30 August 2016

Royal Outfit Grab Bag of the Day: August 30

The royals are continuing to come out of hiding for our first random grab bag assortment in a while, huzzah.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima received the Dutch medal winners on their return from Rio de Janeiro last week.
Like there's any other color she would have worn here. Even W-A knows the drill, check that tie.

Crown Princess Mary celebrated the city of Glostrup's 850 year anniversary.
Between this and the coat from last week, she'll be well stocked with options for her next civil wedding. (Guess it's time to renew those vows, Fred.)

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia attended celebrations for the Swedish Local Heritage Federation's centennial.
Dress by Rodebjer, per The Royals and I
I think it's groovy. Or, well, at least as groovy as you can get in shades of blergh. There's another Swedish christening on the horizon (Prince Alexander on the 9th, don't forget!), and if this is a GAME ON notice to Princess Madeleine for a forthcoming battle of the massively sleeved christening outfits, you can sign me right up for a front row seat.

29 August 2016

Monday Tidbits for August 29: Queen Victoria's Coronet Changing Hands

Well, this is more of a Tidbit, singular. But hey, big tiara news:

--Queen Victoria's Sapphire Coronet has been sold (and sold again), and may leave the United Kingdom - unless a new buyer can be found that will keep it in the country. I have updated my entry on the tiara, so you can click here to read the piece's entire story. More on the current situation on the below...

Click all to enlarge. Photos: Department for Culture, Media & Sport

The sapphire and diamond coronet from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, immortalized in a very famous Winterhalter portrait of Victoria, was given to Princess Mary, daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, as a wedding gift in 1922. Princess Mary's family sold quite a few of her jewels after her 1965 death, including the matching parure that accompanied Victoria's tiara. The Lascelles family held on to the tiara until sometime in the last few years, when they sold it to a London dealer. The dealer then sold it to an unnamed overseas buyer. That buyer applied for an export license, and that's where the whole process stopped...for now.

Due to the jewel's historical importance, the Culture Minister has placed a temporary export ban on the tiara, which allows extra time to find a buyer that would keep the tiara in the UK. The recommended cost to meet is £5 million (plus an additional £1 million VAT). The ban extends through December 27, 2016, and can be extended through the following July if a serious buyer is found.

The temporary export ban process has succeeded in keeping certain national treasures in the country in the past. The BBC has a rundown of a few items from Jane Austen's ring to a pricey car; on the hefty jewelry side, both a set of peridot jewelry given by the Prince Regent and the Mountbatten Tutti Frutti Bandeau were placed under the ban before ending up with the Victoria & Albert Museum. I am sure the V&A would love to have this coronet in their possession, and they may be the best option. Like many of you, I would love to see the royal family or the Royal Collection acquire this piece, but I won't be surprised if they choose to avoid such a public expenditure. We'll see what happens, and I hope that we can revisit the tiara entry with a happy ending sometime in the future. [BBC, V&A]

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

26 August 2016

Royal Style Twins of the Day: August 26

Crown Princess Mary is back to work and keeping busy, bless her splendiferous soul.

Crown Princess Mary opened a Monet exhibition this week.
She pulled these pieces from the back of her closet (she debuted the Prada/Miu Miu dress/jacket combo back in 2012). Although I am wondering whether we couldn't do with a little more shoe interest here, the outfit is as fresh and lovely as ever.

It was this very combo that came to my mind last year, when we saw something along those same lines...
Queen Letizia in Felipe Varela, 2015
Aqua with a white overlay does seem just the thing for a special occasion on a sunny day, no? And thus we arrive at the eternal question: Who wore it best? (I...might have to go with Letizia on this one.)

In other Mary news...

The Crown Princess opened an exhibition of works by photographer Marco Grob yesterday, including new portraits of herself and Crown Prince Frederik.

Keep the new portraits and the TIARAS coming, because when it's Danish Ruby Parure time, it's jumpy claps time. Of particular interest here is the use of the complete necklace from the Ruby Parure. Since Mary altered the parure for added flexibility, we haven't seen her wear the whole thing together - even here, she's using a pared down version of the earrings - and the necklace seems to get even fewer outings than the rest. (Or maybe it just feels that way to me, because I luuurve it. So grand!) Rest it right on that glam golden dress, Mary. (For the full portraits and more, click here.)
This outfit is also a little bit of a twin moment, by the way: Crown Princess Victoria owns a different take on the black floral Dolce & Gabbana dress. Just to bring our theme full circle.

25 August 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Tiaras of Crown Princess Mette-Marit

Because Crown Princess Mette-Marit just passed her birthday (happy 43rd!), and because it's her wedding anniversary (happy 15th!), I believe a tiara retrospective is in order. Sometimes it might seem like she only has the one tiara at her disposal...but that is not the case. As always, click the tiara name for the full story.
Jørgen Gomnæs/Det kongelige hoff
Her wedding tiara and her constant favorite ever since, this is the tiara that most associate with this fair crown princess. There's no doubt that it suits her exceptionally well - when King Harald and Queen Sonja selected this wedding gift, they knew what they were doing.
Mette-Marit actually did wear another tiara before her wedding day, she just didn't wear it as an actual tiara. She wore the Vifte Tiara as a necklace for a pre-wedding dinner, and has worn it as a necklace on a few occasions since. We've yet to see her give it a go as a headpiece.
Sølve Sundsbø/Det kongelige hoff
Her second tiara option came along in 2004, when Queen Sonja gave her the Amethyst Necklace Tiara. This tiara certainly takes a back seat to the Diamond Daisy Tiara, sometimes going so long between uses you can nearly forget she has it. It's not the greatest amethyst tiara out there, but it is a flexible little parure, and I like seeing it in use.

The Diamond Daisy Tiara and the Amethyst Necklace Tiara are Crown Princess Mette-Marit's two tiara choices, basically. For one very special occasion, however - the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Prince Daniel in 2010 - she got to test drive a different model. The smaller setting of Queen Maud's Pearl and Diamond Tiara is a universally flattering jewel that looked right at home tilted back on her blond locks. I'd love to see it on her again. 

What's your favorite tiara on Crown Princess Mette-Marit?

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.