A brand-new princess needs a brand-new tiara, doesn't she? Charlene may not have worn a tiara proper to her wedding, but she pulled out a modern and rather intriguing new tiara for tonight's reception. This is the Baumer Aigrette Tiara, made by Lorenz Baumer. Here's another look at the tiara itself. It's a small and unusual piece, but I like it!
Charlene actually got two tiaras for her wedding -- she also now owns a diamond-and-sapphire Van Cleef & Arpels tiara that can be converted into a necklace. It features a "wave" design ... perfect for an Olympic swimmer!
I bet y'all thought I had a cow today when Charlene showed up to her royal wedding without a tiara on, didn't you? Ha! Actually, though, I have to admit that I think I like this look better than I would have if they'd tried to fit a tiara into the hairstyle. The veil is gorgeous, the hair is sleek and beautiful, and we still had some bling!
The diamond floral ornaments in Charlene's hair are apparently a set of antique brooches dating from the nineteenth century. Rumor has it that they belong to Princess Caroline, who loaned them to her sister-in-law for her wedding day. A lovely gesture!
And a beautiful bride, too. Monaco has found itself a new star!
PHOTO CREDITS: REUTERS/Lionel Cironneau/Pool, Sean Gallup/Getty Images
She won't be royal for a few more months yet, but Charlene looked like a princess already at the royal wedding. Or at least a doll -- I swear, my Garden Party Wedding Barbie had a hat just like this one circa 1986! (And that's not really a negative thing -- I loved that Barbie!)
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The princely family of Monaco gathered today to remember the late Princess Antoinette, elder sister of Prince Rainier and aunt to Prince Albert, Princess Caroline, and Princess Stéphanie. Antoinette lived a fascinating and sometimes controversial life -- one perfectly appropriate for a Monegasque princess! I wrote a little about Antoinette's life in my most recent column; you can also read her obituary (in French) at Nice Matin.
As the Grimaldis are a Catholic family, they keep the tradition of wearing chapel veils for mourning (and for some other religious occasions -- see Charlene also wearing this veil at the Feast of Saint Dévote in January). I love the close-up of this lace piece on Charlene, with its beautiful, subtle floral motif. Just gorgeous.
PHOTO CREDITS: REUTERS/Lionel Cironneau/Pool
Lovely reader Eliza sent along this photo of what is surely a blog first -- a (soon-to-be) royal in a swim cap! Charlene's back home in South Africa and back in her element here, swimming in the Midmar Mile Race. She's been gorgeous lately in her more sophisticated looks, but you can really tell that a woman is a beauty when she looks great in an orange swim cap just after a race!
PHOTO CREDITS: Michelly Rall/Getty Images
Love that Charlene is embracing the tradition of women wearing veils at Catholic services -- there are few things more elegant, if you ask me! The lace looks especially striking against her blond hair.
This veil was worn to a mass celebrating Saint Dévote, the patron saint of Monaco. She was martyred in Corsica in the first century, and, through various events, her body ended up on the shores of Monaco. Her relics have been preserved in the principality ever since. Many Monegasques have believed over the centuries that Saint Dévote has protected them against invaders and preserved their independence. They cherish Saint Dévote so much that they've even named a part of the Grand Prix race course for her. Now that's veneration!
Here's another look at Charlene's outfit for the day -- more black, which is super appropriate for this occasion, but I hope we see her in colors soon! I believe those are the relics of Saint Dévote in the foreground:
(Thanks to lovely reader Sophie for sending in info about this event!)
PHOTO CREDITS: VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images, REUTERS/Gaetan Luci/Palais Princier
All right, hatters, you know what time it is! Drumroll, please!
That's right -- slap on your black-tie attire, pour yourself a glass o'champers, and settle in for the Mad Hattery Awards of 2010! (No, seriously, hurry up -- King CG is clearly waiting on you!)
We've moved the festivities inland from last year's cruise-ship do, but that just means more room for all of us and the maddest hatters of the year! So, without further adieu, let's get the party started!
And the winners are...
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Thank God for Charlene Wittstock -- it looks like we may finally have a proper hatter in Monaco!
You guys, this is so glam, I can hardly stand it! The top of the hat is maybe a bit too exaggerated for me to put it in my top ten, but I think it's really just smashing. There's something so Evita about it -- love it. An excellent first hattery outing for the future Princess of Monaco!
Yes, Charlotte -- take note!
PHOTO CREDITS: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe
The Olympics bring drama, joy, and excitement into all of our lives for two weeks in the winter ... and now, they also bring new (almost) royals to the blog!
The lovely blond woman in the black baseball cap is Charlene Wittstock, the longtime companion of Prince Albert II of Monaco. She's as close as it comes to an "official" royal girlfriend in Europe; she and Al have been together for years, attending all sorts of official events together, but still with no sign of an impending engagement. Too bad, I say ... Monaco could use another Grace-and-Ranier-style royal wedding!
Of course Charlene would know about the proper hattery to wear to an Olympic Games -- she's a former Olympian herself! She swam for her native country, South Africa, in the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney. (Albert is also an Olympics aficionado -- he competed as a bobsledder for Monaco in five Olympics, and now he's a member of the IOC.) The baseball cap is just right for spectating at an outdoor skiing event. An excellent and appropriate first hattery appearance!
...but wait just a gosh darn minute.
Hmph. I know he's totally tempting, Charlene, but you've already got a prince -- don't scoop up our dreamy Mad Hattery Prince Charming, too!