Belgium · Denmark · Greece · Italy

Royal Wedding Gowns – 1930s Glam Squad

Welcome our Royal Wedding Gown feature, where we look at royal gowns from a different perspective. Today we’ll talk about how flat-out glamour, paired with royal accessorizing, can transform an ordinary bridal look into that worthy of a royal wedding.

You’ll notice that the thirties plays a big role in my glam squad contingent, and there’s a good reason for it. Despite the terrible Depression, or maybe because of it, some of the most glamorous looks of the last century came from that decade.

Previous entries in this series include: Danish Heirloom Lace , Royal Wedding Venues, Venue Size and Scale, Historical and Artistic References, Orange Blossoms, British Embroidery. and Sparkles and Glow.

Bride: Princess Ingrid of Sweden
Designer: Unknown

Princess Ingrid of Sweden married her third cousin (from both sides of the family) Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark on May 24, 1935. Her wedding was a significant media event of the day, and anticipation was high with regard to her wedding dress. She did not disappoint. Her dress was described as a “simply cut” white gown, done up in either silk or crepe satin. Features of the gown included high neck, a draped bodice, and long sleeves. The royal touch was the 20-foot train, trimmed with lace worn by Ingrid’s mother Princess Margaret of Connaught on her own wedding day in 1906. As we discussed previously, the heirloom lace veil has since been worn many descendants of Ingrid or their brides on their own wedding day. The fitted gown had a high glamour quotient, but was “royaled up” both by the train, the lace, and by the sentimental addition of the diamond “Daisy” brooch, gifted to Ingrid by her father and reportedly fashioned from diamonds owned by her mother. Ingrid’s daughter Margrethe also wore this brooch on her wedding day.

Embed from Getty Images

Bride: Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark
Designer: Edward Molyneux

Princess Marina, Wikimedia Commons

Princess Marina was considered to be one of the most glamorous women to marry into the House of Windsor.  For her 1934 wedding to Prince George, Duke of Kent, British designer Edward Molyneux fashioned her a 3/4 sleeve, cowl-necked gown made from silver and white brocade with a flower design. To up the pizzazz even further, he lined it with silver lamé. Since it was a royal wedding, he also added a fifteen foot court train. The bride wore a veil of handmade lace and white tulle that had been worn by her mother and sister at their weddings. You can now send your hearty thanks to Princess Marina for securing the whole shebang with the Kent City of London Fringe Tiara, starting the now de rigueur tiara appearance at British royal weddings. Now that’s royaled up glamour!

Bride: Marie José of Belgium
Designer: Unknown, but said to be by some sources her husband

Embed from Getty Images

Our next 1930s bride is Marie José of Belgium, or, as she is rather dramatically known, the last Queen of Italy.  She was also called the May Queen, due to her short 30 day tenure during that month. If you want to read about her rather scandalous life, the Wikipedia entry is a good gateway. But we are concerned with her gown.

On January 8, 1930, she became the Princess of Piedmont  (Principessa di Piemonte) when she married  Prince Umberto of Italy. She wore a gown that owed a lot to the previous decade. It was a loose shift design, with detailing at the hip. In a twist on royal wedding dresses, the design was said to have been highly influenced by her husband. She wore a lace veil secured by the dramatic version of the Musy Tiara, recently featured here.

There are also a few contemporary photos said to be of the couple on the same day, where the bride is wearing a shorter bridal gown, sans the Musy tiara. If anyone has insight on this sartorial mystery, let us know!

Embed from Getty Images

A final look at our glam squad. Sigh.

Who's the glammest to you?