Forget the over-the-top extravaganzas of MTV’s “My Super Sweet Sixteen.” Those kids have nothing on Princess Beatrice, who celebrated her 18th birthday at Windsor Castle on Saturday night with a lavish Victorian-themed masked ball — reported to have cost as much as a million pounds.
And as any teenager will tell you, when it comes to a blow-out bash, it’s all about the dress. So of course the birthday girl, the eldest daughter of the Duchess of York and Prince Albert, had a frock fit for a princess, courtesy of Marchesa. The designers, Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman, were approached by the princess and Fergie several months ago to create a dress in keeping with the party’s 1888 theme — so chosen because Beatrice was born at 8:18 p.m. on Aug. 8, 1988. Their creation, a blue silk taffeta gown with gold embellishment and a flowing, bustled train, took three fittings, yards and yards of fabric and cost a reported 10,000 pounds.
Craig and Chapman enlisted their workshops in India to create the heavily embroidered material they needed. “It took them three days working nonstop to hand-embroider the fabric,” said Craig, explaining that their subcontinental sewers worked on nothing else. Chapman, meanwhile, personally fitted and styled the princess, even helping her get dressed on the day of the event. “Beatrice was very involved,” said Chapman. “She was very specific about what she wanted.” Though the Queen and Princes Charles, William and Harry skipped the to-do, Beatrice’s 500 other guests, including Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Kelly and Jack Osbourne, Andrea Casiraghi and Prince Albert’s sometime girlfriend Angie Everhart, partied through the night decked in period dress. Not everyone was as enamored of the sartorial theme as the birthday girl. Moore, for one, stayed true to her Los Angeles home — she changed from her gown into jeans and a T-shirt halfway through the party.