26 May 2018

Royal Fashion Awards: Crown Prince Frederik’s Birthday Banquet

The Danish royal family doesn’t usually mess around when they label something a “gala” dinner, and they did not disappoint for Crown Prince Frederik’s 50th birthday banquet at Christiansborg Palace: tiaras all around! Plus, plenty of foreign royal guests to up the tiara count. A gift of sparkle for us all.

Award time:

Finest in Fringe
Princess Benedikte
This event could go down as one of my all-time favorites just based on the number of fringe tiaras alone. Even a fringe from Liechtenstein – not a country we usually see represented at big Danish gatherings – showed up: the Habsburg Fringe Tiara on Hereditary Princess Sophie. Countess Sussie of Rosenborg (not pictured) added a Danish fringe to the pile with Queen Alexandrine’s Fringe Tiara.

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Crown Princess Victoria threw in the Baden Fringe Tiara, a nice contrast to her floral Camilla Thulin ballgown. The dress has been changed since we saw it at the King’s Dinner for Nobel laureates in December; it has sleeves now and I like them.

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Much as I love a floral ballgown, my fringe queen of the evening has to be Princess Benedikte. The Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe Tiara is large and in charge and the dress seals the deal. She’s regal in her sleep, I’m pretty sure, so add in the built-in cape at the back of this and she soars off the charts.

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Probably the most notable fringe appearance of the night comes from Princess Maria-Olympia, in her very first tiara appearance. She’s wearing the fringe we usually see on her mother, Princess Marie-Chantal, but the story is that it was destined for Olympia all along. She had the biggest tiara of her grouping, followed there by Princess Theodora in the Antique Corsage Tiara.

Highest Achievement in Headbands
Princess Marie-Chantal
What’s a mom to do when her daughter claims her tiara back? And when it’s not really a big gun occasion, leaving Queen Sophie’s Diamond Tiara off the table? While I don’t normally approve of teensy headbands at big tiara occasions, it would be Princess Marie-Chantal that would make it work. This piece pairs really well with the delicate necklace and the hair works around it to make it more than a headband.

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Unlike this one, which is Crown Princess Mette-Marit just totally giving in to her tendency to use the Diamond Daisy Tiara in the same way she'd use a plastic headband. Girl, I guess. (This dress is a repeat from King Harald and Queen Sonja’s birthday celebrations.)

Most Radiant in Red
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa
Queen Silvia added some red to her repeated magenta gown by wearing the Edward VII Ruby Tiara. Queen Mathilde’s red gown was accompanied by her Laurel Wreath Tiara and Queen Fabiola’s fringe brooch. The one shoulder on her dress was positioned so that it holds her sash, which is great except…

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...all the interest was happening on her sleeve and we don’t really get to see it on the parade into the banquet because she’s arm in arm with King Philippe. Let’s see it again another time.

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All of that leaves me to crown Grand Duchess Maria Teresa the ruler of the reds. Playing catch up to Queen Máxima’s red caftan from earlier in the week suits her well. And she finally gave us a different tiara – but only because this one was already out of the vault from the state banquet, let’s not get too crazy. She’s wearing the Chaumet Diamond and Pearl Choker Tiara with the pearls back on top.

Most Satisfying Tiara Sightings
Countess Alexandra and the Duchess of Castro
We don’t get to see these two tiaras that often, three cheers for any appearance at all: the Alexandrine Drop Tiara on the Countess of Frederiksborg and the Ancona Tiara on the Duchess of Castro.

Most Intriguing Designer Introduction
Princess Marie
Princess Marie’s sporty n' sparkly blue dress is from Elie Saab (per Laura). Elie Saab! Not a designer we see on Marie or really in the Danish royal house. So…more, please? From the department of no surprises at all, on the other hand, Marie wore her Diamond Floral Tiara. (Also: Prince Nikolai joined Princess Maria-Olympia and Prince Constantine-Alexios in making their gala debuts.)

Most Complicated Accessorizing
Queen Máxima
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Several of you have noted that Queen Máxima’s purple dress from King Willem-Alexander’s 50th birthday celebrations had been borrowed back from the ongoing Jan Taminiau exhibition, and were anxiously awaiting its appearance. Did she pick the right event for it, though? The dress has so much going on that I actually hate to see the sash over top of any of it. The Dutch Diamond Bandeau was probably her safest tiara choice.

Most Dubious Tiara Pairing
Queen Margrethe
Queen Margrethe had to plan ahead for the Naasut Tiara; it, along with Princess Benedikte’s Floral Tiara worn by Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and the Khedive of Egypt Tiara worn by Queen Anne-Marie (neither pictured here) were on display in Koldinghus. And I can’t help but wonder…why? That yellow gold doesn’t look its best with the settings on these diamonds. Oh well. It worked out alright with her new pink party dress. She still can’t resist a big sleeve, can she? Bless.

Prettiest in Pink, and Best of the Evening
Crown Princess Mary
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This dress. Crown Princess Mary's dress. Oh my. This is a piece of art by Lasse Spangenberg. Mary paired it perfectly with her Diamond, Ruby, and Spinel Necklace Tiara, the matching earrings, and even a brooch at the back of her hair. That brooch was a gift to her from the late Prince Henrik.

Time to get out those future Best of 2018 lists and ink some things in, methinks.

Do you spy any Best of 2018 prospects here? 
Who takes home your best dressed awards for the night?

Royal Birthday of the Weekend: Frederik Turns 50 (with Gala Dinner Info)

A very happy birthday to Crown Prince Frederik, who is celebrating his 50th today! There's a gala dinner tonight that's shaping up to be quite the gathering of European royals and possibly (hopefully) quite the gathering of tiaras - more on those attendees, timing, and livestreaming at the end of the post.

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But first, the day began with a festive birthday balcony appearance for Frederik, Queen Margrethe, Crown Princess Mary, and the kids. Mary repeated a Vilshenko dress; Margrethe made sure to wear her diamond daisy brooch, a gift from her mother, Queen Ingrid. She wears this brooch for a lot of special family occasions, and it has extra significance today since Frederik was very close to his grandmother.

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Just a few people turned up to wish him well. Frederik and Mary both looked very touched, it was sweet. (You can watch it here.)

The royal house also released two new portraits, one of the Crown Prince and one of the whole crown princely family:

Franne Voigt

Franne Voigt

Now, about this evening's festivities...


A gala dinner will be held at Christiansborg Palace, and we're crossing our fingers it will be a tiara event. The following foreign royal guests are confirmed so far:
  • Sweden: King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel
  • Norway: Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit
  • Belgium: King Philippe, Queen Mathilde
  • Netherlands: King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima
  • Luxembourg: Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa
  • Greece: Crown Prince Pavlos, Princess Marie-Chantal, and their two eldest children are in Copenhagen according to Instagram; probably more from the Greek side of the family as well
  • And others: A full guest list will be released this evening.

  • 19:00 (7 pm local / 1 pm Eastern): Guests will start arriving.
  • Around 19:30: Frederik and Mary will take a carriage ride to get to Christiansborg.
  • 20:00 (8 pm local / 2 pm Eastern): The banquet begins. 

Livestreams: I will include links available internationally below, and if you come across more, please share them in the comments. 

Open Post: Those watching live may feel free to use this post as an open post. We'll have a fashion post after the event as usual.

25 May 2018

Royal State Visit of the Day: More from the Dutch in Luxembourg

Summer is almost here. Do you have your luxurious caftans ready for all the cocktail parties you shall be hosting on your yacht?

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima hosted a concert in Luxembourg, Máxima wearing a repeated Valentino caftan gown
Queen Máxima's caftans come in the form of gowns and they are always ready, darling, whether for cocktails on a yacht or hosting a return event on the second day of the Luxembourg state visit.

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Grand Duchess Maria Teresa's looking ready for a little holiday glam too, with all the tropical foliage happening on her bespoke Elie Saab dress (per Heaven).

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And just a little tip for you from these ladies: Use those flowing garments as a showcase for your strongest necklace game. Queen Máxima wore the Ruby Peacock Necklace previously on this red gown; last night, she followed up on her Stuart Surprise with her Tutti Frutti-style necklace and bracelet. I wouldn't have thought that set would work so well with red, and yet it does. Just one reason that set belongs to her and not me, I guess. One of about 66,419 rea$on$.

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Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie may not have sported a caftan - her flowy dress is another Elie Saab nabbed from her mother-in-law's wardrobe - but she too came to play in the necklace department. One of the diamond rivière necklaces from the Luxembourg collection! Making up for the giant diamonds missing from the Lux side of the state banquet, are we? (Luxarazzi posted a video of these arrivals, worth a view if you're interested in Stéphanie's updo. Some impressive hair architecture going on there.)

Shall we hit the day events from days 1 and 2, briefly?

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For day 2, the Grand Duchess looked super cute - a great jacket in bold jewel tone, neatly paired with cropped trousers and a statement necklace. That is all I have to say about the day outfits on day 2. Moving on...

Moving back, actually, to the arrivals and another can't-miss-it outfit from Queen Máx. If she'd leaned more into the green side of this and less into the yellow, she would have come pretty close to one of my all-time favorite QEII ensembles. But she didn't.

Speaking of hats, if you've ever wondered how royal women manage to greet each other when they're all hatted up, well:
Sometimes it doesn't work out so well. The Hereditary Grand Duchess won the prize for best welcome outfit anyway.

Psst: Check in over the weekend, fingers crossed we'll have some fun stuff to look at from Crown Prince Frederik's birthday!

23 May 2018

Breaking Tiara News: Queen Máxima Wears the Stuart Tiara

It's the moment many have been waiting for since King Willem-Alexander took the throne: Queen Máxima wore the Stuart Tiara for the state banquet in Luxembourg tonight!

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It's a smaller version of that elusive Dutch big gun, to be clear; the setting has been lowered, the namesake pear-shaped Stuart Diamond has been removed from the top center with a smaller substitute in its place and other large diamonds from the top have been removed. Which was predictable, really; it is a massive tiara that comes with smaller settings, so easing into it is logical. Queen Máxima is wearing two of the removed large diamonds as earrings.  Read the tiara's full story here.

The Stuart Tiara in its full setting, as worn by Queen Juliana
There's the full version, as worn by Queen Juliana. The tiara was created for Queen Wilhelmina in 1897 and was regularly worn by Juliana, her daughter. Once Juliana's daughter, Beatrix, took over the throne, the tiara went unworn. Unworn for more than 40 years. Until now!

Royal reporter Rick Evers shared a fantastic video of the occasion, with some drool-worthy close ups and oh so much sparkle:
There is also a set of mega diamond jewels, the Stuart or House Diamond jewels, that Juliana wore with the Stuart Tiara. Máxima debuted the necklace from that set last year. Here, she wears the large bow brooch from the set, which she's used before. Her dress is a Jan Taminiau repeat.

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Also, other people were there! Let's do a quick sash check (left to right): Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume in the Order of Orange-Nassau from the Netherlands, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, King Willem-Alexander in Luxembourg's Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau, Queen Máxima in the same, Grand Duke Henri in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie in the Order of Orange-Nassau.

Blauw Bloed screencap. Click here for more sparkly video.
The Luxembourg ladies doubled up on their Elie Saab, Maria Teresa in a repeat and Stéphanie borrowing another dress from her mother-in-law's closet. The Hereditary Grand Duchess is giving us a double tiara appearance, technically, and a debut; she's wearing the Chaumet Diamond and Pearl Choker Tiara for the first time (without the pearls), and her sapphire and diamond necklace can also be used as a tiara.

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I must say, I'm a little disappointed in Maria Teresa when it comes to the tiara department. If there was ever a time for the Luxembourg Empire Tiara, right? Instead, the Grand Duchess stuck to her current favorite, the Belgian Scroll Tiara. Good thing her dress is divine, easily my favorite of the evening.

The Dutch arrived for their state visit to Luxembourg earlier today. The visit continues through Friday.

Royal Outfits of the Day: Camilla and Meghan in the Garden

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall hosted the Prince's 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration yesterday, a Buckingham Palace garden party for 6,500 people from 386 of his patronages and reps from 18 military affiliations. They were joined by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their first engagement as a married couple.

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I'm not entirely convinced that Meghan's dress in photos lives up to its promise on the hanger, but I see where she's going and she's headed in a more chic direction than we usually see at a garden party. That's promising. (The dress is from Goat.)

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Anyway, let's talk about that Philip Treacy hat and its perfectly matched updo. A brim! Huzzah. Sort of a beginner's entry into the serious world of hat shenanigans. Can you even really consider yourself a member of the British royal family before a hat has hula hooped its way around your head? I think not. She's officially in the fam now.

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Camilla's an experienced hat hula hooper, and she has the impressive collection of Philip Treacy designs to prove it. She's also wearing her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp and her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings.

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Her Bruce Oldfield coat and dress looks like a rejected wedding option, right? "No, no, gotta leave the brights to the Queen and the white and light green to Doria. NEXT!" This minty coat is trying to trick us into believing there's a blazer involved too.

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We can't forget the birthday boy, can we? (Even though his birthday's not until November.) He likes his gray morning dress, and it works really well on him. Impeccable as ever.