Princess Madeleine of Sweden in her Valentino wedding dress
It is a royal star of a royal wedding dress. When Princess Madeleine of Sweden married Chris O'Neill on June 8th 2013 at the Royal Chapel of the Royal Palace in Stockholm, she wore a gown by Valentino that became an instant royal classic. While very much a traditional wedding dress there was enough modern and new about this to make it a template for future gowns. Madeleine's marriage outfit was magical.
The first thing everyone noticed about the dress was the lace. There was a lot of lace. From the sleeve details to the end of her train and the stunning veil that floated over it, there was a good chance that a glance of this royal bride would involve lace.
The dress looked very white in the sunshine of an early summer's day in Stockholm although the official press release described it as ivory coloured. It also told us that the gown was made of pleated silk organza covered with Chantilly lace and that the rather striking accentuated waist led to vertical pleats.
The overall effect was spectacular and very summery. The lace top and neat waist give way to a full skirt which seems totally traditional until we reach the end where a little flounce, again with more lace. adds an extra fullness and a modern touch that makes this gown stand out.
The lace was very visible on the back of the dress which was deep cut and flowed into the waistband giving the dress a subtle structure.
But what was most noticeable about this part of the outfit was the way her veil continued to flow after the train had finished. There was no matching lengths for Madeleine. Her veil, made of silk organza and edged with tulle, was several metres longer and flowed beautifully as she made her way up the aisle towards her groom.
It was another modern touch as Swedish brides, including her mother and her sister Crown Princess Victoria, had traditionally worn the veil belonging to Queen Sophia of Sweden. But Madeleine did keep to another family custom and included myrtle cut from a bush planted at Sofiero by Margaret of Connaught when she married into the Swedish Royal Family in 1905.
Overall, this is about as pretty a royal wedding dress as you're likely to see. It was fresh and summery and kept to all the royal template while allowing its bride to look like she was wearing something she'd chosen rather than something she thought she should wear. Madeleine's wedding four years ago was a breath of summer air.
Photo credit: Bengt Nyman via Flickr