25 May 2016

Royal State Visit of the Day: May 25

The Norwegian royal family welcomed the President and First Lady of Poland for a state visit this week. The welcome ceremony on Monday was dampened (literally) by a dreary rain...

L to R: Princess Astrid, Crown Prince Haakon, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, President Andrzej Duda, King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Princess Mette-Marit
Liv Osmundsen, Det kongelige hoff
...and it seems the royal welcoming outfits were dampened by a bit of the same. It's a fair bet Queen Sonja's incongruous choice of heavy black boots with this lovely bright outfit was influenced by the puddles outside. Likewise, the need for constant umbrellas obscured Crown Princess Mette-Marit's very interesting striped hat selection. What would look like an Ascot prison break on many might just be working for her, if only we could see it better. Blame it all on the rain.

Mette-Marit actually wore galoshes outside, as you can see in the above video. Comfort and safety must have been the primary concerns, because she ended up pulling out of the evening's state banquet due to her ongoing back pain issues.

Queen Sonja brought the ruffles in her place. Extra ruffles, actually, just to make up the difference. It's a curious match for the grand Norwegian emerald tiara, but that's never stopped her in the past. Princess Astrid gamely sported her most antenna-esque aigrette (which, as you may have seen me tweet, is amusingly animated in movement).
Presidency of the Republic of Poland Twitter
Mette-Marit wasn't down for long, thankfully. She returned on day 2 with a soft pink reminder that she looks excellent in pastels. (Hopefully she'll stay well - she's got Prince Oscar's christening on Friday to attend! Everyone's calling Crown Prince Frederik as a lock for a godparent, and I think M-M is too.)

24 May 2016

Royal Florals of the Day: May 24

Nothing brings a royal turnout quite like a flower show, and the Chelsea Flower Show is king when it comes to royal attendance. QEII led a pack of Windsors to view the garden displays yesterday, sporting a brooch directly tied to the show itself (and, of course, you can read all about that at the Vault).

The Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Countess of Wessex, and the Princess Royal were a few of yesterday's royal visitors.
The Royal Family
While the Duchess of Cambridge occupied headlines in her repeated Catherine Walker coat, my true favorites were those who took the day's floral theme literally. (They weren't my favorites because they took the theme so literally, okay, but it's a happy coincidence and I'm running with it.)

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie
A good show from the York sisters, I thought. There's a casual lack of coordination in Beatrice's outfit that actually works for a day out like this, and the peekaboo panels on Eugenie's skirt touch on the floral theme without overdoing it. If that white dress doesn't say springtime, I don't know what does.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with going Full Floral. In fact, sometimes that's just what's called for.
The Countess of Wessex
Oh, how I love a little interest in the shape of a skirt. Adding the black jacket brings this Alexander McQueen dress down just a notch without sacrificing any interest. This feels like the perfect way to do a modern floral in a non-grandma's sofa sort of way. Another win for Sophie, and my absolute favorite for the day.

23 May 2016

Royal Outfits of the Day: May 23

Queen Máxima christened a ship last week, and you know what that means: time to break out the hats.
(Okay, not that she needs a ship christening to break out a hat, but she's certainly not going to pass up the opportunity.) This navy outfit falls into the simple + lovely category - one of my faves - and it's the perfect canvas for some mega jewelry. Big sapphires would have been just the ticket, but she opted for some pearl earrings and a combo of long necklaces, which was effective anyway.

Mega jewelry was also the theme of the evening when the royal family held their annual dinner with the Diplomatic Corps last week.
A photo posted by @abaca_royalty on

She unearthed an old red Natan outfit and headlined the outfit with the Mellerio Ruby Tiara, which seems to be one of her favorites. Seems she's been doing some digging around in the jewel vault (surprise, surprise), because she took a piece of the Mellerio parure's devant de corsage (a large brooch or stomacher) and used it as a pendant for another brooch.
Queen Juliana wearing the devant de corsage, and Máxima wearing this dress several years ago
Hey, if anyone out there is going to bring back the stomacher, it'll be Máx. Let's get to work on that.

22 May 2016

Sunday Tidbits for May 22: New Baby, New Tiara Event

Let's go:

--Tiara event! And the one time per year we get to see a crown in actual use: ICYMI, the State Opening of Parliament was covered at the Jewel Vault this week, with Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall in attendance. Camilla's hitting the rare occasion when I don't really mind an exact repeat, because the look is just that good.
UK Parliament via CC BY-NC 2.0

--Prince Amedeo of Belgium and his wife, Elisabetta (Lili), welcomed a daughter this week! Amedeo is the son of Princess Astrid of Belgium, and a nephew of King Philippe. Their baby girl is named Anna Astrid after her grandmothers.

--Another unexpected edition of who wore it best: the Duchess of Cornwall or Dame Helen Mirren in a black and blue lace Bruce Oldfield dress? Not even a twirling Dame Helen can make me believe the transition at the waist isn't awkward. [Go Fug Yourself]

--Here's a really interesting look behind the scenes of the making of Queen Mathilde's two hats for this week's Jordanian state visit, from Fabienne Delvigne. [Facebook, h/t Royal Hats Blog]

--What's the King of Bhutan been up to? Oh, just personally cooking a lunch for schoolkids.

--The Women Deliver conference was held in Copenhagen this week, keeping Crown Princess Mary busy and attracting a host of royal guests, including Princess Mabel, Queen Máxima, Princess Benedikte, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

--And finally, we'll see Mary and Mette-Marit together again soon: Haakon and Mette-Marit will also be attending Prince Oscar's christening on Friday. SVT will broadcast the christening starting at 11:30 local time (here's a time zone converter), and we will have an open post here.

Coming up this week: Catching up with Máxima (speaking of tiara events), and more...

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

20 May 2016

Royal Flashback of the Day: May 20

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel will christen their son, Prince Oscar, in one week (and there will be an international royal crowd! Billed-Bladet reports Frederik and Mary will be there, with more guests to be confirmed).

Victoria knows a few things about a good christening. Sure, she has Princess Estelle's under her belt, but she was collecting godchildren left and right for years before that. I mean, there's a whole section of her Wikipedia page devoted to a list of her godchildren (16 on the list today, apply your own Wiki disclaimers). She's godmother to the future queens of the Netherlands and Norway and the future king of Denmark, to name just three. So let's see a few of the outfits she's worn while on godmother christening duty - just a selection, because, well, that's a whole lot of christenings.

2004: The christening of Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway
If you remember the orange ensemble Victoria wore to Felipe and Letizia's wedding, then you're experiencing the same déjà vu as I am. (The christening was April 2004, the wedding was May 2004. Perhaps there was a sale on brightly colored florals that season.) This one's a lovely color and fun for a spring christening, but it soooorta looks like there's some sushi on her head.

2004: The christening of Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands
All the good stuff was happening in 2004, royal event-wise. Repeating an outfit worn to Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium's wedding the previous year, I find this very much dated and I find myself rooting for a comeback for that hat. That's a serious hat.

2006: The christening of Prince Christian of Denmark
We actually just flashed back to this outfit - Victoria wore the jacket, hat, and shoes with a lighter colored skirt later that year for her father's 60th birthday celebrations. I'm throwing the video in here mostly because I never miss a chance to go completely off track and admire Crown Princess Mary's diamond and sapphire brooch (a gift from Queen Margrethe, and a Connaught heirloom).

2008: The christening of Princess Eléonore of Belgium
Oooh, let's end it on a high note. This suit is the best. It's sparkly, and the shape is killer enough to override any sparkleblergh-type concerns. It's just pretty. This is a strong front-runner for my favorite Godmother Victoria outfit. I'm sure the list of godchildren is not complete, so I'll keep the top spot open...