All the outfit details you missed at Queen Mary’s proclamation

By Gladys Lai
The royal family on the balcony

Photo: Getty Images

From Mary’s jewels and dress, to the outfits worn by her children, we break down the style touches you might have glanced over at the Danish Queen’s proclamation

It was a rapturous applause that greeted the newly crowned Queen Mary and King Frederik of Denmark today as they emerged on the balcony at Copenhagen’s Christiansborg Palace, waving to the tens of thousands gathered below. A fortnight ago, on New Year’s Eve, Queen Margrethe II announced her abdication, leaving the throne to Frederik; though Mary is now Queen of Denmark – and the first Australian-born woman in history to become sovereign of a nation – Margrethe will retain her title, meaning that Denmark has two queens.

Queen Mary and King Frederik wave on the balcony

Photo: Getty Images/courtesy of Kongehuset DK

“My hope is to become a unifying king of tomorrow,” said Frederik X on the balcony, in his first speech as King. “It is a task I have approached all my life. It is a task I take on with pride, respect, and joy.”

Though the ceremony itself, officially called a proclamation, was a relatively simpler one – most European monarchies, including Denmark, have done away with more ostentatious coronations, though Britain continues to practise the tradition – there were still rules to be observed, especially those of a sartorial ilk. From jewels and special orders, to clothing new and old, we break down the hidden outfit details you might have missed from the coronation.

Scroll on below to see the ceremony looks, decoded.

Queen Mary and King Frederik wave from the balcony

Photo: Getty Images

Queen Mary’s Danish dress…

Søren Le Schmidt was given 14 days to bring Mary’s coronation dress to life; it was only a fortnight ago, after all, that Queen Margrethe II announced her intention to abdicate. Mary was always going to wear a Danish designer to ascend the throne as Queen of Denmark, and Le Schmidt – whose work she donned to King Charles III’s coronation in May last year – seemed like the ideal candidate.

“I was very honoured, happy, proud, and not least grateful to be asked to design this particular dress,” Le Schmidt told Vogue Scandinavia. “The first dress that Queen Mary would wear under her new title as Queen – a dress for the history books – means a great deal. I am very moved.”

The dress itself was the essence of the style Mary has cultivated in her service as Crown Princess, and now looks to continue, and elevate, as Queen. Long-sleeved, with a separate waist belt draped around the neck and over the shoulder, it was mature, but bright – no doubt a foreshadowing of the reign to come. A touch of the bridal was also not a coincidence. The seamstress behind the dress, Birgit Hallstein, also stitched Mary’s Uffe Franke dress at her wedding to Frederik in 2004.

Queen Mary and King Frederik kiss each other

Photo: Getty Images

…and Danish royal jewels

Of course, the Danish flag isn’t complete without a dash of red, and the new Queen nodded to the second half of the colour diptych with a set of jewels plucked from the Danish Ruby Parure. “The colours of Denmark are red and white, so a graphically beautiful white dress adorned with the earrings and a brooch from the Ruby Set seemed like the right choice,” explained Le Schmidt. Though Mary wore a hair clip and earrings from the Parure as intended, she fashioned the brooch to her dress as a stomacher, instead of affixing it to her chest.

Followers of Mary’s sartorial resume will also be familiar with the tiara from the Ruby Set, one of the Queen’s favourite diadems as Crown Princess. She first sported the tiara before her wedding, at a dinner at Christiansborg Castle in 2004.

Queen Mary and King Frederik on the balcony

Photo: Getty Images

Queen Mary’s Ordensportrættet

Along with her rubies and diamonds, Mary pinned a portrait order to her shoulder, called an ordensportrættet: a framed portrait of Queen Margrethe II, surrounded by pearls and diamond Maltese crosses. It was an ordensportrættet formerly worn by Margrethe herself, with her father’s portrait in place.

The royal family waves for the balcony

Photo: Getty Images

King Frederik’s Order of the Elephant

The Order of the Elephant, or the Elefantorden, is the most prestigious order of chivalry in Denmark. With his ascension to the throne, Frederik becomes not only the King of Denmark, but the sovereign of this particular order. Look closely the outfit he wore for the coronation, a ceremonial military uniform, and you’ll see the elephant pin sitting on his right rip, as well as its matching eight point silver star on the left side of his chest, and the pale blue silk moiré sash, also signifying the order.

Signing a paper

Photo: Getty Images

Queen Margrethe’s skirt suit and jewellery

When Queen Margrethe II, Europe’s longest-serving monarch, announced her abdication on New Year’s Eve, and intention to pass the throne to her son, then-Crown Prince Frederik, it came as a surprise to all. In her speech, Margrethe referred to an operation she had undergone in February 2023, one she described “naturally gave rise to thinking about the future – whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation”. “I have decided that now is the right time,” she continued. “On 14 January 2024 – 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father – I will step down as queen of Denmark.”

Today, in the halls at Christiansborg Palace, she formalised that intention, signing the instrument of abdication in the presence of the Council of State, her son, now King Frederik X, and her 18-year-old grandson, Crown Prince Christian. Margrethe’s outfit was regal, but far from ostentatious, a sure reflection of the simplicity of the proclamation ceremony itself. She sported a magenta skirt suit, previously worn at a Golden Jubilee event in 2022; according to local outlet Billed-Bladet, meanwhile, Margrethe’s earrings were a birthday present from Prince Henrik, her late husband, gifted to her in 1990.

The royal family on the balcony

Photo: Getty Images

Princess Josephine wore her mother’s Prada coat

Princess Josephine, the youngest of Frederik and Mary’s four children, wore a navy double-breasted Prada coat belonging to her mother – an especially lovely touch given Mary’s own proclivity for re-wearing her favourite wardrobe pieces.

Wave from the balcony

Photo: Getty Images

Princess Isabella’s brooch was a gift from her grandmother

Princess Isabella, the eldest daughter of Frederik and Mary, was seen in a Carolina Herrera coat topped with a small brooch, featuring a round pearl, a pear-shaped conch pearl and three diamonds. Originally belonging to Margrethe’s grandmother Queen Alexandrine, the brooch found its way to Margrethe, passed down as an heirloom, before Margrethe gifted it to Isabella in 2007 for her Christening.

Originally published on Australian Vogue.