06 April 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Grooms in Uniform

I don't think the gentlemen get enough credit for the role they play in royal weddings. It's all about the dress, and maybe a few crazy things sported by the ladies on the guest list. But I say it's the men - so often in their handsome military uniforms - that really help to give a wedding that something extra that makes it royal. Sometimes the grooms almost out-sparkle their brides with their hardware on display, and you have to give them credit for that.

Perhaps no where is this displayed to better effect than in Denmark. Those Danish military uniforms are about as fancy as they come, easily more showy than the rest of their Scandinavian friends.
 Left to Right: Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Prince Joachim of Denmark (second wedding), Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, King Harald V of Norway, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
So dressy it's hard to keep a sash on straight (ahem, Frederik). Carl Gustaf's making a showy turn for Sweden though, but that's more about his order collars than the uniform. He and his son Carl Philip both made quite a fancy turn at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria, though: review those men right here.

Over in the Benelux countries, I think the Netherlands wins the prize for flashiest military get-up.
L to R: Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Albert II of the Belgians, Prince Phillipe of Belgium, Prince Laurent of Belgium, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
Or maybe Luxembourg wins this prize: that's one major orange tasseled belt.

The Spaniards never forget their uniforms either, not even when they wed in Greece (as Juan Carlos did when he married Princess Sofia of Greece).
L to R: King Juan Carlos I of Spain, Prince Felipe of Spain

And of course, there's Britain. The country and the family do pomp and circumstance better than just about anyone out there, and their military uniforms live up to the task.
 L to R: Prince Phillip, the Duke of Kent, Captain Mark Phillips, Prince Charles, and Prince Andrew
Phillip, Charles, and Andrew all wore uniforms from the Royal Navy for their weddings, while Mark Phillips (Princess Anne's first husband) and Edward, the current Duke of Kent, represented their respective army regiments.

Some things may have changed in the world of British royal weddings over the years, but a uniformed bridegroom has stayed a constant.
L to R: King George VI, the Duke of Kent, the Duke of Gloucester, King George V, King Edward VII
The future King George VI wore the dress uniform of the Royal Air Force. Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester, wore his uniform as a Colonel of the Welsh Guards. Both Prince George, the Duke of Kent, and the future King George V wore Royal Navy uniforms. The future King Edward VII wore the uniform of an army general and fancied it up with the mantle of the Order of the Garter (he was married in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, home of the Garter).

And it will continue a constant, as Prince William marries in uniform. The question is: which uniform will he wear?
L to R: William in uniforms from the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
William holds the rank of Captain in the Blues and Royals regiment of the British Army, Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. Of course the Air Force is where he spends his active duty time, so you might place bets on that. However, he was recently named an honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards (which entails a spiffy scarlet jacket), so he has plenty of options at his disposal. Need more William in uniform? At your service:
(Not really options for the wedding. I'm just on a roll here.)

And not to be left out, Prince Harry will surely be dashing in his uniform as well. Harry is a lieutenant in the Blues & Royals.

Which uniform are you hoping for? I like William in his navy uniform the best, though I'm betting it'll be Air Force or possibly Irish Guards for the wedding.

UPDATE: Irish Guards it was indeed. Read more about William's wedding uniform here, and Harry's right here.
Photos: Zimbio