Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Crown Princess Mary's wedding dress

Ten years ago today, the world got its first glimpse of one of the most keenly anticipated dresses of 2004.  And it divided opinion.  When Mary Donaldson stepped out of the car taking her to her wedding on May 14th 2004, her ivory gown was an instant hit with many but for some its nod to history made it a bit too character filled to work.  But in the decade that's passed, it's become a classic and one of the royal wedding looks that has really stood the test of time.

A nervous bride arrives for her big day in one of the most famous royal wedding dresses of all time - Mary Donaldson on May 14th 2004

It was the work of Danish designer, Uffe Frank, and was made of duchess satin.  The first glimpses of the dress showed off the scoop neckline and closely fitted sleeves.  The bodice ended in a slim waistline that gave way to a full skirt as the bride emerged from the car.

The top of Crown Princess Mary's wedding dress was slim fitting with a scoop neckline, an unusual look for a royal marriage outfit

The skirt was also made of ivory duchess satin and contained panels of lace handed down through the Danish royal family.  The Irish lace had originally been given to Crown Prince Frederik's great grandmother, Princess Margaret of Connaught, on her wedding.  

The lace belonging to her future husband's great grandmother was sewn into the bottom of Mary's wedding dress

The dress was completed by a train measuring around six metres or almost twenty feet.  The train filled the aisle of Copenhagen Cathedral but was detachable and was removed as the wedding celebrations continued.

Mary's bridesmaids, in red to honour the Danish flag, arrange her long train as she prepares to walk down the aisle and say 'I do' to her prince

The future queen of Denmark also continued another tradition on her wedding day by wearing the wedding veil of Margaret of Connaught.  Margaret married Gustav Adolf of Sweden in 1905 and her only daughter, Ingrid, wore the veil for her own wedding in 1935 to her Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.  All of Margaret's female descendants have worn the veil for their own marriages - Mary became the only in law to wear it when she added it to her outfit on May 14th 2004.

The Irish lace of the Danish royal wedding veil is clearly seen as Mary Donaldson walks into Copenhagen Cathedral to marry Crown Prince Frederik on May 14th 2004

The veil was held in place by a tiara given to Mary by Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik as a wedding present.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in her wedding tiara, a gift from her future parents in law

The bride wore a pair of diamond and South Sea pearl drop earrings designed by Marianne Dulong.

Princess Mary's diamond and pearl earrings sparkle in the flashbulbs as she is photographed on her way to her wedding on May 14th 2004

Her bouquet included eucalyptus to symbolise her Australian heritage and after her wedding it was taken to Scotland by an aunt and placed on the grave of her mother, Henrietta Donaldson, who died in 1997.  The Crown Princess' wedding dress contained one other, hidden special touch - her mother's wedding ring, sewn inside to lay close to her heart throughout the marriage ceremony.

Mary's wedding bouquet with eucalyptus to mark her Australian heritage

The dress has been displayed several times since the wedding and still divides opinion now.  But it gave a very modern royal bride a very classic look for her wedding day and has become one of the most famous royal outfits of the 21st century.

The Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark on their wedding day, May 14th 2004

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