Friday, June 29, 2012

Royal Ascot: Day 5

It's over! Royal Hat Christmas is all wrapped up, but not without a final cheeky flourish from QE.

Best in Spring

What an amazing colourful ending by the Queen- loved the colour combo and the multi-coloured hat. The Flame Lily Brooch did look a bit minuscule though. And as Black Caviar's win was a HUGE deal here in Australia, we were lucky enough to have this jovial outfit all over the front page of the paper!

She did channel her inner horse whisperer, which was so touching.

The Curtseying Ladies

Ooh, and Savannah wins this by an INCH. Great to see both ladies in a proper curtsey though.

Nice, bold colour from Bea, but the studded ruffles down her backside? Not a fan. And here's the guys. Great to see Prince Philip, as always, and Prince Michael looking Tsar-y as usual.

Pictures: The Daily Mail/Getty Images/AP

Royal Ascot: Day 4

Finally, finally, QE has a royal winner! Her horse Estimate, decked out in the Queen's racing colours won the Queen's Vase. Ironically, Prince Philip presents the trophy for this race, and so it was a sweet moment when QE received it from her husband, which resulted in me melting.

And to my dismay, that's where her winning streak stops. Unfortunately, she pulled out one of my most hated outfits- the wonky cake. The coat is nice, but the hat is oh so out of proportion the way the brim curves down and bulges, the way the actual top curves in. And THOSE BALLS! or "hat pins." Ugh. 

Hold on to your hats! Princess Michael is in the house! At first glance, it seems hat? But oh no, oh no, were we wrong, just do a little spin Marie Christine, and there we go- a petite pillbox!

I'll let you guys figure out the rest...

Pictures: The Daily Mail/Reuters/Zimbio/Richard Gillard

Monday, June 25, 2012

Royal Ascot: Day 3

It's Ladies Days at Royal Ascot, and *most* of the *royals* in attendance looked lovely.

Feathery Splendour

Ahh, trust Liz to come back roaring! The feathery hat wins it for me, and reminds me a lot of her mother's one at the wedding of Charles and Diana.

Okay, maybe not on the same feathery scale, but still..

Best New Royal Friendship!

Great to see Phil and Carole Middleton having fun and sharing a few laughs. Carole wore an outfit strikingly similar to the one her daughter wore to the river pageant.

The Ladies

Well it IS Ladies' Day, and they certainly showed up in their numbers. Bea in a so-so dress. Very detailed, but a bit all over the place. Eug played it so so very safe, and bland as well. Anne in my fav outfit of hers, even if it was just a repeat. I adore the lovely spring-like print- the purple and green complement each other so amazingly. The Countess of Wessex was very meh for me, but the hat managed to get her over the line.

And thank GOD for Princess Michael, or else I might have fallen asleep after Eug and Sophie! Got to love her for her signature flair!

And here's an adorable photo chucked in, as the ladies curtsey for the Queen-

Pictures: Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor/Daily Mail/James Whatling

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Programming: Camp

Sadly, due to a camp I will have to post the rest of Royal Ascot when I return on Friday. My apologies!!

Royal Ascot: Day 2

So as Royal Ascot rolls on in a penta-festival of joy, we look at who won....and failed on day two of the races. Not many royals today, by the way.


This ticks me off. She was so close, so close! The "strawberry ice-cream colour is wonderful, the Centenary Rose Brooch is so pretty, the basic form of her outfit is fabulous, but the string!!! Why on earth?

That's right- be VERY scared Princess Alexandra.

The Great Redeemers 

Yes, yes I know that Sophie should have chosen a better fit, the colour of her outfit and that spectacular hat really bring her ensemble back up. In the dramatic hat tally, Countess of Wessex: 1, Duchess of Gloucester: 1. Sophie's skirt is echoed in Princess Anne's lovely outfit, with a beautiful flowing chiffon dress! And the print on her jacket is mesmerising. 

Best Carriage Rider-

I had to feed off scraps for the photos, but Princess Alexandra looked very spring-like in an outfit and hat inundated with floral decorations. Good to see her with her twice-related cousin as well! And will SOMEONE from the Royal Mews please give her a State Landau? 

Pictures: Daily Mail/Justin Goff

Royal Ascot: Day 1

Now this is not a royal fashion blog, but, apart from the horses, Royal Ascot is ALL about looks, so let's see who won the style stakes on day one.

Tied for First- QEII and Princess Anne

Oh gosh, doesn't she looks happy she came first? Thank god she didn't pull out one of her 80's repeats! The Princess Royal looked absolutely radiant in that marvellous outfit, complete with such a lovely hat- adore the colour!

Loved, loved LOVED The Queen's ensemble! What a lovely shade of cornflower blue, and the pattern of her hat is absolutely wonderful. The contrasts between her clothes and the grass just makes me dream of spring. Well played, your majesty.

The Thrift Handicap

My, my, QE doesn't look too delighted with the Duchess of Cornwall at her side...... Must be her repeat so soon after the Thanksgiving Service! Ah well, it is a good outfit, so carry on Cams!

Pure Elegance

That's right Eug, take note. Doesn't the Duchess of Gloucester look absolutely wonderful? Love the simple, elegant coat, and that dramatic hat! I actually don't mind the ruffles. Eugenie on the other hand...... that fabric draped over her shoulder won't cut it for the Royal Enclosure. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Random Royal Moment: The Queen in Canada, 1957

In her first visit since the accession, The Queen filled out all the fashion and jewel stops on her visit to Canada in 1957. I won't go into any more detail, but I wanted to leave you with some jaw-dropping photos I haven't seen before, showing QE in her jewel-encrusted splendour. Courtesy from and Library and Archives Canada.

And what a rare gem: The now dismantled Nizam Tiara 

Programming: Royal Ascot and Camp

Hey guys, so next week I shall be camping... sigh! Anyways, I WILL be posting Royal Ascot tomorrow- a week's wrap up. So stay tuned!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Royal Books: The Queen's Book of the Red Cross

If there's one royal tidbit of advice I can give, it's to op shop. Who can resist 2 dollar royal biographies, whilst also doing your bit to help charity?

Today, this golden nugget jumped out at me from the dusty shelves. Printed in 1939, this book, sponsored by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was intended to raise funds for the Red Cross during WWII. Fifty British authors and artists featured in the book, which includes a lovely photo of the QM by Cecil Beaton and a poignant handwritten letter by her. I'd buy it just for her fabulous handwriting and SIGNATURE. Gah! It looks too good a letter to have been mass-produced. I'll just keep dreaming'

NOTE: Sorry about the shadows, it's night time here!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Garter Service and Procession 2012

Get your plumes out, it's Garter Day once again! Founded in 1348, The Most Noble Order of the Garter is the highest order of chivalry in the UK. The annual Garter Service is held at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. A rare occurrence in the 18 century, George VI started its reappearance. The members of the Order meet in the state apartments of Windsor Castle, and then walk down to the chapel for the service. Then the show really starts as the members ride back in carriages back to the castle at its conclusion. 2002 was a notable year for the service, when Queen Beatrix, Queen Margrethe, King Juan Carlos and Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg all took part in the procession, as Knights or Ladies of the Garter.

 The headpiece worn is known as a Tudor Bonnet, and as the namesake suggests, was worn widely during Tudor times. Attached are the famous plumes of white ostrich feather which we now commonly associate with Garter Day. Now here's some miscellaneous photos of the Queen Mother looking adorable at Garter Day:

Okay, back to present day! The majority of the Royal Family were out in force at St. George's Chapel, either in the procession or watching from a platform.

Windsor Castle is my favourite royal setting, and it looked very fairtytale-esque today. You can probably make out the stands above the crowds, which brought a flood of coronation nostalgia back.

The Queen certainly rocked those plumes and trains and those RUBY EARRINGS, and it was wonderful to see Prince Philip back at her side. I like how HM appointed Princess Margaret's grandson, Charles Armstrong-Jones as her First Page of Honour.

I was lovely to see these colour co-ordinated royals all together. Sometimes I wonder what the relationship between the Countess of Wessex and her sister-in-law the Duchess of Cornwall is like? The Duchess of Cambridge seems to have developed a warm bond with Camilla though.

Adorable moments between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, if it were me I'd burst out in a fit of laughter.

Left to Right: The Princess Royal and Prince Edward, Princess Alexandra and Prince Edward Duke of Kent, The Princess Royal, Sir Timothy Lawrence and The Duchess of Gloucester.

Pictures: The Guardian/The Telegraph/The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor/Habsburg06 (Flickr)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Random Royal Tidbit: Princess Michael and Her Cats

Princess Michael is certainly an interesting character, exemplified by her official website. She is often referred as "Princess Pushy," and the Queen herself referred to her as "Our Val," and as "a bit too grand" for the Royal Family.

She does have her own .org site, which tends to praise her in every way, displaying her numerous interests, talents and achievements. Princess Michael does lectures and is the author of numerous historical novels. One of her fondest loves is.....cats. An excerpt from one of her interviews shows her fondness of the feline species: "My passion for tigers dates from my childhood, when I discovered The Jungle Book. Kipling’s Shere Khan was my secret best friend and for his sake I haunted my nearest zoo, imagining a bond with these magnificent beasts." So here's some amusing photos of her with an assorted collection of cats.

Pictures: Daily Mail/John Staddort/HRH Princes Michael of Kent/Catholicism Pure and Simple

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Random Royal Moment: Lady Louise Windsor

Did anyone else see?! The way she pushed her way through to the front of the balcony? Lady Louise don't need no Earl or Countess of Wessex, oh no. And did anyone see how the Duchess of Cambridge adorably interacted with her cousin-in-law? So cute!

Trooping the Colour 2012

My heart, my heart- the Windsors are back! After the barren balcony for the Jubilee, everyone is back together in for the Queen's Birthday Parade, or as I call it, "Royal Christmas." No open carriages this year, the Queen and Prince Philip rode in the Glass Coach, incase it rained.

A la typical QE style, the Queen recycled the same Angela Kelly outfit she wore to her grandson's wedding, along with the Guard's Badge she wears every year. The Duchess of Cambridge finally wore a brand new outfit, YAY! But I didn't fancy her fascinator, which covered a portion of her eyes! Also, I think Eugenie's carriage might have ran over a fowl on the way out of the palace. Roadkill is a no no.

L to R: The Duchess of Kent, Princess Alexandra of Kent, The Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent (huge freaking veil!)

It was great to see Prince Philip out and about today, but he did look a bit frail. Hopefully he will remain energetic for many years to come. It was lovely to see the balcony packed again, teeming with royals! And of course, a major royal event wouldn't be complete without an obligatory flypast, and the Red Arrows were a delight!

Pictures: Royal News/Daily Mail

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Diamond Jubilee Tour: The Earl and Countess of Wessex's Visit to Gibraltar

In the midst of all the controversy surrounding their visit to 'The Rock,' the Earl and Countess of Wessex have truly shown their glamorous sides and warmth which make them one of my favourite royals. Personally, I don't know what this whole political boom-bah is all about- an overwhelming 99% of Gibraltarians chose to remain a British overseas territory in a recent referendum. So, at the end of the day, it's the people who decide, and they have chosen to stay British. 

I've gotta hand it to her- The Countess of Wessex looked amazing and ultra-glamorous during the visit, rocking those sunglasses! Not sure about those 'trousers' though... I've always admired her human touch, and the fact that she isn't afraid to disregard protocol and kiss oldies and carry babies. 

And my favourite photo:

Pictures: BBC/Daily Telegraph