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: 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 

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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Fête Nationale Monégasque 2019: Extended Grimaldi Family

National Day each year in Monaco brings the Grimaldi family together to celebrate their country and yesterday’s celebration saw a number of lovely hats worn by extended family members

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Princess Caroline topped her pale blue coat with a black and copper floral silk jacquard printed bandeau trimmed with a large swath of black veil. There’s not much to say here- it’s a headband with a veil pouf. High fashion, perhaps, but not terribly exciting.

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Designer: likely Maison Michel
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

Tatiana Casiraghi wore a hat described by the milliner as a “slate velour felt downbrim with leather band and bow.” It has beautiful proportions and the layered leather cord as hatband is a subtle but interesting touch. It’s a great hat on Tatiana, a first of what I hope will be many more Rachel Trevor Morgan designs. 

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan. It is R19W24 from AW 2019
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Little India Casiraghi first appeared in a grey wool bonnet that matched her coat, removing both pieces to watch the parade from the Palace Balcony in a floral dress and matching ruffled hatband.

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Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi wore a simple black felt formed beret trimmed with an overlay of black veil (vintage veiling, perhaps?). Beatrice seems to favour smaller scale, classic shapes such as this and she wears it very well.

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Designer: unknown. Clothing by Dior.
Previously Worn: 

Marie Chevallier Ducruet made her debut at this event, the first since marrying Princess Stephanie’s son Louis. She topped her blue coat dress with a smooth ecru felt halo headpiece. I’m not keen on the proportions of this piece, which make it look more like a pillbox from many angles, and wonder if tapered sides, more like those of a bandeau shape, might have worked better. The photo on the right, below, also suggests the piece is overly large for Marie and I wonder if the ruffled coat might have been shown to greater effect with a saucier trimmed percher hat?

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Designer: Jane Taylor. Clothing by Catherine Walker. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

It’s always lovely to see the Grimaldis in hats at this event- which hats on National Day this year stood out to you most? Jump over to yesterday’s post to see hats worn by Prince Albert, Princess Charlene, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella. 

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Photos from Getty as indicated