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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Royal Wedding Wednesday~ Prince Albert and Princess Charlene

Last Friday, all of Monaco (and Europe) watched as in a matter of seconds Miss Charlene Wittstock became a Princess when she wed Prince Albert II.

Princess Charlene\'s Chanel Suit

The short civil ceremony was attended by 80 close friends and family members in the throne room.

Civil Ceremony 1- Princely Wedding- (C) Palais Princier

Making an appearance on the balcony with the happy couple were the witnesses. Mrs. Donatella Knecht de Massy is the wife of Sebastien de Massy, Prince Albert's first cousin once removed and grandson of Princess Antoinette of Monaco. Mr. Chris Le Vine is Prince Albert’s cousin. His mother, Lizanne Le Vine, was Princess Grace’s sister.

The bride wore a pale blue jacket and palazzo pants of her own design which was created by Chanel. It was embellished with pearl and rhinestone buttons. Her hair was swept into a simple chignon and her makeup light. Simple diamond earrings graced the bride’s ears.

The jacket was later removed for the evening festivities. The strapless corset was made of delicate silk lace and the silk organza palazzo pants featured numerous pleats.  She added a statement piece necklace to the ensemble.

                                                                       Centre stage: Princess Charlene of Monaco points skywards as she talks on the microphone in Monte Carlo Harbour alongside new husband Prince Albert and Jean Michel Jarre

The day of the religious ceremony dawned clear, lovely and hot!

All of Monaco was festooned with beautiful flowers as well as the flag of Monaco and South Africa, a nod to the bride’s heritage.

The invited guests began arriving two hours prior to the event. They included Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who represented Britain’s House of Windsor.

The Brits are here: Supermodel Naomi Campbell attended with her boyfriend Vladislav Doronin (left), while the British royal family were represented by Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex

I have a feeling that the new Princess is going to age very gracefully. This is the lovely mother of the bride, Lynette Wittstock, accompanied by her two sons, Sean and Gareth.

Pride: Princess Charlene's mother Lynette Wittstock with her brothers Sean (left) and Gareth arriving at the Place Du Palais

From the grooms side of the family, Princess Stephanie and her three children, Louis, Pauline and Camille.

Family affair: Prince Albert was supported by his sister Princess Stephanie and her three children Louis, Pauline (second right) and Camille (far right)

Princess Caroline wore Chanel couture, she was accompanied by her youngest daughter, Princess Alexandra.

pcand

Her eldest daughter, Charlotte, also in Chanel, is a truly lovely young lady.

 Time to celebrate: Princess Caroline of Hanover attended with her daughter Charlotte Casiraghi

The radiant bride soon emerged on the arm of her father, Michael Wittstock.

Here comes the bride: Michael Kenneth Wittstock escorts his daughter Princess Charlene onto the red carpet at Place de Palais

Accompanying Princess Charlene and her father on the bridal march were seven young bridesmaids. Although it is common for Royalty to include young family members in their wedding party, the couple broke with tradition and selected girls from Monaco and neighboring French districts.  The young ladies were as follows:

Monaco: Laura Le Maux-Gramaglia
Beausoleil: Charlène Morreale
Cap d'Ail: Anaïs Cuvelliez
La Turbie: Stella Roulot
Peille: Léa Barelli
Roquebrune Cap Martin: Elina Marty
Menton: Chloé Mine

The Ballets de Monte-Carlo and Jean-Christophe Maillot, director of the ballet, designed and created the young maids traditional 18th century attire. The silk stockings worn by the girls were embroidered with the couple's monogram. The aprons also featured both the couple's monogram and the name of the area of Monaco that each girl was from. This seemingly small gesture no doubt further endeared both the Prince and new Princess into the people’s hearts.

Each dress took more than 120 hours to create.  Prince Albert presented each little girl with a necklace of black velvet ribbon with a gold cross. I have to let you in on a secret, as soon as I saw these darling wee lasses I was smitten and could barely keep my eyes on the bride. They reminded me of Marie Antoinette at the Petit Hameau.

But then I viewed a close up of the bride’s bouquet and spied the magnificent hairpiece nestled into her chignon and my attention was once again captured.

The 19th century hairpiece once belonged to Prince Albert’s grandmother and was the “something borrowed” from the bride’s sister in law, Princess Caroline. It is a convertible piece of jewelry that can also be worn as two broaches.

The layered veil was made from of over 65 feet of silk tulle. Perfection!

charlene wittstock armani prive wedding gown

The off -the-shoulder dress was designed and created Armani Privé. Two gowns were actually made in the event of an emergency.

prince albert charlene wittstock royal

The dress took three seamstresses 2,500 hours to make and was adorned with 40,000 Swarovski crystals, 20,000 mother-of-pearl teardrops and 30,000 stones in gold shades in a floral pattern enhanced with platinum covered thread embroidery.

Princess Charlene

The gown required over 164 feet of duchesse silk and over 262 feet of silk organza. The skirt flowed into a train and was topped by a longer 16 foot "à l'andrienne" train attached just under the crossed over backline of the dress.

princess charlene royal wedding

Prince Albert II entered into the palace courtyard which had been transformed into an open air cathedral.

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Prince Albert wore the cream summer uniform of the Carabiniers, Monaco’s palace guards. His sleeves and epaulettes  were embroidered with gold oak and olive leaves. Gold buttons featured the Prince's monogram. The medals worn on the jacket included the Order of Saint Charles, the Order of Grimaldi, and the French Legion of Honor.

He was soon met at the base of the marble steps by his beautiful bride.

 Monaco's Prince Albert II takes the hand of Princess Charlene during their religious wedding ceremony at the Palace in Monaco

The ceremony was a 90 minute full traditional Catholic Mass. Although most of the ceremony was conducted in French, a few readings were given in English and Afrikaans (one of the native languages of South Africa).

Religious ceremony: The Roman-Catholic ceremony follows the civil wedding which was held in the Throne Room of the Prince's Palace of Monaco yesterday

The best behaved seven year olds I have seen in a very long time. Darling!

Maids of Honour

The couple have a moment of prayer.

Let us pray: The couple kneel at the altar during their service

Enjoying a private moment.

Intimate: The couple share a private word with each other during the ceremony

They were joined at the altar by their witnesses, Mr. Le Vine and Mrs. de Massy.

levine

The couple exchanged 18-carat white gold platinum rings by Cartier.

A variety of readings were given throughout the ceremony and various music was performed by The Philharmonic Orchestra of Monaco and the Choir of the Opera of Monte-Carlo, Renée Fleming, soprano, Pumeza Matshikiza, soprano, Juan Diego Flórez, tenor. The quartet of soloists for the elements of the mass composed by Mozart was made up of Lisa Larsson, soprano, Wiebke Lehmkuhl, alto, Kenneth Tarver, tenor and Alexander Vinogradov, basso. The Choir of the Cathedral of Monaco and the Little Singers of Monaco (founded originally by Prince Rainier) were under the direction of Pierre Debat, the Chapel Master of the Cathedral of Monaco and of the Prince’s Palace. The Grand Organ was  played by Olivier Vernet, lead organist at the Cathedral of Monaco. The Choir Organ was played by Jean-Cyrille Gandillet. My favorite portion of the musical program was “Ave Maria” sung by Andrea Bocelli.

You may kiss the bride!

A tender kiss: The new Princess Charlene shares a kiss with her Prince after they are pronounced husband and wife

While I had wondered if the hairpiece was indeed real diamonds, once they were uncovered and able to sparkle in the sunshine it was no longer a question.

Here is a close up of matron of honor Donatella Knecht de Massy in a pale seafoam dress. 

Princess Charlene’s other matron of honor was Danish designer Isabell Kristensen seen holding her train.

 Striking: Charlene's bridesmaid carries her long train as the couple leave the wedding mass

As Princess Charlene had two trains, both lovely ladies were needed. Princess Charlene left it up to her friends to decide what they wanted to wear.

Craftmanship: Danish designer Isabell Kristensen and maid-of-honour Donatella Knecht de Massy hold the Princess' train, made from 20 metres of silk tulle

The brides upper 16 foot train was removed during the signing of the registry revealing a row of covered buttons. 

prince albert charlene wittstock wedding

Oh Happy Day!

This image provides a wonderful close up of the intricate embroidery of the brides gown as well as the grooms uniform and his various medals.

Stunning: The bride wore a striking Armani gown for the religious service in the palace courtyard earlier on Saturday

The Prince and his new bride drove through the streets of Monaco in a customized electric Lexus LS 600h landaulet (the top which is a convertible behind the driver).

The couple traveled to Saint Dévote Church so that the Princess could leave her wedding bouquet on the altar of the Virgin just as Princess Grace did over 55 years ago. The bouquet was designed by Armani and created by the gardeners of the Prince's Palace. It was composed of freesias, dendrobium orchids and lilies of the valley. 

The wedding bouquet

During the short ceremony the bride was moved to tears as Mrs. Marie-Clotilde Würz-De Baets and her 11-year old daughter Miss Juliette de Baets  performed a song. 

Monaco's royal wedding: The religious ceremony

The couple then returned to the palace for the official wedding portraits. This image contained all of the visiting Royalty from various countries.

The religious wedding

After a few hours rest the couple traveled to the Opera Garnier in Monaco for the wedding dinner and ball.

The dinner was on the open terraces with the bridal party seated in the center.

The bride changed into an Armani Privé evening gown in off-white silk chiffon. The gown had rounded neckline, four-tiered skirt and was embellished with graduated embroidery crafted with Swarovski teardrops and stones in gold and platinum colors.

Vogue Gallery

All of the wedding guests were invited. Both the Prince’s sisters changed into evening gowns. Princess Caroline once again wore Chanel and transformed a diamond and sapphire necklace into a tiara.

Vogue Gallery

Princess Caroline’s eldest children: Pierre Casiraghi on the left and Andrea Casiraghi on the right. Charlotte Casiraghi would have made her grandmother, Princess Grace, proud. Her powder blue Giambattista Valli gown and cape reminded me of two of the gowns worn by Grace Kelly in “To Catch a Thief” which I talked about HERE.

The next generation: Princess Caroline's children (L-R) Pierre Casiraghi, Charlotte Casiraghi and Andrea Casiraghi looked dapper

The five tiered cake was decorated with Proteas, South Africa's national flower. I spied Princess Charlene’s wedding gift from her groom, the Ocean convertible necklace and tiara (worn in her hair) from Van Cleef & Arpels.

Is this the world's biggest wedding cake? Prince Albert and Princess Charlene cut their wedding cake at the Gala Dinner

All of Monaco enjoyed a spectacular fireworks show.

The newlyweds shared a quiet moment in the garden.

I will leave you with a video that shows the arrival of the newlyweds to their absolutely gorgeous reception, Prince Albert’s toast to his bride (which is in English) and the couples first dance.

May they live happily ever after.

Laura

32 comments :

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Everything was breathtaking. I couldn't view many of the images (including the cake) but it might be me so I'll try again later. Wonderful post! Enjoyed everything, thanks for taking so much care and time putting it together for all of us :)

Bloggymom said...

Beautiful wedding. Like a fairy tale.

Teresa said...

Too Lovely!

I'm still in cloud nine...

May they live Happily!!!

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

What a beautiful wedding.

laxsupermom said...

It was such a beautiful wedding. I loved the Princess's outfit for the civil ceremony, and her dress for the religious ceremony was stunning. She looked just as a princess should. Loved the hairpiece. Wonderful pictures! Thanks for sharing.

BluBabesCreate said...

Love Charlotte's pale blue dress!

Katie, Julep and Derby's Mom said...

Your photo's were placed perfectly and it was just like being there. I know how much time and work you put into this blog post - excellent! - thank you.

All the best, Katie from
www.westiejulep.blogspot.com

Pat said...

That's a wedding to adore. Best recap I've seen.

Privet and Holly said...

Those little girls
eclipsed all of the
rest in my mind; so
so adorable!!! This
was one gorgeous post,
my friend. I felt like
I was listening to a
friend who attended and
was sharing her pictures
with me back at home : )
Thanks for the very
fun escape!!
xx Suzanne

Robin said...

How very lovely....
It is a shame the US media didn't cover the wedding as they did Prince William and Kate's. Thank you for posting and sharing all these lovely photos. Unfortunately Prince Albert's toast was....awkward to say the least. But Charlene's dresses were quite lovely.....Charlene is quite lovely....and the whole affair looked fairytale perfect.

Wishing you a beautiful day....

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Great post. I missed it all on tv, so this was so neat to see. Thanks for keeping us up to date. Hugs, Marty

Petite Michelle Louise said...

almost as exciting as being there in person! merci for sharing the wonderful details of this truly lovely, royal event!

Kristina said...

Beautiful post!

I actually like princess Charlene's evening dress better than her wedding dress (except for that stunning hairpiece and veil)- is that terrible?

And those little girls...like perfect pink candy.

Kristina said...

One more thing...these two were at the Duke's and the Duchess's wedding, right? But I gather that William and Kate weren't at theirs, any particular reason?

Linda said...

Great research, photos, and so well put together, as always, Laura! :)

Beautiful couple and yes, may they live happily ever after. ♥

Hollace said...

Thank you so very much for all the time you spent writing and arranging this. The views and pictures are better than if I'd been there, they're so close up. I loved seeing all the details of the dresses, the veil, the Rainier family, etc. The videos are a real treat. I was struck by Charlotte's pensive expression during Ave Maria, wondering what was going through her mind and if she had a sense of how her life was going to change,,, In those moments (as always) her beauty was breathtaking. Thank you, thank you.

Hollace said...

PS I was particularly interested in seeing how her palazzo pants were pleated at the top when she took her jacket after from the civil ceremony. That suit was beautiful but I was really surprised when I saw her walking in it and noticed that they were palazzos. Gorgeous color on her.

chezjolly said...

Bonjour!
What a stunning wedding! Breathtaking...Very beautiful blog. Such lovely photos too!
Looking forward to your future posts.
Check us out! http://www.etsy.com/shop/chezjolly
Talk to you soon..

-Jessica & Holly

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Thank you for all your time in researching and for another lovely RWT post. My Wednesday is complete!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

*sigh* this is just beautiful! :):):):):):):):):):):)

Mary Ellen said...

Thank you Laura for this post. I wasn't able to see the wedding and so it was wonderful reading all the details!!

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Fabulous Laura, what a beautiful wedding, bride, dress, hair jewelry and Wow, what a cake! thank you so much

Carol

fairfieldhousenj.com said...

Laura,

Another lovely and informative post. Thank you for sharing all of this. I feel as though I am an official wedding crasher! The bride looks like she was born to be a princess. Charlotte Casiraghi is the spitting image of her mother when she was younger.

The post was definitely worth the wait. I shared it with my mother over breakfast and she got much enjoyment out of it.

Your Friend,
Deborah

PS I am having a give-away to encourage a sweet girl who is starting a business. Please stop by:

http://fairfieldhousenj.com/2011/07/06/tiny-elegance/

Mom in High Heels said...

I watched the wedding live and then an hour later watched the "highlights" and did a post on my blog, but still couldn't wait to see what you would post. She did look amazing. I like that they held hands so often (even in the official portraits, which I don't believe the British royals have ever done). I'm not sure how I feel about the aigrette (I prefer traditional tiaras) but it's an interesting piece to say the least.
Hey, maybe in a few months you can start a new series on royal babies. ;)

The Boston Lady said...

Well, they have waited so long for Albert to marry and I'm glad they went all out for the occasion. Those little bridesmaids were it for me! Just so sweet and an innocent touch to such a sophisticated wedding. Thanks again Laura for all your research - this cannot be an easy task each week. Ann

French Basketeer.com said...

Leave it to Laura to track down the info on the Bride's headpiece! I thought the little girls were just adorable!

Hines-Sight said...

Laura,
Your post is fabulous. It was as if you were there. Unbelievable.

I know this took a lot of time and work. Job well done.

Amazing work.

Leigh

Shel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shel said...

Beautiful post! We are indeed proud of our South African Princess.
Shel

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Thank you Laura for your wonderful post on the Monaco wedding.

We had very little coverage here and although you mentioned CNN would be covering it - I missed it.
We in New Zealand are usually at least a day ahead of many countries!!!

I loved every part of it - Princess Charlene's wedding gown was exquisite as was her evening dress.

I know I'll be back many times to view this post!

hugs
Shane

Liz said...

Oh My Goodness!She is a stunner! But then this whole family is gorgeous.

~Liz

max harrell said...

wow, that was beautiful. Thanks for posting, that just made my day!
Carol Harrell