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Thursday 23 January 2020

Denmark's Crown Princess Mary gives a lesson in sustainable fashion in recycled white gown

Danish Queen Margrethe II, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary attend a New Year Reception for the Diplomatic Corps at Christiansborg Castle in Copenhagen on January 2, 2020. (Photo by Keld Navntoft / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP)
Danish Queen Margrethe II, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary attend a New Year Reception for the Diplomatic Corps at Christiansborg Castle in Copenhagen on January 2, 2020. (Photo by Keld Navntoft / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP)
Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary host the annual New Year's Banquet in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SCANPIX DENMARK / KELD NAVNTOFT
Princess Mary of Denmark and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark attend the New Year's levee and New Year's Banquet in Christian VII's Palace, Amalienborg on January 1, 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Danny Martindale/Getty Images)
Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary at a diplomatic reception, Copenhagen, Denmark. Picture: Tim Rooke/REX
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Crown Princess Mary's all-white attire sets the tone for one of the most stylish years during her time in the Danish royal family.

Since marrying Crown Prince Frederik in 2004, Mary, a former advertising executive from Sydney, Australia, is often heralded as an example of how to navigate the modern complexities of the monarchy for women; especially those coming from a 'normal' background. Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are both said to be influenced by her behaviour and fashion.

It is, unsurprisingly, her flawless personal style that earns the most headlines, namely her penchant for recycling, re-wearing two couture pieces in a two-day period for the family's New Year's celebrations. She and husband of 16 years led Queen Margrethe at a New Year Reception for the Diplomatic Corps at Christiansborg Castle in Copenhagen, where Mary opted for a form-fitting white gown by Birgit Hallstein, a piece she originally wore in 2015 and 2016 for similar events.

This year, she made the case for winter whites, accessorising with a similarly hued cape coat, a pearl strand necklace and a star of the Order of the Elephant on her left hip, a signifier of the pomp and circumstance of the occasion as it's one of the oldest honours the family bestows, dating back to 1460.

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Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary at a diplomatic reception, Copenhagen, Denmark. Picture: Tim Rooke/REX
Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary at a diplomatic reception, Copenhagen, Denmark. Picture: Tim Rooke/REX

Her commitment to sustainable fashion elevated her to new heights of popularity on New Year's Eve at the annual banquet held at Christian VII's Palace in Amalienborg, wearing another Hallstein creation, for the fourth time in 12 years, tailoring it every year since she first debuted the medieval-style look in 2007.

This traditional New Year's Eve ball began in 1693 when Christian VII gave the Elephant Order statues to the Danish Ordinances on January 1.

For the event, she reverted to her preferred tiara - the Ruby Parure Tiara - which dates back to the imperial coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte and through centuries, has travelled in various forms through Brazil and Sweden, before settling in Denmark in 1898 and was gifted formally to Princess Mary in 2000.

The duality of a sustainable fashion narrative existing in an old-world order comprised of princes and princesses who live in castles might be an irony too frustrating for some, but it is at the very least, a small gesture in using one's influence as a positive example.

Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary host the annual New Year's Banquet in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SCANPIX DENMARK / KELD NAVNTOFT
Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary host the annual New Year's Banquet in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SCANPIX DENMARK / KELD NAVNTOFT

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