Margrethe and Henrik of Denmark on their wedding day, 50 years ago today
(photo Wiki Commons)
All royal weddings are sparkling affairs but when a future ruler gets married, the glitter factor is ramped right up and the celebration turns into an epic that gets its very own place in the history books. That's what happened to the wedding that took place fifty years ago today when Margrethe, heir to the throne of Denmark, wed Henri de Laborde de Monpezat in Copenhagen. The queen in waiting's marriage was attended by royals from across Europe and made headlines around the world. Which makes her outfit one very famous gown indeed. As Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik celebrate fifty years of marriage, here's a look back at the royal wedding dress that made history half a century ago today.
Margrethe's wedding to French diplomat, Henri, took place on June 10th 1967 at the Holmens Kirke in Copenhagen. As the first female heir to a throne to get married in twenty years, there was a huge focus on the marriage and on the gown this future queen would wear for her wedding. Margrethe, who has always been known for her sense of style, chose a gown that has plenty of the classic about it but which blends in several moments of her own individuality.
It was designed by Jorgen Bender, a designer popular with her own mother, Queen Ingrid. The dress was made of white silk and does all the traditional royal wedding things. It's got a high neckline with long sleeves, a fitted waist and a long, flared skirt. But it's also got a very late 1960s feel about it, helped by the square neckline and very fitted sleeves.
There are lots of touches on this dress which make it different enough for this royal bride while not alarming anyone expecting a traditional regal marriage gown. The embellishments are very subtle and filled with style and sentiment. A piece of lace belonging to Queen Ingrid's mother, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, was sewn down the front of the gown. It added texture and history. The lace had been given to Margaret for her own wedding. Its use by the granddaughter who she never met and who was given her name was a sweet and rather emotional touch.
Margrethe also wore a daisy brooch which was made from diamonds belonging to Crown Princess Margaret. It had been made for Margrethe's mother, Ingrid, as a gift from her father, King Gustaf VI Adolf, for her own wedding. And it touched, of course, on the name by which the bride has always liked to be known - Daisy. It also looks rather modern and Margrethe's decision to wear it as a focal point on her gown adds plenty of her own style to this look.
As it's a royal wedding, we need a train and Margrethe didn't stint. She walked up the aisle pulling metres of silk behind her. This is a traditional royal wedding train, big and bold and completely unmissable. It was attached at the shoulders and had an unusual square edge at its end meaning this royal wedding dress finished in the same way it started at the neckline.
Margrethe added the Khedive of Egypt tiara and the traditional Irish lace veil worn by her grandmother and mother at their own weddings. They added more regal touches to this royal wedding look. Dressing future monarchs for a wedding is a big call. There's much more attention on it as heirs tend to make the headlines when they wed and it also has to be history book ready as the snaps from these marriages will be around for a long, long time. Margrethe II of Denmark's wedding dress did all that and more with plenty of personal touches that made it as much about the bride as the event. Fifty years on, it still stands the test of time just like that happy couple who said 'I do' half a century ago today.