Monaco Princess Dons Berets For Sainte Devote

Princess Charlene of Monaco donned a pair of berets last night and today to celebrate Saint Devota, patron and protector of the Principality. For Tuesday night’s traditional bonfire, where a boat is offered to the patron saint, she topped a black and red woven tweed coat with a classic black beret.

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The simple hat is a great pairing for the patterned coat and for this informal evening event.

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Designer: Dior. Coat by Akris
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella joined their parents for the outdoor event, the young prince dapper in a royal blue and black patterned knit hat and matching scarf. Princess Gabriella wore a bucket hat in the matching pink and ivory mini hound’s tooth check as her skirt and coat. How charming!

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Designer of Princess Gabriella’s hat: Baby Dior
Previously Worn: this hat is new

For today’s Sainte Devote Ceremony at the Monaco Cathedral, Princess Charlene topped an austere black ensemble with a bright cerise pink felt stemmed beret.

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The hat breathes some life support into this ensemble. I’m all for a hat being the star of the show (the colour is such fun!) but I’d love to see it paired with an outfit that doesn’t overwhelm its wearer.

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Designer: unconfirmed. Prada coat and dress
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Princess Charlene has been on roll of beret hats, these her third and fourth in the past three months. The classic French shape suits her streamlined aesthetic (and edgy new haircut!) well. What do you think of these berets for St. Devote?

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: 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