Monday, June 25, 2018

Fashion Focus: National Day Edition

This edition of Fashion Focus will be a special National Day edition - with a lot to talk about considering the whole family was there- but first, let's talk about some new/old finds.

Georges Rech confirmed that Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore one of their dresses on June 4th when she and Grand Duke Henri hosted an institutional dinner for the Chamber of Deputies (With thanks to Sarah for the suggestion!) Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie wore a Georges Rech dress to the Te Deum on last year's National Day so it seems the brand is slowly making its way to their closets.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
Photo: Georges Rech
A photographer posted this photo of Princess Claire celebrating Princess Amalia's birthday and I recognized Claire's dress immediately. It is the same Zara dress Princess Sibilla wore while visiting an exhibition in Brussels a few months ago!

Photo: Anne Du Chastel

Photo: Zara
Another find for Princess Claire! Earlier this month, she and Prince Félix attended a wedding in Germany and she wore the dress she first wore at Prince Sébastien's Sandhurst graduation ceremony. It turns out this dress is from Ted Baker, one of Princess Claire's favorite brands.

Photo: Bunte

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco

Photo: Ted Baker

On June 17th, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended the ceremony commemorating 75 years of the last deportation train leaving Luxembourg. Maria Teresa wore another Yves Dooms custom-made outfit with her Prada pumps.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli

Photo: Lyst

On June 20th, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie visited a glass bowing workshop. Stéphanie wore an old UFO blazer with a printed top and her favorite Castaner wedges.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Luxpress

Photo: Castaner

Also on June 20th, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were in Colmar-Berg to view a farmhouse renovation. Maria Teresa wore her Etro pants with a new printed tote bag.

Photo: Cour Grand-Ducale

Photo: Lyst

Now, onto the National Day outfits! Last year, only the Grand Ducal couple and the Hereditary Grand Ducal couple attended which lowered the number of outfits we had to look for. This year - and to our great pleasure- the whole family attended so we have a lot to talk about!

On the day before the National Day, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited Larochette. Maria Teresa wore a Prada coat with Yves Dooms pants (confirmed by the Cour), her Sergio Rossi pumps and a Bottega Veneta clutch.

Photo: Guy Wolff / Luxemburger Wort /

Photo: Livingly
Photo: Farfetch

Photo: Bottega Veneta

She kept the same outfit for the torchlight parade in the evening except for the shoes as she wore the Prada pumps she first wore during the State Visit from The Netherlands last month.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli

Photo: Prada

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie visited Esch-sur-Alzette in the afternoon. Stéphanie wore an old coat that was first worn by Princess Alexandra. As you can see here, the front and the back of the coat have the same design which makes the whole coat very weird in my opinion.

Photo: SIP / Emmanuel Claude
At the torchlight parade, Princess Claire wore an all-black outfit and the lack of good photos makes it very hard to ID her outfit. I believe her trousers might be from Zara but it is impossible to confirm.

Photo: Zara
Princess Alexandra also wore a black outfit but she added a colorful, printed jacket and nude sandals to break it up. I sadly have no IDs yet for the jacket and the sandals but she wore a Chanel bag.

Photo: Lyst

For the official ceremony at the Philharmonie, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa decided to recycle an outfit! It is indeed the third time she wore this Armani dress and jacket since 2014. This time, she added an Armani clutch with her Prada pumps.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
Photo: Armani

Photo: Lyst

Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie wore a new white dress with a new embellished clutch and her grey Natan pumps. We have spent hours looking for this dress but so far we haven't been able to find it but I think it was a very good choice for Stéphanie!

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
Photo: Natan
Princess Claire decided to wear the Vilshenko dress she first wore the last time she attended the National Day celebrations in 2016 with new pumps. I believe they could be from Sergio Rossi (picutred below in a different color) but this can't be confirmed without better photos of the shoes.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
Photo: ModaOperandi

Photo: Lyst

Princess Alexandra wore a new polka dot dress that we haven't been able to find with nude pumps and her gold Dior clutch.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli

Photo: Dior

For the Te Deum, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa added an Armani fascinator to her outfit and changed clutch and jewels while Princess Claire and Princess Alexandra only added a flower hairpiece to their outfits.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie decided to change her outfit completely. She wore a new dress with a green Jimmy Choo bag and old pumps. Her hat is new and it was made by Sylvia Martinez for Les Folies Bibis.
Photo: Jimmy Choo

The most exciting part of the National Day celebrations was the evening gala dinner of course with new gowns for everyone!

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore a new navy blue cape gown by Elie Saab with an embellished neckline. I thought both the design and the color were a great choice for the Grand Duchess.

Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie wore a new gown but sadly we still haven't been able to find it. I'm happy it wasn't a repeat from one of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa's gowns though as I usually don't find these repeats successful.

Princess Claire looked stunning wearing an off the shoulder white gown by Alexander McQueen. It was great to see her in a gown and a tiara after so long. Let's hope she and Prince Félix will attend next year's National Day celebrations!

Photo: Farfetch

Princess Alexandra followed her mother's fashion footsteps and wore a colorful Elie Saab gown. I thought this was a very nice choice for Alexandra although I don't like the shawl.

Photo: ModaOperandi

What did you think of this year's National Day fashion? What is your favorite outfit? Don't hesitate to share your opinions!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

National Day Observations and Leftovers

To end our National Day coverage (sort of, there are still the garden parties which will take place next week to go, plus the Fashion Focus), here some light-hearted observations of the past two days...

Girl sure knows her angles
Photo: Guy Jallay / Luxemburger Wort /
Princess Alexandra sure has a commitment to the perfect picture. During the Official Ceremony she was at it again and once again refused to face the cameras straight instead turning slightly to her right, even if it meant turning her back to little brother Sébastien. Remember the time she did it when the Duchess of Cambridge came to Luxembourg? It was even more obvious. Girl sure knows her angles better than any of them.

To salute or not to salute
Photo: Screenshot RTL
...that is the question. Prince Sébastien joined the Military Parade this year and was seated in a row behind his parents, brother and sister-in-law. During De Wilhelmus (the grand ducal anthem), he saluted alongside the members of the military and police seated next to him. Grand Duke Henri and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume didn't. I don't actually know what's the protocoll here, so Sébastien and me could probably open a club together - or Guillaume and me, depending on who did the right thing. (FYI, during the Heemecht (the national anthem), the Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duke saluted, too.)

National Day giggles
Photo: Screenshot RTL
Towards the end of the Military Parade, the Grand Duchess got the giggles. As the European Anthem was playing, she at one point started to giggle. I would have loved to know what she was looking at! Soon after the end of the anthem, she leaned over to the other members of her family and they also started laughing.

A coat with two faces
Photo: Lex Kleren / Luxemburger Wort /
I know that both Stéphanie and Alexandra seem to love this coat as they have worn it on multiple occasions. Personally, I have never been a fan - even less so after seeing it from different angles than usual. It's like a two-faced piece of clothing... A coat that you can put an front- and backwards without it looking any different? It not only has buttons on the back, even the pockets are mirrored!

I know that hat...
Photo: Screenshots RTL
Looks like we had another had sharing moment at our hands this National Day! Mind you, Princess Claire and Princess Alexandra didn't wear the very same hat this weekend but it looks like Alexandra wore her sister-in-law's hat from a few years ago. Interestingly, Claire also repeated something this year from National Day 2016: The Vilshenko dress.

Is she or isn't she
Photo: Screenshot RTL
No, not what you think. Princess Claire did not become a Luxembourgish citizen upon her marriage (as that would have needed an act of parliament like it was the case for the Hereditary Grand Duchess). We have long wondered whether this has since changed as she can apply for Luxembourgish citizenship after three years of marriage to a Luxembourgish citizen. (Check) She would then have to prove her language skills and knowledge of the country. When I noticed during the Official Ceremony that Claire did not sing the national anthem, I thought that she isn't. However, she did sing the Heemecht during the Te Deum. So no clearing of this confusion (though singing of a national anthem, of course, never is a sign of being a citizen or not but a personal choice).

Sparkly Spotlight: A Closer Look at the Gala Jewels

As the last act of National Day, the Grand Ducal Family hosted a reception for the members of government, the bureau of the Chamber of Deputies, the Council of State, representatives of the judiciary, heads of the administration and foreign ambassadors. Because I love all things sparkly and I'm predictable like that, here's a jewel spotlight on the Grand Ducal ladies.

Embed from Getty Images

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa topped off her gala appearance with the Belgian Scroll Tiara (which is really nice but it's getting a bit boring because it is slowly becoming the only tiara she seems to wear). She fixed her sash with Princess Ingeborg's Pearl and Diamond Brooch that has been owned by no less than four European royal families. Rounding off her ensemble are her two-coloured pearl earrings and several rings.

Embed from Getty Images

Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie opted for the tiara and earrings of the Turqouise Parure. Luckily, she swapped the usual necklace for the grander turquoise necklace of the Grand Ducal Family, which is a thing on beauty - and I don't even particularly like turquoises in gala jewellery. She also wore several rings.

Embed from Getty Images

Princess Claire went for a sleak look choosing the Grand Duchess Adelaide Tiara and diamond earrings that are part of the grand ducal collection but rather rarely worn.

Embed from Getty Images

Princess Alexandra chose to accesorisse with the Aquamarine Bandeau Tiara, earrings formerly belonging to her paternal grandmother Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, as well as a bracelet featuring a large aquamarine and a diamond ring.

What's your verdict? Which jewel appearance did you like best and which tiara could you have done without?

All the Photos from National Day

Photo: Luxemburger Wort /
Here is a convenient list of links to more pictures (and a few videos) than you will probably ever care to look at from all the different National Day celebrations... To learn more about the events, simply click on the name of the event.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Sparkle in Luxembourg: National Day Gala

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
While yours truly died a thousand deaths watching a certain World Cup game, the Grand Ducal Family brought their A-game for the National Day gala at the palais grand-ducal - I do hope they had a TV hidden somewhere for the German and Swedish ambassadors - hosting the members of government, the bureau of the Chamber of Deputies, the Council of State, representatives of the judiciary, heads of the administration and foreign ambassadors for a reception featuring tiaras, gowns, dashing gentlemen and, for the first time since 2015, orders for the ladies. (Last time this happened, we later got official portraits so keep your fingers crossed!)
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa shined in Elie Saab and the Belgian Scroll Tiara, Princess Ingeborg's Pearl and Diamond Brooch and pearl earrings. Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie sported the Turquoise Tiara and while it isn't a particular favourite of mine, I'm glad she got out the large turquoise necklace to accompany it. Princess Claire accessorised her Alexander McQueen gown with the Grand Duchess Adelaide Tiara and Princess Alexandra wore what I believe the Aquamarine Bandeau Tiara with an Elie Saab gown. All the members of the Grand Ducal Family wore the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau except for Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie and Princess Claire who have Luxembourg's second hightest order, the Order of Civil and Military Merit of Adolph of Nassau.

More pictures of the night at the cour with more close-ups hopefully becoming available tomorrow.

First Sketch of the Emerald Art Deco Tiara

Photo: Collection Chaumet, Paris
We haven't seen the Emerald Art Deco Tiara - a.k.a. the most Wonder Woman-esque of all royal tiaras - in quite a while and I must say that even though it isn't one of my favourite pieces of the Grand Ducal Collection, I kinda miss it. Who knows, maybe we will get to see it this evening? In any way, this National Day certainly brought up a new interesting perspective on the tiara, namely the 1925 scatch of the tiara above.

While I was watching RTL's coverage of the Te Deum and wondered whether I have done this a few too many times, the commentators starting talking about Art Deco, an exhibition currently being shown at the Musée national d'art et d'histoire Luxembourg (MNHA) and a tiara owned by the Grand Ducal Family featuring a very large emerald. Curious me couldn't help but googling and found a sketch of said tiara, originally a gift from Prince Felix to Grand Duchess Charlotte, by Chaumet. Unfortunately, I haven't yet been able to find out whether the Emerald Art Deco Tiara is currently on display at the museum but I will let you know if I do.

Grand Ducal Family Attends Te Deum

Photo: Screenshot RTL
The Grand Ducal Family continued the National Day celebrations by attending the Te Deum mass at the Cathédral Notre-Dame de Luxembourg this afternoon. The Te Deum used to be the focal point of the National Day festivities but was replaced by a secular ceremony a few years ago. It's still held but in slightly smaller fashion in the afternoon. As it has been for a while now, the Te Deum was an interreligious one, concelebrated by the Catholic archbishop of Luxembourg, the chief rabbi of Luxembourg, the imam of the Muslim community and an Anglican priest. 
Photo: Screenshot RTL
While Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Princess Claire and Princess Alexandra sported the same outfits as this morning with the additions of hats or fascinator, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie went for a different dress. (More on all the National Day fashions tomorrow curtesy of our lovely Heaven who is already busy putting it all together.)
Photo: Screenshot RTL
Like every year, the climax of the thanksgiving service was the "Domine salvum fac magnum ducem nostrum" - "Oh Lord, save our great leader" or something along those lines if my Latin serves me right - played in a different arrangement every year. Other musical pieces traditionally featured were the national anthem, Ons Heemecht, the grand ducal anthem, De Wilhelmus; as well as the Sonnerie nationale, which gets me every year, it's such a majestic piece.
Photo: Screenshot RTL
And a bit of further trivia to round off this post (thanks to a conversation I had on Twitter earlier today): Did you know that the Te Deum is celebrated to praise and thank the Lord for the well-being of the head of state? However, it wasn't customary for the head of state to attend this mass back in the day of Grand Duchess Charlotte who never did, because it was thought inappropriate for her to attend a mass for her blessing. Instead, Prince Felix, Hereditary Grand Duke Jean and Prince Charles did sitting where the Grand Ducal Family does now - Grand Duchess Charlotte's daughter were also in attendance though they were seated in the royal box.