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.

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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?

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Belgium · Denmark · Greece · Italy

Royal Wedding Gowns – 1930s Glam Squad

Welcome our Royal Wedding Gown feature, where we look at royal gowns from a different perspective. Today we’ll talk about how flat-out glamour, paired with royal accessorizing, can transform an ordinary bridal look into that worthy of a royal wedding.

You’ll notice that the thirties plays a big role in my glam squad contingent, and there’s a good reason for it. Despite the terrible Depression, or maybe because of it, some of the most glamorous looks of the last century came from that decade.

Previous entries in this series include: Danish Heirloom Lace , Royal Wedding Venues, Venue Size and Scale, Historical and Artistic References, Orange Blossoms, British Embroidery. and Sparkles and Glow.

Bride: Princess Ingrid of Sweden
Designer: Unknown

Princess Ingrid of Sweden married her third cousin (from both sides of the family) Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark on May 24, 1935. Her wedding was a significant media event of the day, and anticipation was high with regard to her wedding dress. She did not disappoint. Her dress was described as a “simply cut” white gown, done up in either silk or crepe satin. Features of the gown included high neck, a draped bodice, and long sleeves. The royal touch was the 20-foot train, trimmed with lace worn by Ingrid’s mother Princess Margaret of Connaught on her own wedding day in 1906. As we discussed previously, the heirloom lace veil has since been worn many descendants of Ingrid or their brides on their own wedding day. The fitted gown had a high glamour quotient, but was “royaled up” both by the train, the lace, and by the sentimental addition of the diamond “Daisy” brooch, gifted to Ingrid by her father and reportedly fashioned from diamonds owned by her mother. Ingrid’s daughter Margrethe also wore this brooch on her wedding day.

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Bride: Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark
Designer: Edward Molyneux

Princess Marina, Wikimedia Commons

Princess Marina was considered to be one of the most glamorous women to marry into the House of Windsor.  For her 1934 wedding to Prince George, Duke of Kent, British designer Edward Molyneux fashioned her a 3/4 sleeve, cowl-necked gown made from silver and white brocade with a flower design. To up the pizzazz even further, he lined it with silver lamĂ©. Since it was a royal wedding, he also added a fifteen foot court train. The bride wore a veil of handmade lace and white tulle that had been worn by her mother and sister at their weddings. You can now send your hearty thanks to Princess Marina for securing the whole shebang with the Kent City of London Fringe Tiara, starting the now de rigueur tiara appearance at British royal weddings. Now that’s royaled up glamour!

Bride: Marie José of Belgium
Designer: Unknown, but said to be by some sources her husband

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Our next 1930s bride is Marie JosĂ© of Belgium, or, as she is rather dramatically known, the last Queen of Italy.  She was also called the May Queen, due to her short 30 day tenure during that month. If you want to read about her rather scandalous life, the Wikipedia entry is a good gateway. But we are concerned with her gown.

On January 8, 1930, she became the Princess of Piedmont  (Principessa di Piemonte) when she married  Prince Umberto of Italy. She wore a gown that owed a lot to the previous decade. It was a loose shift design, with detailing at the hip. In a twist on royal wedding dresses, the design was said to have been highly influenced by her husband. She wore a lace veil secured by the dramatic version of the Musy Tiara, recently featured here.

There are also a few contemporary photos said to be of the couple on the same day, where the bride is wearing a shorter bridal gown, sans the Musy tiara. If anyone has insight on this sartorial mystery, let us know!

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A final look at our glam squad. Sigh.

Who's the glammest to you?