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
Sweet snap of three generations of Swedish royals enjoying their visit to the Schönbruun Zoo in Vienna, Austria

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

Monaco National Day 2018

Members of Monaco’s royal family gathered yesterday to celebrate their country’s National Holiday. Princess Charlene used the occasion to debut a new hat in black felt with small, domed button crown and wide cartwheel brim.The pyramid shaped design is a style departure for Charlene that pairs well with her graphic coat.

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Designer: Gallia and Peter for Akris
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Gabriella sported a sweet cream hair bow on the right side of her head.

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Princess Caroline topped her Chanel bouclé suit in a dark teal fedora hat trimmed with a cream lace hatband. The colour is lovely on her but there’s something about the mix of coat, hat and hatband combination that is at odds for me and the ensemble doesn’t draw harmoniously together (and I usually love a fedora!).

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Designer: Maison Michel
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Tatiana Casiraghi wore patent leather bow headpiece with a swath of tulle veil. Her daughter India wore a sweet navy silk hair bow.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Beatrice Casiraghi also wore a headpiece, hers with a looped chocolate velvet bow and long, curved quills that arched over her head. There’s a lovely sense of scale and movement on this design and I adore how the velvet bow links with the chocolate velvet trim on Beatrice’s camel coat.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Coat by Armani.
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Princess Alexandra of Hanover also went with a velvet headpiece, hers a layered black bow on a headband base. The bow placement is a bit twee, even for 19-year old Alexandra, but the scale, colour and luxurious sheen of the velvet coordinates well with her bouclé coat. We’ve not seen this young princess in many (or any?) pieces of millinery and I’m looking forward to seeing how she follows the sophisticated style of her mother and older sister.

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Designer: Miu Miu
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Princess Stephanie wore a black leather headband while her eldest daughter, Pauline Ducruet, wore a formed black felt  tricorn calot hat with bumper style indented crown. The small hat has a 1940s vibe to it emphasized by the saucy angle Pauline placed it on her head.

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Designer of Pauline’s hat: Nina Ricci
Previously Worn:

Melanie de Massy, daughter of Prince Albert’s first cousin, Baroness Elisabeth-Anne de Massy, repeated her black felt Garbo hat. I suspect Baroness Elisabeth-Anne was also in attendance- as soon as I locate a photograph, I’ll update the post. Feel free to post a link if you’ve spotted her anywhere!

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We don’t see the Grimaldi royal family wear hats much except for this event, which is a highlight each year. What hats stood out to you here most?
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Photos from Getty as indicated

Monaco National Day 2017 Part I

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene celebrated Monaco’s national holiday yesterday as in years past, attending mass at the Cathedral of Monaco, reviewing troops in the courtyard of the royal palace and appearing on the palace balcony.

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Princess Charlene wore a new hat in navy felt with a short crown and gently sloped cartwheel brim. In several photos, the hat looks to be a boater but it has a very slight dome on the crown along with its pitched brim

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Navy lining on the collar of the luxurious Akris coat ties the navy hat, gloves and shoes together. I wasn’t initially sold on the cobalt and navy combination but the more I looked at photos, the more I began to adore the subtle contrast which creates a harmonious ensemble and a far more sophisticated and chic look than would have been achieved with higher contrast accessories. And the TILT of that hat?! Swoon. The placement is sheer perfection.

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Designer: Gallia e Peter based in Milan
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella joined their parents on the balcony, providing adorable photos and a few more angles to view Princess Charlene’s wonderful hat.

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We see so many beautifully embellished hats on royal heads, it’s nice to see one every once in a while that relies entirely on colour, shape and scale to stun. I think this one really delivers- what’s your verdict?
Stay tuned later today when we look at the hats worn by extended members of the Grimaldi family
Photos from Getty as indicated