Designer Diaries – Queen Margrethe and Jørgen Bender

There are no quotes from the designer on this topic, but from what we’ve seen of Jørgen Bender’s designs so far, I have to suspect that he thoroughly enjoyed designing for Princess, and later Queen, Margrethe. Working with unlimited budgets, a customer with a taste for drama and a need for big gowns must have been his dream.

We will start small. This Jorgen Bender day dress was made for the Queen to wear on Prince Frederik’s 18th birthday, and it was certainly visible for the requisite wave from the balcony.

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It was also worn in 1991 for a visit from Valcav Havel and his wife, Olga. I like the dress stripped of the extra fripperies of hats and accessories, myself.

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You’re not really here for restrained daywear, are you? Let’s move on. For her 25th wedding anniversary celebration, Daisy threw two parties, a banquet and a black tie and tiara occasion, which of course required the proper clothing. The artist known as Daisy worked with Bender to design two fantasy gowns worthy of such celebrations. The first dress, shown below, is silver and gold brocade with a built in cape. Practically screams Daisy to me.

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For the black tie event, Daisy and Bender designed the ball-iest ballgown ever, with 60 meters of tulle in varying shades of purple. A strand of floral trim adorns the bodice, and sliver stars are scattered across the big, big skirt. Pure fantasy.


We move from fantastic floof to pure throw-it-down-and-walk-all-over-it drama. This yellow gown was originally designed by Bender for a 1973 State Visit to Sweden. It was later cut down to a skirt before being re-cut, in 1986, to its form here. The dress became a skirt, blouse and jacket, with fur trim around the collar, bodice and sleeves. It makes for a magnificent portrait, and Daisy has, in the past, worn it at the New Year’s levees.


Jørgen Bender created this fabulous Tudor-inspired gown for the Bender-fest wedding of Alexandra Manley to Prince Joachim (if you are keeping track, this is the third Bender gown from that wedding we have covered). It was an early winter wedding so the fur and brocade were entirely appropriate. The gown was also worn in a famous portrait of the Queen on her 75th birthday, and the dress underneath has been worn on many occasions.

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To see more gowns designed by Bender and others for Daisy, see the post that Style of Mary did on the topic. The photos in that post are her personal property, so we ask that you not reproduce them in the comments. Thanks!

Although Bender died young, I think we can all agree that he left an incredible legacy in his work for the Danish royals. Princess ballgowns for Alex, slim-lined elegance for the king’s daughter Benedikte, and utterly queen-like magnificence for Daisy. The Danes will never stop thanking him, and we certainly won’t either.

On that note, we are stepping away from the Danes, but not from Bender. Next week we’ll take a look at the gowns he designed for another royal to the north.