Friday, April 1, 2011

To celebrate the countdown to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton this month I thought I would look at and share with you some of my favourite royal weddings.  Influenced by tradition and history royal brides are bound by customs and ‘rules’ when designing and choosing their wedding gowns. 
They cannot only consider their likes, dislikes and individual taste but also the traditions and expectations that the monarchy and general public place on them.  In today’s society where so much influence is put on fashion and style it is important to remember that these royal occasions are part of the history and therefore transcend time.
 What better way to start of then our own Australian Royalty – Princess Mary and her wedding to Prince Fredrik of Denmark.
A Danish Royal Wedding - Princess Mary
14th May 2004
Our very own ‘Aussie’ Princess – Mary Donaldson famously met HRH Prince Fredrik during the 2000 Sydney Olympic celebrations at the Slip Inn.  Four years later on the 14th May 2004 they married in the Copenhagen Cathedral followed by a reception at Fredensborg Palace.  on the occasion of her marriage to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, she became Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

Mary delighted royal-watchers and fashionistas alike when she married into Europe's oldest monarchy, working closely with Danish designer Uffe Frank to design a gown that balanced the traditions of the monarchy with modernity, topped off with a veil first used by Crown Princess Margret of Sweden in 1905.

The wedding dress, made of ivory duchess satin, featured a dramatic, almost off-the-shoulder neckline, lily-shaped sleeves, and panels opening out in folds from the waist to reveal 100-year-old lace. The six-metre train, edged with Chantilly lace from France, made a simple and elegant background for the flowing Irish lace veil.  The tiara Mary wore was a gift from Queen Margrethe and her husband Prince Henrik while the medieval-style drop earrings were specially made for the occasion using platinum with brilliant-cut diamonds and South Sea Pearls.

The veil, together with a handkerchief, two pieces of lace bordering and a fan, was a gift from Princess Margret to her daughter Princess Ingrid, the grandmother of Crown Prince Frederik. She used them at her own wedding in 1935. Some or all of the pieces in the original gift have since been used by Queen Anne-Marie of Greece in 1964, Queen Margrethe of Denmark in 1967, her sister Princess Benedikte in 1968, Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg in 1998 and Princess Alexia of Greece in 1999.

And there was, naturally, an echo of Australia in the ensemble, with crooked-leaved Australian eucalyptus – known as Snow gum – sprinkled among the palace garden's flowers composing her unusual trailing bouquet.

Karen xx


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