sabato 13 maggio 2017

Official Visit to Luxembourg, May 2017

A day of engagements in Luxembourg
11 May 2017

11 May 2017 - Attending the official commemoration of the 1867 Treaty of London at Luxembourg City Museum; the Treaty confirmed Luxembourg’s independence and neutrality in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War and the Luxembourg Crisis. On arrival, visit of the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art (MUDAM) to tour current exhibitions by British artists Sir Tony Cragg and Darren Almond and attend a reception with leading young Luxembourgers in the fields of culture, education, business and the charitable sector. Then, a stop at central Place Clairefontaine and a tour of a cycling-themed festival, which celebrates the shared UK and Luxembourg passion for the sport. Next, Catherine called on Their Royal Highnesses The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg at the Grand Ducal Palace.
Then the Duchess continued to Dräi Eechelen Museum for the main commemoration event, attended by the Prime Minister and other personalities.

sabato 1 aprile 2017

Royal Wedding Dresses Exhibition at the Royal Palace of Stockholm: Princess Madeleine

With a longer-than-planned pause between posts (apologies for that!), here we are again to talk about the fourth dress in the Royal Wedding Dresses 1976-2015 exhibition currently on at the Royal Palace of Stockholm, that of Princess Madeleine. Today we're looking at Princess Madeleine's dress, but you can still catch up with my previous posts on the dresses worn by Queen Silvia, Princess Lilian and Crown Princess Victoria.

Princess Madeleine, the youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, got engaged to Anglo-American financier Christopher O'Neill on 25 October 2012. It was actually the second engagement for Princess Madeleine, who had previously been engaged to be married to Swedish lawyer Jonas Bergström, but had called it off in April 2010.
From Chris O'Neill, Madeleine received a four-carat emerald-cut diamond with a diamond pavé band (her first ring had also been a diamond):

For the pre-wedding gala dinner hosted on 7 June 2013 by her parents at the Stockholm Grand Hotel, Princess Madeleine followed in her big sister Victoria's footsteps and wore a glittering Elie Saab gown, intricately embroidered in silver-grey sequins.  She accessorized with dramatic aquamarine pendant earrings:

For her big day on 8 June 2013 (you can find my original post on the event here), Princess Madeleine turned to Italian maestro Valentino Garavani to design her dress. Valentino came up with a creation of pleated silk organza with ivory Chantilly lace appliqués. The upper section of the bodice is entirely made of lace, with a deep-cut back, while narrow vertical pleats accentuate the waist and open into a wide skirt and 13-ft train:


The veil was also made by the house of Valentino, in silk organza, edged with appliquéd tulle and trimmed with silk Chantilly lace in the shape of orange blossom, and scattered with embroidered points d'esprit on a regularly patterned tulle background:

The Princess didn't follow the Swedish royal tradition of wearing the Cameo tiara, opting instead for the so-called Modern Fringe tiara, which is thought to have been a 10th wedding anniversary present from King Carl XVI Gustaf to Queen Silvia, a pair of diamond drop earrings from the Bernadotte collection and a diamond bracelet. The tiara was accented with sprigs of artificial orange blossom:

As for the shoes, Madeleine opted for a pair of bespoke Oscar de la Renta heels in ivory white organdy with woven point d'esprit dots:

The bride's bouquet, created by the Royal Court's florist Claes Carlsson, was made of classic white garden roses with lilies of the valley and a sprig of myrtle:

The bridesmaids wore silk dresses with green silk taffeta sashes and handmade leather shoes. Their Alice bands with pearls and handmade paper flowers. The page boys wore wollen jackets and breeches with green silk taffeta detailing and silver trim. The attendants' clothes were by LIVLY of Sweden:

For dinner and dancing, Princess Madeleine changed into a family heirloom dress, a Nina Ricci evening dress in white tulle embroidered with pearls and sequins, first worn by Queen Silvia for her silver wedding anniversary celebrations on 19 June 2001 and again later that year for the Nobel banquet:

Also on display were copies of the order of service and wedding banquet menu:

I'll see you soon with a post about the final dress in the exhibition, that of Princess Sofia - stay tuned!

domenica 19 marzo 2017

Royal Wedding Dresses Exhibition at the Royal Palace of Stockholm: Crown Princess Victoria

Today we're on to the third dress in the Swedish Royal Wedding Dresses 1976-2015 exhibition, looking at Crown Princess Victoria's wedding attire (you can read about Queen Silvia's in my previous post here, and about Princess Lilian's here).

Crown Princess Victoria (who wasn't actually Crown Princess to begin with, but was made heir apparent in 1980 after a change in Swedish succession law the previous year established absolute primogeniture) and Daniel Westling, a one-time personal trainer and gym owner, got engaged on 24 February 2009. Victoria received a white gold engagement ring set with a single brilliant-cut solitarie, reportedly by court jeweller W.A. Bolin:

The wedding took place on 19 June 2010 (the 34th wedding anniversary of Victoria's parents), in Stockholm Cathedral, in front of more than 1,000 invited guests.
On 18 June, the Parliament of Sweden honoured the couple with a gala performance at Stockholm Concert Hall. The dress Victoria wore to the concert was also part of the display; it's a long asymmetric dress in nude lace by Lebanese designer Elie Saab, embroidered with sequins and pearls and with a short train of gathered silk chiffon. Victoria accessorized with some major bling, in the form of a pair of statement earrings (actually a pair of diamond epaulettes - shoulder elements from a dress military uniform - that were converted into a pair of earrings) and the Bernadotte family's diamond arrow brooch:


For the big day itself, Victoria turned to a Swedish designer, Pär Engsheden, who created a wedding dress of pearl-white, double-faced duchesse satin, with a 15-ft train. Like her mother Queen Silvia, Victoria wore her grandmother's lace veil (if you missed my previous post, you can read more about it here) and the Cameo tiara, although she also added the matching bracelet and earrings:

Victoria wore a pair of white silk satin court shoes by Roger Vivier, featuring the designer's trademark diamanté clasp, and a matching clutch bag, both also on display alongside a dried sprig of myrtle from the wedding bouquet:


The bouquet, made by Royal Court's florist Claes Carlsson, comprised lilies of the valley, roses, phalaenopsis, peonies, clematis, cosmos, stephanotis, sweet peas, malva, Amazon lilies, gardenia, azalea, bleeding heart and dicentra formosa (that's quite a lot of blooms in one bouquet, isn't it?):

The bridesmaids' dresses were also by Pär Engsheden, made of pearl-white silk organza with short sleeves and a roll collar. The bridesmaids wore white patent leather ballet pumps and carried bouquets of lilies of the valley, while the page boys, among them an adorable Prince Christian of Denmark, wore traditional sailor suits:

The wedding reception was held in the Hall of State at the Royal Palace, the same room where the wedding dresses exhibition is taking place, followed by dancing in the White Sea ballroom:

Among the mementos on display in another part of the Palace was a commemorative medal awarded to family members and officials involved in the wedding:

There's still two more fabulous wedding dresses to discuss, so keep an eye on this page!