23 June 2017

Royal Fashion Awards: Royal Ascot 2017, Days 2 & 3

Aaaaaaand we're back to Britain's annual hat festival, with royal goodies from Days 2 and 3 (which is Gold Cup Day, or traditionally Ladies' Day, and often the moment many reserve for their best hats).

Already covered at the Vault: QEII on double duty for Day 2 plus Camilla and a decked out Duchess of Gloucester, and the Queen holding fast to her Most Colorful title on Day 3. And now for some awards for a selection of the rest of the royal racegoers...

Best in Dress
Princess Eugenie
and
Best in Unnecessary Layering
Princess Beatrice
The jumpy claps over here when I saw Eugenie sporting one of my favorite Preen dresses, you have no idea. I think this might be as close as it gets to a universally flattering shape, and it certainly flatters this York sister in both cut and color. LOOOOOVE. And then there's Beatrice, which would be a love if it weren't for one big caveat. When I first saw this, I thought it was an odd dress, designed to make it look like she'd paired a longer sleeve shirt underneath the short sleeve dress. But it turns out...
Eugenie's Elle stretch-cady dress from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi; Beatrice's Tilt China Midi Dress by Amanda Wakeley
...it looks like that's actually what she did? Huh? I am entirely too confused about this to fully appreciate her beautiful fishtail braid spin on hat hair. Or to appreciate how great the dress itself is on her. Or to appreciate how great it is to see Amanda Wakeley back on the royal scene. Huh.

Best of the Light Colors
The Countess of Wessex, Day 3
I keep waiting for the new Countess of Snowdon to bring it like I know she can. I'll keep waiting. In the meantime, of the multiple royal ladies trying out that ubiquitous royal palette of cream and white on Days 2 and 3 (like Zara Tindall), I'm giving my blue ribbon to the Countess of Wessex.
Wave Textured Stripe Dress Ivory from Suzannah, done with a bespoke top for Sophie
Not entirely sure why the need to customize here, but she kept the best part. Use those chevrons to your favor, yes indeed.

Most Exuberant Use of Prints and Colors
The Princess Royal, Days 2 & 3 and Princess Alexandra, Day 2
There's all those pale colors and then there's Princess Anne and her tablecloth jacket followed by a rich green with a certain eau de Robin Hood, plus Princess Alexandra in a riot of prints with a hat to match (she's the one on the receiving end of Anne's smile in the top pic, with her back to us). A breath of fresh air, I declare!

Best Mini Me Act
Princess Haya and Sheikha Al Jalila
Dubai Media Office
I'm so enjoying the mother-daughter act happening in the Dubai contingent. First we had matching pattern + white outfits on Day 1; now we have the sharing of a universal rule for Ascot success: a solid color dress is the perfect canvas for your froofy hat. Princess Eugenie co-signs this strategy.
Dubai Media Office
Butterflies for the young sheikha are such a perfect touch of whimsy. I'm clearly charmed, since I don't normally make this many comments on the apparel of the kids. (Princess Haya posted some sweet pics of the family on her Instagram, noting that Jalila has been their lucky charm at Ascot this year.)

Best in Hats
Countess of Wessex, Day 2
Carrying the torch from our first set of Ascot awards to our second, Sophie knows what's up. Such fabulousness resides in this Jane Taylor chapeau, I shall not even spend much time questioning its accompanying Emilia Wickstead dress.
Mimi cut-out back cloqué dress by Emilia Wickstead, shown in green
Not even gonna question it. Nope. Such restraint.

Who wins your awards on Days 2 and 3?

The hat fest continues today and Saturday!

22 June 2017

Tiara Watch of the Day: The Dutch State Visit to Italy

In this busy royal week, we're swapping Tiara Thursday for a double dose of tiaras in action.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima are currently on a state visit to Italy and Vatican City, and the only surprising thing here is how long it took Máx to wear some Valentino.

Presidenza della Repubblica
Here's the arrival outfit. Perfectly lovely! It is from Natan, and the way that you know that is because it looks suspiciously familiar.
Belgian Monarchy
Yup, Queen Mathilde got there first with her own customized version. Perfectly lovely, I say again. But if we were going to go with a blush pink floral, then I'm going to pout that Máxima didn't repeat her perfect Valentino outfit from William and Kate's wedding.

Valentino was not her choice for the state banquet either, even though the designer himself - the master behind Máxima's wedding gown - was present for the event. She fulfilled another one of our requests instead.
We wanted a better look at the Jan Taminiau gown she wore to Willem-Alexander's 50th birthday party, and the Queen replied with a hearty "I'm right on top of that, Rose!" It's every bit as satisfyingly dramatic as I'd hoped.
Presidenza della Repubblica
Is it safe to call the Mellerio Ruby Tiara Queen Máxima's new favorite diadem, would you say? I'm saying yes. Feels like she's been gravitating toward it for events when she doesn't wear one of the bigger tiaras. The trellis necklace with its interchangeable clasp definitely is a current fave and who among us can blame her for that?

Bonus tiara! Prince Jaime of Bourbon-Parma, King Willem-Alexander's cousin, is the current Dutch ambassador to the Holy See, so he attended the state banquet with his wife, Princess Viktória. She borrowed a tiara from the Dutch vaults: the diamond base of the Antique Pearl Tiara, without any pearls. Máxima wore it this way when she attended Haakon and Mette-Marit's wedding while she was still a royal fiancée, and it was a great option for this black tie event. Viktória's diamond crescent brooch is also from the Dutch vaults.

This is day 2 of the trip, and everything but the hat is a page ripped straight out of Queen Letizia's book (seriously). Beating the heat in the sleekest possible way? Yes please.

A post shared by Blauw Bloed (@blauwbloedtv) on
There's the Valentino! It only took until a concert on day 2 for it to appear. This pink Valentino gown dates back to Frederik and Mary's wedding in 2004, and it got a makeover three years ago when she added some lace to the layers. But you can color me shocked that this wasn't an excuse for some new Valentino.

The trip continues at the Vatican today.

21 June 2017

Royal Fashion Awards: Royal Ascot 2017, Day 1

It's time for Ascot! {clears throat} {puts on best Oprah voice} You get a hat! And you get a hat! EVERYBODY GETS A HAT!!

Right, enough with the exclamation points. We have today a review of Day 1 of Royal Ascot, which went down on Tuesday. Over yonder at the Vault, you will find appearances from the Queen, Day 1's winner for Most Colorful, and the Duchess of Cornwall, holder of the Best Jewel title. (Plus the Prince of Wales, Best in Spousal Coordination.) And here's everyone else, ripe for the ribbon bestowing:

Best in...Really, Again?
The Duchess of Cambridge
Very pretty and whatnot, this white lace Alexander McQueen dress worn with the Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings on loan from the Queen. Also very much a dead ringer for the outfit she wore last year at Ascot. Second verse, same as the first.
A retail version of the Alexander McQueen dress
Ascot's a chance to have a little fun with your style, so maybe wait until after your second visit to settle on a uniform? Just a suggestion.

Best in Summer Claustrophobia
Princess Beatrice
What a beautiful Claire Mischevani dress for Beatrice. So delicate, and yet also so stifling. It looks hot. It's been awfully toasty over there. Princess Eugenie wisely decided to put comfort first by continuing her sleeveless trend from Trooping the Colour and I can't blame her one bit.

Best in Blues
Autumn Phillips
Zara Tindall was on the same wavelength as Princess Eugenie, and it's hard to go wrong with a solid electric blue dress. This one's from Escada. But for me, Autumn's streak of interesting royal wear continues. Even if I did later realize that this is totally a "replikate" version of the red print dress Kate wore in Canada last year. (Do you think Kate did a double take?)
Autumn's dress by Rumour London
Worth noting the Princess Royal was apparently accommodating the heat as well on Day 1, choosing just a dress instead of her usual dress + coat uniform. She got hug and a kiss from her daughter, like everyone else did. Zara seems a snuggly delight.

Worst in...Really, Again?
Princess Michael of Kent
Kate's the same from year to year and then there's this, which is what Princess Michael also wore on Saturday for Trooping the Colour. I suppose I'd rather have an Ascot strategy than an entire 2017 strategy, if a choice needs to be made. (Prince and Princess Michael's kids were there too; they're in this picture-heavy piece at the Daily Mail, if you're so inclined.)

Best in Hats, Day 1 Runner Up
Princess Haya
Dubai Media Office
As promised, Princess Haya is here to up our couture level for the year. This hat is FABULOUS. It would be even more fabulous, though, if separated from its twin dress, methinks. Too much of a good thing. Haya does rack up some bonus points for teaching her mini me the right way to do Ascot; the young lady with the jaunty hat and pattern combo is Sheikha Al Jalila, Haya and Sheikh Mohammed's daughter, making her Ascot debut.

Best in Hats, Day 1 Grand Prize
The Countess of Wessex
Whimsy! Infinitely amusing tanning possibilities! I'm divided on Sophie's green Emilia Wickstead dress, but a fun hat that hasn't lost its mind is the perfect recipe for a royal topper at Ascot. It is from Jane Taylor, Sophie's favorite milliner.

Bonus Award for Best Recovery
The Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex
A post shared by The Telegraph (@telegraph) on
The Wessexes and the Cambridges paired up for the carriage procession into the Ascot ring, and Sophie nearly ended up falling into Kate's lap while getting situated. Carriages, man. Treacherous vehicles.

Who wins your best dressed titles for Ascot Day 1?

We shall return to Ascot later for more fashions; you can always catch up with Her Maj over at the Vault each day as it happens.

20 June 2017

Royal Trip of the Day: Mary and Frederik Host Naruhito

Crown Princess Mary had a run of engagements last week. This was because Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan was in town. And also Crown Prince Frederik was there. But anyway, Mary:

Crown Prince Naruhito arrived for his solo visit to Denmark to mark 150 years of Danish-Japanese diplomatic relations.
To hat or not to hat? That was the question. Mary's greeted colleagues in situations like this previously without a hat. Japan, however, is a more formal monarchy. Or maybe this visit is a touch more formal or maybe she just wanted to get in at least one hat, I don't know. As the only royal lady present, it was up to her. So she split the difference and accented her Erdem dress with a little fascinator thingy at the back. I think it was the right call. And I say that as one who generally finds these wishy-washy non-hat things annoying as can be.

The trio attended a concert on Friday.
The visit started out a little Kate-esque, honestly; first Erdem, then Alexander McQueen. This one brings echoes of that Barbara Casasola dress from Kate's closet, just to drive the point home. Countdown to when Kate will take this one on, anyone? Or at least one of the York sisters, right? If they do, I hope they do it Mary-style. This works.

Queen Margrethe also hosted a dinner for Crown Prince Naruhito.
Floral dresses, I'm good with. But somehow it's always a bit of a letdown when you figure out that it's a floral top and a matching floral skirt instead. I mean, right? Or is it just me? Don't ask me to explain this. I can't solve the world's mysteries. I just know that this visit hit a floral peak with that opening Erdem and should have left it at that.

Erdem dress, Alexander McQueen off the shoulder knit dress, Ganni floral top and smocked waist skirt (h/t to Heaven)

19 June 2017

Monday Tidbits for June 19: Uniforms, Both Nautical and Not

We did the Trooping the Colour thing over the weekend, and I'll be entering my Monday with Prince George's look of boredom firmly etched on my face. Let's see what we've got to distract us...

--There are few stories more compelling than that of the life of Countess Mountbatten of Burma, who passed away last week at the age of 93. One of the Duke of Edinburgh's first cousins and a more distant cousin of the Queen's, Patricia Knatchbull survived the IRA bombing that took the lives of her father and her son. We chatted a bit about her and her wedding last year, when we covered the Mountbatten Star Tiara. [New York Times]

--If Trooping the Colour didn't satisfy your need for Prince Harry in uniform, you'll be glad to know that he was very dashing indeed earlier in the week as he took the salute while attending Beating Retreat on Horse Guards Parade. [Telegraph]
Kensington Palace

--Royal Ascot is coming up this week and we will have coverage here as well as at the Jewel Vault. That means that we're about to see some of Princess Haya around here, so if you're not quite sure who she is, now's a great time to check out this interview with her. Get yourself familiarized before her couture show rolls into town. [Tatler]

--We've already seen several interesting brooch picks from QEII over at the Vault this month. She and Prince William had a touching joint engagement in London and - on the same day - she picked up a new garnet addition to her brooch collection. Then, over the weekend, she brought out one very rare diamond brooch (rare enough that I didn't even recognize it at first). My Ascot hopes are too high already.

--Do we think that the Duchess of Cambridge will ever run out of nautical-themed outfits for her many nautical-themed engagements? I appreciate that this one, at an event for the 1851 trust on Friday, isn't terribly literal. It's more classic than anything else. I like it a lot - but you rarely have to sell me on a cropped pant with a heel. [Zimbio]
1851 Trust

--And finally, while Kate was doing navy below and white up top, Morocco's Princess Lalla Salma flipped the script on that classic uniform. She sported a classic navy blazer with white trousers while she and King Mohammed VI hosted a visit from France's president and first lady. [Paris Match]

Coming up this week: A royal visit to Denmark and - as promised - Ascot galore...

Tidbits is your spot for topics we haven't covered on the blog. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

17 June 2017

Royal Fashion Awards: Trooping the Colour 2017 (Updated)

The Windsors are out in force today for Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade. Are you excited?!
Good! We've got fashions to review:

Best Dressed
The Queen, Obviously
ITN screencap
You should get the best dressed title on your official birthday anyway. In this case, Her Maj would get this one no matter what because I adore this icy blue outfit. More on that, plus her Brigade of Guards brooch, over at the Jewel Vault. (You will also note that the 96-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, as well as the 81-year-old Duke of Kent, chose to wear morning dress instead of their heavy uniforms and big bearskin hats this year. Makes sense.)

Best in Jewels
The Duchess of Cambridge
This Alexander McQueen is a little too sweetly pink for my tastes, and the waist looks less like a feature you'd emphasize and more like something you'd cover up with a belt. But! Never mind all that. Because HELLO, earrings...
Sgt Rupert Frere/MOD Crown copyright 2017
...oooh. On loan from the Queen, these Diamond Pendant Earrings are undeniably evening baubles. The fact that she wore them for a day engagement is, for this magpie, just the BEST THING. They make the whole outfit.

Best in Repeats
The Duchess of Cornwall
I do love this embellished collar jacket on Cams. Why? Well, because she once wore it with one of her most fascinating (and enormous) brooches. Instead of repeating that orange stone pin, she used her diamond Cosmos Clip Brooches and her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings. The coat really could have used a bigger brooch statement this time around.

Best in Contrast
Autumn Phillips
Speaking of pretty in pink, combining a magenta hat with a jade green dress is MUCH more my speed. Unexpected, and perfect. That's another well played royal appearance from Autumn, who joined the balcony this year with husband Peter and daughters Savannah and Isla.

Best in Florals
Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice
Why wouldn't you go with a light floral on a hot summer day, eh? I can find nothing to argue with in either of these choices. Even Beatrice's fondness for a boater hat - which can sometimes end up a little unintentionally comical - works here.

Who makes your Trooping 2017 best dressed list?


Update:

RAF/MOD Crown copyright 2017
Here's the whole famdamily up on the balcony! Nearly fifty family members, I'm seeing? You can click to enlarge the pic above. We'll zoom in...

RAF/MOD Crown copyright 2017
The Gloucesters held court on the left side, together with the Duchess of Kent, Princess Alexandra of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent with their whole beige and white coordinated family. Classic elegance from both Lady Gabriella Windsor (center, white hat) and her sister-in-law Sophie Winkleman (a.k.a. Lady Frederik Windsor, center, white hat with pink). Prince Edward's hanging out there too, attending solo this year.

RAF/MOD Crown copyright 2017
More Kents - Kents everywhere! - occupied the right side of the balcony. Julia Ogilvy (daughter-in-law of Princess Alexandra) is a standout in the center with her huge hat and a tan background floral dress that fits right in with what the Yorks brought to the party. Also of note: Lady Amelia Windsor (granddaughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and recently in the news as a Dolce & Gabbana model) is sporting a navy and white turban-thingy borrowed from her mother, the Countess of St. Andrews, who wore it to the Queen's birthday service last year.

16 June 2017

Royal Dresses of the Day: Swedish Royals at the Polar Music Prize

Red alert! Red alert! Crown Princess Victoria wore her hair DOWN!

The Swedish royal family attended the ceremony of the prestigious Polar Music Prize, awarded this year to Sting and Wayne Shorter.
She SORTA wore her hair DOWN! This is a rare and caps lock-worthy thing. Soak in the variety, because it could be years before you see it again. Victoria usually goes a little bit "edgy" for this music event, this year scooping up her leftover aluminum foil and fashioning herself a silver frock with modern jewelry to boot. It's a whole sculptural thing. And the softness of the half updo actually works as a sort of anchor to this space age craft. She's pulling it off.

The crinkles do take over without the bouquet, though. Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine came dressed as their own bouquets, pretty in pink flowers.

I'm getting a strong sense of déjà vu for Madeleine. Following up on her large floral skirt and blouse from the last Nobel Prize ceremony, I find myself wondering just how many of these combos a single closet could need? Will we ever see the pieces split up and styled differently? These are the questions. (Bonus Princess Christina and Tord Magnuson sighting behind Madeleine and Carl Philip! She's been laying low for a while after having a stem cell transplant to fight cancer, so it's fabulous to see her out and about.)

15 June 2017

Tiara Thursday: Princess Ashraf's Ruby Tiara

Emeralds are by far the most represented colored stone in the abundant royal jewel collection once used by Iran's former monarchy. But when they did rubies, they did them well.

Princess Ashraf's Ruby Tiara
Pyramids of smaller rubies support clusters of large rubies surrounded by diamonds in this tiara, which is also accented with marquise and round diamonds and topped by a graduated series of pear-shaped diamonds. The ruby diadem was worn by Princess Ashraf ol-Molouk Pahlavi (1919-2016).

Princess Ashraf
Wikimedia Commons
Princess Ashraf was the twin sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. Princess Ashraf wore the tiara to one of the gala events celebrating the coronation of the Shah and the  Shahbanou (Empress Farah) in 1967. This was a prosperous time for the Iranian jewel collection; several parures were commissioned around this time from Van Cleef & Arpels for use by family members and the Empress at the coronation. (Princess Ashraf wore an emerald tiara to the coronation itself.)

I've always found this tiara to be among the ruby-iest of tiaras, if you know what I mean. Whereas many ruby tiaras are mainly diamonds with just a sprinkling of red stones, this one has a large number of rubies and showcases them well. There are some large and valuable stones here, yet the design has a lightness to it. It wears its carat weight well. Princess Ashraf's Ruby Tiara made a strong showing when you voted for your ultimate ruby tiara, and I suspect it would have a place on the favorites list of many a ruby fan.

Princess Ashraf wearing the ruby tiara
via
The drawback here is that there isn't a lot of evidence of the tiara in use. And there is not likely to be any in the future, either, because the tiara belongs to the state. As part of the crown jewels, it (and many other tiaras) remained behind when the Iranian monarchy was abolished and the imperial family fled the country in 1979. These jewels are still with the state and are housed in the National Treasury of Iran in the Central Bank in Tehran. It's a good one to spark the imagination, though...

So: A place on your favorites list for this one, or nah?

14 June 2017

Royal Dresses of the Day: Letizia and Mathilde's Seasonal Delights

I do love a dress perfectly suited to a specific season and purpose.

Queen Letizia attended the UNICEF Awards and, with King Felipe, received the President and First Lady of Peru at Zarzuela Palace yesterday.
If this isn't the most perfectly fresh and clean take on a summer dress, I don't know what is. Get this queen out of the palace and onto a yacht, pronto.

Carolina Herrera dress, shown in midi length. Letizia wisely opted for a shorter version.
CasaReal/Neiman Marcus
Better yet, get this dress to me and get me onto a yacht, pronto. There's crucial lounging and twirling to be done and this will be just right.


Queen Mathilde visited the Belgian province of Namur yesterday, supporting women in agriculture.
Royal Palace
So perfectly garden-y, no? Get this queen out to a field of flowers or a fresh green farm, pronto.


Hey! Mission complete. Carry on, world's fanciest farmhand.

13 June 2017

Celeb Style Twins of the Day: Kate's Dress on the Red Carpet

While the Duchess of Cambridge herself was pulling an appropriate suit out from the back of her closet for a visit to King's College Hospital yesterday, another one of her dresses got another appearance - on someone else, somewhere else.

Welcome back, Preen Finella dress! The dress so nice Kate bought it twice now has an electric blue version, modeled by actress Mandy Moore last week at an event promoting This is Us. Have we now seen all the main Finella styling choices? We've got this red carpet styling, with a strappy heel and a little more sass to the strap positioning...

The original royal styling in red from the Cambridge's September Canadian jaunt, with an heirloom brooch, matching red pumps, and an updo...

And the remixed royal styling from November's Place2Be Awards, in black with an added belt, diamond earrings, and a half updo. I have to give Kate credit, actually, for doing her best to style her twin dresses as differently as possible, which is something I didn't really notice until now.

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi dresses
In the race for the best Preen, either vibrant color leaps right over the black, which was hampered by the clunky belt clasp. Knowing Kate's fondness for blue, I'm surprised she didn't get to that one first. Maybe she can work an exchange. (Three of the same cocktail dress would truly be a new level of hilarity.) And maybe throw in some metallic strappy shoes while she's at it. Keep the diamonds, though. Obviously.

What's your preferred styling combo here?

12 June 2017

Monday Tidbits for June 12: Double Anniversaries, Double Greetings

A sweet second meeting and twice the anniversary fun to kick off your week:

--Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at sea aboard the royal yacht, and the royal house shared a photo of the golden couple on Instagram. Henrik also celebrated his 83rd birthday this weekend.
Kongehuset

--The Japanese government has enacted a one-time use abdication law so that Emperor Akihito can step down. The transition is not expected to occur until the end of 2018. [Japan Times]

--Also in Japan, Sayako Kuroda (formerly Princess Nori, daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko) and Noriko Senge (formerly Princess Noriko of Takamado) appeared with members of the imperial family at a memorial service recently. As discussion continues over the imperial family's current scarceness of heirs (due to their male-only succession law) and possible upcoming scarceness of working family members (due to the law requiring women to give up their imperial status when they marry commoners), it's a nice reminder that giving up imperial status to marry doesn't mean cutting family ties. [Imperial Family of Japan Blog]

--Here's Prince Harry making people smile in the rain in Sydney, giving a big hug to a 97-year-old Victoria Cross widow he previously met on his Australian trip in 2015. HARRY. [Telegraph]


--And finally, also celebrating a wedding anniversary on social media on June 10, Queen Rania marked 24 years with King Abdullah. (Check out her wedding dress story here!)


Coming up this week: A style twin moment on the red carpet, and more...

Tidbits is your spot for topics we haven't covered on the blog. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

09 June 2017

Royal Flashback of the Day: Princess Madeleine's Wedding Dress (Plus, National Day in Sweden)

I think it's time for a little flashback to a perfectly summery royal wedding gown, complete with new views courtesy of some lovely readers that visited Sweden's recent royal wedding exhibition! But first, we have business to attend to, and that business is national dress.

Photos: Erika Gerdemark, The Royal Court, Sweden
Sweden celebrated National Day on June 6, so the royal family did what they do and got fully into the Sweden spirit. First up: Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel released new photos of Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar, a little tradition of theirs that's full of awwws.

Second: The adults get in on the fun, with the ladies donning their national costumes to attend an outdoor concert. This is our designated annual time to wonder whyyyyy don't the men play along (not even wee Oscar, did you notice that?) and whyyyyy don't all the ladies wear the same old-timey shoes Silvia and Victoria wear? I think the best answer to both is probably something like this: *shrug*.

Feeling properly yellow and blue now? Good. Let us turn to one of the things that the Swedish royal family does best: fabulous summer royal weddings. (They also put on a great wedding exhibition, and we have today some photos of Madeleine's wedding gown courtesy of Mrs. Diamond and Janet, with many thanks!)

By Bengt Nyman - Flickr: IMG_2748, CC BY 2.0
Princess Madeleine married Chris O'Neill in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on June 8, 2013. At the time, I wrote that her gown was a perfect choice for a summer wedding, if not necessarily a memorable choice. I was wrong; it has stuck in the memory, but not really because of the gown itself.

Video: The walk down the aisle
It's that entrance. Accompanied by a choir of children singing a wedding march while her train and veil sweep effortlessly over the chapel floor? Please. In the past four years, it has zoomed up my list of best royal wedding entrances.

Courtesy of Janet
My love of that entrance casts the gown in a new light; a new light where the gown fits the fresh, floral summer theme of the wedding to a T. The wedding press release described her Valentino haute couture gown like so: “The wedding dress is made from pleated silk organza with appliquéd ivory-coloured Chantilly lace. The upper section of the bodice is lace with a deep-cut back. Narrow vertical pleats open up from the accentuated waist, above the wide skirt, which ends with a four-metre-long train. The veil is also silk organza, and is edged with tulle scatted with point d'esprit dots and small Chantilly lace orange blossom.”

Courtesy of Janet
It feels even more light and summer-appropriate in these glimpses of the dress on display, don't you think?

Courtesy of Mrs Diamond
Madeleine's dress was quickly lumped into the Just Another Valentino Dust Ruffle category for many of you at the time of the wedding. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't done the same, to a certain extent. The close ups prove that there's actually a lot more going on here.

Courtesy of Mrs Diamond
 You can see how the lace ended up floating along, and how delicious that lace really is.

Courtesy of Mrs Diamond
And the pleats! These really didn't stand out in the pictures or video from the big day.

Courtesy of Janet
Oh, we mustn't forget the shoes. The Oscar de la Renta shoes are ivory white organdy with woven point d'esprit dots, which is an unexpected bit of whimsy on a serious shoe. Goes with the whole thing, no?

Yes, I think I'm coming around on this one. Are you? Or were you already there?