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!

Denmark · Tiaras

In Defense of the Tiara – Alexandrine Diamond Drop

For our next face-off we’re going with tiaras that were gifted to the brides by their new in-laws. These can either be from the vaults, as today’s is, or newly purchased. Let’s jump in!

Not a great shot of the tiara, I know, but c’mon…that’s a fab pic!
Better? 🙂

The History

This one entered the Danish vault around the turn of the last century courtesy of Queen Alexandrine. We’re not sure of the exact provenance, some saying it was made in Paris around 1912, others saying it was Alexandrine’s own 18th birthday tiara, but there’s no solid evidence either way.

What we do know is that when Queen Alexandrine passed away in 1952 this tiara was inherited by her son, King Frederik IX. Six years later Frederik presented the tiara to Princess Margrethe as her 18th birthday tiara.

As usually happens, after King Frederik’s death and Margrethe’s accession this tiara was chosen less and less as the new Queen had access to the entire jewelry vault. But it was given new life in 1995, when Prince Joachim married Alexandra Manley. Alexandra wore this tiara on her wedding day, and for all tiara events afterward, as it was her only tiara.

The Case for the Tiara

OC: I like this piece on craftsmanship alone. In another community I had mentioned I thought it looked like water droplets on spider webs and I imagine it’s difficult to achieve that using rocks. I appreciate its symmetry.

The Handbag: I love this. No one can tell me it isn’t a beautiful, twinkly thing. I think it must be nestled in the hair, and when Alex was a princess she obliged us by doing so, often. It cannot be perched. That ruins it.

The Case against the Tiara

LiL: Not a fan. I mean, it’s okaaaay, but there are others out there that do a much better job of looking like water droplets on spider webs.

LG: It’s pretty enough, but once I read “water drops on spider webs” I was done… Any tiara described as looking like spider webs is no tiara for me. Although, Alexandra wears it extremely well.

So…what do you guys think?

What are your thoughts on the Alexandrine Diamond Drop Tiara?

In Defense of the Tiara Headpiece – Daisy’s Poppies

We started this week in Denmark, so it feels right to end it there as well. Today let’s discuss one of the more interesting headpieces to reside in a royal vault: The Golden Poppies.

This headpiece was commissioned by Margrethe in 1976 from Danish artist Arje Griegst. The flowers are made from hammered gold, with moonstones, aquamarines, pearls, crystals, opals and diamonds, representing dew drops and tiny bejeweled insects (not a sentence I ever thought I’d write).

The Case For the Tiara

The Handbag: All right. Just hear me out here. First I am throwing out a bunch of qualifiers, but I do overall think this piece is interesting and could even be attractive! I don’t think this works for Daisy’s coloring and it definitely doesn’t flatter her grey hair, so we aren’t seeing it at its best. I do think on dark hair, arranged in a more concentrated fashion (maybe something along the lines of Charlene’s wedding hair), they could be both unusual and stunning. Yes, stunning.

OC: I agree with the illustrious Handbag with the Poppies. The flowers themselves are lovely, but the sturdy gold hairnet doesn’t belong on anyone. I look forward to seeing them on darker hair and love the idea of hairpins being made available to junior princesses for fancy gatherings.

LiL: This gets a yes from me. Not because of what it is today, but because of what it can possibly become. On Mary’s head.

The Case Against the Tiara

LG: I’m sorry…I just can’t with this one. I agree with my fellow Hofdames that this might be something, one day, on Mary. But that’s a very big might. For now I hope this stays tucked away in the very back corner of the vault.

What do you guys think?

What do you think of Daisy's Golden Poppies?

Random Royaling – Princess Benedikte’s Guests

As you know because you’ve read lovinlorne’s post, one of our favorite Classic Edition princesses celebrated her 75th birthday in elegant style recently. Since Benedikte has been covered, let’s turn our attention to some of her guests. There are a trifecta of repeat dresses among them, all so good that they should be seen twice. Or more!

Crown Princess Mary brought her handsome husband and wore a repeated Lasse Spangenberg gown, first seen at the Armed Forces dinner in March 2018. A nice dress with great back detailing, but still no Bambi, right?

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Queen Margrethe repeated her deep purple and open weave black lace gown, also seen at the French state visit banquet in 2018. I don’t see any pinholes from all those orders she wore with it last time – incredible! An elegant choice to honor her sister.

Billed Bladet

Bene’s daughters, Princess Alexandra and Princess Nathalie, appeared in two gowns that I can’t identify. Lovely, and certainly occasion appropriate, but not exciting enough to force me into the research necessary to unearth the designers ; ).

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Queen Anne-Marie repeated her floral flowy gown from King Harald and Queen Sonja’s 80th birthday celebrations (among other appearances, she just loves this dress), and looks absolutely thrilled to be celebrating with her sister.

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So what do you think of the guests? Elegant enough appearances for our most elegant princess?


Royal Wedding Gowns – Danish Lace

Welcome to our new feature: Royal Wedding Gowns, subtitled “What Makes Them Unique”. All bridal dresses sparkle in their own way on the day. But what elevates a royal wedding dress from the ordinary? The aforementioned certain something, which can be the dress design, the materials used in the dress, the accessories, or a combination of all these things. Today we’ll look at the Danish weddings and their use of heirloom lace.

We aren’t really talking about Danish lace, though. We’re talking about Carrickmacross lace, a lace technique originally practiced by the local women of Carrickmacross, Ireland. It was highly sought after by society women throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Carrickmacross Lace
Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

The Danish factor began when Britain’s Princess Margaret of Connaught married the future King of Sweden, Gustaf Adolf. She wore a Carrickmacross lace veil, a gift from the ladies of Ireland.  Her trousseau also included meters of additional lace. The Irish Times, rhapsodizing, called it“Carrickmacross […] of the greatest beauty”.

Margaret passed on the veil to her daughter, Ingrid, who wore it when she married the future King of Denmark. Ingrid also brought two pieces of the Irish lace with her to Denmark, and that lace has been incorporated in the wedding gowns of her descendants. In some instances, the lace is removed and reused.

Princess Margaret of Connaught, 1905, Princess Ingrid of Sweden, 1935
Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

All three of Ingrid’s daughters wore the family veil, starting a new tradition by attaching it with the Khedive tiara. All three incorporated the lace from Margaret’s wedding gift into their dresses. The lace can be glimpsed in small openings on Princess Anne-Marie’s skirt, in the panels on the side of Princess Benedikte’s dress, and in the front panel of Princess Margrethe’s dress.

Princess Margrethe, 1967; Princess Benedikte, 1968; Princess Anne-Marie, 1964

When Mary Donaldson married Crown Prince Frederick, Queen Margrethe’s son, the heirloom lace was used under the panels of her skirt. She wore the heirloom veil, as well, topped by her wedding tiara.

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Mary Donaldson, 2004

The lace veil has also been pressed into duty for the daughters of Anne-Marie and Benedikte. All three carried on the traditions of their mothers and secured the veil with the Khedive. Queen Anne-Marie’s youngest daughter is to be married later this year, and it will be interesting to see how the tradition carries on with her.

Princess Nathalie, 2011; Princess Alexandra, 1998 (Princess Benedikte’s daughters)
Billed Bladet

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Princess Alexia, 1999 (Queen Anne-Marie’s daughter)

The Danes have the unique tradition of using the same veil and pieces of lace in generations of wedding gowns. It’s a sentimental story, and one that defined Danish royal weddings for generations. Both Lady Diana Spencer and Catherine Middleton incorporated Carrickmacross lace into their gowns, so who knows, a new tradition may be brewing in Britain.

Is the Danish lace tradition something that defines royal for you? Which iteration of the lace is your favorite? Do you have a favorite veil and tiara combination? Post your views in the comments! Make sure to voice your opinion of the Khedive in the latest Defense of the Tiara post!