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.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

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.”

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

While the second train gave a grand, regal, sweeping look to the back of the dress, it appeared heavy and difficult to maneuver.

Embed from Getty Images

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).

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

You’ll also notice that the front view of the dress shows a noticeably different silhouette without the second train.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

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 

Fête Nationale Monégasque 2019

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

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

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

[getty src=”1188628940,1188624658,1188630533,1188628436,1188679866″ height=”480″ tld=”co.uk”

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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!).

Embed from Getty Images

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.
Embed from Getty Images
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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
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.
Embed from Getty Images
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. 
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
This wraps up our look back at this wedding! What do you think of this final group of hats?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Royal Hats at the Olympics

As the Olympics draw to a close this weekend, I thought we should look back at some of the royal hats we have seen during the Sochi games.

Crown Prince Haakon, February 14, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Crown Prince Haakon, Prince Albert & Alexandra of Hanover, February 14, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Prince Albert of Monaco and Alexandra of Hanover attend the
downhill run of the men’s alpine skiing super combined event on February 14, 2014

Alexandra of Hanover & Pierre Casiraghi, February 14, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Prince Albert, February 12, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

 Alexandra of Hanover and her brother Pierre Casiraghi at the men’s super combined
competition on February 14, 2012; Prince Albert of Monaco at an event on February 12, 2014  

King Harald & Queen Sonja, February 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats BlogKing Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway at the Women’s 12.5 km Mass Start competition on February 17, 2014 

Queen Máxima, February 11, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands watching the men’s Snowboard Halfpipe qualification on February 11, 2014

King Carl Gustaf & Queen Silvia, February 15, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

King Carl Gustaf & Queen Silvia, February 16, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden at cross country ski events on February 15 & 16, 2014 

Photos from KCS Presse via Corbis; Leonhard Foeger/Reuters/CorbisKCS Presse/Splash News/Corbis; KCS Presse via Corbis; Kay Neitfeld via Corbis; Jens Buettner/EPA/Corbis; Hendrik Schmidt/EPA/Corbis; and KCS Presse via Corbis

Hat from the Past

The Royal Hats Blog   On February 10, 2006, Prince Albert of Monaco attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. These photos of the perennial bachelor, who looked like he was working hard to impress a mystery blonde date, were an international sensation. I don’t think anyone in the royal world suspected that the goofy prince in the red ski hat would marry the mystery blonde, South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock, five years later.

Prince Albert, February 10, 2006 | The Royal Hats Blog

Prince Albert, February 10, 2006 | The Royal Hats Blog

Photosby Pascal Le Segretain via Hello Magazine