Here is our long-promised retrospective of Queen Silvia and her style evolution. This woman has had a long royal career, starting with a sudden elevation from commoner to Queen. Through the years, she rode through pregnancies, trends, and her own personal style evolution. We’re sticking with evening wear because as much fun as looking through photos can be, we need to get this all done in a day.
Let’s get onboard this decades train and see where it takes us!
We must start at the beginning with her Dior wedding gown. It’s always been a controversial choice, but it was representative of seventies style in all its pared down simplicity.
A trip to Paris as a new Queen must have been daunting, but Silvia took it in stride. During a 1976 visit early in her royal tenure, the Queen wore a gown with thin spaghetti straps and sparkling embellishments on the skirt. The only photos I can find are black and white, so it’s anyone’s guess what color this was.
She brought out a gown with a peasant blouse and a silk/satin skirt with for a visit to Yugoslavia in 1976. Although not fashionable to contemporary eyes, this fits in with the locale and the times.
It’s easy to forget that the Queen was pregnant for a lot of the later seventies. Here she is during her second pregnancy on a trip to Bonn, wearing a gown cut so the stripes are placed on the diagonal. It may have been done to deflect from her pregnancy, or simply as a seventies style choice.
The eighties and Queen Silvia paired together like toast and tea, bread and butter, and probably many things I can’t come up with right now. The Queen loved ballgowns and feminine clothing, and there was lots of that on offer during the decade.
The Nobel ceremonies of the eighties were a perfect time to show off the best and biggest of the gowns. She left Dior in the past, and turned to Jorgen Bender for many of the designs.
I always think of this as Silvia’s decade of Sleeves and Shine. The evidence is here in the gown she wore during the State Visit of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1983. Prime Shine Time.
The Queen didn’t put away ballgowns in the coming decades. She did, however, introduce a lot of interesting silhouettes into her evening wardrobe. For Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik’s wedding anniversary in 1992, she wore a gown that was both slim skirted and heavily bedazzled in the bodice.
I’ve always found the Swedish royals do well in whites, creams and the palest of pinks. This appearance by the Queen in a beautiful dress at her husband’s fiftieth birthday solidifies that for me. The Queen also wore the gown to the Nobel ceremonies.
Don’t ever tell me you can’t wear red to a wedding! The Queen leaned into her ballgown love for this dramatic number, worn to the wedding of Prince Joachim and Alexandra Manley.
I am not sure there was an overarching theme in the Queen’s evening wear for this decade. There were a couple of interesting style developments, though. It was the period where the Queen began to wear the portrait collars that I find so flattering for her, including on this gown worn for a French State Visit in 2000.
Later that month, she chose a sparkling and slim-lined gown for one of Queen Margrethe’s 60th birthday celebrations.
Then for one of the evening events during Daisy’s celebrations, she went for a big skirt, shiny fabric, and lots of embossing on her bodice.
Back in Denmark four years later for Frederik and Mary’s wedding, she chose a less voluminous and certainly less shiny approach with this coat and skirt gown in a springtime flowered material.
Her daughter Victoria’s wedding was the opportunity for Her Majesty to shine as Mother of the Bride for the first of three times that decade. This pink gown with its flirty little inset there on the skirt is one of my all time favorite MOB gowns.
Green, green, green. A slim skirt and
emeralds sapphires made a sophisticated pairing for the 2010 Nobel ceremonies.
Here comes another portrait neckline, this top atop a very red Nobel ensemble.
In 2018, she chose a gold and white Nobel gown with a fitted silhouette to accentuate her still very enviable figure.
This decade is just begun, and even with the scarcity of events during the first few years, it seems the Queen is headed to an even more sophisticated level in evening dress.
My absolute personal favorite of all her evening gowns is this Georg & Arend gold gown with an embellished bolero, worn during the Spanish State Visit in 2021.
For the Dutch State Visit in 2022, both Queens decided that a pinkfest was in order. Queen Silvia wore a gown with full, stiff skirt and structured bodice.
The Queen chose a simple blue gown with a slim skirt for Queen Margrethe’s Jubilee celebrations. All the better to show off the Order of the Elephant, of course.