Monaco Royal Wedding: The Bride, Groom and Attendants

Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock celebrated their marriage with a Roman-Catholic ceremony held in the inner courtyard of The Prince’s Palace in Monaco on July 2, 2011.

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Giorgio Armani Privé created a sleek gown for Charlene with a portrait collar neckline and fitted body cut from 50 meters of pearly silk duchesse and 80 meters of silk organza. The designer’s niece, Roberta Armani, gave some insight behind the dress in an interview with Vogue, saying, “My uncle wanted to make sure the dress was timeless and sophisticated. Charlene is blessed with an amazing body and spectacular shoulders, which is a fantastic base for any dress. The shade of ivory we chose suits her skin so well.”

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The gown’s silhouette opened just below the hip to a wider skirt that flowed into a cathedral length train. An additional, detachable, five-meter long train attached from the back of the portrait neckline.

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While the second train gave a grand, regal, sweeping look to the back of the dress, it appeared heavy and difficult to maneuver.

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Interestingly, Charlene removed it during the registry signing, processing out of the place courtyard with her new husband without it.  This removal revealed covered buttons up the back of the dress (below right) which had been hidden when the train was attached (below left).

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You’ll also notice that the front view of the dress shows a noticeably different silhouette without the second train.

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Train issues aside, what shines on this dress is its cut and its embroidery. Scrolling down the dress front to the hem and around the edge of both trains, a delicate floral pattern was embroidered in platinum-coated embroidery thread incorporating 40,000 Swarovski crystals, 30,000 gold stones and 20,000 mother of pearl teardrops. Roberta Armani reported that 3 seamstresses worked 2,500 hours on the dress and veil with 700 hours devoted to embroidery alone. The embroidery gave an exquisite delicacy to the dress’ stark lines and sparkled in the sunlight, giving the most beautifully dimensional effect that brings the gown to life.

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Armani used 20 meters of silk organza for the veil, delicately edged in tiny hand embroidered seed pearls. Anchored at the back of her head, the silk billowed over her face in the prettiest, lightest cloud.

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Charlene anchored the veil with 19th century diamond hair clips inherited from Princess Charlotte (Albert’s grandmother),  borrowed from Princess Caroline. I remember at the time of this wedding adoring how the traditional jewels were worn in such a modern way, tucked around Charlene’s chignon to beautifully frame her face from side views and link so perfectly with the sparkling floral embroidery on her dress. The combination of dress, veil, hairstyle and headpiece made such a beautiful look.

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Prince Albert wore the summer uniform of Monaco’s Palace Guards with gold leaf and crown embroidery on the epaulettes and sleeve cuffs and brass buttons monogrammed with his personal cypher. Even with a black tie and a bit of sparkle from the Order of Saint Charles, the Order of Grimaldi, and the French Legion of Honor, it’s rather bland, particularly with the white shoes. Understandably, even Princes don’t have input or choice when it comes to the design of a military uniform but this one is not a head turner.

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Princess Charlene was attended by two friends, Isabell Kristensen in a taupe silk gown of her own design and Donatella Knecht de Massy (wife of one of Prince Albert’s cousins) in a pale grey-green v-neck gown with matching, minimalist bandeau headpiece.

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Albert and Charlene chose seven 7-year old girls from different areas of the principality to round out the wedding party. Princess Caroline worked with Jean-Christophe Maillot, director of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, to create their ensembles, based on traditional Monagasque folk costume.

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Along with the red and white striped skirts trimmed in black ribbon, ruffled blouses, aprons and pyramid natural straw hats that characterize this traditional dress, these ensembles also included Albert and Charlene’s monogram embroidered on the silk stockings and aprons, which also were stitched with the name of each girl’s home region of the principality. Finally, the couple gifted each girl with a gold cross they wore, fastened on a black velvet ribbon. Each outfit took more than 120 hours to create and formed a thoughtfully patriotic nod to Monagasque heritage.

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For the evening wedding dinner and ball at the Opera Garnier, Princess Charlene wore a second Armani Privé dress of white silk chiffon with a high, sheer neckline and four-tiered fluted skirt, hand embroidered with dangling beads and Swarovski crystals. She explained to Vogue, “The wedding dress is pretty heavy so I wanted to change into something light, soft and easy to move in for the evening.” Charlene topped the effervescent gown with a sleek, contemporary tiara, custom made by Lorenz Baumer and commissioned by Prince Albert for a wedding gift. The modern lines of the tiara suit Charlene so well, it’s a shame she has not yet worn it again.

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This wedding was a mix of traditional elements contrasted with a very modern bride who seemed not to venture far from her normally streamlined sartorial aesthetic. Nine years on, how does this stand up for you?

Jump to this post for an index of all the royal hats that appeared at this wedding. 

Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

No surprise, there were no royal hats this week. However, numerous new millinery designs caught my eye:

Palest ice blue straw button percher with embroidered, sequinned tulle overlay and bow by British milliner Lucy Bowler

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Weddings & Style 💕🥂 Its a relief to hear smaller weddings are now able to take place, all the best wishes to you lovely people who choose this option 💞 When it comes to the hats, you may feel a smaller headpiece maybe more suitable as not to overwhelm... Here’s an example of a new button design, covered with a beautiful couture sequinned tulle and finished with a simple bow. . It’s a great example of how to incorporate your dress fabric if you are having an outfit made or maybe shortened. . That said you may decide to go large or go home ! We have plenty of those Hats too ! 😉 . Brides, this is a super cute idea for your bridal headpiece and can be personalised in lots of ways👌🏻 . Contact Lucy for more info#linkinbio . . . #lucybowlermillinery #couturemillinery #hatdesigner #britishdesigner #weddinghats #millinery #hats #hat #headpiece #luxuryhathire #oxfordshirebusiness #dressmaker #couturefashion #weddingguest #motherofthebride #motherofthegroom #timelesshats #hatlovers

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Taupe and ecru ombre straw cloche with the most exquisite, effortless swirling movement on the extended brim

The Belgian royal family ventured out last Sunday for another day trip, this time to the Adrennes and joined by King Albert and Queen Paola
News from Bhutan’s royal family that the new little prince has been named Ugyen
A trio of lovely portraits released for Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s 9th anniversary

We end this week with a classic British children’s book, read by Princess Anne.

Photos from social media as indicated

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).

Jump to this post for an index of other royal hats that appeared at this wedding. 

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Monaco Royal Wedding

Civil Ceremony, July 1, 2011

Religious Ceremony, July 2, 2011: Bride, Groom and Attendants

Grimaldi and Wittstock Families
Princess Caroline, Charlotte Casiraghi, Princess Alexandra, Tatiana Santo Domingo, Beatrice Borromeo,
Pauline Ducruet, Elizabeth-Ann de Massy, Melanie de Massy, Baroness Cécile de Massy

Scandinavian Royal Guests
Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Madeleine,
Crown Princess Mary, Princess Marie, Crown Princess Mette-Marit

Royal Guests from Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein
Queen Paola, Princess Mathilde, Princess Astrid, Princess Claire,
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Princess Sophie

Guests from Other Reigning Royal Houses
Princess Máxima, Countess of Wessex, Princess Michael of Kent,
Princess Sara al Faisal of Jordan

Guests from Non-Reigning Royal Houses
Empress Farah, Princess of Naples, Princess of Venice, Princess Camilla of Bourbon-Two Sicilies,
Duchess of Anjou, Princess Micaëla of Orleans, Duchess of Bragança,
Crown Princess Margarita, Crown Princess Katherine, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna,
Princess Sophie of Prussia, Princess of Baden, Princess Ursula of Bavaria, Princess Virginia von Fürstenberg

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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!