23 September 2013

Royal Fashion Awards: Prince Félix and Princess Claire’s Wedding

After marrying in a civil ceremony in Germany earlier in the week, Prince Félix of Luxembourg and the new Princess Claire headed to Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume in the south of France (most hyphenated location ever? Discuss) for their religious wedding this weekend. It was a festival of hats, lace, and Saab – and no, we’re not talking about cars.

The Bride and Groom
Like the Hereditary Grand Duchess before her, Claire decided to marry in a custom gown from Elie Saab. The off white dress is a confection of floral Chantilly lace embroidery with accents of crystals, pearls, and silver thread. It features long sleeves, a high neckline with a dip in the back, and a three meter train. For his part, the groom sported a morning suit with a blue tie. Pinned on his lapel is the miniature of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau.
But back to the bride, who accessorized with a veil of ivory silk tulle decorated with more floral motifs and anchored by the larger of the diamond floral motif tiaras currently worn by the ladies of the grand ducal family. The tiara has a leafy vine motif with berries, and dates from the mid-19th century. We see it most often on the Grand Duchess, but it has been used as a wedding tiara in the past. (And I do suppose we’ll have to elaborate come Thursday.) Claire’s diamond earrings have plenty of wedding tradition as well, having been worn by the Grand Duchess and the Hereditary Grand Duchess on their respective wedding days. The bride also wore matching shoes with a rounded toe and ankle strap.
Dutch program Blauw Bloed has some nice footage; click above and zoom ahead to 22:00 and about 32:20 for the wedding.
I freely confess my deep weakness for Elie Saab, and this is no exception. In any other venue, this would be too much, but for a royal wedding I do love it – I mean, if you can’t look like a fairy godmother whipped you up something to wear then, when can you? (Speaking of which…anyone else think this kinda looks like the wedding gown Nanny McPhee conjures up at the end of the first movie? Anyone? Too much cheese? Okay, I’ll stop.)

The Guests
This was not a state occasion like some royal weddings we’ve seen, so the guests were friends and family and not so much designated representatives of royal houses. These are just a few (Luxarazzi has plenty more, including a guest list). And if there was any singular unifying theme, among the ladies at least, it would have to be this: HATS.

Best in Family
Princess Tessy
Left to right: the Grand Duchess, the Hereditary Grand Duchess, Princess Tessy, Princess Alexandra
Yet again, Maria Teresa has gone with a lot of look, as shiny as can be – but, and here’s a shocker, it’s not Natan this time, it’s Armani. Stéphanie went for lace from Stéphanie Le Grelle (are those froofy sleeves becoming a thing? Let’s not let them become a thing) and Tessy went with a sleeker look from Calvin Klein. Alexandra was one of the female witnesses, and they were all dressed alike in gowns from Tadashi Shoji (though you would be forgiven if you mistook it for Jenny Packham, as previously seen on Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and the Duchess of Cambridge, because yeah, that’s basically the same gown). I’m not that in love with any of this, so I’ll pick Tessy. When in doubt, go with purple.

Best in Other Hats
Beatrice Borromeo
L to R: Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria and Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein (Grand Duke Henri's sisters), Beatrice Borromeo (longtime girlfriend of Pierre Casiraghi), Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein, Countess Diane of Nassau and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg (both sisters-in-law of Grand Duke Henri)
The groom’s aunts brought plenty of interesting millinery, everything from the rather tame lily pad of Marie-Astrid and the rather elegant big brims of Sibilla and Diane to the craft bin leftovers of Margaretha. Then we have Isabelle, not a normal featured player here, but notable as she is also prepared for her next trip the Kentucky Derby. And then there’s Beatrice. I have so many questions about this. Question 1: What sort of sorcery is this? What happens if she bumps into a doorway? If someone cuts her off in the cake line, can she snap off a piece and take revenge? For the cake defense mechanism alone, she takes the prize.

Best in Family Gents
Grand Duke Henri
L to R: Prince Sébastien, the Grand Duke, the Hereditary Grand Duke, Prince Louis
The man matched his tie to his wife’s outfit. A fuchsia tie, just for her. Come on.

What did you think of the bridal gown? Who was your best dressed guest?

Photos: Cour grand-ducale/Guy Wolff/Getty Images/DutchPhotoPress/PPE/BestImage