Sunday, 3 July 2011

Monaco Royal Wedding

Good news for those who have been craving some more royal wedding glitter. There was another one this weekend, 2 July 2011. It’s the event many thought would never happen: the marriage of Prince Albert of Monaco, the 53-year-old bachelor head of state of the tiny but rich principality on the Cote D’Azur, and Charlene Wittstock, a South African Olympic swimmer 20 years younger. The state may be small, but the event was extravagant.

Wearing an off-the-shoulder Armani dress, the new Princess Charlene's gown took the designer's team 2,500 hours to prepare, of which 700 hours was spent on the embroidery alone, using 'kilometres' of platinum-coated thread sewn into 130 metres of off-white silk. The gown would have been heavy for the new Princess, as she would have had to carry the weight of 40,000 Swarovski crystals, 20,000 mother of pearl tear drops and 30,000 'stones in gold shades'. The dress's crowning glory was the five-metre long train made from 20 metres of silk tulle, which took 100 hours to make.
The groom looked smart in a cream summer uniform of Monaco’s palace guards, with his sleeves embroidered with oak and olive leave.

And with the civil and religious ceremony out of the way, it was finally time for Prince Albert of Monaco and his bride Princess Charlene to let their hair down. But with the bride and groom being royals, the reception wasn't such a relaxed affair as the average wedding.
After dazzling everyone in an Giorgio Armani bridal gown, Charlene, 33, changed into an Armani Prive cocktail dress for the official reception and ball.

A contrast to her silk wedding gown with five-metre long train, which included 40,000 Swarovski crystals, 20,000 mother of pearl tear drops, the evening's dress was fortunately a more lightweight affair.
The slimline gown included a sheer top and four tiered skirt, which she paired with white peep-toe heels and a tiny clutchbag.
The new Princess also wore her hair swept back, similar to the tight chignon she wore during the religious ceremony in the courtyard of the Prince's Palace.
Her husband, 53, complemented his new wife in a cream jacket with his medals attached and black trousers.
Although she appeared rather strained or nervous during the ceremony earlier that day, the former Olympian swimmer looked far more relaxed for the evening's festivities.

A spectacular general view of fireworks during the festivities in Monaco

Celebrated French-born chef Alain Ducasse prepared the multi-course dinner for 450 guests, which would take place on the seaview terraces of the Opera House.
Ducasse, who like many in his tax bracket has taken Monegasque citizenship, is the first chef to earn three Michelin stars in three different cities, including three for his Louis XV restaurant in Monaco.
The Opera Garnier

After their wedding blessing, Albert and Charlene made a brief visit to the Sainte Devote Church to lay the bride's bouquet inside, a Monegasque tradition.
They then delighted locals by riding along in a Lexus Hybrid in the official wedding procession.
Among the celebrity guests were supermodel Naomi Campbell, Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld and actor Roger Moore.
Campbell - who had attended Kate Moss's wedding in England only 24 hours earlier - told reporters: "It was very elegant, very moving."
She has made a career of modelling show-stopping outfits as a world famous catwalk super star. But you would have thought Naomi Campbell would have toned down her wardrobe for just one day and allowed the bride to take centre stage.
The supermodel donned an albeit stunning Givenchy gown for the official dinner and ball of the wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene at the Opera Garnier last night. But it seems Charlene was upstaged by Campbell whose white floor-length gown turned heads and put Princess Charlene's slimline evening dress in the shade. Namoi's halter-neck cut-out dress was embroidered with dozens of green stones which she teamed with green earrings. Her hair was rather more simple and the supermodel left it fall around her shoulders. 

The festivities come a day after they legally wed in a civil ceremony in the principality. There were reports that their wedding cake might not be as extravagant as Prince Rainer's when he married Grace Kelly. But it appears that Prince Albert of Monaco and his new bride Princess Charlene definitely pulled out all of the stops by ensuring their cake came out tops.
The five tier cake was truly exceptional and dwarfed the couple as they stood next to it and prepared to cut a much smaller version for their guests.
Always keen to pay homage to her roots Princess Charlene ensured the cake was also decorated with Proteas, South Africa's national flower.