28 April 2017

Royal Event of the Day: Koningsdag 2017

The celebrations for King Willem-Alexander's 50th birthday kicked into high gear yesterday (on his actual birthday) with the annual Koningsdag (King's Day) celebrations, held this year in Tilburg.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima with their daughters, (L to R) the Princess of Orange (Catharina-Amalia), Princess Ariane, and Princess Alexia.
Queen Máxima ordered up an extra special outfit for this extra special birthday occasion, obviously. Jan Taminiau created a striped dress in dark blue and ochre with a cape to keep her cozy on a chilly April day. The shirred ribbon stripes on the dress feature metallic embellishment and crystals; the cape transitions from a matte chenille top to a smooth sateen bottom, the colors blending in an ombré style. Máxima accessorized with a hat echoing the textures of the design and a camel bag, shoes, and gloves to match. She also wore diamond earrings that she has used with multiple pendant options, sapphires this time.

Photos: REINIER RVDA via TextielMuseum
This new ensemble comes with a special treat: it will be immediately shown at the Textile Museum in Tilburg alongside the Queen's magnificent blue caped inaugural gown from the same designer. The design, a regular outfit from afar and a textile experiment come to life up close, is a perfect match for the museum.

Basically, Jan Taminiau + Cape = LOOOOVE in my book of sartorial math. It's as simple as that. I do wish the matching hat didn't look so instantly brain-like, but if you told me Máx's brain included some sparkly metallic embellishment, I'd buy it. So it all fits in the end.


As usual, multiple family members were on hand to keep the party going: Willem-Alexander's brother and sister-in-law, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, plus the four sons of Princess Margriet and their wives. (Top pic above: Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène with Constantijn and Laurentien. Bottom pics above: Prince Floris and Princess Aimeé, Princess Annette and Prince Bernhard, Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Princess Anita.) It all sort of pales in comparison to Laurentien's loud stripes and leather jacket, doesn't it? She's the only one that could pull that off, that's for sure.

27 April 2017

Tiara Thursday: Princess Benedikte's Tiaras

Princess Benedikte of Denmark, sister of Queen Margrethe II, has a tidy little tiara collection to call her own, plus a few others she's tried out over the years. It's a collection that reflects her Danish royal upbringing, her Swedish royal roots, and her German princely marriage. In other words: it's a collection ripe for a tiara retrospective. (As always, click the name of the tiara for the jewel's full story.)

King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid gave each of their three daughters a tiara for her 18th birthday. Benedikte received this classic diamond floral tiara, a piece created from an existing floral brooch and which can be used as brooches and with different center stone options. In addition to serving Princess Benedikte in all the years since, it's been a regular choice for her daughters, Princesses Alexandra and Nathalie.

Princess Benedikte's 18th birthday tiara wasn't actually her first tiara. Call it a perk of growing up royal: Queen Ingrid allowed her daughter to borrow the Danish Ruby Parure for a play Ingrid put together about the life of Queen Desideria, a rare moment when someone else was allowed to wear this enormous set and a memory shared by Benedikte in the documentary De Kongelige Juveler. This was the only occasion Princess Benedikte wore the rubies; they are now worn by Crown Princess Mary. 

Another rare tiara choice for Benedikte, and another loan from her mother. The Baden Palmette Tiara was left to Queen Margrethe when Ingrid died.

Princess Benedikte's wedding look used the family wedding veil, the family wedding lace, and the family's wedding tiara. The tradition of wearing the Khedive of Egypt Tiara started at her sister Anne-Marie's wedding and it continues today for Queen Ingrid's female descendants.

By Frankie Fouganthin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
This tiara came to Queen Ingrid through her own Swedish royal heritage, and she left it to Princess Benedikte when she died. In addition to loaning it to both her daughters and to her son's partner, Carina Axelsson, Benedikte wears the tiara regularly. She wore it to the wedding of her goddaughter, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, neatly highlighting the tiara's history.

And finally, one tiara from her marriage to Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. The S-W-B family fringe tiara is a classic diamond fringe that, like many other fringe tiaras, can also be used as a necklace. It has been Princess Benedikte's "big gun" tiara; she often wears it to her most important events and to events where her full family is present, allowing her other tiaras to be worn by her daughters. Prince Richard passed away earlier this year and the couple's son, Gustav, assumed the title of Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. The tiara does not necessarily follow, but it will be interesting to see if it ever appears on Carina Axelsson (she and Gustav are not married - it's a whole thing involving his grandfather's will, and we talked more about that when we covered the tiara she usually wears - but she is in all other respects a part of the family). It's incredibly well suited to Princess Benedikte, though, and I hope we see her in it for many more occasions.

Which of Benedikte's tiaras is your favorite?

26 April 2017

Royal Outfit Grab Bag of the Day: Brights for Máxima, Victoria, and Mary

Bright jewel tones and florals abounded at royal engagements yesterday. It's starting to feel like spring around here, kids.

Queen Máxima attended a conference in Germany.
I believe my record on loving simple floral frocks is clear. Lest there be any confusion, this Natan dress is great. Also, scoring a bouquet that matches one's print perfectly is basically peak queenly accessorizing.

Crown Princess Victoria attended the Swedish Patriotic Society's annual event.
I believe my record on fabulous royal blue frocks is also pretty clear. This one's a good match for this event; for these annual white tie events for various societies, the Swedish royal women wear long dresses and orders without tiaras, so this dress is a good dressy-but-not-too-dressy fit. (Plus, serious flashbacks to her 18th birthday.)

Crown Princess Mary opened an extension to Trygfondens Family House.
The shape of this coat is nothing special, but this magenta color should be used for all the things, all the time. Delish. (Unrelated, but the day before: Mary played along at the opening of Research Day, so there's now video of her dangling in the air and lifting a vehicle by herself. Gotta love a good sport.)

25 April 2017

Royal Outfits of the Day: Letizia's Recent Offerings

Queen Letizia's had plenty of recent events. A sampling!

The King and Queen of Spain presented the Miguel de Cervantes Prize last week.
House of HM the King
Flashback to last National Day right here, except I might actually like this dress better with the hair half down. (I know.) I wished for a black shoe back then, or really just something other than the nude. My wishes have been ignored. (Sniff.)

King Felipe and Queen Letizia started a two day visit to the Canary Islands on Monday.
Is this Letizia's new favorite dress? We've seen it four times since the fall, I think. Which, granted, is a totally normal number for your average Jane, but not so much in this case. Pretty good choice for a fave.

Don't we look relaxed and comfy, hmm? I'd be opposed to the whole pie crust epaulette thing, but I gotta acknowledge that that trendy touch is what's keeping this ensemble current.

24 April 2017

Monday Tidbits for April 24: Marathons and Multitudes of Birthdays

Races of all kinds and a birthday surplus for your Monday:

--The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry continue to work their Heads Together mental health initiative, cheering everyone on at the London Marathon. [Telegraph]
Kensington Palace

--The date of the Spanish state visit to the U.K. has been pushed back to July 12-14. Update your calendars accordingly. [Reuters]

--New pictures were released of Prince Alexander of Sweden, son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia! The soon-to-be big brother celebrated his first birthday last week. [Hola]
Erika Gerdemark, The Royal Court, Sweden

--Ditto for Princess Isabella of Denmark, daughter of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, who celebrated her 10th birthday. [Hola]

--Over at the Jewel Vault, another birthday celebration: the Queen marked her 91st with a day at the races, and then properly celebrated the following day, when her horse won.

--And finally, Princess Charlene also spent a day at the races during a trip to South Africa, and...I couldn't explain it to you if I tried. [Instagram, Twitter]

Coming up this week: A Letizia catch up, plus festivities for King Willem-Alexander's 50th birthday...

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