For her first engagement as Queen, Mary turned to monochrome – and millinery

By Gladys Lai

Photo: Getty

After coronation white comes… parliament blue?

A fresh start. That was what Mary, the newly proclaimed Queen of Denmark, seemed to signal yesterday in her snow-white dress as she stepped out onto the balcony of Christiansborg Palace. Her husband, King Frederik X, may have been clad in ceremonial military attire, but Mary’s outfit was carefully curated, and quietly symbolic: the bright ivory of her Soeren Le Schmidt design, glinting here and there with red jewellery, plucked from the Danish Ruby Parure. She may be the first Australian-born queen in history, but embodying the spirit of Denmark is a task she has spent the last 20 years honing as its Crown Princess.


Queen Margrethe II, however, retains her title – her abdication marked the conclusion of a 52-year-long reign, the longest in Danish history – and joined Mary and Frederik today at Folketinget’s Celebration of their Enthronement, held also in Christiansborg, in the company of other members of the Danish royal family. Per tradition, Frederik did not address those in attendance directly; instead, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen offered words on his behalf. “We begin our responsible work as Denmark's king in the belief that the Danish parliament will meet us in joint work for the good of the kingdom,” she read.

Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

Speaker of Parliament Søren Gad echoed this optimism. “I have great confidence that he will be an excellent king for us all,” he said, “and by his side, [he] has an excellent queen.”

Mary watched the proceedings from a balcony overlooking the 179-strong assembly; beside her was Frederik and the couple’s eldest son, the 18-year-old Crown Prince Christian. In place of a brilliant coronation white was a calm, almost austere navy, which she wore in the form of a belted jacket and skirt. Her gloves and pointed stilettos came in a matching shade, as well as her brimmed hat, fashioned on one side with plumage. To top it off, the Queen chose a fetching piece of jewellery: the heirloom pearl-and-sapphire Connaught brooch, inherited by Queen Ingrid of Denmark and later reserved for use by Margrethe and Queen Anne Marie of Greece.

It was no coincidence that Margrethe, dressed in mauve, wore a Connaught brooch herself, one fashioned out of a trio of pearls and diamonds. That Mary was present in royal jewellery of the same name signals a synergy with history; she may be looking ahead and charting her reign, but the future of the monarchy, as with all, depends on a reverence for the past. In this way, Mary seemed to be paying her respects: to her mother-in-law, of course, but also a leader whose service spanned more than half a century. In regal shades and jewels, her own path looks equally promising.

Originally published by Vogue Australia