Monaco National Day 2021

Members of Monaco’s royal family celebrated their country’s national holiday today at a military parade and balcony appearance in the palace courtyard and thanksgiving mass at the Cathedral of Monaco.

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The most senior female member of the family in attendance this year was Princess Gabriella, who wore a darling ivory soft boiled wool beret trimmed with a tulle veil and small pink blossoms.

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Designer: It is the “Boiled Wool Basque Beret” from Monna Lisa
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Prince Jacques repeated his miniature winter dress uniform of the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince (Prince’s Company of Riflemen, the infantry branch that protects the Royal Palace) complete with blue cloth helmet with red and white dress plumes.

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Princess Caroline wore a headpiece of two sizes of black net tulle attached to a headband, the large dotted and placed further back from her face. There’s not much to say about this design.

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Designer: Likely Chanel. Suit by Chanel.
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Princess Alexandra of Hannover and Monaco wore a black silk rose and bow headpiece, anchored on the back of her head.

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Designer: Likely Chanel. Coat by Chanel.
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Tatiana Santo Domingo Casiraghi wore a navy bandeau headpiece with flat bow and birdcage veil. Her daughter, India, wore a navy double bow in her hair.

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Designer: unknown. Dior coat and Valentino lace skirt.
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi wore the only brimmed hat of the day, a tall crowned design with wide dropped brim in ecru braided straw trimmed with a wide black hatband and bow. The graphic contrast and spectacular scale of the design makes it stand out… and while I can’t ignore the construction issues giving the hatband some wobbles (it doesn’t look like it was cut on the bias), the overall look is an elegantly classic one for Beatrice.

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Designer: Stephen Jones for Dior. Skirt, sweater and coat by Dior.
Previously Worn: This hat is new. 

Camille Gottlieb wore a black felt blocked beret trimmed with a large flat bow. It is the first hat Camille has worn for National celebrations and it’s a good one.

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Melanie de Massy wore a burgundy tulle and feather fascinator.

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The Monaco royal ladies are not a widely hat wearing bunch and the popularity of smaller headpiece is evident here. What do you think of this group of millinery designs today in Monaco?

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Images from Getty as indicated  

Fête Nationale Monégasque 2020

Members of Monaco’s royal family gathered today to celebrate their country’s national holiday.

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Princess Charlene wore a black beret described by the designer as “a modern take on classic Parisian style. It is crafted from soft rabbit felt using traditional millinery techniques and embellished with a nylon veil for a feminine touch.”

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The veil elevates the hat, and it’s small scale beret pairs very well with the high necked coat (I adore the pops of magenta which give great energy!). It’s another sleek and streamlined look for Charlene.

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Designer: Dior “Parisian Beret”. Coat by South African designer Terrence Bray.
Previously Worn: This hat is new.

Princess Gabriella wore a pair of red bow hair clips while Prince Jacques looked very handsome repeating his miniature winter dress uniform of the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince (Prince’s Company of Riflemen, the infantry branch that protects the Royal Palace) complete with blue cloth helmet with red and white dress plumes.

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Designer of Princess Gabriella’s hair clips: Jacadi
Prince Jacques’ hat previously worn: Nov 19, 2019

Princess Caroline topped her exquisite feather-trimmed Chanel suit with a plaited bandeau headpiece made of textured black silk. As far as bandeaux go, this one is a good one with wonderful texture and enough elevation not to look like a headband. While I would have loved to see this suit paired with a wide brimmed black and white boater or bergère, the bandeau is a slightly tamer yet still very elegant choice that Caroline wears really well.

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Designer: unknown. Suit by Chanel.
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Tatiana Santo Domingo Casiraghi wore a bandeau headpiece of triple layered black velvet bows. It is the third black bandeau she has worn to this event in as many years (see 2018 and 2017) and while the scale and shape are good, it doesn’t seem that distinctive from the others already in her closet.

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Designer: Jennifer Behr “Katya Headband” 
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi repeated a burgundy velvet knotted bandeau headpiece.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Nov 17, 2019

Marie Chevallier Ducruet wore a black felt beret percher trimmed in a large flat bow.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Melanie de Massy, Prince Albert and Princess Caroline’s cousin, topped her pink coat with an ecru felt beret percher.

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The millinery at this year’s event is slightly more subdued than usual, understandable amidst a pandemic. What designs here stood out to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Monaco Royal Wedding: Families

Despite a long roster of famous guests, members of the Grimaldi and Wittstock families remained at the center of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s religious wedding on July 2, 2011. The Grimaldi matriarch, Princess Caroline of Monaco and Hanover, dressed the part in a Chanel ensemble with wide-brimmed white straw picture hat. The hat, likely from Maison Michel (Chanel’s in-house millinery division) was simply trimmed with a dusky pink ribbon hatband, cuffed at the back. It’s a simple design that packs a lot of drama!

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Charlotte Casiraghi topped her pink and black Chanel frock with a bandeau headpiece, likely also from Maison Michel. Solid black and grey ombre flowers covered a black headband base that anchored  a black honeycomb veil designed to hug the face. The ensemble’s pink and black scheme was a chic one with the black accessories and edgy headpiece tempering the pink dress to create a very haute couture look.

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Princess Alexandra of Hanover was just 11 years old at the time and the white silk flowers studded around her half chignon created a pretty and celebratory look for the young princess.

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Tatiana Santo Domingo and Beatrice Borromeo attended this event as royal girlfriends, Tatiana in an interesting ecru folded cloche hat and Beatrice in a ruffled silk aqua calot. While the cloche shape fit Tatiana’s boho aesthetic well, it seemed like an odd pairing with her magenta dress. The scale and texture of Beatrice’s headpiece worked well for her (I also like its placement, snaking over one ear and barely peeking out behind the other) but its execution was much less refined than her beautiful lace dress, making the two pieces a little at odds. Alas, both ladies significantly upped their millinery game in subsequent years since joining Monaco’s royal family.

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While Princess Stephanie opted out of any head-wear (again), her daughter Pauline, who was 17 years old, wore a pale blue straw multi-looped bow fascinator trimmed with raw edged crin and a scattering of costume pearls at the center. I suppose the rough edges on the piece were meant to coordinate with the fringe on her Chanel bouclé dress but the scale of the headpiece made it seem like little more than an oversize hair bow. But let’s give her credit- at least she made an effort.

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Prince Albert’s extended de Massy family in attendance included his first cousin Elizabeth-Ann de Massy, seen below in a red dress and simple black straw hat with gently sidesweeping brim. Elizabeth-Anne’s sister-in-law, Baroness Cécile de Massy (wife of Elizabeth-Ann’s brother Baron Christian Louis de Massy, seated in between these two women below) wore a taupe straw button percher woven with metallic gold threads and trimmed with a gold feather spray.

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Elizabeth-Ann’s daughter Melanie is shown below, at the far right behind Pauline Ducruet, in an ivory fabric hat with double overlay of gently ruffled organdie on the brim, a ruched crown and organdie twists and multi-looped bows on the side.

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Charlene’s mother, Lynette Wittstock wore an ecru straw disc percher hat. Built on a small saucer base, the main disc was elevated by a silk rose and large, multi-looped straw bow. From front view, the hat carries on the sleek, minimalist lines of Lynette’s oyster suit.. It’s a different story in the back, where Lynette’s curled hairstyle showed the hat to supreme effect. I always feel for non-royal family members dressing for these high-profile events but Lynette looked fantastic.

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The Grimaldis are not typically a hat-wearing bunch and their millinery, even for such a grand event as this was, as usual, a bit hit and miss. Looking back nine years on, what are your impressions of these millinery looks?

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

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 

Austro-French Royal Wedding Part 2

The wedding of Prince Jean Christophe Napoléon and Countess Olympia von Arco-Zinneberg on Saturday saw many royal faces with numerous extended family members and guests in Paris to celebrate with the couple.

The bride’s mother, Maria Beatrice of Arco-Zinneberg, was born an Archduchess of Austria-Este, the elder sister of Prince Lorenz of Belgium (Archduke of Austria-Este before gaining the title of prince when he married Princess Astrid). As uncle and aunt of the bride, they were in attendance, Princess Astrid in a brimless hat of spiky dark green feathers. Their daughter, Princess Maria Laura, who acted as a witness for her cousin, wore a sparkling bandeau headpiece. Princesses Luisa Maria, Laetitia Maria and Elisabetta (Amadeo’s wife) were also on the guest list but so far, elude photos.

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Archdukes Rudolph, Carl Christian and Simeon of Austria are also Habsburg relatives of the bride through her mother. Archduke Rudoplph’s wife, Archduchess Marie-Helene wore a white saucer trimmed with veil and a figure-8 bow in the same raspberry pink stripe as her silk coat. Archduchess Marie-Astrid topped her royal blue and gold dress with a navy straw saucer based cocktail hat trimmed with a multi-looped silk abaca bow and a swath of dotted navy tulle.

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Archduke Simeon’s wife, Archduchess Maria (née Princess Maria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies) wore a navy straw brimmed hat with voluminous straw overlay on the brim that wrapped around the design as a draped scarf of sorts. They are pictured here with Princess Margaretha and Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein;  Margaretha topped her orange suit in a repeated russet brown straw hat with mushroom brim, trimmed on the side with a straw bow and pouf of dotted tulle.

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Princess Margaretha and Prince Nikolaus’ elder daughter, Princess Maria Anunciata, wore a high halo bandeau headpiece in brilliant emerald green, lavishly trimmed with silk roses and a ruffle of rough-edged straw studded with tiny beads. Her younger sister wore a deep burgundy velvet bandeau (photo below). Their aunt, Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein, wore a picture hat in champagne straw with wide mushroom brim. The hat’s sheen is spectacular and the repeated use of the wide brim binding also on the hatband gives great balance to the design.

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Much of Luxembourg’s Nassau royal family members were also in attendance. Princess Stephanié, Hereditary Grand Duchess, repeated a circular wrapped headpiece made from overlapping layers of red banana fibre, trimmed with a multi-looped side bow. Princess Claire wore a classic black bandeau trimmed with faux pearls.

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Countess Diane (wife of Prince Jean), wore a tall slice hat of black crin with crown covered in curling pink and black feathers. Jean’s daughter, Princess Marie-Gabrielle, wore a bandeau headpiece covered in varied shades of dusky pink feathers topped with a pink birdcage veil sprinkled with copper sequins.

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Princess Sibilla repeated a wonderful red hat made by Dillon Wallwork. The design features a squared crown covered in the silk crepe, a sidesweeping windowpane straw brim with wide brim edge also in silk crepe, and a wide grey silk hatband with side bow. Also in a British made hat was Princess Beatrice of York in a Julian Garner design described by the milliner as a boater “made out of a fine parasisel straw and is trimmed with hand cut dyed feathers embellished with Preciosa crystals”

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The Greek royal family was represented by Crown Prince Pavlos, Princess Olympia, Prince Michael and Princess Marina. Princess Olympia wore an angular grey-olive bandeau headpiece while Princess Marina donned a black felt fedora with ribbon hatband and kicky upturned brim on one side.

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The Royal House of Hanover was represented by Prince Christian and Princess Alessandra who wore a dark purple bandeau veiled headpiece. The Olympe design from Spanish brand Mimoki features an overlapping double bandeau wrapped in cotton raffia. The Duchess of Bragança topped her blue silk dress and coat with a navy straw arc headpiece trimmed with feathers.

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Princess Tatiana Radziwill wore a red circle headpiece of silk abaca studded with read beads with flying bow tails at the back. Duchess Sophie of Wurtenberg wore a fascinator of bright pink feathers.

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Princess Maria Pia of Savoy wore a pink and grey floral headpiece set on a circle of gathered net tulle veil.  Princess Edouard De Lobkowicz (née Princess Marie Francoise of Bourbon-Parma) wore wonderful throw-back voluminous pillbox covered in curving mint, grey and peach straw leaves.

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The groom’s maternal aunt, Princess Anne Marie of Bourbon Two Sicilies, wore a braided black picture hat with upswept brim on one side, trimmed with a black organdie multi-looped bow and net veil. Her daughter, Dorothée de Bourbon-Siciles, wore a fascinator of neon pink crin, dotted crin and feathers while her daughter-in-law wore a chic black veiled pillbox with bow on the side. 

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Finally, the groom’s maternal uncle, Prince Charles of Bourbon Two Sicilies, attended with his glamorous wife and daughters. Princess Camilla’s navy blue straw vertical disc hat is lavishly trimmed with different varieties of feathers in navy and black, large loops of navy crin and crystal-studded windowpane crin on the exposed underside of the raised brim.  Princess Maria Carolina, who served as a witness, topped her orchid purple suit with a magenta straw hat. With a sharply curved ‘slice’ shape, the design is trimmed with pink and black feathers on the lower side of the brim. Princess Maria Chiara wore a tan silk abaca draped hat with pleated crescent, net tulle veil and dark blue organza leaves and lighter blue flowers.

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Numerous more royal guests attended the wedding who, I’m afraid, were not caught by photographer’s lenses. Even so, we do have record of 33 hats and headpieces from this event which we are able to admire. This leads me to ask, dearest readers- which ones stand out to you, most?

Photos from Getty as indicated