Designer Diaries – Queen Maud’s Coronation Gowns

Queen Maud’s wardrobe could fill up a year’s blog posts. We have already done a Designer Diary on her Callot Soeurs pieces and profiled her in a two-part feature, here and here.

As the youngest daughter of the Prince of Wales, she was a royal from the get-go. She married her first cousin, Prince Carl of Denmark, in 1896. In 1905, after the dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway, he unexpectedly became Norwegian King Haakon VII and Maud became Queen. Maud’s well-connected royal life gives us not one, not two, but three beautiful coronation gowns to explore.

1902 Prince Edward VII Coronation

For her father’s 1902 coronation, it is believed that Princess Maud wore this gown by Laferriere. It featured her preferred neckline, a deep square. The overdress is embroidered with gilt thread and embellished with silver sequins. This was a grand occasion, so the gown had a long train. It appears that the sleeves may have been altered after the event, showing that even royals need to make do and move on.

We only have a fuzzy screenshot of Maud at her parent’s coronation, although the dress worn by her sister Victoria is much clearer and shows similar sleeves.

1906 Haakon VII Coronation

Maud was a “surprise” Queen, but she stepped up and became a popular consort in Norway. Maybe it all began with her sense of style and gorgeous coronation gown?

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The dress designers are believed to be Vernon of London and Silkehuset of Kristiania. The gown is constructed of a machine-woven silk lamé, silk lace, and silk tulle. It was theorized that Silkehuset hand-embroidered the ensemble with metallic thread, artificial diamonds, and wax beads, and Vernon was responsible for the final construction and alterations, although the exact sequence of events has never been determined.

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Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

1937 King George VI Coronation

Queen Maud’s last public appearance in her homeland was her nephew’s coronation in 1937. This woman loved a theme and knew what worked for her, so she stayed with a design containing gold lame and a square collar for the event. The dress was designed by Worth and featured “a hit of gold undertone,” which must have done wonders to enhance the complexion of the wearer.

The Queen attended this event as a British Princess since the contemporary convention did not allow monarchs to represent at British coronations. The then-Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha attended with her.

2005 Statue Unveiling

I’m a sucker for a nice coda and, of course, an admirer of King Harald of Norway. Let’s end with unveiling of a Queen Maud statue in London in 2005. It captures the Queen’s spirit, including her trademark gold sheen.

If you would like to read King Harald’s speech, see here.

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You might want to keep some of the fun facts sprinkled through this post in the forefront of your mind. You never know when one of our pop quizzes may appear! If you want to revisit Princess Maud’s wedding dress, worn during her nuptials at Buckingham Palace, check out our Orange Blossom wedding gown post. Spoiler alert: She won our poll for best use of the orange blossom in a wedding dress.