03 October 2012

Readers’ Top 10 Wedding Gowns: #10. Princess Carolina of Bourbon-Parma

Coming in at #10 on your list of top royal wedding gowns is Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Parma, Marchioness of Sala, Duchess of Guernica, daughter of Princess Irene of the Netherlands, and niece of Queen Beatrix. Carolina married Albert Brenninkmeijer in Florence, Italy, on June 16, 2012.
Her gown from Dutch designer Addy van den Kronemaker featured sweet sleeves and a bodice in lace which parted over the slim skirt to create a flowing train. The lace was without a doubt the star of the gown: it included heirloom Bruges lace from the Dutch royal family which had been given to the bride’s mother, Princess Irene, by the bride’s grandmother, Queen Juliana. It was worn by Irene at her 1964 wedding and was restored by the designer for use on Carolina’s gown. (And because of this, the gown’s style was named the Irene.)
Details of the lace bodice and sleeves, earrings, and bouquet
Queen Juliana's influence was also present in the bouquet made of sweet peas, which were her favorite flower. Those lavender notes were picked up in the outfits of Carolina’s young attendants, and made an interesting color accent for the bride's outfit compared to the all white bouquets many royal brides carry.
The Laurel Wreath Tiara
Carolina borrowed the Laurel Wreath Tiara from the Dutch royal family for the day, a classic diamond piece in the Greek laurel wreath design. Opinions are divided on how this tiara entered the family (it could have been the property of Princess Louise, sister of Willem I, or it could have been purchased by Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard for the 18th birthday of their daughter Beatrix in 1956) – but it is old either way, dating from the 1800s. It’s been worn by Carolina in the past and by several other ladies in the royal family, including by Princess Laurentien on her wedding day.
The tiara, lace, and flowers all ground this gown in history and sentimental nods to family, but it also manages to be young and fresh and a perfect fit for the bride and her summer Italian wedding. I have no doubt that the gown’s place on your list of best royal wedding dresses is in part due to its recent outing, just a few months ago (and there will be more such cases before we’re done); that said, I know at least for me there’s a strong “I could wear that!” factor contributing to this gown's popularity. Many royal wedding gowns are works of art, but it’s hard to imagine them on a bride without a spectacular cathedral, long aisle, and hundreds of guests. This one, for a wedding that was a little bit royal but also private affair, translates to the rest of the bridal world so much better.

What puts this gown in the Top 10 for you?

Click here to see my original post on Carolina's wedding.

Photos: Getty Images