Saturday, 2 July 2016

Royal Wedding Dresses: Princess Charlene of Monaco

Princess Charlene of Monaco on her wedding day, July 2nd 2011

There was perhaps never more pressure on a royal bride to pick the perfect dress. When Charlene Wittstock married Prince Albert II of Monaco on July 2nd 2011, she wasn't just walking down the aisle and into royal life. She was wearing the dress that was a sequel to one of the best known royal wedding gowns ever. Charlene was choosing a dress to wear to become the Princess of Monaco - just as Grace Kelly had done 45 years earlier. That gown is a royal legend. Charlene's dress was always going to get a lot of attention.

Charlene learned from history. Just as Grace Kelly had relied on a go to designer, the new princess asked someone she knew and trusted to make this most important of dresses. Charlene said 'I do' in Armani.

And he couldn't have provided a more different dress from that worn by Grace. Whereas 2011's other royal bride, the Duchess of Cambridge, had opted for a dress covered in lace just as Grace had chosen, Charlene went modern, sleek and shimmering. And it worked to perfection.

The dress is almost pure white with an off the shoulder top, structured bodice and fitted skirt. It is made of duchess silk and silk organza and is covered in mother of pearl, Swarkovski crystals and beads. The adornments sparkled just enough to add an extra layer of texture to this gown without overwhelming it.

All princesses, especially those marrying a sovereign, need a train and to be fair, Charlene had two. The neat dress spread out into a small fan shape but the dominant addition was a long train that moved from the shoulders into a pool of fabric that swept up the aisle behind her and added all the grandeur needed from a royal wedding gown.

This is a very modern looking dress and suited Charlene down to the ground. It was delicate but striking, elegant and noticeable and its look was special enough to win her her own place in royal wedding dress history.

The dress has been displayed since, allowing more chances to see the huge amount of work that went into it. Often, the most simple designs can take the most hours to produce but in Charlene's case, it was worth it. This is a royal wedding dress to remember for all the right reasons.

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