24 August 2016

Royal Jewel of the Day: Queen Josephine's Diamond Stomacher

The Swedish royal jewel collection is home to some of the oldest royal jewelry still in use, and with their creativity, not even pieces that went out of fashion long ago need waste away in the vault. For example:

Queen Josephine's Diamond Stomacher
Frankie Fouganthin/CC BY-SA 3.0 (cropped)
Josephine of Leuchtenberg (1807-1876) came to Sweden thanks to her marriage to the future King Oscar I, and several pieces in the Swedish royal jewel collection came to Sweden thanks to Queen Josephine. She had a diamond stomacher, also called a devant de corsage, in a design of rosettes and a bow hung with multiple pendants; in the picture below, she wears it with pearls as pendants. (She's also wearing the pearl version of the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure Tiara.)

Queen Josephine and the stomacher with pearls
Diamond pendants were primarily used in the stomacher, three inside and one larger pendant at the bottom. Subsequent queens consort Victoria of Baden (1862-1930) and Louise Mountbatten (1889-1965) were also pictured wearing the stomacher.

Queen Victoria
Stomachers pretty much went out of fashion as time went on, but with a little jewel creativity and a slight reconfigure, this one's been kept in good use for many further decades.

Princess Lilian wears Queen Josephine's Diamond Stomacher Necklace
With the addition of a diamond rivière, the large diamond devant de corsage became an even larger diamond necklace, and the necklace became a favorite of Princess Lilian (1915-2013). Lilian was the wife of King Carl Gustaf's uncle, Prince Bertil, and a much-loved member of the Swedish royal family. She showcased the necklace often and well.

Crown Princess Victoria in the necklace
Anna-Lena Ahlström, Kungahuset.se
Crown Princess Victoria wears Queen Josephine's Diamond Stomacher Necklace now. It's an unusual shape, one that seems to require special accommodation with gown necklines, which may be the reason she has only worn it a couple of times. She did show it off to perfection with an open neckline when she debuted it at Princess Madeleine's wedding in 2013 (below - you know I'll take any excuse to show that magnificent appearance again).

Victoria with the necklace and earrings
Frankie Fouganthin/CC BY-SA 3.0 
You may have noticed that the two smallest diamond pendants went missing when the stomacher became a necklace (you can see two empty hooks where they once hung in the close up at the top). Those were turned into a pair of diamond earrings, which Victoria is also wearing above. The earrings are favorites of Victoria's; Princess Sofia notably wore them on her wedding day.

Princess Sofia and the earrings
From one jewel into two stunning pieces? That's the jewel creativity of the Swedish royal family at its best, I say.

23 August 2016

Royal Fans of the Day: August 23

The Olympics can't end until we check in one last time with our resident royal fans.

Good news from the equestrian events: Queen Máxima continued playing her boho holiday game until she got it ohhhhh so right.
I'll take one of these maxi dresses, please and thank you. Throw in a sporty summer fedora while you're at it. Based on Máxima's Olympic wardrobe, they seem to be the key to elevating every look.

The Dutch royals ended up hanging out with King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia at the jumping final! What the Swedes lacked in jaunty fedoras, they made up for with other winning accessories.
An Estelle phone case for the proud grandma! Please tell me King CG has one with a grumpy Prince Oscar face on it.

Maybe not, but he does have the ultimate in Olympic accessories:

He was given a little gold medal by some Swedish fans, and showed it off just like the actual Olympic champion with her actual gold medal. I love that.

The Olympics are over, but the Paralympics are on their way. Fingers crossed for some more royal support.

22 August 2016

Monday Tidbits for August 22: Your Downton Abbey Replacement

Hello again, here we go:

--Here's a preview for Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman as the famous queen. The series starts on ITV in the UK at the end of this month, and comes to Masterpiece on PBS in 2017. Already an Emmy frontrunner for the category of Dramatic Running in a Gown, I see. [YouTube]

--Here's a great account of National Day in Liechtenstein, which was last week. [Luxarazzi]

--Nice to see Princess Aiko jumping on board the summer stripe train! [Imperial Family of Japan Blog]

--Over at the Jewel Vault, a rarely spotted Scottish brooch.

--And finally: Of course, Harry.

Coming up this week: An Olympic check-in, and more...

Tidbits is your place throughout the week to share things we haven't covered yet and for all your off topic chats. Enjoy!  

17 August 2016

Royal Necklace of the Day (and a Programming Note): August 17

I'm bidding you adieu until Monday! I leave you with this parting gift:

Video: Queen Josephine's Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace
Sotheby's sold Queen Josephine of Sweden and Norway's double row natural pearl and diamond necklace back in 2014, but I just stumbled across this video of the jewel recently. The necklace came to Queen Josephine (1807-1876) via her mother, Augusta, Duchess of Leuchtenberg (1788-1851); it is thought that Augusta received the jewel as a gift from her mother-in-law, Empress Joséphine (1763-1814). It eventually passed out of the main royal line and was sold more than once.

Josephine and her necklace (and the Cameo Tiara)
I'm honestly not much for pearls, but that video's trying hard to change my mind. I think I'm a little bit bewitched. The necklace sold for a whopping $3,426,669, so I'm clearly not the only one.

16 August 2016

Royal Fans of the Day: August 16

Many of our royals have already left the Rio Olympics for home, but King Willem-Alexander is still manning his position as Chief Fan of the Dutch team.

The King with Dutch athletes
Photo: RVD
I spy some Dutch gymnasts in there, which pleases me greatly. Queen Máxima and the A-Team joined the King this week, just to multiply the fun - and the confusion, when Máxima was identified as the wife of one of the athletes by a broadcaster. Oops!

These lucky ducks all got to watch Sanne Wevers take her place in the history books in the balance beam event final yesterday (above; there are also some very sweet pictures of them congratulating her and examining that precious medal). I want to watch a sporting event with these guys. Thumbs up left and right!

Dress by Vita Kin, ID by European Royals Fashion
Maxima's in full-on vacation mode, in case you were wondering about the sartorial side of things. I could see her lounging around their Greek home in this one. Maybe she just didn't bother unpacking from their last trip.

Clearly. Regarding this jumpsuit situation...I have decided simply to be glad she didn't find one in a bright orange. (She would. You know she would.) Anyhoo, about that gymnastics...