2015 in Review: Royal fashion moments

2015 in Review: Royal fashion moments

In a continuation of my year end review, here’s a look back at some of my favorite fashion choices from some of the non-Kate ladies I’ve covered.

Though not everyone was sold on Crown Princess Victoria‘s purple By Malina gown from the Nobel Prize Awards ceremony in December, this one was my favorite from her all year. That red gown from last year still tops my all time favorite looks of hers, but this one is definitely top 3 or 4.

Princess Madeleine didn’t have a ton of opportunities for fashion moments this year as she wasn’t out much, but when she was out she looked pretty great (most of the time). Two of my favorites were her Fadi El Khoury gown she wore at the Nobel Prize Awards in December and her Valentino gown she wore to Prince Nicolas’ Christening in October.

While looking back over Princess Sofia‘s sartorial choices from the past year I noticed that she chose a lot of black and blue this year. I hope that stops. Anyway, I thought about choosing Sofia’s wedding dress as her best this year, but I went with this blue Zuhair Murad dress instead that then-Sofia Hellqvist wore to her pre-wedding dinner on June 12.

Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip arrive at pre-wedding dinner s

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wore several pretty outfits this year as well as lots of bling (with five different tiara events). But my favorite outfit from Camilla this year has to be this grey dress she paired with the Greville Boucheron Honeycomb Tiara and the pink topaz and diamond pearl choker with matching earrings she wore to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in November. So pretty. Also, bonus QEII.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex is one of the few ladies whose best look of 2015 is not a gown. Sophie wore this red Dior cocktail dress while giving a speech at the 100WHF Foundation’s Next Generation initiatives gala fundraiser in NYC in November.

Queen Maxima repeated two spectacular gowns she first wore for King Willem-Alexander’s inauguration celebrations in 2013. The first, worn in April to the Dutch State Visit to Denmark, is this blue, embroidered Jan Taminiau gown worn with the Dutch Sapphire and Diamond Tiara and sapphire jewelry. The second is this red embellished Jan Taminiau gown she wore to Prince Carl Philip’s wedding in June. Though I prefer the red dress, I couldn’t pick just one of these dresses as they are both beautiful.

Queen Letizia wore this gorgeous midnight blue tulle ballgown from Felipe Varela during the State Visit to Spain from Peru in July. Letizia tends to favor clean lines and less frilly clothes so seeing her in a giant ballgown was a pleasant surprise. And of course the tiara always looks good.

Queen Mathilde wore this pink, one-shoulder Armani Privé gown during a State Visit to Poland on October 13. She paired the gown with two different tiaras: the Wolfers Necklace Tiara (as a tiara) and the Laurel Wreath Tiara (as a necklace).

Crown Princess Mary‘s repeated Birgit Hallstein gown from Queen Margrethe’s 75th birthday gala dinner on April 15 is one of my favorites of the year. It’s very fairy tale to me, which I like.

Princess Charlene went with a red Valentino jumpsuit for the Monaco Red Cross Ball on July 25 – upping her fashion game at this event tremendously from the previous year. Charlene looks good and I have to give her props for bucking the traditional dress and going with a jumpsuit for a black tie gala.

The final few ladies are honorable mentions because they’re people I don’t usually cover. The first is Queen Margrethe in this red gown from her 75th birthday gala dinner on April 15. This dress is beautiful, even if the top is a bit busy.

The second honorable mention is Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie in this yellow Paule Ka dress at the Luxembourg National Day celebrations in June and it’s one of my favorite looks from her. It’s highly probable that my love of this dress is due solely to the fact that it is yellow, but whatever the reason, it’s my favorite 2015 look from her.

The third and final honorable mention goes to Princess Tatiana of Greece who wore this light blue Celia Kritharioti Haute Couture embroidered off-the-shoulder gown to Prince Carl Philip’s wedding in June. She and Max were my best dressed of that event. I never cover Tatiana, but I wanted to include this dress because I really like it.

In terms of who looked best out of everyone, I’d have to go with Max in that red Jan Taminiau gown from Prince Carl Philip’s wedding. Absolutely gorgeous and out of all the fashion all year long it’s the one I remembered the most.

What do you guys think? Do you agree or disagree with my choices? Are there any stand out looks I missed?

129 thoughts on “2015 in Review: Royal fashion moments

  1. Let’s see, my favorite dress would be the blue dress worn by Sofia to her pre-wedding dinner followed closely by that grey dress worn by Madde. For the overall look including tiara it would have to be Camilla, she looked the part with great dress and tiara, bet that thing is heavy to wear 😉

  2. Tatiana and both of Madeleine’s dresses are my favourites on your list. My favorite fashion moment (besides pretty much anything Max goes with) was Beatrice Borromeo’s wedding(s). 5 dresses, but the showstopper for me was the lace Armani Prive. A beautiful gown that didn’t wear her, but made her look beautiful but demure and bride like, as well.

    1. I second Beatrice’s lace Armani Privé.

      Also, the dress she wore when they arrived on the island in Italy and she had her hair down with flowers in it – she looked like a Pre-Raphaelite goddess!

      1. The gorgeous dress that Princess Beatrice wore pre-wedding going to her ancestor’s islands where the religious ceremony took place was Alberti Ferretti. I was wrong and thought it was Valentino. I think I may have liked that dress more than her civil ceremony Valentino. Thanks KMR for clearing that up and thanks for explaining all the bands!

  3. What a lovely way to spend a quiet few minutes with my dog and a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. I think I’m getting addicted to KMR. All the ladies look simply gorgeous. My two favourites if I had to pick would be Max in the blue (I’m a bit like KMR except for me it’s that shade of blue not yellow) but WOW will you look at the size of that tiara !!!!!! Second would be Leti because she has gone outside her comfort zone so successfully. SOOO excited about her state visit to HM.
    A question – perhaps ArtHistorian might know? Those sashes – why are they sometimes on the right shoulder sometimes on the left? Is there a protocol or is it just the way it fits best?

    1. The sashes are known as a “riband” and are part of the insignia of Orders (of merit, of chilvery, dynastic orders, etc.). A lot countries have Orders even if they don’t have a sovereign, and each Order has rules about who can award it, what for, and when.

      Often these Orders are several hundred years old: Order of the Garter est. 1348; Order of the Thistle est. 1687; Order of the Elephant est. 1693; Order of the Seraphim est. 1748; Order of the Netherlands Lion est. 1815.

      The riband associated with an Order is specific to that order and at this point does not change, but the colors have changed over time (the Order of the Garter riband used to be light blue). Which shoulder the riband sits on depends on the Order.

      Right shoulder to left hip:
      * Order of the Seraphim (Sweden)
      * Order of the Netherlands Lion (Netherlands)
      * Royal Victorian Order (Britain)
      * Order of Charles III (Spain)
      * Order of Leopold (Belgium)
      * Order of St. Olav (Norway)

      Left shoulder to right hip:
      * Order of the Garter (Britain)
      * Order of the Thistle (Britain)
      * Order of the Elephant (Denmark)
      * Order of the Sun (Peru)

      There are also rules about when to wear one’s Order and which Order one wears if one has multiple Orders. In countries where there are multiple Orders, like Britain, the Orders will be ranked – for example Order of the Garter is ranked higher than Order of the Thistle and Royal Victorian Order. When one is visiting a foreign country or a foreign sovereign/President is visiting one’s country, if one has an Order from that country it is appropriate for one to wear that country’s Order.

      1. Phew! A huge task to remember which goes where and that is the reason people like Charles have a valet as it’s his valet’s job to make sure the right orders wore at the right time and in the correct method.
        Thanks for the information KMR, it makes sense now.

        1. Those Orders where invented when royals had REAL power and were given out to nobles and other royals – people who were allies or favorites, or powerful people they wished to appease. Today they are purely symbolic but please get the facts straight – they originated in times before the notion of the constitutional monarchy where the royals have no political power.

          1. Thanks ArtHistorian and KMR for the detailed knowledge you both bring. I think for as long as keep our BRF we should keep these traditions. Do either of you know the background to the Order of the Elephant ? It seems a somewhat unusual animal to chose particularly so far back in time.

          2. Wrong way round. The royals still have power but the orders have always been symbolic. They’re just a made-up thing; like their titles as well as the concept of royalty itself!

          3. R

            The concept of royalty has a long history and was based on real politic, military and financial power. They no longer have political and military power – and most constitutional monarchies does not allow royals political power and opinions!

            Of course orders and such are symbolic – so are many other commendations but that doesn’t mean that they have no value. They have what value society ascribes to them. Democracy is also an invention, based on a particular ideology. Social structures as well as political ideologies are per definition human inventions based on various levels of power, which are dependant on the access to and control of the means of production. Religion is also an invention – often used for social control. Look at the Ten Commenadments: They are clearly formulated as a means for social control!

            Just because something is a human invention doesn’t mean that it has no value and no real influence.

          4. Birdy,

            Regarding the Order og the Elephant:

            The Order was instituted by King Christian II as a part of a catholic society (The Society of the Mother of God) in the mid 15th century. The Order was worn on a chain that included an elephant wearing a tower.

            The Reformation in the 1530s spelled the end of the Catholic society and the Order was only re-invested by Frederik II in 1580 with the symbol of the elephant on a golden medallion as a replacement for the image of the Virgin Mother. During the time of Christian IV in the 1600s, the order was worn on a blue band around the neck. It was during the time of his son Frederik III that a figure of the white elephant in enamelled gold was used as the emblem for the Order.

            However, there is no documentation on why it was an elephant that was used as a symbol. However, it may very well have something to do with the interest in exotic animals that flourished in the Renaissance. Fx the German artist Albrect Dürer drew a rhinoceros without ever seeing one, there was an interest in having menageries with exotic animals like lions, etc.

            The Statutes of the Order was last revised in 1693 though the demand that bearer is a Lutheran was abandoned in 1808. These statutes govern how the Order is worn, and when it is to be worn with a chain or a sash – the colour of the sash, how the jewelled star ornament is worn, etc.

          5. Sorry, ArtHistorian, I don’t agree religion is an invention. The Bible is not made up nor man-made–but from God. Sure, “religion” per se could be used as a form of social control, but having a real relationship with God which is what Christianity is about and the gospel is far from a mode of social control. I don’t want to get into this as KMR doesn’t want us too. I really appreciate all the history you provide with us on this site (you are truly an encyclopedia), but I really don’t agree with this as my faith is personal and important to me.

          6. I will also clarify that religion can very much be a form of social control, but a personal faith is far from that (as that is freely chosen). That is what I meant.

          7. I would really appreciate it if we left religion at the door. Religion and politics are two things that people have fought literal wars over, and those topics often escalate when people talk about them. For that reason I think both politics and religion are two topics that should be avoided on this blog.

            How royals relate to religion and politics from a historical standpoint is acceptable – ie. the history of royal’s political power v their current political power, or Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic church, or who gets to wear white to visit the Pope – but any more than that is best avoided.

            Thank you.

          8. Runner,

            You may disagree but it is well documented that the Bible as we know it was put together after the Concil of Nicea where Christianity was adopted as a State Religion for the Roman Empire an organized and a centralized Christian Church was organized.

            Until then Christianity comprised a number of disparate and very heterogeneous sects, many with different dogmas. Many with their own gospels as well. The Nag Hammadi Scrolls that were discovered in later centuries. There are also the Gnostic Gospels, like the Gospel of Thomas. Diagreements about Christian dogma is the reason why there are so many splinter churches – the earliest are the Monophysitic Copts in Norther Africa and the Nestorians in the Middle East. Then there was the split between the Orthodox and the Catholic Church and finally the split between the Catholic and the Protestant Church (which also compresis several different branches). Each one of these different braches of Christianity have serious differences between various kinds of dogma yet each one claims to preach the One Truth – throughout history, blood has been shed and people have been tortured. I cannot accept such a simplistic logic.

            Furthermore, the four canonical Gospels in the Bible are not dated very differently – one at least a century efter the death of Jesus. The Bibel was put together by men and humankind is fallible.

            I believe in the ethics that Jesus preaches but I cannot accept the supernatural aspects. Many aspects of Christianity – especially elements of the story of Christ and the symbology of the Virgin Mary is inherited from a common myth complex from the Mediterreanen area. The sacrificed god on the tree (or cross), who is resurrected in an ancient myth-complex that can be traced back to the Neolitich Age. Christianity was formed in an area with many different cultural influences and in a period of syncretism, where different cultures and religions borrowed elements from each other. These things are documented through stringent and methodologically sound scholarly work. Whether you want to accept them is up to you. Belief isn’t dependant on facts.

            Anthropologically speaking, religion has been a fundamental aspect of every society – and a key aspect of religion is social control, i.e. a set of social rule and/or a morality that makes it possible for people to co-exist in an ordered society. The scholar Feuerbach has written some very interesting things – that humankind has a tendency to imagine their deities in their own image. Logically speaking, if there is a God, i.e. a sentient entity that has created the Universe, then it is unknowable in a very fundamental manner – the Universe is infinite so why should such an entity be interested in the inner minds of individual humans. We image ourselves the centre of the Universe – even though science has demonstrated that we are not. mainly because out perspective is very limited both in space and time.

          9. ArtHistorian,

            Your historical facts are solid, and I would love to chat about the anthropological aspects of religion because it’s a topic that fascinates me, but I really don’t want to start our own war on here so I think it would be best if we all left this conversation as is. Talking about religion is a slippery slop because of the very strong opinions involved and even when one tries to stick to the historical and anthropological aspects often times personal opinion slips in, which is the start of things getting heated. It’s a fascinating subject, but I just don’t want things to get too heated, you know.

          10. Thank you, KMR for stepping in. I simply don’t agree with you, ArtHistorian. Knowledge is knowledge and that’s what you base your viewpoints on ArtHistorian. Faith is based upon the unseen; God is way beyond what the brain can comprehend (and I have had many moving experiences with God that are very important to me that you can’t and won’t take away from me nor would you be able to explain with knowledge). I will leave it at that.

            And I know all the arguments that you speak of, studied them, and they don’t hold weight with me because I can debunk each one (i.e. The Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas is a bunch of bunk). Best to listen to KMR. You would never convince anyway. There are different dogmas for different churches because man is involved in religion; no church is perfect. I don’t buy the doctrine of Mary–though I respect her since she was Christ’s mother–because I am not Catholic.

          11. I know you have a lot of knowledge in your head which is great, ArtHistorian. It also can come off as deeply offensive when you continue to argue your points after KMR already told you twice to stop arguing your points on a very sensitive topic. We get it; you know everything.

          12. I am sorry about the last sentence insinuating that I think you are a know-at-all. That was very wrong of me, and I am sorry. I hope you do forgive me. I was just deeply offended, that’s all, but that doesn’t excuse my remarks. Sorry again.

        2. Even countries without monarchies (and who never had monarchies) often times have some sort of honors/merit system to honor people who serve the country is some way. Fluff, not necessarily but if you feel that way then sure, but it’s not just royals who give it to each other.

          1. Oh yes, I totally agree with merit-based rewards especially with those associated with the military–as they give up their lives for their country..

          2. The United States has the Legion of Merit, which is a military decoration but also given to heads of state and foreign nationals. But titles of nobility and acceptance of such from foreign governments is prohibited by Article I, Section IX of the Constitution without the consent of Congress. Which is why Americans such as George Mitchell and Bill Gates are unable to be “Sir George” or “Sir Bill.”

          3. I love the France has an order of merit exclusively reserved for cultural and artistic achievements. It really shows how much the arts are appreciated and officially recognized in France, something I would love to have in my own country, which sadly has a strong tradition of anti-intellectualism as well as a deprecation of the arts-

          1. G just enjoy their knowledge and appreciate that they take so much time. We are all experts on something – I could tell you a lot about English sports but it’s probably not relevant.!! I just am loving learning so much stuff that I didn’t even know I didn’t know.

          2. I’m sorry ArtHistorian and Birdy, sometimes the humor is all in my own head and I don’t write to have it come across.

            I was merely complimenting ArtHistorian and KMR on their impressive knowledge. I should have thrown in a LOL. You two cannot be mind readers!

  4. I would say my favorite dress of the year would be Beatrice Borromeo’s civil ceremony Valentino gown and her pre-wedding dinner Valentino (it was Bohemian and looked so gorgeous on her with her hair down!). A close second would be Max’s red dress; now that was absolutely gorgeous. And that tiara from the blue dress and those jewels–wow! I think my third choice would be CP Mary’s gown (gorgeous) but honorable mentions for me include Princess Tatiana’s gown and Maddie’s Valentino christening dress (I loved that she matched the dress with the priest vestments). And all the rest you mentioned were so beautiful too. Too many too choose from and then the jewels–oh my!

    1. Even though I was not a total fan of Queen Mathilde’s dress, I think she is such a gorgeous woman (she looks like Princess Grace; I know I am repeating myself and she is Polish so I am partial:-))

        1. Thanks Liz. For most people having to choose one wedding dress is hard enough – how long must it have taken to choose all of these ones?

          1. I know! But really, what a dream situation: unlimited budget and resources, plus Beatrice already being a beautiful woman who lucked out with genetics.

            I think also because they aren’t high level royals, she had more freedom to do what she wanted and really had fun with it.

          2. The Borromeo family was incredibly powerful in the Renaissance. The family produced several cardinals, one of whom was canonazied as a saint. Another one was the Vice King of Naples.

          3. @ArtHistorian
            I grew up in a very Catholic family, so I knew all about St. Charles Borromeo. When I first started paying attention to modern European royalty and heard of Beatrice, I immediately thought of that family – so it IS the same one!

    2. The gorgeous dress that Princess Beatrice wore pre-wedding going to her ancestor’s islands where the religious ceremony took place was Alberti Ferretti. I was wrong and thought it was Valentino. I think I may have liked that dress more than her civil ceremony Valentino. Thanks KMR for clearing that up and thanks for explaining all the bands!

    3. My favorite are Maxima’s red Jan Taminau gown – though the blue one is lovely to. Though I not usually a fan of lace overlay on dresses, in this instance the embroidered lace is just exquisite. She looks really great in Taminau and I think she ought to ditch the horrible Natan brand and wear more Taminau. Though he is making couture and his clothes are more expensive.

      Maxima sometimes makes horrible sartorial choice but when she gets it right: wow. She’s also the reigning master of the royal hat game. No one can wear an elegant big hat like her. Whereas Mary masters the pillbox. The less said about the British fascination with saucer hats the better – they just suck in the hat game.

      My second favorite is Mary’s gown, which she debuted atKing Willem-Alexander’s Investiture. Interestingly, Max chose to repeat her Investiture outfit and tiara (sans cape) at the Danish State Visit.

      Sadly, I’m not a fan of Letizia’s dress – it just swamps her petite frame.

      Sophie’s red cocktail dress is just ab fab! Though you can’t go wrong with Dior – Raf Simmons really has taken the brand in a more minimalist yet elegant direction after Galliano’s more baroque and theatrical approach. Sadly, Simmons has left Dior so it will be exciting to see who is gown to take over the helm.

      Props to Charlene for the daring jumpsuit. I’m not a fan of jumpsuits but a few ladies have successfully pulled them off – like Charlene here and Mary in one with a stark graphic pattern.

      I find both Madeline’s and Sofia’s gowns too generic. Zuhair Murad sometimes makes some gorgous gowns but those are the more daring and avant-garde ones, which aren’t really suitable for royal outings.

      Victoria looks lovely. I love the colour and I think that the style is flattering for someone in this stage of pregnancy.

      The peak of Margrethe’s sartorial flamboyance is sadly behind her but she is still my favorite royal. Tonight, I’ll start my New Year’s Eve with her annual speech, which is propabaly the most watched program in Denmark. It has become a very strong tradition, even though a direct speech from the monarch to the people only dates to the Occupation in the 1940s. Her speeches are always good and with some real meat in them, some years more than others.

    1. I don’t always love what she wears yet I always thinks she gets away with the odd mishap because she just has the magic. I think she is is a stunning lady outside and I believe inside too ( clearly I don’t actually know her!) and she pushes boundaries. I think like HM she realises that she needs to be seen and that means standing out from the crowd. I loved the painted dress she wore for the state opening of parliament – stunning’art’ as fashion. I just wish Kate would ask her for advice …..won’t hold my breath though.

  5. I also really loved Queen Leti’s Varela gown – I really gasped when I first saw it, such a Disney princess vibe haha. In the same league as Victoria’s red one for the Nobel’s last year.
    Here are two more pics of the Varela to highlight the petticoat and Leti’s nice tiara hair:

    http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/2245/9504/original.jpg

    http://desvistiendo-a-letizia.blogs.diezminutos.es/files/2015/07/letizia043.jpg

    I’m having a hard time choosing between Sophie in red and Madde’s outfit for the christening… their whole looks, from top to bottom, just work so beautifully!

    1. As I said earlier I love the fact that Leti took a risk went outside her comfort zone and carried it off so well. Compare this to Kate and that hideous red table cloth ruffled dress she wore – out of her comfort zone and it failed.

      1. Yes, I was quite let down by DoC red dress for the banquet… it just seemed very amateurish and unfinished. Hopefully, better choices will be made in her future!

    2. I love the Disney Princess vibe of Leti’s gown. It’s so unusual for her but I love the dramatics of it.

    3. I must be the only one who dislikes Leti’s gown. I think it is an exceptionally ugly and unflattering one. The sleevless bodice is all wrong for a gown with such a big skirt because it throws off the overall balance of the piece. Generally, I prefer gowns with big skirts to be either strapless or with 2/4 sleeves and a square or boat neckline. Another thing about Leti’s gown is the heavy, triangular skirt. Sorry, it is just ugly though it does channel the 16th century Spanish farthingale, which may be what the designer went for but it isn’t pretty. It looks like it is supported by some sort of crinoline but the skirt itself lack structure and the fabric looks like it is too light for such a skirt, which really needs a heavier fabric for a more structured look.

      I’m not a big fan of the huge, Disney-style skirts but one designer who does this style incredibly well is Zac Posen. He does big, structure and bell-shaped skirts like no other (as well as amazing fish-tail gowns – another style I only like from him)

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/537195061780944271/

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/212935888605182796/

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/418060777887543715/

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/205547170470886289/

      The skirt, not the bodice:
      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/179229260145331650/

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/435652963926897963/

      1. I don’t like Zac Posen very much.

        I’m surprised at your criticism of the dress because I don’t see any of what you do! Different strokes for different folks!

        The dress looks almost exactly like a ball gown from the Civil War era of the US; I grew up in the American South, so this fits what I imagine a princess wearing to a ball and I think that’s why it satisfied me haha

        I do agree that it kinda swamps her, she has such a tiny frame… but I think the sash is too big, also, and emphasizes the fact that she looks kinda like she’s swimming in fabric.

        1. I do think that many Americans have an idea of royal fashion that is confined to the mid 19th century Victorian period (perhaps inspired by Disney and classic Hollywood cinema?). Large crinolines and corsets.

          However, Royal fashion has changed dramatically over the centuries and it was often the royals who set the fashion – both men and women as men’s fashion only became very severe and subdued in the late 19th century.

          There has been some really outrageous fashions – seen with our modern eyes. High medieval women plucking their hairline for high foreheads, wearing huge headpices – vimples and hennins. Men wearing high heels, silks, wigs, beauty patches and lots of bling in the 17th and 18th centuries – or the enormous cod pieces and coats with extremely wide shoulders that Henry VIII made popular. The early 19th century, the Regency Period, also saw men wearing extremely tight knee breeches and tight tail coats.
          There’s also the extremely wide dresses with panniers made popular by Marie Antoinette, among others – as well as the towering hair-dos that made it necessary for ladies to sleep sitting up.

          I think the closest thing Leti’s gown looks like historical royal fashion is the 16th century Spanish farthingale, which was a heavy triangular skirt worn above a rather stiff crinoline made of willow sticks. It was a popular style at the Tudor court during Henry VIII. Probably brought with Katharine of Aragon. During the late period of Elizabeth I’s reign the farthgale became even more extreme as it evolved into the so-called cartwheel farthingale.

          1. Yes I can see the Tudor theme but also maybe Victorian? In the 19th century wealthy women wore those big hoops under their skirts. Overall I think the context the designer was looking for was historical rather than Disney! I know the skirt is huge but I think she carries it off because the bodice is so slim fitting and glittery.

      2. I don’t like Letizia’s gown either. I want to like it in theory, but I just can’t warm up to it. But I’m also about Letizia’s size, and I steer away from clothes that are more likely to wear me, since I end up just looking like a little girl playing dress-up.

      3. When it comes to go big or go home ballgowns, I long for the heyday of Charles James, Dior, etc.

        https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/b1/2d/0a/b12d0acfcc4297eedf413af69ffdbace.jpg

        https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/4b/52/4e/4b524e748e963636ba8e583ae24a0f3b.jpg

        https://media.colettehq.com/2010/11/James-AZ-peta1951l-500×507.jpg

        http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/images/h2/h2_C.I.53.40.5a-e.jpg

        Letizia has several cocktail dresses that are tight bodice, full skirt. Going full-length on that style can swamp someone so little.

        1. What stunning gowns! We would never see Kate in anything like that because it would ruin her ‘normal’ image. That is why I like to see Max and some of the other royal ladies go all out.

          Just a suggestion for Kate in 2016: Instead of spending all of Charles” money on 10 new coats, buy one stunning gown worthy of being preserved.

          1. I completely agree with you G, these gowns are incredible works of art, not merely dresses to be worn. How I wish celebrities would return to the days of style and glamour and quit competing to see who can reveal the most skin.

        2. My grandmother, who married in the early ’50s, wore a full skirt gown, but as she was a teeny-tiny lady (around 5 ft tall, or just under) she opted for tea length. It was a great choice for someone her size, and it didn’t hurt that, as she was a skilled seamstress, she made it herself. The fit was perfect. As for Letizia, I also prefer the shorter length on her with a full skirt.

          And I do love seeing Charles James gowns. So beautiful.

      1. Oh, yes, definitely a wedding gown! Also loved the gown Beatrice word when she married her Monaco Royal. Of course, she had several dresses, didn’t she? I am referring to the exquisite outdoor wedding. The gown had such amazing beaded detailing. Oh, and the Grecian gown she wore at night. Stunning!

  6. Can I please add an honorable mention to Princess Tomohito of Mikasa from Japan? She wore a gorgeous mint green gown to CP and Sofia’s wedding in June and I (personally) think she looked marvelous! The intricate design on the front, the cape-like back flowing in the wind, and (her best accessory) her smile was bright, beautiful and friendly, IMO. Of course, I can’t forget about the bling! The petite tiara, pearl earrings and and delicate necklace looked wonderful on her. I’ve heard she’s quite friendly with Sophie Wessex and she looks to be a blast to hang out with at fun events (like Max!).

    Here is a link to the dress. Let me know if I linked it wrong.

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/06/14/05/2997589F00000578-3122810-Princess_Hisako_Takamado_of_Japan-a-34_1434256867164.jpg

    1. Stunning but I wish she had worn a traditional kimono. It is such a beautiful national dress and I think would have been appropriate here.

    2. She does look gorgeous! Happy New year to all and let’s be kind to our planet Earth I and it’s creatures in 2016 and beyond.

  7. My favorite “royal look ” goes in fallowing order to Quine Maxima in cobalt dress, princess Tatiana of Greece and Camila Dachess of Cornwall. My judgment is based totally on the visual appeal. I also love Beatrice Borromeo weeding gown for church ceremony by Armani Prive.

    1. Beatrice looked breathtaking in a few of those gowns. Oh, to be young, beautiful and have access to those gowns. Sigh! I am not jealous of Kate. But I did covet a few of Beatrice’s gowns.

        1. Absolutely! She could not have been a more beautiful bride. I wished I looked like that on my wedding day. Beatrice was a 10 and I was a 5.

        2. Beatrice looks beautiful but I am careful to judge the book by its cover. I didn’t like any of Charlene of Monaco pictures, but after I hear her speaking and saw her vigil interaction with the children, my perception of her changed dramatically.

  8. Here are my five top picks:

    Crown Princess Mary – that Birgit Hallstein gown is truly the stuff of fairy tales, the bodice is stunning and the overall look sublime.

    Duchess Camilla – I am pretty partial to dark grey, it’s my favorite color and the main component in my wardrobe, but I love how she’s teamed it with that stunning pink topaz. Also Cam can rock the large tiaras like no one else!

    Queen Letiza – what can I say about Leti? She is my fashion (and posture) queen, seriously this woman could wear a flour sack and look great! This gown is such a departure from her normal mode of dress, as KMR said very Disney Princess, but as usual she owned this look!!

    Queen Maxima – this raspberry red Jan Taminiau dress is simply stunning on her and the tiara just takes this outfit over the top!! Only Max can do sexy at a wedding without looking vulgar!

    Countess Sophie – this red Dior is so elegant, simple but stunning and I think Sophie should wear it all the time. Plus how nice for the 100 Women in Hedge Funds to have a royal guest that didn’t dress as though she was going to a luau, this dress hopefully, will wipe away the memory of that horrible Erdem dress that the DoC wore just prior to Sophie’s visit.

    It was so tough picking my 5 favorites, all these women looked gorgeous!! And of course if they were to offer any of these dresses to me I would gladly accept any of them (along with the tiara of course).

    Thanks KMR for such a fun Royal Fashion Review!!! You really do spoil us, keep it up!!

    1. “a royal guest that didn’t dress as though she was going to a luau”

      BAHAHAHA.

      I wish I could borrow some of these dresses, with tiaras, and dress up like a princess and twirl around.

  9. Loved your choices KMR. The one thing which stuck out for me, was Stephanie’s white hat. It threw off the look, despite her looking pretty great in that dress.

  10. My favorite looks were Madeleine in Valentino at the christening, Sophie in the red dress, and Maxima in both gowns. All of these ladies in these outfits were gorgeous! A++

    And Maxima’s bling! WOW.

    I like Mary’s persona in her gown; she is so confident and beautiful. But the dress itself didn’t wow me. However, her stride, poise, and posture did.

    I like Charlene’s red pantsuit, and she looks so good in red. But so much red was overwhelming to me, so I cannot rate it excellent.

    The rest of the ladies were lovely in beautiful clothes, but they are runners up to the above as I see it.

    Thanks for a fun roundup, KMR!

    1. I so agree here BamaLynn, posture can really make or break a look!! I also agree that Charlene’s red jumpsuit was just too much unbroken red and it really overwhelmed. I think a long drop necklace, a jeweled belt, just something to break up all that red would have turned this outfit into a star!

  11. My faves:

    1. Crown Princess Mary. Not only is the gown beautiful, but she radiates. There’s something about Mary (pardon the pun) that glows.

    2. Princess Sofia. A beautiful shade of blue and a curvaceous figure that fills out the gown perfectly.

    3. Sophie. Dress is sexy but totally wearable.

    4. Beatrice. Oozes class no matter what she wears. Understated classic elegance.

  12. Max all day every day. I love all the looks with the exception of HGD Stephanie. Her accessories were atrocious. And that hat looked like something from “Mama’s Family”.

    Thank you, KMR, for the wonderful post filled with glamour and tiaras and bling.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Hahaha!!! “that hat looked like something from “Mama’s Family” haha, you slay me Rhiannon! Now I can’t get the image of her in that hat with some fruit in it out of my head!!

      Happy New Year to you!!! I think 2016 will be the year of Harry and Rhiannon, the most incredible and stylish royal couple of the decade!!

  13. I know some of our readers (like Cathy in New Zealand) have already welcomed in 2016 but Happy New Year to you all, esp. you KMR, the founder of our blogging adventure. 🙂

    1. Hi Seth!
      Happy New Year to you too! It was a damp and stormy New Year Eve here, in fact it’s still blowing, and raining on and off. I live on a ridge over looking the Auckland harbour so we do catch the storms.
      I hope you had a good New Year and best wishes to you and your family for 2016! And to KMR and the other regulars- have a happy and safe 2016!

  14. I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Charles and Camilla for taking time out of their holiday to visit residents affected by the floods in Ballater. Too bad the BRF’s saviors and most “modern” royal couple couldn’t be bothered

    1. This! And Charles went to visit Cumbria and other places last week that had dealt with flooding and donated money. Nice to see. No matter his flaws I think he is a man who truly cares about people and their problems and has a social conscience. Puts his money where his mouth is, literally.

  15. How can Kate be on par with the style & elegance of these royal ladies? Whoever chose her as a style icon must be blindly loyal to her. Well done KMR for selecting these royal beauties as your favourites. They’re mind too!!!

    1. I would like to amend my answer. I would put Mary in the blue gown at the BAMBI awards as number 2. That is one of my favourite gowns of all time!

  16. Princess Tatiana’s gown is by far my fave and the yellow dress worn by the Hereditary Grand Duchess is a close second. I am sorry, but that Disney World gown that Leti wore screams Magic Kingdom to me. Just did not like it at all. Very Cinderella, which I assume is quintessential Princess, but I just did not like it.

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