17 June 2010

Top 10 Best Royal Wedding Dresses: #1. HM Queen Anne-Marie

HRH Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark & HM King Constantine II of Greece
September 18, 1964

In 1959, Constantine came to Denmark on a state visit with his parents, the King and Queen of Greece, and met the 13 year old daughter of the Danish king. Two years later, he told his parents that he was going to marry Anne-Marie. Just three weeks after her 18th birthday, following soon after the mourning period for Constantine's father, Anne-Marie became the Queen of Greece.

This isn't the most famous of royal wedding dresses. Nowhere near it, in fact. Pictures aren't plentiful, and actual details are even harder to come by.  But there's something about this gown that lodged in my brain the first time I saw it, and it brings me back again and again.

The Jørgen Bender dress isn't complicated: the gown is relatively unadorned - the lace detail on the skirt is hard to pick up - so the waist and the sleeve length are running the show here. And this has to be about the most perfect sleeve length ever.

Anne-Marie's lace veil extended over her long train and was anchored in place by the Khedive of Egypt Cartier tiara, a gem that has been worn by all of Queen Ingrid of Denmark's female descendants on their wedding days and is in Anne-Marie's possession to this day.

In design, two of the hardest concepts to master are universality and timelessness. This dress lands at the top of my 10 best royal wedding dresses because of its absolute command of both ideas. Think about it: Queen Anne-Marie looked gorgeous in this dress as a shockingly young-looking 18 year old, and if she wore a similar one today (some four and a half decades later), she'd still look good. It doesn't matter what decade you're in or what body type you have. Plus...there's always the appeal of an unusual first choice.

Click here to see all of the Top 10 dresses!

Photos: Corbis/Polfoto/Getty Images