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17 June 2012

Royal Fashion Awards: Princess Carolina's Wedding

It's royal wedding time again! Princess Carolina (Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Parma, Marchioness of Sala, Duchess of Guernica) is the daughter of Princess Irene of the Netherlands (daughter of Queen Juliana and sister of Queen Beatrix, Princess Margriet, and Princess Christina) and the late Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma. She married Albert Brenninkmeijer, a member of the wealthy family operating the C&A chain of stores. They married civilly in the Netherlands back in April, and tied the religious knot yesterday at San Miniato al Monte in Florence, Italy. As expected, the wedding brought out a whole crowd from the extended Dutch royal family and their assorted fashions (plus one fantastic wedding gown!). First, the guests:

Best in Purple
Queen Beatrix
Left to Right: Princess Irene, Queen Beatrix, Juliana Guillermo (daughter of Princess Christina)
The whole wedding had a lovely lavender theme, including the attendants' attire and the bride's bouquet, and you have to love Beatrix for playing along. I do prefer her typical Bea take on the theme to the mother of the bride's shiny fuchsia-tinted version, or Juliana's busy print (she's one of the bride's cousins).

Worst in Neutral
Princess Máxima
L to R: Princess Annette (daughter-in-law of Princess Margriet), Princess Máxima (daughter-in-law of Queen Beatrix)
I guess Máxima was aiming for feathery fun here but in reality, I can't help but think she forgot to pluck her skirt before she left the house.

Best in Blue
Princess Sophie
L to R: Princess Aimée (daughter-in-law of Princess Margriet), Eva Guillermo (daughter-in-law of Princess Christina), Princess Sophie of Prussia, Princess Marilène (another daughter-in-law of Margriet), Princess Margarita (daughter of Irene), Princess Mabel (daughter-in-law of Queen Beatrix)
Blue seemed to be another theme among the guests, and it was the perfect complement to the bright Florence sunshine. Some of these are confusing (Aimée's motorcycle jacket-topped girly dress, Marilène's major shoe pairing, Eva's long party dress which sticks out from the knee-length crowd), some are distracting (another oh-so-shiny ensemble from the sister of the bride, Margarita), and some are reassuring (Mabel, out and about once again). But no one competes with Princess Sophie, holding up the foreign royal fort in the perfect outfit for the occasion. She's my pick for best dressed guest overall, no competition.

Best in Other Brights
Princess Laurentien
L to R: Princess Christina, Princess Laurentien (daughter-in-law of Queen Beatrix), Princess Margriet
I always shock myself when Laurentien comes out on top, but lo and behold, sometimes she does pretty well for her nutty self. She's nicely put together here, alongside the bride's two brightly dressed aunts.

Worst in Men
Prince Bernhard
L to R: Prince Willem-Alexander and Prince Constantijn (sons of Beatrix); Prince Maurits, Prince Pieter-Christiaan, Prince Bernhard, and Prince Floris (sons of Margriet); the Duke of Parma and Prince Jaime (sons of Irene)
I usually count on the men to be the most reliably well dressed at an event like this; after all, they have the simplest dress code. But leave it to the extended crop of Orange-Nassau men to make it harder than it needs to be, mixing up suits and morning dress in every possible color. There are some dashing gents here to be sure (hello, Prince Jaime!), but I think the scruffy power of Prince Bernhard overwhelms them all. Be sure and note the gray shoes...

And Finally...
The Bride
Princess Carolina and Albert Brenninkmeijer
Carolina’s stunning gown comes from Dutch designer Addy van den Krommenacker, who also dressed the bride’s mother and sister. The dress’ most notable feature is the heirloom Bruges lace, which was worn by Princess Irene at her wedding in 1964 and has now been adapted for use by her daughter (after an intense restoration effort by the designer). Accordingly, the design is named the “Irene”.
Arriving on the arm of her brother
The short sleeves and bodice are all of lace, which parts to reveal a plain skirt underneath and travels back to form the modest train. The gown is topped with a long veil secured by a tiara borrowed from the Dutch royal house: the diamond Laurel Wreath Tiara is about 200 years old, and was also worn by Princess Laurentien on her wedding day. Carolina accessorized with a beautiful pair of diamond and pearl drop earrings. It’s a gorgeous look, perfect for the bride, the location, and the occasion - and it will reign as my current favorite royal wedding gown of 2012 until someone can outdo it!

What do you make of Carolina's lace gown and her crop of guests?

Photos: Getty Images/Zimbio/PPE//DutchPhotoPress/RTL