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The Royal Wardrobe: gala glitz

One week, an epic amount of gala dos. The past seven days have included two State Visits, five tiaras and a seemingly endless amount of big nights out for the royals. It's been long frocks and cocktail gowns all the way. In decades past, this was default royal dressing as the queens and princesses of the continent made their major appearances at big events. The focus now is on everyday engagements which makes the glitzy moments stand out just that little bit more. It also raises the question of how royal evening dressing works now. State Dinners kind of do themselves (you can't rock a cocktail dress with a tiara, however hard you try) but big nights out are a different matter. When the dress code is black tie, how do we expect 21st century royals to dress?  Here are five gala looks from the week just gone - but which one is your idea of the perfect evening royal wardrobe? The poll is on the right hand side, as always, and results are here on Tuesday. Time to get sparkly....

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands got the ball rolling on the gala stakes with a black cocktail outfit worn for the return evening at the end of the Argentinian State Visit in the week. For a night at the ballet, Maxima went for black and midnight blue and if we put aside the strange shoes and tights clash, we've got modern chic all the way. It's rather simple with a mix of textures and statement vintage royal jewels (this is Maxima, after all). With the men in suits rather than black tie, it's glamourous without being over the top.

Full on black tie means full on full length and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians sparkled in red as she and her husband hosted a thank you concert at the end of their State Visit to Denmark in the week. Mathilde's almost off the shoulder gown features sheer sleeves, a slightly flared skirt and enough glitter to brighten up the greyest evening sky. No diamonds needed here, this one dazzles anyway.

Crown Princess Mary went for a more modern feel as she chose teal for the same event in Copenhagen. In fact, this is an edgy take on the Royal Wardrobe with its keyhole shoulder detail and fitted skirt with mini train. Let's face it, if anyone was going to do a mini train it was Mary. This gown is chic and modern and one of Mary's best looks of the year but is it how you see modern royal evening dressing in 2017?

Princess Marie went for black at the return concert and ended up fading into the background somewhat. She'd had a low profile throughout the event and the finale was no different. There's a lot to like about her glittering gown with its feather effect edging at the bottom of the full length skirt but while the elephant print shawl is a clever nod to her royal heritage, it all ends up merging into one and the relaxed hair and low key jewels are bordering on the too discreet as well. Did Marie nail royal evening dressing for you?
The invitation said gala so that's what the duchess did. Kate was at the National Portrait Gallery in the week for their Portrait Gala and chose on trend green for her evening out. We've got lace, we've got length, we've got a very interesting neckline. What we haven't got is jewels. The last time we saw the Duchess of Cambridge at this event she was decked out in the Nizam of Hyderabad diamonds and that sparkle seemed to be missing from her look this time round. Can modern royalty leave the rocks behind or does modern regal evening dressing still mean diamonds?  You decide in the poll.


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