16 March 2018

A Royal Wedding for the Weekend: Prince Christian of Hanover and Alessandra de Osma Tie the Knot

Big wedding gowns and big tiaras call for special weekend posts! Prince Christian of Hanover, the second son of Ernst August, Prince of Hanover, married Alessandra de Osma in a civil ceremony in London in November 2017. They married in a religious ceremony today in the bride's home country of Peru.

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Alessandra's gown is from designer Jorge Vázquez. If you made a royal wedding gown checklist, this one would manage to tick pretty much every single box: loads of lace, long sleeves, big train, big veil, big tiara. It's a proper princess dress and I think this bride, who is known as Sassa and who is described by Wikipedia as a "lawyer ex model", is pulling it off with aplomb.

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About that big tiara: the Hanover Floral Tiara is back! We just saw it last year, when Prince Christian's older brother, Prince Ernst August, married Ekaterina Malysheva; prior to that, it was worn by their stepmother, Princess Caroline, and their mother, Chantal Hochuli. Alessandra is wearing the tiara in a more upright fashion than her sister-in-law did, so it looks a lot bigger, and the height is helping to anchor that big dress.

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Princess Alexandra of Hanover, the groom's younger half-sister, attended the bride wearing Giambattista Valli Couture (above). The groom's father was also in attendance, after family tensions resulted in him missing his older son's wedding last year. Other guests included Pierre Casiraghi, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, the York sisters, and Kate Moss.

Royal Hats of the Day: Zara Takes Cheltenham

Given that it includes two royal weddings in addition to Ascot and the usual things, 2018 will offer the British royals plentiful opportunities to flex every bit of their powerful millinery-wearing prowess.

Zara Tindall's getting the fun side of this hat-filled year off to a running start at the Cheltenham Festival this week. Always a staple in her calendar, she likes to pair fresh and fun hats with pieces that aren't too carefully put together, which I like as a bit of a change from all the overly coordinated stuff.

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Day 1, with the Princess Royal
And there are appearances from a couple other royals, too. (The Duchess of Cornwall made her yearly appearance on Ladies Day.) These two look like they're ready to pull off a mother and daughter heist.

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Day 2
So Zara's prepping for the Royal Baby Boom of 2018 as well, just in case you - like me - forgot. (She keeps a low profile!) It may be a serious forehead-bolter, this hat, but it's a great bit of warm up flair for the great hat occasions to come. I am very interested in this coat, which is bespoke Claire Mischevani; we saw a great dress from this designer at Ascot last year on Princess Beatrice, and I'd love to see more royals try the label out.

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Day 3
This is the kind of non-matchy coordination that makes me look forward to her looks from Cheltenham. It all works without trying too hard. The color on that hat is A+. She's also rocking those shades and she knows it, and I love it.

15 March 2018

Tiara Watch of the Day: The Belgian State Visit to Canada

This Thursday brings us a tiara in the wild! Oh, it's been too long. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are in Canada for a state visit, bringing along one tiara and one pair of...Ugg boots?

Official welcome with the Governor General
Belgian Monarchy/Rideau Hall
Carmen Sandiego up here arrived in a tidy pair of pumps, then when the fun moved outside, she swapped them for something more comfy: formal state visit Uggs. So that is a thing that happened.

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Underneath her cape, Queen Mathilde revealed a golden maple leaf brooch. Combined with the red color, this is a level of "O Canada" dressing that I'm not accustomed to seeing outside of, well, the actual Queen of Canada and her family.

State dinner time!
Belgian Monarchy
Worn this time with the Laurel Wreath Tiara and earrings from Queen Fabiola, the original appearance of Mathilde's Jan Taminiau gown was my choice for her best appearance of 2016. Here's what it looked like back then...

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Worn in 2016, during the Dutch state visit
So I'm pretty sure that the addition of an intense faux-necklace on illusion mesh ensures that it shall not repeat in 2018. Still very pleasingly sparkly, though.

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And most of the rest, so far! Some high water funny business at a sugar shack, more maple leaf loving in the hat on her orange number, more repeated sparkle for the return concert, and some elegant blue as the trip moved on to Toronto. This is a lengthy state visit; it goes until the weekend, so who knows what sartorial adventures await...

14 March 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: The Swedish Royals & Baby Festivities

As Crown Princess Victoria joined her father for the cabinet meeting to announce the name and titles of Sweden's newest princess, I found myself facing a difficult question: Is it possible that she overdosed on the purple?

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This repeated purple suit is all sharp lines and belted goodness. Then you add the blouse with the fussy neck bow and...dilemma. As much as my purple heart hates to admit it, I think she's crossed into Too Much Territory.

Henrik Garlöv/Kungahuset.se
All that purpley purpleness became a welcome bright spot when the family moved on to their Te Deum service to celebrate Princess Adrienne's birth, where Queen Silvia was in one of her usual sensible skirt suits...

...and Princess Sofia was in the most sensible of all the skirt suits. Svensk Damtidning notes that Sofia owns this Veronica Virta suit in two different colors, which is I suppose exactly the purpose of these basic suit pieces.

Monday was a busy day in Sweden; it was also Crown Princess Victoria's name day, so Victoria, Daniel, and Estelle headed out to greet the crowds after finishing up with the new baby festivities.

Henrik Garlöv/Kungahuset.se
And once again, a purple bow foils some otherwise sharp detailing on this coat.

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Princess Estelle turned up looking like a life size version of Samantha, the Victorian American Girl Doll, in her super coordinated winter outfit and she totally stole the show and I no longer care so much about the neck bow situation. Magic!

P.S.: Several of you have asked how the family is pronouncing Adrienne. You can watch King Carl Gustaf announce the name here and hear it for yourself

13 March 2018

Royal Color Scheme of the Day: British Royals on Commonwealth Day

So many of you were hoping Meghan Markle would use her appearance at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey yesterday as a chance to inject some vibrant color into her wardrobe...but as it turns out, basically the entire Windsor family united against your cause. I had to laugh.

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Navy blue for you and you and you! The Queen, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, Princess Alexandra, the Countess of Wessex, and the Duchess of Gloucester all showed up to create a sea of blues. Navy with the classic cream combo by a few, with just a couple light blues stuck in there for relief.

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All except for the Queen, who was classy in mulberry and rubies - repping Australia with that brooch - and was covered in full yesterday at the Vault.

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Meghan's contribution to the navy theme came in the form of a navy Amanda Wakeley dress, a cream Amanda Wakeley coat, and a Stephen Jones hat. A sophisticated look, methinks. Kate went all in on the navy with a Beulah London ensemble, itself a veteran of church service occasions, and a Lock & Co. hat.

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The Duchess gave this coat the touch it needed by adding a brooch, always a delightful surprise from her. It's a delicate multi-colored floral bouquet, and I don't recognize it as anything the Queen has worn. She wore it with the earrings she debuted recently, earrings I speculated might match the Queen's Sapphire and Ruby Flower Spray Brooch. However, I now think they're probably a pair with this brooch instead. (What Kate Wore has shared some close ups.)

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Full navy for Sophie, too, in a repeated hat - another piece that's a veteran from many a special occasion - and Stella McCartney coat (per the Countess of Wessex Blog). I'm actually glad for the beige accessories here, they pull in the hat ornamentation and give some relief to all the blue.

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 Joining Meghan on the navy and cream theme were Camilla and Anne. Every outfit Camilla has in this color combo - and there are plenty of them - is sharp as can be, and I love the detail on this jacket. (She's wearing her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Small Diamond Clasp.) Anne's been rocking this coat since 1980, because of course she has, but she's kindly brought it into the current century with a fresh hat. (I mean, it's still a repeated hat, let's not get crazy.)

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Lightening up the blue side of this family color scheme, we have Princess Alexandra, as always looking like an elegant picture from really any decade in the past century...

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...and the Duchess of Gloucester, unfortunately laying low in most coverage. This is also a faultless color for Birgitte, though the apparent tall black boots will certainly get the hmm... treatment from me.