My Apology to Michelle Obama

A month ago, I made some unkind remarks about Michelle Obama's irritating, juvenile, cheap and tasteless exciting, youthful, accessible and irreverent dress style. I apologise. The Obamas are a lower middleclass couple who have been catapulted from nowhere to where they are on the strength of their skin colour and political correctness. Maybe it could have been worse. MUCH worse.

In the course of my research for Whither goest thou, Royalty?, I came across photos of Princess Laurentien of Holland, wife of Queen Beatrix' youngest son Prince Constantijn. Laurentien is the daughter of Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, who was, in more or less consecutive order, a Reader (Lector) at the Europe-institute at the Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, in 1965 Professor of European Law at the University of Groningen, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet of Den Uyl, Ambassador of the European Community in Japan, a member of the European Parliament from 1995 to 1999, a member of the Provinciale Staten (the provincial parliament) of the province of Groningen for D66, a member of the board of advice of the World Resources Institute in Washington DC, a member of the board of governors of the Nederlands Economisch Instituut, a professor by special appointment of international environmental law at the University of Leiden, a member of the Board of Directors of the Salzburg Seminar, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Sustainable Development, a temporary professor of international environmental law at the University of Lausanne, minister of agriculture, environmental control and fishery in the cabinet Kok-II, an Adviser of European Affairs at NautaDulith in Brussels and was awarded a professorship in transnational and European Governance at the University of Tilburg, a minister of economic affairs in the second Balkenende cabinet and who is now a Professor at the University of Leiden. He is, too, a member of the Bilderberg Group.

In brief, one would expect his daughter, a typical product of the traditionally educated upper middle-class intelligentsia, to be to a certain extent used to be in the public eye and all that implies. If it only were so. Her style is neither "adventurous" nor "bold", "zany" nor "eccentric" and even beyond bad taste. Words fail me. And for Heaven's sake, can't she get a professional makeup from time to time? Here she is, the pictures are listed in ascending order of the awfulness of the dresses:

This is Princess Laurentien with her husband, who looks drunk. (Or is it her husband's older brother? Those two guys look even more alike than the Dutch do anyway.) That Goth on the right is her sister in law Mabel, a former gangster's moll. They all attended the wedding banquet for Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden on June 19. This is exactly the sort of black and white fabric I want for my bathroom curtains. The skirt doesn't brush the ground, as it ought to, given the extent of formality, and the least is said about the rest the better.

Peggy Sue Got Married: Queen's Day, April 30, 2008.

Prince Constantijn, Princess Laurentien and their daughter Princess Eloise (cute child!) after the Christening of  Princess Alexia, second daughter of Prince Willem-Alexander, on November 19, 2005 in Wassenaar. Princess Laurentien seems to be "into" that "vintage" stuff.

At the civil wedding of Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Anita Van Eijk. Did she come from the beach and hadn't time to change? Where are the flipflops?

Crowd-waving following the Parliamentary Budget Presentation at The Hague on September 20, 2005. This outfit is so awful on so many levels that any detailed criticism would be pointless.

This is worse: Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien arrive for the church wedding of Prince Pieter Christiaan and Anita van Eijk at the Jeroenskerk in Noordwijk on August 27 2005 . Accept my apologies for what I said about your wide belts, Michelle O!

Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, whose beautician and hairdresser must have died, attend a dance performance in honour of the wedding of Princess Mabel and Prince Johan Friso, November 24, 2004 in The Hague. Once again, words fail me.

That's it for now. Here is more, should you feel like it.

Don't get me wrong. She looks like a thoroughly NICE woman and has a kind and open smile. Obviously, royalty don't have any advisers who tell them when they cross the border from tasteless to farcical. The three royal brothers all married statuesque blondes with bad dress sense. Taken Mom into consideration, that's old Doctor Freud for you.

And to end this, as I like to do, on a positive note, here is the only not just less awful, but genuinely nice picture I could find. Sadly, there is neither a date nor an occasion given.

So it IS, after all, possible: