From Queen Margrethe II of Denmark to Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, we take a look back at the Nordic royal wedding gowns that will forever remain etched in our minds
In addition to the grandeur of the ceremony, the big reveal of a princess' or the princess-to-be's gown is one of the most anticipated parts of a royal wedding. Befitting of a fairytale, these dresses often go down in history – so it's hardly surprising that royal wedding gowns are widely copied by brides across the globe.
As Scandinavia is home to three monarchies, we have witnessed many opulent nuptials, finished off by the most stunning gowns. Think couture masterpieces with immaculate detailing, acres of the finest fabrics and lace, and not forgetting the sprawling trains of course…
Below, Vogue Scandinavia looks back at the most iconic Nordic royal wedding dresses of all time.
Princess Birgitta of Sweden, 1961
On the 30th of May, 1961, doe-eyed Princess Birgitta of Sweden married Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. The Princess wore a simple, yet magnificent gown made by Märtaskolan, a Swedish dressmaking school that also produced couture creations. Birgitta's dress was crafted from thick, pale ivory silk Duchesse, featuring a wide neckline, cinched waist and a full skirt, finished off with a 4-metre train. And to finish the look off, the princess donned the famed Cameo Tiara on her head, one of the oldest tiaras in the Swedish Royal Family's history. Perhaps unconventionally, the tiara does not boast a single diamond, but only pearls and cameos, set on a gold base.
Queen Sonja of Norway, 1968
After almost a decade of dating in secret (due to Sonja being one of us common folk), Norway's then Crown Prince Harald wed his soulmate, Sonja Haraldsen. The nuptials took place on the 29th of August, 1968, in Oslo Cathedral with 850 people in attendance. For the big day Sonja chose a number designed by Norwegian Molstad, a classic ‘60s-style silk gown complete with high neck and bell-shaped skirt. Her long train was attached to her shoulders, widening and creating a beautiful silhouette as she walked down the aisle. And rather unconventionally for a royal, Sonja chose to skip on the tiara, wearing a garland of flowers instead – a nod to her Scandinavian roots.
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, 1967
Crown Princess Margrethe of Denmark and Count Henri de Laborde de Montpezat married on the 10th of June 1967 in the Holmen Church in Copenhagen. Margrethe opted for the traditional route when it came to selecting her wedding gown designer, choosing Danish Jørgen Bender, a standard royal couturier and a favourite of her mother, Queen Ingrid. The result was an elegant silk dress featuring a flared skirt, square neckline, long sleeves and a six-metre train. Honouring the family traditions, the gown's bodice was made of heirloom lace belonging to her grandmother, Princess Margaret of Connaught, the former Crown Princess of Sweden.
Queen Silvia of Sweden, 1976
Silvia Sommerlath and King Carl XVI Gustaf's nuptials were certainly historical as the 1976 union heralded Silvia as the first woman to marry a reigning king in Sweden for 200 years. For the momentous occasion, Silvia went for a simple yet ultra-sleek wedding gown designed by Christian Dior’s Marc Bohan. Crafted from Duchesse satin, the dress featured a high neck, long sleeves and a full skirt with a sprawling train. The more pared back gown was designed to give space to the Brussels lace veil, dating from the 19th century and has since been passed from bride-to-bride. Silvia also donned the famous Cameo Tiara, previously worn by Princess Birgitte of Sweden.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, 2001
On the 25th of August, 2001, commoner Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby wed Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in Oslo Cathedral. For her big day, she asked Norwegian designer Ove Harder Finseth to create a gown that takes its cues from the 1896 wedding dress of Crown Prince Haakon's great grandmother, Queen Maud. The result was a classic dress featuring a square neckline and flared skirt made of thick silk crepe draped in delicate silk tulle. Although her train was a modest two metres long, her silk veil reached six metres. She donned a striking antique tiara on her head, a gift from her in-laws, King Harald and Queen Sonja.
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, 2004
Leaning into a local designer, Tasmanian-born Denmark-based Mary Donaldson chose a wedding dress designed by Danish Uffe Frank for her wedding to Crown Prince Frederick on the 14th of May at the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen. Her gown was crafted from ivory Duchesse satin, featuring a scoop neckline, fitted bodice and 'calla sleeves', a term coined by Frank, as the designer thought the sleeves fold like Calla lilies. The most remarkable feature of the gown can be found on the hem, where panels of satin open up from the hip, revealing 8 metres of heirloom lace from previous Danish royal family wedding dresses. Moreover, on the inside of the waist, a sentimental object, Mary's mother's wedding ring, was reportedly sewn in.
Princess Marie of Denmark, 2008
French-born commoner Marie Cavallier wed Prince Joachim of Denmark in 2008 at Denmark’s Møgeltønder Church wearing a dress designed by Arasa Morelli’s David Arasa and Claudio Morelli. The gown featured beautiful Calais lace from head-to-toe and as a nod to the bride's French heritage, the gown was lined with ivory silk faille from a lacemaker in Buche, Loire Valley. On her head, she donned an exquisite, floral gold tiara adorned with diamonds, loaned from Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, 2010
On the 19th of June, 2010, Sweden celebrated a royal wedding straight out of a fairy tale, as Crown Princess Victoria married Daniel Westling. Designed by Swedish great Pär Engsheden, Victoria donned an elegant boatneck gown with an A-line skirt made of Duchesse satin, featuring a five-metre train. To complete her bridal look, Victoria donned the heirloom Cameo Tiara - also worn by her mother and Princess Birgitta of Sweden when they were both married - and a lace veil that dates back to Queen Sofia, who wore it in the 19th century.
Princess Madeleine of Sweden, 2013
Sweden relished another royal wedding in 2013 when on the 8th of June, Princess Madeleine of Sweden married American businessman Christopher O'Neill in Stockholm’s Royal Chapel. Madeleine opted for an iconic Italian designer for her wedding gown, as she turned to Valentino Garavani for a bespoke creation. The romantic dress was crafted from silk organdies and ivory Chantilly lace, featuring a full skirt with a four-metre train. Madeleine paired the gown with a six-metre long Chantilly lace flower veil and a dainty tiara garnished with fresh orange blossoms.
Princess Sofia of Sweden, 2015
The most recent Scandinavian royal wedding of Swedish Sofia Hellqvist marrying Prince Carl Phillip of Sweden took place at Stockholm’s Slottskyrkan on 13th of June 2015 and saw the bride relying on the iconic Swedish designer Ida Sjöstedt for her princess-to-be ethereal custom-made gown. Featuring a V-neckline and an A-line skirt, the dress was crafted from silk crepe adorned with delicate lace details, bearing a resemblance to the wedding dress of Catherine, Princess of Wales, who in turn was inspired by Princess Grace of Monaco.