HRH The Prince of Orange and Miss Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti
February 2, 2002
Here's our third crown princely wedding in the run up to Crown Princess Victoria's June nuptials -- less than a month now! The crown prince of The Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, wed Argentine investment banker Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti in 2002.
The wedding was not without controversy; Máxima's father, Jorge Zorreguieta Stefanini, was a minister in the administration of Argentine dictator Jorge Videla. Videla's government carried out what was called a "Dirty War," killing tens of thousands of Argentine citizens, and Zorreguieta's involvement was suspect. However, the Dutch States-General granted permission for the couple to marry -- but neither of Máxima's parents attended the wedding.
Since their marriage, Máxima's relaxed and friendly personality has become quite popular with the Dutch people. She and Willem-Alexander have three daughters: Catharina-Amalia, Hereditary Princess of Orange (who will likely one day be queen), Princess Alexia, and Princess Ariane.
HRH The Crown Prince of Norway and Miss Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby
August 25, 2001
Welcome to the hattery coverage of our second crown princely wedding in preparation for Crown Princess Victoria's big day! Like Victoria's wedding will be, this wedding was a tiara affair, and the royal ladies of Europe brought out some of their blingiest bling for the occasion.
Haakon's choice of Mette-Marit was a controversial one. Not only was she a commoner, she also had a son, Marius, from a previous relationship and had been heavily involved in the drug-and-alcohol fueled party scene in Oslo. Many thought she was not suited to become the next queen of Norway, but Haakon stood firm. Mette-Marit publicly apologized for her wild past at a press conference before the wedding, and the two have been happily married now for nearly a decade. Along with Marius, the crown prince and princess have two children, Princess Ingrid Alexandra (who will one day be Norway's queen) and Prince Sverre Magnus.
HRH Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant and Countess Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz
December 4, 1999
Of the six crown princely weddings we'll be hatting about with in preparation for Crown Princess Victoria's June nuptials, Prince Philippe of Belgium's wedding is the first. Married to Belgian aristocrat Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz in 1999, Philippe is currently their heir to the Belgian throne, now occupied by his father, King Albert II.
Since their marriage, Mathilde and Philippe have lived an active but fairly low-key royal life. In between major royal events and charity work, they have found time to have four children: Princess Elisabeth (future Queen of the Belgians), Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eléanore. But let's do a little time-traveling jaunt back eleven years, and -- dare I say it -- party like it's 1999!
Grand Duchess J-C looks a little frail here, but that's because she was already fighting lung cancer in 2002. With that in mind, she was a heck of a trooper to show up at a foreign royal wedding, and though I'm not a big fan of the "halo-of-fur" effect we're getting here, I'll give her a pass!
Another royal wedding, another dearly-departed royal for the blog: Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, whose title changed in the interim between Prince Philippe's royal wedding and Crown Prince Haakon's big day. J-C's husband, Grand Duke Jean, abdicated on October 7, 2000, giving over power to their son, Henri.
So now, rather than being The Grand Duchess, she's just Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte on this occasion. Not really a bad switch, in the grand scheme of things. You get to keep your fancy title, all of your jewelry, and probably the castle, too, and instead of cutting endless ribbons and shaking endless hands, you get to sit poolside and drink frozen margaritas, just popping out in a tiara for the occasional royal wedding. (I'm imagining that's the case, anyway. If so, forget being a royal -- I want to be a retired royal!)
J-C here is wearing the same tiara she wore to her own royal wedding way back in 1953. It's called Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte's Diamond Scroll Tiara, and it was a gift from the Société Générale bank. The whole thing actually comes apart into different pieces, including a brooch and a diamond ring that measures a whopping eight carats. Splendid!
Here's a hatter we'll only have the chance to see in flashbacks: Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, daughter of King Leopold III of Belgium and Princess Astrid of Sweden, sister of King Baudouin and King Albert II of the Belgians, and wife of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg (the military man in the center of the photo). She was a lady with some serious royal cred! This wedding was one of the last major royal events she attended as Grand Duchess; her husband abdicated in 2000, making her son Henri the Grand Duke. She died five years later, in 2005, of lung cancer.
I think Joséphine-Charlotte's hat is a great example of how to wear a dark-colored hat to a wedding; the chocolate brown is lovely and soft, and the champagne-colored ribbon keeps it from being too funereal. Her entire outfit is regal and lovely -- very appropriate for her nephew's winter wedding!
We can't overlook J-C's sister-in-law in this photo, either: Queen Fabiola is on the right, underneath the feathery hat that seems to be trying to eat her alive. Run, Fabiola! Escape it while you can! (Question: is this the most enormous hat we've ever seen on Mad Hattery? It's got to be at least top three! I mean, it's practically a parasol!)
Okay, time to focus your attention at the top of this photo: it's GD Joséphine-Charlotte! And apparently, based on her attire, she may be checking in to serve a bit of prison time after the reception. (The hat though: eh. Inoffensive, but a wee bit boring?)
PHOTO CREDITS: Tim Graham/Getty Images