Guest Author · Sweden

Royal Themed Trip-Stockholm, Sweden!

Please give a warm welcome to today’s guest author, TripleDuchess! She has graciously written a trip report from her recent voyage to Stockholm in October 2019. Thank you for your time and generosity in sharing with the Handbag Community–we certainly appreciate it! All photos are property of the author.

Me and my big sister put on our blue suede shoes and boarded a plane with the destination Stockholm, Sweden in mid-October. After a couple of hours, we reached the first stop on our journey, The Royal Palace in Stockholm. We went to see the State Apartments, the Royal Armory and the Treasury. 

Stockholm Palace or the Royal Palace (Swedish: Stockholms slott or Kungliga slottet) is the official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish monarch (the actual residence of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia is at Drottningholm Palace). Stockholm Palace is located on Stadsholmen, in Gamla stan in the capital, Stockholm. It neighbours the Riksdag building. The offices of the King, the other members of the Swedish Royal Family, and the offices of the Royal Court of Sweden are located here. The palace is used for representative purposes by the King whilst performing his duties as the head of state.

This royal residence has been in the same location by Norrström in the northern part of Gamla stan in Stockholm since the middle of the 13th century when the Tre Kronor Castle was built. In modern times, the name relates to the building called Kungliga Slottet. The palace was designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger and was erected on the same place as the medieval Tre Kronor Castle which was destroyed in a fire on 7 May 1697. (Wikipedia)

Stockholm Palace, October 2019

Sadly, I didn’t have the chance to take any photos inside the representational rooms or State Apartments, since some of them were closed due to an upcoming exhibition. I did manage to sneak a few candid photos of some of the crowns and regalia down in the Treasury!


Crowns of Princes

Crowns of Queens & Heirs

Burial regalia

Burial regalia of King Carl X, 1660.

Swedish State Regalia


Coronation robe of Queen Lovisa, 1873.

In the Royal Armory, I was able to take a few photos of two of our old Queens’ wedding gowns. First is from Queen Sofia Magdalena which was made in 1766.

Wedding gown of Sofia Magdalena

The second wedding gown is that of Queen Lovisa, circa 1850.

Wedding gown of Lovisa


On Friday, we hopped on a boat and took a ride out to Drottningholm Palace, the official residence of the King and Queen of Sweden. The Palace is Their Majesties the King and Queen’s permanent home residence. The rooms in the southern wing of the palace are reserved for this purpose. The rest of the palace and grounds are open to the public year round.

The Drottningholm Palace (Swedish: Drottningholms slott) is the private residence of the Swedish royal family. It is located in Drottningholm. Built on the island Lo ön (in Ekerö Municipality of Stockholm County), it is one of Sweden’s Royal Palaces. It was originally built in the late 16th century (editor’s note: by commission of Queen Hedvig Eleonora), it served as a regular summer residence of the Swedish royal court for most of the 18th century. Apart from being the private residence of the Swedish royal family, the palace is a popular tourist attraction. (Wikipedia)

You can read more about Drottningholm Palace by reading the Royal Palaces’ website.


Guest Post – Máxima Jewels to the Max!

Thank you to our community member Triple A for providing this in-depth information on the jewels Maxima has worn so far during the State Visit to India. We appreciate his quick response and willingness to share his expertise with the community. Unless otherwise noted, all photos have been provided by the author and remain their property. You can always catch up with his news on his Facebook page, too!

There are two theories about the huge pear shaped aquamarine which Máxima  wore as a brooch attached to her diamond bow brooch during the first day in India. The first theory about this stunning jewel is that Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld gave this pear shaped aquamarine (which weighs about 90 carats!) to Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands in 1937, on the occasion of their wedding.

The other and more plausible theory about this pear shaped jewel is that it comes from Queen Anna Paulowna, wife of King Willem II. She owned a large pear shaped aquamarine, which she received from her husband as a birthday present in 1820. Her son, King Willem III, inherited this Brazilian aquamarine from his mother.

Close-ups of the Aquamarines

Queen Beatrix and Princess Laurentien wore it for the first time in 2013: Beatrix as a pendant attached to a diamond riviere necklace, whereas Laurentien chose to fix it to a adjusted version of the “Stuart” diamond bow brooch/devant-de-corsage.

The earrings of briolette cut aquamarines were a wedding present from Princess Juliana’s mother in law, Princess Armgard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, taken from her private jewel collection. As for many earrings of the Dutch royal collection, the pendants can be used in different earrings. Maxima wore the the “Mellerio” version in India.

The Mellerio Version

The diamond bandeau tiara is one of the most original and impressive in the Dutch collection, and has no equivalent in other royal vaults. It looks simple because the stones set in the platinum frame don’t need an elaborate structure to be highlighted. There are twenty-seven huge old cut diamonds, each (!) weighing nearly or more than 20 carats, removed in the 1930’s from the diamond riviere originally set with thirty-four stones.

Maxima in the Bandeau and Brooch

This necklace was given to Queen Emma of the Netherlands as a wedding present (together with a devant-de-corsage) when she married King Willem III in 1879. Made in Amsterdam by Alfred Josephus Jitta, the official court jeweler of Queen Sophie, the whereabouts of the seven remaining diamonds of the necklace are unknown.

The original necklace

Queen Wilhelmina wore the tiara only once, for her last official portrait. Queen Juliana and Princess Margriet made it one of their favorites. Today, Princess Beatrix (OMA) and Queen Màxima are the main wearers of this beautiful bandeau.

The pink diamond large brooch possibly belonged to the Russian Empress Maria Feodorovna, mother of Queen Anna Pavlovna of the Netherlands and grandmother of Queen Sophie (first wife of King Willem III). Sophie inherited this jewel from her mother, Grand-Duchess Catharina Pavlovna. (Queen of Württemberg). The jewel consists of a diamond open work or lace work bow containing five cushion cut pink diamonds. Queens Wilhelmina, Juliana, Beatrix and Maxima all wore this stunning piece in three different versions. Queen Maxima wore the shortest version in India. Maxima wore the two large and smaller round rose cut house diamonds, taken off from the “Stuart” Tiara as earrings.

Embed from Getty Images

Before we leave this dreamy post, let’s take a last long look at some fabulous tiara hair.


Thank you, Triple A, for enhancing our knowledge about these fabulous jewels!


Guest Post – Exposition Chaumet en Majesté

Thank you to our community member Royal Warren(t), who has generously shared memories and photos of her recent visit to the Exposition Chaumet en Majesté at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. All photos are property of the author.

My day with Chaumet!

During my visit to Monaco I had the good fortune of visiting and spending a glorious afternoon with jewels possessing a rich, tragic, and love-filled history. I had the feeling of entering a treasure vault and it was so exciting.

The Grimaldi Forum is a great venue to host events such as this and the hall was dimmed to almost a pitch-black degree (which was wonderful to observe the jewels but presented challenges for anyone taking pictures with an iPhone). Numerous times I mumbled to myself wishing that I had a more professional digital camera, but I did the best I could given the constraints of lighting and amateur photographic equipment.

There were so many instances when I said to myself “oh, I can’t wait to share this photo with my fellow blog followers” or “wouldn’t Princess Astrid love this aigrette” – everything was fabulous!

Then I saw the Leuchtenberg double-strand pearl necklace I was thrilled beyond words to see a luscious strand of pearls with such an amazing history. I could not believe I was standing in front of it, gazing through the glass panel at this iconic necklace.

The next big surprise was the Luxembourg emerald cabochon tiara, which many of our fellow bloggers either love or hate. I have always liked it. My opinion, now that I’ve seen it face-to-face, is that I love it. It possesses such simplicity – the most phenomenal 45 carat emerald, dead center in all its glory. There is nothing like it. When I see photos of a lady from the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg wearing this in the future, I will appreciate it even more. Photos don’t let us appreciate its splendor.

How do I begin to describe the sensation of turning the corner and looking up and seeing the von Donnersmark Emerald Tiara (those green lollipops!)? I knew I’d see great jewels, but I had no idea that I’d view this world-famous tiara. It is mind boggling!

The brilliance of the diamonds, emeralds, rubies was breath-taking, and I was enthralled with the history of all the pieces that were on display. The skill and craftsmanship of Chaumet’s designers and craftsmen is worthy of our admiration.

A lingering memory is Napoleon’s love letter to Josephine. There are no glittering jewels to see but there are words of love from a man to a woman. Unfortunately, history gave these two people an unhappy ending. The jewels we have all loved discussing here at lilibetshandbag and at the “mothership” (The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor) are mostly gifts of love and this is what makes them special – to see what brides were given on their wedding day, for anniversaries and births left me in awe of the panorama before me.

My sincere thanks to the Hofdames for their patience while I prepared this post and I hope everyone enjoys these photos. For more photos, please check out the photo page for this post!


Photo Page – Exposition Chaumet en Majesté

Read Royal Warren(t)’s guest post here. All photos are the property of Royal Warren(t). Do not reproduce without permission of the author.

Britain · Guest Author

Community Week – Windsors in Canada (Clothes and Jewels)

Thank you to geogirl and Wendy1 for this series of posts!
Read the Preface, here, and Brunswick, here.

The Daywear

Elizabeth’s mother had died in 1938, and so Norman Hartnell (of QEll’s coronation and wedding dress fame) designed the famous all-white mourning wardrobe for her delayed state visit to France that year. In Canada, in 1939 Elizabeth wore elements of this white wardrobe as well as plenty of blue and mint green. Many of her dresses had touches of fur, at the cuffs or at the collar. Arrival outfit had a chiffon cape with a deep fur trim at its hem. The Queen even went underground in a mine in Sudbury and here she wore a hard hat and protective outerwear. Her daytime jewelry choices were invariably a string of pearls and a good-sized set of pearl earrings. As you go though these pictures, watch sharply for brooches and clips! (Editors Note: Click through the galleries to enlarge the photos! These photos are the property of the guest authors.)

The Tiaras and other Jewellery

Queen Elizabeth wore at least three tiaras on the trip – thank you, BoSS, for the details –

  • Her favourite, the Oriental Circlet (gifted to Queen Elizabeth by Queen Mary in 1937 when King George Vl inherited the throne) was worn for the Opening of the Canadian Parliament along with a heavy diamond bracelet, possibly her Queen Victoria Bracelet, and pearl and diamond earrings – possibly from the Queen Alexandra Wedding Parure.
    ⦁ Queen Mary’s Fringe (given to Queen Elizabeth in 1936 by Queen Mary) was worn to a formal event in Montreal.
    ⦁ Finally, she wore the Teck Crescent, a less substantial tiara, to wave to one’s admirers from the back of the train (as one does) after a formal banquet.

Check out the daywear section and the various other images, and see if you can spot anything else – who can find the gifts hidden there?

The Maple Leaf Brooch

According to the Mothership, King George VI bought the brooch for Elizabeth to commemorate this state visit. Supposedly, she wore it on the crossing, throughout the tour and frequently thereafter but we could not find images of that. However, we did find this interesting aside on the purchase here!

Pictures of the Tiara Moments on the Canadian Tour:

The photos above are at the Parliament opening. Descriptions from the time state that her gown was white satin and gold brocade with a wide-hooped panniered skirt and scalloped train. The photo at right was hand-tinted but it seems that the person who did the tinting didn’t know the details of her gown’s colouring so they took the liberty of tinting it pale blue which, in fairness, was her predominate colour of the tour.

The First Walkabout

The royal walkabout first happened in Ottawa on this trip. After dedicating the National War Memorial, the royal couple, rather than returning to their motorcade, spent half an hour mingling with 25,000 First World War veterans who were part of a crowd of at least 100,000 people. The CBC radio announcer covering the event was stunned and described the warm rapport thus “One these old veterans is patting the King most affectionately on the shoulder…Her Majesty is chattering with one of the veterans of the amputations association…The Queen is speaking to a blind veteran now…The King is shaking hands…”

“Canada Made Us”

Although the original purpose of the 1939 tour was to allow the monarch to engage with Canadians as King of Canada, the impending outbreak of war in September that year further shaped the significance of the event.

For Queen Elizabeth, the 1939 tour began a lifelong personal relationship with Canada and helped establish her and her husband as modern monarchs. She would later say that “Canada made us”.

An enduring symbol of the Canadian tour was of Their Majesties waving from the observation platform at the back of the Royal Train. This is how many Canadians – especially those who lived outside of the larger cities – saw their King and Queen.

Links Comprehensive 90-minute complete coverage from the CBC

Interesting rare color footage – short clips. (check out the end for the closing waves from the train) well-produced clip incorporating great color footage – the royal part starts at 0:45, the mine coverage at 2:15 – and you can see Queen Elizabeth in a hard hat here – also notice that King George has a light (strung around his neck) but not the queen! the Toronto visit. A lady in waiting riding in a police side car (keeping her head down!), the cape dress and King George walking, sword in hand, about 2:40