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ROYAL COUTURE.....Best Royal Wedding Gown of 2012 and a Runner Up

The Bride (Gown) of the Year Is...

The Elie Saab Haute Couture wedding gown for Princess Stephanie de Lannoy when she married Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg

Last year--2011--was THE YEAR of royal weddings with the William and Kate Wedding and Prince Albert and Charlene of Monaco Wedding...but 2012 also had its share of weddings albeit on not such a grand seen-round-the-world scale. One of these occurred this past October, the tiny Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was all abuzz because of the great wedding of Prince Guillaume, who happened to be the last heir-to-a-throne in Europe to get married. The wedding was a grand event and all the Who's Who of Royals were in attendance representing all the major European (and beyond) royal houses--including Princess Caroline of Hanover and Monaco, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, King Constantine II of Greece, the King and Queen of Norway and even the Crown Prince of Japan.

 Wedding Gown Perfection: Princess Stephanie de Lannoy with her brother Count Jehan de Lannoy

What the bride wore made it here as my Top Pick of Best Royal wedding Gown for 2012. The bride, Belgium-born Princess Stephanie de Lanoy, wore a BEAUTIFUL gown designed by Lebanese Couturier Elie Saab. Famous for his stunning red carpet gowns, Saab has a very thriving Made-to-Order Couture House, and all the Euro Royals (as well as the Gulf States fashion divas and a Russian and Chinese billionaire's wife or two) flock to him for his $100,000+ creations.

Princess Stephanie de Lannoy with her brother Count Jehan de Lannoy

The Dish on the Gown: Masses of fabric went into this creation: 76 yards of silk crepe and tulle for the lining, plus another 33 yards of satin organza, 55 yards of Chantilly lace, and 44 yards of Calais lace. More silk tulle was used for the veil. The leafy pattern embellished all over the ensemble included 50,000 pearls, 80,000 crystals, and almost 11,000 yards of silver embroidery thread. The price: undisclosed would not be a bad guess to say it probably cost in the area of about $250,000. Not only was it gorgeous, it was beautifully made, very grand yet not over-the-top opulent. It was also timeless. I feel that if one looked at a photo of this gown many years from now, it would not look dated.

The Tiara and Veil

Stephanie wore a Lannoy family tiara, made of platinum and diamonds with a large inverted pear shape diamond in the high center. It was made by Althenloh of Brussels and was worn by Stéphanie’s sisters and sisters-in-law at their weddings. So, it is a family wedding tradition.

The Runner Up:

 Princess Carolina de Bourbon-Parma Marchioness of Sala, Duchess of Guernica

The Runner Up for Best Royal Wedding Gowns of 2012 goes to Princess Carolina de Bourbon-Parma. She wed Albert Brenninkmeijer in June of this year at the Basilica San Miniato al Monte in Florence Italy. Albert Brenninkmeijer comes from the very wealthy German-Dutch Brenninkmeijer family--owners of the C and A Department Stores. The bride, she's the daughter of Irene of the Netherlands and her aunt is Queen Beatrix, so yes, she's royal blue blood. Her father, Carlos Hugo de Bourbon, was passed over by the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco, when Franco chose Juan Carlos to rule Spain, as opposed to Carolina's father, who publicly laid claim to the Spanish throne.

Her gown was a bit more simple and subdued than my Top Pick of Stephanie de Lannoy. But ti was still beautiful enough that I had to make it a "Runner Up". It was designed by Dutch fashion designer Addy van den Krommenacker. Princess Carolina's wedding gown, had a fitted but still slightly A-line skirt silhouette--featured lace embroidery--from Brugge Belgium--that was in her mother's Wedding Gown. It was delicately incorporated into the gown and veil. It seemed very old-school classic in its design but the cap sleeves and draped lace overlay brought it into a more 21st century chic level.

And there you have it, my two Top Royal Wedding Gowns of 2012--Can't wait for next year's Royal Wedding girls...and their gowns!

***Next Up: The Best Figure Skating Costumes of 2012 !!! 

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