Britain · Denmark · Netherlands · Norway · Sweden · Tiaras

Royal Mythbusters: Tiaras

Myth (noun\ (ˈmith ) – a widely held but false belief or idea.
synonyms:  mistaken belief, false notion, fiction, delusion, figment of the imagination.

Which rule shall we take on next? How about this oldie but goodie: only married women are allowed to wear tiaras. “She’s forbidden to wear a tiara because she’s not married yet” spout all of the so called “experts” at least 148,000 times a year.

From the experts at Brides Magazine – “Believe it or not, per royal tradition, unmarried women are prohibited from wearing tiaras in public”.


Royal ladies in Denmark don’t have to wait until marriage for tiaras. Daisy in the Alexandrine diamond drop in 1958. Benedikte and her floral in 1962.

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The good folks at The Cut schooled us on royal wedding etiquette.- “It’s considered a massive faux pas to wear one (tiara) when the bride is planning on wearing one, so please leave yours at home.”


We all know the Swedes would never leave their tiaras at home for any reason, especially for one as silly as that. Victoria wore her first tiara in 1995 as a guest at Prince Joachim and Alexandra’s wedding, while Madeleine started with Princess Martha Louise’s wedding in 2002.

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From jeweler Geoffery Munn, another so called expert (He is so wrong on so many levels that I wonder if he’s ever even seen a royal in a tiara before) – “The ancient etiquette is that you wear one for the first time on the occasion of your marriage. This is because they symbolise the loss of innocence and the crowning of love.”


Norwegian royals start young as well. Princess Astrid was the First Lady of Norway after her mother’s death in 1954, so you know she wore tiaras pre marriage. Martha Louise wore them as well.

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From MSN – “It has been tradition for numerous years that only a married woman, or bride, can wear a tiara.” 


The Netherlands rolls the same as everyone else. Beatrix and Irene in tiaras before their marriages as well.

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“Well,” I hear them saying, “maybe those other royals do, but they certainly don’t do it in Britain!” From The Sun’s experts – “Only married women wear tiaras at social events.”


Princess Margaret started wearing tiaras in the early ’50s. Anne in the late 60s.

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Of course these are but a drop in the Unmarried Lady Tiara Bucket. There are at least million more examples from every royal house out there.

Do you have a favorite Unmarried Lady Tiara Moment? Toss it in the comments below!

Britain · Denmark · Monaco

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

…..or, more accurately, things we missed while looking at something else. Please add your own royal-related news in the comments. Anything we haven’t discussed or things that are coming up is welcome news here. You know our motto: Keep it Royal and Keep it Fun.


The very active Crown Princess has been participating in royal runs, making visits to patronages, and keeping her promises. She’s also popped off to Paris for a couple of days on an official trip.

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Princess Caroline, Charlotte and Tatiana all attended Karl Lagerfeld’s memorial, Karl For Ever. It sounds like QUITE an event, and something that Karl himself would have loved. Caroline’s devotion to both the Chanel brand and Karl’s memory is a testament to their enduring friendship. I am not hating Caroline’s blouse, although it contains elements I usually disdain. Quite the opposite.

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Great Britain

The Energizer Bunny Her Majesty The Queen, fresh off Ascot, was back at Windsor to attend the Royal Windsor Cup Final. If there was ever any doubt, this proves that Betty loves horses veddy veddy much.

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This and That

Crown Princess Victoria is promoting Stockholm as a possible venue for the 2026 Olympics. Just in time for another royal romance to start at one, don’t you think?

Queen Sonja is recovered and back to exhibiting her Sonja sense of fun. She posed with Queen Maud at the new exhibition marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of Maud. The exhibition, called “Queen’s Meetings,” covers Norway’s first ladies from Queen Maud to Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

The 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival was held in Monaco. Princess Charlene wore a white gown, with a pair of black shoes that I am still puzzling over. She also channeled her inner flapper the evening before.

The Japanese Crown Prince muses about the future, given the family’s declining numbers.

There is a rumored Cambridge tour in the works for this autumn, in Asia. This is in addition to the (again, rumored) Sussex tour to yet unamed African nations. Neither has been confirmed by official palace sources.

BFFs Felipe and Albert hung out for a while, almost completely under the radar.

We know we missed a lot of royal news while focused on Ascot. Bring it on in the comments!

Britain · Denmark · Luxembourg · Monaco · Norway · Sweden

ROYGBIV—Purple jewelry

It’s Thursday once again friends and that brings us to Purple jewelry in our ROYGBIV series. For those new to the Handbag, you can read back on the other jewel entries at these links:  Red jewelryOrange jewelryYellow jewelry,  Green jewelry and Blue jewelry. Let’s get started.


The brooch from the Kent Amethyst parure sings to me, even when worn without its pendants.

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Mette Marit wore the Amethyst Necklace Tiara at Daisy’s 70th birthday celebrations. The soft makeup here with the braid here is so beautiful. The next slide shows Martha Louise wearing quite a few of the amethyst pieces at Sweden #1’s wedding.


Luxembourg has an amethyst and pearl bandeau that has seen itself passed through many members of the family. I think the necklace grabs my attention the most.


Marie of Denmark has had a tiara designed for her which includes amethysts, but really has only been seen in public once in 2014. The Flora Danica is meant to represent Marie, Joachim and Henrik as it was designed prior to Athena’s arrival.


THIS is the Swedish amethyst necklace I’m concerned with…not that one that’s stapled to a frame and worn as a tiara (she writes with a cheeky wink). Victoria wore these items to the 2015 Nobels while pregnant with Estelle. Oscar. I love the brooch and earrings as well.

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Charlene really knocks me off my socks sometimes, and this Dior dinner in 2013 was one of them. Look at those earrings!

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Do these purple gems delight you? Who should wear more purple jewelry and what should she wear?

Show us your favorite purple jewelry in the comments!


Brit Brief Open Post #2 – Ascot Days 2,3,4 and 5!

Welcome to your new home for all Ascot discussion! Day 1 was HUGE, so we needed to make a shift. Same rules apply, so fill up the comments with all of your photos and Ascot discussions! And thank you for making our Handbag as fun as it is!

Day Two

Here is the Day 2 rundown, starting with HerMaj, again in blue, this time in a lightly textured Stewart Parvin coat with a silk floral dress underneath – also, great sighting of Prince Albert’s sapphire brooch!

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Cams wore her honking great big aquamarine with three pearl strands, and coordinating with HerMaj in a lovely light blue. It’s amazing how often that coordination happens ; ).

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Princess Anne decided to bring out the florals and I am not mad about it at all – florals and a velvet blazer, no less. And a horse on her hat, of course. More of this, Anne!

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The 20th Anniversary Kids were there too. I like this look from Suzannah on Sophie much better than yesterday’s Wickstead, even if the hat isn’t my cup of tea. Check the comments below for a look at the whole outfit.

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Day Three – Ladies Day

Let’s just get this one out of the way immediately: Sophie in a Wickstead crepe jumpsuit and a Jane Taylor band hat. I love the hat. If you don’t want your illusions about the jumpsuit ruined don’t click through the photos. Who am I kidding? I am pretty sure all of you have seen this already and have OPINIONS.

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The Phillips clan checking in today. Zara and Autumn are both wearing Claire Mischevani, and I think it is sublime on Autumn and serviceable on Zara. Maybe I am just not that thrilled with the color on Zara, or maybe it’s that I wore those ruffles in my sixth grade photo. Zara’s hat – which I love – is by Juliette Botterill and Autumn’s hat is a Bee Smith .

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Princess Eugenie and new bride Gabriella (with handsome husband escort, Thomas Kingston) came dressed to party. Eugenie is wearing a super flattering design by Cefinn and a Bundle MacLaren hat. I don’t have an ID on Gabriella’s dress or hat, but I will say I am glad to see the netting on hats making a comeback.

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Her Majesty, the Queen, has also entered the house. I can’t even call her Betty here because this is grade A++ royaling. Described as a dove grey coat with yellow floral accents around the neck, it is a perfect complement to the Daffodil Spray brooch. Swoon and bow down, folks.

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Princess Michael was also there, in head to toe black and white chi-chi. No intel on her coat, but her enormous butterfly brooch is certainly eye-catching.

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Day Four

We must lead off with HerMaj, in a brilliant, visible raspberry coat by Angela Kelly. This is a terrific color to show off the Jardine Star, the most beautiful of all her brooches. Yes, that is its official title ; ).

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Lady Helen and Tim Taylor rode in the first carriage with the Queen. I know I said yesterday that I was glad hats with netting were making a comeback, but perhaps this hat has a surfeit of netting? You tell me. Tim Taylor has always made me swoon and it is no different here.

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Yes, Sarah, Duchess of York was there, and yes, she went entirely multi-colored. I actually like the idea of a green, yellow and purple convergence, particularly in these vibrant hues, but I would like the hat and clutch to match. I could probably offer other suggestions for things I would like, but Sarah will Sarah – as we say around here – and she is not going to listen to me.

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Let’s do a mini Spam a Man on this post. Because…..well, I don’t have to tell you why. Just look at these gents!

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Day Five

On the final day of hattage and sartorial fun, the Queen arrived with Prince Andrew in the first carriage. She is wearing what is being described as muted lime green, a color that I didn’t know could be muted ; ). The Queen Mother’s Shell Brooch blends and flows with it, so I approve of this choice.

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Peter and Autumn Phillips also made another appearance, and, yes, jumpsuits are on the agenda again. Jumpsuits with gigantic trouser/pants. She topped it with a hat that comes with built-in defense weaponry. Oh well, the entire ensemble is a good color for her, right?

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That’s a Wrap!

Five days of brooches and fabulous hats. Brooch tally, from last to first: Queen Mother’s Shell, Jardine Star, Daffodil Spray, Prince Albert’s Sapphire, and the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake. Ensemble Color tally, from last to first: muted lime, non-muted raspberry, dove grey, mottled blue and baby blue. Her choices are harder to predict than an accurate March Madness bracket. Thank you for keeping us on our toes, Your Majesty, and thanks to you, our commenters, for providing such fun contributions. It was a great week here at The Bag.

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Britain · Netherlands · Spain

Order of the Garter–more fun!

The appointment of the Knights and Ladies of the Garter is in The Queen’s gift, without Prime Ministerial advice. Queen Elizabeth has appointed Felipe VI, King of Spain, a Stranger Knight in 2017 and Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands as a Stranger Knight in 2018.  As we all know, both Kings attended this year’s Garter Service.

Another fun fact is that our very generous contributor Gert-Jan de Wit  was in attendance at Windsor and has graciously allowed us to share some of his photos!  (You can see more of his work by taking a look back at the Corps Diplomatique Dinner posts) and by clicking on his name to see his website.  A huge thank you to Gert-Jan for always being so supportive of the Handbag–we can’t thank you enough!  Let’s get started!

The Princess Royal and the Duke of York

Elizabeth II has also created other Stranger Knights in the past.  Time for you to show us your research skills and show us your favorite photos of Garter Days past including Stranger Knights in the comments! 

Here’s a hint:  start with relatives of those Kings we see here in Gert-Jan’s amazing photos!