Monaco Hosts First Royal Bash in 55 years!

Once the world’s most eligible bachelor, Prince Albert of Monaco tied the knot last Saturday to Charlene Wittstock in both a civil and religious ceremony ending the day with a massive celebration.

I know its hard for young women to believe this middle aged, balding and somewhat pasty looking man was once arm candy but he was. This man dated the world’s most beautiful women – for over 30 years.  He has fathered at least two children out of wedlock, he has been photographed with more Hollywood A-listers than Oprah, he had hair and style and tons of money, he is the prince of Monaco and his mother was Grace Kelly. I mean really – who could ask for anything more?  But for those same thirty years he would never quite commit to marriage… until recently. Charlene Wittstock is not your typical princess. She is a trained athlete whose primary interests were swimming and running rather than fashion and partying. In addition to being extremely beautiful and elegant, she is also the global ambassador for the Special Olympics. Smart, compassionate and beautiful, a winning combination for Prince Albert, 

The bride began the wedding festivites on Friday with the civil ceremony wearing a blue chiffon palazzo pantsuit created for her by Chanel. If you saw this – it was an odd ceremony with everyone seated and Prince Albert winking the whole time. Odd. Of course it was in French so I didn’t quite know what they were saying but it did not seem as somber to him as everyone else.

Saturday was the religious ceremony for which the bride wore a white silk, off the shoulder bridal gown by Giorgio Armani Prive with an 18+ ft train embellished with over 20,000 Swarovski crystals! According to reports,  the gown took over 2500 hours to complete. Looks can be deceiving since it was a very simple and showed no signs of that kind of laborious detail. I felt the neckline was a little odd shaped for her athletic body type and the entire gown was rather bland.

At the dinner (wedding reception) that followed the religious service, the princess wore another Armani creation – a white silk chiffon gown with a broad neckline and embroidered four-tier train. This was a mature look for a young-ish woman. I would like to have seen her in something less flouncy and more flowing. But the truth is that when you have a figure like hers you can wear anything and look great. And she did.

There were seven maids of honor (aka flowergirls)  around the age of 7 who wore traditional Monegasque outfits designed by Jean-Michel Lainé, the director of the costume workshop of the Ballets de Monte Carlo. The costumes (I mean gowns) were made of precious silks and fine fabrics rather than the cotton counterparts they represented. They wore lace up ballet shoes, silk pantaloons, velvet chokers with a small gold cross and  broad brimmed straw hats adorned with cream mimosa, lined with silk toile, Their outfits were so charming and picturesque they completely stole the show.  I actually thought they might break out in song but, no such luck.

As for the (former) playboy prince, he wore basic black suits ( probably custom, definitely expensive) to both the civil ceremony and the reception but opted for a  dress white uniform for the religious ceremony. His father, by comparison, wore a black jacket when he wed Grace Kelly. I am not sure of proper Royal attire or Head of State protocol on these matters but, I preferred the darker suit. I think the white uniform made him look like the Love Boat Captain.

Of course the highlights of the reception were the massive cake and the fireworks display for the entire principality to enjoy!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago