York Royal Wedding: The Bride, Groom & Bridal Party

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank were married this morning at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

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One wishes a bride to look her most most beautiful on her wedding day and such was the case for Princess Eugenie today.

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Designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, her dress featured a fitted bodice, long sleeves and folded portrait neckline that folds around the shoulders into an open back that drapes into a flowing, full length train. The low cut back was a special request of the bride who wanted to embrace and celebrate the scar from her adolescent scoliosis surgery.

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The stars of this gown are its cut and fabric – while it appears to be embroidered or appliqued with lace, the silk, cotton and viscose blended jacquard is actually woven with a custom floral motif of the bride’s request: Scottish thistles as a nod to the couple’s love for Balmoral, Irish shamrocks in honor of Ferguson family heritage and York roses and ivy to represent the couple’s home. The beautiful striped floral pattern on the fabric and impeccable cut and tailoring of the gown combine to create a streamlined and beautifully modern take on a traditional silhouette. On Eugenie, it was just exquisite.

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Princess Eugenie surprised with her bridal headwear, eschewing a veil and a widely-shared prediction she would wear her mother’s York tiara. Instead, she borrowed the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara from the Queen. Never before seen on a royal head, the tiara is part of the famous Greville suite of jewels left to the Queen Mother in 1942 (read more about the tiara’s background over at the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor or at the Court Jeweller). This tiara was made in 1919 by Boucheron of brilliant and rose cut diamonds pavé set in platinum around emeralds – a stone that coordinated beautifully with Eugenie’s green eyes and the autumnal scheme of the wedding.

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The young bridesmaids and pages wore dresses, shirts and velvet trousers from designed by Amaia Arrieta of Amaia Kids.The bridesmaids also wore patterned sashes printed with an art print by Mark Bradford included in the Order of Service. They carried posies of Lily of the Valley and spray roses which were also used to make small sprays for their hair.

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I love it good royal bridal surprises and Princess Eugenie’s look today was surprisingly streamlined, modern, and all kinds of beautiful.

UPDATE: For the evening party, Eugenie changed into a blush Zac Posen silk gown embroidered with York roses on one shoulder and the back. Queen Victoria’s wheat-ear brooches, borrowed from her grandmother, were incorporated in her hair to top another stunningly beautiful bridal look.

Photos from Getty as indicated

Christening of Prince Louis

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought their son, Prince Louis, to the Chapel Royal at St. James Palace today to be christened in a private ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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For this event, the Duchess of Cambridge wore a  bandeau headpiece in textured vanilla straw, trimmed with silk flowers, leaves and tufts of net tulle veil.
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The bandeau style is a departure for Kate and it’s great to see her continuing her recent streak of experimenting with different hat shapes. The trim on this piece is exquisite and the textured, nubbly straw gives great dimension and creates the illusion that it is studded in pearls.
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My only design qualm is the height-  I’m not sure that this raised bandeau shape (reminiscent of a traditional Russian Kokoshnik headpiece) is the most flattering on oval shaped faces and suspect a flatter design would have worked better for Kate. This issue aside, a bandeau is a great option for events in hot weather and this one balances well with the open neck and puffed sleeves on Kate’s dress. It’s a good take on the all-cream uniform she has worn for each of her children’s christenings and I really like how she has adapted this dress code with different pieces at each one (see her ensemble at Prince George’s christening here and Princess Charlotte’s here).

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Designer: Jane Taylor. It’s a custom version of the “Cassandra” headpiece from SS 2018. Dress by Alexander McQueen

Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Charlotte wore a blue headband trimmed with a bow, sweetly matched with her Mary Janes.

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The Duchess of Cornwall topped her cream silk dress with straw hat with wide, sidesweeping kettle brim. The hat, made of ecru textured straw, is simply trimmed with a slim straw hatband tied with a side bow, visible only from side view. The gentle curves on the upturned brim are really lovely on Camilla and I really like how the textured straw on the hat, patterned purse and two-toned shoes brought some warmth and dimension to her

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Dress by Fiona Clare.

Previously Worn: November 9, 2012

The Duchess of Sussex wore a new hat in olive green crinoline capeline overlaid with net veil in the same colour. The hat’s shape follows a shallow crown and wide brim with upsweep on one side. The hat is simply trimmed with a large bow in translucent olive green crin on the lower side of the brim.

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Olive green is an not a colour we see on very many royal hats- it’s fantastic on Meghan’s colouring and makes a great, semi-neutral compliment to the cream and pale blues worn by other family members. The shape of this piece works so well with the boat neckline of the accompanying dress and the  layered use of crin and veil gives the great lightness and a subtle textural pattern that contrasts against the dress, coordinating with it while still making its own statement. I think it’s an outstanding look for the Duchess that keeps with her signature streamlined style while still being incredibly interesting.

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Designer: Stephen Jones. Dress by Ralph Lauren
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Carole Middleton topped her Suzannah pale aqua dress with a matching Juliette Botterill designed saucer hat in pinokpok with knotted bow detail and crescent feather trim. Pippa Middleton Matthews wore a Jane Taylor designed blue straw saucer with raised back, trimmed with blue silk abaca twists, feathers and net veil.

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Thoughts about the royal hats seen at Prince Louis’ christening today?

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

British Royal Wedding: The Bride, Groom & Bridal Party

The Duke of Sussex, the title bestowed to Prince Harry today, and Mrs. Meghan Markle married this morning and what a beautiful wedding it was! Before reviewing the royal hats worn today at St. George’s chapel, we first turn our attention to the bride, the groom and their very sweet wedding party.

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After months of speculation and rumours of a spectacle dress of beaded splendor, the bride emerged from a vintage Rolls Royce in a surprise- an exceptionally streamlined gown by British designer Clare Waight Keller, who last  year became the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy. Waight Keller realized Meghan’s vision of timeless purity with an exceptionally tailored gown in pure white double bonded silk cady. The design features an open bateau neckline and sculpted bodice with three-quarter length sleeves. Six vertical seams create a beautiful line to the gown, which, from the skirt, extends into a gentle trumpet. The back of the dress flows to a modest train in rounded folds supported by a  triple silk organza underskirt.

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The star of the ensemble is the five-metre long silk tulle veil. Following Prince Harry’s appointment as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, Meghan requested that a Commonwealth reference be incorporated in the design. Clare Waight Keller undertook significant research to identify a unique flower from each of the 53 Commonwealth countries and these flowers, along with Wintersweet from Kensington Palace and California Poppy from Meghan’s home state, are hand embroidered into the silk tulle to create a uniquely personal scalloped edge. Symmetrical wheat sheaves at the front of the veil, blended into the flowers, frame Meghan’s face and symbolize love and charity.  Hundreds of hours went into the painstaking hand embroidery of the veil (those working on it washed their hands every 30 minutes to keep it pristine) and the result is truly exquisite.

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Meghan’s anchored her veil with another surprise. Queen Elizabeth loaned Meghan her own grandmother’s diamond and platinum bandeau tiara which has not been seen in public since the latter years of Queen Mary’s life.  An piece of English origin, the diamond and platinum design was made in 1932 for Queen Mary and consists of what Kensington Palace describes as “a flexible band of eleven sections, pierced with interlaced ovals and pavé set with large and small brilliant diamonds”. The tiara’s central, detachable brooch with 10 brilliant diamonds dates from 1893.

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The scale and shape is wonderful on Meghan and contrasted so beautifully against her classically elegant gown. Her other jewelry included small Cartier diamond stud earrings and a delicate bracelet.

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Meghan’s hand tied bouquet of sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, astrantia, and sprigs of myrtle also included Princess Diana’s favourite flower, forget-me-nots, as a touching memorial. Kensington Palace further reported, “Prince Harry handpicked several flowers yesterday from their private garden at Kensington Palace to add to the bespoke bridal bouquet designed by florist Philippa Craddock.” So romantic!

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The Duke of Sussex and Duke of Cambridge both wore the black frockcoat uniform, complete with cap, of their former regiment, the Blues and Royals.

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Clare Waight Keller designed the six young bridesmaids’ dresses in ivory silk Radzimir. The dresses feature a high waist, short puff sleeves, pleated skirts with pockets and a double silk ribbon detail tied at the back in a bow.  Florist Philippa Craddock made their headdresses and posies from same varieties flowers as Meghan’s bouquet. The four pages wore a miniature, single breasted version of the Blues and Royals frockcoat uniform worn by Harry and William, also made by Dege & Skinner in Savile Row. The jackets feature a stand-up collar and the figured braiding of Regimental pattern while the trousers have three-quarter scarlet stripes and leather leg straps. 

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During the engagements Meghan has carried out over the past six months, we have seen her style to be very understated. This certainly came through in her ensemble today, which made it feel incredibly authentic and true to her aesthetic. I thought it was absolutely beautiful. 
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Photos from Getty as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Zara and Mike Tindall attended a polo match and racing event on Australia’s Gold Coast last weekend in casual fedora hats


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Princess Philomena d’Orleans and Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein in black wide brimmed hats at Tuesday’s funeral of Prince François de France, Count of Clermont

Princess Philomena, Jan 6, 2018 | Royal Hats   Princess Isabelle, Jan 6, 2018 | Royal Hats

Vicky Andren in national costume complete with embroidered cap. 

This year’s London Hat Week schedule will include the premiere of a documentary made by royal milliner Marie O’Reagan.

A sweet red hair bow from Spanish brand Amaia Kids for Princess Charlotte’s first day of nursery school (Kensington Palace)

The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:

Dusty pink felt button percher with stunning oversize silk flower from Rachel Trevor Morgan
Beautifully detailed hatband on this navy oversize fedora from British milliner Jess Collett
Charming pink, black and white straw boater from American brand Lifted Millinery
Dark, moody red picture hat with flying bow and open weave brim from British milliner Juliette Botterill
Lovely movement on the soaring slim quills trimming this Fabienne Delvigne saucer hat
Classic navy wool hat with beautifully crisp knotted silk hatband from California based Jill Courtemanche
From Stephen Jones, whose creativity knows no bounds – hammer head shark and lamb chop headpieces

And this wonderfully chic is this two-toned felt fedora from German milliner Nicki Marquardt.

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 Royal Hats

 

Christmas photos from Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik; also from Princess Benedikte and her grandchildren

Two sneak peeks at the BBC documentary airing today on the coronation jewels


Sweet photos released by the Danish monarchy of Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent for their seventh birthday. Their mum also shared more relaxed candids of the twins she took on their family’s recent trip to Australia.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette Marit explain why Norwegians are so happy.

We wrap up this week with another stunning landscape image from Prince Nikolaos

 Photos from Alain Guizard/Bestimage via Paris Match 

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Prince Harry was in military uniform to present new colours to the Royal Air Force on Thursday (Kensington Palace)

The annual Ringsted horse ceremony at Gråsten Palace was rained out last Sunday. Does anyone do cheery rain gear better than Queen Margrethe?

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Some noteworthy portraits released this week- Princess Märtha Louise in Spanish Vanity Fair in several matador (boater) hats and this beautifully dramatic shot of Flora Ogilvy in a black Garbo hat accompanied a recent interview.

Some sweet hairbows from Amaia sported by a young princess on her visit to Poland and Germany this week

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Did any hats catch your eye this week? Here are the ones that drew my attention:

Spectacular feather and dotted net trimmed cocktail hat by Bundle McLaren
Sneak peek at Jane Taylor’s autumn collection includes this amazing laser cut brim
Wonderfully trimmed black straw boater by Jo Mareem Millinery
Sharp and chic large brimmed panama hats from Jill Courtemanche Millinery
Lovely pink straw hat from Jane Taylor
A white leather fedora from Christie Millinery

And this very refined design with wide mushroom brim from Rachel Trevor Morgan

 Royal Hats

Photographer Paul Ratcliffe posted this reminder of an important anniversary on July 17 for the British Royal family- 100 years of officially being the House of Windsor.

Interesting articles on political dressing by the Cambridges this week in Poland and Germany (New York Times) and the British Royal Family’s dress code (BBC).

Lovely new portrait of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall released for Camilla’s 70th birthday this week

Amazing shot of Princess Anne with an Abyssinian Eagle Owl shared by the British Monarchy

Sweet photo of Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix released by the Danish royal court for Felix’s 15th birthday

And we end the week with this wonderful shot released yesterday for Prince George’s fourth birthday

Photo from Chris Bolan via The Calgary Stampede