Housekeeping: Reminder that we are off on Monday for the U.S. Labor Day holiday. We will have an Open Post on Tuesday for anyone who wants to talk about the Sweden/Germany State Visit and will be back Wednesday with a new Bits. For those in the northern hemisphere, enjoy your last bit of summer. To all, we’ll see you in five days!
It was a tight race, but Baguettes and Hofdudes have deemed the Luxembourg State Visit to Britain in June 1972 their favorite of the decade. The formidable and sparkling Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte in her Luxembourg Empire tiara tipped the scales just ever so slightly to that side.
Spanish State Visit to Britain, April 1986
As for the eighties, you may as well cross out any other description of the decade and replace it with two words: Princess Diana. Even though she wasn’t present at all that many state visits, let’s start with one where she was onstage. Hang on to your hats everyone, it’s the 1986 Spanish State Visit to Britain and Dynasty Di is on the scene.
The Prince and Princess of Wales greeted the Spanish royals at the airport and the ladies each sported hats that attempted to out-eighties each other in a duel. The group proceeded to Windsor Castle to be met by the Queen and other members of the family.
The State Banquet was also held at Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth wore her great-grandmother Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara, while Queen Sofia wore the Fleur de Lis Tiara. Not pictured are the other family members, who included the Queen Mother, Prince and Princess of Wales (in the Lover’s Knot Tiara), the Princess Royal, Princess Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia hosted the Return Banquet at the Spanish Embassy. Those in attendance included Queen Elizabeth II (in the Vladimir Tiara), the Prince and Princess of Wales (in the Spencer Tiara), the Princess Royal (Festoon Tiara), Infanta Elena, Infanta Cristina, and a surprise appearance by Princess Irene of Greece.
Queen Sofia with the Princess of Wales and Princess Irene of Greece during the Return Banquet at the Spanish Embassy in London during the 1986 Spanish State Visit to Britain! https://t.co/vHYhzgclQ3 pic.twitter.com/geRxDCEQgE
— The Royal Watcher (@saadsalman719) June 2, 2020
British State Visit to Jordan, March 1984
Princess Diana wasn’t the only glamorous royal in the eighties. Far from it. In 1984 Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh paid a state visit to Jordan, where King Hussein and his beautiful bride, Queen Noor, greeted them. Both women wore white gowns and the Order of Al-Hussein bin Ali. Queen Noor also wore her diamond tiara, while Queen Elizabeth wore the Vladimir with the pearl configuration.
The Queen and Duke hosted the Return Banquet at the British Embassy in Amman. The Queen wore the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara and a blue dress of many lace layers.
There were several day trips, including an outing to the ancient city of Petra (aside: one of my bucket list destinations). These outings are notable for the clever headdresses worn by Queen Noor, which have the benefit of making her very easy to pick out in photos.
Swedish State Visit to France, June 1980
The dapper President of France, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, and First Lady Anne-Aymone Giscard d’Estaing hosted the Swedish royals on a State Visit to France in May 1980. Something about Paris inspired Queen Silvia, because she busted out the best of the tiaras and some of that famous Swedish tiara hair. For the State Banquet at Versailles, she was dazzling in white – with an evening coat, be still my heart – wearing the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure.
#RoyalFlashback– A Banquet at the Palace of Versailles to celebrate King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden’s State Visit to France #OnThisDay 40 years ago: https://t.co/q7czMlX1dl pic.twitter.com/aJwTCAQNfB
— The Royal Watcher (@saadsalman719) June 17, 2020
The Return Banquet was hosted by King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia at the Palace of Versailles the next evening. The Cameo tiara – which came to Sweden via Napoleon’s court – was an appropriate choice and the perfect complement to the Queen’s gold gown.