Marie-Chantal Miller & Prince Pavlos of Greece’s Wedding

In our last post, we recapped the speculation around Prince Harry and Princess Olympia of Greece and how closely linked the two royal families are (click here for a refresher). Basically, it’s wishful thinking for the time being on the part of the media but it really would make an incredible story. Case in point: let’s talk about that time Prince Pavlos married Marie-Chantal Miller in July 1995.

It made the cover of Weddings of Style! [Amazon]
It made the cover of Weddings of Style: A Guide to the Ultimate Wedding
The Engagement & Ring

Prince Pavlos and Marie-Chantal were set up by a mutual friend, Alecko Papamarkou at a dinner party in New Orleans where he arranged that they’d be seated next to each other. As Mary-Chantal later told Vanity Fair

I knew it was a big matchup, because Alecko had been telling me for weeks that he knew the perfect person for me. And I didn’t feel comfortable being set up. I tried to get out of it, but Alecko never returned my phone calls and we had arranged to meet at the airport. So I ended up going. I borrowed a navy-blue Chanel couture suit from my mother and looked like a million bucks.”

Pavlos’ take was very decided: “The moment I saw Marie-Chantal, I said, Well, this is what I’ve been looking for. Alecko was right.”

Over the next couple of years, Pavlos graduated from Georgetown (his cousin Crown Prince Felipe of Spain was a roommate) and Marie-Chantal moved to Washington to be nearby and to study at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. During Christmas 1994, Pavlos proposed on a ski lift in Gstaad, where the Miller family has a ski lodge.

A look at the ring! [InStyle]
A look at the ring! [InStyle]
He had a dainty cabochon sapphire and diamond ring made for M-C that had a lot of meaning. The sapphire came from his mother Queen Anne-Marie’s collection and he added a heart-shaped diamond to the side as a personal touch.

Pre-Wedding Celebrations

They set the wedding date for July 1, 1995 and the celebrations took place over several days (after everything was said and done, the bride’s parents took off for a relaxing yacht trip to recover).

The pre-wedding festivities included two parties hosted by Queens: Queen Elizabeth II hosted a tea party at Claridges and Queen Margarethe of Denmark, Prince Pavlos’ aunt, also hosted a luncheon for 100 on board the Royal yacht Dannebrog. She had travelled to London on board the yacht which was moored on the River Thames for the duration of the festivities which is a pretty great way to travel (the Danish Royal Family also arrived for the 2012 London Olympics this way).

Here she is aboard the yacht with Prince Henrik in 2006.

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And here it is ready to set sale in Copenhagen:

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Two nights before the wedding, the bride’s parents hosted  dinner for the 1,300 wedding guests at Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire.

Wrotham Park
Wrotham Park

The decor included thousands of Ecuadorian roses (a nod to Marie-Chantals Ecuadorian mother), large marquees made to look like the Parthenon, an antique carousel, and lots of dancing.  This little anecdote from one of the event planners Robert Isabell gives a good indication of the scale of this party:

 Called in at the last minute to advise on the Miller-Pavlos nuptials — there was a potentially catastrophic snafu involving miscalculated tent fabric — Isabell tells Miller’s mother he can save the event. “Could he come right away?” she asks. Isabell, Bond-like, responds: “I’ll take the Concorde and be there tomorrow. Get me a room at Claridge’s, and we’ll put this thing together.” [Wall Street Journal]

You can check out a picture of the Pavlos and M-C’s families all dolled up for the bash here. It all ended in a champagne breakfast in the wee hours of the morning and many of the guests left was the sun was rising.

The Wedding Ceremony

The wedding ceremony took place on July 1, 1995. The bride converted to the Greek Orthodox Church prior to the wedding, and the service was held at St. Sophia’s Cathedral in London. The Cathedral held 450 guests and an additional 850 guests watched the wedding ceremony on large screens set up at Hampton Court Palace where the reception also took place (among those guests was Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother).

Here’s the bride with her father Robert Miller. Note that Marie-Cantal chose not to wear any eye makeup (in keeping with the tradition that true ladies don’t wear any).

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The ceremony can be seen in the Greek video below. If you want to skip ahead for some glimpses, Marie Chantal appears 15 minutes in and numerous royals can be seen on the steps of the Cathedral at 1:15. Interestingly, neither the bride or groom said a single word during the entire ceremony.

At the time, the media remarked that this wedding brought together more royals in London than Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding had. King Hussein of Jordan can be seen outside the Cathedral with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

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And here she is with Queen Silvia of Spain.

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As a side note, check out the sketch by Hardie Ames showing the outfit worn by Queen Elizabeth for the occasion.

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Other royal guests included the Prince of Wales, the King and Queen of Denmark, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Queen Noor of Jordan, and the King and Queen of Spain along with Prince Filipe and Infanta Cristina. Check them out gathered together for the portrait below  taken at Hampton Court Palace (M-C shared this particular shot on her Instagram page). Patrick Litchfield was the official wedding photographer and he was also the official photographer for Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding. Also of note – Pavlos and M-C’s monogram in flowers behind them all.

A wedding portrait shared by Marie-Chantal on her instagram page [hello!]
A wedding portrait shared by Marie-Chantal on her instagram page [Hello!]
A large floral monogram was also visible outside the cathedral. M-C and Pavlos still use this monogram- check out this photo of the tags on the christmas presents that she shared on her Instagram page this past holiday.



The Bridal Party

There were four bridesmaids: Prince Pavlos’ young sister Princess Theodora, The Honorable Alexandra Knatchbull (goddaughter of Diana, Princess of Wales), Miss Marietta Chandris, and 19 month old Isabel Getty (daughter of Marie Chantal’s sister Pia).

Prince Philippos of Greece (Pavlos’ brother), Anthony Chandris, Sebastian Flick and Christian Robbs were the groomsmen.
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So all in all this is certainly a wedding that has gone down in history.

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What a shingding, am I right? Next up, a closer look at the wedding gown and tiara!


Tomorrow's the Big Day

Tomorrow is the big day for Princess Madeleine  and Chris O’Neill and, happily for us, the biggest royal wedding of the year.


To kick off the celebrations, the King and Queen of Sweden hosted a swish dinner at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm tonight, with everyone from Princess Charlene of Monaco to Princess Marie of Denmark.

Madeleine showed up in a super festive and sparkly silver gown. Sadly, my internet is so slow at the  moment that I can’t upload any more pictures. Fortunately the Huffington Post has lots of great pictures of the guests  here.

In preparation for the big day, the Royal Family has released the couple’s joint monogram.  It was designed by heraldic artist Vladimir A. Sagerlund and consists of the couple’s first initials resting under Madeleine’s ducal crown.

Copyright Kungahuset
Copyright Kungahuset

They also released the designer of the wedding gown in the most succinct press release ever. It reads:

Princess Madeleine’s wedding dress is created by the Italian designer Valentino Garavani.

Valentino had already been confirmed as a guest, so there were already a few tongues wagging that he must be the designer. Perhaps that’s why they decided to announce it a day early.

You know who else had a Valentino wedding gown? Our fave new Queen Maxima!


You can read more about Maxima’s Valentino gown in a past post here. Another royal bride who chose Valentino is Princess Marie-Chantalle of Greece. The Royal Order of Splendor has a great article about her dress. There’s so much great info! Click here to see for yourself.

More recently, Valentino also designed Anne Hathaway’s wedding dress:


So who knows, maybe it’ll be structured like Max’s or perhaps it’ll be floaty and ethereal like Anne’s. I’m voting for structured.

On another entirely frivolous note, here’s what I’m most excited to find out tomorrow:

1. What tiara Madeleine has chosen to wear

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

We know that the tradition in the family is for the bride to wear the heavy duty Cameo Tiara, but my guess is Princess Madeleine is having none of it. Instead, I think she’ll show up with a diamond-only tiara, likely the Modern Fringe Tiara.

Copyright Kungauset
Copyright Kungauset

We’ll see if I’m right about that…if I’m wrong, happy to eat my words…I just really don’t think Madeleine is a Cameo girl.

Here’s the press release for this tiara from when Victoria wore it on her wedding day in 2010:

The word “cameo” means a precious stone decorated in raised relief. The tiara is made of gold, pearls and cameos. The central cameo depicts Cupid and Psyche from Greek mythology.

The seven cameos were not originally carved for the tiara, as can be seen in their different shapes and colours.

The cameo tiara was also worn by Queen Silvia at the royal wedding on 19 June 1976.

The Crown Princess is therefore continuing a tradition started by Princess Birgitta. She was the first Haga Princes to marry, and chose the cameo tiara for her wedding in 1961 to Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern.

Princess Désirée also chose the same tiara as her bridal crown when she married Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld in 1964.

2. If Madeleine will wear the traditional veil.

I’m guessing yes. This one is easier to incorporate. Here’s the official info on the veil, also from a press release from Victoria’s wedding:

The Crown Princess is wearing Queen Sofia’s lace veil. It is the same veil that was worn by Crown Princess Victoria’s mother, Queen Silvia, at her marriage to King Carl Gustaf in 1976.

This veil was given by Queen Sofia to her youngest son, Prince Eugen. Prince Eugen then passed the veil on to Princess Sibylla, who wore it under a garland of myrtle at her marriage to Prince Gustaf Adolf in Koburg in 1932.
Queen Sofia’s veil was also worn by the Princesses Désirée in 1964, Margaretha in 1964 and Christina in 1974.

Behind the Crown Princess hair and make up is Peter Andersson and Linda Öhrnström.

3. What Madeleine’s dress looks like. Obviously.

Please don’t let it be strapless. Please.

4. If Mr. O’Neill’s Groom’s speech holds up to the awesomeness that was Prince Daniel’s speech.


It’s gonna be tough, but I’m rooting for him.

5. Is Prince Carl Philippe allowed to have a date?

He likes to date bikini models and the like and I noticed he was pictured arriving to the dinner with Chris O’Neill’s mother on his arm, so I’m thinking any date has been instructed to hang out in the background. We shall see.

Getty Images Via Huffington Post
Getty Images Via Huffington Post

I’ll be back tomorrow with a thorough analysis. My alarm’s already set so I don’t miss a moment. We should be able to watch it here. The wedding begins at 7am Pacific time. Tata for now.

The Orsini-Ligne Aquamarine and Diamond Wedding Tiara and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Wedding Gown Similarities

The last of our aquamarine tiara postings for March, here’s something a bit different – the Orsini-Ligne Aquamarine and Diamond Wedding Tiara!

The Orsini-Ligne Aquamarine and Diamond Wedding Tiara and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Wedding Gown Similarities

On September 7th 2009, Prince Edouard de Ligne de La Tremoille of the Belgian noble House de Ligne married the famous Italian actress Isabella Orsini in a religious ceremony in his family’s ancestral castle in Antoing, Belgium. The House of Ligne can trace its history all the way back to the Holy Roman Empire. HH Princess Isabella as she is now known wore a gorgeous aquamarine and diamond tiara with matching earrings.

Coming out of the cathedral with her new husband. They look so happy! I believe Isabella had just released a dove

As you may have noticed from the above photos, Isabella’s Gerald Watelet wedding gown bears a striking resemblance to the Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen designed wedding gown that Catherine Middleton wore to marry HRH Prince William of Wales two years later. There was some surprise in the press (and to Isabella) when the similarities were noticed (lace covered bodices with a v-neckline and lace sleeves, similar skirts and train lengths), but it seems likely that both Catherine and Isabella chose a similar royal style icon for their wedding dress inspiration – Princess Grace of Monaco. They are both gorgeous and royal wedding gowns, and suit the bride. This Royal Post-er has been enamored of Princess Grace’s wedding gown since she was 5 years old, and thinks this trend to long lace sleeves and lace adorned bodices in wedding gowns is all for the best!

It should be noted that there are many differences between Catherine and Isabella’s wedding gowns – Isabella wore a lace jacket on top of her gown, while Catherine’s lace adorned bodice was part of her gown, Catherine’s gown has significantly more detail on the waist, hips and train, and seems to be of a more elaborate construction. Interesting to see this marked trend in wedding gowns, which has now translated into the bridal design industry.

A detail of the back of Catherine’s dress, as her veil is slightly covering it in the above photo

What do you think?

Hope you enjoyed our aquamarine tiara postings for March!

Here are links to the previous aquamarine postings: Queen Elizabeth’s Brazilian Aquamarine and Diamond Parure and the Boucheron Diamond Clips, The Aquamarine Pine Flower Tiara, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands’ Aquamarine Tiara and Parure, The Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara of Sweden, and the Wessex Aquamarine and Diamond Wedding Tiara

Official Engagement Portrait of the Princess of Wales

Via The Morton Report
When William and Kate’s engagement was announced, one of our first comments was, “what will they do for their official engagement portrait?” In 1981 Lady Diana Spencer sat for a number of official engagement portraits.
We absolutely love this one of her in the green silk gown. She’s very much the royal princess! These pictures were taken by Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret’s husband, at the couple’s country estate, Highgrove.
Interestingly, these portraits of Charles and Diana were released at the time their engagement was announced, meaning that they were taken in the days or weeks prior, amidst the intense media frenzy and speculation surrounding Lady Diana. This is unlike the engagement portraits of William and Kate which were taken by Mario Testino in the weeks following the engagement announcement. William and Kate’s engagement was clearly an even bigger kept secret than that of Charles and Diana among members of the inner royal circle and family.
We love William and Kate’s informal engagement portraits (taken by Mario Testino), and wonder what other pictures were taken that day that were not released to the public.
Unfortunately, we doubt there was a grand portrait of William and Kate taken in the style of Charles and Diana shown here, but how amazing would that be! We suspect it will be a a couple of years before we see a formal portrait of the decked out Duchess, perhaps even a painted one in addition to photographic portraits. More on that in another post!