Gowns Gowns and More Gowns...
Ladies In Red--and Orange: Crown Princess of Sweden, Countess of Wessex, Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
My faithful Royal Red Carpet Watchers and Readers: Here's what I think will be my final "Nick V. Royal Wedding Red Carpet Report" (for now!). It's from the very fabulous Pre-Wedding Gala Dinner given by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in very posh Knightsbridge overlooking Hyde Park. The dinner was a Black Tie-Only affair with the ladies wearing Gowns Only. The Guest List was strictly reserved for the inner Royal Family, and all its associated members, as well as top royals from neighboring European countries --who are related to the UK Royals anyhow; first cousins, distant cousins... well, you get it, they're all "family".
In the first group of four (pictured above) are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, who looked SMASHING in a scarlet red draped silk crepe Escada gown held by a small diamond brooch. Next to her was Sophie Countess of Wessex Wife to Prince Edward, who also wore red--a red silk taffeta gown with interesting bust detail.
Next was Princess Mathilde of Belgium, seen above with her husband, Prince Philip of Belgium. She wore an orange scooped-neck shirred gown with cascade front drapes, which weirdly enough, made her look pregnant. It looked a bit ill-fitting and almost "off-the-rack", and THAT length?? What was that! FLOOR length darling! To the floor!!! Was she expecting a flood?
And next to her was Cuban-born Maria Theresa Grand Duchess of Luxembourg with her husband, the Grand Duke of course. Much better than what we saw from her the day after at the actual Royal Wedding. At least here, she looks less like a Soccer Mom in a cheap suit from Dillard's and more an elegant Duchess!! Her hair looks FAB, the off-the-shoulder red gown with over-sized waist-bow detail is elegant and HELLO: It hits the FLOOR! She just gets my Instant Nick Love, just for that!
Above, three women who didn't disappoint--Royal Red Carpet style. Fashionista No. 1, Princess Beatrice--she of THE Hat that has its own Facebook Page!!--yes, her. Beatrice wore an ivory and silver metallic one-shoulder "Mermaid-shaped" gown by designer Rachel Gilbert. It's a bit "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" but I still say "At-A-Girl!". On her right is Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark, wife of Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark.
She wore a navy blue silk satin strapless gown with grosgrain ribbon detailing from Giorgio Armani Spring 2011 Collection. Interesting that on the runway, the dress was shown in a more casual manner, above the floor and with flats, but on her, she correctly had it to the floor and wore it with heels.
Then, there was the Hostess with the Mostess: Her Majesty The Queen. Three Words: You Go Girl! Only Elizabeth II can host a Black tie Royal Wedding Party in a brightly printed drop-waist gown in lilac with metallic details, gold pumps and matching gold leather handbag. The gown had a Near Orient motif which was perfect since the Dinner Party was at the Mandarin Oriental. A good hostess thinks of everything darlings, even coordinating her hosting gown with the locale!
A Trio of Royals: Prince Felipe of Spain, his wife, Princess Letizia and his mother, Queen Sofia showed up to the Night-Before Dinner dressed to the Nines! Felipe looked dapper in a complete tuxedo. So handsome. His mother, Queen Sofia was REGAL, in a bronzed taffeta ball gown from designer Margarita Nuez. She accessorized it with several layers of pashmina shawls to protect her from the cold London evening.
And to finish off the Spanish Royal contingency, Princess Letizia wore a lavender strapless gown with embroidered applique detail by Spanish designer Felipe Varela. I loved that she wore a ball gown, however, I just thought it was a rather "unexciting one". Basic sweetheart bustier neckline; princess seams...Seriously Letizia? There are soooo many more creative ball gown designs. This just seams so "pattern book" cookie cutter. It was pretty but very "David's Bridal 101".
Sultan of Brunei, Sir Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah and his first (and currently, only) wife (he had three total, but divorced two) Queen of Brunei, Pengiran Anak Saleha , who incidentally, is his first cousin (Hello!).
Margrethe II Queen of Denmark (above) was of course, invited to this Pre-Wedding Gala Dinner. She's known for her fluid but yet very sumptuous ball gowns--always in big (rather tacky) floral prints. But, this time, someone must have advised her correctly: She looked classy, restrained, and dare I say CHIC! Love th color contrast between the lavender and the chocolate silk satin. Margrethe II gets my "Most Improved Royal" award for this one.
Speaking of the Danes, above we have Queen Anne-Marie of Greece (she was born Princess of Denmark in Copenhagen). She looked quite elegant--and fun--in this flower-printed silk chiffon gown, bronze waist tie and gold shoes...and THAT necklace! As we know, Queen Anne-Marie is the wife of Constantine II, the former King of Greece (who is also Danish and from the same House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg)...Where was the King, you might ask?
Admiring Princess Michael of Kent right before going inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (as wife looked on). The Princess--an Austrian-Hungarian member of the British Royal Family, is...
The wife to Prince Michael of Kent Grandson to King George V (above left), She wore a gorgeous chocolate brown silk draped-and-shirred gown with a stunning diamond brooch at the center front bust, a sequined clutch and bronzed satin shawl. She was definitely one of the most stylish royals that night, even with that 80's braided hairdo of hers.