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 

Princess Charlene’s National Day Hats

Next Thursday we’ll turn our attention to Monaco for the principality’s annual Fête Nationale celebration. This year marks a decade since Princess Charlene began officially attending the event, making this a great opportunity to look back at all the hats she has worn:

    
Chocolate felt sharp slice brimmed hat by Philip Treacy in 2010; black felt bumper with navy veil in 2012;
Navy felt wide brimmed hat with shallow crown in 2013

   
Black stemmed beret in 2014; Burgundy Akris cloche with veil in 2015; Cream straw pyramid with black binding & bow and red and magenta handmade flowers by Rachel Trevor Morgan in 2016

   
All by Gallia e Peter for Akris: Navy felt stylized boater in 2017; Black felt Dior brimmed hat in 2018; White fedora in 2019

UPDATE: Since this post was published, Princess Charlene has worn the following hats to this event:


Dior black felt beret with veil in 2020

It’s an eclectic mix that covers a surprising number of different shapes. There are some standouts for me- the 2016 Rachel Trevor Morgan pyramid was our favourite hat of the year for good reason and the jaunty navy hat in 2017 and white fedora last year are both so very chic. While not my favourite, I have to admire the the burgundy cloche in 2015 simply because it’s such a bold shape and few could have carried it off so well. We see so few hats on Charlene it’s easy to forget how good many of her millinery looks have been.

What do you think of Princess Charlene’s National Day looks?

Photos by Pascal Le Segretain, Mark Cuthbert/UK Press, PLS Pool, Pascal Le Segretain, Thierry Orban, Thierry Orban, Pascal Le Segretain, Stephane Cardinale/Corbis, Arnold Jerocki and Valery Hache/AFP via Getty

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.

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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.”

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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.

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

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

Last Friday, April 5, Princess Beatrice visited the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre in a black leather bandeau headpiece. While it looks eerily similar to one recently worn by her sister, the two pieces are different (the central knot on this bandeau is visibly bigger).

On Wednesday, members of the Imperial Royal Family visited the Emperor and Empress to offer congratulations on their 60th wedding anniversary. All the princesses were in hats- Crown Princess Masako in a repeated cream pleated bumper; Princesses Kiko, Mako and Kako in cuffed calot hats; Princess Hanako in a pink brimmed hat with ruffled feather trim; and Princess Yuriko in a green silk covered bumper hat with side flower.
 
Princess Nobuko repeated a green silk bumper hat with lace covered crown and Princess Akiko wore a yellow silk bumper hat previously worn by Princess Hanako. Princess Yoko repeated her peach textured pillbox, Princess Tsuguko repeated her peach silk bumper with pleated leaf motif around the outside brim and Princess Hisako repeated a royal blue silk ensemble with bumper hat.
King Carl Gustaf in his trusty fedora on Thursday for a visit to a solar farm
Crown Princess Mette-Marit shared these snaps of her family enjoying a day out skiing
The Cambridges were spotted at Burnham Market international horse trials in Norfolk where they joined Mike and Mia Tindall to watch Zara compete. Prince William sported a natty flat cap.
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Princess Charlene was at the Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg, South Africa yesterday to attend her namesake race day annual event. She topped her royal blue dress and bolero jacket by Terrence Bray with a black floral and crin fascinator
Rachel Trevor Morgan, Noel Stewart and Edwina Ibbotson have curated a hat exhibition ‘Unveiled- The Craft of Millinery’ that will be open May 8-12 in London (May 8-10 at the Artworkers Guild and May 11-12 at Fenwick of Bond Street). Featuring the work of 14 milliners, the exhibition will also include workshops and a curators talk you can register to attend here. Also launched this week was this year’s Royal Ascot Millinery Collective. So lovely to see an Australian milliner (Jill Humphries of Jill and Jack Millinery in Melbourne) included in this year’s lineup!
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The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Autumnal orange felt sidesweep with fantastic feathers by Australian milliner Neil Grigg
Luxuriously smooth lines on this pale pink leather percher with bow by British milliner Fi Graham
Whimsical wired floral black headpiece of dotted net by Australian milliner Lisa Hughes
Eye catching oversize purple straw saucer with orange straw twists by UK brand Rebecca Couture Millinery
Love the classic 50s vibe on Jane Taylor’s white straw and black patent braided pyramid hat
Adore the movement on this royal blue feather headpiece from Melbourne-based Jill and Jack Millinery
Punchy black and citrus yellow scheme on this floral trimmed black straw percher by British milliner Jess Collett
Beautiful cream straw sidesweep with golden peach flying bow by British milliner Vivien Sheriff
Orange straw fez with orange & fuchsia sleek square flowers by Irish brand Martha Lynn Millinery
Bold navy felt halo headband with pinwheel bloom and curling quills by UK brand Hatonista Millinery

And from British milliner Natasha Mobey, this wonderfully creative handwoven basket of straw folded cranes, created for London Hat Week.

This summer’s special exhibit at Buckingham Palace focuses on Queen Victoria’s reign with a wonderful look at pieces from the 1851 Stuart Ball.
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Lovely portrait of Princess Ariane released Wednesday for her 12th birthday

Photos from FNN; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun