Habsburg Bourbon Wedding in Austria

On Saturday, Prince Henri of Bourbon-Parma and Archduchess Gabriella of Austria were married on the grounds of Schloss Tratzberg in Jenbach, Austria following a three year engagement. Archduchess Gabriella might be familiar to some of you- she is the daughter of Archduke Carl Christian and Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria (thus niece of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg). There is a comprehensive explanation of the couple’s familial roots here.

Gabriella wore an ivory silk strapless gown with fitted bodice that extended to an A-line skirt with short train. A cropped overlay jacket of appliqued lace with three-quarter length and an embellished boat neckline topped the gown.


Gabriella completed her bridal look with full length lace veil and the Grand Duchess Adelaide Tiara with diamond leaf and berry motif and center sapphire (you can read more about the tiara over at Luxarazzi or The Court Jeweller). Some reports have suggested that the veil is the same as was worn by the bride’s elder sister Archduchess Marie Christine back in 2008 but as you’ll see here, the veil’s size and lace pattern is different. Whatever the provenance of the lace, it paired beautifully with the gown, lace jacket and delicate bandeau tiara to create a very pretty bridal look for Gabriella.

The wedding took place late afternoon so there were no hats but some lovely royal guest fashion is to be admired, including a sweet pink Austrian folk dress on the couple’s nearly 3-year old daughter, Victoria. At the back of the bottom photo, you’ll also catch wee Prince Charles of Luxembourg, proudly held by his papa.


Norwegian Royal Wedding, 52 Years On

Anniversary
King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway celebrated 52 years of marriage on Saturday.

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The couple married on August 29, 1968 at Oslo Domkirke following a nine-year courtship that began serendipitously when, several months after her father’s death, Sonja Heraldsen was convinced, by her mother, to attend a June 1959 party also attended by the Crown prince.  Despite the couple being photographed several months later at his graduation from the Norwegian Military Academy, they had to overcome strong pressure for Crown Prince Harald to marry a foreign princess instead of a commoner trained as a dressmaker and tailor. But overcome they did (reportedly, after Harald, the sole heir, gave an ultimatum to his father that it was Sonja or no one!) and consent was granted to their union in 1968. King Olav V added his own support to the marriage by offering to escort Sonja down the aisle.

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Sonja’s training as a dressmaker in Norway and France and work in her late father’s clothing store undoubtedly gave her greater understanding of fashion than most royal brides. She collaborated with Sigrid Vedeler from Norwegian fashion house Molstad for her gown.

The resulting gown followed a silhouette popular in the late 1960s- high neck, three quarter sleeves, slight empire waist and A-line skirt- made of structured silk zibeline that crisply emphasized the design’s clean lines and beautifully held its shape. The gown was simply embellished with pearl embroidery on the funnel neck and on bands at the sleeves.

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A sweeping, square edged train attached at the shoulders.

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The gown was topped with a voluminous silk organza full length veil anchored by a spiky white faux floral headpiece. To balance the headpiece, Sonja’s only other accessories were simple pearl stud earrings. Her all white bouquet, made by legendary retired decorator Fernando Menk, included orchids, roses, lily of the valley and Sonja’s favorite flower, freesia.

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With guests in gowns and tiaras, the wedding was a glittering affair.

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I have always loved this bridal look for its sweeping lines and streamlined aesthetic. What are your thoughts, 52 years on?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Greek Royal Wedding, Ten Years On

Ten years ago today, Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark married Tatiana Blatnik at the Cathedral of Ayios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) on the Greek island of Spetses. The wedding was the family’s first on Greek soil since going into exile in 1967. While smaller in royal attendance than the weddings of the groom’s elder brother in 1995 and sister in 1999, it was still a glittering event.

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Tatiana turned to fellow Venezuelan-born designer Angel Sanchez for her wedding gown. Made from 40 meters of French Chantilly lace, the strapless gown was topped with a scalloped edge bolero jacket that she wore for the sunset ceremony and removed for the evening reception. The gown followed an A-line silhouette with strapless crisscross bodice featuring a sweetheart neckline and a draped skirt flowing from the hip.  A separate train, attached at the back, completed the gown.

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The same Chantilly lace was used for an extended veil. It’s a romantic look for certain but the lace upon lace upon lace layers of skirt, train, veil and bolero blurred the lace’s detail instead of enhancing it. On its own, the veil is beautiful but its detail and scalloped edge were lost in the overall look.

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Queen Anne-Marie’s Antique Corsage Tiara anchored the veil, adding a lovely bit of sparkle to Tatiana’s lacy bridal look (and perhaps starting a Greek family tradition, as Princess Marie-Chantal also wore it for her wedding). Diamond drop earrings completed Tatiana’s accessories,

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Children in the wedding party were dressed in white linen suits and white cotton dresses with pleated detail with white floral wreaths in their hair.

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As for the bridesmaids in their strapless sequinned bodice dresses with marine hued skirts…. it was all a bit too disco mermaid.

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As the ceremony took place in the evening, the dress code did not include hats but with a lengthy royal guest list ( many of them extended family members), there was much glamorous fashion to enjoy

Greek & Spanish Royal Families:

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Danish Royal Family:

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Other Royal Guests:

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There aren’t hats here to discuss so instead we, unusually, talk tiara. How does this royal bridal look hold up for you, ten years on?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Monaco Royal Wedding: Guests from Non-Reigning Royal Houses

We wrap up our week-long look at the hats worn to Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s religious wedding on July 2, 2011 with those worn by guests from non-reigning royal houses.

Empress Farah wore a pleated turban in the same lime green silk as her jacket and dress that tied at the back in a bow. It was a very coordinated look with subtle contrast provided by the use of both matte and shiny sides of the fabric twisted together and narrow fringe on the bottom of the back bow’s tie.

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Princess Marina of Savoy wore a picture hat in layered navy and black straw, sharply raised on one side and simply trimmed with a slim black straw hatband. The layered straw gives an interesting effect, merging the two colours surprisingly well, especially with the top layer of the straw brim cut shorter than the bottom navy layer to give some lightness to the design around the outer brim’s edge. On its own the hat was great. It’s the pairing with this feather-hemmed, bedazzled, cocktail-all-the-way dress that gives me issue. It’s a dress that simply doesn’t suit a hat.

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Marina’s daughter-in-law, Princess Clotilde, paired her ruffle trimmed scarlet dress with an oversize flower headpiece in black silk. While the black accessories work with the dress, I’d have preferred a sleeker percher hat to provide a more streamlined counterpoint for the statement dress.

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Princess Camilla of Bourbon-Two Sicilies is well known for her dramatic sartorial choices and attended this event in the ultimate (most literal? cheesiest?) symbol of love. Her large heart-shaped hat was covered in the same pink silk as her outfit, emphasized with the same magenta handpainted ombre effect as on the collar of her jacket. Well known to be one of Prince Albert’s closest friends, I always wondered if Camilla’s pink statement of love was directed at the unfortunate rumours that plagued the run up to this event… or if this was always her plan. My guess is the latter. Either way, it was quite a hat.

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Maria Margarita de Bourbon, Duchess of Anjou, paired her beautifully embellished grey dress with a statement hat in slightly lighter grey straw. The design was lavishly trimmed with grey silk oversize roses and crystal studded cut feathers placed below the brim of the saucer’s raised side.

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Princess Micaëla of Orleans wore a warm tan-hued raffia sun hat with wide, pleated brim from the Madagascar Hat Company. A twisted sash hatband in the same magenta silk as her skirt was added to the hat, presumably to link the ensemble together.

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The Duchess of Bragança paired her pale blue silk suit with a simple ecru straw hat with flat crown and upturned kettle brim.

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Crown Princess Margarita of Romania was a sunny vision in yellow with wide brimmed hat. The design, by Romanian milliner Kristina Dragomir, featured a shallow, flat crown and gently downcurved brim and was trimmed with a yellow silk hatband and swath of dotted veil wrapped around the crown and tied in a bow across the back. I’m not always a fan of one-colour looks but this shade of yellow is so happy and well suited to Margarita (and successfully grounded by the cream accessories and pearl jewellery) that I can’t help but like it.

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Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia paired her ice blue silk beaded dress and jacket with a feminine headpiece of large white and blue ombre flower petal ruffles trimmed with loops of blue tube crin. I can see how the headpiece linked with her ensemble and I love the unconventional design but I think a less fussy piece (anything that didn’t look like layered cabbage leaves) would have been a better option.

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Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia wore a tall, peaked Kokoshnik-style headpiece in the same floral silk as her dress. Maria’s committment to this traditional Russian millinery shape is admirable (she has worn the shape many times over the years) but this particularly combination of headpiece and dress (with those drapery-esque sleeves) was a LOT of look.

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Princess Sophie of Isenburg, who would marry Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia a month later, paired her colorful couture dress and jacket with an equally vibrant headpiece. Built on a pale beigey-pink silk abaca bandeau with swishy curving edge, the headpiece was trimmed with a birdcage veil, an over-arc of black burnt feathers and a trio of blue, caramel and pink flower feathers on the side. There are countless reasons not to like the headpiece with the ensemble that I continue to ignore, simply because it was of the few ensembles at this event that felt free and fun.

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Stephanie, Hereditary Princess of Baden, wore a giant ivory silk chiffon rose headpiece with petal edges tinged in pink. I love a millinery statement but this this one was dulled by her ‘whole lot of biscuit’ ensemble. Princess Ursula of Bavaria, on the other hand, played up her black straw bow headpiece with feathers, pairing it with a black and white suit. The feather work on this headpiece is worth a second look- a fantastic dahlia flower of black and white striped goose biot feathers with a red center was surrounded by dotted pheasant feathers with a firework display of black coque feathers shooting around the top and side.  Yes, it’s dated now but I still love its bold design and scale.

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Princess Virginia von Fürstenberg, who had been a longtime friend and companion to the widowed Prince Rainier, topped her navy silk dress and scarf and lace jacket with a shiny straw cloche hat in the same colour. The design was simply trimmed with a navy hatband and wide binding around the extended brim.

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That wraps up our look at the Monaco royal wedding nine years ago, and the 44 royal hats and headpieces that attended its multi-day celebration. Which hats in this last group stand out to you most? Which overall royal hat at this event was your favourite?

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

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Monaco Royal Wedding: Other Reigning Royal Houses

With lots more hats to still admire, we continue our look at the July 2, 2011 religious wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene with guests from The Netherlands, United Kingdom and Jordan, Thailand and Morocco.

Princess Máxima, as was her title at the time, debuted a hat at this wedding that has since become one of her most-worn pieces. In warm-hued caramel straw, the familiar ‘slice’ shape is sharply upturned on one side that curves back off the face to effectively highlight it. The hat is simply trimmed with a wide Petersham ribbon hatband in the same colour tied in a side bow. The combination of caramel hat and tangerine silk dress was a little out-of-the-box but worked well on Máxima, brilliantly playing of Willem-Alexander’s crisp white tropical dress military uniform.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. Dress by Natan.

The Countess of Wessex topped her sleek slate grey pleated sheath dress with an exuberant hat. A large grey saucer, placed at a steep incline, the design’s focus was its trim- large sprays of cut feathers in varied shades of grey and finished with a sizable diamanté cluster on the outer side of the hat. The colour variation in the feather trim gave great depth and movement to the hat and while the overall look was monochrome, the sleek lines of the dress contrasted with the hat’s lavish trim to provide enough textural contrast that kept the look anything but flat.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. Dress by Amanda Wakeley.

Princess Michael of Kent wore one of her characteristically wide brimmed hats, a finely woven white straw design with low crown and curved brim trimmed with an oversize beigey-blush silk rose under one side of the brim.  You’ll notice no seam at the base of this hat’s crown, its smooth lines flowing out to the brim, like a cloche. The seamless shape creates a downward front curve of the hat, pulling it down visually, and making me really wish the flower was above the brim in a more traditional placement to lift the look. As it is, almost touching Marie-Christine’s shoulder, the flower competes with her amazing necklace. Although, who, am I kidding, we’re all unable to divert our eyes from those sleeves.

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Princess Sara al Faisal of Jordan (second wife of Prince Faisal bin Hussein) brought some colour to this wedding’s fashion with a head to toe look in vibrant magenta. Her button percher, covered in what looks like the same silk as her dress and jacket, was trimmed with a large silk rose and deep burgundy curled cut feather. Different shades of deep pink in the rose trim gave the hat great dimension and saved the overall look from being one-note.

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While not in hats, Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana of Thailand and  Lalla Meryem of Morocco and her daughter, Sharifa Lalla Soukaïna Filali, represented their respective countries in exquisitely beautiful national dress that deserves inclusion in our sartorial tour of this event.

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Well, what do you think, dearest readers? Which hats and ensembles stand out here are your favourites?

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

Photos from Getty as indicated