25 February 2011

Flashback Friday: Mary's Transformation

We have much to discuss regarding happenings in Wales and Scotland, and that Week in Review post will go up earlier than usual - later tonight or early tomorrow, maybe? Until then, let's chew on this:

During our discussion of Kate Middleton's disappointing fashion lunch with Camilla, smart and lovely commentors Miss Jelic and Alison brought up an excellent point: look at what happened to Mary.

They were referring, of course, to the Grand Transformation that occurred when Mary married her Crown Prince. Though the changes to her appearance were gradual enough in real time, the overall effect is really quite startling:
Some things were obviously going to change about Mary Donaldson of Australia when she became Crown Princess Mary of Denmark back in 2004. Learning Danish, for one. She was bound to grow in public poise, of course. But Mary took it a step further, and used the new resources available to her to execute a full-on makeover. Just plopping a tiara on top doesn't begin to cover the extent of this change.
New Mary is visibly slimmer than Old Mary. Personal trainers? Personal chefs? Whatever she did, it certainly was effective. If the Danish royal family ever gets a little skint in the funds department, Mary could market her own diet and exercise program.

The days of cheesy prom hair for formal occasions, unkempt hair for casual occasions, and heavy-handed makeup gave way to the whims of on-call hairdressers, professional skin care, and pro makeup artists. (A glimmer of hope, perhaps, for those of you that fret over Kate and her eyeliner addiction?)Personal appearance taken care of, next up is the fashion. The new Crown Princess took advantage of both the Danish fashion industry's desire to dress her to the nines and her new access to international designers (plus, you know, personal stylists and the like) to go from wearing ill-fitting and ill-coordinated off the rack fashions to pure couture.
It's worth noting, too, that this great change did not go into full effect until after her marriage. She had some good appearances during her engagement (notably the pre-wedding events which were no doubt styled for her and yielded that bottom left red dress that I love so much). That top left Goth-inspired appearance was during Princess Benedikte's birthday celebrations while Mary was engaged. The next two pictures are from Luxembourg's state visit to Denmark during the engagement: trousers at an event where Maria Teresa, at least, wore a tiara; and a rather severe and prom-esque green dress for a state banquet. Something to keep in mind when Kate or Charlene - ladies that have been on their Princes' arms for 867 years or whatever (read: with ample time to prepare for the onslaught of a royal engagement) - turn up in something a little disappointing.  

Not even casual wear was immune to the makeover, showing just how far a transformation really can extend.
Quite a difference, right?

I think these dueling appearances sum it up best:
At left: Mary and Frederick's engagement dinner. At right: Queen Margrethe's April 2010 birthday celebrations. Softer makeup, less J.Lo. hair, better jewel selection. Same dress, different girl.

It's not just Mary, either. Many royal ladies have undergone similar transformations. (Look for more on those in future flashbacks.) All signs point to the next few years bringing an Extreme Princess Makeover for Kate Middleton and Charlene Wittstock. Personally, I'm all for it. (Although, good grief, nobody better lose any weight. Middleton's about to disappear as it is.)

What do you make of Mary's transformation? And what are you hoping for in a Kate/Charlene makeover?

Photos: Polfoto/Allover Press/Zimbio