To our surprise, our article on British Royal family christening gowns will soon top the list as our most read post EVER. Seems that there are a lot of folks out there googling royal christening gowns. Who knew? So, we thought it was time we wrote about the Royal Family of Denmark’s christening gowns and we’ll post on the christening gowns of the other European royals over time.
According to the Danish Royal Family’s official website, the Royal Family’s main christening gown has been in use since 1870. It is made from delicate Brussels lace that was purchased by Christan X’s mother, Queen Lovisa. Queen Lovisa was the daughter of King Charles XV of Sweden and apparently liked to wear lots of jewels and frilly things wherever she could pin them, including in her hair. To that we say well done:
The christening gown and accompanying cap were made for Christian X’s christening and has been used by many (but not all) royal children since.
The first pictures we were able to track down of the gown is when it was worn by little Princess Margrethe (now Queen Margrethe of Denmark). She was christened on May 14, 1940. Here she is with her parents, Queen Ingrid and King Frederik IX, Look at all that lovely lace!
Both of Margrethe’s sons Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim wore the gowns for their christenings. Prince Frederik was christened on June 24, 1968 amidst much pomp as you can see here:
This photograph gives us a good look at the delicate cap that goes with the gown. Loving Margrethe’s hat there, too!
If you’re in the mood for a video, here’s some footage of Prince Frederik’s christening ceremony:
Now, according to the Danish Royal Family’s official website, Prince Nikolai, son of Prince Joachim and the then Princess Alexandra, was the first of the next generation to wear this antique gown. Check out their page on the gown here. The part about the gown is in the last paragraph. However, a couple of very astute Royal Post readers have pointed out that the gown that Nikolai is in fact different, and that he was the first to wear this new gown and matching cap. Evidently, this new gown was first worn by Prince Nikolai and his brother followed that tradition. Since the antique gown must be so fragile, it certainly makes sense to preserve the gown for the children of the heir only.
Prince Nikola was christened in November 1999 and here he is in that new gown. It certainly doesn’t have the same ornate lace but is very pretty:
Nikola’s brother Prince Felix was christened in October 2002 and wore this new gown, too. We can get a good look at the new cap here. It has a white ribbon and looks like it may be made from a very high quality cotton:
Side note: When Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra were divorced in 2005, it was decided that Alexandra would be kept on the civil list for life and be given a generous yearly income reported to be around $300,000 USD. She was also able to keep her title Princess of Denmark until she remarried, and she went from being Her Royal Highness to simply Her Highness. On the day the divorce became final, Queen Margrethe bestowed Alexandra with the title Countess of Frederiksborg, the idea being that if she were ever to remarry she would no longer be a Princess of Denmark but would hold this Countess title for life. She remarried in March 2007 and Prince Joachim married Marie Cavallier in 2008.
Next up was Nikola and Felix’s cousin, Prince Christian who we spoke about in detail earlier this week (click here if you missed it). As the son of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, he is second in line to the throne and he had the honour of wearing the antique gown and cap.
Prince Christian’s sister Princess Isabella was next. She also wore the antique gown in July 2007:
The next (and to date the last) royal baby to wear the gown was Christian and Isabella’s brother Prince Vincent. He and his twin sister Princess Josephine were christened on April 14, 2011. What to do about christening gowns for the two of them was a bit of a conundrum. Instead of wearing the new gown first worn by Prince Nikolai, little Princess Josephine wore a gown that had been owned by Queen Ingrid, the great-grandmother of the twins. She had owned a christening gown that was made in 1940 but had never been worn; it was likely a gift for Princess Margrethe when she was born. Princess Josephine wore that gown and her brother wore the antique one, perhaps because he is a full 26 minutes older and consequently closer in line to succession.
You can get a better look at the gowns here. If we had to guess, it looks like Prince Vincent is being carried by Prince Frederik – that lace looks so gorgeous and delicate:
Here’s an even closer look to figure out who is who. Yep – we’re sticking with the idea that Prince Frederik is carrying Prince Vincent and Princess Mary has little Princess Josephine. Agree or disagree?
Next we have Princess Marie with Prince Joachim and their son Prince Henrik. A new royal christening gown made an appearance. According to the royal family’s website, it was made by Danish designer Henrik Hviid, H.H. Design for the occasion.
The next Danish royal christening we will have will be for Princess Marie and Prince Joachim’s daughter who was born on January 24th. As is tradition, her name will be revealed that day, which has recently been confirmed as May 20, 2012. It is most likely that she’ll be wearing the same gown that her big brother Prince Henrik did. We’ll report back then! Any guesses on the baby’s name?
UPDATED: You can read our post on Princess Athena’s christening by clicking here.