The Royals At Wimbledon Part Two

Our last post featured many Royal Wimbledon fans such as Princess Grace, Princess Diana, and two Duchesses of Kent. Let’s dive in today with some truly vintage Wimbledon pictures.

King George V and Queen Mary

Behold the King and Queen in 1926, presenting a cup to the winner. That’s quite a curtsey!

The Duke of York, later King George:

1926 was quite a banner year for royals at Wimbledon According to History.com, the Duke of York was a bona fide Wimbledon tennis player that year. Seriously! There he is in his tennis whites:

Here’s how it all went down, according to the website:

While most British rulers catch the action from the comfort of Centre Court’s royal box, the Duke of York, the future King George VI, took to Wimbledon’s lawns as a competitor in the 1926 men’s doubles tournament. After capturing the Royal Air Force’s tennis championship, Sir Louis Greig, the duke’s mentor and advisor, garnered an automatic berth in Wimbledon and selected the future monarch to be his doubles partner. Their first-round opponents, Britons Arthur Gore and Herbert Roper Barrett, displayed little royal deference in smashing Greig and the duke in three easy sets, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. No doubt King Henry VIII and some other royals would have locked Gore and Barrett up in the Tower of London for such insolence, but King George VI, who remains the only royal to ever compete at Wimbledon, was gracious in defeat.

Interesting, eh?

The Queen Mum

Moving along, how great is this photograph of the then Queen Elizabeth, parasol in hand, with American Wimbledon champ Helen Woods Moody? This was taken at Wimbledon in 1938:

Her Majesty the Queen

So King George didn’t pass on a love of tennis to the current Queen. It’s no secret that she prefers horses over tennis, and her infrequent visits to Wimbledon highlight that.

Here she is on June 24, 2010, which was her first visit since 1977. That’s a gap of 33 years, kids.

She wore a hat in the Royal Box, which is a no-no for spectators so that other’s views aren’t obstructed. But she’s the Queen; she can do as she likes.

Here she is in 1977, which the Queen attended to mark the 100th year since the founding of the Wimbledon Championships.

The Duchess of Kent had a break from presenting the trophy that year and British player Virginia Wade won the Ladies Singles Final:

Princess Margaret

This is Princess Margaret watching the Men’s final in 1968. Make of this what you will:

Princess Anne

Princess Anne was there the following year in 1969, and presented the winner’s trophy to Billie Jean King. She didn’t pay much attention to the no hat rule, either:

Prince Charles

Prince Charles is also not a frequent visitor to Wimbledon. He attended on Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 for the first time since 1970, so his gap is even longer than the Queen’s. He attended with the Duchess of Cornwall and apparently had a jolly good time:

According to The Star, Roger Fededer spoke about the Royal visitors. He said,

“They do brief you beforehand,” Federer said. “I guess you don’t do anything stupid. You behave. Obviously we were asked to bow, which is obviously no problem to do. We’re thrilled for the tennis family that they came to watch Wimbledon today.”

Duchess of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall seems to be more of a tennis fan. She was there in 2011, and met with the ball boys and gals:

She also signed her name in the guest book, which gives us another prime example of a royal signature:

The Yorks

The Yorks show up now and again. Here’s Sarah right into things in 1988:

And on another day of the tournament in 1988, she was one seat away from the Princess of Wales:

She was also there in 1990:

Prince Andrew doesn’t seem to be  a frequent visitor. Here he is in 2010:

He’s a bit of a snooze fest. Let’s move on to Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Here are the three York Ladies attending the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party in 2009:

Skipping along, here’s Princess Beatrice chatting with the Duke of Kent (who is the President of the All England Club) in 2011:

Beatrice’s boyfriend Dave Clarke was there, too. That’s him on the left in the front row of the Royal Enclosure. Not too shabby, Dave!! Not too shabby at all. Kate and William didn’t make an appearance in the royal box until after their wedding. That might just be circumstantial, but still…

Yes, toss that hair, Bea.

Rounding out the family, Princess Eugenie arrived for Day One of Wimbledon this year:

Wish we could now launch into Edward and Sophie at Wimbledon over the years, but alas they don’t seem to make time for it in their calendars. What’s the deal with that? We know that Prince Edward is a big fan of real tennis, and that’s actually how Sophie and Edward met. Click here for our post on that Chance Royal Meeting. I guess regular tennis just isn’t their thing.

More Wimbledon fun in our next post. See you then!

Royals at Wimbledon Part One

Wimbledon began on June 25 and will continue until July 8 this year. The Royal Family has a long association with Wimbledon which, according to the official Wimbledon website, dates back to 1907. It was in that year that the Prince of Wales and Princess Mary paid a visit; they watched until a thunderstorm put and end to tennis for the day. I can relate; my first visit to Wimbledon several years ago included many hours spent waiting for the rain to stop. So of course I ate a whole lot of strawberries and cream to pass the time.

One of the perks for Royal tennis fans is the Royal Box at Centre court each year at Wimbledon. You’ll notice that in very few of the photographs to follow is there a lady wearing a hat; attendees in the royal box are asked not to wear them in order to ensure that other spectator’s views are not blocked.

Marina, Duchess of Kent

We’ll start with Marina, Duchess of Kent. Love this photo of Marina of her presenting the trophy to American Doris Hart in 1951.

The Duchess of Kent took over this duty from her husband Princes George, Duke of Kent, after he passed away in 1942. She loved tennis and attended Wimbledon until her death in 1968, at which point her son Prince Edward of Kent took over. From 1969 on, he and his wife Katherine began presenting the winner’s trophies.

Katharine, Duchess of Kent

2001 is the most recent year that Katherine, Duchess of Kent presented the trophy at Wimbledon. In more recent years the Duchess has withdrawn from public life, and this is one of the many duties that she has chosen to no longer participate in.

The Duchess of Kent is shown here presenting the trophy to Martina Navratilova in 1978.

And here she is with Lady Diana a few weeks before the Royal Wedding in 1981:

Here she is consoling Jana Novotna after she lost the final match to Steffi Graf in 1993. Side note: Five years later in 1998, Novotna did win women’s title at Wimbledon so there is a happy ending!

Presenting to Pete Sampras in 1999:

And with Venus Williams in 2001, her final year presenting the trophy:

Princess Grace of Monaco

This rarely seen photograph of the Princess of Monaco and  Lady Diana was taken in 1981 just before the the royal wedding, which was held on July 29. Princess Grace just squeaked by with that jaunty fedora, eh?

Princess Diana

As we know, Princess Diana was a huge fan of the sport and was a frequent visitor to Wimbledon. It has often been said that she would have enjoyed being at Highgrove more had Prince Charles agreed to put in a tennis court.

Here she is with her sister Lady Jane watching a match in 1984.

A tense moment in 1989:

In 1990, still rocking the ’80’s sunglasses:

When he was old enough, Princess Diana often brought Prince William to Wimbledon. Here they are in 1991 cheering on Steffi Graff, who won the Ladies Singles Final that year.

The Duchess of Kent dropped by to say hello:

Princess Diana and Steffi were quite friendly, so it’s no surprise that she’s who the Princess was rooting for. After all, they played a doubles game of tennis together at the Vanderbilt Tennis Club in June of 1988. Princess Diana was there to mark the opening of the International Women’s Tennis Association headquarters in London and this is a photograph of that day:

Here is a very short bit of footage from that event:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOxMpYW6tDc]

In 1993, Princess Diana brought her mum, Frances Shand-Kydd.

Diana and William were there again in 1994:

Diana was joined by Princess Michael of Kent and her son Freddie Windsor for another match that year:

Sadly, Princess Diana’s last visit to Wimbledon was in 1995:

See Also:

Royals at Wimbledon Part Two

The Middletons at Wimbledon

Royal Ascot 2012 Highlights

Royal Ascot is one of the high points of the British summer season – hats galore (fascinators are no longer allowed), royals curtseying and bowing to the Queen, and plenty of Pimm’s and champagne.

This year, Ascot ran from Tuesday, June 18th to the 22nd and one of our Royal Posters was there for the final day and had her camera at the ready. Seeing as we are not fully versed on the horse race aspect of Ascot, here’s a look at the sartorial side along with some Royal musings.

Oh, and they really are serious about that dress code. There are even employees on hand to inspect the arrivees. Here are three so-called dress code assistants at the ready, ready to discern a fascinator from a proper hat and whatnot:

Her Majesty the Queen

Our Royal Poster took this photograph of the Queen and Philip in their carriage on Saturday. They are in there, I promise!

Fun Fact: This is the Queen’s 65th year in a row attending Ascot. It also heralds her 21st win. This year, her horse Estimate won the Queen’s Vase Stakes, which seems rather appropriate.

To top it all off, Prince Philip presented the Queen with the winner’s  trophy. What a month they’ve had what with the Jubilee and now this!

Here’s the winning horse with the very happy Queen:

The Countess of Wessex

Love the hat, love the skirt, love everything about this ensemble. Well done, Sophie.

Also love that Sophie isn’t just there to look pretty. Oh, no. She really gets into it:

Another day, another neutral and chic ensemble:

Princess Michael of Kent

Here she is chatting away in black and white. Gotta say that all together it reminds me of a certain Disney character who just loved her dalmatian coat:

These two ladies really committed to their curtseys:

Another day, another hat. Love the pillbox:

Princess Anne

Always thrifty, Princess Anne brought out the floral outfit she wore to her daughter Zara’s wedding last summer…

…and on another day, she wore the same hat, coat, and dress that she wore to William and Kate’s wedding:

Like Sophie, Anne really gets into the spirit of things, too:

The Queen makes that exact expression when she’s getting all riled up. I can’t find the exact picture I’m thinking of at the moment, but will post it when I do.

Princess Eugenie

Euge stuck with hats of the smaller variety for her days at the races.

Hello, Man in a Hat:

I quite like this one:

Princess Beatrice

Near the beginning of the week, Princess Beatrice chose this Erdem frock, which would certainly work for a visit to Canada:

and on the final day of the races we got to see her version of the curtsey to the Queen:

Our Royal Poster took this photograph yesterday, which gives some insight into Beatrice’s view over in the Royal Enclosure. So many photographers milling about and such…

Autumn and Peter Philips

Nice to see Autumn and Peter out and about. Here’s their version of the curtsey/bow to the Queen:

What with all this talk of curtseys, let’s chat about the Order of Precedence. It has reportedly been revised to take the Duchess of Cambridge into account; the last time a revision was done was after Prince Charles married Camilla. It seems that Princess Anne wasn’t too keen on the idea of having to curtsey to Camilla around the breakfast table, so the Queen made some revisions so that this protocol wouldn’t be required. The Telegraph reports as follows:

The new rules of Court make it clear that the former Kate Middleton, when she is not accompanied by Prince William, must curtsy to the “blood princesses”, the Princess Royal, Princess Alexandra, and the daughters of the Duke of York, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

When William is with her, Kate does not need to bend the knee to either of them, but she must curtsy to the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Despite being married to the Queen’s son, the Countess of Wessex will, however, have to curtsy to Kate, even when William is not present.

It all sounds rather exhausting. Christmas must be quite something to get through! Now we can look forward to Wimbledon. Hope that William and Kate come out for it like they did last year!

Princess Alexandra of Denmark’s Wedding Dress

There is a whole lot going on with our British Royals, what with the annual Order of the Garter ceremony taking place yesterday and Ascot getting started off today. We’ll jump back to the goings on in England soon enough, but we’re going to take a wee break today to spend more time with the Danish Royals . As you may have been able to tell, I’m going through a bit of a Danish phase at the moment and feel like chatting about Princess Alexandra of Denmark’s two wedding gowns, so that’s what we’re going to do.

Let’s start with Alexandra’s first gown, from when she married Prince Joachim of Denmark on November 18, 1995.

She had only met the prince in the fall of 1994, so it was quite a whirlwind. As we discussed in our post on her engagement ring, the engagement was announced in May of 1995, so there was a good six months of planning for the wedding.

For her dress, Alexandra chose Danish designer Jorgen Bender. In much the same way that Norman Hartnell was the go-to designer for the Royal ladies for several decades, Jorgen fulfilled that role for the Danish royals. After all, he designed the then Crown Princess Margrethe’s dress  for her 1967 wedding to Count Henri de Labordre de Monpezat as well as many gala dresses up until his death in 1999. (Side Note: He also designed Queen Anne-Marie of Greece’s gown in 1964. Not a bad resume!)

Here’s Crown Princess Margarethe in her lovely wedding gown, which had one heck of a train:

The dress he designed for the future Princess Alexandra shared some of the same details; the long sleeves, full skirt, and another generous train.

This is Jorgen himself, in front of Princes Alexandra’s gown. After the wedding, it went on display at Amelienborg Palace.

Princess Alexandra’s gown was made of silk and featured over 8,000 pearls.The train was about 12 feet long:

On her head, the Princess wore the Alexandrine Diamond Drop Tiara. So, yeah, it seems they picked a tiara based on the new Princess’ name. Cute. This tiara dates back to the early 1900’s when it was made for Queen Alexandrine of Denmark. As you can see, it features a whole lot of dangling diamonds for extra sparkly effect:

Nice shot of the princess and her dad – and that tiara. Remember we were just out of the ’80’s at this point so I think she did quite well:

To me, this wedding dress bears quite a resemblance to Princess Margaret’s, what with the neckline and full skirt:

Even the veils were very similar:

Yay? Nay? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Love this candid shot from the reception (and another chance to compare those two veils). That’s Prince Henrik, perhaps tucking away a speech…or really studying the menu:

Afterwards, it was quite the royal party!

And it looks like serious fun was had. Try to count the tiaras and royal orders in this one:


And here they are driving off at the end of the night in the farthest thing from a carriage. Check out those cans!

As we know, the Prince and Princess divorced in 2005  She and Prince Joachim have joint custody of their two sons and was reportedly allowed to keep her diplomatic passport so that she would have the same status as her sons when travelling together.

On March 3, 2007, Alexandra married Martin Jorgensen. This second wedding dress was designed by Henrik Hviid, who also designed the most recent Danish royal christening gown.

It’s sort of like she borrowed Princess Margaret’s wedding hair this time, no?

Upon her wedding, Alexandra no longer had police protection and was now officially known as Her Excellency the Countess of Frederiksborg. However, she is still included in some royal events, and even showed up this past January to  a gala event in celebration of Queen Margrethe’s 40th Jubilee. And OMG – she was wearing the Alexandrine tiara, so it seems she got to keep that, too! Here she is at that event:

Martin came, too:

Any thoughts?

Trooping the Colour 2012

So today the colour was trooped. That is to say that the Queen’s official birthday was celebrated with a fantastic parade of troops from the Foot Guards and Household Cavalry who all saluted Her Majesty. Queen Elizabeth’s birthday is actually on April 21, but it is always celebrated in June in order to hopefully get a sunny day. Here are our thoughts on how it all went down today.

The Carriage Procession

Our London-based Royal Poster was able to get a great spot along the Mall and got some wonderful pictures of the carriage procession back to Buckingham Palace. She saw the Queen and Prince Philip go by in their carriage and snapped this photo:

They opted for a closed carriage because of the iffy weather, which was a good call after that freezing day on the Thames. Great that Prince Philip is on the mend.

She also saw Camilla, Kate, and Harry go by. Love seeing that hand waving in the lower right hand corner:

That’s Princess Anne, the Duke of Kent, Prince Charles, and Prince William riding by as well:

And here we have Prince Andrew with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie:

Here’s a closer look at the princesses. They went outside of the box for their millinery choices:

I find it disappointing that Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex were not included in the carriage procession and seem to have been downgraded to a bus. Seriously! Here they are last year, with Sophie and Lady Louise in matching pink outfits:


I understand the desire to help to streamline the Monarchy, but for goodness sake why just stop at Prince Andrew and the girls for something like this? My guess is that it was suggested that Prince Andrew go the bus route as well, but he kicked up a fuss. I’d like to see Sophie and Edward get more recognition for their hard work.

The Balcony Appearance

That brings us to the balcony appearance! The best thing about Trooping the Colour to me is seeing as many Royals as possible crammed out on the Buckingham Palace balcony. It’s also fun seeing Princess Michael of Kent trying to get into a key position out there, some years with more success than others. Let’s review a few balcony appearances over the years and you can decide for yourself.

We’ll start with the 1982 celebrations, which took place just a few day before Prince William was born. Diana wore her Spencer pearl choker! As for the Queen, she was still riding out with the troops on horseback herself, which explains her ensemble:

Here they are the following year, with Princess Anne and the Queen helping to keep the little ones in order:

That’s Zara, William, and Peter with Diana in 1984:

In 1988 Princess Diana once again wore green with her Spencer pearl choker and Harry could barely see over the balcony.

So Diana helped him out, and Harry was Harry:

Princess Michael of Kent was there, too. See?

Jumping ahead, what on earth is the Queen saying here at the 2003 ceremony??

Here they are cramped out there in 2010. Yes, that’s Princess Michael of Kent RIGHT NEXT TO THE QUEEN:

And then last year Princess Michael fancied being next to William and Kate:

This year there were lots of Royal attendees again. Here’s a bit of a close up. From the left, that’s Prince Andrew, the Countess of Wessex, Prince Charles, Prince Edward, the Queen, Princess Anne and her husband, Prince Philip, Kate, Prince William, Princess Eugenie, and of course Prince Harry.

Sophie and the Queen both repeated their outfits from Prince William’s wedding. Here are Sophie and Edward after the wedding ceremony, so it looks like Sophie just got a new hat for today:

And of course here’s the Queen on the wedding day:

Kate kept her streak of wearing only Alexander McQueen on the Buckingham Palace balcony by accessorizing her beautiful bespoke Erdem dress with an Alexander McQueen clutch. Thanks to the always on top of things What Kate Wore blog for spotting that! I think she looked very Grace Kelly-ish because of that beautiful neckline. Just wish her hair was swept back so we could see more of it! Also, her dress looks like it was cut rather large, no? Just saying…

Any other thoughts on today’s festivities? Does anyone else wish Sophie and Edward were given a more prominent role? It’s tough even finding any good pictures of them today!

See you next week to recap the Order of the Garter ceremony!

Viscount Althorp & The Hon. Frances Roche’s Wedding

It was so much fun over the weekend looking at the wedding of Emily McCorquodale that we thought we’d dive in and look at another Spencer wedding, that of Princess Diana’s parents Viscount Spencer and The Honourable Frances Ruth Roche in 1954.

Let’s start with the bride. Frances Roche was born at Park House on the Sandringham estate on January 20, 1936. Her parents, Edmund Maurice Roche, Baron Fermoy and Ruth Roche, Baroness Fermoy,  rented the house from the Royal family, so they were quite linked to the Royals from early on. It’s a beautiful house, and Viscount Spencer and Frances Roche later took over the lease when they were married, so like her mum, Lady Diana was also born at Park House. Lady Diana and her family lived there until they  moved to Althorp when her father succeeded to the Earldom in 1975. For our post on Park House and the Sandringham estate, click here.

The house was not the only link Frances Roche had to the royal family; her mother Baroness Fermoy was also the Queen Mother’s lady in waiting for over thirty years.

The groom, Edward John, Viscount Spencer, was born on January 24, 1924 so he was 12 years older than Frances (this is also the same age gap between Diana and Charles). Like his grandsons William and Harry, he attended Eton College, followed by Sandhurst Military College.

Here he is all dressed up with with his dad, the 7th Earl Spencer:

The Spencers have long been linked to the Royal Family, and he was an equerry to both King George VI from 1950 until his death in 1952 and then filled the same role for the new Queen Elizabeth until 1952. Interestingly, his mother Cynthia Spencer was, like Baroness Fermoy, a lady in waiting to the Queen Mother, so this explains how the Spencers and Fermoys all knew each other!

Here’s a portrait of Cynthia, Princess Diana’s grandmother. You can really see the family resemblance:

The wedding took place on June 1, 1954 and was held at Westminster Abbey in London. The bride was just 17 years old(!) and the groom was 29. It was quite an affair, and attendees included Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Princess Margaret, and the Queen Mother.

This is a great picture of Frances arriving with her father Baron Fermoy:

Just to compare because it’s fun, here’s a photograph of Kate Middleton about to walk through those very gates fifty-five years later to marry her grandson:

Back to 1954. The Queen was all decked out in furs for the wedding:

As were the Queen Mother with Princess Margaret. The Queen Mum also had peep-toe shoes on! Go figure:

This is a delightful shot taken outside the Abbey of the new Viscount and Viscountess Althorp. Love seeing the attendants in behind decked out in white:

The couple then headed over to St. James’ Palace for their reception where this  wedding portrait of the bride was taken. What an ornately beaded gown, and her tiara and pearls are stunning:

Walking up the stairs at the Palace, as you do:

The bride and groom greeted their guests:

This is a spectacular photograph of the Queen Mother with the attendants at the reception. Queen Elizabeth can be seen to the left and Princess Margaret is over by the door:

To end, here is a shot of the couple all dolled up for a night out. I wish the Spencer tiara had made an appearance for this evening! But, she’s got her pearls on.

As we know, the marriage didn’t work out and was dissolved. The couple separated in 1969. The Earl went on to marry Raine, who is a relation of Lady Sarah’s husband Neil McCorquodale (her maiden name was McCorquodale). Frances went on to marry Peter Shand Kydd.

Let’s end with this nice shot of Lady Diana and Earl Spencer in St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1981:


Thoughts on Emily McCorquodale’s Wedding

It was a happy day for the Spencer family on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Prince William, Prince Harry, and Kate were all out to attend their cousin Emily Jane McCorquodale’s wedding to James Hutt. Here are my thoughts on the wedding and how it links the Spencers with the past.

The Locals Showed Up

Yikes, it looks like some locals showed up to take pictures of the royals. Those folks in the background don’t look like they are dressed for a wedding, do they? Goodness me, at least try to blend in…

Maybe that’s why Kate and William got a little testy:

They clearly didn’t want to detract attention from the bride and groom.

Emily McCorquodale

The bride is the daughter of Princess Diana’s oldest sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale. She was born in 1983 and so is one year younger than Prince William and it seems that William and Harry are now closest to this part of the Spencer family.

Love this picture of the cousins frolicking on Necker Island back in the day. Emily has a younger brother named George Edmund (born in 1984) and a sister named Celia Rose (born in 1990). I think that Emily may just the girl looking out towards the camera. That is Diana is sitting in the sand with her mom Frances Shand Kydd:

The cousins also burried Diana in the sand.:

Cut to the lovely wedding today.

The Bride’s Tiara

Lady Sarah (the dame in the hat and pearls above) and Prince Charles stepped out a bit a few years before Diana was in the picture. It ended shortly after Sarah made a giant faux pas and spoke to the press, which is a whole other story. In the end, Sarah married Neil McCorquodale, which we discussed in our post on the Spencer tiaras and Diana of course ended up with Charles.

Here are Lady Jane (on the left) and Lady Sarah (on the right) in the tiara. Of course, Princess Diana wore the same tiara on her wedding day as well.

And here’s Emily in a new (to us, at least) tiara today:

This gorgeous tiara isn’t either of the two Spencer tiaras we are aware of, nor does it look like the tiara that her grandmother Frances Shand Kydd wore on her wedding day, does it?

Could there be a Spencer tiara we didn’t know about? Or perhaps this is a McCorquodale tiara or one that belongs to the groom’s family? Intriguing! I hope we get to the bottom of this tiara mystery. Whatever the case, it’s a beauty and Emily looked lovely.

Also, Emily’s bouquet looks a bit like Diana’s to me. Love that she didn’t go small and dainty with it. THAT is a bouquet.

Lady Sarah’s Earrings and Pearl Choker

Ok, before we dive into Lady Sarah’s jewels, check out the microphone on the groom’s lapel. This seems like a nice clue that the service was taped so they could have their own wedding video! That, or the acoustics are bad in that church…

Anyway, back to the jewels. As we’ve discussed in the past, the Spencer ladies like their pearl chokers. Click here for a refresher. Sarah wore a stand out choker today, which seems to be the one that she lent Diana for her going away outfit on her wedding day. It is five strings of pearls with a central gold clasp with an inset pearl. Another pearl dangles down from the clasp. Here’s a good look at it:

Lady Sarah wore it to Diana’s wedding ceremony (she’s wearing it in the wedding portrait below), and then seems to have handed it over because Diana wore it with her going away outfit.

Lady Sarah is in green on the bottom right in the wedding portrait:

And then here’s Diana wearing the choker a short while later:

And another look as they drove away in the carriage:

Let’s take another look at Lady Sarah at her daughter Emily’s wedding. Oh, look – she also has a pearl strand bracelet on that’s like the bracelet version of Diana’s two strand Spencer choker. Love that! That’s Sarah’s other daughter Celia on the left wearing quite the sparkly necklace herself:

As you can see, Lady Sarah was also wearing the dangly diamond earrings that Princess Diana wore on her wedding day.

These earrings were reported to have belonged to Frances Shand Kydd, but they have been on display with Diana’s wedding dress at Althorp, the Spencer’s family seat, which seems to imply that they actually are owned by the Spencer family.

Another look for good measure:

She also wore the earrings to Prince William’s wedding. Here she is leaving the Buckingham Palace reception all dolled up in her finery:

Hurray for wedding earring traditions!

The Attendants

Here are the flowers girls and page boy all ready to go:

Update: We just unearthed this photograph taken during Lady Sarah and Neil McCorquodale’s Althorp wedding reception, which took place on May 17, 1980. The page boys wore a very similiar jacket, so it seems Emily was keeping that tradition alive. It might even be one of the originals!

Also, that’s Princess Margaret’s daughter Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones as a bridesmaid! She’s standing in the back row on the far left. A few years later she was Lady Diana’s oldest bridesmaid. For our post on that, click here.

Side Note: Frances Shand Kydd’s green dress sure looks a lot like the one Sarah wore to Diana’s wedding, doesn’t it?? The neckline is slightly different, but the fabric looks identical! Could it be that Sarah had it tailored and wore it again? I really think so…

The little pageboy’s suit is also very reminiscent of the royal wedding, no? Please don’t yell at me for comparing; I can’t help it! They all looked great.

They even had an Grace Van Cutsem moment and covered their ears! Compare today when the noise was caused by bagpipes…

…with little Grace on the Buckingham Palace balcony when the noise was caused by cheering crowds and planes overhead:

Love the floral wreaths on the girls!

Other Spencers in Attendance

Earl Spencer was there along with his third wife, Karen Gordon, who is pregnant with his seventh child. That’s Lady Kitty in the back and the boy in front I believe is the Hon. Edmund Spencer, his son with second wife Caroline Freud.

Lady Jane was at the wedding as well, and like Lady Sarah she  wore a white blazer over her dresses and a hats with a flower on it. She attended the wedding with her husband, Sir Fellowes, and their three children Laura (born 1980), Alexander (born 1983), and Eleonor (born 1985), but we haven’t seen any pictures of them yet. She looks very nice, but why oh why didn’t she pull out one of her pearl chokers for the occasion?? Seriously. Those should not be kept locked up!

Notably, Lady Jane was one of the people spotted in a wide shot of the royal box during the Jubilee concert last weekend. Didn’t see Lady Sarah in the picture, though.

Kate’s Outfit

Kudos to Kate for once again making an effort not to outshine the bride by wearing all repeated items. Today she chose the Jenny Packham dress from her trip to Los Angeles,

the coat from last year’s Garter ceremony,

the hat that she wore to the Epsom Derby last June,

and her trusty LK Bennet pumps. In my opinion, this mishmash of items (which are all lovely on their own) didn’t go all that well together and looked a bit busy…plus the dress was longer than the coat. However, we can see what she was trying to do and thumbs up for that.

Also love the new ‘do:

Well, it was fun to see everyone out today! Congratulations to Emily and James. Let us know if you noticed anything else that we missed!

The Emerald Parure of The Netherlands

The Emerald Parure of The Netherlands

To help us get out of our post-Jubilee funk, here’s a favourite emerald parure to drool over. This post on some seriously gorgeous bling comes courtesy of Royal Poster Sarah, who is quite an expert on these matters (thank you, Sarah!).

The history of emerald parure of The Netherlands starts in 1898-1899 when is was created by Eduard Schürmann & Co. of Frankfurt, as a gift from Queen Emma (Queen Consort to William III, and Queen Regent) to her daughter, Queen Wilhelmina in 1899. The emeralds arrived in Holland in the 18th century with Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia (niece of Frederick the Great), wife of William V of Orange-Nassau. It now belongs to the Orange-Nassau Family Foundation, which was set up in the 1960’s by HM Queen Juliana as a repository for a large section of the jewels of the Dutch Royal Family.

The parure that was created in 1898-1899 consisted of a delicate v-shaped diamond and emerald tiara, a necklace and pendant, a ring, a brooch, and two bracelets.

Here are the settings of the brooch:

The tiara has scroll and figure 8 motifs, with silver, gold and diamonds, and 2 round emeralds surround by diamonds on the sides, with the original tiara having 3 large emeralds and diamonds clusters in the center. In the 1950’s the two emeralds in the center were removed to make earrings for Queen Juliana, and two additional emeralds were put in the center to make the current configuration of the tiara.

Queen Juliana

This tiara has been worn upright, but it’s also been worn upside down in a delightful twist on the part of Queen Juliana and her daughters. Isn’t it neat?

Queen Beatrix

HRH Princess Margriet

HRH Princess Irene

The necklace consists of an intricate design of emeralds and diamonds, with the detachable pendant continuing the figure 8 and floral motifs from the tiara. The necklace has been worn both with and without the detachable pendant (which is often worn on the left), and with the back clasp of the necklace at a front central focus. The brooch itself has also been worn frequently. Both are very versatile pieces, and have been worn by multiple royal ladies!

The bracelet is also worn frequently, as is the ring – both visible in the following photos.

It’s so great to see parts of the parure worn by so many ladies of the Dutch Royal Family!

Princess Máxima (3), Princess Mabel, Princess Laurentien

One of the most interesting aspects of the Emerald Parure of the Netherlands is that it can be completely changed by removing the emeralds, and attaching pearls! This diamond and pearl version has also been widely used since it was made in 2003, and both versions are in regular use by the ladies of the Dutch Royal Family. How neat is that?

Princess Laurentien, Princess Máxima, Queen Beatrix, Princess Margriet, Duchess Annemarie of Parma

What do you think of the Emerald Parure of the Netherlands?

Provenance of the Emerald Parure

  1. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
  2. Queen Juliana of the Netherlands
  3. Orange-Nassau Family Foundation

Here’s the list of all recorded wearers of the Emerald Parure – it’s extensive!

  • Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
  • Queen Juliana of the Netherlands
  • Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Dowager Duchess of Parma (daughter of Queen Juliana, sister of Queen Beatrix)
  • Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands; both emerald and pearl settings
  • Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Mrs. van Vollenhoven; both emerald and pearl settings (daughter of Queen Juliana, sister of Queen Beatrix)
  • Princess Máxima of the Netherlands; both emerald and pearl settings (wife of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, the heir apparent to the throne of the Netherlands)
  • Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands; the pearl setting (wife of Prince Constantijn)
  • Duchess Annemarie of Parma; the pearl setting (she is the daughter-in-law of Princess Irene, wife of Prince Carlos, Duke of Parma)

This is the third post in our emerald series – first up was the Danish Emerald Parure, second the Greek Emerald Parure Tiara.