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The lost wedding dress of a queen is rediscovered

It was the gown worn by a princess to say ‘I do’ to a king and become a queen but despite its place in history, its location appears to have been unknown for decades.

The fact no one seems to have known where it might be has only come to light the wedding dress of Anne-Marie, last Queen of Greece, was found in the palace her royal family was forced to flee when her husband’s monarchy fell half a century ago.

it appears to have lain there for decades. Now, as renovations take place at Tatoi Palace, the gown has been rediscovered with suggestions already being made that it might go on show in a royal museum.

The discovery was reported by Greek journalist, Andreas Magos, who shared images of the gown which appears to have been kept in a metal box marked with the initials of the queen.

Tatoi Palace was home to generations of the Greek Royal Family before they were exiled and the Monarchy eventually abolished following referendums.

The palace itself was abandoned after their flight. The Greek Royal Family had to flee so quickly that they left behind many of their possessions, some of which were returned to them decades later. However, thousands of items remained and now it’s been revealed that the wedding dress of a queen appears to be one of the pieces left in the abandoned royal home.

Tatoi is now being renovated with plans to turn it into a luxury hotel and spa with a museum about the royal family who once lived there as part of the complex. The estate was damaged by forest fires in 2021 and restoration work continues.

The palace and its grounds no longer belong to the Greek Royal Family. However, the private cemetery there remains in use and it was where Anne-Marie came to lay her husband of almost sixty years to rest. Constantine II died on January 10th 2023.

On the day of his funeral, Anne-Marie wore the same jewels she had worn on the day they married. Their wedding was a truly historic occasion and the dress she wore is one of the most famous of the 20th century.

It was worn by the then 18 year old Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark for her marriage to King Constantine II in Athens on September 18th 1964. It was the work of Danish fashion supremos including Holger Blom, assisted by Jorgen Bender.

It was made of cream satin and featured a featured a rounded neckline, three quarter length sleeves and an empire line waist which gave way to a full skirt with a train measuring around twenty feet.

Until the news that it had been rediscovered came, its exact location hadn’t been known. However, as many royal wedding dresses stay tucked away inside the wardrobe of the bride who wore them, speculation had never really taken place with an assumption being made that the gown remained with Queen Anne-Marie. Now, its more mysterious past has come to light.

However, other parts of Queen Anne-Marie’s wedding outfit have remained less obscure. As a princess of Denmark, she followed two traditions that have been adhered to by other royals from that country. She wore an Irish lace veil and the Khedive of Egypt tiara, as have other Danish brides. The veil and tiara both belonged to the maternal grandmother that Anne-Marie never knew, Princess Margaret of Connaught. Both passed to her only daughter, Ingrid, who was Anne-Marie’s mother. Since the royal wedding in Greece, both the veil and tiara have been worn at several other marriages. Only the dress had disappeared.

Now, it appears it was kept safe in a box in an abandoned palace. The bride who wore it hasn’t yet commented on the reports and it remains to be seen what will happen to one of the most historic royal gowns of the last century.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.