Monaco Royal Wedding: Civil Ceremony

Nine years ago, all royal watching eyes were directed to Monaco for the marriage of Prince Albert to Charlene Wittstock. One of two single reigning monarch in the world at the time (although the young King of Bhutan was considerably less well known and had announced his own engagement two months earlier), the end of Prince Albert’s bachelor life at age 53 following a five year relationship with the shy South African swimmer was big news. Today, we look back at the civil ceremony held in the Throne Room of The Princes’ Palace on July 1, 2011.

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Charlene was dressed by Chanel in pleated silk organza, lace trimmed palazzo pants, a strapless lace top and a sleek long silhoutte fitted jacket with silver buttons. The same lace that trimmed the pants peeked out from the jacket’s sleeves.

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Civil marriage ceremonies don’t come with an expected dress code and, as we’ve seen, royal brides choose completely varied looks. What worked here was the colour- the most beautiful robin’s egg blue that feels like it was created just for Charlene. What doesn’t work is the at-odds pieces (how do lingerie bottoms go with a tailored, businessy suit jacket?), which made the ensemble a head scratcher. I suppose one does not question the genius of Chanel so all I can say is thank goodness for that perfect shade of blue.

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The dress code for guests at this event was also vague with ensembles over the place- beachy sundresses to glamorous cocktail dresses with everything in between. Princess Caroline topped a vibrant blue Chanel dress with a wide-brimmed hat (likely made by Maison Michel) of very loosely woven straw. The design is completed with a  wide ecru ribbon hatband and a wreath of silk leaves and yellow flowers that circle around the brim.

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Charlotte Casiraghi also wore an informal straw hat with a raw, unfinished edge. The hat’s relaxed shape felt at odds with  the pale blue tulle scarf hatband- perhaps a last minute addition to tie the hat with her dress?

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Charlene’s mother, Lynette Wittstock, topped her mushroom grey dress with a sleek fascinator of charcoal sinamay loops, cream quills and feathers.

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Following the civil service inside the palace attended by family and close friends, the newlywed couple received a large crowd of well wishers in the palace outer courtyard.

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A nighttime concert and fireworks display followed that evening. Charlene removed her jacket and donned a rose gold, diamond and pearl cascading necklace, a gift from Prince Albert, made by Nagib Tabbah of Tabbah Jewellery. Without the jacket, the pleated pants and lace top feel much more harmonious with an effortless boho couture vibe that seemed to suit Charlene well.

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The hats here weren’t exactly memorable, were they? Lynnette Wittstock’s headpiece gets my top vote here, which I hope, offers her daughter some late vindication (Charlene and Lynnette zipped up to Paris the week before the wedding to purchase Lynnette’s millinery, causing loud tabloid speculation that Charlene was attempting to run away).

Thankfully, the hats at the religious wedding were more noteworthy- stay tuned next week when we’ll spend the entire week looking at all of them.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Favourite New Royal Hat: Cheltenham Festival 2020

Back in March, we had no idea that the Cheltenham Festival would be the only royal attended racing events we would see this year. As such, we’re going to take a specific look at the seven new hats that made their debut at Cheltenham and choose a favourite to put forward for Favourite New Royal Hat of 2020.

Please click on each caption link to jump to original feature posts with additional views, information and discussion on each hat. Here are the seven new hats we all admired at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, shown in the order they were worn:

1.    2.
Zara Tindall’s navy bandeau with cut feathers by Juliette Botterill worn March 10
Autumn Phillips’ black felt percher with olive silk camellia blooms and leaves by Sally Ann Provan worn March 10
3.  4.
Zara Tindall’s claret felt curved percher with cutout bow and arrow feathers by Juliette Botterill worn Mar 11
Duchess of Cornwall’s charcoal felt fedora with aubergine hatband and fringed side bow by Philip Treacy worn Mar 11
5.     6.    7.
Zara Tindall’s navy trilby with leather flower spray by Justine Bradley Hill worn March 12
Autumn Phillip’s pink felt fedora with teal and black braid hatband by Camilla Rose worn March 13
Zara Tindall’s purple felt beret percher with bronze leather flower by Sarah Cant worn March 13
This poll will remain open until Monday, July 13  at midnight GMT.  As usual for these polls, each computer or mobile device can vote twice per day for as many hats as you wish. Happy voting!

Hats From the Past: Christening of Princess Isabella

Thirteen years ago today, Princess Isabella of Denmark was christened in an intimate service held in the chapel of Fredensborg Palace, the Danish royal family’s summer home.

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Crown Princess Mary topped a dusky pink Birgit Hallstein dress with the same cream silk flower bandeau headpiece by Malene Birger she had worn for Prince Christian’s baptism in 2006 (and she would later repeat for the christening of Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine in 2011).

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Larger than a bandeau, the headpiece’s scale gives it enough presence to stand on its own without obscuring a view of the baby and the floral motif gives is a delicacy and charm that feels very right for the occasion. The colour is so wonderful against Princess Mary’s hair and easily pairs with different ensembles, although this dress fell flat for me. In this ensemble, I think the headpiece was one of the most successful elements.

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Queen Margrethe wore her recognizable pink and green ensemble with patterned floral silk dress and wide brimmed vibrant green straw picture hat, trimmed with pink straw loops. Ever the romantic, Prince Henrik tied in his ensemble with a pink shirt.

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Princess Benedikte topped her pink coat with the loveliest ecru straw brimmed hat (how elegant are the lines on the brim’s  cartwheel shape) trimmed with a pink spray of silk flowers on the side. Her daughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, wore a bandeau headpiece of deep purple flowers.  Carina Axelsson topped her pink dress with a pale almond straw brimmed hat with gently sidesweeping brim, trimmed with an ecru wide hatband and side ruffled bow. Queen Anne-Marie of Greece wore a wheat coloured straw hat with upturned, rimmed kettle brim and a textural, woven hatband.

Princess Isabella’s godmothers included Queen Mathilde and Prince Frederik’s first cousin, Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark. Mathilde topped her lace coat with a matching wide padded bandeau headpiece, covered in the same lace and trimmed with a multi-looped black silk side bow. Princess Alexia wore a cream bandeau headpiece with spray of goose biot feathers on the side.

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Royal guests included Crown Princess Victoria who wore a bandeau headpiece with textured fabric base, trimmed with applique flowers and a pair of feather quills. Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore her gold Prada headband with blush silk bow on one side.

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Princess Mary’s stepmother, Susan Donaldson, wore a deep eggplant silk floral fascinator with dotted tulle bow.

Looking back, this event is a noticeably more informal and intimate affair than Prince Christian’s baptism was, just 18 months earlier.  The palate is so light and summery, although today’s current popularity of bandeau style headpieces makes me surprised to see so many here, 13 years ago! Perhaps these royal ladies were just ahead of fashion?!

What do you think of these royal hat looks? Which ones stand out most to you?

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Photos from Getty as indicated; Polfoto

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to June 29, 1970 and a hat worn by Princess Anne that I’m at a loss of words to describe 50 years later. It’s not a tam, nor a bonnet… so dear readers, what is it?!

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Photo from Getty as indicated

Monday Multiples: Countess of Wessex

Royal HatsOne of the most often worn hats in the Countess of Wessex’s millinery closet is a navy moulded straw percher with swirling cream and gold feather trim designed by Jane Taylor. For this hat’s seven outings, Sophie has paired it with four different ensembles:

Look 1: with a navy silk guipure lace-trimmed sheath dress and jacket by Bruce Oldfield worn June 5, 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee, September 15, 2012 during a visit to Canada, and for the Duke of Edinburgh awards on November 24, 2016

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Look 2: with a cream and navy pinstripe Emilia Wickstead silk coat dress for the 70th anniversary of VJ Day on August 16, 2015

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Look 3: with a navy wool Stella McCartney double breasted coat worn for a military homecoming November 24, 2016 and the Commonwealth Day service on March 12, 2018

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Look 4: with another navy double breasted wool coat (this one with pewter buttons) worn for a spot of carriage driving at the Royal Windsor Horse show on May 12, 2019

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Which look do you think compliments this hat best?

Photo from Getty as indicated