under Find That Post!/Recurring Feature.

Bride: Masako Owada
Traditional Dress: Jūnihitoe

Did you know that when Crown Prince Naruhito was engaged to diplomat Masako Owada in 1993, Japan was gripped by “Masako Mania”? Much of the country was excited to see what western-style dress Masako would wear for the wedding, but part of her ensemble was pre-ordained and traditional. The traditional jūnihitoe , or the colorful part, is what we are concerned with today.

Jūnihitoe means 12 layer robe, although the number of layers differ depending on the event. The layers are all silk garments, and the number of layers can only be discerned at the sleeves, neckline and hem. A description of each layer can be found here.

Look at the layers more closely here. The colors, including green, light yellow, orange and burgundy, blend harmoniously. These colors are often given poetic names to mark the occasion. The layered garment can weigh up to 20 kg, so kudos to Masako for making it look easy. Note the elaborate fan which color coordinates with the dress, and is an important part of the entire ensemble.

Just for contrast, here is her western style gown and the Japanese scroll tiara, worn by several generations of Japanese royals on their wedding days.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Bride: Jetsun Pema
Traditional Dress: Kira, toego, wonju (The bride wore several iterations of this ensemble)
Groom: Jigme Khesar Namgeyl Wangchuck
Traditional Dress: Gho and tshoglham

When Jetsun Pema married the current King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, in 2011, a veritable explosion of color was on display. In this case we should look at both bride and groom, because their ensembles are equally beautiful and colorful.

First, the bride. She wore the traditional kira, the ankle dress that is traditional to Bhutan. Her kira was red, yellow, green and white. Her toego, or jacket, was light yellow. Her wonju, or blouse, was red, and she added red earrings. During the ceremony, the Phoenix Crown was placed on her head.

The King wore the traditional gho in bright yellow, which was worn by his own father. He wore colorful Bhutanese boots (tshoglham), the elaborate design displaying the status of the wearer. During the ceremony the Raven Crown was placed on his head.

Bride: Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah of Brunei
Traditional Dress: Long gown, lace head scarf for the bride, and knee length jacket for the groom.

The princess and her groom, Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini, married on September 23, 2012, in a celebration that encompassed the wedding ceremony and several receptions. The bride and groom wore lavish incarnations of traditional dress.

In Brunei, a conservative Muslim culture, brides typically wear long gowns, in a light color, often with flower designs. They also cover their hair with head scarves that feature prominent lace work at the border. The princess added several different tiaras, as well. The groom wore a knee length jacket and matching trousers, as is typical, along with a traditional turban. What is not typical is the level of jewelry accessorizing that you see below, because this was an elaborate and very Brunei-royal wedding on every level.

The light blue and purple gowns pictured below were worn to the receptions. The light yellow gown was worn during the wedding ceremony in the throne room.

What do you like most about colorful wedding ensembles? Choose as many options as you want!
Bhutan · Britain · Denmark · Japan · Sweden

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

Madness is the only word to describe the last two weeks in the royal world. We are back to normal programming this week. We’ll have our second in the series of coats and capes wedding gowns tomorrow, What If Wednesday, and end with Princess Margaret in the Hall of Fame on Friday (line up those photos of ballgowns and tulle!). Onward to the week of regular royal duty.

Handbaggers Embiggen the Royal Reporting World

Our Handbaggers continue to enliven the online world of royal watching! Remember our Royal Warren(t)’s fabulous Chaumet photos? They are being highlighted over at The Court Jeweller! Head on over to learn more about the history behind the sparkles.

Our own Triple Duchess has a guest post this Thursday – not going to spoil the surprise – but you don’t want to miss it!

Geogirl is always on the hunt for things that might interest Handbaggers. She submitted this quite some time ago, but we have been so busy we haven’t posted it until now. Take a tour of Balmoral!

Inside the Duchy of Cornwall

The documentary which highlights the life work of Prince Charles is both touching and fascinating. I highly recommend it, both for an inside view of British country life, and for how a prince who remains an heir for 71 years fills his time. The answer is: quite productively. Part One is on YouTube, link below.

Regular Royaling

A lot of regular royaling went on, even during enthronement week. It’s a good thing Fred and Maz are fit, because they were right back at work, attending a dinner party with the American Chamber of Commerce. Remember this dress? The floral print Erdem was previously worn at Harald and Sonja’s birthday celebrations.

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I Moltkes Palæ i København deltog Kronprinsparrets i aftes i en festmiddag i anledning af det amerikanske handelskammer AmCham Denmarks 20-års jubilæum. Middagen var en fejring af de kulturelle og handelsmæssige bånd, der findes mellem USA og Danmark. Efter middagen overrakte H.K.H. Kronprinsen prisen ”Foreign Company of the Year” til den amerikanske biotechvirksomhed Amgen, der gennem videnskab, innovation og teknologi omdanner ideer og forskningsresultater til medicin til patienter med alvorlige sygdomme. AmCham Denmark (The American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark) er en nonprofit forening, der repræsenterer 260 virksomheder med investeringer i Danmark og USA. Foreningen blev etableret i 1999 og er en del af det internationale AmCham-netværk, der findes i mere end 100 lande. 📸 Pamela Juhl ©

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Talk about regular, King Harald flew commercial to the UK last week, practically undercover.

Regular Royaling does include sequins! Sils sparkled it up with two handsome escorts at the gathering of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) at Stockholm Concert Hall.

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I går närvarade Kungaparet och Prins Daniel vid Kungl. Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademiens (IVA) högtidssammankomst. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ IVA firar i år 100 år och verkar för en positiv samhällsutveckling genom att främja tekniska och ekonomiska vetenskaper samt näringslivets utveckling. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Under högtidssammankomsten delade Kungen ut akademiens guldmedaljer till: ekonomie dr Hans Dalborg, professor Max Tegmark, civilingenjör Lena Olving samt Spotifygrundarna Daniel Ek och Martin Lorentzon. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ På kvällens bankett i Stockholms stadshus höll Kungen ett tal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ”Ta bara några av de program som akademien bedriver: för fler unga ingenjörer, för ett starkare entreprenörskap, för en utveckling som är både ekonomiskt och miljömässigt hållbar. Vad är allt detta, om inte starka skäl att känna just hopp för framtiden? Mina damer och herrar. Jag har härmed framfört mina belägg för att denna hundraåring är både ung och lovande. Jag hoppas att ni håller med mig, och att vi tillsammans kan bekräfta detta med ett fyrfaldigt leve för Kungliga Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademien!” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📷: Daniel Söderberg/IVA (bild 1, 3), Pelle T Nilsson/SPA (bild 2, 4-6)

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Even among Japanese royals, regular royaling went on. Princess Hisako at the J.League Levain Cup Final. I am in love with the blazer/necklace combination.

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Let’s End with Benedikte

This is becoming a bit of a mini-tradition, right? Princess Bene opened the headquarters of the Princess Benedikte Institute in Brazil. The Institute aids children who have been victims of sexual molestation or come from homes where drug addiction has made life impossible. Benedikte was particularly lovely with the small children. More at New My Royals.

What did I miss?

Bhutan · Britain · Denmark · Japan · Sweden

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

A major summer storm blew out my electricity for two days so this Bits and Bobs may be Bit -tier than usual. Onward!


I suppose that Daisy considers her whirlwind of activity a vacation, but it’s hardly disappearing from the world. They have caught her relaxing here, and I want a better glimpse of that watercolor.

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Sommerhilsen fra Château de Cayx, hvor Hendes Majestæt Dronningen opholder sig i disse uger. I år er det 45 år siden, at Majestæten og Prins Henrik købte det franske vinslot. Købet kom i stand under et sommerophold i Prinsens barndomshjem Le Cayrou i 1974, da Regentparret hørte, at slottet var sat til salg. Kort tid efter kunne Dronningen og Prinsen kalde sig for slotsejere i Frankrig. Med en beliggenhed på blot 15 kilometer fra Prins Henriks barndomshjem har Château de Cayx en helt særlig placering, og om købet af slottet har Prins Henrik i en bog fra 2004 sagt, at ”i løbet af meget kort tid var vi derfor blevet de lykkelige ejere af et smukt lille vinslot i et af Frankrigs skønneste områder, tæt på min familie.” Gennem årene har Château de Cayx været den kongelige families base i Frankrig. I Prins Henriks levetid tilbragte Dronningen og Prinsen flere uger på det franske vinslot hver sommer, og denne tradition har Hendes Majestæt fortsat efter Prins Henriks død. 📸 Jacob Jørgensen, Kongehuset ©

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Talk about working, Bhutan has been hopping. Both a visit from the Indian Prime Minister and a private, official visit from Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko and Prince Hisahito began last week. Because there can never ever be enough Bhutan, we’ll put all the photos here. Kiko had a great arrival suit, which you can view more closely at New My Royals.

Fabric swooning.

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19 August 2019: His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen granted an Audience to Their Imperial Highnesses Crown Prince and Crown Princess Akishino and Prince Hisahito of Japan at the Golden Throne Room of the Tashichhodzong this morning. The Imperial Family were escorted in a ceremonial Chipdrel procession to the Dzong. Following the Audience, the Japanese Imperial Family were invited to lunch at the Lingkana Palace. The Imperial Family arrived in Bhutan on Saturday for a private visit on the invitation of His Majesty The King. #KingJigmeKhesar #KingofBhutan #QueenJetsunPema #QueenofBhutan #PrinceJigmeNamgyel #Bhutan #CrownPrinceAkishino #CrownPrincessAkishino #PrinceHisahito #Japan

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The heirs have a play date.

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19 August 2019: His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen granted an Audience to Their Imperial Highnesses Crown Prince and Crown Princess Akishino and Prince Hisahito of Japan at the Golden Throne Room of the Tashichhodzong this morning. The Imperial Family were escorted in a ceremonial Chipdrel procession to the Dzong. Following the Audience, the Japanese Imperial Family were invited to lunch at the Lingkana Palace. The Imperial Family arrived in Bhutan on Saturday for a private visit on the invitation of His Majesty The King. #KingJigmeKhesar #KingofBhutan #QueenJetsunPema #QueenofBhutan #PrinceJigmeNamgyel #Bhutan #CrownPrinceAkishino #CrownPrincessAkishino #PrinceHisahito #Japan

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Queens in Training

Princess Estelle has started first grade. Or grade one, depending on your country and point of view. She looks very Swedish, very mature and very happy, doesn’t she? May her school days continue in this way.

Bagger Mailbag

From our geogirl, a fabulous dress actually worn by Queen Elizabeth I.

Are you interested in old school dentistry? You are warned, this gets a tad creepy: Marie Antoinette and her teeth. Also courtesy of geogirl!

What did I miss?

Bhutan · Britain · Gabon · Ife Ife Kingdom · Jordan · Norway

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

We’re just going to jump in, ok?


Summertime is cousin time in the British Royal Family. It’s true generation after generation and the Tindall/Phillips clan keeps it going.

As do Charles, David Linley, and the Chattos.

Can we take a moment to admire the sartorial efforts of Miss Mia Tindall and her snazzy shoes?


Check out Hisako’s hat!

Rania’s 49th birthday is August 31st, which stunned me. She has been working away all summer, wearing a series of crisp poplin shirts that I find super flattering for her. Wearing white in the brilliant Jordanian sun always wins.

Speaking of brilliant, stylish white clothes, Her Majesty Olori Silekunola Moronke Ogunwusi, Yeyeluwa Oodua and queen consort of Ife-Ife Kingdom was gorgeous in white here.

Here is a potential job for an enterprising Baggers: Run Buckingham Palace, and perhaps encounter the Queen herself on occasion. One of our London based Baggers will have to tell us if one can survive in London on 50K a year – although I suppose your housing would be provided.

This and That

Then again you may not want the housing at Buck House. The next link comes with a trigger warning, and I am being serious, not facetious. The History Channel has an entry on the history of royal palaces focusing on the Middle Ages. Do not click on the link and read if you can’t tolerate descriptions of squalor and bodily functions, because there are detailed descriptions of both. If you are strong of stomach and mind, you will find the descriptions of how large numbers of people in the royal courts lived together, day to day. It’s not pretty, but it’s fascinating and, if you are like me, it will make you very glad to live in the 21st century. H/T to our geogirl, for bringing this to our attention.

The fabulous “An Historian About Town” recommends a some fashion and fashion/royal books. I have added several to my own list.

Are you a Marvel fan? Samuel L. Jackson has been on a voyage of discovery in the Kingdom of Gabon, and I am so very touched by his posts. After learning about his ancestors in the PBS show “Finding Your Roots”, he decided to travel to both Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Here he meets the King of Benga.

Auntie Astrid turned 87 years young last FEBRUARY (thanks Ween!). Lets all just appreciate what a treasure we have.

Speaking of birthdays, The Queen Mother of Bhutan, the mother of the current Bhutanese king Jigme Wangchuck, turned 60 in June. I feel that publishing her photo might create a stampede to the country in search of the fountain of youth.

Ok, what did I miss?

Belgium · Bhutan · Britain · Denmark · Greece · Netherlands

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

When we started blogging about royals we were told that we would struggle to find material in the summer months. I have to ask: when does that start? There is so much going on, let’s get going!

Emperors, Kings and Queens in Training

The Japanese Imperial Family is going on vacation, and the Imperial heirs will travel separately. The Crown Prince will travel to Bhutan first, and Prince HIsahito and Princess Kiko will arrive together, later.

Prince George is six and his mummy is commemorating the date with her patented Catherine Camera Angles. She has really gotten good at capturing those moments. As an aside, does it seem like six years to all of you? When we were all staring at the Lindo Wing door for days?

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This is SO GOOD. Backstage with Elisabeth at King Philippe’s national day address. She is really stepping forward these days and is emerging as an elegant and poised young woman.

The Dutch royal family posted a photo of Max and Wax and three random adults in flowing summer dresses. Just kidding! The Dutch princesses are racing toward adulthood, though. I am intrigued in particular by our budding fashionista Alexia’s Sandro Paris dress.

The Queen in Training, Amalia, is also wearing the brand. Each princess was photographed alone, and I am completely fascinated by the photo featuring the heir. She already looks comfortable in the role. It’s interesting to trace the family dynamic in photos, from the three little girls all dressed alike to this point in time, when their personalities shine separately.

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Here is a tip from one of our readers: “If you search for “Willem & Maxima interview” (or some approximation) on YouTube, you’ll come across a 9. 5” video of the shoot.  It shows so much more of the family loving dynamics and the girls’ very teenage primping & self consciousness.”

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Here is a great way to spend summer: hanging with granny and gramps. Based on the photo of what is left of dinner, I wish I had been invited. Great summer shift on Olympia, too.

Balmoral has bats! And the Queen doesn’t mind, not at all. In fact, they enhance her holiday experience ; ).


Some possible tiara action in October! The Belgian royals will pay a visit to Luxembourg from October 15 to October 17.

Actual Queens a-Queening and some Classic Princess Action

I love these two, what else can I say? Summer suits Daisy, in particular.

Princess Alexandra charms the socks off the community of Telford.

Whew! What did I miss?