The wedding dress of Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau will go on display in Australia as part of the Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists exhibition at the NVG Melbourne in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria. The exhibition has been developed in close collaboration with Viktor&Rolf and international guest curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot, curator of the NGV’s exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier.
The wedding dress was a double-faced duchesse satin with a bateau neckline, long sleeves, and a flared skirt leading to a 3.15 meter train. The dress included a grand total of 248 bows, which were handmade from crepe georgette. She reportedly turned down more conservative designs by Viktor&Rolf, wishing her dress to be “memorable”. She wore it with a short veil and a diamond sunray tiara, which was part of a set commissioned by King William III for his second wife, Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont.
Princess Mabel was born Mabel Martine Los, later Mabel Martine Wisse Smit and she married Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands, the second son of then Queen Beatrix, and brother to King Willem-Alexander on 24 April 2004. Permission for this marriage, as required by Dutch law as a prerequisite for succession to the throne, was not sought after some controversy involving Mabel’s past with a known drug lord, Klaas Bruinsma. Upon marriage, Prince Friso (as he preferred to be known) lost his place in the line of succession and was known as “of Orange-Nassau”, rather than of “of the Netherlands”. Mabel became a member of the Dutch Royal Family but not a member of the Dutch Royal House.
The couple went on to have two daughters, Luana and Emma, who are styled as “Countess of Orange-Nassau” and the family lived in London. Prince Friso was buried under an avalanche on 17 February 2012 and he died from complications from the accident on 12 August 2013. He was buried on 16 August in the Lage Vuursche.