30 October 2014

Gala Jewels: Chilean Visit to Spain

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet arrived in Madrid on Wednesday for an official visit with King Felipe and Queen Letizia. The day started off with lunch at Zarazuela Palace, following the traditional welcome ceremony photo-op.

Letizia's jewels for the daytime event were minimal as usual: just a delicate pair of drop earrings. But her jacket also had a little more interest courtesy the beaded detail.

The real glitter came later that night, when Felipe and Letizia hosted their first white-tie gala as king and queen. I was holding my breath to see if Letizia would wear any of the joyas de pasar, the collection of jewels from Queen Ena that are reserved for the use of queens and queens consort. But I'll be holding my breath a bit longer: none of those jewels appeared at the gala dinner.

Instead, Letizia wore jewels that she's worn to gala events in the past. The tiara is the floral sparkler originally created in 1879 by J.P. Collins for Queen Maria Cristina. The piece actually belongs personally to Queen Sofia, who received it as a wedding present in 1962 from Franco. She's loaned the tiara several times to Letizia in the past, and that arrangement seems to have continued. The fleur-de-lys brooch pinned to Letizia's sash is the one that is presumed to be part of a yet-unseen tiara created for her by Ansorena.

Both Felipe and Letizia wore Chilean orders at the dinner. Felipe is wearing the collar and star of the Order of Merit of Chile, plus the neck badge of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Letizia is wearing the sash and star of the Order of Merit. She's pinned the star directly on to the sash, which is something that Letizia sometimes does at these occasions -- I can only guess she's reluctant to pin a very heavy star to the delicate fabric of her Carolina Herrera gown?