We’ve had a week full of royal birthday girls, so let’s dive in.
The Countess of Wessex celebrated her 51st birthday on January 20th (the photo below is from her 50th birthday last year).
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Queen Mathilde of Belgium celebrated her 43rd birthday on the same day and she spent it at the World Economic Forum in Davos, like all serious Queens should.
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Acouple of days later on the 22nd, the King and Queen of Belgium met up with the Dutch King and Queen for a sparklier event – an opening concert in Brussels for the Dutch presidency of the European Union council.
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They got the best seats in the house, natch and everyone looked like a million bucks.
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Also, Nicole Kidman has been spotted in the same Nina Ricci dress that Maxima chose. Who wore it better? My vote goes to Max.
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Back to royal birthdays, Princess Ingrid of Norway turned 12 on January 21st and some more new photos were released for the occasion. Clearly Ingrid has a thing or to to teach us about hair braiding – or do you think her mom Crown Princess Mette-Marit does it?
Mette-Marit recently shared that the family starts birthdays the best possible breakfast, cake:
“The whole family brings homemade cake and gifts to the bed – it’s the loveliest start to the day,” Crown Princess Mette-Marit told the Norwegian Radio station NRK P3 about the family’s traditional birthday celebration. [People]
Also, The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor has some great insights into the heirloom necklace that Ingrid is wearing here.
Meanwhile, Princess Athena (daughter of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark) turned four on January 24 and this new picture was shared for the occasion:
In other news, Lord Frederick Windsor and his wife Sophie (their wedding pic is below) announced earlier this week that they welcomed their second child on January 16th. Isabelle May joins big sister Maude. [Hello!]
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To round our our recap, Princess Charlene and Prince Albert had an audience with Pope Francis and the internet suddenly became very interested in the privilege du blanc.
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Hope you all have a great rest of your weekend – back tomorrow for a chat on Princess Marie-Chantal’s wedding dress.
Who doesn’t love a little thriftiness? This post is all about royals who’ve popped up wearing something that looks a little familiar or who’ve shared their clothes with friends or relatives.
Queen Silvia & Princess Madeleine
We’re going to start with this especially frothy example. As you probably recall, Princess Madeleine had a gorgeous custom Valentino wedding gown that she wore for her wedding ceremony in June of 2013. She also wore this gown for the reception.
What many royal watchers may not have realized is that after some dancing, Madeleine took out her updo, put her hair down, and changed into this sparkly tulle gown.
Thankfully kept her tiara in place.
Some eagle eyes noticed that this dress had been previously seen on Queen Silvia. She first wore it in December of 2001 to the Nobel Prize ceremony.
I’m thinking that Madeleine clocked that dress back then and filed it away as the perfect reception dress, and then her mom pulled it out for her 12 years later. Cute, eh?
Queen Maxima & Princess Aimee
And now onto another Queen. In the spring of 2013 after the investiture of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, our friend AMD flagged that Maxima had loaned one of her gowns for her cousin-in-law Princess Aimee to wear to the big event.
Back when Maxima was expecting Princess Ariane, she wore this lovely flowy gown (far left) and she REALLY blinged it out, right? Gorgeous.
She then he pulled it out of her closet for Aimee, the wife of Prince Floris ( Willem-Alexander’s cousin) to wear to the investiture on April 30,2013. You’ve just got to love Queen Maxima for thinking to do this. Princess Aimee’s son Willem was born on July 1, 2013.
I like how Aimee incorporated a little patriotic orange into the outfit with her accessories, too.
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
Princess Victoria must have a HUGE closet of gowns, and she has been very generous over the years loaning them out to friends. The delightful blog Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour has a great post showing some fun examples which you can check out here.
These are my favourite examples. Check out how the pink and green dresses were given a new look:
Princess Diana’s Hand Me Downs
Diana was also very generous when it came to giving away her old clothes. One of my favourite examples is this green polka dotted number that Diana wore to the races in the late ’80’s. Diana never did meet a polka dot she didn’t like.
She later passed the suit and hat on to her sister Sarah, who is shown here wearing it to a wedding in 1990. That’s a whole lot of look!
Check out this fun Pinterest page for oodles of more examples of different outfits that Diana either loaned or gave out.
Perhaps Diana got this generous spirit from her mom Frances. In this group portrait taken at the reception of Lady Sarah’s wedding to Neil McCorquodale, Frances is wearing this floaty green frock.
Sarah must have really liked it since she wore the same dress to Lady Diana’s 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. See?
As we mentioned in our post on Emily McCorquodale’s wedding, Sarah wasn’t always just being the recipient of loans. She generously lent her pearl choker to Diana to wear with her going away outfit after the reception, so Sarah had to head home from the reception without it. I wish there was a picture of Sarah handing it over. Wouldn’t that be fun?
Starting from the top, let’s recap yesterday’s events beginning with the abdication which took place yesterday morning. Queen Beatrix officially passed over the reigns by signing the Act of Abdication, at which point her title changed to Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.
Here’s Willem-Alexander signing next:
Immediately afterwards, the trio headed out to the balcony to acknowledge the crowds. I love this little moment here. They seem like such a warm family, and like Princess Beatrix has every faith in these two:
After a short while, Princess Beatrix left and out came the new Princess of Orange (Princess Amalia) along with her sisters Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane. This was the first set of adorable matching outfits they were during the day. And check out the oranges in the garland – nice touch!
As a quick little sidebar, here we have photo of the then Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret with their parents at King George VI’s coronation. Ever so much more formal but still adorable:
The formal investiture of the new King came next, and the guests arrived looking ever so smart. Here are a few observations.
Royal Guests with Dutch Orders
A wonderful royal tradition is that for events like this, you bring the highest order of merit with you that you have received from the country you are visiting. It is worn as a mark of respect, so naturally there were several orange sashes on display.
Prince Charles followed this traditions is shown here arriving wearing the Order of the Crown, which is awarded to “foreigners who have rendered special service to the Dutch King or his House.”
I have been debating whether Camilla is wearing a Dutch order as well, but I’m thinking is the Order of the Victorian Cross. There is no record of her having received a Dutch Order as of yet. Does anyone disagree?
While we’re on the subject of Prince Charles, how strange must it be to be a mere ten years younger than the Queen who is abdicating? Plus, he attended Beatrix’s investiture 33 years ago as the Prince of Wales. I really think the Dutch have a smart abdication situation going here. Perhaps Prince William will agree when it is his turn.
Crown Princess Mathilde and Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium
Princess Mathilde and Prince Philippe both showed up in the Order of Orange-Nassau. This order is intended for those who have “earned special merits for society.”
Mathilde also went for a bold hat choice, but I like it. And the orange sash and the dress work! Not always an easy thing to co-ordinate, as you can imagine.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway:
Mette-Marit also has the Grand Cross of Orange-Nassau and Haakon has the Grand Cross with Swords of the Order of Orange Nassau.
I know Mette-Marit’s dress has been getting some criticism for looking like wall paper and her hair ornament for looking like a hair net, but I like ’em!
Prince Felipe of Spain
Prince Felipe is in the Dutch Order club, too. It must have been granted to him during a state visit before Princess Letizia’s time since she doesn’t have one yet.
Some other Royal Guests:
I had such high hopes for Mary after last night’s gorgeous dress. What happened here? It’s very ’70’s hippy dippy and her sash for the Order of the Elephant just makes it all too busy. If we didn’t have all the flowers going on, it might be ok.
I suppose Victoria doesn’t care that whoever sits behind her won’t be able to see a darn thing. She does look lovely, though:
A great pic of some of the royal guests. Princess Masako made it! And her husband Crown Prince Naruhito is shown wearing the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of the Netherlands, so he’s in the club, too.
What’s with the stink face, Albert? And pssst…see? We don’t even get a glimpse of the poor guest behind Victoria’s hat.
The King and Queen of the Netherlands
They certainly looked regal and did their jobs well.
Maxima opted for a blue gown instead of orange, and who would blame her when you have the Mellerio Sapphire Tiara is in the vault? This is the first time she has publicly worn this piece. It seems it’s on reserve for Queens only.
I just LOVE the Maxima’s whole ensemble. The sash for the Order of the Netherlands Lion looks divine tucked under the little belt. The cape is so classy, and the perfect Queenly accompaniment to King Willem-Alexander’s ermine cape. Check it out in action here:
And here we have the other ladies in blue:
Afterwards, there was a Royal Group Photo for the history books:
Who gets to stand where is so fascinating to me. Is the pride of those on the outskirts wounded or are they just happy to be there? Notably, Prince Charles got a spot of honour next to Queen Maxima!
The River Pageant
And then it was time for another change of clothes and off to the river:
It all got a thumbs up from Maxima:
What wins it all for me is the capes. OMG the capes. It’s like they are about to go to traipsing into the hills:
Happiness! Princess Mette-Marit got on the cape bandwagon, too:
And so did Princess Beatrix:
To end, Princess Mary showed up in a festive red, much improved from earlier in the day:
So? Was that fun or what? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Now that it’s all over the fun begins for us! This is a heavy post, with another one to follow recapping today’s events.
Thanks to our guest Royal Poster who is on the ground in Amsterdam, we have a wonderful look at the festivities that have been underway. Let’s get started.
Things were looking a little grey and blustery yesterday, but those banners certainly brightened things up!
Here’s a closer look at one of the banners. A clever use of Willem-Alexander’s initials, no?
The window shops are orange galore:
Here’s a closer look. The little tags are well wishes for the royal family from all over the Kingdom:
And of course there are lots of orange goodies for sale!
Check these out:
And how great are these books?
Amidst all of that, the festivities kicked off with dinner last night at the newly renovated Rijksmuseum.
The Power Trio
Queen Beatrix looked her regal best as she arrived with Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima. In keeping with the desire to keep the celebration on the frugal side, Maxima chose to wear a tiered Valentino gown previously worn to Prince Charles’ 60th party five years ago. A nice touch.
Naturally, Maxima was also decked out in the Diamond Bandeau Tiara which seems to be a favourite of the many she has at her disposal.
Oodles of other royals were there decked out in their finery. Here are a few that stood out to me.
Solo Princes: Naruhito and Albert
Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel walked in with Prince Naruhito of Japan, who was not accompanied by Crown Princess Masako. Officials had advised that the princess may not attend all events and that it would depend on her condition on the day (Princess Masako was diagnosed with a stress-induced illness over a decade ago and until now hadn’t been out of Japan on official business since then). Princess Masako did make it to the investiture today, however, which I was happy to see.
Another solo prince, Prince Albert, walked in with Luxembourg’s Hereditary Grand Duke Guillame and Princess Stephanie, who was wearing her go-to designer Elie Saab. What’s up with Princess Charlene not making an appearance? Could she really not fit this important event into her schedule? Hmmm….hope all is well with her.
In my humble opinion, the two best dressed ladies of the evening were Crown Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
Let’s look at Mathilde first. I’m not normally into one-shouldered looks, but this dress works. We have a beautiful silvery satin which perfectly offsets her Laurel wreath tiara and brooch. That brooch elevates everything, but the piece de resistance is that the skirt opens up into a not-too-short but not-too-long train. Lovely!
Not onto Crown Princess Mary. The neckline and drape of the skirt is so elegant, but it’s that satin belt at the tiniest part of the waist that wins it for me. Flawless!
Was another lady on your best dressed list?
Now onto the dinner itself. I feel like we haven’t gotten a chance to get such an inside look at royals at dinner since Princess Victoria’s wedding (when the whole thing was amazingly streamed live) so this was all kinds of awesome.
What a gorgeous view for Beatrix, who was seated next to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte:
Can’t get enough of those flowers! Here’s another view:
Certainly a night for the memory books. Next up will be the Abdication and Investiture.