Oops, I almost forgot the second marriages of HRH Prince Charles to Camilla Parker-Bowles now HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, on 9th April 2005! Although this relationship has a happy ending, it came with many challenges and much sadness. Charles and Camilla met in 1970 and though they had an off-again on-again relationship even through their first marriages, they were only able to marry after their divorces, some thirty-five years later!
On 10th February 2005, Charles, on bended knee, proposed to Camilla and gave her an engagement ring, a Windsor family heirloom that belong to his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. After a short engagement of only two months, (remember the royals tend to have long relationships and short engagements) the pair were married in a civil ceremony at the town hall at Windsor Guildhall followed by a religious blessing at St. George’s Chapel and a gala reception. For the civil ceremony Camilla wore an oyster silk basket-weave coat over a chiffon dress. For the blessing she changed into a porcelein blue silk dress with a fascinator designed by Philip Treacy. Both dress ensembles were designed by Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine of the British fashion house Robinson Valentine.
Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, was born 14th July 1977 and will be the fourth Queen Regeant of Sweden when she ascends the throne, the first since 1720 (others were Queen Margaret the Great of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Queen Christina and Queen Ulrika Eleonora). Victoria married Olof Daniel Westling, a personal trainer and gym owner, on the 19th of June, 2010 in Stockholm Cathedral. Her dress, designed by Swedish designer Pär Engsheden, was cream duchess satin with a 16.5 foot train. Her tiara had a central cameo of Cupid and Psyche with several other cameos circling her head. The tiara is said to have been originally given to Empress Josephine of France by Napoleon in 1809. It has also been worn by Princess Brigitta at her marriage in 1961 and by Queen Silvia at her wedding in June 1976. Victoria also wore her mother’s, Queen Silvia’s, veil.
Charlene Wittstock (below)was born on January 25th 1978 in what is now Zimbabwe. She’s a former Olympic swimmer representing South Africa and now is a global ambassador for the Special Olympics. On 1st July 2011 she married Grace Kelly’s son Albert ll, Prince of Monaco in in a civil ceremony in the Palace Throne Room, and the next day, 2nd of July 2011, in a religious ceremony in the palace courtyard. Now that’s how you manage a train!
For the civil ceremony Charlene wore a pale blue suit with a beautiful lace hem that she and German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld designed together. Her dress for the religious ceremony was designed by Italian designer Giorgio Armani. The dress made of an off-white silk was embroidered with 40,000 Swarvoski crystals, 20,000 mother-of-pearl tear drops and 30,000 stones in gold shades all sewn on with kilometres of platinum-coated thread.
Zara Phillips, born 15th of May 1981, first cousin of Princes William and Harry and the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth by her daughter Anne, the Princess Royal. She is a renowned and accomplished British equestrian winning a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. Although she is the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth she does not hold a royal title.
She married rugby player Mike James Tindall at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 11th of July, 2011. Her elegant dress, designed by the Queen’s designer Stewart Parvin, was made of ivory duchess silk featuring a dropped waist and gathered silk tulle straps.
Zara wore the Queen’s Meander Tiara, pictured above, which was a wedding gift to Queen Elizabeth by her mother-in-law the Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark. It is a classic Greek “key pattern” featuring a large diamond in the centre encircled with a diamond wreath. Although the Queen has never worn it, she did give it to Zara’s mother, Princess Anne, who has worn it several times in public.
The Honorable Sinaitakala Fakafanua (above), 26th in line to the Tongan throne, married her second cousin Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala, the Crown Prince of Tonga on July 12th 2012 at the Centennial Church in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. The wedding combined both Christian and Tongan traditions and was attended by over 4,000 guests.
In September Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkaih, the daughter of the Sultan of Brunei and Queen Saleha, married during a week of lavish ceremony and celebration. The pre-wedding and wedding ceremonies of Princess Hafizah, 32 and her groom, Pengiran Haji Muhamed Ruzzaini, 29, took place in the Throne Hall of Istana Nurul Iman palace. She wore a crystal beaded beige and silver with gold gown with an elaborate matching headpiece and veil. Princess Hafizah has a degree in business administration and both she and her new husband work in the government.
And this just out! Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy of Belgium married Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxemburg (above) this past weekend, October 20th and 21st, 2012 in both a civil and religious ceremony. Stéphanie’s wedding dress was designed by Lebanese fashion designer, Elie Saab. The dress was described as an “ivory lace gown embroidered with silver filigree” with “three-quarter length sleeves.” She wore a silk tulle veil, featuring a motif of silver floral designs trailing thirteen feet behind her and attached by the Lannoy family tiara. Prince Guillaume wore Luxembourgian military regalia.
Wow! It’s been great looking at all these royal weddings: the beautiful gowns and hairpieces, the fabulously dressed men (don’t forget to check out their styles too!), the change in fashion and fashion trends set by the royals.
Some of the marriages were surrounded by controversy while others were immediately welcomed. And, while the royals tend to have long romantic relationships their engagements are short and kept secret until a specified time. So far there are no official royal engagements for 2013. Perhaps they are thinking it might be an unlucky year to get married? I think it will be a very lucky year!
I hope you enjoyed these three posts as much as I did!
All the best! Jordin