Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Royal Wardrobe: summer beckons

Summer is on its way and the royal choice of clothes is starting to reflect that. Summer can be a difficult season to live up to what Diana so famously called 'The Princess Expectation'. She said people have an expectation of what royalty looks like but the happy, strappy style of summer is often one step removed from how we think regal dressing works. So as we head towards that chic trap, here are five outfits attempting to royally negotiate their way into summer and you get to pick which one does it best. The poll is on the right (you might need to switch to web view) and the results here on Tuesday.  In the meantime, enjoy the sunny style.

Queen Maxima was in dress with no coat mode this week and what a good thing that was. The sleeves on this frock are so stand out, it's doubtful there's a jacket yet made that could contain them. this is a Maxima wow and then some. From its royal blue hue to its don't give me soup, I'm on style watch sleeves there's nothing that doesn't catch the eye here. When you're so on your game you can match shoes and bag to the inside of your statement sleeves, there's nothing getting in your way. Worn to the Seminar on Protection and Education in Conflict Zones in The Hague and then later to an official reception for the President of Mozambique, it did double royal duty on its debut. But is it your pick for this week's ideal royal style?

Stephanie of Luxembourg got the summer gala style ball rolling and then some with a knockout look at the Cannes Film Festival this week where she and her husband, Hereditary Grand Duke Guilluame, were promoting their country's arts and culture. Stephanie negotiated the whole bare arms and looking light dilemma with a sleeveless white column dress with flared skirt. It sounds simple and it is and it looks stunning. Add in a pair of knock 'em out earrings and a statement clutch that many a royal fashion icon would love to get their hands on and you have a strong start to the royal party summer season - but is it your favourite?

Keeping it pale is often easier in summer when the bright light makes dark colours jarring and hot. Queen Letizia of Spain chose the palest shade of green this week for the First Communion of her younger daughter, Infanta Sofia. The coat and dress are rather delicate but the design and lace motif divided opinion with some critics mentioning the words 'mother of the bride' rather a lot. Still, you'd expect royal fashion icon Letizia to give us a lesson in another summer style must have - metallics. The shoes and bag are all on trend and looking rather regal, too.

Fabrics are tricky in the summer with natural working best and anything remotely polished up fighting with the glare of the weather. The Duchess of Cambridge no doubt had an eye on the sky when she attended the first Buckingham Palace Garden Party of the year in a light satin coat in palest blue. There's a lot of shine going on here and if the sun had even thought about coming out, Kate may well have been bouncing light off that jacket for hours. In the grey conditions of a day still thinking about summer as a possibility it adds plenty of texture to a classic, if rather simple, combo. But is it your favourite from the week just past?

Princess Sofia's second maternity wardrobe has been every bit as stylish as her first and this week she had a rather elegant smart casual moment at a Forum on Dementia held at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. We got a pale top with shoulder details matched to a pair of plain black trousers which is worth a tick in itself as pants seem to struggle to find a home in any regal wardrobe right now. It's very simple but works well and that straw top is more than summer ready. But does this outfit best match your idea of royal dressing this week? Vote in the poll and come back on Tuesday to see the results.

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