Norway's unexpected royal bride gave us an unexpected royal wedding dress and the gown, just like the princess who wore it, turned out to be a big success that stood the test of time. Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby said 'I do' to Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway on August 25th 2001 in a dream of a dress that became an instant classic and remains one of the best loved royal wedding gowns of her generation. Here's a look back at the royal wedding dress of Norway's Crown Princess.
There was a lot of speculation about Mette-Marit's wedding gown in the run up to her marriage in Oslo Cathedral. OK, she was a royal bride which means gown chatter is compulsory but Mette-Marit's regal love story turned this one into a frock frenzy. The bride already had a son from a previous relationship and before her marriage she'd given a tearful interview apologising for some of her past associations - she had enjoyed some serious partying before her romance with Haakon Magnus. What does a really modern royal bride wear for her big day?
There was also the added pressure of this being the first major royal wedding of the 21st century with the groom a future king to boot. Mette-Marit's own sense of style also sat at odds with what was expected from a regal bride but no one need have worried. The woman who walked up the aisle on the arm of her handsome prince had the whole royal wedding dress thing sorted.
Mette-Marit chose a beautifully fitted deep cream dress of crepe and tulle designed by Ove Harder Finseth. It was an effortlessly simple creation made in an elegantly complicated way. The square cut top with fitted sleeves gave way to a bodice that flowed into a slightly flared skirt. Everything about it moved as one. It was understated and knock 'em out all in one go.
There was a train - there is always a train at royal weddings, it's compulsory - but this one flowed elegantly from the skirt into a pool of fabric that followed the bride rather than having her drag it up the aisle. Perhaps the most ethereal and beautiful part of the whole look was the way that the tulle veil - all 20 or so feet of it - just kept on going once the train had finished.
Mette-Marit really did keep things simple. Her wedding tiara was a bandeau made of diamond daisies, given to her by her new parents in law while the rest of her jewellery was low key. It didn't matter. There was so much elegance about this simple look which suited the bride to perfection that it was almost a statement of intent. Mette-Marit, now Crown Princess of Norway, would adapt to her new role but in her own way. She looked like a picture perfect princess but one who had grown up in the 20th century.