Thursday, 6 July 2017

Letizia's State Visit Style Pointers: the sparkle

OK, drop the dignity for just one moment. While we're all making the serious noises about the Spanish State Visit next week being about ties between two countries, business development, history etc, what we're all getting most excited about are the tiaras. State Visit = State Banquet = sparkle. But while the rest of Queen Letizia's past State Visit wardrobes have had a bit of a pattern to them, dipping into the past to predict tiara future is harder. For Letizia's past four State Visits have included just one diadem decked dinner. And even when she's been the host for a State Banquet, the net hasn't gone much wider. Here are the State Visit Sparkle pointers as this big visit gets closer.

Of the four State Visits made by King Felipe and Queen Letizia, only one has involved a tiara moment for Letizia. Protocol meant no diadems in either France or Mexico back in 2015 and there was widespread surprise when Letizia chose not to take a tiara to Portugal in 2016. The State Visit to Japan this year did bring out the sparkle but there were no big shocks. The Queen of Spain chose the Floral Tiara which has been a bit of a favourite of hers over the years. It's an all diamond affair with the stones set in floral motifs. It was given to Queen Sofia on her marriage by Franco on behalf of the people of Spain - a fact which still causes some controversy today.

The tiara is a bit of a State Visit staple for Letizia as it's been her pick for gala occasions she has hosted when overseas leaders have visited Spain. We saw it in October 2014 at the banquet for Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile, when it was paired with the black evening gown chosen for Portugal (perhaps making the tiara miss there even more mysterious).
It was also the pick in July 2015 when Felipe and Letizia welcomed the President of Peru and his wife to Spain for a State Visit. The Floral Tiara sparkled with the same midnight blue dress later chosen for Japan.

So far, so fairly obvious that the Floral Tiara is Letizia's State Visit go to. But then we got the sparkling swerveball that got everyone talking during the Argentinian State Visit to Spain. Letizia made her debut wearing that knockout of a tiara known as La Buena when she welcomed the President of Argentina and his wife to Madrid in February 2017. The tiara was made by Cartier and was a gift from King Alfonso XIII of Spain to his bride, Victoria Eugenie, for their marriage in 1906. It features the symbol of the House of Bourbon, the Fleur de Lys, and it can only be worn by queens. 

Given that it was a) made for a British princess who became Queen of Spain and b) it's the biggest tiara in the Spanish collection and this is a major visit for Felipe and Letizia, the smart money has to be on La Buena to make a reappearance at Buckingham Palace next week. La Vanguardia is now reporting that the whole Royal Family will be at the banquet to welcome Felipe and Letizia which would make this one even more of a likely pick - when you're the guest of honour, you're not going to let your tiara fade into the sparkling background that will come as all the Windsor ladies bring their best diamonds out to play. We know Letizia likes dramatic colours for her State Banquet gowns and La Buena would add another layer of history and mystery to the whole event. Roll on July 12th, it's going to be sparkly.

1 comment:

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