Britain · Denmark · Italy · Japan · Luxembourg · Monaco

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

Royal watching got even more complicated this week. We’ll go over the extraordinary first, and then head into the mundane (which is still pretty exciting).

Changes and Controversy

First up, the Sussexes. Yes, even though they won’t be working royals we will still feature them occasionally. We aren’t currently covering each new release of information because, frankly, it is controversial, and it has the potential to take us far from our drama-free mission. Going forward, we will treat the Sussexes like the other British non-working royals. We’ll cover the clothes at their individual events – Invictus, etc., – and definitely give their ensembles a once-over when they appear with the rest of the Windsors at family events.

In Luxembourg the Waringo Report will be released in a few weeks, and it has the potential to significantly change things up in the Ducal household. You can find more information at the link, but we ask that we keep gossip about it off the blog. It, too, has the potential for great controversy. In the meantime, we’ll focus on more happy news out of the Cour, including new tiara surprises, how good the hereditary Grand Duchess has been looking, and the upcoming birth of the heir.

A hat tip to Lesleyc for this next bit of intriguing royal news. The erstwhile Italian royals (the monarchy was abolished in Italy in 1946) are battling the question of absolute primogeniture between two branches of the family. My writing skills are not nearly good enough to describe the various branches of the House of Savoy and their positions on the matter, but this article in The Telegraph details it in all its colorful glory. If anyone can clarify further in the comments, please do!

Manners from Marie-Chantal

Marie-Chantal has carved a bit of a career for herself out of high-end child rearing. She started by selling classic kid clothes and now she is dipping her toe into publishing. She has a book out on manners, and I have a bit of curiousity about how the really rich approach this topic. If it happens to cross your path, let us know what you think of it!


The theme for the January 16th poetry reading was hope, and I think we can all get behind that message. I was particularly touched by the Empress’ poem, and my sartorial side was intrigued by her single lapel dress. You can read all the poems here.


The circus came to Monaco, as it does yearly, and we have COLOR IN THE ROOM. On day one, I liked Stephanie’s coat and one shoulder orange-red dress very much, and her daughter Pauline Ducruet wore a flowing dress I would classify as interesting on anyone else, but she looks chic.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

On day two, mother and both daughters (Camille Gotlieb joined the fray, in lavender and BIG sleeves) appeared as a trio. I like the black on Stephanie, and the girls are looking pretty snazzy without being ridiculous. Ok, maybe the big sleeves are a tad…..absurd.

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Day three! I think this is among the best ever of Stephco’s ensembles. The chic black and white works with her own high contrast coloring, and I am seeing something Char-like in Pauline’s ensemble, in a good way.

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Day four brought another good outfit from Steph (all our Stephanies are doing SO WELL, sniff). Love the color, and she is altogther well-pulled together. Pauline looks cute and funky.

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I wanted to end with Benedikte, but I couldn’t find anything recent for her, so we’ll end with her great nephew instead. Prince Nikolai of Denmark continues his modeling career, and I thought his runway appearance might send you off to your week in a good mood.

What did I miss?

Comments Below


Random Royaling – The Danish Sisters

Two thirds of them, anyway. Still a good showing.

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the reunification of South Denmark. It’s a long and interesting topic, which you can learn about here. For our purposes, it means a stream of events throughout the year, which most of the royals will attend, culminating in the central celebration on July 10 and 11. The gala event at The Royal Theatre is the first of these, and Benedikte and Daisy were there, fur on, to represent.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Don’t you want to sip some champagne and chat with these two?

On Sunday, The Queen returned in more fur for a memorial service at Copenhagen Cathedral. As she does for events of significance, the Daisy brooch (or one of them, I am not sure if she has more than one), is in evidence. I love this angle for the view of the top of the hat detail.

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Are you looking forward to the centennial events?

Denmark · Jordan · Lesotho · Monaco

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

Well, well, well. Yes a busy royal week is done and dusted. I admit to following the British drama on other blogs and media outlets, but to remain true to our mission here we are turning our eyes to some alternative events. Lot of interesting life going on in other monarchies.

Getty Photos

All the royal photos you missed from the week of January 6th can be found here.


OC brought this to the Handbag’s attention, and it’s so touching. Just watch King Abdullah’s face – at times wistful, proud, and joyful – as he pins the aviation flight wings on his daughter, Salma Bint Abdullah, the country’s first female military pilot. This, folks, is a big deal. Hashemite women getting it done, yet again.


I fell down a rabbit hole of Masenate Mohato Seeiso last week. I was unaware that she was the first commoner to marry into the royal family. At some point we will take a look at some of her style choices, since she is a master of mixing elegant Western styles with the traditional clothes of Lesotho. Ambidressterous, in Handbag language.


Tatiana Casiraghi did some modeling with her younger son, Maximillian. We don’t see her often in public. It’s an interesting combination, Wickstead and Casiraghi.


If you are on Twitter, I highly recommend you follow JR. He’s been a good friend to us and other bloggers, and he is fountain of royal information. He has some interesting background on the photo of Princess Benedikte wearing Queen Desiree’s parure and train (a photo that many of us have come to love).


Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman, died on January 10. He was the longest serving ruler in the Middle East. More about him and his tenure can be found here. Like many other royals, he was trained at Sandhurst and has many friends among the current royal families. Queen Noor, King Felipe, Queen Elizabeth, and many other royals have send condolences.

The funeral has been held, but here is now an official mourning period. Both Prince Charles & King Willem-Alexander are in Oman to pay respects, participate in the official days of mourning, and meet the new sultan. Yes, Charles will fly back to attend to his own royal business on Monday.

What did I miss?

Comments Below


Handbag Hive Mind – Marie’s Hair Ornament

While the rest of the royal watching world is going nuts over other things, can we try to help Heaven identify this hair ornament that Marie wore to the New Year’s levee? We have all been dithering on Twitter, but I thought one of our gemologists here might have some ideas. There is some idea it may have come from Marie’s elegant mother.

Marie’s mother, Françoise Grassiot, is a tremendously soigne woman. She owns a similar shaped set of clips, but they very definitely have a ruby or red stone running through the center, and the shape doesn’t really match up..

So….any ideas?

Denmark · Sweden

Hofdame Hall of Fame – Queen Ingrid Evening

Welcome back to the Hofdame Hall of Fame, historical division. Let’s look back at the beautiful Queen Ingrid, mother of the current Queen of Denmark and aunt of the current King of Sweden. Born a princess of Sweden, the daughter of a British royal, and married to the King of Denmark, the Queen was thoroughly royal every minute of her life. By all accounts, she was a warm and charming person. Looking through photos, she was also a fantastically stylish woman.

Second Runner Up

During the 1920s and early 1930s, Princess Ingrid was considered a highly desirable match, and it’s easy to understand why. Look at the young Ingrid in her glamorous single years. It might be that with her slim figure, she wore the fashions of the twenties and thirties with particular elegance. Then again, it might just be the enormous feathered fan that made this look earn a second runner up in our estimation. It’s no wonder Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark was smitten.

First Runner Up

Between 1935 and 1947, Ingrid was the Crown Princess of Denmark. The 1930s silk gown with slim straps flattered her immensely. She paired it with the Danish Pearl Poire tiara and a three strand pearl necklace. Extra points for her deployment of a brooch at the neckline and strap insertion. This entire ensemble is our first runner-up.


Ingrid became Queen Consort of Denmark in 1947, and her stylish ways continued. So much so, it was hard to pick a winner from her outings, but the gold Sevilla gown finally won out. The color, the soft draping, and the overall flattering effect just won us over. It appears to be gown that would work on many figures – in fact, our LiL has a popular Photoshop of Mary wearing the gown. It’s unfortunate we don’t a color photo of Ingrid in the gown, but we do have her escorting Queen Ena while wearing the ruby parure, shown below, a charming substition.

Tell us your choice!