Britain · Denmark · Netherlands · Romania · Spain · Sweden

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

To those who celebrate such things, have a happy Valentine’s week. Here are some royals to bring a sprinkling of love to your life.


The royal week of February 2nd, in case you missed something.

Official Portraits

Official portraits from the Dutch, Swedish and (late addition) Spanish royal families. Margriet seems to shine here, doesn’t she? That’s hard to do when you have such charismatic competition!

The Crown Princess Couple, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar. Photo: Anna-Lena Ahlström, The Royal Court of Sweden

The Spanish royals have some incredible genetic material to work with, don’t they? Infanta Sofia also continues to channel her great aunt Irene in strong ways. Check out Casa Real for all the photos.

Not at all royal, but….

… an Oscar tiara! Well, actually, thanks to our friend Tiara Mania we know that it’s not a tiara but a necklace. It fascinated me – I wonder if the tiara-averse Char would be amenable to something like this? Oh, heck, the only one I could see actually doing this is Daisy, and she has already her aigrette to play with.

Great Britain

It amuses me to see an obviously star-struck Katy Perry sharing the stage with Charles. They were attending a reception for the British Asian Trust, of which Charles is the founding royal patron. Like everything these days, there was a bit of a kerfuffle about Katy Perry coming onboard, but I say if it’s doing good, keep doing it.

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If you are interested in the repatriation of the Romanian royals, there is a documentary on Facebook that may intrigue you:


Let’s end with some Benedikte and her sister, attending the Faberge Chamber opening at Amalienborg Palace. Now there’s a glamorous way to spend time with family.

What did I miss?

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Belgium · Britain · Romania · Spain

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

Welcome back to the working week. If you are an Elvis Costello fan, you will remember the lyrics “I know it don’t thrill you, I hope it don’t kill you….”, and if even if you have never heard that song, you can understand the sentiment. No worry, we are back too, bringing you some Bits and Bobs to make it all better.

Getty Photos


The Queen remains in Sandringham until February, and various members of the royal family and friends have joined her at church. Last week we got a lovely surprise in that both Michael and Carole Middleton were in attendance, with Kate and William. It is rumored that a group of friends and family gather at Anmer for Kate’s birthday every year, and this might be the weekend (edited: It is. Check out Regal Fille if you want to see the guests). I love this multi-colored coat (Roksanda) and bright blue fedora (Hicks and Brown) on Kate, and Carole looks elegant as always in her large fur hat. See New My Royals for more photos.

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It doesn’t seem like it’s possible to an old-timer such as me, but it’s been thirty years since the Romanian Royal Family returned from exile. The family will be celebrating on January 17 and 18th, and you can marvel at a young Margareta below. She’s barely changed, right? It’s been a long road for her, and she carries it all lightly, as if it is in a day’s work.


Now this is interesting! Queen Sofia and her sister, Princess Irene, attended a recycled instrument Orchestra Cateura at Teatro Real royal opera house. We don’t often get to see Irene, and the recycled instruments intrigue me. I also wish we saw more of Sofia’s outfit.

New My Royals explains the orchestra: Cateura’s Recycled Instruments Orchestra was created by children and youth from Praguay’s city of Asunción, a marginal neighbourhood built on top of a landfill.

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The fabulous Queen Mathilde Blogger, Modekoningin Mathilde, has a comprehensive post about Mathilde’s 2019 fashion choices. It’s in Dutch, but there are enough graphics that you can pick up on what is going on. HInt: Over 50% of her official wardrobe is ….. ta da….. Natan!


Let’s wrap up the fashion with some Benedike, attending a performance of The Snow Queen. More photos at New My Royals.

Royal Response to Australian Fires

We would be remiss not to mention the fires currently raging in Australia, and, in the spirit of this blog, provide the royal responses below. For those looking to take practical action, the Sussex Instagram post lists some ways to help.

We are greatly concerned about our Australian community members during this long, very difficult summer. We understand that people are – rightfully – concerned about each other. To keep the comments royal-focused, please let us know if you would like to reach one of our Australian Handbaggers and we will facilitate the exchange of email addresses. If you live in Australia and wish to communicate with fellow Handbaggers, please let us know and advise us of your email address. We can be reached at

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What did I miss?

Netherlands · Romania · Spain · Sweden

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

We have a busy week coming up, but aren’t they all this time of year? We are reviewing some more bridal coats and wraps tomorrow, this time for second weddings. What If Wednesday is onboard, and we will talk about Empress Michiko’s evening wear in our Hall of Fame on Thursday.

As for the royals themselves, everyone seemed to be on the move, or preparing to move in the case of Will and Kate and their upcoming tour to Pakistan. Let’s move on ourselves….

Tours and Traveling

Victoria traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland, to participate in the 2019 Arctic Circle Assembly. She attended various events at the Assembly, and met with the President of Iceland, Gudni Johannesson and his wife Eliza Reid. For that meeting, she wore a new blue printed midi dress by Rodebjer, one of her go-to designers.

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🇸🇪🇮🇸 I dag fortsatte Kronprinsessans Islandsbesök med besök på landets energimyndighet och ”The Geothermal Training Programme of the United Nations University”. Där fick Kronprinsessan information om landets energisituation och de utmaningar och möjligheter som Island, övriga Norden och Europa står inför. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ På de geothermiska kraftverken Hellisheiði fick Kronprinsessan information om projektet Carbfix där forskare har utvecklat en metod för att lagra koldioxid i marken. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Efter en lunch hos Islands presidentpar besökte Kronprinsessan en anläggning där lågtempererat vatten omvandlas till ren elektricitet. Anläggningen drivs av isländska Varmaorka tillsammans med det svenska teknikföretaget @climeon. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📷: Pelle T Nilsson/SPA

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Rania and Abdullah recently visited Egypt on a trip designed to bolster trade relations between the countries. Rania wore a red belted crepe dress, an excellent color and length for her. The dress was a design by Andrew Gn.

I can’t seem to get enough of the brotherhood of WAX and Felipe. Felipe took a trip to the Netherlands last week to attend the opening of the Rembrandt Velázquez Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum. Last week in the B&B comments I posted a video of the two of them greeting each other, which was utterly charming. Here is the further photographic proof that this two really like each other. You also get a glimpse of the fascinating DNA room at Huis Ten Bosch, where the walls are said to represent the DNA sequence of WAX, MAX and Amalia.

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We don’t talk about her much, but that might be an oversight on our part. Margareta, the custodian of the Crown of Romania, traveled to the Netherlands to meet with the Dutch Red Cross. She, too, looks elegant in red.

This and That

Here is an interesting royal convergence – never would I think these two couples would be getting together, but why not?

Think twice before inviting a royal for the weekend! (H/T to geogirl)

Also from geogirl, check out the enormous blue diamond found at the Cullinan Mine in September. Over 20 carats, and rarer than snow in Memphis in June.

Mary and Frederik will attend the Japanese enthonement ceremony.

Charles has had a long tenure as Prince of Wales, and a new television show explores his work and his legacy.

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Britain · Romania · Sweden

Royal Wedding Gowns – Orange Blossoms

Welcome our Royal Wedding Gown summer series, where we look at royal gowns from a different perspective. Today we’re taking a in-depth dive on gowns that are bedecked with orange blossoms.

Although no longer as common as they once were, historically, royal gowns made bounteous use of the blooms. They were considered symbols of both fertility and chastity, a dual message that is a bit boggling. “The Blossom” was also expensive and not easy to procure, which limited its use to those with means. Royals definitely had the resources to bedeck themselves in these powerful symbols.

Previous entries in this series include: Danish Heirloom Lace , Royal Wedding Venues, Venue Size and Scale, and Historical and Artistic References.

Bride: Elisabeth, Queen of Romania
Elisabeth of Wied was the Queen of Romania as the wife of King Carol I. She was a talented and flamboyant woman, known as much as for her literary endeavors (under the name Carmen Sylva) as she was for being royal. Her wedding dress was dramatic, big and heavily decorated with strands of orange blossom, threaded through the skirt and bodice.

Bride: Princess Maud
Princess Maud was a diverse character, described both as simply drop dead chic and terrifically rambunctious. For her wedding dress, she directed the designer, Miss Rosalie Whyte of the Royal Female School of Art, to design something simple and memorable. Her dress was woven in Spitalfields of pure white English satin. The square neckline was decorated with a full bow of mousseline de soie and orange blossoms, the skirt hem was trimmed with a ruche of chiffon and orange blossoms, and the bodice also sported a bow of mousseline and a cluster of orange blossoms.

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Bride: Victoria of Baden
Remember our lovely bride from the Baden post? It seems appropriate to see her again here, since she absolutely defines the word “festooned”, as in festooned in The Bloom. Neckline, veil, bodice and skirt are all decorated with orange blossoms.

Bride: Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria wore a wedding dress that was, well, fit for a Queen. Orange flower blossoms liberally decorated the skirt and the neckline in dense bunches. Victoria also started a trend by wearing a wreath of orange blossoms instead of a tiara over her veil.

Bride: Princess Alexandra of Denmark, later Queen Alexandra
The ultimate orange blossom wedding ensemble was worn by then Princess Alexandra of Denmark. Made of white silk satin (the silk was woven at Spitalfields), the dress was trimmed throughout the skirt and bodice with orange blossoms, myrtle and puffs of tulle and Honiton lace. Princess Alexandra wore a wreath of orange blossom and myrtle, and carried a bouquet of orange blossoms, to carry through the theme.

Modern Takes on the Tradition

The orange blossom tradition does continue, although as they have become easier to procure, their prominence in royal wedding dress has receded. Both the Queen Mother and the current Queen Elizabeth wore orange blossoms scattered throughout their wedding attire. The QM wore a wreath containing the flower and Queen Elizabeth’s dress was hemmed with the blossom. In 2013, Princess Madeleine decorated the base of her tiara with orange blossom, in a lovely nod to tradition.

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Which one of these best uses orange blossoms?