11 of our favourite royal wedding dresses
11 of our favourite royal wedding dresses
With so many eyeballs on the royal weddings, it’s no surprise the dresses end up inspiring the gowns of us mere commoners for many years thereafter.
Lace, embroidery and beading are common fixtures on a royal wedding gown – although some have broken with tradition. Another royal trend we’ve identified? Tiny bouquets! Diana really broke the mould on that one.
Here are some of the most iconic royal gowns through the ages.
Princess Beatrice went the vintage route for her wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, recycling a gown worn by none other than Her Majesty The Queen.
The Norman Hartnell dress was worn by the Queen in 1966 to open Parliament.
The Queen’s personal dresser, Angela Kelly made amendments to the original to allow for Beatrice’s height and the modesty of a Royal bride in church.
Stewart Parvin, Her Majesty’s favourite dressmaker, remodelled and refitted the dress to Beatrice’s size and tastes.
Princess Eugenie opted for a more traditional royal style for her wedding to Jack Brooksbank.
Beatrice’s younger sister wore a long-sleeved gown by British designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, an emerald-encrusted tiara borrowed from the Queen and no veil.
It’s not uncommon for a royal bride to appear in a second dress for the reception, and Eugenie chose a show-stopping Zac Posen frock.
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Eugenie collaborated with the designer to create the gorgeous custom-made gown. A dress very much fit for a princess!
When Meghan Markle became the Duchess of Sussex, she wore one of the simpler royal wedding dresses of recent years.
The former actress wore an understated, elegant Givenchy Haute Couture gown by British designer Clare Waight Keller.
Rivalling Princess Diana’s train at more than 16 feet long, Meghan’s veil was made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza, with a unique floral design for each of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
This was a specific request from the Duchess as she wanted to express her gratitude for the opportunity to support the work of the Commonwealth – how times have changed!
Like Eugenie, Meghan also changed for her reception, this time opting for a stunning Stella McCartney creation.
In keeping with Meghan’s first dress, her second gown was embellishment free, continuing the theme of simple elegance.
However, the Stella McCartney original was a lot more revealing that Meghan’s round one number, with a high halter neckline and an open back.
Kate Middleton’s wedding dress became an instant classic. The Duchess worked closely with Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen on the design of the gown.
The lace appliqué on the skirt and bodice was handmade by the Royal School of Needlework.
It included images of roses, thistles, daffodils and shamrocks, which were applied using a 19th-century technique called Carrickmacross.
She’s not technically a royal herself, but Pippa Middleton’s dress had all the hallmarks of a gown for a princess.
The dress was designed by Giles Deacon, who said he was “thrilled” to work with Pippa on her dress.
“The dress is constructed with a cap sleeve, high neckline and features a corseted bodice with draping to the front and a heart-shaped detail at the back,” he said.
“The bespoke silk cotton lace was hand appliquéd to create an illusion of the dress having no seams.”
It’s arguably the most famous royal wedding dress of all – Princess Diana’s gown was made in secrecy by David and Elizabeth Emanuel.
Sequins, hand embroidery and 10,000 pearls decorated the gown, along with antique lace that belonged to Queen Mary and a 7.6 metre train.
The ivory silk taffeta gown is currently on display at Kensington Palace as part of the Royal Styles in the Making exhibition.
Princess Margaret’s timeless gown for her 1960 wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones was created by royal couturier Normal Hartnell, the same designer who created the Queen’s wedding dress.
The dress was made from plain silk organza free from embroidery, and the voluminous skirt used 30 metres of fabric.
Hartnell submitted a number of designs for Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress, with one only being approved less than three months before the wedding.
He was forced to whitewash and curtain the windows of his workroom to ensure secrecy after experiencing unprecedented interest in the dress.
Grace Kelly’s beautiful dress still inspires many a blushing bride today. The gown was created by Oscar-winning costume designer Helen Rose, who had worked with the actress on four of her films.
The dress was gifted to Kelly by MGM Studios and was handmade by the studio’s wardrobe department using ivory faille, 100 yards of silk net and thousands of hand-sewn pearls.