18 October 2012

Readers' Top 10 Wedding Gowns: #1. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

Well, here we are: the end. We’ve counted down your top 10 royal wedding gowns (which, as it turned out, totals up to 11 dresses), and we’ve reached the top. The wedding gown with more votes than any other is the one worn by Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden to marry Daniel Westling on June 19, 2010.
I was not at all surprised to see Victoria included on many of your lists as your votes rolled in; and yet, somehow when everything was tallied up I ended up shocked that she topped the lot. But the more I think about it, the more I get it. Here’s my theory: this is the bridal ensemble with something for everyone.
If you like a simple gown, not too heavy on the embellishment, the dress itself is right up your alley. Designed by Swedish designer (and past Victoria favorite) Par Engsheden, it’s made of cream duchess silk satin. The rounded collar is nearly off the shoulder and includes small sleeves, which makes for a nice compromise between the required modesty and the summer weather – an important consideration when the wedding day included a carriage ride and boat ride, as well as an outdoor speech to the crowds. A sash at the waist transitions the dress to the slim line skirt with a small incorporated train. At the back, the rounded collar ends in a v shape and buttons close the dress. A nearly 5 meter (16 foot) detachable train extends from the waist, and includes a small amount of embellished detail around its edge.
On the other hand, if lace is what makes you go weak at the knees, Victoria's got you covered there too: she wore the Bernadotte family heirloom lace veil. It's been passed down through the family since Queen Sofia and was also worn by her mother, her grandmother, and assorted aunts.
If you’re here for the tiara, you can’t make much more of a statement than the Cameo Tiara, a beautiful historical piece dating back to Empress Joséphine. Like the veil, this is also the stuff of Swedish royal wedding tradition: it was worn by a couple of her aunts, plus her mother on her wedding day. (Victoria also wore the bracelet and earrings from the accompanying parure.) It’s not for everyone, the Cameo Tiara, but I don’t think it’s ever looked better. It was a real crown for a future queen.
See? Something for everyone, I think. And it holds up successfully when it comes to some of the often repeated requirements for a best royal wedding gown that you all laid out:
  • Many of you required a sense of national pride, and in addition to the veil and tiara which have deep ties to the royal history of Sweden, she chose a Swedish designer.
  • Others asked for an ensemble rich with royal history and family memories, and the veil and tiara take care of that front too.
  • You wanted a bride that was looking her absolute best, and I don’t think Victoria’s ever been more radiant and stylish than she was on her wedding day.
  • Also, she was happy. Not a technical quality on which to evaluate a gown, no, but we’re human and this is for fun, not for science. Victoria’s very well liked, and the popularity factor can’t go unnoticed.
Put it all together, and you have a recipe for the #1 royal wedding gown.

What puts this gown in the Top 10 for you? 

The rest of the countdown is available by clicking here. How do you think the results shaped up? Any surprises?

Photos: Kungahuset/Svenskdam/SVP/Getty Images