18 January 2018

Tiara Watch of the Day: Sweden in State Banquet Splendor

The first state banquet of 2018 brings us some tiaras in action for our Thursday treat (with a side dish of other evening fashion from this week, while we’re at it). The Swedish royal family welcomed the President and First Lady of Iceland for a state visit yesterday, and despite being one tiara down for the state banquet – Crown Princess Victoria was out sick – the remaining tiaras did their best to give us a good show.

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Queen Silvia, gearing up for the Winter Olympics by bringing back one of her signature eau de figure skater dresses, let her sash be her stylist for the night.

Kungahuset.se
She pulled her dress from the stripes down the side of Iceland’s Order of the Falcon, and pulled the Leuchtenberg Sapphires from the sash’s main color. It's a very flag-waving look. You'd have a hard time finding a bad situation for those sapphires, though.


The Dowager Countess Princess Sofia didn’t play with any of that, in a black Ida Sjöstedt gown and her wedding tiara with pearl toppers. It’s…a lot of fuss, with the bow and the stuff all over and the clutch and the sash and all the rest on top. A lot of fuss.

Sofia found a little better balance between fussy elements earlier in the week at a sports gala.
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Something about the sportiness of the top isn’t quite matching for me, but a plain top is the way to handle the triple tiered skirt of this lavender By Malina gown. And that plain top makes an excellent canvas for some jewelry interest:

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Fun! And purple, so double fun. (She's also a good advance advertisement for Swedish design here. The dress is from an upcoming By Malina collection, the brand shared on Instagram; likewise, the earrings are by Caroline Svedblom and they shared on Instagram that they'll be available in February. The perks of being a princess, man.)

17 January 2018

Readers' Favorite Outfits of 2017, Evening Division: The Results, Part 1!

There were some surprises in the results from your day division 2017 vote, both in which outfits made your top 10 and perhaps more so in which outfits (and royals) didn't make the cut. Will the evening division be any more predictable? The first half of your top 10, coming right up...

#10. Queen Máxima at the Italian State Banquet in Jan Taminiau
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The winner of your day division poll also had several contenders for the evening division (so many that not all of them got to be included in the vote, because I wanted the options to include more than, like, four royals). This red gown was worn twice in 2017, and while it didn't really resonate with me, it slides onto your list at #10.

#9. Crown Princess Mary at the New Year's Reception in Lasse Spangenberg
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It's not easily classifiable between day and evening, this one, but it's great enough in either category to nab this spot on your list.

#8. Crown Princess Mary at the Norway Birthday Dinner in Erdem
Kongehuset/NRK/Lyst
Two spots in a row! After her conspicuous absence from your day division favorites, Mary's not wasting any time making her mark in the evening division. (I'm actually really liking the bow at the waist in the stock photo, now that I'm looking at it again. Game for a repeat, hmm?)

#7. The Duchess of Cambridge at the Spanish/British State Banquet in Marchesa
Royal Family
Huge enthusiasm for this state banquet appearance, despite not really seeing a proper picture from the front (just glimpses in motion and while at dinner). That launches Kate to her first spot on your evening favorites...

#6. The Duchess of Cambridge in Paris in Jenny Packham
British Embassy
...and the first of her two 2017 blue Jenny Packhams grabs her a quick second spot. I preferred the second one; it seemed like more of you preferred this first one. Either way, mission accomplished.

Have your picks made the list yet? Stay tuned for the final five...

16 January 2018

Readers' Favorite Outfits of 2017, Day Division: The Results, Part 2!

I thought there were some real surprises at the top of the pile from your day division favorites. Let's investigate (and click here for #6-10!):

#5. Princess Madeleine at Crown Princess Victoria's 40th Birthday in Erdem
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I honestly forgot about this appearance entirely when making my own lists of 2017 bests, but I can't argue with all the affection for it in the final vote. Erdem has served Princess Madeleine well.

#4. Queen Rania at Jordan's Independence Day
Instagram/@queenrania
Did this Queen Rania outfit make the list because of this seriously fierce wind-blown photo? Yes. Do you think creating a moment like this is an accident? No. That's planning, and planning is as much a factor in a good royal outfit as anything else, if you ask me. (By the way, some wondered why this outfit wasn't classified in the evening section. I kept it in the day section because Queen Rania's outfits for this event include a nod to traditional style - albeit often in her own, high fashion way - and therefore it is not something that I'd expect to see used as an evening gown on another occasion.)

#3. Princess Eugenie at Royal Ascot in Preen
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One of my personal favorite Ascot outfits last year got a lot of love from your votes, and I hope this silhouette and this color gets a lot of love from Princess Eugenie in the future. It's such a good match.

#2. Crown Princess Victoria at Prince Gabriel's Christening in Pär Engsheden
Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se
The reds are a good match for anyone, as this voting has made clear. Crown Princess Victoria's sharp turn at December's Swedish christening makes her the second and final royal to earn double spots on your top 10.

#1. Queen Máxima at the Woman 20 Summit in Natan
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And there it is, the biggest surprise of all: I wouldn't generally call daywear Queen Máxima's strongest suit, but an excellent pose and an assist from a coordinated bouquet has elevated her and her favorite designer to the very top of your 2017 favorites. Well done, Máx!

Any surprises for you? Did your favorites make the cut?

15 January 2018

Monday Tidbits for January 15: More New Year's Fun

We are not done with the royal New Year's festivities, but first, a documentary update:

--The Coronation documentary, featuring commentary from Queen Elizabeth II herself on her coronation, aired for the first time last night. Highlights and chat are over at the Vault. Also over at the Vault: a splash of purple and pink on the way to church, with a sneaky ruby brooch.

--Luxembourg's grand ducal family held a New Year's reception last week. I get that Stéphanie pulled the black accents from the dress, but still would have loved to see something less heavy. [Facebook, via Luxarazzi]
Cour grand-ducale/Claude Piscitelli

--A shiny Queen Mathilde joined King Philippe for a New Year's reception for European institutions at the Royal Palace, wearing a repeated Natan ensemble.
Belgian Monarchy

--The Japanese imperial family held their traditional New Year's Lectures and their traditional New Year's Poetry Reading last week, both with a dress code of long day dresses and hats for the imperial princesses. The Lectures this year were a special treat, because Crown Princess Masako attended for the first time in 15 years (after withdrawing due to her illness). [Imperial Family of Japan Blog]
Crown Princess Masako, Princess Kiko, and Princess Mako at the Lectures
ANN screencap

Coming up this week: More of your 2017 favorites revealed...


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

12 January 2018

Readers' Favorite Outfits of 2017, Day Division: The Results, Part 1!

You voted for your favorite outfits of 2017, day and evening division, just before the calendar flipped over. Now, finally, it's time for the results. We're counting down your top 10 favorites from both divisions!

We're starting with your favorites from the day division, part 1:

#10. Queen Letizia at Spain's National Day in Felipe Varela
House of HM the King
A perfectly classic royal outfit which could have appeared on a young QEII or anyone else from then until now, Queen Letizia's suit and surprising royal accessory (a brooch! In traditional brooch position! On Letizia!) just slide onto your top 10 list in the bottom spot.

#9. Princess Sofia at Prince Gabriel's Christening in folk dress
Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se
A traditional outfit of a different sort that also doubled as a big royal surprise takes the next spot, with Princess Sofia's choice to wear the traditional dress of Älvdalen - a dress reportedly made by relatives - to her son's christening.

#8. Crown Princess Victoria in a Birthday Portrait
Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se
Crown Princess Victoria looked like a boss in her 40th birthday portraits, the simple white shirt and white trousers perfectly portraying a princess at work and complementing the sleek backdrop of her home, Haga Palace.

#7. The Duchess of Cambridge at the V&A in Gucci
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The cute mod flair of this Gucci day dress lands the Duchess of Cambridge, one who had an awful lot of potential contenders for the day division, on your list.

#6. Queen Letizia at the UNICEF Awards and Peru Visit in Carolina Herrera
House of HM the King
Letizia's second spot on the list goes to this flippy and fun summer dress from a designer that always serves her well, Carolina Herrera.

Will anyone else hit the list a second time? Stay tuned next week to find out...