Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On

Last month marked the 20th anniversary of a major royal wedding in London attended by three Kings and eight Queens. On July 9,1999 Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark married Carlos Javier Morales Quintana, a Spanish architect and a champion yachtsman, at St. Sophia Cathedral. Over the next few days, we’re going to take a look back at this event.

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The bride went to one of her mother’s favourite designers, Austrian Inge Sprawson, for her sleek gown in ivory satin. With long, fitted sleeves and a wide v-neck, the focal point of the dress was a pair of diagonal crossed seams at the waist that created a fitted bodice silhouette and attached the gown’s skirt.

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The straight skirt flowed into a modest sweep train with a longer, detachable train fixed at the waist. The back of the dress was decorated in a row of beaded buttons which were repeated on the underside of each sleeve.

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Following the tradition set by her grandmother and followed by her mother, aunts and cousins, Alexia wore her great-grandmother Crown Princess Margaret’s Irish lace veil anchored with the Danish royal family’s Khedive of Egypt Tiara.

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A simple gown is usually the best way to show off such an amazing vintage lace veil but I’m just not sure that the cut and fabric of this dress entirely flattered it’s wearer. For me, it always paled in comparison to the amazing gold beaded Armani dress with portrait neckline she wore two days earlier to a pre-wedding party- a look I’ve long thought was her very best. It was breathtakingly stunning

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Princess Alexia was attended by her sister Princess Theodora, who wore a long sleeved gown in floral embroidered lilac silk organza with sheer sleeves and a draped neckline.

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Bridesmaides included Princess Alexia’s 3-year old niece, Princess Olympia, and Princess Mafalda, daughter of Prince Kyril and Princess Rosario of Bulgaria (the Prince and Princess of Preslav). Their dotted white silk organza full-skirted frocks with lilac silk sashes were topped with delicate white floral hair wreaths. Pageboys wore high waisted lilac silk trousers with white silk Peter Pan collared shirts.

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Fascinators were very popular in 1999 (Queen Elizabeth famously wore one two weeks earlier for the wedding of the Earl and Countess of Wessex) making Queen Anne-Marie’s headpiece of lilac feathers a fashionable choice at the time. From today’s viewpoint, it seems a fussy choice for her lace trimmed coat and dress.

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Crown Princess Marie-Chantal topped a textured suit with a wide brimmed hat in light ecru straw. The design featured a raised brim around the front behind which was a large grin unstructured bow.

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I’m curious, dearest readers- what do you think of this bridal look and hats, 20 years on?

Jump over to the following posts to review hats worn by the many royal guests:

Danish and Spanish Extended Royal Families
British Royal Guests
Norwegian and Swedish Royal Guests
Luxembourg, Jordanian, and Eastern European Royal Guests

Photos from Getty as indicated 

15 thoughts on “Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On

  1. General question that I don’t think I’ve seen addressed: how do the ladies keep their hat bands clean I.e free of makeup, etc?

  2. As with so many others, I agree that the wedding dress did not flatter the bride. A different cut would have been better, perhaps, and certainly a warmer tone of white, considering how amazing she looked in the gold dress.

    As for the hats, I quite enjoyed Queen Anne-Marie’s headpiece, although as you say, it might have been better with a laceless outfit.

  3. I think Anne-Marie could still get away with this fascinator; it’s not as fashionable now, but it’s a nice piece to accompany her short hair; her outfit is best left in the past.

    Such a sedate look for Marie-Chantal; she looked good here, but I prefer her more modern styling, like what she wore to the Cambridge wedding.

  4. I agree with many of the previous comments. I think the bride’s wedding gown is boring and more importantly, not very flattering. The gold Armani, on the other hand, is absolutely stunning. I also think her hair looks better and more youthful down. The updo makes her look older and frumpy. I love Crown Princess Marie-Chantal’s entire look, shoes, suit and hat! I am not a fan of either Princess Theodora’s lavender bridesmaid dress nor the lace on the Queen’s coat. I also love the feathered picture hat in the last photo.

    This Southern Yankee wishes hats were more a thing in the U.S. I am going to an outdoor wedding in a couple of weeks and plan on wearing one just because I want to!

  5. Queen Anne-Marie: The fascinator is as lovely as ever. Well worth seeing again, minus the overwrought outfit .
    CP Marie-Chantal: A lovely, softly romantic hat which deserves to be paired with a shapely event dress, rather than this prim, business-wear-like skirt suit.
    Princess Alexia’s outfits: I agree that her pre-wedding look is stunning. The church wedding dress is too severe and too pared back for her body type, as is the controlled,straightened, minimised hairstyle, which strips away her youthful appeal. For Alexia, wearing her luxuriant curls in a half updo, as she did for her pre-wedding party, is her best ” formal event” hairstyle.

  6. It might have been a trend at the moment but I am afraid some hats don’t stand the test of time.
    I agree with the others about the dress

  7. I agree with everything that has been said about the dress and wonder also if some better undergarments could have helped It look more successful. Queen Anne-Marie looked fantastic! I love the lace details! Marie Chantal was at a different side of the fashion spectrum and also looked great from head to toe. I love the way the sun was shining through her hat. I also like the lavender dress on Princess Theodora. Does anybody know the date for her wedding?

  8. I do agree with you about Alexia’s frock. I feel slightly uncomfortable as a man saying it, but a lovely woman like she is, with beautiful curves needed a different style. It’s actually a beautiful dress though and she looks pretty. And that pre wedding outfit is stunning, she looks amazing.

    I actually love Anne-Marie’s outfit, but I think that woman defines regal elegance, so that’s no surprise. She and her sister Benedikte are a master class. And although Marie-Chantal looks expensively elegant, it lacks that bit of fun and frivolity she brought to her outfits later on.

  9. HatQueen, I don’t know how you think of all these topics for the royal hat off-season! Delightful idea, and, if Infanta Elena’s hat is any indication, we are in for some treats!

    I agree with your assessment of the bridal gown. I like the simple design and the diagonal seams, but maybe it needed a fabric with more structure to work? The Armani is just gorgeous.

    I like Queen Anne-Mariel’s fascinator, but the lace trim on her coat is much too fussy.

    Seeing Princess Alexia reminds me — hasn’t she recently announced her engagement?

    • Is that Infanta Elena in the feathered hat at the bottom? I love it. I really do. So chic! I have a feeling we’ll read more about it in the next installment.

      I think it’s Princess Theodora you are thinking who is newly engaged. That will be a wonderful wedding to look forward to! 🙂

      I love CP Marie-Chantal’s entire look. It’s very “on brand” for her. The hat is so beautiful.

      Princess Alexia looks so beautiful in that tiara. and veil. I love that tradition of descendants of Danish CP Margaret wearing it. I agree HQ her gold Armani dress is perfection.

  10. I am happy with everything the bride wore. Surprised at the simplicity though. Love the ” Mom’s” fascinator. Better than many worn today. She seemed to be a real Mom that day.

  11. I think the hats have held up very well.
    I agree with you about the wedding dress not being particularly flattering. In fact, at first I thought she was a lot older than she is because the dress made her look frumpy.

    I’m looking forward to your next installment!

  12. Where to begin? The bride’s gown just doesn’t do it for me. Perhaps it is just too plain? You have to be awfully confident to wear a fitted satin(?) dress like that. I don’t care for the neckline either. Or her hair, for that matter. As for Anne Marie’s ensemble, it veers too far into the lingerie look for my taste. I will give Theodora a pass. Often bridesmaid’s dresses aren’t something you are longing to wear again. Marie-Chantal looks a little overwhelmed by her cartwheel hat. However, lest you all think I am very cranky, I do think the golden evening gown with the portrait neckline is stunning! It’s a timeless look and she’s looks wonderful. Now I will go take a “be nice” pill.

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