26 April 2011

Wedding Wednesday (on a Tuesday): Royal Bridal Updos, Part 1

Yes, that's right, Wednesday's coming three times this week. (Three. Eh, it's a holiday week, right?) All the royals seem to have gone into hiding last week, depriving us of our usual amount of review posts to chat about. So, I'm taking the lovely Katherine up on her post request from last Wednesday. Katherine wanted to see royal brides from Team Updo, and I thought it best to oblige; you never know, she could really be Catherine, just cleverly disguised.

As I told you last week, the number of brides with updos seriously outweighs the number of brides with flowing locks. So settle in, let's get started:

Updos Because You Have To
Some royal brides end up pulling their hair back because any other choice would be an utter disaster, basically.

Case in point: Princess Maxima. Her wedding day look featured a strong collar, a statement tiara, and a hefty veil. Hair down would have been complete chaos; pulling it back to a regal updo hidden under the veil was just the ticket.

Princess Letizia had the same situation: high collared dress, lace veil, tiara. And thankfully she chose the same solution. An excellent choice, especially since she's such a petite thing.

Princess Mathilde's wedding look falls in this category as well. Goodness, I do love a high collar on a wedding gown. It just screams regal, especially in a cold weather wedding (December for Mathilde).

And more! Big veils, head caps, tiaras, and so on:
Left to Right: Princess Grace of Monaco; Princess Annette of Orange-Nassau; Infanta Elena of Spain; Archduchess Marie Christine of Austria
Nobody does elegance like Grace. And Marie Christine's such a cute Archduchess (and new mum!). That's the way to pull the hair back but still frame your face properly.
L to R: Princess Alexandra of Kent; Crown Princess Pavlos of Greece; Queen Paola of the Belgians; Princess Anita of Orange-Nassau; Infanta Cristina of Spain
Cristina's wedding hair will always rank among my favorites. Just lovely in every way, and perfect swept up and away from the shoulder line of her gown.

More coming at you after the jump!

Veil Hangers
The hair may not be the star of the show, but that doesn't mean it can't be useful. After all, you have to attach your veil to something.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit's hair was pulled back simply, the perfect complement to her minimalist gown, tiara, and makeup. She covered up the knot on the back of her head by hanging her veil right on it.

Crown Princess Victoria did the same thing, really allowing the heirloom Cameo Tiara and the family veil to be the stars of the show, right alongside her million-watt smile.

It's quite a common solution to the "How will I attach my veil?" question, really.
L to R: Princess Märtha Louise of Norway; the Duchess of Parma; Princess Astrid of Belgium; Princess Marilène of Orange-Nassau; Queen Silvia of Sweden; Princess Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark
I may not have been a fan of Tatiana's gown, but I do enjoy the hair.

Tiara Support
It's one of the prime reasons to pull one's hair back at a royal wedding: tiaras need a proper nest from which to shine.

These lovely ladies anchored veils and let their tiaras sparkle to the nines:
L to R: the Duchess of Anjou; Lady Helen Taylor; Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg; Lady Sarah Chatto
Maria Teresa's wedding hair is just perfect, in my opinion. It perfectly echoes the shape of the simple diamond tiara she wore.
L to R: Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau; Princess Claire of Belgium; Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg; Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands; Lady Rose Gilman
 Lady Rose makes my list of favorites here; just the perfect pedestal to display the Gloucester Iveagh Tiara.

The Importance of Being Neat
An updo is not a free ticket to bridal hair success, unfortunately.

I may be firmly on Team Updo, but that doesn't mean I can't acknowledge that it's not a foolproof strategy.
L to R: the Duchess of Gloucester; the Countess of Ulster; Autumn Phillips after her wedding and shaking it at her reception
Now, I love the Duchess of Gloucester, and her attire was perfectly suited to her country wedding with zero royal fanfare (remember, she and Prince Richard weren't supposed to be the future Duke and Duchess at that time). But I can't shake feeling that this is just the kind of quick sweep back I used to do in junior high, before volleyball practice. At least she's not wearing a scrunchie. Now, her daughter-in-law Claire, the Countess of Ulster, looks mostly neat, but those two bits hanging out at the front just look so sad. They look like they've been forgotten. At the very least, they've clearly forgotten their curl. And Autumn, well, she started out neat and tidy and her hair went downhill from there, devolving into a ponytail sort of thing by the reception. To her credit, the happy bride looks as though she could care less, bless her boogieing heart.

The Bigger the Hair...
Updos aren't always easy to accommodate within the tiara + veil scenario. Some have more success than others.

Updos can get big. And while that can be fabulous, it can also be problematic when you add a veil to it. This is my problem with Crown Princess Mary's wedding look.
That's some big hair, right? I'd love to see it without the veil, but I'm distracted by the way it's covered. When you make a veil summit the top of Mount Updo, it's bound to have difficulty climbing back down. In this case, it's folding over her head. And it's anchored with the wee tiny tiara she was given as a wedding present, which I think is just not up to the task of holding this look together. Makes me wish she'd gone all out, bucked the white tradition, and used her major ruby tiara instead. (Yoohoo, intrepid photoshoppers of the Internet: any of you feel like giving me a taste of what that might have looked like?)

These ladies also had fairly big hair, though I don't notice it as much as I do with Mary:
L to R: Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark; Princess Marie of Denmark; Princess Aimée of Orange-Nassau; Queen Margrethe of Denmark; Princess Margriet of the Netherlands
See, Margriet solved her problem by just sticking the veil right on top of Mount Updo.

Do you have a favorite updo strategy? Who here makes your list of favorites?

AND! We're not done. Stay tuned for Part 2 on Thursday, when we will discuss the ladies that really went all out in the name of Team Updo. (Think: Margriet and more!)