30 September 2016

Royal Tour Update of the Day: September 30

The Cambridges are still in Canada, I don't know if you noticed. LET'S RECAP:
A series of greens, including a cute green dress? Check. Best shoes of the tour (yeah, I said it) - worn with a Carolina Herrera debut? Check. Casual outfit I'll take right off her hands? Check. Little bit of Canadian design thrown in there? Check.

Least favorite dress of the tour? ....Yeah, check. Best use of pint-size distractions? Also check, so really, that all evens out.

Outfits included a green Dolce & Gabbana dress (sans clock), a repeated green Hobbs coat (not pictured), a red Carolina Herrera coat, and a cozy coat from Canadian label Sentaler. She also wore some earrings of Canadian design.
Photos: Kensington Palace, Sentaler, Matches
Plus, a knit dress from See by Chloé for the children's party.
Photo: Net-a-porter

Hang on, just a little bit more cute for your Friday...
There we go.

29 September 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Cambridge Sapphire Parure

The origins of this set of jewelry are old, and as is the case often with old jewels, things change over time. Pieces are added/subtracted/changed within the parure, and so on. And this set passed through the hands of Queen Mary - the consort of George V, and a woman who never met a jewel she didn't want to alter - so change was practically a foregone conclusion.

Princess Augusta of Cambridge, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
The Cambridge Sapphire Parure takes its name from Augusta of Hesse-Kassel, who became the Duchess of Cambridge in 1818 when she married Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge and tenth child of George III. The Duchess of Cambridge gave these sapphire and diamond jewels to her daughter, also named Augusta, when she married the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in 1843.

Queen Mary
We've come across both of those names here in the past, because the Duchess of Cambridge was grandmother to Queen Mary, and the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was Mary's aunt (as well as her godmother and frequent correspondent). The Cambridge emeralds and the Cambridge Pearl Pendant Brooch came from the Duchess of Cambridge; the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara was inspired by a piece worn by both ladies.

Princess Marina wears the tiara to the State Opening of Parliament in 1960
British Pathé screencaps
These family connections also provided the path for the Cambridge sapphires to enter the British royal family, when Queen Mary inherited them from her aunt in 1916. In 1934, the parure was Mary's wedding gift to her goddaughter Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, who was marrying Mary's son Prince George, Duke of Kent. Queen Mary set all her daughters-in-law up with substantial jewels, and I'm guessing she couldn't pass up the significance of giving her goddaughter jewels she received from her own godmother.

Princess Marina in the original tiara
According to Leslie Field's The Queen's Jewels, the oldest parts of the set date from approximately 1800, and originally included a tiara, a necklace, and a stomacher that could be separated into three brooches. Queen Mary added to the rest of the set and increased its flexibility. The Cambridge Sapphire Parure Tiara consisted of a substantial tiara of graduated sapphire and diamond clusters set on top of sapphire and diamond scroll designs; given the difference between the tiara in the portrait above and the later photographs, the number of sapphire elements appears to have changed over time. The accompanying parure, at its most extensive, allowed that tiara to be worn a pair of earrings, a long necklace or a shorter choker necklace, a stomacher, smaller brooches, and bracelets. Some of those pieces included detachable pendants, and the overall flexibility means some pieces may have done double duty.

Princess Marina died in 1968, at which time the parure went to her son and daughter-in-law, the current Duke and Duchess of Kent. Eventually - and quietly - it seems the tiara was sold. It came to auction as a necklace, with seven tall sapphire elements. Its current whereabouts are unknown.

The Duchess of Kent wears the new Cambridge Sapphire Parure Tiara
In lieu of the grander tiara, a smaller one was created by using five large sapphire and diamond clusters from the long necklace and arranging them on a frame, button style. The Duchess of Kent wore this version of the tiara with the shorter necklace, earrings, and a brooch. Even this reduced set has basically ceased to be seen in public, however, as the Duchess withdrew from many official royal events. She hasn't been seen in a tiara in years. Even in a reduced state, the Cambridge Sapphire Parure is a grand set of jewels, and one that would be nice to see worn again.

New style or old style tiara, what's your pick?

28 September 2016

Royal Outfit Grab Bag of the Day: September 28

I love it when royals get together and I love it when they unknowingly coordinate themselves at the same time. A unified color scheme kicks off our latest grab bag edition:

While in New York last week, Crown Princess Victoria and Queen Rania attended the 2016 Global Goals Awards Dinner.
The blacks and whites and grays ruled the day here. Queen Rania has one of my favoritest ever Peter Pilotto dresses, but even that's not enough to distract me from Victoria's overwhelming jewelry set. Imma need at least the necklace subtracted here.
Queen Rania's Peter Pilotto dress, Crown Princess Victoria's Baum und Pferdgarden skirt (previously worn here)

Queen Rania attended an event for the Royal Health Awareness Society.
Queen Rania Instagram
Speaking of Queen Rania and speaking of black and white outfits, how great is this? The more stripey goodness, the merrier, I say.

Crown Princess Mary attended the Design Awards 2016 last week.
Feels like Mary's also been all about the prints n' patterns lately, right? I think this is a pretty successful version. Or at least I would think it was a successful version, if I could stop thinking that top yellow flower is some giant pesky name tag. I've apparently been compromised by whatever Victoria was so dutifully sporting at the top of our post.
Alice + Olivia dress (thanks to Heaven)
Mary and Fred are on a working visit to Washington, D.C. and Boston at the moment, by the way, so cross your fingers for something fab.

27 September 2016

Royal Trip Update of the Day: September 27

Might this be the best version of a red-in-Canada outfit yet?

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended an evening reception at Government House on Monday, which was Day 3 of their Canada tour.
It just might be. This reception seems to be the most formal event on the itinerary, and she turned it up several notches accordingly. This is good, friends.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi dress, via Net-a-porter
Sure, I'd swap the shoes - I'm usually a red shoe lover, and yet nope - but the dress is from Preen, a label that does these solid color, slightly full skirt dresses so well, and it works no matter what. This is very good.
With her repeated Soru earrings, we also have the second appearance of the Queen's Maple Leaf Brooch. Ya gotta give her credit for wearing that diamond-packed sucker every chance she gets, right? That's the spirit.

(Also on the jewel front, by the way, I talked a bit about Kate's earrings from Sunday and a pair from the Queen's jewel vault over at the Jewel Vault.)

26 September 2016

Monday Tidbits for September 26: Royal Movie Night, and More

ICYMI, we covered the arrival of the Cambridges in Canada this weekend, and we have on ongoing open post for your tour chats there. Elsewhere:

--The Countess of Wessex arrived in London to finish out her DofE Challenge and received a warm welcome home from the Earl and their kids. She blogged along the way at the royal family's site. [BBC, Royal Family]
BBC screencap

--This is cozy: Norway's royal family held a little movie night in the park! A big movie night, really, by the looks of that crowd. They screened The King's Choice (Kongens Nei), about King Haakon VII and the German invasion of Norway in World War II. [VG]

--The Duke and Duchess of Parma christened their third child, Prince Carlos Enrique Leonard. King Willem-Alexander, cousin of the proud father, was one of the godparents and he brought his family along to Italy for the christening. Queen Máxima wore a repeated Dolce & Gabbana dress. [Blauw Bloed, Telegraaf, Gazzetta Di Parma]

--And finally, here's the fabulous Princess Alexandra, elegantly rocking the perfect color combination.

Coming up this week: We'll be checking in with the Cambridge tour again, and more...

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