Britain

Random Royaling – NATO Reception

The Queen hosted a reception ahead of the NATO alliance summit, to mark the organizations 70th anniversary. As always, we are focusing on the sartorial aspects and leaving the politics to other pages.

I find the fashion of both the First Lady and Her Majesty fascinating. The First Lady is wearing a dramatic yellow cape from Maison Valentino, and what appears to be a contrasting purple dress. Her Majesty is wearing a flowered silk dress, which is expected, and a interesting chiffon scarf, which is less expected. The scarf is secured with The Queen Mother’s Palm Leaf brooch.

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Always the center of it all!

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Unfortunately, the only photos available to us of the Duchess of Cambridge are head shots, so we can’t dissect the dress. On the fortunate side, we get a good shot of the beautiful Diamond Pendant earrings on loan from the Queen.

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The Duchess of Cornwall continues to delight me. Not only does she find the handsomest men to chat with, she surprises with a dress in a red hue she doesn’t often wear.

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The Princess Royal was there, and again, we don’t have access to anything other than head shots. She is capably holding her own with one of the most powerful women on earth, as we would expect.

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The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester also attended. Princess Alexandra was slated to be there, but I didn’t find any photos of her, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex did not attend due to an illness in the family.

We did get to revisit a few of the women we have seen in these pages previously. I know around we always like an Agata sighting, and she was her sleek and composed self. We also got a glimpse of Emine Erdogen, the wife of the President of Turkey.

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Dressing for diplomacy, how did they do?

Britain · Denmark · Luxembourg · Netherlands · Spain

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

For those re-emerging from the Thanksgiving Holiday, welcome back to the working week. For everyone else, hello again – hope you didn’t miss us too much ; ). Let’s just just get right down to it.

Housekeeping

Getty has been busy re-coding their embed function again, so we are relying on Instagram photos for the time being. Hopefully all that is sorted out soon (before the Nobel Ceremonies!).

We have been doing a 24 day to Christmas countdown on Twitter, featuring iconic royal evening gowns. Keep an eye on the Twitter feed for more fun!

Getty Photos

Newsworthy on the Net

  • Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have filmed a television special with Mary Berry, due to air on December 16. I hope our British Handbaggers report back.
  • Queen Elizabeth I was an author and translator, as well as Queen.
  • Love Cartier as much as I do? Head on over to Tokyo for the “Crystallization of Time” exhibit. Even the website is pure beauty.
  • File this in the “What Already?” folder: Princess Aiko turns 18!
    • And file this under “Interesting and why hasn’t it happened yet”, per the article: “An October poll by Kyodo News showed that 81.9 percent of the public are in favor of Japan having a reigning empress.”
  • Wondering what happened with Princess Mako’s engagement? Her father is, too, and wants her to update the public about it.
  • The Norwegian Princely couple hosted their annual dinner at Skaugum for the Norwegian civil society, the country’s Red Cross. Mette-Marit was there, looking great in red.
  • Margareta, Custodian of the Crown of Romania, has been standing firm in her defense of her family and country. If you have a chance to read the speech at the link (in English), I encourage you to do so. For our purposes here, she has been doing so while looking extremely pulled together.
  • Speaking of Romania, were you aware that Queen Mother Helen of Romania, the divorced wife of Carol II, is a Righteous Among Nations, just as Princess Alice was? There is an upcoming program on Romanian television about her fascinating and courageous life, and I encourage any Romanian speakers here to report back.

Denmark

The Christmas season is here, ready or not. The Danes have been telegraphing it by wearing a lot of red to events, Marie in particular. It’s a good thing it suits her.

Luxembourg

The entire Grand Ducal family convened at the Château de Colmar-Berg on the 100th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Grand Duchess Charlotte.

Britain

Sophie attended a “Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth” discussion, and although I could sit and quibble about the clothing I prefer to focus on how absolutely thrilled everyone was with her participation. Joy all around.

Spain

We all got a bit too excited on last weeks Bits and Bobs at a possible hair bob reappearance, but Leti had us fooled with a fake-out hairstyle. Still, this was an overall stellar appearance in a Dries Van Noten midi. Utterly Leti and and utterly chic. Queen Letizia Style will bring you up to date on all the accessorizing.

The Netherlands

WAX just endeared himself to me, yet again, by gamely climbing on to this two-person bike, which allows those who can no longer bicycle continue on with the activity. The way the Dutch look after their elderly and compromised populations is truly heart warming.

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Britain · Photoshops

What If Wednesday: Runway to Royalty

Let’s take a look at some of the more “extreme” runway fashions that I have “royaled up” over the years. Our subject for this post will be Kate, since McQueen is one of her go to designers, and they are very well known for their out there designs.

I’ve always thought these dresses would be great for her. The designs are several seasons old at this point, but we all know that she isn’t opposed to buying stuff and holding it in reserve for a while.

I’m not really sure this is her style as it’s a bit bold in its pattern. But I think a redesign along these lines would work for her. I opened up the neckline and lost the top “bar” in order to lighten things up. And of course added about a foot and a half of length. LOL

I’ve always liked this print. I de-poofed the sleeves and shortened them. Then I turned it into a sheath, keeping the belt to help it retain a bit of its original edge.

This is my favorite of the lot, and didn’t need much alteration at all. It reminds me a bit of the dress she wore to the reception in Poland a few years back. I just closed up the sheer bits on the skirt, gave it a solid belt, and closed up the gaps in the bodice.

With a little nip and tuck here, and some well placed length and lining there, just about any extreme runway look can be adapted for royal wear! What do you think?

Britain · Monaco · Spain

Royal Wedding Gowns – Fatigue-Defying Lace

Welcome our Royal Wedding Gown series, where we look at royal gowns from a different perspective. Today we are tackling everyone’s favorite subject, lace fatigue, and defying it with gowns that do lace right.

Previous entries in this series can be found in the Recurring Feature section, Weddings, found under “Find that Post!” in the header bar.

Bride: Beatrice Borromeo
Designer: Giorgio Armani Privé

Yes, Beatrice Borromeo had five wedding dresses and heaven knows how many other changes of clothes over her wedding weekend. The one we are focusing on is the religious ceremony wedding dress, a dreamy, flowing vision of a lace gown.

The wedding between Beatrice Borromeo and Pierre Casiraghi is best described as aristocratic and royal adjacent, not truly royal, but one thing really lept out at me. The groom was besotted with his bride, and who can blame him? Just look at her in that dress. She is a lace fever dream. The ivory Armani Privé dress sported a flared silhouette in Chantilly lace and layers of silk chiffon, which flowed and moved with the bride as she walked. The open neckline dropped to a deep-V in the back, and was fastened with a row of buttons. She finished the look with a delicate silk tulle veil attached with sparkly hair ornaments.

Bride: Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark
Designer: Jean Dessès

The wedding of Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark and Prince Juan Carlos of Spain was truly royal, uniting two European houses (although Spain had yet to return to a monarchy). Many of the European royal houses represented in the bridal party, so the whole shebang was quite the occasion. The dress itself had to represent royalty with a capital R.

Princess Sofia requested that her gown be sewn by Greek seamstresses, and they delivered a beautifully constructed dress of tulle and lace on a silver-white lamé base. The open neckline, 3/4 length sleeves and split skirt add design interest without overwhelming the bride. It’s a lace extravaganza, imperfectly rendered in the period photographs.

Fortunately, the dress has been on display in the Museum of Palace Life in Aranjuez. We can get a better look at the back of the gown in particular, with that spectacular train that extended from her shoulders for 20 (!) feet. It, too, was covered with tulle, and more lace. She anchored her veil with the Prussian Diamond tiara on loan from her mother, Queen Frederica.

Bride: Catherine Middleton
Designer: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

This dress worn by Catherine Middleton at her wedding to Prince William needs no introduction or explanation. It has been widely photographed and extensively discussed. It would be no exaggeration to say it was one of the most, if not the most, anticipated royal wedding gowns of the last twenty years.

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As lacey as the dress appeared on first viewing, much of the lace detail was not that apparent on the television screen, particularly the appliques on the skirt, underskirt and bodice. The bodice incorporated floral motifs cut from machine-made lace,  in a style influenced by traditional Carrickmacross lace. The entire dress was fabricated from white satin gazar. The impeccably tailored bodice opened into a full skirt with padded hips and a bustle, flowing into a 270 cm train. She attached her chapel length veil with the Cartier Halo tiara.

Bride: Grace Kelly
Designer: Helen Rose

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I debated even including this one because it’s almost beyond discussing at this point. Since everyone knows it very well, I’ll hit the high points. Point 1: The dress was a gift from MGM, and designed by a Hollywood costume designer. This makes it more of a set piece rather than a wedding dress, but it served its purpose to such a degree it’s become iconic. Point 2: It’s not a dress at all. Skirt, train, bodice and cummerbund are all separate pieces. The whole thing is supported by a corset and two petticoats. Point 3: The dress materials included “twenty-five yards of silk taffeta, one hundred yards of silk net, peau de soie, tulle, and 125 year old Brussels lace”.

Which is your favorite Royal lace wedding gown?
Britain · Denmark · Japan · Spain

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

Duty endures. Let’s see what it looks like at the end of 2019.

Getty Photos

Even if we didn’t feature it here, you know it happened when Getty has the photos.

The stories behind the scenes of The Crown.
Emperor Naruhito hosts closing banquet of the enthronement ceremonies.
Quick tour of all royal houses for the week of November 18th.

Newsworthy on the Net

Looking for a good read over the holidays? Anne Boleyn and QEII are up at History of Royal Women.
Princess Margriet and her husband Pieter being just, well, ADORABLE. Modekoningin Maxima.
Prince Joachim produced a documentary on Denmark and Marie’s Closet has been reporting on it.
Over in Sweden, Princess Sofia has been incredibly busy. Royals and I.
Victoria and Daniel continue to champion active, healthy children at the Pep Forum. Royal Central.
Updates on Romania, and the power of royalty even in the modern age. Royal Central.

Japan

The Emperor and Empress attended a ritual at the outer shrine of the Ise Jingu Shrine in Ise, Mie Prefecture to report the completion of major rites of the emperor’s enthronement.

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Spain

Queen Sofia attended the ‘Premio Reina Sofia Iberoamericana’ poetry gala wearing an eye-catching jacket and a most intriguing brooch.

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She also attended a concert, to pick up an award, wearing a glistening green suit that I cannot imagine liking on anyone but her. I do have a soft spot for that type of neckline, though.

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Denmark

I have no doubt Mary will have this under control.

Also, an appearance as pure, vintage Maz. This suit dates back to 2004, per Style of Mary, and has been re-worn many times. Yes, she is wearing the same suit after 15 years and 4 kids.

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Danmark var vært, da H.K.H. Kronprinsessen tidligere i dag deltog i OECD-konferencen Health in the 21st Century: Data, Policy, and Digital Technology, der fandt sted på Langelinie Pavillonen i København. Konferencen er en del af OECD’s Knowledge-Based Health Systems-projekt, der handler om, hvordan lande kan udnytte sundhedsdata til at skabe viden, der kan bruges til politisk udvikling og til at drive forandringsprocesser i sundhedsvæsenet. Kronprinsessen blev modtaget af sundheds- og ældreminister Magnus Heunicke og vicegeneraldirektør for OECD Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen og holdt efterfølgende tale om digitalisering, innovative løsninger i sundhedsvæsenet og ligestilling. I forbindelse med konferencen offentliggør OECD desuden en rapport relateret til Knowledge-Based Health Systems-projektet. OECD, eller The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, består ‪af 36‬ medlemslande og har til formål at samarbejde med henblik på at sikre stabil, høj økonomisk vækst til forbedring af befolkningernes levestandard.

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Britain

Charles makes a point, reminding me strongly of his mother all those years ago.

The Danish Sisters

The Danish sisters were all out and about last week. It was good to see Constantine and Anne-Marie both looking so well.

I love it when Daisy indulges her artistic side. Here she is at a new ballet, “Snedronningen” looking about as engaged as anyone ever could. Love the earrings.

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Let’s end with some Benedikte, visiting the Christmas bazaar at the Swedish church. Yes, that season is upon us.

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🇸🇪🎄 I går åbnede H.K.H. Prinsesse Benedikte den 107. julebasar i Gustafskyrkan, der er den svenske kirke i København. Siden den første julebasar i 1902 har boder med blandt andet svensk håndværk og svenske madretter samt lotterier og aktiviteter for børn været til glæde for besøgende ved basaren i den svenske kirke. Gustafskyrkan har fungeret som svensk kirke i Danmark siden 1901 og støtter svenskere bosat i København gennem møder, gudstjenester samt kulturelle tilbud som for eksempel julebasaren. I Sverigesalen åbnede Hendes Kongelige Højhed basaren og blev derefter vist rundt i salen. Her blev Prinsesse Benedikte mødt af juleboder, medarbejdere klædt i svenske folkedragter og et glas svensk juleglögg, som Prinsessen blev budt på i forbindelse med rundvisningen. Åbningen af julebasaren er en tradition, som Hendes Kongelige Højhed viderefører efter Dronning Ingrid. Prinsesse Benedikte deltog senest i åbning af julebasaren i 2018. 📸 Hasse Ferrold©️

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