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 

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats thirty-four years ago yesterday to September 21, 1986 when Princess Caroline wore a wide brimmed white straw hat with upturned, cowboy-style brim and a twisted silk hatband that trailed down the back. Her whole look is the epitome of 1980s summery glamour!

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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: 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 

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