Duchess Camilla wore a big, red, sparkly lace gown: doily or chic?


The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were out and about last night in London. They attended the Royal Variety Performance, which is an annual event in which mostly British acts – musical, comedic, and more – perform a one-night-only event before an audience which includes at least a few royal guests, military personnel, other celebrities and more. It always seems like such a fun event, and it bugs me that the royals treat the Royal Variety Performance like it’s a chore to attend. Charles and Camilla have gotten the gig many times in the past decade, and for what it’s worth, they always seem pleased to be there. I’m reminded of the fact that when people meet Camilla one-on-one, they always say that she’s really funny, witty, charming and authentic.

For the event, Camilla chose to wear this red, embroidered lace gown, which is possibly by Bruce Oldfield (one of her go-to designers), although no one has gotten a confirmation on that. You guys know how I feel about lace dresses: for the most part, I really don’t like them. And I think you’re asking for trouble if you wear a full-length lace gown, nevermind a lace gown with a full skirt! It’s Peak Doily. I will say this though: the red is lovely on Camilla, and I think I might have liked this more if the bottom half “matched” the top half a little bit more. Camilla paired the gown with her famous Pear Drop Diamond Demi-Parure, widely believed to be a wedding gift from Charles in 2005. He reportedly bought a tiara and had the diamonds taken out and made into the necklace and earrings. You can read more about the necklace here.


Guess who performed at this year’s Royal Variety? Lady Gaga. She got to meet Charles and Camilla after the show, and Camilla told her, “My grandchildren call me Gaga.” At first I was like, “That’s surprisingly hip,” but I think she just means it’s a baby-talk version of “grandma.” Like, Gan-Gan, only Gaga. Also… looking at these photos of Gaga, I’m struck by how g—damn different she looks. Oh, well.

Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

81 Responses to “Duchess Camilla wore a big, red, sparkly lace gown: doily or chic?”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Sixer says:

    Camilla is my favourite of the royals. Although it would be more accurate to say that she is my least unfavourite.

    I think female royals should be required to wear doilies at every event. What’s the point of them if not to look ludicrous? At least Camilla gets into the spirit of things.

  2. LAK says:

    Charles has a better eye for redesigning jewellery than the Queen. Her efforts have been pretty atrocious every time and pity family members having to wear the results eg Sophie’s wedding tiara.

    I look forward to Camilla’s turn as Queen Consort ( yes i know). The jewellwry pron will be amazing.

  3. Giddy says:

    I’m trying to envision a life where one needs a Demi-parure.

  4. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    I like Cams, she always looks pleased to be at any event. I don’t mind the dress, its too lacy for me but she pulls it off.

    I too look forward to her turn as Queen Consort, she and Chuck are a good double act and they ALWAYS make an effort. I think Charles will be a good King, considering the big shoes his mother will leave behind. What he has achieved with the Princes Trust is amazing – I just hope that it continues its great work when he takes the throne and is unable to devote as much time to it as he does at the moment, thou I suspect Harry will step up and take it over (much like how Edward is taking over the DoE Award Scheme).

  5. Alix says:

    She looks Christmasy, I’ll give her that!

  6. Betsy says:

    Doily. But that’s perfect. 1) she’s north of 70, no? 2) she’s Royal (enough) and 3) why must we all look like sleek angry greyhounds? Embrace the different!

  7. delphi says:

    I’m just excited to see Robbie Williams in that presentation line, right next to Gaga.

    *jams to “Rock DJ” while enjoying morning coffee*

    • Erinn says:

      I forgot all about that song. I can’t believe it’s been 16 years since that came out.

    • antipodean says:

      Ditto to your excitement about ol’ Robbie, he seems to be ageing like a fine wine. According to reports he had a cheeky story to tell on stage, and even Chuck chuckled! I do think he (Robbie) has always been very talented, which is proven by his longevity in popularity, even though he sometimes gets in his own way with his put on Geordie buffoonery. I have to admit I am a sap for “Angels”, and we actually have it on our Christmas rotation of Chrimbley music, so I hear it every year.

  8. Chrissy says:

    I think she looks pretty good. She looks happy to be there and the gown colour definitely suits her. I think that older ladies can pull off lace but it looks off on younger women, strangely little girlish (cough Cannot cough).
    The full skirt though reminds me of those crocheted toilet roll covers people had in their bathrooms in the Seventies.

  9. Bex says:

    It’s a total doily look, but I love it just the same. I wouldn’t love it on a younger royal maybe, but given her age and position, I think it works.

    I also love the diamonds. She definitely always brings it with the jewels.

  10. Aang says:

    At her age and position I think she has a lot of leeway. She looks great in my opinion.

  11. MissMerry says:

    something is going on with her…I feel like she’s acting weird, she’s revealing a lot about herself and her ‘struggle’ with fame but at the same time is doing all these high-profile shows and events (this, VS Fashion show, Superbowl) all after the album Joanne? It seems weird to me (I mean, good for her, but I worry something is going to go down…)

    plus her face, man. something is different.

    the ‘lady gaga has been replaced by a doppleganger’ theory always pops into my head…

  12. Maum says:

    I have visions of Kate Middleton sulking somewhere in Norfolk because she was so going to wear that dress at the next gala she attends.

  13. Jewbitch says:

    If it was more fitted, I think I’d like it better. The color looks great on her. Lady Gaga covered her tats, I see.

    • Bonbon says:

      Agree on the fit opportunity. But she’s a rock star in red, and the dress is standout for a royal of — ahem — a certain age.

      As for Gaga covering her tattoos……..that is one reason to think before you ink. If you have to cover them, maybe you shouldn’t have done it the way you did.

      • Shambles says:

        In reply to “think before you ink,” erm, I have a what’s coming close to a full sleeve. Sometimes I just have to cover them because that’s the way some parts of life are. You know they should be covered, so you do it. That doesn’t mean I love my tattoos any less. If I could show them off all the time, I would, and I do it as much as I can. I’m very passionate about my body art. Gaga has also talked about how much each of her art pieces means to her. I gather she was just trying to be respectful. I don’t see why you have to be so judgemental about tattoos. Someone’s choice to ink their skin affects you… well it doesn’t affect you at all.

      • M.A.F. says:

        I did think before I inked. I have stars behind my ears and I’m a teacher. I knew I was going to have to cover them up. I’ve been doing that now for six years and will continue to do so. It’s what you do if you have ink and are a professional.

    • notasugarhere says:

      I like the general shape and color, dislike the lace overlay because I’m tired of it. She looks good in red but doesn’t wear it often. She has a gorgeous red shawl that needs to be worn more often.

  14. LaMaitresse says:

    I really love Camilla, she has a lovely way with people, really knows how to wear a tiara and probably loves horses and dogs as much as her grandchildren. The dress is great, the public are probably tired of Waity’s boring ill fitting frocks, and nothing says festive like a brilliant sparkling doily!

  15. Guesto says:

    I think she looks fab, all glowy and sparkly, like a fairy godmother! Her natural warmth, enthusiasm and personality can carry off even the most doilyish of frightfrocks.

  16. mellie says:

    She looks pretty and while I, like the rest of the world, loved Diana, I do have a fondness for Camilla and I think she works hard. But man, just looking at this gown makes me itch! It just looks itchy!!

  17. chaine says:

    Dress is awful, but the color is great on her and her hair and makeup are well-done. She looks very happy like she feels good in the dress, so maybe it looks better in person??

  18. SusanneToo says:

    Too bad she and Charles didn’t get together the first time around. But then we wouldn’t have Harry, so….

  19. Tig says:

    Have to disagree- either the bottom or the top should have been solid-love the shade of red on her.
    Sorry not sorry will never be a fan of hers or Charles. I hope they both do well by Elizabeth’s memory when the time sadly comes.

  20. OTHER RENEE says:

    Wow, three Celebitchy articles this morning on the British Royals! I’m gobbling up every word. Now if you’ll excuse me I must fetch my tea.

  21. Angel says:

    Honk for Camilla, strangely one of my favorite fashionistas:)

  22. Cerys says:

    I like Camilla. She always looks the part and seems genuinely interested in her royal duties. She suits the colour and I like the top of the dress. However I think it would have been better with a straight skirt.

  23. Hazel says:

    It actually looks very much like something Kate would wear, just with a little more volume. It’s a Kate dress a few decades from now.

  24. L84Tea says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Camilla and get so annoyed the second anybody starts bashing her because Diaaaaaaaana! (eye roll)

  25. khaveman says:

    She wears the same evening gown style over and over. It’s not very interesting. Great color, though.

  26. TuxCat5 says:

    Oh my, Camilla…not your look.

    But usually you look fantastic.

  27. Jade says:

    I don’t know how they do it but she and Charles almost always look like they’re happy and relaxed during events. Anyway, she looks good. Makeup and jewellery on point.

  28. ashipper says:

    My SIL met both of them because she’s a PT that specializes in vertebral spine fractures in the elderly and Camilla patronizes osteoporosis charities (or something like that). She said they were both very nice, but Charles seemed not too bright. Probably because he wasn’t really interested in the subject matter.

  29. Meow says:

    Gaga is looking beautiful these days.

    Camilla’s a frump, like the rest of the royal family that we’re saddled with.

  30. SwanLake says:

    I remember when Charles and Camilla met in the early ’70′s. Dickie Mountbatten discouraged a marriage, possible because he hoped that Charles would choose his granddaughter instead. Charles went into the military, and Camilla married Mr. Parker-Bowles while Charles was gone. Perhaps they would have married without the ambitious Mountbatten’s interference. I’ve always liked Chuck and Milla and thought it was a major mistake when he married Diana.

  31. Mae says:

    My favorite royal by far. I was pleasantly surprised when I read about her work on domestic abuse. She really engaged with people and then worked to create an initiative that genuinely helps, while still acknowledging its limitations, and that further work is needed. That sort of contextualization is key when engaging with issues of social justice, esp from a place of royal privilege. W&K might take note of Camilla’s approach and use it as a template for their own areas of interest.