08 July 2011

Flashback Friday: The Coronation of Albert II

In the wake of the dress code confusion and so forth from the wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock, I decided to take a look at the last major royal event held in Monaco: the celebrations surrounding Albert's coronation. I'm always game for reminiscing about Things Involving Tiaras, you know. Everybody buckle up in the time machine, we're shooting back to the National Day festivities of November 2005, including a public mass (which served as the coronation ceremony, basically) and a gala at the Opera: 
Left to Right: Princess Caroline of Hanover (and Monaco) at mass, Princess Stephanie of Monaco at mass, Charlotte Casiraghi at mass, Princess Caroline at the gala, Charlotte at the gala
Well, at least this one didn't have any beach party attendees! I loved Charlotte's fuzzy angel get-up for the mass, halo hat and all. This is how Charlotte does ladylike, and it wouldn't work on anyone else. But I'm less enamored of her evening wear, which is just a pregnancy rumor waiting to happen. Caroline's dress and coat are lovely, but with just Charlotte's Fringe Tiara worn as a necklace, she just wasn't up to par with the international royal ladies in attendance.

Speaking of international royal attendees, the first noticeable difference from the wedding is the numbers. Royals in attendance were:
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
  • The Hereditary Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein
  • The Earl and the Countess of Wessex
  • Prince Joachim of Denmark
  • Prince Faisal bin al Hussein of Jordan
  • The Prince and Princess of Venice and Piedmont
  • Prince Serge of Yugoslavia and his wife
  • Prince Carlo and Princess Camilla of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (now the Duke and Duchess of Castro)
  • Prince Jean of France
The absence of royal presence from countries like Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain was widely interpreted as a snub to Monaco's new ruler. (Whether it actually was is up to your own interpretation as always; there are many valid reasons why those royals did not show up, including the baptism of Princess Alexia of the Netherlands taking place at the same time and the birth of Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway's son Sverre Magnus just a week or so later.)

L to R: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, the Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein, the Countess of Wessex, Princess Camilla of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, the Princess of Venice and Piedmont, Prince Serge of Yugoslavia's wife
Those that did show up represented the properly-hatted dress code well, with Victoria indulging in a red overdose and Clotilde Courau (the Princess of Venice and Piedmont) looking awfully chic. Such an event always produces odd hat news, and so we have Sophie of Liechtenstein in some sort of harsh flat-brimmed Amish affair, and Sophie of Wessex in yet another gravity-defying feat of millinery. Camilla, the Barbie Princess, turned up in a shockingly tasteful ensemble; thank your Gods for the horrors of post-Dynasty chapeaux, or else we wouldn't even be able to recognize her. And I actually really like what the wife of Prince Serge there is wearing...too bad she's not a senior enough royal to warrant better identification. (I think her name is Eleonora? And I think we could call her Princess Serge? But we'll stick with how she's usually identified: Prince Serge's wife. Lucky her.)

L to R: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, the Countess of Wessex, the wife of Prince Serge of Yugoslavia, the Princess of Venice and Piedmont 
And here begins the dress code confusion: I find it very strange that the host lady, Princess Caroline, didn't wear a proper tiara (on her head, as the Cartier Gods intended it to be), but the royal ladies did. Oh well, I shan't complain. Victoria wore a dress so trademark Victoria that she received a Barbie doll of herself in this outfit for her wedding, along with the Baden Fringe Tiara. Clotilde was back to her usual over-the-top sartorial tricks, topped off with one major sapphire necklace. And Sophie brought the best thing that came out of this event: a new tiara! This bad boy can also be one hefty aquamarine necklace.

Thus, we learn that there will always be some confusion when Monaco is involved, and that no matter what feelings of royal superiority one might have, all the world loves a wedding.

What was your favorite Coronation outfit?

Photos: Getty/Zimbio