Denmark · Guest Author

Guest Post: Daisy’s Daywear

Thanks to our guest author msb for this post about Denmark’s queen!-OC

Two things stand out about Queen Margrethe’s clothes for day and evening: the rich colours that she favours and her unselfconsciousness in wearing them.

Office clothes

Daisy has the advantage of a tall, slim figure, reminiscent of her grandfather Christian X, and her working daytime outfits can be described as elegant business attire: often a suit, or skirt and blouse plus jacket/cardigan/shawl combo. In a climate like Denmark’s, dressing in layers is just good sense – one can always add or subtract as needed. Her clothes for the 2019 New Year’s speech are a good example.

Photo: Keld Navntoft / Ritzau Scanpix

Margrethe owes many of her elegant outfits to the tailoring business of the Freifeldt family. Like her mother Queen Ingrid, Daisy was a longstanding client of Celli Freifeldt, whose firm opened in 1945 and was designated a royal court supplier in 1994.

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An article in Billed Bladet (The Picture Magazine), shows four recent Annette Freifeldt outfits for Queen Margrethe. Here’s one of them, worn in 2012, at an exhibition of her own embroidery and decoupage works.

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Similarly, for her recent appeal to the nation for social distancing against coronavirus, Queen Margrethe wore a rich burgundy sweater and blazer, over a checked burgundy and white skirt.

View this post on Instagram

“Jeg har en appel til alle: Corona-virus er en farlig gæst. Den spreder sig som ringe i vandet, og det går stærkt. Én person kan smitte mange – endda uden selv at føle sig syg, og smitten går videre rundt til endnu flere, en lang og skræmmende kæde. I den kæde vil mennesker dø.  Et barn kan miste sin bedstemor, en datter sin far, en hustru sin mand. Venner vil pludselig ikke være der mere.  Det er den kæde, vi skal bryde, og som vi kan bryde. Det kan kun ske, når vi alle tænker os om og gør det samme på samme tid – og i rette tid.  Myndighedernes råd er egentlig ret enkle: Vask hænder. Hold afstand. Undgå fysisk kontakt. Bliv hjemme.” Læs hele Hendes Majestæt Dronningens tale til befolkningen på Kongehusets hjemmeside. 📸 Kim Refslund, DR ©

A post shared by DET DANSKE KONGEHUS 🇩🇰 (@detdanskekongehus) on

In her video speech, Margrethe wears the jeweled horseshoe bar pin – given to her by her ather when became the heir at age 13 – on her lapel. She also wore it when she was proclaimed queen in 1972. She paired it with her long mourning gown and veil.

State events – daytime

For daytime state occasions, Daisy tends to wear a dress and coat with matching hat, in a solid colour. She wears the full ensemble outdoors and the dress alone when indoors or standing on the balcony. She often accessorizes these ensembles with her large white enamel daisy brooch, and sometimes with the matching earrings. The diamond version, inherited from her mother, is for evenings and great occasions.

In addition to receiving greetings from the Royal Life Guard band and the assembled crowd (usually with groups of schoolchildren in front) on her birthday, Queen Margrethe leads everyone in the nine-fold hurrah. She shouts, “Long live Denmark!” and leads the crowd in shouting back, “Hurrah!” in three groups of three. As “Hurrah!” in Danish sounds like “Wah!”, the result sounds like “Wah, wah, wah! Wah, wah, wah! Wah, wah, waaaaah!”.

Like many others, I was very much looking forward to the events surrounding Queen Margrethe’s 80th birthday on 16 April, including the new clothes prepared and familiar jewels worn. All the festivities have been cancelled, of course, to protect everyone concerned against coronavirus. However, one part of the celebrations will still be going forward. Thousands of Danes have joined a Facebook group, “Danmark synger for dronningen” (Denmark sings for the queen). Close to 142,000 people have joined so far. At noon on 16 April, everybody will open a window or stand on their balcony and sing the Danish Happy Birthday song to celebrate the queen’s birthday and show solidarity with each other – at a proper social distance.

Traditional dress

Unlike the Swedish and Norwegian royal women, Queen Margrethe doesn’t often wear Danish traditional dress. Each region of Denmark has its own distinctive style, colors and accessories as one sees in clubs that do traditional dances. But the queen routinely wears traditional dress when visiting the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

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What the Faeroese photo above doesn’t show is the traditional black bonnet that Danish women wore over their hair, if they could afford it. Those who couldn’t wore scarves. Better-off women had the back panel of their bonnets stitched in gold thread. These bonnets still turn up in antique stores, as head coverings or made into handbags.

Photo courtesy of msb–a handbag for The Handbag!

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Sports & Raingear

Daisy is practical. An enthusiastic skier for many years, she often enjoys the sport with King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway. She wore good Scandinavian sweaters over her ski suits. She usually wore her hair in pigtails.

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Nobody writing about Queen Margrethe’s daywear can leave out her rain gear. Grey clouds and rain are common in Denmark, so the queen brightens the day and stays dry throughout outdoor events with this blinding sou’wester hat and raincoat combo.

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A recent special exhibition at Christiansborg, the palace where the Danish Parliament meets and the Queen holds some state events, was called “Worthy of a queen: master, patron of the arts, monarch”. It featured some jewelry that Queen Margrethe wears, plus items she had designed or been given. The linked video (Særudstilling: En dronning værdig) is quite short, but has nice shots of the turquoise earrings and brooch given by her deceased husband and the Nuuk (Naasut) tiara. 

It’s cheating, but I must conclude with my favourite piece of Daisy’s daywear: the stunning ensemble and jewels for Crown Prince Frederik’s wedding in 2004.

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What Daisy daytime appearance is your favorite? Show us your photos in the comments!

Guest Author · Spain

13th Century Castile’s Fashion Show

Thank you to our community member Iselen for this post. Please note most of the images come from a book called Museo de Telas Medievales (medieval fabrics museum) published by the National Trust in 1988. This is a catalogue of the pieces you can find in Santa Maria la Real de las Huelgas. -OC

Burgos was the old capital of the kingdom of Castile and the favourite residence of Queen Eleanor Plantagenet (daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henri II of England) who married King Alfonso VIII of Castile in 1170. These monarchs founded a monastery called Santa María La Real de las Huelgas as a family pantheon. Some pieces have been lost due to lootings, but there are still a few beautiful garments left. These fabrics are in very good condition because it is really cold in Burgos and the church has worked as a refrigerator to preserve the materials.

There are two important things to keep in mind when we talk about clothes in the early Middle Age. The first is that both men and women dressed the same apart from war gear. Garments were unisex and differences only started to appear later in the 15th century. The second is that in those times, there really didn’t have a good heating systems so layers were the key to keep warm. 

The first layer was the shirt made of linen that sometimes had visible embroidered cuffs. These shirts also had a round neckline with a vertical cut. Shown below is Princess María’s shirt. She was the daughter of King Ferdinand III the Saint and Elisabeth of Hohenstaufen. Maria died in 1235, an infant. Her shirt is very fancy since it’s made of cotton. At the time, this material was very rare and expensive and was obtained from the Andalusia kingdom. Maria also wore linen breeches and a “garnacha” which is a cream silk dress without sleeves lined with fur. It is a fancy piece of warm clothing as it is embroidered with gold thread.

A “saya” was usually worn on top of the shirt. A saya is a dress without sleeves similar to a garnacha but without the fur lining which is tied on one side with a string. This is Queen Eleanor’s saya made of thick silk in a green shade with a floral and geometric embellishment. It is very long which means it swept the floor when she walked like some kind of train and showed she was a wealthy woman who could pay for a lot of unnecessary fabric. 

On top of the saya they wore a “pellote”. This a Spanish garment unknown in Europe. It’s like a pinafore dress with long and wide skirt that matches the saya. 

These are Prince Fernando de la Cerda’s clothes. He was the son of King Alfonso X the Wise and Violet of Aragon. On top of the shirt he wore an “aljuba” instead of a saya. This is a garment designed to ride a horse with cuts on the skirt and has sleeves made of silk brocade with gold and silver thread. The heraldic pattern shows castles and lions for the Castile and Leon kingdoms. 

On top of the aljuba goes the pellote that matches the fabric. 

He wore a belt across his chest to hold his sword with sapphires, pearls and coral along with a silver gilt buckle with enamel.

And a cap embellished with small pearls, coral, gold, sapphires and garnets.

On top of all those clothes, people of the time wore a cloak made of silk or wool lined with fur. These clothes were really heavy and this is why they had to hold it with their hand to stop the ribbon from choking them. These sculptures show King Ferdinand III getting married to Elisabeth of Hohenstaufen and you can see how she holds the cloak on her neck, the pellote showing the saya under it (the curve line along her chest) and the embroidered cuff of her shirt. 

What do you think about all of these layers? Could you wear them in your day to day activities? Which garment do you think is the most useful? Share your thoughts in the comments, and please feel free to send in any information about your region’s local garments and we’ll get it posted!

Don’t be shy–the Hofdames will help you with photos and formatting!

Guest Author · Sweden

Royal Themed Trip-Stockholm, Sweden!

Please give a warm welcome to today’s guest author, TripleDuchess! She has graciously written a trip report from her recent voyage to Stockholm in October 2019. Thank you for your time and generosity in sharing with the Handbag Community–we certainly appreciate it! All photos are property of the author.

Me and my big sister put on our blue suede shoes and boarded a plane with the destination Stockholm, Sweden in mid-October. After a couple of hours, we reached the first stop on our journey, The Royal Palace in Stockholm. We went to see the State Apartments, the Royal Armory and the Treasury. 

Stockholm Palace or the Royal Palace (Swedish: Stockholms slott or Kungliga slottet) is the official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish monarch (the actual residence of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia is at Drottningholm Palace). Stockholm Palace is located on Stadsholmen, in Gamla stan in the capital, Stockholm. It neighbours the Riksdag building. The offices of the King, the other members of the Swedish Royal Family, and the offices of the Royal Court of Sweden are located here. The palace is used for representative purposes by the King whilst performing his duties as the head of state.

This royal residence has been in the same location by Norrström in the northern part of Gamla stan in Stockholm since the middle of the 13th century when the Tre Kronor Castle was built. In modern times, the name relates to the building called Kungliga Slottet. The palace was designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger and was erected on the same place as the medieval Tre Kronor Castle which was destroyed in a fire on 7 May 1697. (Wikipedia)

Stockholm Palace, October 2019

Sadly, I didn’t have the chance to take any photos inside the representational rooms or State Apartments, since some of them were closed due to an upcoming exhibition. I did manage to sneak a few candid photos of some of the crowns and regalia down in the Treasury!


Crowns of Princes

Crowns of Queens & Heirs

Burial regalia

Burial regalia of King Carl X, 1660.

Swedish State Regalia


Coronation robe of Queen Lovisa, 1873.

In the Royal Armory, I was able to take a few photos of two of our old Queens’ wedding gowns. First is from Queen Sofia Magdalena which was made in 1766.

Wedding gown of Sofia Magdalena

The second wedding gown is that of Queen Lovisa, circa 1850.

Wedding gown of Lovisa


On Friday, we hopped on a boat and took a ride out to Drottningholm Palace, the official residence of the King and Queen of Sweden. The Palace is Their Majesties the King and Queen’s permanent home residence. The rooms in the southern wing of the palace are reserved for this purpose. The rest of the palace and grounds are open to the public year round.

The Drottningholm Palace (Swedish: Drottningholms slott) is the private residence of the Swedish royal family. It is located in Drottningholm. Built on the island Lo ön (in Ekerö Municipality of Stockholm County), it is one of Sweden’s Royal Palaces. It was originally built in the late 16th century (editor’s note: by commission of Queen Hedvig Eleonora), it served as a regular summer residence of the Swedish royal court for most of the 18th century. Apart from being the private residence of the Swedish royal family, the palace is a popular tourist attraction. (Wikipedia)

You can read more about Drottningholm Palace by reading the Royal Palaces’ website.

Britain · Guest Author

Community Week – Windsors in Canada (Clothes and Jewels)

Thank you to geogirl and Wendy1 for this series of posts!
Read the Preface, here, and Brunswick, here.

The Daywear

Elizabeth’s mother had died in 1938, and so Norman Hartnell (of QEll’s coronation and wedding dress fame) designed the famous all-white mourning wardrobe for her delayed state visit to France that year. In Canada, in 1939 Elizabeth wore elements of this white wardrobe as well as plenty of blue and mint green. Many of her dresses had touches of fur, at the cuffs or at the collar. Arrival outfit had a chiffon cape with a deep fur trim at its hem. The Queen even went underground in a mine in Sudbury and here she wore a hard hat and protective outerwear. Her daytime jewelry choices were invariably a string of pearls and a good-sized set of pearl earrings. As you go though these pictures, watch sharply for brooches and clips! (Editors Note: Click through the galleries to enlarge the photos! These photos are the property of the guest authors.)

The Tiaras and other Jewellery

Queen Elizabeth wore at least three tiaras on the trip – thank you, BoSS, for the details –

  • Her favourite, the Oriental Circlet (gifted to Queen Elizabeth by Queen Mary in 1937 when King George Vl inherited the throne) was worn for the Opening of the Canadian Parliament along with a heavy diamond bracelet, possibly her Queen Victoria Bracelet, and pearl and diamond earrings – possibly from the Queen Alexandra Wedding Parure.
    ⦁ Queen Mary’s Fringe (given to Queen Elizabeth in 1936 by Queen Mary) was worn to a formal event in Montreal.
    ⦁ Finally, she wore the Teck Crescent, a less substantial tiara, to wave to one’s admirers from the back of the train (as one does) after a formal banquet.

Check out the daywear section and the various other images, and see if you can spot anything else – who can find the gifts hidden there?

The Maple Leaf Brooch

According to the Mothership, King George VI bought the brooch for Elizabeth to commemorate this state visit. Supposedly, she wore it on the crossing, throughout the tour and frequently thereafter but we could not find images of that. However, we did find this interesting aside on the purchase here!

Pictures of the Tiara Moments on the Canadian Tour:

The photos above are at the Parliament opening. Descriptions from the time state that her gown was white satin and gold brocade with a wide-hooped panniered skirt and scalloped train. The photo at right was hand-tinted but it seems that the person who did the tinting didn’t know the details of her gown’s colouring so they took the liberty of tinting it pale blue which, in fairness, was her predominate colour of the tour.

The First Walkabout

The royal walkabout first happened in Ottawa on this trip. After dedicating the National War Memorial, the royal couple, rather than returning to their motorcade, spent half an hour mingling with 25,000 First World War veterans who were part of a crowd of at least 100,000 people. The CBC radio announcer covering the event was stunned and described the warm rapport thus “One these old veterans is patting the King most affectionately on the shoulder…Her Majesty is chattering with one of the veterans of the amputations association…The Queen is speaking to a blind veteran now…The King is shaking hands…”

“Canada Made Us”

Although the original purpose of the 1939 tour was to allow the monarch to engage with Canadians as King of Canada, the impending outbreak of war in September that year further shaped the significance of the event.

For Queen Elizabeth, the 1939 tour began a lifelong personal relationship with Canada and helped establish her and her husband as modern monarchs. She would later say that “Canada made us”.

An enduring symbol of the Canadian tour was of Their Majesties waving from the observation platform at the back of the Royal Train. This is how many Canadians – especially those who lived outside of the larger cities – saw their King and Queen.

Links Comprehensive 90-minute complete coverage from the CBC

Interesting rare color footage – short clips. (check out the end for the closing waves from the train) well-produced clip incorporating great color footage – the royal part starts at 0:45, the mine coverage at 2:15 – and you can see Queen Elizabeth in a hard hat here – also notice that King George has a light (strung around his neck) but not the queen! the Toronto visit. A lady in waiting riding in a police side car (keeping her head down!), the cape dress and King George walking, sword in hand, about 2:40

Britain · Guest Author

Community Week – Windsors in Canada (New Brunswick)

Thank you to geogirl and Wendy 1 for this series of posts!
Read the Preface, here.

Working trip…tasks done

Royal visits are busy and this was no exception – Their Majesties dedicated the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls, attended the King’s Plate horse race and dedicated Coronation Park in Toronto, inaugurated the Queen Elizabeth Way, an expressway that connects Southern Ontario to Toronto. The Queen also laid the cornerstone of the Canadian Supreme Court building and the King personally granted Royal Assent to nine bills and became the first Canadian monarch to directly meet his Parliament. Together, they dedicated the National War Memorial in front of 10,000 war veterans.

June 13, 1939 was Day 28 of their 31-day tour. The bulk of their 8,377-mile journey was covered by train but that day Their Majesties left the royal train at Newcastle, travelled 108 miles by motorcar over a bumpy, dusty, unpaved road.

Halfway along that slow journey they made an unpublicized stop to have lunch at a small family-run tearoom in a hamlet called Doaktown. Even though this stop was unpublicized, people from near and far lined the roadway to get a glimpse of their monarch and his popular consort. The close-up photo shows them arriving, so elegantly dressed – a reporter stated that the Queen’s outfit was blue – and the hotel owners and staff later told all and sundry that Their Majesties were friendly and kind. The Queen “even” stepped into the kitchen to thank the ladies who prepared the meal.

That one-hour royal visit is probably Doaktown’s greatest claim to fame and there are many residents today who talk about the event of over seventy years ago as if it happened last week. The little girl who presented the Queen with a bouquet of fresh lilacs is still a bit of a local celebrity. The chairs used by the King and Queen were kept and each has a plaque affixed to it so that people will always know that the Queen sat in “This Chair” and the king sat in “That One”.

Refreshed, the royal couple then drove to the provincial capital: Fredericton. Awaiting them at the Legislative Assembly were 15,000 schoolchildren – local children as well as children and youth from a large portion of the province. Wendy1’s mother, father and step-mother and Geogirl’s mother all attended this event of a lifetime. Wendy1’s Mum lived a few blocks from the Legislature but Dad and Mum2 boarded trains in their respective villages with their fellow classmates to attend. Geogirl’s mum (and her Girl Guide troop) travelled 215 km by train – an exciting trip for a 10-year-old who had never been out of her own small village!

The children sat for hours on temporary wooden bleachers, each with their own lunches plus small bottles of milk which were provided for them. Their excitement reached a fevered pitch when Their Majesties finally arrived. It was reported that their roars of “We want the King! We want the Queen!” continued after they had entered the Legislature for a small ceremony of greeting. The din from the children was so loud that windows were closed but still the people inside the Legislature could hardly hear what was being said indoors. Fifteen thousand children are clearly capable of making a tremendous noise!

Photos of their visit to Fredericton (Editorial Note: Unless noted otherwise, the following photos are the exclusive property of the guest authors):

The royal couple has just arrived and are walking along the path to reach the steps of the Legislative Assembly. Note the sea of children (15,000!) crammed onto the bleachers.

Their Majesties went to the provincial government buildings for the official welcome and then on to lunch at the University of New Brunswick. Then they boarded a smaller, lighter train consisting of a locomotive, four day coaches, and a drawing room car for the short run (77 km) to Saint John where they arrived late in the day. A long gritty, dusty, hot, people-packed day that must have exhausted them. The scenery for them – trees, rolling hills, more trees, potato farmland (to become McCain’s heartland) and a lovely wide river crossed here and there by covered bridges. The next day they were up, the Queen was presented with a handmade quilt (perhaps it is still at Castle Mey or Balmoral?), and then it was on to Nova Scotia for the final leg of their marathon tour.