Britain · Netherlands · Spain

Order of the Garter–more fun!

The appointment of the Knights and Ladies of the Garter is in The Queen’s gift, without Prime Ministerial advice. Queen Elizabeth has appointed Felipe VI, King of Spain, a Stranger Knight in 2017 and Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands as a Stranger Knight in 2018.  As we all know, both Kings attended this year’s Garter Service.

Another fun fact is that our very generous contributor Gert-Jan de Wit  was in attendance at Windsor and has graciously allowed us to share some of his photos!  (You can see more of his work by taking a look back at the Corps Diplomatique Dinner posts) and by clicking on his name to see his website.  A huge thank you to Gert-Jan for always being so supportive of the Handbag–we can’t thank you enough!  Let’s get started!

The Princess Royal and the Duke of York

Elizabeth II has also created other Stranger Knights in the past.  Time for you to show us your research skills and show us your favorite photos of Garter Days past including Stranger Knights in the comments! 

Here’s a hint:  start with relatives of those Kings we see here in Gert-Jan’s amazing photos!


Brit Brief – Order of the Garter

The hofdames can already feel the excitement building for this year’s Order of the Garter ceremonies. In addition to the usual pomp and the appearance of the senior Windsors, both King Felipe and King Willem-Alexander will be invested. The proceedings will be held at St. George’s Chapel. We will bring you all the details in an additional post, with some possible special guest contributions, as soon as we have them.

If you want to remind yourself what the ceremony is about, head here. Until we get the special post up, please use this post to add any comments or photos you might happen upon. Treat this as a mini-open post (although we’ll have a real Brit Brief Open Post starting tomorrow, for Ascot week).

The official photos with Her Majesty have been released. This is quite obviously a very big deal, even to the royals who are used to big deals.

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Queen Letizia is wearing a Cherubina hat and dress, and Queen Maxima is wearing Claes Iversen. Queen Letizia Style has already posted a run down on Leti’s ensemble, and our Iselen has provided many details in the comments. Triple-A has similarly been on the case providing us with information on Max’s clothing and accessories.

Let’s do a quick rundown on what some of the Windsor ladies wore.

Princess Alexandra was in her full regalia, riding in the procession, and looking healthy and good. I love a good Alex sighting. All is well with the world.

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Princess Anne, also in full regalia. Is it any surprise that she wears this well?

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Sophie was in a repeated Suzannah dress and Jane Taylor “disc” hat, with some nifty pearl drop earrings.

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Kate, to no one’s surprise I am sure, wore a new Catherine Walker “Liza” dress and Sylvia Fletcher percher, which is described as designed in the “Lion Tamer” Percher style. You tell me what that means, but it is one of my favorite hats. She wore the Collingwood pearl drop earrings.

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Camilla was just so very Camilla like in her Anna Valentine Dress, Five Strand Pink Topaz choker, and Philip Treacy hat. I hope this is a good sign for big hattage through Ascot! I also just love this view of Letizia’s dress, so I couldn’t help but slip her in again.

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A lovely and iconic group, right? There is a tantalizing glimpse of the Duchess of Gloucester in back, as well, in a fresh blue dress with what looks like Princess Alice’s diamond clips on the lapels.

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A great day, sartorially and historically. It was also a great day here! Hat tip to all the following blogs Queen Letizia Style, ModekoninginMaxima, What Kate Wore and Regal Fille. If you are at all interested in the royal hattage, Royal Hats is a must stop. Also, find Triple-A’s comments on Max’s hat re-do in the comments. Thanks to you all, for all your comments and contributions. This would be a dull and dry corner of the internet without you!


Open Post – Dutch State Visit to Ireland

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima are paying a state visit to Ireland at the invitation of Irish president Michael D. Higgins. They will visit Dublin and Cork from Wednesday, June 12 to Friday, June 14, for a mission focused on enhancing economic cooperation between the two countries.

The schedule for the visit is below. We will update as photos become available, but feel free to provide any comments/intel/photos you happen upon in the comments below.

Wednesday, June 12
Welcome Ceremony, The King, Queen and President and Sabrina Higgins
Wreath laying at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance
Afternoon visits with IT, Tech and Business Leaders
Evening State Banquet

Thursday, June 13
Visit with Lord Mayor of Dublin
Visit to Trinity College, viewing of Dutch ‘Fagel Collection’, 
Reception for Dutch residents of Ireland
In the evening, the King and Queen will host Irish dignitaries at a performance by the Dutch dance company, NDT, followed by a reception.

Friday, June 14
Travel to Cork, greeting by Lord Mayor
Visits to maritime and port development industries in Cork and Cobh
Visit to Camden Fort Meagher

For the Welcome Ceremony and day activities, Maxima is wearing a Claes Iversen dress with gold ring embellishments on the sleeves. This Iverson collection was inspired by the golden rings women of the Ndebele tribe in Africa wear around their necks. (H/T to Triple A).

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Finally, banquet photos are available to us! Thanks to Triple A (and a few other on-the-case Handbaggers) we know that Max is wearing a Jan Taminiau repeat with an emerald parure that he describes SO MUCH BETTER than I could! Please seek his comments out below. I will say this is the amazing mutating color dress – in the outdoor pics it looks green and it morphs to teal in some of the dining room photos. Excellent coordination with Mrs. Higgins, too.

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Day 2 is vintage Max. Big brimmed hat, big brooch and big smile, despite the rain. Max has reached back into the Natan portion of the closet, but this is a good one. Love the color. Love the slight texture in the top.

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Check out the big brooch on Max. This bow diamond brooch is an excellent frame for the citrine that Max has added on for this visit. Our resident kamerheer, Triple-A, has some interesting intel on it in the comments, and shows some photos of it in different iterations. Check it out below!

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Well, well, well! Here’s a gorgeous blast of colour to brighten dreary skies! Another Natan repeat, but a good dose of brightness to send the message that the House of Orange is on the land.

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Day 3 found Max in a much repeated sunshine yellow Natan. She has worn this several times before, most recently in 2017. I always feel Max does well in yellow. She certainly brought the bright colors along on this visit. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t conducive to showing off the yellow, so she had to bundle it under a trench coat.

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If you would like more information on the jewels and clothes from this visit, see ModekoninginMaxima, or read through our comments and enjoy!

Netherlands · Spain

Random Royaling – Dutch in Seville

Oh, this is so cool. WAX and MAX brought the whole fam damily to celebrate their 20th anniversary at the April fair in Sevilla. In May 1999 young Prince Willem-Alexander attended a party at the Seville Fair, where he met Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti. Love, marriage and daughters Catharina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane followed that auspicious event.

The Seville April Fair is held in Andalusian capital of Seville and typically begins two weeks after the Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week. The whole family got into the spirit of things, as you can tell below. I think they all carry off these colors quite well – but it’s Max who really sings in them. WAX holds his own with the ladies in his pale yellow suit, doesn’t he?

A little bit of information on the designers.


Koningsdag 2019

It’s time for the annual Koningsdag (King’s Day) celebrations…let’s take a quick look at the events in Amersfoort.

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Máxima and the Princess of Orange are both wearing Natan. Shocker.

© ANP/Phil Nijhuis

I am LOVING A2 (aka Max Junior)’s outfit…down to her black booties. Wax looks just as proud of his lady pack as usual.

Het Koninklijk Huis on Facebook
Het Koninklijk Huis on Facebook

I’m particularly interested in Laurentien’s outfit and thanks to the good work over at ModekoninginMaxima we’ve got more information. I think she looks great, appropriate for the event, and perfect for springtime.

There are always lots of fun elements during these celebrations and I want to meet the person who thought of this bit.

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This little lady seems thrilled to meet her Queen and I just couldn’t resist including this photo in our post, despite the fact someone is wearing a flour sack.

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Lots of photos on Twitter including this couple who got quite a few fun photos with the royals!

What do you think about all of the Koningsdag celebrations?

Post update! Royal Photos by Gert-Jan de Wit has graciously furnished us with some beautiful close up photography! Thanks very much!

A3–cute little dress
I LOVE this photo of A2!
The Princess of Orange