21 February 2017

Royal State Visit of the Day: February 21

The Swedish royal family welcomed Canada's Governor General for a state visit yesterday with the usual array of not-hats and tiaras, plus some surprises up their sleeves. Surprise #1 (which was not really a surprise because it was announced in advance, but work with me here): Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill stepped in for Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, who are on holiday with their family.

Click to enlarge. Photo: Kungahuset.se
For the arrival, Princess Madeleine repeated her perplexing Giambattista Valli dress (if I could just get past the feeling that she hastily slung her headphones around her neck when they interrupted her pre-event study session, I might be able to find the lovely floral dress beneath). Princess Sofia went simple in white and delivered Surprise #2: a version of the Ole Lynggaard gold brooch Crown Princess Mary wore to King Carl Gustaf's birthday dinner last year in her hair. It's definitely an improvement as a hat alternative instead of a tiara alternative (because nothing's preferable as a tiara alternative, duh).

And then there was Surprise #3: Queen Josephine's Amethyst Tiara on Princess Sofia!
More! Exclamation! Points!! Sofia's on a role: this is her third new pick from the family vault (and her fourth tiara overall), after giving us two different tiaras during the Nobel festivities. This has always been a tricky tiara to style because it has such a large circumference. It sits pretty high and is tilted pretty far back here to compensate, and I really do think it looks splendid on her. I'd probably find it splendid on anyone, but that's beside the point.

As if that weren't enough, Princess Madeleine delivered my other favorite colored stone tiara from the Swedish family, the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara. She wore it with aquamarine and diamond earrings from her personal collection (the aquamarine stones can be swapped for pearl pendants).

Temperley London dress (h/t to Heaven)
She wore a new gown from Temperley London, with gathered sleeves and a cut out back. My mind immediately flashed back to Queen Silvia's sleeveless gown from the Nobel Prize ceremony in 1979, which made me wish that this one had ditched the sleeves too, at least for a gala occasion. They'd be great without the orders and stuff.

Kungahuset.se
Last but not least, the Pronger (a.k.a. the Nine Prong Tiara) was present and accounted for. I cannot see Queen Silvia's dress without remembering the glory of it paired with the Leuchtenberg Sapphires at the Nobel ceremony in 2012, but I've always been the greedy sort.

Check out a full gallery from the banquet here.

20 February 2017

Monday Tidbits for February 20: Verdicts and More

Headlines from Spain headline our Tidbits this week:

--A Spanish court handed down verdicts on Friday in the lengthy trial of Infanta Cristina - one of the elder sisters of King Felipe VI - and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin. It's a scandal that has plagued the whole royal family for several years. The Nóos case accused Urdangarin and his business partner of using their Nóos Institute sports foundation to obtain no-bid government contracts, and of channeling the profits through tax havens for their own personal use. Infanta Cristina was found not guilty of tax fraud complicity. Urdangarin was found guilty of several counts of tax fraud and corruption and was sentenced to six years and three months in prison. Both must pay fines. The King stripped Infanta Cristina of her Duchess of Palma de Mallorca title in 2015; the family has been living in Switzerland since 2013. [El País, New York Times]

--The Danish royal family hit the slopes in Switzerland for a little vacation, so Crown Princess Mary shared some photos she took of the kids. [Facebook]
HRH the Crown Princess/Kongehuset

--A major new dress exhibition opens at Kensington Palace on February 24. Diana: Her Fashion Story tracks the fashion journey of Diana, Princess of Wales and her image as we approach the 20th anniversary of her death. [Guardian]

--King Harald V turns 80 on February 21, and with Queen Sonja turning 80 herself in July, celebrations lie ahead. (The government will hold a gala dinner for the couple in May!) They've kicked things off by releasing a new series of photos of the royal couple and their family. [ParisMatch]

--And finally, over at the Jewel Vault: a little bit of green and a whole lot of orange.

Coming up this week: State visits in Sweden and Spain will await our judgment...

Tidbits is your spot for topics we haven't covered on the blog. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

17 February 2017

Royal Outfit Grab Bag of the Day: February 17

A feast of leftovers to round out your week:

Queen Máxima attended a dinner last week during the annual working visit she and King Willem-Alexander make to Germany.
I see you trying to distract me with your magnificent diamond necklace, Máxima, but it will not work: I know you're sporting a formal jumpsuit with an elastic waist. It may have a cape back and it may be Valentino, but still. I see you.
Valentino Cape-Back Silk Jumpsuit, per ModekoninginMaxima
Most of their trip was solid repeats for our Máx, which is why we haven't paid the trip much attention here. ParisMatch has a gallery of every outfit she wore in Germany, should you be so inclined.

Princess Madeleine opened the 'Room for Children' at the Southbank Centre's 'Imagine' Children's Festival in London on Tuesday.
I guess I haven't had the opportunity to yell about SHOOTIES much lately, so...there's that. (SHOOTIES - the caps lock is important - is my generic term for any boot-ish thing of this nature that chops the line of the leg in such a brutal fashion, you see.)
Miu Miu boots worn with a Vilshenko blouse and a Valentino skirt, per Swedish Royal Fashion
All of these pieces have great potential. Let's try again. In three separate outfits, pretty please.

Queen Letizia and King Felipe attended the 'El Valor Economico del Espanol' conference on Monday.
PALATE CLEANSER. (Kind of a familiar palate cleanser, actually. Anybody else remember Queen Rania during her 2015 trip to Spain? I suspected it would be better without Rania's distracting shoe choice,and so it is.)

16 February 2017

Tiara Thursday: Queen Maud’s Turquoise Tiara

Queen Maud's Turquoise Tiara
One of the largest turquoise tiaras still in use belongs to Princess Astrid of Norway, sister of King Harald V, with royal roots that go back even further. The tiara comes from Queen Maud, Astrid’s grandmother, and from Maud’s mother, Britain’s Queen Alexandra, before that. It’s a tall diadem with scrolling diamond elements of alternating heights accented by multiple turquoise stones. It’s also a circlet, meaning that it connects in the back to form a complete circle. Princess Astrid usually wears it with diamond and turquoise earrings, a necklace, and a bow brooch.

Princess Astrid
There’s little photographic evidence of the tiara in use before it came into Princess Astrid’s possession (here’s a rare example of Queen Maud wearing it), but it is the largest tiara in Astrid’s collection and she has used it for some important occasions. She wore it for the 2001 wedding of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit; she gave a nod to the tiara’s history and the genealogical ties that bind the Norwegian royal family and the British royal family by wearing the tiara during a 2005 visit to London to mark Norway’s 100th year of independence.

Princess Astrid wears the tiara in a portrait released for her 85th birthday, standing between portraits of her parents
Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen/The Royal Court, Norway
To me, this turquoise tiara has a sort of theatrically medieval flair to it - which I love - thanks to its height and circlet design. Given that Princess Astrid’s tiara collection includes the most unusual pieces the family has to offer, this one fits right in.

Does this have a spot on your list of favorite Norwegian tiaras?

15 February 2017

Royal Gown of the Day: February 15

We talk about a lot of gowns here, but it's still pretty rare for us to get a legit ball gown in action. I'm talking one of those sweeping skirt, let's-go-waltzing kind of things, you know?

The Prince and Princess of Monaco attended the 2017 Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco yesterday.
I would not have pegged sleek Charlene to be the one to give us a proper ball gown, I must say, but I am HERE FOR IT. Especially a Carolina Herrera red ball gown, of all things. (This is not so far from another Herrera red gown that I've admired for a long time, so I am admittedly even more biased than usual.) (I also can't be the only one noting the similarity between this and one of Crown Princess Mary's all time great gowns, that red Uffe Frank from her pre-wedding gala, which means you might as well triple my bias level.)

Red silk faille off-the-shoulder v-neck dress from Carolina Herrera
Princess Charlene opted for long, skinny earrings for her glam appearance, and my one note - because you  knew there'd be one - is that I think this could have handled a wider, more substantial earring. My love for the skirt, however, far outweighs that note. Do you have notes, or are you sold?