Monaco Inauguration Mass, Ten Years On

Ten years ago today, the first part of Prince Albert’s inauguration as reining monarch of Monaco took place. While the pomp and circumstance would happen several months later during Monaco’s national holiday, July 12, 2005 saw the Monaco royal family attend a morning dedication mass at Saint Nicholas Cathedral. This inauguration mass formally marked the beginning of Prince Albert’s reign.

For this event, Princess Caroline topped her Chanel tweed coat dress with a large black picture hat, also by the couture fashion house. The flat crowned hat with wide brim was memorably covered in black feathers, leaving a swirling vortex of spiky texture on the top of the hat. It is not an overtly attractive hat but, as is most haute couture, it is most interesting to behold.
To my knowledge, Caroline has not repeated this hat in the ten years since she first wore it at this event (it clearly can not be paired with just anything and I suspect it was custom made for this dress). What do you think of this unusual piece? Has a decade done anything to diminish its fashion relevance?
HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco - Official Coronation Picture
Photos from Getty as indicated and Stephane Cardinale/People Avenue/Corbis
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6 thoughts on “Monaco Inauguration Mass, Ten Years On

  1. Golly, the sisters couldn’t have dressed any less alike if they’d tried (or had a memo)! I just don’t get either of them, I’m afraid. Caroline looks like she’s dropped in a parallel universe where it’s autumn in July, but at least she’s chic – and I do like her hat. Stephanie, on the other hand, is completely under-dressed for the event. Ah well, what are you going to do? Things are done differently on the Med.

  2. It is an extraordinary hat and looks good from a distance, but the edges of the feathered region look a bit scraggy close up. The coat is exquisite, and the accessories and jewellery very complimentary. I am confused about why she wore a black hat to this celebratory event, and why black in the summer? I wonder about the Tweed coat for summer too, wasn’t she hot?

  3. Interesting hat on Caroline – looks like it would have been very hot to wear. And at least Stephanie wasn’t wearing a scrunchie…

  4. Strikes me as odd to wear a black hat to such an occasion. As she is not even wearing a hat, I will not comment on Stephanie

  5. Princess Caroline looked splendid in this black and white Chanel tweed coat dress. I loved her jewels and the little red clutch for a pop of brightness. The large black picture hat is a striking piece of couture, and it pairs well with the rest of her things. The vortex of black feathers is like an art piece on her head. I have never seen anything exactly like it. It would not be easy to pair it with any other clothes. I would like to see it return. It isn’t a hat I could wear, but it looks good on her. I do wonder though why she chose this wintery look for a summer event. By comparison, her sister Princess Stephanie looks too under-dressed, like she is en route to the beach and devoid of a hat to boot!

  6. Whilst Caroline looks chic (as pretty much always), I can’t help thinking tweed and a black hat in the Mediterranean in July!?! She must have been boiling!

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