A Danish Princess in London
Princess Margrethe was studying in London at the London School of Economics in 1965 when she met her someday Prince, French Diplomat, Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat. (After their marriage, ‘Henri’ was changed to the Danish version of the name ‘Henrik.’) The pair met at a dinner, however, it is rumored that the Count had hesitations about the dinner after finding out HRH would be in attendance, fearing she would be boring… But for some reason or another, the Count did attend the dinner and was pleasantly surprised to find the Princess not a bore.
A few weeks after their first meeting, of which the (now) Queen has no special recollections, they chatted quite a bit at a wedding they were guests of and slowly began to hit it off. They were able to keep the relationship and subsequent engagement low profile while the Princess was not well-known in Britain, and the Danes were unknowing of the affair.
On October 5, 1966, King Frederik IX asked the State Council for the consent of his daughter’s marriage to the Count. The country of Denmark celebrated the announcement, and the Princess and her husband-to-be waved eagerly from the balcony of Amalienborg Palace.
The King is reported as having said to his daughter after the engagement on Henri:
“He came, he saw, and you conquered.”
The Pre-Wedding Festivities
Though the ‘official’ celebrations aren’t said to have begun until May 30, 1967, the events surrounding the wedding began on the 25th when the Count arrived from France. A Royal Family reception was held and pupils from a school performed. However, it wasn’t until the Count’s family arrived on the 30th when the party truly began, firstly with a Gala Banquet for the Diplomatic Corps.
The next day, the Royal couple attended a special performance by the Royal Theatre of Copenhagen in honor of the marriage. The King and Queen lent the Royal box to the pair, and the rest of the seats were sold as though it were a normal performance.
The 1st of June was spent preparing for the big day. In the evening the Government and Parliament Banquet was held at Christiansborg Palace.
It was on June 3rd that the Princess’s sister, Princess Benedikte, celebrated her own engagement with her family. June 5th, the Danish National Day, brought with it a cloud of somberness while conflict broke out in the Middle East. The Royal Council gathered in discussion of what to do and decided that life goes on, and they should continue with the Royal festivities. They went ahead with the gala at Fredensborg on the 6th.
June 7th the Princess and the Count attended the French Embassy’s Gala Banquet, followed by a reception and ball.
The Princess’s grandfather, the King of Sweden, arrived on June 8th, and an informal dinner was held for all the incoming guests to meet and mingle at Fredensborg Palace.
June 9th brought with it reduced tensions in the Middle East, as well as a reception for the Royal couple at Copenhagen City Hall.
On June 10, 1967, Royals from all over Europe were in Copenhagen to attend the marriage of Princess Margrethe to Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat at Holmens Kirke.
The Princess’s dress was designed by Danish designer–favorite of Queen Ingrid and courtier–Jørgen Bender. The dress was designed to include both traditionally regal details, as well as having details that showed the Princess’s love of art and her creativity.
Along with the gowns elegant square neckline, beautiful silk fabric, and long, 15-foot train, and lace passed down from the Princess’s grandmother, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, the gown featured a daisy brooch.
In the center of the lace, she pinned a special family brooch. The diamond daisy brooch was commissioned by Ingrid’s father from diamonds belonging to Crown Princess Margaret, and was a wedding gift for Ingrid (she wore it on her wedding day too). “Daisy” is the affectionate family nickname of both Crown Princess Margaret and Queen Margrethe herself, making it an extra precious symbol. She also carried daisies in her bouquet that day, and had them placed in her bridesmaids’ hair. (The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor)