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: Dior Veiled Beret in Black from AW 2019. Clothing by Dior.
Previously Worn: this hat is new

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 

Fête Nationale Monégasque 2019

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

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Princess Charlene was in winter white from head to toe, topping her trouser and coat ensemble with a tall-crowned felt fedora. An ivory silk hatband gives a slight bit of contrast to the beautifully executed design.The hat tops a very sleek, modern-minimal look for Charlene- a look that stood out amidst the darker, winter-hued ensembles worn by other family members.

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I like the hat simply because it’s unexpected- its classic shape and pared-down aesthetic is consistent with Charlene’s millinery style while it’s excellent placement, angled slightly on her head, give it an air of mystery and effortlessness that makes it impossible to classify as boring. I’m less certain about the this hat with this ensemble- the trouser and fedora combination feels a bit business-y (although who’s to say that’s not perfectly appropriate here?) and the absence of colour makes the overall look bit cold and stark. While today’s all white (with Princess Gabriella’s all-red ensemble) seems to have been a nod to the two colours of Monaco’s flag, I’d love to see this look again with the coat swapped for one in pale blue or millennial pink, just to see if a bit of colour contrast elevates it.

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Designer: Akris, made by Milan millinery house Gallia e Peter. Clothing by Akris
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Gabriella made her millinery debut today, looking very sweet in a cherry red unstructured felt beret. While placement of the beret wasn’t optimal (and she eventually dropped it off the balcony!), Gabriella has many years ahead to perfect such things. The reflection of Monaco’s national flag through Charlene and Gabriella’s white and red outfits was a thoughtfully patriotic touch.

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Designer: Akris, made by Milan millinery house Gallia e Peter. Coat by Akris, dress by Dior.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Prince Jacques was dressed in a miniature uniform of the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince (Prince’s Company of Riflemen), the infantry branch tasked with protecting the Royal Palace. The winter dress uniform includes a blue cloth helmet with red and white dress plumes.

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What do you think of this first trio of hats today in Monaco?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Dutch Royal Wedding 17 Years On: Royal Guests Part 3

We wrap up our nostalgic look back at King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s wedding on February 2, 2002 with a look at the royal hats worn by guests from Spain, Greece, Jordan, Great Britain, Monaco with a few extras thrown in.

Queen Sofia of Spain wore a cascading headpiece of golden beige organza leaves and roses. While the design looked transported from the 1960s, it linked well with her lace suit.

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Princess Cristina wore a heather purple felt brimmed hat trimmed with feathers in purple and dark grey. I’m still at odds about the feather placement- on one hand, it’s terribly messy but on the other, I like its exuberance and admire how the two shades link with her dark blue velvet and purple silk coat… a rather bulky item (it looked like a blanket) that hasn’t aged well. When a hat makes a coat look better, that can only be a good thing.

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Queen Anne-Marie of Greece topped her textured red coat with a matching hat. In a modified top hat shape, the felt design features a tall, flared crown with domed top, upturned rolled brim with downsweep on one side, a layered red felt hatband and brown mink pompoms. The mink trim links well with the mink trim on Anne-Marie’s coat without being overly matchy and those pompoms are whimsical and fun. This hat’s unique shape is very much of its time but I always thought it was a bold and brave choice for her.

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Princess Marie-Chantal followed the same formula as Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, topping her richly patterned brocade coat with a tall brown fur Cossack style hat. Unfortunately, the hat’s large scale completely overwhelmed her and I’m still trying to see how it relates to the red, magenta and gold printed coat (which it’s own, is gorgeous!).

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Queen Noor of Jordan wore an embroidered headscarf in white, an interesting colour choice for a winter event with her baby blue silk tailored suit. She is photographed below by the Prince of Wales who wore his naval uniform and cap. Princess Sarvath, Princess Badiya and Princess Sumaya are also listed on the guest list but I’ve not been able to locate any photographs of them.
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The Countess of Wessex wore primarily Philip Treacy millinery hats at the time and chose one in camel felt for this event. The design made its style statement primarily by shape, pairing a deeply pinched, tall stovepipe crown with an offset brim. The hat was minimally embellished with a slim hatband tied in a front bow. It’s another design very much of the time and looking at it now, seemed a little heavy for Sophie’s cream coat and delicately embellished dress.

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Prince Albert of Monaco wore military uniform with cap while his elder sister, Princess Caroline of Hanover and Monaco, wore a grey felt cloche with extended brim and wide grey hatband. The hat’s classic shape suited Caroline well although I’m not sure about its pairing with her Chanel dress and coat, pieces that feel like they ought to be paired with something more luxurious and bespoke.
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Princess Míriam of Bulgaria topped her pink feathered skirt and fur collared jacket in a what looks like a headpiece of horizontally placed pheasant and pink feathers, placed on the back of her head.
Princess Inaara, wife of the Aga Khan at the time, wore a calot hat in large flowers with petals made of mocha and copper organza, velvet and crin (see closeup here). The mixed textures on the piece gave it some life and while it related well to Inaara’s fur trimmed camel cape, these combined less well with her mushroom grey tweed suit and earthy green blouse. Too many neutrals, I’d say.
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Other noteable guests included Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel, who wore a traditional African printed capulana headwrap and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his wife Nane, who wore a brimmed hat in pale pink straw. 
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This wraps up our look back at this wedding! What do you think of this final group of hats?
Photos from Getty as indicated