24 April 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Princess Annette's Gown

HH Prince Bernhard of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven and Annette Sekrève
July 6 & 8, 2000
Utrecht, Netherlands

The second of Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven's sons was the second to marry. Bernhard, named after his grandfather, and Annette married in Utrecht, first in a civil ceremony and then two days later in a religious ceremony.
The bride's outfit for the civil wedding came from Frans Molenaar, a Dutch designer whose clients included Annette's new mother-in-law. It was a light blue taffeta coat with a wide lapel and plenty of tiny buttons closing it over the matching dress beneath. Bernhard wore a matching light blue tie, but Annette's wide striped hat in blue and pink was by far the memorable accessory of the day.
Her wedding gown was also from Frans Molenaar, and also of taffeta, this time in an ivory shade. It was a coat dress, with a wide lapel, flared sleeves, and small buttons down the front. The coat cut away at the waist and formed a wide but fairly short train at the back. The dress underneath had just a small train of its own.
There are some similarities here with Princess Marilène's gown from two years earlier, including the large collar and button detail at the front. She also followed Marilène's lead in the tiara department, using the Ears of Wheat Tiara and helping to establish a family tradition. In this case, just the front wheat ears can be seen beneath her poufy veil.
Unfortunately, I have to say this is an instance where the gown wore the bride, and not the other way around. The fabric ended up all wrinkled, which adds to the feeling that the fit just isn't right. Princess Annette is gorgeous and she was beaming on her big day, but in this case the dress wasn't up to the task.
Bernhard, an entrepreneur, and Annette, who has a degree in psychology and has worked with the disabled, have three children: Isabella, Samuel, and Benjamin. The family leads a fairly quiet life, making the occasionally royal appearance. Bernhard and his older brother Maurits both obtained governmental approval for their marriages and remained in the line of succession and members of the Royal House. The law dictates that this will change when their cousin Willem-Alexander becomes king. But they will still be members of the royal family, and their titles will not change. (Knowing that this would happen in the future, and likely knowing that it would not change much in terms of their daily lives, the two younger sons of Margriet and Pieter didn't request government approval for their weddings and are already not a part of the Royal House.)

Do you think Annette's gown was a success?

Photos: RVD/ANP/Corbis