One week from now I will meet a prince. A real prince. Royalty from another country. In his castle that was built in the 14th century. On top of a hill, nestled in the Alps. This is beginning to feel like The Princess Diaries except I’m not distantly related to the Prince or in any way heir to the throne. I’m just lucky, I guess.
A little over a year ago, Husband was appointed Honorary Consul General of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the Midwest. Crazy, right? How did someone who is 100% descended from Irish immigrant grandparents become HCGL/M? In short, he speaks their language and he kept in touch with someone he met over 20 years ago working on a legal case.
There’s more to that story but this story is not about that story, which is about…what to wear when meeting a prince? The decisions are endless in my obsession: formal or semi-formal, long or short, pants or skirt, cocktail subdued or sparkly, business or business casual, colorful or neutral, closed-toe or sandal, kitten heel or stiletto, pearls (definitely, I think), bangles or brooch, studs or dangle, small – medium – large bag? What about my legs? Princess Kate’s style book reads panty hose for official events, but she’s a princess, I’m just a guest.
The whole affair runs from 4:30 to 5:30, ruling out formal, semi-formal and cocktail. Although, I assure you I’ll have a cocktail when this is all over, no matter what I’m wearing. Since I’m meeting the Prince at a reception, not a picnic, I’m crossing off casual from my options too. So I’m left with business or business casual and therein lies the dilemma. My business wardrobe really hasn’t been refreshed since I was laid off five years ago. Since advertising was my business, this wardrobe wasn’t too business anyway, leaving me with dated business casual outfits and a couple of things to wear when teaching graduate students.
Can we agree that business casual is the worst dress code ever invented? I can’t imagine that the Europeans do it like we do it in the USA–khaki’s and golf shirts for men and every which way for women. Towards the end of my corporate career I wore a lot of black pants/skirts with a white tee/blouse, plus some accessory so I didn’t totally look like I worked at TGIFs. I so hope I don’t need to dress business casual to meet the Prince.
I shared my worry about what to wear in an email to the assistant to the Ambassador. Her response, “I’ve ever only seen you impeccably dressed so I have no worries there.” Thanks for the compliment but can you sift through my closet now for the appropriate, impeccable dress?
Maybe this is the time for the LBD. Yes! With a little kitten heel pump, because I can’t stand around in stilettos longer than a minute before my mother’s feet, that have become my feet, start screaming, and I think toes should be covered when meeting royalty for the first time. Pearls interlaced with a black ribbon around the neck. Studs. Small bag, similar to what I would carry to a wedding. I don’t need to take much to visit a castle, after all.
Wait. Did I just write wedding? Yes. This is like attending an afternoon wedding. I would counsel against wearing an LBD to a wedding, afternoon or anytime. And it’s the summer. Is black too severe for the afternoon? What about my legs?
“No worries” the assistant wrote. Yes, worries, I feel. What to wear to meet a prince? I’ll let you know when I figure it out.