Marie-Chantal Miller’s Wedding Dress & Tiara

The incredibly lavish events that marked Prince Pavlos of Greece’s wedding to Marie-Chantal Miller deserve a place in the history books. Last week we recapped the wedding festivites (click here for a refresher) and today we’re taking a close look at the bride’s couture wedding dress.

On the steps [Us Weekly]
On the steps [Us Weekly]
Since the couple became engaged during the Christmas 1994 holiday and the wedding took place on July 1 of 1995, there were just 6 months to pull everything together.  Marie-Chantal chose Valentino to design the dress and according to Vogue, it took more than 25 seamstresses to complete the £140,000 ivory silk gown. Twelve different types of lace reportedly were included in the dress and with a high neck, fitted bodice, and long sleeves Marie-Chantal wanted quite a traditional and modest silhouette. The bodice and sleeves are made of floral lace (much like Grace Kelly’s iconic wedding dress) and the lace extends to the empire line of the dress.

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It’s a beautiful gown but even with all the attention to detail it is not a favorite of mine- overall it just seems rather heavy – but I do love the lustre of the ivory silk and the detail on the skirt is gorgeous.

The bride & groom posed outside of the cathedral after the wedding [Vogue]
The bride & groom posed outside of the cathedral after the wedding [Vogue]
 In fact, the lace appliqué on the skirt is somewhat reminiscent of Kate Middletown’s Alexander McQueen wedding gown. I wouldn’t be surprised if Marie-Chantals’ gown was an inspirational reference for her. Check out both of the gowns on display below to see the similar affect they both have:

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Different and yet so similar – can you see it, too?

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I think what really takes the heaviness factor over the top is the chantilly lace veil; there’s just so much going on and those scallops are not dainty. I think a more diaphanous veil may have done the trick. Regardless, the veil extended beyond the length of the dress which was quite stunning, though.

Along with her intricate veil  Marie-Chantal wore a diamond and pearl encrusted tiara. This particular tiara is known as the Antique Corsage Tiara and it was on loan from her mother-in-law Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

The Corsage Tiara [Hello!]
The Corsage Tiara [Hello!]
Queen Anne-Marie received it on her 18th birthday (gotta love the 18th birthday tiara tradition) and it has quite an extraordinary history. The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor – a fantastic blog- has a great post on this tiara here. Marie-Chantal wore the tiara at other occasions after the wedding, though nowadays she seems to prefer wearing three other tiaras at her disposal (perhaps they should be the subject of another post!).

In choosing Valentino, Marie-Chantal started something of a trend among royal brides including  Maxima, shown here at her 2002 wedding to Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. Maxima’s gown was made of silk mikado and has a similar silhouette to Marie-Chantal’s.

[getty src=”856210″ width=”219″ height=”354″]

Princess Madeleine of Sweden also chose Valentino as well for her 2013 wedding to Christopher O’Neill

[getty src=”170180505″ width=”594″ height=”395″]

 as did Prince Amadeo of Belgium’s bride Elisabetta Rosboch Von Wolkenstein in 2014.

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Marie-Chantal remained friends with Valentino over the years and loaned her dress to be exhibited for Valentino: Master of Couture. This exhibit was held at Somerset House in London from November 2012 – March 2013 which gives us a great look at the detail of the dress. Here’s a better look at the train – it is separate from the skirt and extends from the waist.

[getty src=”157057594″ width=”594″ height=”387″]

Marie-Chantal and Valentino posed in front of the dress at a private viewing before the exhibit opened which is quite sweet.

[getty src=”157088647″ width=”376″ height=”594″]

The King and Queen of Greece showed up as well, and Marie-Chantal brought along her oldest child and only daughter Princess Olympia (more on her here).

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Marie-Chantal still wears Valentino and they seem quite chummy; she shared this instagram picture with the design legend en route to Princess Madeleine’s wedding.

A little instagram insights from Marie-Chantal [Hello!]
A little instagram insights from Marie-Chantal [Hello!]
So what are your thoughts on this wedding gown – too ornate and heavy or perfectly pretty and just right?

 

Sophie & Edward’s Engagement Announcement: January 6, 1999

Just for fun, let’s take a step back in time.

17 years ago today, on January 6 1999, the press was notified on the Queen’s behalf that Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones were engaged. Later that morning, a photo call was held in the St. James’s Palace. The couple emerged to greet the waiting press for pictures and a look at the ring.

Sophie & Edward (source)
It must have been a warm January! Sophie & Edward at St. James’s Palace January 6, 1999 (source)

During the photo call, Prince Edward revealed that when he proposed, “I managed to take her completely by surprise, she had no idea it was coming.” He was also pretty thrilled with the ring and told the journalists “If it catches the sun, you’ll all be blinded.” One of our first posts when we launched the blog in 2011 covered Sophie’s engagement ring here.

On that day in January 1999, Prince Edward was 34 to Sophie’s 33 years of age and they had been dating for a solid five years. To answer why the wait was so long, Edward said  “It’s impossible for anyone else to understand why it has taken me this long but I don’t think it would have been right before and I don’t think Sophie would have said yes if I had said before. Hopefully, by the fact that she did say yes, I must have got the timing right.” (source). You can check out a video of the photo call here here.

We went into detail on their chance royal meeting in a previous post. In a nutshell, they met thanks to a charity event that the company Sophie worked for had helped to put on. She first met him at a preliminary meeting in 1992 and then things really got rolling at the event itself when Sophie asked him to play a round of tennis with her. A rather gossipy article with more on that can be found here if you are in the mood for more.

A First Photo, September 1993 (source)
A First Photo, September 1993 (source)

Fun fact: Television presenter Sue Barker was also on the invite list for the event that day, however she was unable to take a promotional photograph with Prince Edward, so Sophie was asked to step in and the results are above. When the couple sat down to a pre-wedding interview a few days before the wedding, Sue was the journalist asked to do the honors.

A good chunk of the interview is included in the footage below. It took place on the grounds of Bagshot Park, the stately home that Prince Edward had begun to lease two years before the engagement (and, really, the house and grounds deserve their own lengthy post so will add that to the list). The interview begins at 27:30 and a detailed transcript can be found here.

It’s been reported that Prince Edward proposed to Sophie while they were on vacation before Christmas. They spoke to their parents over the holidays and made the announcement when everyone was getting back to work in the New Year which gave them some time to decide a few things. For example, they shared with the press that they would like to have a smaller wedding than Edward’s siblings had had and would instead have their wedding ceremony at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. Both Princess Anne and Prince Andrew had chosen Westminster Abbey for their weddings and Prince Charles of course famously married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

They also shared their intention to continue their careers after the wedding instead of taking on full time royal duties. This AP video has some interesting snippets including a quote from Sophie’s business partner saying that “it’s business as usual…the intention always was that we’d sent the company up and after the engagement she’d continue to work.” Interesting that Sophie was that candid in expecting the engagement, right?

Sophie outside her office after her engagement was announced, protection officer in tow. (Getty Images)
Sophie outside her office after her engagement was announced, protection officer in tow. (Getty Images)

A former boyfriend is also interviewed in the video. His soundbite is quite something. He says, “She’s a capable girl and I always think she had her eye on the main chance. I think that although she went out with the likes of me I think that weekends are very much spent in the country homes of Lord This and Lady That and I think that that is what she always felt was the kind of area that she would want to move into…and good luck to her…I think she’ll be a breath of fresh air.” Cue the screech of the record stopping on Lord This and Lady That. Sheesh- she can’t have been too thrilled with that interview!

The wedding went off on June 19, 1999 with just a few small glitches like the sound of airplanes en route to Heathrow drowning out the vows and Edward struggled to get Sophie’s ring on. They will celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary this year and while they did go back to work after the wedding it proved to be too difficult to continue indefinitely what with Edward’s production company ignoring a media ban when William started at St. Andrew’s University and Sophie’s being taken in by a fake sheikh. They announced in December 20o1 that they would be wrapping up their careers in order to focus full time with royal duties and supporting the Queen.

The new Earl and Countess of Wessex (source)
The new Earl and Countess of Wessex (source)

It seems to me that they’ve been fulfilled their promise and are actively involved with a number of charities and interests so it must be mildly frustrating that the press glosses over them for features on more glamorous royals. Sophie is a favorite of mine, she seems quite down to earth and hardworking despite all the crazy around her. What do you think?

PS Here’s a look at the tiaras Sophie has worn so far if you feel like looking at more sparkly things!

Princess Diana’s Wedding Dress

We all have our opinions on Diana’s gown and while it may not have stood the test of time style-wise it deserves a place in history as an iconic royal wedding dress, am I right?

Diana's first true royal wave (via Stylite)

A couple of Christmases ago, I unwrapped the delightful book A Dress for Diana by David Emanuel and Elizabeth Emanuel, the young and  fresh-out-of-school designers chosen to create Diana’s wedding dress. It’s a fun read with page after page of gorgeous photos and some interesting little known facts as well. So let’s take  strip doing memory line, starting at the beginning.

Diana wasn’t the first royal that the Emanuels dressed. Princess Michael of Kent was an early client, and she brought in some other royal ladies as well, though the Emanuels don’t specify who.

Diana was first introduced to the Emanuels through a photo shoot that she did with British Vogue. Without revealing who the clothes were for, the magazine asked the Emanuels to send in some pieces that might be suitable. Much to their delight, Diana fell in love with this soft pink chiffon one and wanted to learn more about the designers. Voila, the road was set…

 

Lady Diana Spencer for Vogue (via National Portrait Gallery)
Lady Diana Spencer for Vogue (via National Portrait Gallery)

By the way, the photographer for the  Vogue shoot was Princess Margaret’s photographer husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones and  according to the Emmanuels it was done BEFORE the engagement was announced!  Amazing that that didn’t get out in the press. So let’s figure this out: Charles proposed on the evening of February 6th after which Diana left the country, so when did she fit in this Vogue shoot and how did it not leak out into the press? Something does not measure up. Anyone have any thoughts?

Andrew Morton’s book Diana in Her Own Words explains that took off on a pre-arranged trip to Australia  sometime around February 8th, 1981.   She went with her mom and step dad went to their sheep station in Yass in New South Wales and later to a friend’s beach house for ten days of peace and seclusion.  The book also has this quote from Diana:

I then went away two days later to Australia for three weeks to sort of settle down and to organize lists and things with my mother. That was a complete disaster because I pined for him but he never rang me up. I thought that was very strange and whenever I rang him he was out and he never rang me back. I thought ‘Ok’. I was just being generous – ‘He is being very busy, this, that and the other.” I come back from Australia, someone knocks on my door. Someone from his office with a bunch of flowers and I knew they hadn’t come from Charles because there was no note. It was just someone being very tactful in the office.

The book also says that there was a solitary phone call after she called him, which Charles alludes to in this video from when the engagement was announced on February 24th. Man, Diana must have been jet lagged, right?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg_fib2gQaU

Anyway, that pink blouse from the Vogue shoot led to this black dress, which Diana wore with great fanfare to her first official engagement with Charles.  Diana returned the dress after she started shedding a lot of weight, and the alterations were so extensive that the Emanuels just made her a new dress and kept the old one.  Incidentally, that dress sold at auction in 2010 for $276,000.

Diana's first royal 'do (via styleite)
Diana’s first royal ‘do (via styleist)

The earrings Diana wore that night were her mom’s and she also borrowed them on her wedding day. Diana’s sister Lady Sarah seems to own them now, and she wore them to her daughter’s wedding in the summer of 2012. It was quite thrilling to see them out and about again – more about that in our post here.

So that dress led to Vogue asking the Emanuels to be one of 6 designers asked to submit designs for an article on how they would design Diana’s wedding dress if given the commission. This is what they submitted:

The Emanuel's 1981 submission for Vogue (vis Diana Remembered)
The Emanuel’s 1981 submission for Vogue (via Diana Remembered)

 

Not far off from what they actually designed, right?! It’s shockingly similar!

So Diana liked it and rang up the Emanuels to ask them to do the honours, and then Buckingham Palace called on March 10, 1981 to say they were being revealed as the designers in a press release being sent out that day. After that, the Emanuels did everything they could to keep the design a secret- they had a safe installed, and threw random bits of fabric into the rubbage bin outside to trick the press- even though the actual design was pretty much right there in Vogue!

David and Elizabeth going over designs with Diana in Kensington Palace (via reality tv)
David and Elizabeth going over designs with Diana in Kensington Palace (via reality tv)

As the work was underway, David and Elizabeth were delighted that they and three of their employees were invited to the wedding as guests. One of them was Rose Hoey, and her memory of a visit to Buckinham Palace for a fitting is just the best:

“Diana…she was such a wonderful lady – so down to earth. I remember once at Buckingham Palace saying to her that it was amazing to think I was on the inside, having stood outside as a tourist so many times. She laughed and said we should go out on the balcony and wave at all the people outside – and we did!”

OMG, OMG. Did any of the tourists outside that day get a picture of that and was it somehow captured in the press and escaped my notice all these years?? Here’s to hoping – that picture would be priceless!

a view of Diana and Charles on the Buckingham Palace balcony (via Pinterest)
A rarely scene image of Diana and Charles on the Buckingham Palace balcony (via Pinterest)

The bridesmaids of course had lots of fittings as well, and on one occasion wore roller skates during the proceedings. Sadly, there’s no picture of that.

Love this (via Daily Mail)
Love this (via Daily Mail)

 

The Emanuels thought of a lot of other details as well. They went to St. Paul’s and lined up with tourists so that they could measure the length of the aisle to make sure they didn’t make the train too wide (yes, they were recognized). They also coordinated the design of the shoes, worked with the florists to make sure that Diana’s bouquet wouldn’t look puny with the big dress, and even created a matching water-proof parasol in case of rain.

Diana's Dress (via Daily Mail)
Diana’s Dress (via Daily Mail)

They got the dress safely to Clarence House for the wedding day, and helped Diana get dressed. Evidently she was quite relaxed and was happily singing along to the “Just One Cornetto” jingle that had been playing on the TV as she watched wedding coverage.

Then it was off to St. Paul’s. his video has the dramatic moment when Diana arrived at St. Paul’s t the 2:38 mark… the enormous train kept coming out of the carriage and – eek!- it was all creased.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGLVWdcvNKA

The book covers a lot more, and we recommend it for any Diana fans. What do you think of this dress – love it, hate it, or appreciate it for all of it’s cream puff glory?

We know that Mariah Carey loved it – she copied it for her 1993 wedding!

 

 

April 26, 1923: Lady Elizabeth’s Diary Entry on Her Wedding Day

Today is Prince William and Kate’s third wedding anniversary, and the three year anniversary of the Royal Posters staying up all night to watch and direct every second of it. There was even a life-size cut out of William and Kate there (thanks, AMD!) and we all dressed up as different royals. So much fun. Anyway, their’s isn’t the only royal wedding to look back on this time of year.

91 years ago this week, Prince Albert married Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon in Westminster Abbey. Lucky for us, we have Elizabeth’s diary entry from that day as it was quoted in the delightful book Counting One’s Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother by William Shawcrosse, which includes letters Elizabeth wrote when she was a young girl up until the last years of her life (it can be purchased here.)

Diary: Thursday, 26 April, 1923

Woke at 8:30. Up by 10. Put on my wedding dress, aided by Suzanne & Catherine. It looked lovely. All the family went off early, also mother. Miss Chard came & talked to me. At 11.12 the carriage came & father & I started off for the Abbey. Lots of people in B St., & crowds in streets. Did not feel very nervous. Bertie smiled at me when I got up to him – & it all went off well. We had a long drive home to B.P. Crowds very kind. We were photographed, & also went out on the balcony. The luncheon. Sat between Bertie & the King. After lunch talked & cut cake etc. Went to change about 3.40. Mother & Anne came – then May & Rosie, Mike, and David and father. Awful saying goodbye. B & I drove off at 4.15 & had a special to Bookham. Very tired & happy. Bed 12.

Here’s one of those pictures she mentions. What a happy looking bunch. *cough*

Via Royal Musings
Via Royal Musings

This photo of the couple of the balcony is a bit more cheerful:

Via Royal Musings
Via Royal Musings

As we discussed in the post on the Greville Jewels, the new Duke and Duchess of York spent their honeymoon at Polesden Lacey, Mrs. Ronnie Greville’s estate. Unfortunately, Elizabeth came down with a case of whooping cough. Too bad!

If you’re in the mood for some more reminiscing, here’s our post on the Queen Mum’s wedding dress and here’s another one all about the time we went to have high tea at the Goring Hotel in London (where Kate stayed with her family the night before the wedding, natch). Oh – and this time last year, was also all about the Queen Beatrix’s abdication and saying hello to Queen Maxima. It all started on April 29, 2013…so many royal memories 😉

Royal Ladies Who Open Their Closets…

Who doesn’t love a little thriftiness? This post is all about royals who’ve popped up wearing something that looks a little familiar or who’ve shared their clothes with friends or relatives.

Queen Silvia & Princess Madeleine

We’re going to start with this especially frothy example. As you probably recall, Princess Madeleine had a gorgeous custom Valentino wedding gown that she wore for her wedding ceremony in June of 2013. She also wore this gown for the  reception.

via Hello!
Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill via Hello!

What many royal watchers may not have realized is that after some dancing, Madeleine took out her updo, put her hair down, and changed  into this sparkly tulle gown.

Madeleine and Chris outside their wedding reception
Madeleine outside her wedding reception (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)

Thankfully kept her tiara in place.

So happy! (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)
So happy! (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)

Some eagle eyes noticed that this dress had been previously seen on Queen Silvia. She first wore it in December of 2001 to the Nobel Prize ceremony.

Queen Silvia in her fairytale gown in 2001 (via Hello!)
Queen Silvia in her fairytale gown in 2001 (via Hello!)

I’m thinking that Madeleine clocked that dress back then and filed it away as the perfect reception dress, and then  her mom pulled it out for her 12 years later. Cute, eh?

Queen Maxima & Princess Aimee

And now onto another Queen. In the spring of 2013 after the investiture of King Willem-Alexander and Queen  Maxima,  our friend AMD flagged that Maxima had loaned one of her gowns for her cousin-in-law Princess Aimee to wear to the big event.

Back when Maxima was expecting Princess Ariane, she wore this lovely flowy gown (far left) and she REALLY blinged it out, right? Gorgeous.

A few royal maternity gowns (via Hello!)
A few royal maternity gowns (via Hello!)

She then he pulled it out of her closet for Aimee, the wife of Prince Floris ( Willem-Alexander’s cousin) to wear to the investiture on April 30,2013. You’ve just got to love Queen Maxima for thinking to do this. Princess Aimee’s son Willem was born on July 1, 2013.

Princess Aimee (via Zimbio)
Princess Aimee (via Zimbio)

I like how Aimee incorporated a little patriotic orange into the outfit with her accessories, too.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

Princess Victoria must have a HUGE closet of gowns, and she has been very generous over the years loaning them out to friends. The delightful blog Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour has a great post showing some fun examples which you can check out here.

These are my favourite examples. Check out how the pink and green dresses were given a new look:

Princess Victoria has a lot of dresses and isn't afraid to share 'em (via Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour)
Princess Victoria has a lot of dresses and isn’t afraid to share ’em (via Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour)

Princess Diana’s Hand Me Downs

Diana was also very generous when it came to giving away her old clothes. One of my favourite examples is this green polka dotted number that Diana wore to the races in the late ’80’s. Diana never did meet a polka dot she didn’t like.

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She later passed the suit and hat on to her sister Sarah, who is shown here wearing it to a wedding in 1990. That’s a whole lot of look!

Diana & Sarah & polkadots (via Pinterest)
Diana & Sarah & polkadots (via Pinterest)

Check out this fun Pinterest page for oodles of more examples of different outfits that Diana either loaned or gave out.

Perhaps Diana got this generous spirit from her mom Frances. In this group portrait taken at the reception of Lady Sarah’s wedding to Neil McCorquodale, Frances is wearing this floaty green frock.

Lady Sarah's wedding portrait
Lady Sarah’s wedding portrait

Sarah must have really liked it since she wore the same dress to Lady Diana’s 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. See?

What a group!
What a group!

As we mentioned in our post on Emily McCorquodale’s wedding, Sarah wasn’t always just being the recipient of loans. She generously lent her pearl choker to Diana to wear with her going away outfit after the reception, so Sarah had to head home from the reception without it. I wish there was a picture of Sarah handing it over. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Diana in Sarah's pearl choker after her wedding reception
Diana in Sarah’s pearl choker after her wedding reception

Kate, Pippa, and Carole

A little over two years ago (time flies!), we wrote a post on how Kate and Pippa have shown up wearing the same clothes over the years. We’ve unearthed some more occasions where this has happened.

Like the time when Pippa showed up to a wedding in the Katherine Hooker jacket that Kate has worn numerous times over the years, most famously for her first official engagement when she christened a life boat in Angelesy:

Well it IS a nice coat (via )
Well it IS a nice coat (via Elements Boutique)

And then of course there’s the the time in March 2012 that Kate showed up to an engagement in the same circa 2008 blue Reiss dress that Carole had previously worn to Ascot:

Kate & Carole in Reiss (via Parade.com)
Kate & Carole in Reiss (via Parade.com)

Kate and Carole also both took a shine to this pretty red Colette Dinnigan dress that Kate wore to a wedding in September of 2011:

(via Fashion Spot)
(via Fashion Spot)

 

So, who are your faves here? I’ll stick with the Swedes – Victoria and Silvia tie for first place as Best Gown Lenders.

Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon's Wedding Dress

It’s been awhile since we talked about a royal wedding dress, so today is all about the future Queen Mum’s gown,for her 1923 wedding.

At that time, Madame Handley Seymour was a London coutourier who made numerous gowns for Queen Mary and other royal and aristocratic ladies. It’s unfortunate that her name has pretty much been lost to history since she had such a thriving fashion house. She made both Elizabeth’s wedding dress and, later, her coronation robes.

Here’s a look at seamstresses hard at work before the 1937 coronation:

Madame Handley Seymours work room before the coronation, April 1937 (via sheep and chic)
Madame Handley Seymours work room before the coronation, April 1937 (via sheep and chic)

As we discussed in our post on one of the Queen Mum’s letters to Prince Bertie, they were engaged on January 14, 1923. This  formal portrait was taken shortly afterwards, on the 18th of January. They sure look serious, even a little forlorn.

Lady Elizabeth and Prince Bertie January 18, 1923 (via forum.alexanderpalace)
This portrait was taken on January 18, 1923 (via forum.alexanderpalace)

When it came to picking out or designing a dress, Elizabeth didn’t spend much time deciding, not that there was much time since the wedding was on April 26. Thanks to the book Counting One’s Blessings, we have her diary entry from March 19, 1923 to reference and she makes only a quick mention of it. Keep in mind that this was a little over a month before the actual wedding!

Diary: Monday 19 March 1923

Woke at 9. Breakfast 10…[…] Bertie came round, & we went & looked at furniture at Harris & also went to Carrington. […] Then mother & I went to Handley Seymour & looked at hundreds of lovely clothes. Chose my wedding dress. 

And there we have it. So simple! Interesting when you think of how much time and effort and thought went into Lady Diana and Kate Middleton’s dresses what with the months and months it took to get everything just right. It’s interesting to know that Lady Elizabeth’s dress wasn’t designed from scratch, but came straight out of the shop, with perhaps just a few changes here and there. I suppose we should remember that this laissez faire attitude could be attributed to the fact that Lady Elizabeth had no expectation that she’d ever become Queen. She was marrying the younger brother and expected to stay the Duchess of York.

The gown is certainly of its time, and we can’t say it did much for Lady Elizabeth’s tiny frame. Love the train, however, and how she wore an elaborate white fur in the carriage to Wesminster Abbey. This photograph shows Elizabeth leaving her family’s London home at 17 Bruton Street. The future Queen Elizabeth was born in the home a few years later.

Leaving for Westminster Abbey
Leaving for Westminster Abbey

She wore fur on the balcony as well! It’s a shame she didn’t wear one of her tiaras (come on!), and chose to wear a circlet of fabric flowers instead.

Via Royal Musings
Via Royal Musings

Now, whatever you do, DON’T SMILE!

Via Royal Musings
Via Royal Musings

Recently, a prototype of the dress was auctioned off and sold for 3,500 pounds. That seems like a relatively small sum for a dress that has so much historic value. It’s the closest thing that you could get to a royal wedding dress!

Prototype of Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon's wedding dress via BBC
Prototype of Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon’s wedding dress via BBC

Here’s a better look at the intricate beadwork. Ultimately Elizabeth’s dress was floor length:

via Pinterest
via Pinterest

So what do you think of this dress? Yay or nay?

Here are some more royal wedding dresses that might strike your fancy:

Queen Victoria’s Wedding Dress made her a real trend setter in 1840!

Princess Elizabeth’s Wedding Dress was another that was of its time

Princess Margaret’s Wedding Dress was perfect for her. Perfect!

Princess Alexandra of Denmark’s Wedding Dress made an entrance

Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg’s wedding dress was truly gorgeous

As was Princess Madeleine of Sweden’s wedding dress (even if the straps kept slipping off her shoulder…oops!)

All about Madeleine's Wedding

First things first.  How lucky are they that it didn’t rain?? I mean, there must have been plans in place in case it did, but I’m sure even the best laid plans would have been tough to pull off what with all the carriage riding and boating involved in the day.

Copyright Kungahus
Copyright Kungahus

Fortunately , it was gorgeous!

Copyright Kungahus
Copyright Kungahus

There was some cloud cover, but the sun came out and there was even a rainbow when the couple arrived at Haga  Palace for the reception. You can’t make this stuff up!

photo

And for those of us who watched the live feed from SVT, the male reporter’s outfits were outstanding and deserve special mention. If ever there was an occasion to wear a floral vest and pink shirt, this would be it.

photo-1

Madeleine’s Dress

Onto the most important apparel of the day: Madeleine’s dress. Happily, her gown was not strapless. I love that the bodice is structured but feminine thanks to the lace, and that the skirt and train has such a soft, ethereal drape. The train is really what brings this dress into Princess territory in my books.

madeleine-dress1--z

Naturally, the best description comes from the Royal Family’s press release:

Princess Madeleine’s wedding dress was created by the Italian designer Valentino Garavani. The wedding dress is made from pleated silk organza with appliquéd ivory-coloured Chantilly lace. The upper section of the bodice is lace with a deep-cut back. Narrow vertical pleats open up from the accentuated waist, above the wide skirt, which ends with a four-metre-long train.

Madeleine’s Tiara 
As predicted in my post yesterday, there was no Cameo Tiara for Madeleine. Hurray! Instead, she chose the Modern Fringe Tiara, which seems to be her favourite.
The press release describes the tiara simply as “ privately owned, decorated with sprigs of orange blossom.” The orange blossom is hiding the metal base of the tiara, so I think that was a good move.
Via Hello
Via Hello
This is what the tiara looks like sans orange blossoms:
Copyright Kungahuset.se
Copyright Kungahuset.se
Madeleine’s Veil
Madeleine also bucked tradition when it came to her veil and opted for a new one.
The veil is also silk organza, and is edged with tulle scatted with point d’esprit dots and small Chantilly lace orange blossom. The Princess’s shoes are ivory white organdy with woven point d’esprit dots.
I like how orange blossoms were incorporated into the veil as well.
The Order of the Polar Star

While Chris O’Neill declined royal titles in order to continue working as a private citizen in NYC, he was given the Order of the Polar Star and wore it to the ceremony. A very appropriate gesture!

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Princess Victoria

Princess Victoria has just been killing it lately! And so has little Princess Estelle for that matter. Prince Daniel was man enough to carry Victoria’s purse so he gets special mention, too.

Via Hello!
Via Hello!

Thanks to the Royal Family’s press release on their choice of attire, we know that:

The Crown Princess wore a greige rosé dress with aubergine accents. The dress is made from hand-dyed double-sided silk organza with layers of hand-dyed tulle in three shades, silk threads, Lurex threads, pearls and Swarovski crystals in amethyst and pale grey opal.

Victoria’s jewels were exquisite, and a nice way to recognize the late Princess Lilian.

The Crown Princess wore Princess Lilian’s Tiara and corsage, with the Order of the Seraphim on a ribbon with grand star. Princess Lilian’s Tiara was made by the company Boucheron in Paris, and was originally a necklace. It was a gift from Queen Sofia (1836-1913) to Princess Lilian’s mother-in-law, Crown Princess Margareta, on her wedding day in 1905.

Estelle was just the cutest thing throughout the ceremony. Here she is reading the program:

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And sitting in her own little chair:

Via Hello!
Via Hello!

Prince Carl Philip

Prince Carl Philip walked into the wedding ceremony with Queen Silvia, but his live-in girlfriend Sofia Hellqvest was there as a guest…maybe they’ll be next?

Via Elmundo
Via Elmundo

Princess Charlene

What’s up with her being at the wedding solo? We knew she would be in advance, but I’ve been checking out Prince Albert’s official page and there isn’t any engagement listed that would explain his absence. It’s not the most up-to-date website to begin with and needs some serious work and editing. Check it out here.

Via Hello!

Via Hello!

Also, what’s with her not wearing a tiara? Why did she bother having one made if she wasn’t going to wear it. So mind blowing.

Sophie’s Aquamarine Tiara

Edward and Sophie are the British Royal Family’s go-to wedding guests for royal weddings abroad and this was no exception.

Via Hello!
Via Hello!

Sophie seems to have put her own wedding tiara in the vault and in it’s place she’s brought  back the aquamarine tiara that we first saw on her at the royal wedding in Luxembourg back in October. I’m so glad she has a bit more of a tiara collection to work with these days. She looks great in this dress and I love the colour. Well done, Sophie.

Princess Mary, Princess Mette-Marit and Their Shawls

Not sure that this is a trend I can get behind. What with the sashes and jewels, this sheer shawl/ cape thing is just too much. Agree or disagree?

Here’s Princess Mary, wearing the Midnight Tiara.

Via Hello!
Via Hello!

And Princess Mette-Marit in her shawl thing. I do love the colour and her train, though!

Via Hello!
Via Hello!

Princess Marie Gets Best Dressed Guest

In my books, she’s the winner. Classy and lovely!

Via Hello!
Via Hello!

Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece

Princess Marie-Chantal has been instagramming pictures all over the place. I’ve been hoping she would take one at the dinner, but she seems to be behaving herself. Drat.

Via Hello!
Via Hello!

The Bride & Groom’s Arrival at Haga Palace

I can’t find a better picture of the bride and groom’s arrival at Haga Police online, so this will have to do. Discuss:

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What was with the costumed attendants? It was whimsical and fun I guess, just came a little out of left field for me.

However, I LOVED how they had a group photo on the steps of Haga Palace with all of the guests. Amazing. And again, so great it didn’t rain. Again, no better photo to be found than this one. Note the bubble gum wrappers in the foreground…

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After that, everyone headed in the palace for the dinner reception. Seriously bummed that part isn’t televised like it was for Victoria, but I totally get why they are keeping it private. Maybe some photos will be released later.

So Who is Next?

As far as engaged couple go, we have Monaco’s Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo whose wedding date has yet to be announced. Here they are at Albert and Charlene’s wedding:

andrea-casiraghi--a

We can also look forward to the wedding of Prince Félix of Luxembourg and Claire Lademacher which will take place on September 17 and 21, 2013:

Via Hello!
Via Hello!

Are Princess Beatrice and Dave Clark getting engaged anytime soon? They are currently yachting in the South of France with Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis which just seems all kind of bizarre…maybe they’ll be invited guests.

Via The Daily Mail
Via The Daily Mail

Other possibilities include Prince Carl Philip of Sweden as we mentioned and eventually Princess Beatrice and  Prince Harry. Now that will be a party.

Princess Madeleine's Upcoming Wedding

Princess Madeleine’s wedding will quickly be upon us – as of this writing it is 28 days away- so now is a good time to recap what we know so far.

For those of us just joining the party, Madeleine is the second daughter of King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden. Her full title is Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland.

She was born on June 10, 1982 just two weeks before Prince William. Naturally then there were some hopeful royal matchmakers, but I don’t think she and William have ever actually met, so that didn’t work out.

Cut to Madeleine announcing her engagement to in the summer of 2009 to this fellow:

Scanpix
Scanpix

We won’t even bother naming him here. Suffice to say he was a bit of a cad, so that ended in the spring of 2010. Around that time, Madeleine moved to New York City where she began to work for the World Childhood Foundation, which had been co-founded by the Queen.

It was in the city that she met this guy, Mr. Ryan O’Neill, and they announced their engagement back in the fall of 2012. Our post on that can be found here.

Copyright Kungahuset.se Patrick Demarchelier
Copyright Kungahuset.se Patrick Demarchelier

On to the wedding! Here’s what we know so far.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Everything will kick off on the evening of Friday June 7th, when the King and Queen will host a dinner for wedding guests not at a palace, but at the five star Grand Hotel in Stockholm. Click here to check out the hotel’s website yourself.

This goes to show that this is more of a low-key event than the totally grand affair that took place for Madeleine’s older sister Crown Princess Victoria. As the heir to the throne, her wedding was more of a state event, and the evening before the wedding ceremony guests were treated to a black tie dinner and lavish concert.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Another indication that this is intended to be a slightly more low-key affair is that the wedding ceremony will be held in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace of Stockholm at 4pm in the afternoon while Crown Princess Victoria’s ceremony was held at Stockholm Cathedral. It’s nice that they can both have distinct and different weddings.
 
This is the beautiful palace here. It is home to the official offices of the Royal Family;
 KS-ext-foto-Dick-Norberg-stl-718-284
 There will still be plenty of grand royal fanfare. For example, once the ceremony concludes a 21-gun salute will be fired at five second intervals from Skeppsholmen, one of the islands of Stockholm.

The bride and groom will then be taken by horse and carriage from the Royal Palace of Stockholm to Riddarholmen, another island of central Stockholm. The couple along with their wedding guests will then travel by boat to the dinner venue, Drottningholm Palace alongside a parade of Swedish Armed Forces.

Swedish public service broadcaster Sveriges television has been named the official host broadcaster at the wedding between Princess Madeleine and Mr. Christopher O’Neill. The wedding will take place at 4 p.m. CET in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace. Fingers crossed it is also streamed live on the internet.

Amazingly, Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding and dinner banquet was broadcast in it’s entirety. Like, you could watch the royals at their tables as dinner was served. Talk about being a fly on the wall!

Wedding party

The wedding party is still unknown. We know that Princess Madeleine has been a bridesmaid at least once, when she attended her friend Natalia Rosta in August of 2011, so perhaps Natalia will be in the wedding party. For more info on Madeleine the bridesmaid, our post on Royal Bridesmaids can be found here.

Too bad little Princess Estelle is too young to be a flower girl! After all, she only just celebrated her first birthday on February 23. So cute:

Copyright Kungahuset.se Kate Gabor
Copyright Kungahuset.se Kate Gabor

Dress Speculation

We can again look to Princess Victoria’s wedding for ideas. She chose Swedish designer Par Engshen, who created this beautiful gown:

Copyright Kungahuset.se
Copyright Kungahuset.se

It would not be a huge surprise if Madeleine followed suit, particularly since she has worn his designs before. However, since Madeleine is marrying an American perhaps she’d be ok to choose an American designer. Vera Wang or Monique L’hullier, anyone?

Tiara Speculation

Now, what tiara will Madeleine wear? One solid idea is that she will follow tradition and wear the Cameo Tiara that Victoria, Queen Silvia, Princess Birgitta, and Princess Desiree all wore on their wedding days.

-Mad Hattery
Mad Hattery

This is one heck of a piece and dates back to Empress Josephine, whose husband Napolean(!) gave this tiara as a gift in 1809. I’d be truly surprised if Madeleine chose to keep this tradition going. It’s so historic and meaningful, but just not pretty. And I think Madeleine will go for pretty.

Here’s my guess for her wedding tiara:

Copyright Kungahuset.se
Copyright Kungahuset.se

This tiara is known as the Modern Fringe Tiara and can be worn both as a necklace and a tiara. It’s convertible! Also, there is speculation that this piece was a ten year anniversary gift from the king to Queen Silvia so there is meaning there . Plus, Madeleine uses this tiara regularly. Perhaps she’ll wear the cameo bracelet in homage to the tradition.

Any other guesses?

A title for the Groom?

Upon Madeleine’s first engagement, it was announced that her husband would take on the title Duke of of Hälsingland and Gästrikland. I’m guessing the same will go for Chris, though the Palace has yet to announce that one way or another.

Please share your thoughts with us!

PS: The most up to date details on the Swedish Royal Wedding can be found on the official website here.

Princess Madeleine of Sweden is Engaged!

Well, it seems that Princess Madeleine very tactfully waited until after the royal wedding in Luxembourg to announce that she is engaged to Chris O’Neill, her boyfriend of two years. So we have another royal wedding to look forward to!This was a a very well orchestrated announcement, with the royal family’s official website publishing engagement pictures and and an interview with the two of them.

The engagement pictures are a bit Wills and Kate-like, no?

A little more relaxed here. Looks like a lovely vintage inspired diamond ring:

And the white shirt photo:

In addition, there is a video of a very composed Madeleine speaking in Swedish, followed by Chris chiming in with his bit. She really sounds so much like her older sister Crown Princess Victoria. They have the same measured manner. Chris is both American and British and has a British accent. When he speaks he says that he has been learning some Swedish and then he says a few words in the language. They seem very excited.

Check it out on the Royal Family’s website here.

The couple met in New York, where Madeleine moved after calling of her prior engagement back in 2010. Here she is with her previous fiance, who turned out to be quite a cad.

In the summer of 2011, she brought Chris along to the wedding of her good friend Natalie. We did a post on that, which you can read here.

He also more recently joined Madeleine in Sweden for Princess Estelle’s christening.

In the interview Princess Madeleine says that  “For the time being we will continue to live in New York due to both of our current obligations. However, we will not exclude the possibility of moving to Sweden in due course.”

They also share that the wedding will take place this upcoming summer in Sweden. Chris will have a lot to live up to when it comes to his groom’s speech! Remember Prince Daniel’s speech? So good!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onpXyCqQKU0]

Congratulations to Madeleine and Chris!

The Luxembourg Royal Wedding

Hurray…it’s been a long time since we had a royal wedding in Europe and today did we ever have one! 30 year old Prince Guillaume, the oldest son of Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, married 28 year old Countess Stephanie de Lannoy.

Prince Guillame holds the title of Hereditary Grand Duke as next in line. Here he is with Stephanie. They announced their engagement this past April:

As a member of the Belgian nobility, Stephanie calls lovely Anvaing Castle home:

She has a master’s degree and has studied Russian literature and is also fluent in German, Dutch, and French. She is working on becoming fluent in Luxembourgish, which is a language that is mostly spoken an not written in Luxembourg. It is one of the country’s official languages, along with French and German.

For his part, Prince Guillame has studied at Sandhurst (like William and Harry and various Jordanian royals) as well as at the University of Durham and Brunei University. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the Institut Albert-Le Grand in Angers.

Here are the Grand Duke and Duchess themselves. This picture was taken at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling. As you can see, Luxembourg is not lacking in bling:

Luxembourg is the only Grand Duchy in the world. The country is bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany and is slightly smaller than the state of Rhode Island at 998 square miles.

And, look! Luxembourg was hit with royal wedding fever:

There were even chocolates made:

Today’s wedding ceremony, which we will get to shortly, was preceded by a civil ceremony yesterday. Here is the happy couple before their civil ceremony which was held yesterday at Luxembourg City Town Hall:

Let’s get a look at the whole outfit, shall we?

And here is the Grand Duke and Duchess with their daughter Princess Alexandra (who was one of the bridesmaids today) and son Prince Sebastien:

Prince Guillame’s other brother Prince Louis is already married to Princess Tessy. They married in 2006 in a shot gun royal wedding that we can perhaps get into another time. Here they are arriving at the civil ceremony, looking very swish:

And onto the big event!

The wedding ceremony today was held in Luxembourg Cathedral. Princess Stephanie (she became a princess during the Civil Ceremony, you see) arrived in a car bedecked in flowers:

And OMG look at all that loveliness. Layers and layers of it:

Her dress is by Lebanese designer Elie Saab and is GORGEOUS! It is reported to have taken no fewer than 3,200 hours to make. I can believe it.

People are going to make comparisons to Kate’s dress and I can see why, what with the lace overlay, sleeves, and extensive train. I think Countess Stephanie’s just looks more…floaty, ethereal, and just prettier. After all, she didn’t have to worry about incorporating shamrocks and thistles and such…

Now that we know that the wedding dress designer was Elie Saab, let’s take a step back to briefly discuss the pre-wedding banquet which was held last night.  Princess Stephanie chose Elie Saab for this event as well.

Here she is toasting with the Grand Duke:

So gorgeous, right? You may recall that Crown Princess Victoria wore Elie Saab for the events the night before her wedding, so Elie sure has a royal stamp of approval! Here is Crown Princess Victoria in her Elie Saab dress that night, which has some similarities.

Before we jump back to the wedding, let’s take a look at some of the other attendees at the banquet.

The British Royal Family’s go-to wedding guests, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, were there. Looking good, Sophie!

And here we have one of my faves, Princess Mette-Marit of Norway looking lovely in red along with Princess Caroline of Monaco and Princess Marie-Chantall of Greece. Hurray for tiaras!

And to round it out, Crown Princess Victoria wore Elie Saab again! Love it:

Ok, back to the wedding ceremony. We can see the gown better here. Princess Stephanie was escorted by her brother Count Jehan de Lannoy and her attendants were decked out in the colours of the House of Nassau:

Not sure how successful that was, but I appreciate the thought there. The older bridesmaids look lovely. It’s just that that blue and orange on the little ones looks a bit costumey to me. It’s not the best colour combo ever.

And here they are with the Archbishop of Luxembourg before heading into the church:

The Luxembourg version of the Pippa moment! They each got different dress details! Love that.

Now that’s a train! It is 13 feet long:

The couple at the altar:

The bride wore her family’s tiara, and oodles of info on it can be found here.

The ceremony was conducted in both french and english and included a moment of silence for the bride’s mother, who passed away at the age of 70 two months ago.

Afterwards, the prince and prince  had their balcony moment at the Grand Ducal Palace. That’s bridesmaid Princess Alexandra in the peachy tangerine:

More festivities like a fireworks display are being held to celebrate.

So what do we think? Is this dress a winner? Was I being too harsh about the blue and orange attendants? Let’s chat.