17 April 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Princess Marilène's Gown

HH Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven and Marilène van den Broek
May 29 & 30, 1998
Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Prince Maurits, the eldest of the four sons of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven, was the first to walk down the aisle. He married Marie-Hélène (she goes by Marilène) van den Broek, the former Dutch foreign minister's daughter he met while studying at the University of Groningen.
Some of the other Dutch royal weddings we've covered have featured the civil and religious weddings on the same day, but the van Vollenhoven brothers all had separate civil ceremonies held a day or two prior to the church service. For their civil wedding, Marilène was dressed to be noticed in her orange and red suit, carrying a single rose, and she was well matched by Maurits and his orange tie.

Video: Civil wedding
For the religious ceremony, Marilène wore a dress from Belgian designer Pierre Yves. It was made primarily of silk duchesse in an eggshell shade. The dress included a short jacket with a wide collar detail and small buttons closed over a halter-style top featuring Brussels lace.
The pleated detail at the waist creates a striped effect which is very flattering. This same detail is echoed on the exaggerated cuffs on the sleeves. The skirt includes a train of moderate length extending from the waist.
She wore the Ears of Wheat Tiara from the Dutch collection, a tiara made of 8 diamond wheat ear brooches said to have originated in the collection of Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia (1788-1819) who married King William I of Württemberg and was the mother of Queen Sophie of the Netherlands. These were added to a tiara frame, and can be worn with all 8 brooches or less if you choose. Marilène wore the tiara with less than the full 8 ears of wheat - not that you could really see it, tucked as it was near the back of her head anchoring her veil. She started something of a tiara tradition, in fact, as all three of her future sisters-in-law and one of her husband's cousins would also choose the Ears of Wheat Tiara.
It seems almost all of the Dutch weddings we've covered have included some amount of controversy in one form or another, and this one is no different. In this case, the fuss came after the wedding and was related to an incident during the ceremony. Maurits is Protestant and Marilène is Catholic; they married in a Protestant church but included the Eucharist, offered by a Roman Catholic priest. Some members of the royal family - all Protestant - took part, which caused protest in the Catholic community.

Video: Religious wedding
Closing in on 15 years of marriage, the couple have three children: Anastasia (Anna), Lucas, and Felicia. Maurits has his own business, and Marilène works for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. They lead a pretty low key life, and we see them mainly at larger family events.

What do you think of Marilène's dress?

Photos: ANP/Belga/PPE