On the eve of her Golden Jubilee, I thought it would be particularly appropriate to present one of Queen Margrethe’s most golden gala ensembles of all. Here’s a closer look at the dramatic gown, which she paired with the family’s spectacular pearl and diamond parure in 2004.
Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark arrived at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo for a state visit with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on November 16, 2004. Following tradition, the royals wore their highest order from the other country: Margrethe and Henrik wore Japan’s Order of the Chrysanthemum, while Akihito and Michiko wore Denmark’s Order of the Elephant.
For the banquet, Queen Margrethe arrived wearing one of her most stunning evening gowns. It taps into the theatrical and artistic parts of Margrethe’s personality, and that really makes it fit her perfectly. The golden gown features dark red and dark green accents, as well as long medieval-esque sleeves with dark green lining.
Margrethe carried a dark red handbag with the ensemble and wore golden shoes. Along with the sash and star of the Order of the Chrysanthemum, she also wore the order’s collar, plus the star of the Order of the Elephant. She also wore two badges on ribbons: the Royal Family Order of King Frederik IX (her father) and the Order of the Dannebrog.
With the dramatic gown, Margrethe wore pearls that have been in the family vaults since the nineteenth century. The Pearl Poiré Tiara was given in 1825 by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia to his daughter, Princess Louise, on her marriage to Prince Frederick of the Netherlands. The tiara was then inherited by Princess Louise’s daughter, Queen Louise of Sweden, and then by her daughter, Queen Lovisa of Denmark. It’s been in the Danish collection ever since, and it’s one of the tiaras that is generally reserved for the queen (or queen consort).
With the tiara, Margrethe wore additional pieces of jewelry that also belonged to Queen Lovisa. This pearl and diamond necklace was Lovisa’s wedding gift from the Khedive of Egypt in 1869. The necklace usually has pendants, but Margaret left them off for this particular occasion. (They definitely would have been caught in the neckline of the dress.) The earrings she wears here were also originally pendants on the necklace, but they were removed and transformed permanently into earrings to go with the married parure. For the banquet, Margrethe finished off the jewelry look with a diamond and pearl toi et moi ring.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t showcase a little of the jewelry worn by the always-elegant Empress Michiko for the banquet. She donned the Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara with additional diamond jewels, including floral earrings, a diamond necklace, and a diamond floral brooch.