The most beautiful royal wedding dresses in history: Queen Elizabeth II (L), Princess Diana (C), Kate Middleton and others. (Source: Wikimedia commons, Express Archives, AP)
With the impending wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the fashion circuit is abuzz with excitement on what the to-be-royal bride will wear on her big day. There’s a lot of pressure on the actor considering the historic numbers her sister-in-law and mother-in-law wore. We wonder if Markle will be able to trump them all. Since the details are still a mystery, let’s take a walk down memory lane and recollect all the royal wedding dresses of the past that were heart-wrenchingly beautiful.
Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding dress
Created by: Norman Hartnell
Married Prince Philip Mountbatten on November 20, 1947
Giving a happy twist to a classic love story, the then 21-year-old Princess Elizabeth wed Philip Mountbatten in a beautiful ceremony at the Westminster Abbey in London. Designed by couturier Norman Hartnell, Elizabeth purchased the fabric of her wedding dress with saved up rationing coupons (rationing was in effect for everyone due to the Blitz). Being royalty, she was given 200 extra coupons for the dress. Her admirers mailed theirs to her as well, however, making her post-war budget work, the Princess sent them all back with a note.
Despite being a last minute bride, her dress was a breathtaking piece made from ivory silk and decorated with 10,000 seed pearls. Inspired by Bottielli’s painting of Primavera from 1482, the dainty creation was made out of silk from China and was covered in floral designs of jasmine, smilax, sringa and rose-like blossoms, and had a 15-foot train.
Princess Diana’s wedding dress
Created by: David and Elizabeth Emanuel
Married Prince Charles on July 29, 1981
It was a historic moment when Lady Diana Spencer tied the knot with the Prince of Wales, Charles, in a lavish ceremony at Westminister Abbey. The doe-eyed debutante was a vision in white, clad in multiple layers of her silk taffeta ballgown. Diana channelled the charm of the ’80s with the puffy sleeves and more than 10,000 pearls on her dress. The 25-foot-train made sure that the David and Elizabeth Emanuel creation found a place in history.
Princess Diana walked down the aisle with Prince Charles. (Source: Express Archives)
Princess Diana looked like a vision in white on her wedding day. (Source: Express Archives)
Kate Middleton’s wedding dress
Created by: Alexander McQueen
Married Prince William on April 29, 2011
One of the most eligible bachelors of Britain, Prince William, walked down the aisle with his college sweetheart, Kate Middleton, on April 29, 2011. The royal bride stepped out in a dreamy ensemble from Alexander McQueen, which was priced at £250,000 (approximately Rs 2,28,61,426) and is reportedly the fifth most expensive dress of all time. Middleton looked ethereal in the ’50s style dress that was made with satin gazar, lace and organza. To reflect the impalpable dream of an opening flower, the dress was slightly nipped at the waist and the full skirt mimicked a bloom. For a touch of something old, the bodice of the dress was adorned with a 19th Century lace style and for something blue, there was a bit of blue ribbon sewn inside the dress.
Prince William and Kate Middleton on the day of their wedding. (Source: AP)
Grace Kelly’s wedding dress
Created by: Helen Rose
Married Prince Rainer III of Monaco on April 18, 1956
Iconic American actor Grace Kelly bagged herself a royal title after she got hitched to Prince Rainer III of Monaco in a beautiful wedding ceremony. The American heartthrob made an unconventional choice for her wedding dress. While many were betting on her opting for high-end American brands, the High Noon actor decided to wear a creation by her Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) costume designer, Helen Rose, as the pair had worked closely in Hollywood. Her white wedding dress was made with taffeta and embellished with 125-year-old lace and pearls. She wore a Cartier emerald cut diamond engagement ring given by Prince Rainer III.
Grace Kelly wore a white wedding dress created by Helen Rose. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Charlene of Monaco’s wedding dress
Created by: Armani Privé
Married Prince Albert of Monaco II on July 1, 2011
South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock entered into wedlock with Prince Albert of Monaco II on July 1, 2011 and the bride was resplendent in a splendid white creation by Armani Privé. The off-shoulder piece with a prominent train was a picture of elegance.
Autumn Kelly’s wedding dress
Created by: Sassi Holford.
Married to Peter Phillips, son of Princess Anne (Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter and second child) on May 17, 2008
Phillips met the Montreal-born Autumn Kelly while working out in Canada and the duo hit it off and made it to the aisle on May 17, 2008, at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. British designer Sassi Holford created the bride’s dress that was Italian duchesse satin and Chantilly lace with a three-tiered sash at the waist. She wore a beaded bolero made from ivory Chantilly lace to cover her shoulders in the church and accessorised with her mother-in-law’s Festoon tiara.
Sophie Rhys-Jones’ wedding dress
Created by: The Groom
Married Prince Edward, the third son of Queen Elizabeth II, on June 19, 1999
Though the royalty is popular for being a stickler of tradition and convention, the youngest child and the third son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Prince Edward married PR Executive Sophie Rhys-Jones in one of the most intimate royal ceremonies. Flouting tradition, the bride wore a dress coat and a black and white pearl necklace, both designed by the groom.
Who do you think was the most beautiful bride? Let us know in the comments below.