Denmark celebrated the 800th anniversary of the Danish flag (Dannebrog) on June 15th. According to myth, the flag fell from the sky during a battle between the Danish King Valdemar and local chieftains in Estonia in 1219. Celebrations took place in multiple locations through out Denmark, and also in Estonia where Queen Margrethe began a two day visit in commemoration of both Dannebrog, and Estonia’s 100 years of independence.
Margrethe was greeted by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid. (Doesn’t she look sharp!? I love that coat!) Later she visited the “Danish King’s Garden” where she saw the sculpture, “Memorial for Old King”. The sculpture was erected in 1969 on the occasion of the 750-year celebration of the legend of Dannebrog, and Her Majesty was given a copy of the oldest known version of the flag.
Back at home, Fred and Mary attended the ceremonies in Vordingborg, which was King Valdemar’s city. Doesn’t she look fabulous!? This is the Mary of old, right here. Quite possibly our first “Poppins” appearance of 2019.
And finally, Joachim and Marie attended a service led by Bishop Peter Skov-Jakobsen in The Church of Our Lady – Copenhagen Cathedral. I love everything about Marie’s look, especially the color of her dress and the hat. I’ll take both please, and thanks!
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.
On to our next round of tiara fun…we’ve had fun defending tiaras, or not defending them, but now we’re going to put some famous tiaras up against each other.
We’re going to start with a good one: hanging pearls. Let’s see which of these beauties takes the crown!
Queen Mary’s / Cambridge Lover’s Knot
Queen Mary had this tiara made, inspired by one owned by her aunt, Grand Duchess Augusta of Mecklenburg-Strelitz’s. It originally had pearl toppers above the lover’s knots, but those were later removed. Queen Elizabeth inherited this tiara upon Mary’s death in 1953. It was later gifted to Diana, Princess of Wales, upon her marriage to Prince Charles. On their divorce, the tiara returned to the vault, to be loaned again to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
The Danish Pearl Poire Tiara
The Pearl Poire tiara first came to Denmark in the vaults of Princess Louise of Sweden, who married the future King Frederik VIII in 1869. The tiara was inherited by Louise upon the death of her mother, Queen Louise of Sweden, who inherited it from her mother, Princess Louise of the Netherlands. It became part of a married parure with a necklace and earrings which were a present from the Khedive of Egypt. The married parure has been worn by all Danish Queens since Louise: Alexandrine, Ingrid and Margrethe II.
The Cartier Pearl Drop Tiara
This Monégasque tiara was made by Cartier as a wedding present for Princess Charlotte of Monaco, from her husband Count Pierre de Polignac. Charlotte was the grandmother of Prince Rainier. Princess Charlotte wore the tiara to a pre-wedding event for Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly. We’re not sure if Princess Grace ever wore this tiara, although there is a painting of her maybe wearing it… The tiara was then passed on to Princess Caroline, who has been wearing it ever since.
I sound like an old person but didn’t Daisy just turn 75? We just had a big party and all. Time is a flying, and things are a changing. Christian is morphing into Fred, Isabella is wearing Mary’s Massimo Dutti Reversible coat, Josephine has emerged as a family style queen, and Vincent – well, he still charms every woman in his path.
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.
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.
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.
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!