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 

Monaco National Day 2017 Part II

Members of the Grimaldi family joined in celebrations of their country’s national holiday yesterday, attending mass at the Cathedral of Monaco and events at the royal palace.

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Princess Caroline of Hanover and Monaco topped her grey finely woven tween suit in a matching bowler hat variation with rounded crown and short upturned brim.  I adore it for what it is,  an overthought but oh-so classic Caroline-Chanel combination.

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Designer: Chanel
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Tatiana Casiraghi, who is expecting her third child, wore a black velvet bandeau headpiece with veil. As far as bandeaus go, this is a good one on its own. I’m just not sure about it in combination with her voluminous red coat.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn:this headpiece is new

Charlotte Casiraghi wore a close fitting burgundy cloche hat with twisted rose detail on the side. The hat seemed a better match for her dress than the brown tweed overcoat she wore to the Cathedral- these two pieces were completely out of proportion against the other.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Beatrice Casiraghi topped her camel and black belted coat with a matching percher hat. With a camel felt beret shaped base, the hat is simply trimmed with a widely woven black veil overlay. Its a well coordinated and balanced ensemble that works but leaves me a bit “meh”. In a brighter hue it would have been great.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Prince Albert’s first cousin, Baroness Elisabeth-Anne de Massy (below, right in a navy and black coat), daughter of the late Princess Antoinette, wore a black calot hat with short, cuffed brim and trimmed with a black bow and net veil at the front.  Her daughter Melanie (bottom photo, left) wore a black felt wide brimmed Garbo hat. It’s a classic shape Melanie wears well but that would have been much better balanced with a few more inches added to the hem of her frock and coat.

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After Princess Charlene’s stellar ensemble and hat, I’m afraid these hats fall a bit flat in comparison. What do you think of the hats in Monaco yesterday?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Hanover Royal Wedding

The religious wedding service of Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Lueneburg, and Ekaterina Malysheva was celebrated today at Hanover Market Church in Hanover, Germany.

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The bride wore an intricately beaded gown and veil from young Lebanese designer, Sandra Mansour. According to the designer, the gown is “inspired by Russia, her (the bride’s) native land, entirely embroidered with the wire and the hand. Chantilly lace and sublimated by beaded details, this required the work of the embroiderers of the Mansour workshops for more than three and a half months.” The gown follows a traditional silhouette with squared sweetheart neckline, long, leg o’mutton sleeves, fitted bodice, and full, ballgown skirt that swept into a substantial train.

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Ekaterina anchored her embroidered silk and lace veil with the Hanovarian Floral Tiara, a substantial piece in a floral motif that has presumably been in the groom’s family for generations.

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The wedding was, not surprisingly, attended by members of the Casiraghi family. Tatiana Santo Domingo wore a large cream straw picture hat with gently upswept brim, trimmed with a blush pink ruched silk hatband. The off-centre peak on the crown of this piece is a shape Philip Treacy has widely used in his collections the past two years, making me suspect the design is from him. It’s a wonderfully romantic hat that Tatiana wears well.

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As shown in the photo above, Princess Alexandra (who is half sister to the groom), did not wear a hat. Charlotte Casiraghi wore a Garbo variation with floppy brim. A Garbo hat would be such a great shape for her fantastic coat but the proportions of this one, with a too short brim that is attached awkwardly low on the crown, emphasising its round shape, is simply off.

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Beatrice Borromeo topped her pale green floral dress in a rosy-beige headpiece of braided straw by Marta Ferri . The design is an interesting concept but the colour isn’t particularly flattering on Beatrice and I’m at a loss to see how it relates to the rest of her ensemble. The design also has an open crown, which makes it a tough sell for me.

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The wedding was also attended by numerous members of German royal houses. Princess Sophie of Prussia wore a grey cocktail hat with moulded straw base, embellished with a large, silk cabbage rose in the same hue. The neutral hat and other grey accessories are a beautiful counterpoint to her vibrant magenta dress.

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Princess Elisabeth of Thurn and Taxis wore a calot hat covered in layered burgundy feathers. The Margravine of Baden (née Archduchess Valerie of Austria, who is married to Maximilian, Margrave of Baden, head of the Grand-Ducal House of Baden and nephew of the Duke of Edinburgh), topped her navy silk dress with a wide brimmed hat in orchid purple straw with a ruched hatband and large front bow.

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And finally, Prince Alexander of Schaumburg-Lippe attended with his partner, Mahkameh Navabi, who wore a large navy straw hat with crin edged brim, trimmed with a side bow.

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Even smaller royal weddings are great hat occasions and this one brought us numerous hats on royals we don’t often see. Jump over to the great blog Confessions Of A Castleholic (written by Svenja, who also co-writes the great Luxarazzi blog) for fantastic photos she took of guests and the couple today. For now, which designs stood out to you most?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Catching Up On Royal Hats

After a short vacation, I’m back refreshed and ready for what will be a very busy upcoming month of royal hats! Thanks so much for keeping the conversation going while I was away- you readers are absolutely wonderful. A few of you have requested a post with photos of all the hats we missed over the past week – here we go.

May 21:  Princess Anne attending Day 2 of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 2017 in a repeated hat with tall, navy straw crown and cream brim trimmed with navy straw bow loops, silk flowers and feather quills. She wore it most recently in June 2015 at garden party (jump to this post for better views).

May 24: Queen Sonja of Norway opened the 65th Bergen International Festival in a repeated gold straw hat with high, domed crown, flat brim and wide silk hatband we saw her last wear in June 2015.

Queen Sonja, May 24, 2017 | Royal Hats

May 24: The Duchess of Cornwall presented RAF Halton with new colours. She repeated a hat by Lock and Co. with a tall crown, upturned kettle brim and side bow in nubbly natural straw.

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May 24: The Duke of Edinburgh and the Earl of Wessex presented the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award gold awards at Buckingham Palace in a pair of straw Panama hats

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May 25: Queen Elizabeth visited the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and an equestrian farm in Staffordshire, repeating the orange straw cloche with wrap around the crown that she first wore for Ascot last year. Designed by Angela Kelly, the hat is trimmed with orange straw bows, silk roses and royal blue feathers.

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May 25: Empress Michiko, Princess Kiko, Princess Hisako and Princess Nobuko attended the Japanese Red Cross Society annual meeting. Empress Michicko repeated a white saucer with blow and transparent lattice underbrim and Princess Kiko repeated a bowler variation with upturned, kettle brim and pleated hatband in the same ice blue printed silk as her suit. Princess Hisako wore a charcoal grey straw design with wide, dotted hatband sash that tied in a bow at the side while Princess Nobuko repeated a white hat with rolled brim and crisp navy hatband with white pinstripes.

Imperial Royal Family, May 25, 2017 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, May 25, 2017 | Royal Hats  Princess Kiko, May 25, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Hisako, May 25, 2017 | Royal Hats  Princess Nobuko, May 25, 2017 | Royal Hats

May 25: Princess Eugenie co-hosted a Buckingham Palace garden party with her father to celebrate the Centenary of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). She wore a new gold straw hat with inverted crin brim by Nerida Fraiman (it’s the Crin Disc Gold from SS 2017). I adore the shape and sheen of this design.

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May 26: Princess Anne delivered closing remarks at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 2017 (read parts of her speech here). She looked fantastic in an emerald green dress topped with a cream straw hat with diagonal crown and sharply upturned brim on one side. The hat is trimmed with a mass of cream feathers on the lowered side of the brim and stacked hatbands in gold and caramel straw. While the hat follows a very similar shape and colour to the one she debuted for Easter last year, I think this one is different. Have any of you seen it before?

May 27: Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko travelled to Toyama to attend the 68th National Tree-Planting Festival. On the first day of their three day visit, Empress Michiko repeated a large, white, domed saucer hat trimmed in a black and caramel striped silk bow she most recently wore during their last visit to this region in October 2015.

Empress Michiko, May 27, 2017 | Royal Hats

May 27: Charlotte Casiraghi photographed attending a wedding in Italy in a white cuffed calot hat. It’s a repeated pice that was worn several decades earlier by her mother, Princess Caroline.

May 28: Empress Michicko on Day 2 in Toyama in a large white saucer with a coordinating bow to her lime and black and white hounds tooth checked suit she first wore June 1, 2014. How wonderful is that hit of lime!

Empress Michiko, May 28, 2017 | Royal Hats  Empress Michiko, May 28, 2017 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, May 28, 2017 | Royal Hats 

May 28: Queen Elizabeth en route to Crathie Church for Sunday Service in a repeated magenta straw hat with upswept brim, white straw hatband, straw loops at the side and a pair of magenta feathers. Jump over to this post for better photos from this Rachel Trevor Morgan design’s most recent outing in May 2016.

May 29: Empress Michicko wrapping up the visit to Toyama in her repeated, teal blue, rimmed saucer with grey, black and white plaid bow in the same silk as her skirt. She wore it last June 4, 2016

Empress Michiko, May 29, 2017 | Royal Hats  Empress Michiko, May 29, 2017 | Royal Hats

May 31: Today, The Duke of Edinburgh hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the London Youth charity’s 130th anniversary. He looked rather dapper in his straw Panama hat.

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I think that catches us up! I think there’s only one hat here that didn’t make it into your discussion- Princess Anne’s cream straw hat worn with the green dress. I think this is a knockout outfit for her and am curious to hear what you think. Any final thoughts on the hats we’ve seen over the past week?