Norway

Happy Birthday Mette-Marit!

Crown Princess Mette-Marit was born on August 19th, 1973, which makes today her 46th birthday! So in honor of this special occasion, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at “pre-engagement/engagement” Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby.

Here she is heading to work in July of 2000, about three months before the news of their eventual engagement was announced.

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And here they are after it was announced that they would be getting formally engaged at some point, but not just yet, in October of 2000.

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And finally the official engagement on December 1st, 2000.

Photo: Pinterest

Now it’s your turn! Help us celebrate her big day by sharing your favorite photos in the comments!

Norway

Royal Rooms – Living Room at Skaugum

Housekeeping note: We want to thoroughly celebrate Mette-Marit’s birthday here at the Bag, so Bits and Bobs will show up on Tuesday!

We royal watchers see so many photos of royals in their homes that some of the rooms become as familiar to us as the royals themselves. This one is highlighted for our girl’s Mette-Marit’s birthday, and also for our LiL, who loves both MM and this room.

The living room at Skaugum during the time Crown Prince Harald and Crown Princess Sonja lived at the estate.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit live at the Skaugum Estate, in the Asker municipality southwest of Oslo. Skaugum originally belonged to the convent of Nonneseter and Mariakirken. In 1929, Crown Prince Olav married Princess Märtha, and the couple was presented with Skaugum as an official residence. The following year the main building burned down. Arnstein Arneberg was commissioned to design the new house, and it was completed in 1932. The designer did not rebuild the house in any type of homage, instead he intended to reflect the transition from the Neo-Classicism to Functionalism. The result is a beautiful, light filled residence.

Skaugum, 1921, before the fire. Wikimedia Commons.
Skaugum, 1932, after the rebuild. Wikimedia Commons.

King Olav V lived at Skaugum until 1968. Crown Prince Harald and Crown Princess Sonja moved in that same year and remained there until summer 2001, when they moved into their newly renovated apartments at the Royal Palace. The estate went through a year of renovations, and Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit were able to move in during December 2003.

Another view of the room during Harald and Sonja’s residence.

The room has been photographed a lot during the last thirty years or so, and deservedly so. Although estate is large (it sits on 120 acres of agricultural lands, including 120 acres of woodlands and several additional structures), the main house has a welcoming atmosphere and the living room is particularly attractive. The room is anchored by a large fireplace, and three of the four walls contain bookshelves. There are large windows on the often unseen exterior wall that allow a lot of natural light to enter the room.

Haakon and Mette Marit in their early days at Skaugum
Royal House of Norway

The decor of the room has evolved with each set of occupants. Harald and Sonja selected glass topped coffee and end tables, a traditional oriental style rug, and couches trimmed with thick fringe in the style of the times. The early photos of Haakon and Mette Marit’s years at Skaugum show couches covered with plush brown fabric, and a tufted light brown ottoman. Practical choices for a family with three younger children.

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More recently, the room has been lightened up further by the introduction of light, almost white couches and a lovely botanical fabric covered ottoman. The ottoman is also covered with books, more proof of Mette Marit’s obsession with reading. The rug has also been lightened up considerably.

Mette Marit in the living room at Skaugum, indulging in her favorite hobby.
Royal House of Norway

It’s obvious Mette Marit loves her living room, and it’s understandable why. It’s a beautiful spot. If you would like to learn more, Royal Central has an excellent post on the estate.

What do you think of this royal room? Is it a place you could see yourself?

Belgium · Britain · Denmark · Greece · Luxembourg · Monaco · Morocco · Netherlands · Norway · Other Royals · Spain · Sweden

ROYGBIV—Gold

Welcome to this Thursday’s edition of ROYGBIV. Today we’ll be looking at gold entries. For me, gold clothing is hit or miss. It can either be so incredibly gaudy or really classy. Here’s hoping I picked some entries that please your eyes! If you’d like to look back on our lengthy ROYGBIV series, just search for it using the tag feature on the sidebar.

This one is a doozy. Depending on where you are in the world, get yourself set up with a snack, a cup of coffee or tea, or an evening cocktail and let’s get started!

Britain

Oh Betty. You slay me sometimes. Somehow this design manages to make the more senior lady look positively svelte!

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And we’ve got this gorgeous gold beading a few decades prior to appreciate.

Monaco

OK, I admit this gold entry barely makes it into our category as it was pre-royal days, but this Edith Head creation from To Catch A Thief must be posted. Click the caption to read a great article with more snapshots and design sheets. The sculptural details pull me in on this one.

Greece

Alexia rocking the gold sequins here in a tasteful way.

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Her Royal Highness Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark celebrated her 53rd anniversary this past Wednesday and we wish her the best year yet! . Princess Alexia was born to King Constantine II of The Hellenes and Anne-Marie of Denmark, Queen of The Hellenes, in 1965. Between her own birth and the birth on 20 May 1967 of her brother Pavlos, Princess Alexia was heir presumptive to the throne of the Hellenes, then an extant monarchy. Greece's order of succession to the throne was determined by male-preference primogeniture, similar to the succession laws of Spain, rather than Salic law, prevalent in much of the continent, which precluded the succession of women. Educated, like her brothers, at the Hellenic College in London, she then went to the Froebel College of the Roehampton Institute, a division of the University of Surrey, in 1985 and took a BA in History and Education in 1988. In 1989, she achieved a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and became a primary school teacher in the inner city area of Southwark in London between 1989 and 1992. Before moving to Barcelona where she became a teacher of children with developmental disabilities. #greece #princessalexia #alexiaofgreece #greekroyalfamily #hellenicroyalfamily #greekroyals #royalbirthday #europeanroyals #monarchy #princessofgreece #greekroyals #greekroyalty #royals #royalty

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Marie Chantal SLAYED in this crusty gold Elie Saab for the 2012 Luxembourg wedding.

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Belgium

Paola wearing the heck out of this high neck look.

Thailand

Sirikit representing! Let’s also appreciate that bold lip.

Morocco

The gorgeous Lalla Salma…

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Former US First Lady Michelle Obama, alongside her daughters, Malia and Sasha, in matching dresses for a traditional iftar dinner with Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco (R) on June 28, 2016. • • • Бывшая первая леди США Мишель Обама вместе со своими дочерьми, Малией и Сашей, во время традиционного ужина ифтар с принцессой Марокко Лаллой Сальмой (справа), 28 июня 2016 г. ___________________ 📸 Photo credit to the respective copyright owner(s). #aroyalmoment #michelleobama #lallasalma #maliaobama #sashaobama #morocco #iftar #2016 #monarchy #flotus #usa #firstlady #obama #princess #kaftan #maxidress #мишельобама #обама #максиплатье #кафтан #морокко #сша #ифтар #наряд #ootd #ootn #style #instaroyals #🇲🇦

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Spain

Look at this delicious vision, so proud at her son’s 2004 wedding! Check out the last photo in the slideshow to see her golden gown from the pre-wedding gala.

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Denmark

You didn’t think I would do the gold category and not include THE gold dress, did you??

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Benedikte shines in this lovely gown from a few decades back. I don’t often see a resemblance between Bene and Daisy, but I see it here, for sure.

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Princess Benedikte of Denmark was born as the second child of King Frederick IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden. Princess Benedikte has two sisters, Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Queen Anne Marie of Greece. Princess Benedikte can speak Danish, English and German. Her Royal Highness married to Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein- Berleburg. The couple was very happy and they had 3 children. You can notice that Princess Benedikte has good relations with her sisters. #birthday #royalbirthday #princess #denmark #danishroyals #queen #king #prince #danishroyalfamily #royalfamily #royal #royalty #royaltyfamily #royaljewels #royaljewellery #tiara #crownprincessmary #crownprince #crownprincess

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Marie looks fabulous in this gold applique.

Norway

Auntie Astrid rocking the gown here with delicate pink floral accents. I almost feel like the necklace is too heavy, but hey, it’s Astrid. She does as she does.

Here’s Sonja back in the sixties!

Luxembourg

Maria Theresa wore this fab creation to Guilliame and Stephanie’s 2012 civil ceremony. Chef’s kiss!

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Sweden

Making her debut in today’s category is Desiree, sister to the King. I thought she carried this bevy of sequins off quite nicely, as I would expect any woman from Sweden to do! I especially like the neckline and that she wore the Cut Steel tiara. Nice touch.

Sister-in-law Silvia looks great here in 2015.

And here is Victoria, in one of my favorite Jenny Packham gowns of all time. Stunning.

Netherlands

Maxima knocked me out at Prinsjesdag 2013 in this golden creation. I cannot wait to see it again.

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I mean, come on. Look at this lovely lady. You can see what those stairs look like now if you review our recent post on the Huis ten Bosch renovations.

And with my beloved Oma, I leave the gold category to you!

What say you about this gorgeous gold entries? What would you like to see worn again? Would you like another royal to try one of these entries? Show us your favorites in the comments!

Next week we will do Stripes and then wrap up our series with Florals. Feel free to post your blergh/sparkleblergh choices here as well!

Norway · Photoshops

What if Wednesday: Paperdoll Edition

Out of all of the things I do, putting clothing on royal ladies is the most challenging. As I have stated before, changing a color is easy peasy, but actually tailoring something to the body in question involves a lot of cutting, pasting, and sometimes plain old cheating! Ideas can come from designer runway shows, other royals, department store websites, eShakti…wherever!

Today we’ll take a look at some of the gowns I’ve put on our soon-to-be Birthday girl (August 19th), my dear Mette-Marit. Oh, that I could get my hands on both the royal AMEX card and her closet.

M-M in whites and creams.

L-R top to bottom: Ralph & Russo, Giambattista Valli, unknown, Georges Hobeika

M-M in greys, black and navy.

L-R top to bottom: Saab, Georges Hobeika, and two unknowns

Floofy and patterns

L-R top to bottom: Carolina Herrera, Ralph & Russo, Georges Hobeika, Elie Saab

I’ve also worked on daywear for her, but we’ll save that for another day. What do you think? Could she pull these off? I certainly think so. Have you run across anything that you think would suit her? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do!

Belgium · Britain · Denmark · Greece · Monaco · Netherlands · Norway · Spain · Sweden

ROYGBIV—Silver & Gray

It’s Thursday and you know what that means! ROYGBIV is still in expanded form, and today we will dive into silver and gray royal clothing. Off we go!

Sweden

The ladies of Sweden rarely fully disappoint us in the gown category and here are a few great examples.

Victoria in this fab and flowy Packham is gooooood. The symmetry of the crusty dangly bits makes me happy and I don’t even think it needed that central element.

Her sister Madeleine in this shared Saab dress absolutely shined. How could she not with those giant epaulette earrings?

And here comes mom sweeping into the 2015 Nobels like the glittery disco ball that she is. I love the swirly pattern of this crazy dress.

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We can’t leave Sweden without this gem from our friend Lilian!

Monaco

Charlene has a few entries in this category simply because I just couldn’t pick my favorite between the fab day suit and the mesmerizing jumpsuit. The simple lines. The corsetry. Love all around.

Britain

Zara SLAYS in this 2012 entry. Extra cozy points.

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Now I’ve read that this dress is gold and I’ve read that it is silver. In every photo I’ve ever seen it looks silver to me, so I will include Diana and her pleats here.

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Margaret, the biggest teeny little thing, wore this fancy suit when France came to visit in 1996. You know I love a frothy hat.

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Last, but not least, Betty wore this very crusty silver dress for a 25th anniversary celebration.

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Spain

Sofia looking very, very smart in this suit worn while visiting Sweden this past May. Adding a kicky bag and she’s off!

Letizia at Willem Alexander’s investiture? Perfection.

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Netherlands

Sofia’s friend Beatrix wore this sparkly number back in the day when France came to visit.

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Maxima wore this Benito Fernandez tweed to Prinsjesdag in 2004 and I think it’s really striking. I’m not convinced it hit in the right place for this odd dress code event, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. Almost Chanel-ish, no?

Belgium

I love this gray coat Mathilde has worn a few times. It looks luxurious and totally wearable at the same time.

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Greece

Theodora rocked this glittery gown at Madeleine’s wedding. I’m actually interested to see what she’ll do for her own upcoming wedding.

Denmark

Margrethe wore this gray dress along with her precious Yeti to the 2006 New Year Celebrations. If it looks a little familiar to you, it’s because that eye searing apple green dress is the same pattern in a different color. I believe (though have not confirmed) this is the dress worn in this glorious portrait.

Mary has worn this pale silver dress to tailoring perfection.

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Here’s Marie looking fabulous in this gray coat and hat for Vincent & Josephine’s christening.

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Norway

Look at this silver number from Auntie Astrid! I really like this cut of dress on her.

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Mette Marit looked quite sparkly (and quite warm in this modest dress) at Charles’s birthday party last November.

What say you about these silver and gray beauties? Would you like to see any of them repeated? Show us your favorite royal silver and gray items in the comments!

Programming note: We will tackle gold clothing in our next ROYGBIV post!