26 July 2017

Readers' Favorite Tiaras, The Rematch: Make Your Nominations

Back in 2011, I asked which tiara was your favorite. I compiled the results of our little poll, and we counted down a list of your top tiaras.

Associated Press via Wikimedia Commons

Ever since then, the #1 request I receive from readers has been to do the favorite tiara vote again. We've covered well over 250 tiaras on the site now, and we've enjoyed a great many more tiara events. Affections change! Plus, you know, it's fun.

So let's do it: Readers' Favorite Tiaras, The Rematch! Answer me this, if you please...

What's your favorite tiara?

Here's how this will work:

Make your nominations right here, and tell me which diadem(s) hold the top spot in your affections.
  • You may name up to five tiaras. (Any more than five, I'll just count the first five you list.)
  • Leave your nominations in the comments on this post. You can also get them to me via Twitter (@orderofsplendor) or via email (orderofsplendor at hotmail dot com).
  • Please try to leave your nominations in a new comment, rather than in a reply to an existing comment. That will help ensure they get counted. (But of course, feel free to use the replies to chat about the sparkly goodness!)
  • Nominations are open until noon, Eastern time, on Tuesday, August 1st.
  • You may also lend your support to other nominations by upvoting the comments of others. These won't be weighted as highly as your own comment with nominations, but they will count.
  • Need inspiration? Take a leisurely scroll through the Jewel Central page, where you'll find allllllll the diadems we've covered so far.

Later, we'll hold a final vote from the top nominated tiaras. And then...we'll have a very sparkly countdown.

Okay, so, tops on your agenda today: sparkly daydreams. Can you handle it??

I'll leave you to your pondering and the blog will return on Monday. Enjoy!

25 July 2017

Royal Event of the Day: National Day in Belgium

Belgium celebrated National Day last week. There were hats! There were sleeves! There was some seriously vibrant color coordinating!

Belgian Monarchy
Oh yes, those royal interpretations of the giant sleeve trend aren't going anywhere anytime soon. I'd deflate 'em a solid 20%, but they are doing an admirable job of bringing a little bit of trendiness to what is otherwise a firmly standard, non-trendy Queen Mathilde outfit.

Belgian Monarchy
Somewhere out there, Queen Máxima is leaning back with a smile on her face. And then she's dialing her Natan hotline and ordering up one of these for herself. With even bigger sleeves, I'm sure.

L to R: Princess Eléonore, Prince Gabriel, Queen Mathilde, King Philippe, Princess Elisabeth, Prince Emmanuel
Queen Mathilde's pink floral dress anchored a family color scheme of pinks, magentas, and purples. The purple sash of the Order of Leopold means not even King Philippe gets left out. It's also sort of a subtly perfect touch that 15-year-old Princess Elisabeth's dress is the closest match to her dad and his sash. (That dress, per ModeKoninginMathilde, is from Esmeralda Ammoun.)

Prince Lorenz, Princess Astrid, and Princess Claire (Prince Laurent was also present, though not shown here)
You know you're serious about the family color thing when the extended fam fits right in. In a year surprisingly lacking in hat interest, I find myself totally in love with Princess Claire's offering. Upside down salad bowls have never looked so good.

24 July 2017

Monday Tidbits for July 24: Birthdays and Memories

It's been a minute since we've had a Tidbits post, so let's get to it:

--The 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, is approaching. ITV and HBO will air the documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy with Princes William and Harry tonight. The princes have also shared some personal photos of their mother and selected items to recreate her desk on display at the summer opening of Buckingham Palace. [Express, Instagram, BBC]

--Prince George isn't the only one with a new portrait for his birthday! Prince Felix of Denmark, who has just turned 15, posed for some new pics with his older brother, Prince Nikolai. The two are the sons of Prince Joachim and his first wife, Countess Alexandra.

--Over at the Jewel Vault: QEII got a new brooch, and it's pretttttttty. Also, in honor of the Duchess of Cornwall's 70th birthday, we're taking a look at some of her most impressive official gifts, starting with one jaw-dropping breastplate necklace.

--The Queen's collecting brooches and corgis. She's reportedly adopted a new corgi called Whisper, who belonged to Sandringham's gamekeeper. When Whisper's owner fell ill and passed away, the Queen pitched in to help take the dog on walks, and is now said to have asked if Whisper can stay with her. [People]

--And finally, really, do you not agree that the Princess Royal should be accompanied by birds of prey on all her engagements?

Coming up this week: National Day in Belgium brings all the sleeves out to play, 
and more...

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

21 July 2017

Royal Trip of the Day: Back to the Cambridges in Germany

As the tour draws to a close...

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception on Thursday evening during their tour of Germany.
Kate wore a bird print dress from German designer Markus Lupfer, paired with an excellent belt, an excellent clutch, those Prada sandals she loves so much right now, and pearl jewelry. I was prepped and ready with my standard list of accessory quibbles, but then the pearl jewelry made me wonder. If you look a little closer...

...that triple row pearl bracelet comes from the collection of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Coming on the heels of Kate's debut of a pair of Diana's pearl earrings at the Spanish state banquet, I can only assume she was eager to show us another new thing. (The interests of jewel watchers being paramount in her concerns, I'm sure.) I hereby rescind my accessory quibbles and fully endorse her use of the Put A Bird On It strategy.

On Friday, the trip's last day, the Duke and Duchess traveled to Hamburg.
A bit of lavender from Emilia Wickstead brings out a stronger accessory combo with that contrasting clutch. That's a well played move. (This color also puts her squarely in line with the theme of the day for another royal family - the Belgians - but that's another story for another post.)

20 July 2017

Tiara Thursday: The Wellington Tiara

From the time of its creation through today, the title of the Duke of Wellington has been one of the most recognizable in the peerage of the United Kingdom. It was just one of several European titles and other decorations gathered by the 1st Duke, Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), in the course of an active political career and a celebrated military career that included the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

The Wellington Tiara
The Duchesses of Wellington have, for several generations now, worn a tiara grand enough to suit this prominent family title. The tiara features intricate, large diamond scroll motifs dotted with large single diamonds and interspersed with smaller knotted diamond scroll motifs, again with several large single diamonds included.

Elizabeth, Duchess of Wellington
The diadem dates back at least to Elizabeth Wellesley (née Hay, 1820-1904), the wife of the 2nd Duke. She was depicted wearing the tiara in 1859. The couple both held prominent court positions in Queen Victoria's household, with the 2nd Duke serving as Master of the Horse and the Duchess serving as Queen Victoria's Mistress of the Robes for several years.

Kathleen, Duchess of Wellington
Kathleen Wellesley (née Williams, 1848-1927), the wife of the 4th Duke, wore the tiara in a couple of portraits. Above, she's also shown wearing a magnificent diamond necklace that is still with the family. And the tiara, of course, is also still with the family. The current Duchess of Wellington (born Princess Antonia of Prussia) first wore the Wellington Tiara for her 1977 wedding to the Marquess of Douro, as the current Duke was titled at the time. He succeeded to the Wellington title in 2014.

Antonia, Duchess of Wellington (left) wears the tiara at the Duke of Wellington's Waterloo Banquet in 2015
The Wellington name was brought back to the forefront in 2015, for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Hosting a splendid formal Waterloo Banquet at Apsley House, the Duchess wore the Wellington Tiara and the same diamond necklace the 4th Duchess paired with the diadem.

The Duchess greets the Duchess of Cornwall
You can see above how the tiara forms a complete circlet around the head - well, you can see it provided that you're not totally blinded by the sparkle on the Duchess of Cornwall at that banquet. (We covered that appearance over at the Jewel Vault; Camilla wore the Greville Tiara and all five strands of the Greville Festoon Necklace.)

The Duke and Duchess were attendees at the recent Spanish state banquet at Buckingham Palace, where the tiara may or may not have had another appearance; regrettably, they were not spotted in the state banquet coverage. (The Duke of Wellington is also the Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo, Grandee of Spain 1st Class, another title picked up by the 1st Duke, and they have a Spanish estate. The Duke and Duchess' daughter, Lady Charlotte, married Alejandro Santo Domingo in Spain last year with King Juan Carlos and the Duchess of Cornwall in attendance.) There appears to be least one other tiara option at the Duchess' disposal:
Lady Charlotte in a different tiara
Lady Charlotte and her husband were guests at last year's Colombian state banquet, where she wore a different family tiara.

The Wellington Tiara seems to be the main headliner, though. For a grand tiara with so many big stones, it manages to keep a certain lightness to the design. I think it's a success on every level.

How do you rate this big gun tiara?