Britain · Denmark · Jordan · Spain · Sweden · United Kingdom

Claim That Chapeau!

Today we are going to climb through the hat wing of our ladies’ closets and borrow some items for us to wear. It’s a fun category and we’ll have a runner up and a winner for each Hofdame.

Orange Chia

OC: I confess I’ve thought about my entries a bit more than anticipated. I love Sophie Wessex’s lattice style hat both for its non-traditional royal hattery and that it is convertible with different accents. I love many of the Tindall crazies and even quite a few of Beatrice & Eugenie’s adventures. I know I’d get the most wear out of Maxima’s Carmen San Diego hats. However, my choices for today’s post are each from the closet of royals I don’t typically admire on a daily basis.

First, I’ll take a dip into Camilla’s hat wing for my runner up. Big Pink from Ascot 2009 still takes my breath away. It is very much the lady wearing it, both in color and style.

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Queen Letizia’s closet holds my winner, unbelievably. She wore this creation to King Willem Alexander’s inauguration in 2013 (how has it been that long already!?) and it was a statement. I love this hat for quite a few reasons. It’s a huge departure for the lady, both in color and style and worth a second look if only to figure out how it is attached and upright. A surprising topper to a lovely ensemble. It’s tricky for sure, but long live The Clam!

The Handbag

The Handbag – My runner up is a black and white explosion on the world’s greatest hat wearer (who maybe shares this honor with Cams).

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I had to go again with one of the Hats of Haya as my winner. It’s not likely we’ll see her at Ascot again, so I would nab this beauty because, well, it’s a beauty. If you are going to hat it up, hat it up BIG.

Luckey Girl

LG: Runner Up – Zara Phillips at Chaz and Cams civil wedding. This is pretty much the perfect fedora and looks fabulous on her.

Winner – I’ll be sneaking into Kate’s closet again, this time for the Potato Chip hat from Zara and Mike’s wedding in 2011.

LiL

LiL: Runner up goes to this one. No, not Sad Sack Sophie! That divine hat behind her! Silvia doesn’t usually wear the BIG ONES, and this looks great on her. Gimme!

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And First Place goes to this one. LiL loves her a Big Hat with a Fancy Doodad, and Mary wears them with panache.

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Who’s hats appeal to you the most? Which piece would you get the most wear out of and why? What fancy hat suits you just because? Show us ALL of your favorites in the comments and tell us why they belong in your hat wing.

Spain

The Wedding of Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano and Prince Felipe of Spain

Today is King Felipe and Queen Letizia’s 16th wedding anniversary! Let’s take a look back at their wedding, which was the first royal wedding of an heir to the throne in Spain for nearly a century.

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We’ll start off with the co- stars of the show, the Spanish Royal Family.

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Some of the guests in attendance. First up are the Norwegians and the Swedes.

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Next up Denmark, The Netherlands, The U.K., Monaco, and Jordan.

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And Belgium, Luxembourg and Morocco round us out.

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I didn’t even begin to scratch the surface when it comes to photos from this wedding. There are some really beautiful images out there, so let’s share our favorites in the comments below over this long, Memorial Day (in the US) weekend!

Tiaras

Hall of Fame: Floral Tiaras

Morning everyone! Trying a new twist on our tiara posts here, and following along with the “Hall of Fame” series The Handbag/Sudsy is working on now. We’re going to have some Hall of Fame Tiaras, starting with one that were recently featured in OC’s ROYGBIV:Florals post.

Now since I don’t have a favorite floral tiara (they’re not really my thing), I thought I’d start with LIL’s absolute fave: The Spanish Floral.

A bit of history: this tiara was gifted to Princess Sophia by General Franco for her marriage to Inante Juan Carlos. Side note: this caused a touch of controversy when it was worn by Letizia on a visit to the Netherlands in 2013. The Royal House later clarified that the tiara was originally made for Alfonso XII’s second wife, Archduchess Maria Christina. It left the family, to later be acquired by Franco from the Madrid jeweler Aldao.

So there’s our fave. If it’s yours as well, please vote for it below. If you have another floral that has your heart, please vote for it using the “Other” option. We’ll tally them up, and let you know which one wins!!

Which Floral Tiara is Hall of Fame worthy?
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?
Spain

Random Royaling – Leti’s Summer Swagger

Let’s face it, she has autumn, winter and spring swagger, too, but she’s worn some good stuff this summer in particular. Before she disappears into her summer break, let’s take a look at some of her recent outings. As always, an enormous hat tip to our own Iselen for bringing her styles to our attention, and to the blog Queen Letizia Style for filling in with details. Head there to get more intel, and to find out what Leti has worn to these events in the past.

First up, my favorite, and once again I am puzzled by my own inconsistency. I don’t like handkerchief hems, smocking on adults, most florals, and most flowy fabric. But this is ….. a great exception. Letizia visited Oviedo to open the 2019 summer courses of the International School of Music.  She wore this print dress by Maje, a French label, in the ‘Rayema’ style. I think the deep v, which opens the neckline, goes a long way to mitigating any overwhelming feeling from the print. And, yes, you can dress like a queen because the dress is $204 (U.S.) at maje.com.

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Two wonderful repeats, the coral/peach Michael Kors that was first worn to a visit at the White House, and a red lace Carolina Herrera that is on (at least) its fourth outing. I add them here because they are quintessential Leti. She paired the Kors with a royal lady ponytail and some pretty well matched shoes, and the Herrera with Herrera slingbacks.

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Leti wore this repeat fit and flare Herrera for audiences ​at  Zarzuela last Friday, although I seem to have blocked the first wearing out of my mind so I was pleasantly wowed all over again. I am particularly intrigued by the LODI burgundy suede ankle strap pumps, although my own feet scream in agony over the thought of wearing them. I’ll just enjoy them on Leti’s soles of iron.

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What do you think? A good summer showing for the Queen of Spain?