Sultan of Brunei welcomes Her Majesty Queen Beatrix
Flower Power: Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, in a fuschia flower printed dress with ruffled sleeves, neckline and one of her always-present hats--flanked by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and his wife Pengiran Anak Saleha, Queen consort of Brunei
Yesterday--while all eyes were on the United States and the 2013 Presidential Inauguration--and especially on what First Lady Michelle Obama was wearing...there was other "Fashion News" of sorts being made on the other side of the World. On Monday, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei welcomed Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to Brunei Darussalam for her two-day long State Visit to that Asian sultanate. This is Queen Beatirx' first visit to Brunei.
The Dutch queen was accompanied by her son and heir-to-the-throne, Prince Willem-Alexander of Orange and his wife, Argentinian-born Princess Máxima as well as a trade delegation of Dutch companies. Oil giant Shell is part of a consortium operating in Brunei's extensive oil and gas fields. In other words, the Dutch and Brunei and Shell...are economically tied. It behooves all parties to smile and look fabulous, that is. By the way, this was the Queen's 53rd official state outing (!). On a selfish note: I am so jealous of her frequent flyer miles. Seriously.
Red Carpet Welcome: The Sultan of Brunei welcomes Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands as well as her son, Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and his wife, Princess Maxima (in green)
The Sultan of Brunei is considered by Forbes magazine as the second richest royal in the world, with an estimated personal fortune of 20 billion dollars. This immense wealth can be seen in the spectacular collection of cars and planes that the Sultan has on display or his immense treasure palace, which has more than 1,700 rooms. After the Dutch royals arrived they were greeted with a "red carpet" welcome. Now speaking of red carpet--it was all about the Queen and her, shall we say "Queenly" sense of style--as well as her daughter-in-law, Princess Maxima (I'll get to her in a minute).
Let's discuss Queen Beatrix:
HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands with the Sultan of Brunei
HM Queen Beatirx began the visit in one of her typical flower printed dresses--a fuchsia colored one) with a ruffled collar and sleeves--and yes, her iconic hat (photos at top of this post), but it was at the State Visit Dinner where she really "brought it". Darlings, that above IS A QUEEN.
Bell Sleeve DIVA: HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands--Brunei State Visit Gala Dinner/Day One
HM Queen Beatrix wore an orange (she comes from the Royal House of Orange-Nassau) silk shantung gown with bell-shaped sleeves (similar to the Filipino dress/"butterfly sleeves" made infamous by Imelda Marcos). The gown featured an attached back cape of sorts that gave drama as she walked. The ensemble was accented by a gold sash, mini gold purse, shoes and yes, a beautiful strand of pearls and THE crown.
Bell Day Two: On Day Two of her Brunei State Visit, HM Queen Beatrix wore this ensemble above for another Gala event. It was a blue, gold and violet colored silk shantung coat and gown with yes, you guessed it--bell-shaped sleeves. She loves that sleeve silhouette I guess.
Shantung Queen: Queen Beatrix (with her son and daughter-in-law, Prince and Princess of Orange) looked every bit a Queen and with the use of silk shantung, was giving a nod to her Asian hosts and vibing a bit of that traditional South-East Asian fashion inspiration.
Now, time to discuss the Dutch Royal version of Kate Duchess of Cambridge--Princess Maxima:
Princess Maxima of the Netherlands packed a Fashion (with a Capital "F") punch on this trip. I've talked about Maxima in the past--and her outfits to various royal weddings and parties so I knew she was a bit of a style-ista and this trip really showed it. The Princess' first "Brunei State Visit" ensemble consisted of a silk satin 50's style emerald green tea-length dress with an off-the-shoulder neckline, fitted waist and a-line skirt shape. She finished the look with blush-colored pillbox hat, gloves and sling-back heels. I just want to know if this was her actual "Travel Ensemble". I'm sure they fly First Class (I think they call it "World Business Class") on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines but still, this is certainly not a comfortable travel across the world outfit).
Back of gown--showing slight train--Princess Maxima of the Netherlands Brunei State Visit
Front shawl/cape detail of Princess Maxima's gown--Brunei State Visit
A camel-colored raffia fascinator chapeau. Day Fierce. Speaking of Fierce...
Help Me Boys: HRH Princess Maxima of the Netherlands getting off a mini boat in a navy blue and white flower print peplum suit, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, clutch and heels.
Ivory Princess: HRH Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange and his wife, HRH Princess Maxima, in a very chic ivory fitted sheath dress with cowl neck, long sleeves and gold belt. And yes, a fabulous hat--Day 2 of Dutch Royals State Visit to Brunei