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?
Denmark

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?
Denmark

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?

Denmark

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!

Denmark

Random Royaling – Daisy and Mary

Daisy and Mary were lucky attendees at the inauguration of the Panda House at the Copenhagen Zoo. The giant pandas –  Pandas Xing Er and Mao Sun – were just recently brought to Copenhagen, and will hopefully have a long and happy residency.  Doesn’t Daisy look great in that column of white? 

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Some cheerful and happy head shots, because who wouldn’t be cheerful when inaugurating a panda house?

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Mary’s powder blue coat is by Strenesse. I am fond of the dark hosiery with the coat, but perhaps might have gone with less volume in the scarf. See New My Royals for more photos and details on the events.

Can you imagine a more fun event than opening a giant panda house?  Let us know what you think of the coats in the comments.