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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!

Britain · Greece · Spain

Random Royal Rotogravure

Here is a glitzy, high profile example of the extended family vacation. It was so nice they did it twice (scratch that – at least three times). Top photo is 1987, middle 1988, and bottom 1990.

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Kind of like your family summer snapshots, right ; ) ?

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!

Belgium · Britain · Denmark · Netherlands · Norway · Photoshops · Spain · Sweden · Tiaras

What If Wednesday: GGB&I

I can’t even begin to tell you how many requests I’ve had over the years for this one. It seems everyone wants to see our royal ladies sporting Betty’s “go to”. Remember, scale is never a guarantee, but I have been known to come pretty dang close.

Let’s start things off with four ladies who’ve never met a tiara they didn’t like, Vickan, Maddy, Sofia and Sils.

Gorgeous. I wish she was still going with the side bun.
Is there anything she can’t wear?
Such a beauty, our Swedish Sofia.
Sils really rocks a poof, doesn’t she? I wonder if it’s actually able to spread out this far?

Next up, people who actually live in the same house as the GGB&I – Cams, Kate, and Sophie.

Cams is going to have to work some ease into the frame if she doesn’t reign in the poofy poofy.
I think the future, future queen will look splendid in The Girls.
It’s probably a smidge too big here, but who cares. Sophie deserves a grand tiara!

Our “Triple M” threat – Mary, Mette-Marit, and Mathilde.

Maz is killing it.
I would love for her to get her hands on a tiara similar to The Girls. She’d probably wear it without the base though.
Forgive the dramatic background. A photoshopper’s gotta do what a photoshopper’s gotta do.

And last but not least, Queens Leti and Máx .

Leti takes The Girls very seriously. Good for her.
Maybe we can convince Betty to start up a European Tiara Swap.

So what’s the verdict? Does anyone else “wear” it as well as Betty? Is there someone you’re just dying to see in it that I missed? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Britain · Netherlands · Spain

Royal Wedding Gowns – Scale and Size

Welcome our Royal Wedding Gown summer series, where we look at royal gowns from a different perspective. In this entry, we examine how the size of location can influence the dress design. A royal bride needs to make an impact coming down the aisle. She needs to be seen not only in the venue, but by crowds on the street and often, on television screens. Previous entries in this series include: Danish Heirloom Lace and Royal Wedding Venues

Note: When I mention the size and scale of the venue, I am talking about the location of the actual religious ceremony. All these brides wore their gowns in several places on their wedding days; such is the whole point of a royal wedding.

Bride: Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti
Designer: Valentino
Venue: Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam
Number of Guests: 1700

(Nieuwe Kerk By Arch – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5083699)
(Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander by Image Source: Getty)

Nieuwe Kerk is an expansive fifteenth-century church, which is used primarily as an exhibition and arts space. Regular services are no longer held there, although is the venue for Dutch royal investiture ceremonies and the grandest of weddings. Valentino knew he had to design a dress that wouldn’t get lost in the space and the sea of guests. And he responded. He delivered a dress in heavy silk Mikado (it was February, and that helped the bride stay warm), with embroidered lace panels in the skirt that were revealed as the bride moved. But it was the back view which made the most of the venue. The designer included a five-meter (16 foot) train, and a floral hand-embroidered veil that rested over the train. The entire effect made the beautiful bride visible and interesting from front and back, and a lovely complement to her surroundings.

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This one is definitely worth a watch from the camera placed above the events. You will definitely get a feel for the scale of the venue, and the way the gown and train fill the space.

Bride: Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano 
Designer: Manuel Pertegaz
Venue: Santa María la Real de La Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, Spain

Number of Guests: Approximately 1700 (unofficial)

(Santa Maria Cathedral By Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39902190) (Queen Letizia and KIng Felipe by Image Source: Getty)

Madrid’s cathedral is relatively new. Begun in 1879, it was constructed in fits and starts throughout the 20th century and finally consecrated by Pope John Paul in 1993. It was built to impress, size-wise, and to make a statement that Madrid was the country’s spiritual capital. The ceilings soar, and the main aisle is 102 meters long. Considering this length, Manuel Pertega designed a dress that is narrow, but long. The skirt extends from the waist and flows into a train measuring 15 feet, or 4.5 meters. From the front, the bride is a slim column, but from the side and rear, she takes up space. The dress is made from Valencia silk woven with threads of fine silver, and embroidered with fleur-de-lys flowers, the heraldic fleur-de-lys, ears of wheat, clover, and strawberries. The veil echos the shape of the train. Made from off-white silk tulle and hand-embroidered, it is embellished with scrolls and garlands of ears of wheat, and fleur-de-lys.

The criticism of this dress is that it appeared to overwhelm the slender bride, and indeed in motion, there are times when it looks like she struggles to control all that fabric. In still photos, however, you can see what the designer aimed for, the feeling of stature in an enormous venue.

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Bride: Lady Diana Spencer
Venue: St. Paul’s Cathedral, London
Designers: David and Elizabeth Emanuel
Number of Guests: 2,650

(St. Paul’s Cathedral By Photo: Harland Quarrington MoD/MOD, OGL v1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26907705) (Princess Diana and Prince Charles by Image Source: Getty)

We can’t talk about scale without talking about this wedding. St. Paul’s is one of the grandest possible venues possible for a wedding. The present building dates from the late 17th century, and was designed in the English baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren . The dome dominates the London skyline, and the building is one of the largest churches in England. It can hold up to 3,500 worshipers. By any measure, this is an impressive space.

First-time royal wedding dress designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel had a task in front of them to make their very young bride both visible and memorable in the midst of all the space, people and hubbub of this event. When talking about the failures of the dress, most people point to the eighties excess and the wrinkled fabric, however, their major success was that the designers correctly accounted for the scale of the event. A pared-down, minimalist bride would have been lost in this venue, and the designers understood that.

The Emanuels delivered a dress that was big by any measure. The fabric was an ivory pure silk taffeta with Carrickmacross lace panels, said to be from Queen Mary, at the front and back of the bodice. The volume was achieved in the full skirt, lace-flounced sleeves, and a neckline enhanced with taffeta bows. The old lace-trimmed train was twenty-five feet long.

Time often isn’t kind to this dress, but there is no denying the effect of the very young bride, in her very big dress, on the steps of one of the grandest cathedrals of them all.

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Which gown do you feel was scaled best to the venue?