Hello and welcome to Royal Wedding Wednesdays A History of Wedding Dresses Part II. You can view Part one HERE. That post primarily covered Royal brides who went on to become Queen. There were two exceptions.
Royal Wedding Wednesdays A History of Wedding Dresses Part II
Today we will begin with the Duchess of Cambridge a fairly recent royal bride who will also become queen someday. She will be followed by some other truly lovely looks worn by Royal brides.
Catherine Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge when she married Prince William in 2011. Her now iconic dress was designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
The silk dress featured a fitted bodice with a sheer lace neckline and long sleeves.
The back of the dress closed with 58 covered silk organza buttons which fastened by means of rouleau loops.
The hand-cut Chantilly lace featured lace roses, thistles, daffodils, and shamrocks applied to ivory silk tulle. The four flowers are the national emblems of the four countries in the U.K.: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
The bridal skirt was crafted with white satin gazar arches with a silk tulle underskirt and an almost 9-foot long train.
Her veil was created at the Royal School of Needlework. It was handcrafted with embroidered flowers.
She wore the 1936 Cartier Halo Tiara. The diamond and platinum tiara was made for the Queen Mother by Cartier. It was given to Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday in 1944.
The Robinson Pelham earrings were a gift from her parents, Michael and Carole Middleton. The acorn design was inspired by the family’s coat of arms.
Princess Royal Anne
Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, Princess Royal Anne, married Capt. Mark Phillips on November 14, 1973. Princess Anne’s wedding dress was a medieval Tudor style designed by Maureen Baker. The dress was made of white silk and featured a high collar and large trumpet sleeves.
The neckline and shoulders were embroidered with pearls and silver thread. The long silk gauze train featured a design of flowers also enhanced with silver thread. Her veil was held in place by the Fringe tiara~ which was the tiara her mother, Queen Elizabeth, wore at her own wedding.
The pageboy was her younger brother, Prince Edward. Her bridesmaid was Lady Sarah Armstrong ~ Jones, the daughter of Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth’s sister.
Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara, wore an off the shoulder ivory silk faille and duchess satin gown by Stewart Parvin who is the personal couturier to the Queen. Her cream pumps were by Jimmy Choo.
She wore the Princess Andrew of Greece’s Meander Tiara, which her mother has worn numerous times.
It was originally given to then Princess Elizabeth on her wedding by her mother-in-law, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark.
Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips, married Autumn Kelly on May 17, 2008, at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The bride wore an ivory Duchesse satin wedding gown designed by Sassi Holford. The strapless dress was topped with a lace bolero jacket.
Her dress had a train that was a bit over two meters (6 feet) long and topped by a bow and a row of covered buttons.
The tulle veil was held in place by the Festoon tiara which was loaned to her by her mother in law, Princess Anne.
Princess Margaret wed Lord Snowdon on May 6, 1963. It was the first Royal wedding to ever be televised. She wore a dress made of white silk organza. It was designed by Norman Hartnell who had also created her sister, Queen Elizabeth’s, bridal gown. It featured an elegantly high neckline and a fitted bodice.
The dress was free of any beading or embroidery and the full skirt incorporated a short train.
Her veil was made by Claude St Cyr of Paris. It featured satin trim to match the dress and was held in place by the Poltimore Tiara.
Princess Margaret’s son, David Armstrong~Jones, Viscount Linley married Serena Stanhope on October 8, 1993, at St. Margaret’s church. The bride’s dress was designed by Bruce Robbins and reminiscent of her mother in law’s dress. It featured a fitted satin “V” necked coat that buttoned down the front and split at the waist. The tulle skirt was topped with a large bow on the back of the jacket. The train was about two meters (6 feet) long.
Serena borrowed the Papyrus Tiara from her mother in law. The tiara was originally purchased at Garrad’s by Queen Mary who then gave it to the Queen Mum, Elizabeth, who passed it on to Princess Margaret.
Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones
Princess Margaret’s daughter, Lady Sarah, is actually one of my favorite Royal brides. Many remember her as Lady Diana’s eldest bridesmaid.
For her 1994 wedding to Daniel Chatto, Lady Sarah chose a gown by Jasper Conran. It had long sleeves, a low square neckline, and a crushed bodice.
The tulle veil was held in place by a diamond floral tiara. The tiara can also be broken into smaller broaches. It was made from a wedding gift to Lady Sarah’s mother, Princess Margaret, from her groom (and Lady Sarah’s father) Lord Snowdon.
When Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew, Duke of York on July 23, 1986, she chose Lindka Cierach to create her wedding gown. The dress was made of ivory Duchesse satin and featured a scoop neck, a fitted bodice, full skirt and padded shoulders accented with bows. The 17-foot long train fell from the skirt from a large bow and was lavishly detailed with intricate embroidery. The design had very personal meaning as it included Sarah’s personal coat of arms, an “A” for Andrew, as well as an anchor to represent the groom’s naval career.
In one of my most favorite Royal Wedding details, upon entering the church, the bride’s silk tulle veil was attached to a perfumed coronet of roses, gardenias, and lilies of the valley.
At the end of the ceremony, the floral wreath was removed to reveal the Diamond Garrard Tiara underneath which was a gift from the Queen. It symbolized her transformation from commoner to royal bride.
Sophie Rhys-Jones, now the Countess of Wessex, wore a sleek ivory silk and organza dress topped with a matching coat to her wedding to Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest son, on June 19, 1999. The dress, designed by Samantha Shaw, featured 325,000 cut glass and pearl beads.
The bride’s hand dyed, silk tulle veil was one inch longer than her train. It was hand finished with crystals. It was held in place by a diamond tiara which was a gift from the Queen.
Her jewelry included a black and white pearl necklace, interspersed with white gold rondelle’s and matching earrings. The set was designed by Prince Edward as a gift to his bride and made by Asprey and Garrard.
I imagine that if one is to write a history of Royal wedding dresses, the “Wallis blue” confection that Mrs. Simpson wore on June 3, 1937, to marry King David, a man who abdicated the throne of England for her, must be included. She became the Duchess of Windsor but was forever denied HRH (Her Royal Highness) status.
The full-length gown and the long sleeved jacket was constructed of silk crepe. It featured a tightly cinched waist enhanced with covered buttons. As this was her third wedding the soft blue was probably considered an appropriate color for a bride.
A jeweled brooch was worn at her neck. A hat adorned with pink and blue feathers was the only crown she ever wore.
The Duke of Windsor had three younger brothers. Albert, Queen Elizabeth’s father, who became King George VI, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, Prince George, Duke of Kent and Prince John who passed away at the age of 13. On November 29, 1934, at Westminster Abbey Prince George married Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. She wore a cowl-necked gown made of silver and white lamé with a raised “Rose of England” pattern. Her necklace was a gift from the groom and featured 36 large diamonds. I believe she also wore the Fringe Tiara to secure her veil.
One of her bridesmaids (lower left) was then Princess Elizabeth. It was said that Princess Marina was the true beauty of the Royal family.
One of my favorite Royal brides was Lady Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott. She became Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester when she married Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester on November 6, 1935, in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace. A much more elaborate affair had been planned but was scaled back due to the recent passing of the bride’s father and ill health of the groom’s father, King George V. Her dress was designed by Norman Hartnell, who also created Queen Elizabeth’s and Princess Margaret’s wedding gowns.
The dress was made of silk crepe in a blush color. The pearl pink color was selected because she was 34 at the time of her marriage and white did not seem fitting. Her stunning bouquet was created by Constance Spry who also did the arrangements for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s wedding. Her cathedral length veil (exact measurements unknown) was held in place by an elegant crystal headpiece.
Princess Alice remained dedicated to public service her entire life. During WW II she worked with the Red Cross and became head of the Women’s Auxiliary Force in 1940. She passed away at the age of 102 becoming the longest living person in the history of the British Royal Family.
Next week all posts will be Royal themed in anticipation of the Royal Wedding.
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