12 October 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Crown Princesses and Their Pre-Wedding Style

I do believe it was the lovely Ali that suggested a while back we take a look at the gowns some of our royal brides wore to their pre-wedding galas. Well, it ended up snowballing into the rest of the pre-wedding events, which in some cases can just be an exhausting run of public appearances in addition to private things like rehearsals and the like. I didn't even attempt to gather them all, and look what happened. Today, we focus just on our crown princesses (and assorted others in the same spot with different titles, you get the idea) and their prize-winning style.

Most Dated
Left to Right: Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece at her pre-wedding party and a luncheon on the Queen of Denmark's yacht before marrying Prince Pavlos in 1995; Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein at events before marrying Prince Alois in 1993
Marie-Chantal is such a fashion plate, but sometimes that can work against her. I'm sure her 1995 pre-wedding gown was Valentino couture and the height of glam at the time, but I doubt she'd be caught in a gown (or a hairdo) like that today. And speaking of hairdos...is that Fabiola?? Oh no, it's just Sophie (formerly of Bavaria), who doesn't even have the "wild" and "crazy" styles of 1993 to blame for that barnet.

Biggest Single Event Change
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway at a private party, a fjord cruise, and a dinner before wedding Crown Prince Haakon in 2001
We've talked about the princess transformation of Mette-Marit before. But even though it would take a few years for her to fully find her stride, there's no better indicator of what was to come than her pre-wedding events. From unshowered Heidi to glam princess in a day or two: now that's potential.

Smallest Single Event Change
Princess Máxima of the Netherlands at a luncheon, a public party, and a pre-wedding dinner before marrying Prince Willem-Alexander in 2002
Sometimes people ask why I've never done a transformation post for Máxima. My answer? Because I don't think she's really had a transformation. Not sartorially, at least. And here's your proof: basic business-type stuff in the day, better in the evening, and best for the fanciest of evening events (such as this amazing orange Valentino that she would repeat later on).

Best Crafty Reuse
Princess Letizia wore silver for the dinner before her wedding to Prince Felipe of Spain in 2004 (far left), and then redid the gown twice after
She's not just frugal with her high street clothes! Letizia made a splash in her silver Lorenzo Caprile gown before her marriage, and then did it again when she had Caprile recut the top later on. Most recently, she had a different designer change the gown a second time...and I have to say, she should have stopped with the first alteration.

Best Variety
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark attended galas, receptions, and parties galore before marrying Crown Prince Frederik in 2004
When I said Denmark went all out for their Crown Prince's wedding, I wasn't kidding. Pre-wedding events started nearly a month before the ceremony. I haven't even attempted to gather them all here (here's another selection), but these are a few of the last highlights. What we have here are Mary's first two tiara appearances, sporting that major ruby parure. Now that's a way to make an entrance. (As is arriving at parliament and losing your hat...which also happened. Oops.)

Best Pre-Wedding Prize
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden attended a governor's dinner, a private dinner, a reception, and a dinner/concert before marrying Prince Daniel in 2010
You might think she wins the prize for me because she's the most recent, and thus the most fresh in my memory...but you would be wrong. It's the Elie Saab, darlings! Gray Elie Saab at the private dinner and couture for the reception and the most amazing evening gown. Always a win.

Which crown princess had the best pre-wedding style?

Photos: Hello/Seeger/CoverPress/Life/Getty Images/Daylife/Corbis