The select guests who received invitations gathered yesterday for the outdoor religious wedding of Princess Caroline Louise Marguerite Grimaldi, 21, and Philippe Junot, 38, in the courtyard of the palace of Monaco.
For Europe's deposed royal houses, for the Continent's stylish set and for the Hollywood stars of yesteryear, it was undoubtedly the wedding of the year.
The Roman Catholic ceremony was performed at 11:30 a.m. before 500 guests by Gilles Barthe, bishop of Frejus-Toulon. Twenty-two years ago he had married Caroline's parents, Prince Rainier and film star Grace Kelly, and 21 years ago he had baptized Caroline.
Yesterday, Princess Caroline descended the board stairs into the courtyard of her family's palace on the arm of her father. Plans to hold the wedding indoors in the Royal Chapel were abandoned as the guest list outgrew its capacity.
So guests stood in the sunshine and watched as Caroline, eyes glistening with tears, and Junot answered, "Oui, je le xeux, " when asked whether they took one another in marriage.
Junot fumbled slightly as he slipped the wedding ring on his bride's finger. But Caroline had more trouble getting Junot's ring to go on. She gave an amused grimace, and finally Junot helped her put the ring on his finger.
Then Princess Grace removed her sunglasses, and it was obvious she had been crying.
Immediately after the exchange of vows, the newlyweds emerged into the brilliant sunshine of the palace square, where a path had been cleared through the crowd of sedately dressed Monegasques, tourists in shorts and halters and screaming, scrambling photographers and reporters.
"Stop, stop, stand still," the photographers called out. The couple obeyed, smiling dutiful smiles.
They proceeded on foot through the narrow streets of old Monte Carlo to the 17th-century Chapel of Mercy, where Caroline placed her trailing bridal bouquet of stephanotis, the traditional white wedding flower, on the Altar of the Virgin.
As the new Madame Junot came out of the palace for the walk, the second most guarded secret of the wedding - after the honeymoon destination - was revealed. Caroline's wedding gown, subject of intense speculation, was a round-necked, soft, full dress of white re-embroidered organdy by Dior.Dior has done all the classically romantic gowns worn this week by the bride and her mother.
Caroline greeted the crowd with her veil pulled back over her hair, coiffed by Alexandre of Paris in a low chignon topped with white silk flowers. Junot was carrying a pearl-gray top hat and wearing the traditional swallow-tailed morning coat, a gray silk tie and a large white lapel flower.
Prince Rainier and Princess Grace watched from a second-story window of the palace as the couple began their procession, which also took them to the nearby city hall to sign a book of honor. Princess Grace was wearing a picture hat that matched her horizontally pleaded Diro dress of pale yellow georgette. For the short ride back from city hall to the palace, the couple was chauffered in an open silver car. On the drive, they passed the cathedral where Caroline's parents were wed in 1956. Back at the palace, Caroline and Philippe appeared at the second-story window, and, surrounded by the white-garbed children of the wedding party, waved vigorously to crowd. The confidence of their waves yesterday contrasted with the tentativeness with which they had waved after Wednesday's civil ceremony.
Photographers kept screaming from the square, "Kiss, kiss." But instead of embracing, the couple blew kisses at the cameras.
Grace and Rainier had eased away from the window to let their daughter and new son-in-law take the limelight. A British television correspondent immediately began telling other reporters that this was a sure sign of parental disapproval of the match. "Had it been the British royal family," he said with studied authority, "everyone from both sides would have stood together."
There was, however, a long list of names from Europe's deposed and exiled royal houses, including monarchs who now reign exclusively over the Continent's cafe society. Austria's Hapsburg Archduke and Archduchess Joseph came, as did the Count and Countess of Paris (the Pretender to the French throne), Egypt's prince Faud and Princess Fadila and the Duke and Duchess of Cadiz. The kings whose countries are now republics including Italy's Umberto and Romania's Michael. Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Wladimir of Russia, the Duke and Duchess of Orleans, the Duke of Huescur, Prince Gonzalo of Bourbon and Prince Georges Festetics, Caroline's godfather, came too.
The Hollywood stars at the wedding were also mostly from a bygone era. They were friends and co-stars of Princess Grace from her acting days. Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck and the perennially debonair David Niven, who resides on the Riveria, headed the cast of leading men. Moving from the palace courtyard to the alfresco luncheon in an adjacent garden, Ava Gardner, in an enormous violet straw hat and pink suit, mugged for photographers.
The cold buffet was prepared by the chef of Monaco's most pretigious hotel, the Hotel de Paris, whose restaurant gets a one-star rating in the Michelin Guide. There was York ham, turkey, roast beef and an array of salads, and petit-fours in baskets tied with ribbons in Monaco's red and white colors.
There were no gifts for the guests, except for white cones monogrammed in goth with the letters "C" and "P" interlaced. They were filled with Jordan almonds, traditionally distributed at weddings in this part of the world.
As a gift to the newlyweds, the pastry cooks at the Hotel de Paris presented the six-foot-high, multitiered wedding cake, decorated with swans, cherubs and roses. Between the top two tiers was a cage with two live, white turtledoves. They were released when the bride and groom cut the cake. At the top was a miniature of the couple that revolved, alternately playing Ave Maria and Mendelssohn's Wedding March.
Only pool reporters and photographers were permitted again at yesterday's ceremony. Tele-Monte Carlo broadcast the only wedding footage available over yesterday's evening news here. The film was also made available aboard.
TMC, it turned out, had to do some fairly heavy editing of the previous day's civil ceremony to cut out scenes of Caroline's younger sister and maid of honor, Princess Stephanie, 13, chattering and making faces. Technicians could not, however, delete one scene in which the tom-boyish Stephanie clearly seemed to be chopping a mouthful of chewing gum when she rose to sign the marriage register with the other family members.
At 5:20 p.m. yesterday, as palace guards were dismantling the crowd barriers in the square, a gray-green citrone suddenly sped out of the building. In the back seat were Mr. and Mrs. Philippe Junot, bound for their mystery honeymoon spot. "They'll stay there," said Nadia Lacoste Manaco's chief press officer, "for as long as press people like you don't find them."