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February 27, 2024

From Queen Victoria to Kate Middleton, the most splendid royal wedding gowns

Shivani Pathak and Pratishtha Rana 
Walking down the aisle in a dreamy wedding gown, bedecked with a regal tiara, a dramatic yet elegant long train and a dainty bouquet of flowers in hands – a traditional white wedding is no less than a real-life fairytale. Every day, fashion-forward brides are looking for wedding gown inspirations, and where else to look than the popular royal ceremonies that witnessed the princesses marry their beaus.
LuxeBook brings to you a detailed, fascinating account of what the royal brides wore back in their day and why their gowns are the most iconic ensembles even today!
Don’t forget to take notes.
Queen Victoria, 1840 
Queen Victoria, the former Queen of the United Kingdom married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. She picked a cream, satin wedding dress, which was unusual for the time as brides then usually got married in coloured dresses. It is Queen Victoria who popularised the white bridal gown.
The Queen had ordered Honiton lace for her wedding ensemble to revive the lace industry in Honiton Devon. The lace for her wedding gown was designed by Scottish painter William Dyce. 

Queen Mary, 1893
Former Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, later Queen Mary married the Duke of York, later King George V in 1893. She wore a conventional court dress complete with a bodice and skirt of silk satin brocade, trimmed with Honiton lace and artificial orange blossom, made by Linton and Curtis. The dress featured national floral emblems, which was unlike anything ever incorporated in a royal wedding dress before. 

Queen Elizabeth II, 1947
Queen Elizabeth II married Philip Mountabtten, the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. Her wedding gown was designed by leading Couturier of Britain, Norman Hartnell. The dress was made from duchess satin with fine pearl embroidery in a floral design. The train attached from the shoulders was 13 feet long and embroidered with silk tulle.


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Grace Kelly, 1956
From being 20th century’s Hollywood icon to becoming the Princess Grace of Monaco, Grace Kelly has inspired many fashion lovers. For her wedding with Rainier III Prince of Monaco in 1956, the then 26-year old Kelly wore a pale pink taffeta gown. It was a gift from MGM Studios, designed by costume designer Helen Rose, who had designed many of Kelly’s movie outfits.


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The wedding gown was hand made into perfection from head to toe – Kelly chose a 90-yard, fully embellished tulle veil instead of a tiara; a high-neckline and full sleeves; a fitting satiny cummerbund; a pleated silk faille skirt. She carried a Bible instead of a flower bouquet. Thousands of hand-sewn pearls and appliques decorated Kelly’s bridal gown.
Kate Middleton, 2011
Kate Middleton married Prince William in April 2011. Her wedding dress was a dreamy Victorian-inspired gown designed by Sarah Burton, Creative Director, Alexander McQueen. According to a statement released by the Royal Palace, the bodice design followed the Victorian tradition of corsetry, meaning that the bodice is narrowed at the waist and slightly padded towards the hips.

It is said that the silhouettes of The Duchess of Cambridge’s dress was inspired by Princess Grace Kelly’s famous wedding gown. Kate’s bodice, skirt, underskirt were made from French and English Chantilly lace, detailed intricately with hand-done lace applique and hand-cut lace flowers. She gracefully walked the aisle with a 2-metre long train and wore the Queen’s Cartier Halo tiara, which King George VI had given to the Queen Mother in 1936.
Lady Charlotte Wellesley, 2016
Lady Charlotte Wellesley, a descendant of Queen Victoria and daughter of the Duchess of Wellington, Princess Antonia married Colombian-American financier Alejandro Santo Domingo in a Emilia Wickstead textured, full sleeve, off shoulder cream coloured dress. The beautiful long train of her dress was embroidered with polka dots and looked every bit regal. 


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Meghan Markle, 2018
Markle married Prince Harry in 2018, wearing a minimalistic Givenchy dress designed by the then Artistic Director of the fashion house, Clare Waight Keller. The couture dress was made of double-bonded silk, cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza with a boat neckline and three quarter length sleeves. The 5-meter long veil was made of silk and featured the flora of all the countries of the commonwealth, as was personally requested by the Duchess. Two of her favourite flowers, Wintersweet- found in Kensington Palace and California Poppy, from her birthplace, were also embroidered on her veil. 

Princess Eugenie, 2018
Princess Eugenie, the youngest daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York, married Jack Brooksbank at the Windsor Castle in 2018. She had appointed designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, of the British fashion house Peter Pilotto, to custom design her gown. The silhouette and the cuts of the dress were noticeably different from what many royal brides wore earlier; it was more experimental and modern-esque.


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The dress was layered with corset, underskirt, a fitted bodice and a full-pleated skirt. The dropping neckline folded around the shoulders and the sleeves were full length. A flowy train at the back was given pleating details and volume. Princess Eugenie skipped the veil altogether to style her Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara that she borrowed from the Queen, her grandmother.

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