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).

Thankfully, the hats at the religious wedding were more noteworthy- stay tuned next week when we’ll spend the entire week looking at all of them.

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: unknown. Clothing by Dior.
Previously Worn: 

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 

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats sixty-two years back to November 19, 1957 and the first year Princess Caroline took part in Monaco’s National Day celebrations. At just ten months old, she is the picture of charm in a traditional Monegasque folk costume complete with pyramid shaped hat. I wonder how her hat tomorrow will compare?!

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Photo from Getty as indicated

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1977 and a multi-coloured butterfly headpiece on a young (and very tanned!) Princess Caroline of Monaco.

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Photo from Getty as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Yesterday, Princess Hisako attended the 34th Tokyo Metropolitan Art Gallery for the Disabled in Tokyo. Her ecru straw hat sported an interesting shape and a summery pink and green patterned hatband.
Queen Margrethe repeated her new-ish terra cotta orange straw hat with navy hatband yesterday in Soenderborg to unveil a waterfront sculpture made by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson.
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Princess Stephanie of Monaco’s son, Louis Ducruet, was married today to Marie Chevalier in a private ceremony at The Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate. The bride wore a gown created Atelier Boisanger and Pauline Ducruet.  While there were few hats at the wedding, it seems that Beatrice Borromeo Cassiraghi wore the roughly woven picture hat her mother-in-law wore for Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s civil wedding in 2011 (this one)



The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Striking take on a percher in burnt orange straw with embossed bow by Australian milliner Lisette Margini
Lovely pattern on this black and white Panama straw hat by London-based milliner Maria Zherebtsova
Charming natural straw saucer with lavender silk abaca bow by American milliner Cassie MacGregor
Crisp navy and cream straw boater with feathers and veil by Australian brand Monroe Millinery
Mesmerizing movement on the crin bow of this dark green percher by Indonesian milliner Furi Riskyana
Such pretty Petersham ribbon flowers on this blue and white percher by British milliner Susan Widlake
Cobalt blue felt percher with wonderful dotted veil by Scottish milliner William Chambers
The monochrome silk hatband on this Philip Treacy Panama straw fedora is absolute perfection

And from Australian milliner Jill Humphries, this hugger with curling side fin covered in cut pink feathers. So glam!

Preparations for the the Daijosai celebration, part of Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement, which will happen later this fall, are underway. Hemp was harvested to create a new kimono and ground was ceremonial broken at the Imperial Royal Palace to signify the start of construction on the buildings where the celebration will take place.


We wrap up this week with a set of fun snaps of the Earl and Countess of Wessex enjoying the Bristol Zoo on Tuesday with Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn
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Photos from social media as indicated