Ten years ago today, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock began their wedding celebrations at the Palais Princier. The two-day event included a civil wedding ceremony, a reception for the public outside the palace, a concert, a grand religious wedding ceremony, and an elaborate reception on the Opera Terraces. Today, we’ve got a look at the jewels and ensemble that Charlene wore for the first day of the festivities.
The first of Albert and Charlene’s two wedding ceremonies was a civil service, held inside the Throne Room of the Palais Princier. Philippe Narmino, the president of the Council of State, presided over the 20-minute ceremony. Both Albert and Charlene answered “oui” during the ceremony, and at the end, Narmino announced, “I declare you united by the bonds of marriage.”
The Associated Press reported that the couple “signed the marriage register with a specially created pen in gold and precious stones and adorned with their monogram made by the German luxury penmaker Montblanc for the ceremony.” At the end of the ceremony, Charlene Wittstock officially became HSH The Princess of Monaco—a title which had not been used since the death of Princess Grace in 1982.
The half-married newlyweds greeted the people of Monaco from the balcony of the Palais Princier after the civil service.
Then, they appeared in the palace square for a cocktail reception open to the people of the principality, allowing them to meet their new princess for the first time. Georges Marsan, the Mayor of Monaco, spoke during the reception.
The reception also gave the public the first good look at Charlene’s civil wedding attire and jewelry. She wore a pale-blue ensemble made by Karl Lagerfeld, a long-time friend of the Grimaldis, for the occasion. The outfit consisted of a strapless lace and chiffon jumpsuit with wide palazzo-style pants, topped by a tailored blazer. Charlene told Vogue that the outfit was “a collaboration between me and Karl Lagerfeld. We wanted something to match the color of my eyes. It is my creation and I’m proud of it. It’s feminine and keeps with tradition yet has a little twist that reflects my personal style. I thought it was a nice change to go for trousers instead of a skirt, especially since I’m an athlete and have always kept my clothes clean and simple.”
The magazine also revealed that two seamstresses from Chanel had flown in from Paris to do last-minute fittings on the outfit, and that the color of the jacket and jumpsuit would be known as “Charlene Blue” going forward. (In the extensive article, Charlene also addressed the press rumors that she had wanted to cancel the wedding: “It is a shame that those rumors came at such a bad time, but I think they were timed to sabotage such a happy occasion. They are categorical lies.”)
Charlene kept her jewelry to an absolute minimum with the civil wedding ensemble, wearing only a pair of simple diamond stud earrings made by a Lebanese firm, Tabbah Jewellers. She wore no other jewels, not even her engagement ring, for the occasion. The only other adornments were the silver and pearl buttons on her jacket.
After the public reception, Albert and Charlene joined family and close friends for a small private party at the Hermitage hotel. And then, it was time for another major event: a sound and light show by Jean-Michel Jarre. For the concert, Charlene made just a few tweaks to her outfit. She removed her jacket, as well as her diamond stud earrings, and put on a major statement jewel: the Infinite Cascade Necklace, also made by Tabbah. The necklace, made of eighteen-karat rose gold, is set with 1,237 white diamonds (with a total weight of 56.67 carats) in round and baguette cuts. The necklace also features six large pear-shaped pearls. It was one of Charlene’s wedding gifts from her new husband.
Like her Lagerfeld outfit, the necklace was a collaboration between the jeweler and the princess. Describing the intent behind the jewel, Nagib Tabbah explained, “The design of the necklace is imbued with fluid structure: ripples that at once wrap, as if to protect, the neck, while simultaneously cascading over the collar bone where the large pearls drop, their individual settings ensuring delicate sparkle and warm glow as they catch the light.”