Britain · Greece · Sweden

Royal Wedding Gowns – Venue

Welcome our Royal Wedding Gown summer series, where we look at royal gowns from a different perspective. Today we’ll talk about how the venue of royal weddings can influence the design of the dress. In the previous entry to this series, we discussed how heirloom lace can transform an ordinary gown to a royal gown.

Most royals are not getting married on the beach or in a village church, but in historic and royal spaces. In some cases, very grand spaces. The dress designer is often tasked with providing a dress to stand up to such surroundings. Let’s take a look at three brides and how their dresses reflected the venue of their weddings.

Bride: Marie Chantal Miller
Dress Designer: Valentino
Venue: St. Sophia Cathedral, London

(Photo of St. Sophia: by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0″)
(Photo of Marie Chantal by Source, Fair use,

St Sophia is a Greek Orthodox Church built in a Byzantine Revival design. The interior is an explosion of color and intricate design. When Valentino was tapped for the design, he probably looked around at the venue, rolled up his sleeves, and set to designing a dress to stand up to the mosaics and intricate tiling. The designer delivered a heavy ivory silk dress with rose appliques, a lace bodice – with twelve different kinds of lace – and sleeves decorated with floral motifs.  The bride borrowed the Antique Corsage Tiara from Queen Anne-Marie to attach her 4 and 1/2 meter long Chantilly lace veil. The veil was finished with a scalloped edge and butterfly embroidery. It is a very complicated bridal ensemble, and some say it overwhelms the delicate bride, but it holds up to the intricately designed interior of the church.

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Bride: Lady Helen Taylor
Dress Designer: Catherine Walker
Venue: St. George’s Chapel, Windsor

(Photo of St. George interior by Josep Renalias – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link)

St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle is designed in the high-medieval Gothic style. Catherine Walker was inspired by the soaring arches in the chapel, and created a dress for Lady Helen that reflects the architecture in its wide neckline and sleeves. The cathedral length train and the full skirt filled some of the wide aisle space in the chapel. Helen chose some dramatic jewelry that also gave a nod to the venue: a diamond and pearl necklace, matching earrings, and a modified fringe tiara of diamonds and pearls. The designer added the embroidery to the dress after learning of the bride’s jewelry choices. Altogether, the ensemble is unique, and a gorgeous reflection of the environment.

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Bride: Princess Madeleine of Sweden
Dress Designer: Valentino
Venue: Royal Chapel, Stockholm Palace, Sweden

(Royal Chapel By Holger.Ellgaard – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, (Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill Photo credit: Ewa-Marie Rundquist, Swedish Royal Court

The Royal Chapel’s design was completed in the mid 1700s. The sculptures, statues and ceiling paintings were produced by the foremost craftsmen of the period. The predominant feel of the chapel is ornate, but filled with light. The primary color is white, with gold accents. Valentino, a practiced purveyor of royal gowns at this point, designed a dress for Madeleine that reflected the light and romantic overtones of the chapel. The gown was made of silk organza with ivory-colored Chantilly lace. The a wide skirt, rimmed with a deep ruffle, flowed a four-meter train. Her veil was also silk organza, edged with tulle and small lace orange blossoms. Princess Madeleine chose to wear the Modern Fringe Tiara, but I believe that traditional Cameo Tiara might have tied this look to the venue event even more strongly. Still, the hyper-feminine effect melded beautifully with the summer day in the light filled chapel.

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Which dress coordinates best with the venue?
Britain · Spain · Sweden

Random Royaling – The Summer of the Flowing Print

They are all doing it, folks. I realize the trend of the flowing print midi started well before this summer (too long ago for some of us) but since it shows no sign of slowing down, I thought we would take a look at some of the best efforts over the past two months. Again, I think I am being worn down by pure repetition, because not only did I not mind these, I flat out liked them. In one case, loved them.

Kate is wearing a flowing, filmy number by Ridley London. While I am not overly fond of the enormous dust ruffle decorating the hem, the fabric itself is lovely, and looks like it would be cool and delightful to wear. The whole thing flows.

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Victoria’s entries into the flowing field have been extremely problematic for me, mostly because I love how she looks in solid sheaths. This print silk midi by H&M is both a flattering spring (it was still spring at that point) color, and the flow of the dress works with her figure.

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Leti’s silk dress by Sandro isn’t her usual, but it is certainly flattering. I really like this on her, probably due to the boldness of the pattern and the surprisingly slim silhouette for something so unstructured. Now, would this work on someone less fit and slender than the Queen? Possibly not. Maybe my love for the blue ombre shoes is skewing my perception of the whole thing.

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I am not entirely sure why I love Madeleine’s polka dot midi. It has a handkerchief hem which usually drives me mad, and gathered puffed sleeves which set me on edge, but it just works for her. Maybe it’s her height, maybe it’s the freshness of the unexpected color combination, but whatever it is I find this just a delight. (All photos of Madeleine Sara Friberg / Kungl. Royal Court ).

Just a note…we will have an ROGBIV that focuses on florals, so if you are going to post your own favorite print, make sure to keep something in reserve for that feature.

How does this trend sit with you?

Open Post – South Korean State Visit to Sweden

From Norway to Sweden, South Korea is making its way through Scandinavia, and there are TIARAS a foot!

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook are in Sweden for a two-day state visit. The purpose of the state visit is to promote the 60 year diplomatic relationship between Sweden and the Republic of Korea.

Vickan and Daniel were on hand to greet the President and First Lady, along with C-P and Sofia. Maddie and Chris weren’t there, but did attend the State Dinner later in the evening.

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The State Dinner was held at the Royal Palace later in the evening.

Gown: Jenny Packham. Photo:
Kungahuset on Facebook
Gown: Self Portrait. Photo:
Kungahuset on Facebook
Gown: Carolina Herrera. Photo:
Kungahuset on Facebook

The table settings were something to behold as well.

Kungahuset on Facebook

Day two of the State Visit from South Korea. Nothing as exciting as tiaras I’m afraid, but we here at Lilibet’s Handbag are equal opportunity royal event bloggers.

Queen Silvia and Mrs. Kim Jung-sook visited Prince Eugens Waldemarsudde for a guided tour and tour of the prince’s old home and garden in the Royal Djurgården in Stockholm. They also visited Svensk Form at Skeppsholmen to attend the “Korea Sweden Young Design Award” ceremonies. After the ceremony, the prize winners were given the opportunity to show their work.

All photos: Kungahuset on Facebook

And although it has absolutely nothing to do with the State Visit but everything to do with Sweden, Happy Fourth Birthday to Prince Nicolas!

Photo: Kungahuset on Facebook

More to come! Make sure to share any photos or information you find out there. Open Posts are a way for us all to get involved!


Catching Up With: Swedish National Day

Sweden has celebrated its National Day on June 6 since 1983. It was established on that date in honor of two events: the crowning of Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the adoption of a new constitution in 1809.

The Swedish royals are enthusiastic supporters of National Day. There are many types of regional national dress in Sweden, but the royal women are wearing the national dress that was initially designed in the early 1900s. It was brought back to prominence by Queen Silvia and became the national costume in 1983. It is the one dress that’s designed to represent Sweden as a whole, and it’s called “Sverigedräkten”.

Most of the family gathered together here to participate in a ceremony at Skansen.

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The family also split up duties, with Victoria and Daniel heading to celebrate at Haga Park in Solna. Victoria wore a brightly printed floral blouse and top by Rodebjer. I find Victoria commanding when giving a speech, and I think that posture has a lot to do with it.

The King and Queen headed to the province of Dalarna, to be enthusiastically greeted by crowds. Maybe they heard that Sils was going to be wearing this terrifically fresh looking white suit?

Carl Phillip and Sofia covered the activities at the Royal Palace, and Sofia appeared in national costume, because when you look that good in it, why change?

Let us know what you think of Swedish National Day below.