|Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco (Photo: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)
Five years ago today, the tiny principality of Monaco saw their grandest, most glittering event in half a century: the wedding of Prince Albert II and his longtime girlfriend, South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock. Today, we’re looking back at the incredible jewels worn to their religious wedding ceremony. This post is the first of several — come back later today and tomorrow for the rest!
|Photos (clockwise, L-R): Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images, Sean Gallup/Getty Images, Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
All eyes at this wedding were, of course, on the bride. Charlene had originally intended to wear a tiara — it seems that the Ocean Tiara made for her by Van Cleef and Arpels was her initial choice. But, as she explained in an interview with Vogue, she ultimately decided to wear diamond floral hair ornaments instead: “I’m not wearing a tiara. Instead, Princess Caroline has lent me some beautiful diamond hair clips which belonged to her grandmother. I did have a tiara made by Van Cleef and Arpels but I decided to put it on display at the Oceanographic Museum, and I will wear it for my first official engagement.”
Charlene did have the tiara displayed at the museum; she also wore the tiara — in necklace form — at the Red Cross Ball held a month after the wedding. She has posed for portraits in the tiara, including one featured on the cover of Hola! magazine, but she has only so far worn it out in public in necklace form. The diamond floral clips (which once belonged to Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois) were the only major pieces of jewelry that Charlene wore to her wedding — she didn’t even wear a pair of earrings. The bride and groom exchanged wedding rings made of white gold and platinum by Cartier.
|Photos (clockwise, L-R): Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images, DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images, DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
Princess Caroline, who so kindly lent the diamond clips to her new sister-in-law, wore a few significant pieces of jewelry to the wedding. She wore a pair of earrings with a modern daisy-shaped drop — earrings she later wore again at the 2013 Rose Ball. She also wore a diamond-encrusted cross pendant, plus a major ring on her left hand.
|Photos (clockwise, L-R): Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images, DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Prince Albert’s younger sister, Princess Stephanie, is not a major wearer of jewelry, but she did accessorize a bit for her big brother’s wedding. She wore three pairs of sparkling earrings: glittering pendant earrings made of three hearts, plus two simple diamond studs. In some photos it looks like she’s wearing a bracelet and ring on her right hand, but you can see above that both are tattoos, not jewels.
|Photos (clockwise, L-R): Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images, Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Charlotte Casiraghi, elder daughter of Princess Caroline, wore some major sparkle with her Chanel ensemble. Her diamond stud earrings coordinated nicely with her diamond cluster ring, and she finished off the outfit with a diamond bracelet that featured leaf-shaped elements.
|Photos (clockwise, L-R): Sean Gallup/Getty Images, Sean Gallup/Getty Images, VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Caroline’s younger daughter, Alexandra of Hanover, was only eleven at her uncle’s wedding, but even she accessorized in an age-appropriate way. She wore small earrings and a delicate pendant necklace, plus a stack of jingly bracelets on her right wrist and a watch on her left.
|Photos: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images, VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Princess Stephanie’s elder daughter, Pauline Ducruet, wore small round pearl stud earrings with her blue outfit; she also wore a tiny hair ornament that looks to be set with pearl-esque beads.
|Photos: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images, VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Pauline’s younger sister, Camille, wore a delicate pair of gold and pearl earrings at the wedding. (Camille has become one of the more interesting jewel-wearers of the Grimaldi clan in recent years, so it should be no surprise that she was already demonstrating a precocious love for jewelry at fourteen.)
|Photos (clockwise, L-R): Sean Gallup/Getty Images, Dan Kitwood/Getty Images, Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Two future members of the Grimaldi family were also in attendance at this wedding. Tatiana Santo Domingo, now the wife of Andrea Casiraghi, wore a lovely set of jewelry. The necklace and matching earrings feature violet-hued gemstone drops. She also wore a beaded bracelet on her left wrist, plus a gold ring.
|Photos: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images, Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Pierre Casiraghi’s future wife, Beatrice Borromeo, was also at the wedding. With her blue lace dress, she wore a glittering pair of statement earrings.
|Photos: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
The royal guest list at this wedding was impressive — no wonder, as this was the marriage of a reigning sovereign prince. Belgium sent four royal ladies, including Queen Paola, who was then the country’s queen consort. She wore diamond earrings with yellow drops, her elaborate diamond necklace (which she has also worn as a tiara), a set of golden bangles, and her engagement and wedding rings.
|Photos (clockwise, L-R): DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images, Danny Martindale/Getty Images, Danny Martindale/Getty Images, Danny Martindale/Getty Images
Queen Mathilde — then the Duchess of Brabant — wore three lovely pieces of jewelry. She donned her own wedding earrings, which feature a diamond bow-shaped stud and a round pearl drop, plus a diamond bracelet with x-shaped elements. But the showstopper here was undoubtedly her brooch: the gorgeous, elaborate diamond waterfall brooch that once belonged to Queen Fabiola.
|Photos: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Princess Astrid of Belgium almost went incognito to this wedding — but you can just see pearl earrings peeking out from under her giant sunshade.
|Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Princess Claire of Belgium went for the big hat, too — and hers was so big that I don’t think many of the photographers even recognized her! You can’t really see it in the fuzzy shot above, but she’s wearing pearl earrings.
|Photos (clockwise, L-R): Dan Kitwood/Getty Images, Danny Martindale/Getty Images, Danny Martindale/Getty Images, Danny Martindale/Getty Images, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wore bright teal and a hat that will be familiar to many of you, because she wore it a few weeks ago at Royal Ascot! Her accessories included round pearl stud earrings, a stacked ring, and a dual-sided bracelet, which featured long metal links on the back and round gemstones on the front.
|Photos: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Also attending from Denmark: Princess Marie. She wore an intriguing pair of earrings with a cluster stud and pearl drop, an intricate diamond necklace, and a bangle bracelet.