21 of the Most Buzzed-About Royal Wedding Dresses of All Time
With Meghan Markle's nuptials to Prince Harry quickly approaching, we’re taking a look back at some of the most buzzed-about royal weddings that have come before theirs — and, more importantly, the gowns that went with them. Scroll through to peep 21 of the most historic royal gowns of all time.
Kate Middleton: Topping our list is the Duchess of Cambridge in the Sarah Burton-designed cream and ivory Alexander McQueen gown she wore to wed Prince William. The train measured an impressive nine feet. She also had some seriously impressive headwear, courtesy of the Queen. The monarch lent her a Cartier tiara with 1,000 diamonds that she received from her father on her 18th birthday. (Photo via Pascal Le Segretain/Getty)
Princess Grace Kelly: More than six decades after the movie-star-turned-princess walked down the aisle to marry Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Kelly's silk rose lace Helen Rose needlepoint gown, which included a buttoned-up bodice and a full silk tulle skirt, is still the envy of many brides. Kelly even wove her Hollywood roots into the ceremony, having her frock assembled by the wardrobe department of Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. (Photo via Gamma-Rapho/Getty)
Princess Charlene of Monaco: It’s no surprise that Princess Charlene Wittstock’s ceremony garb was such a crowd-pleaser — it was designed by the legendary Giorgio Armani. The breathtaking, off-the-shoulder piece reportedly had no less than 40,000 Swarovski crystals sewn onto its front and down the center of its train. All in all, this masterpiece took a whopping 3,200 hours to create. Her diamond floral 19th-century hairpieces were previously worn by Prince Albert’s grandmother, Princess Charlotte. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty)
Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece: Valentino was behind the stunning gown of Princess Marie-Chantal, bride of Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece. All the elements of a conventional royal gown were there, from the high-neck lace bodice to its near 15-foot long train, but little designer touches took things to the next level. The ivory skirt, for instance, was embroidered with pearls that took 25 people about four months to finish. (Photo via Tim Graham/Getty)
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon: Queen Elizabeth II’s Norman Hartwell bridal ensemble is one that has gone down in the fashion books. Though Life magazine described it as “the simplest royal wedding gown in history,” it still held plenty of magic, thanks to its neat tailoring and minimal adornment (all the better to avoid drowning the countess’ small frame). (Photo via Central Press/Getty)
Princess Alessandra de Osma: Model Alessandra de Osma, who tied the knot with Prince Christian of Hanover, garnered plenty of chatter with her lace Jorge Vasquéz gown, if only for its striking resemblance to Middleton’s. Sans for a strapless neckline and a longer lace overlay (de Osma's stretched all the way to the floor), the two pieces were a near match. A Hanover Floral tiara completed the jaw-dropping look. (Photo via Raul Sifuentes/Getty)
Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark: Princess Tatiana Blatnik elevated the lace game to new heights when she married Prince Nikolaos of Greece. The bride arrived at the ceremony by way of horse-drawn carriage in an Angel Sanchez Chantilly lace frock fit for, well, a princess. The strapless design was set off by a fetching matching bolero, an heirloom tiara, and a pair of diamond-drop earrings. (Photo via Milos Bicanski/WireImage/Getty)
Princess Elisabetta of Belgium: It was just four years ago that Princess Elisabetta Maria Rosboch von Wolkenstein wed Prince Amadeo of Belgium, but her Valentino gown was an instant classic. A sheer overlay with panels of embroidered lace on the skirt, sleeves, and neckline added a feminine touch to the classic strapless style, and a flowing veil with matching detail made it all the more beautiful. (Photo via Elisabetta Villa/Getty)
Queen Rania of Jordan: With bits of gold embroidery throughout (most noticeably at the sleeves and collar), an exaggerated belt, and an elongated train, this creation is about as grand as they come. (Photo via Rabih Moghrabi/AFP/Getty)
Crown Princess Mary Donaldson of Denmark: Crown Princess Mary impressed in a cream Uffe Frank delight, which, unbeknownst to the public, held an extra sentimental element: The bride reportedly wore her "something borrowed" in the form of her late mother’s wedding ring, which was stitched inside the gown near her heart. She also borrowed several pieces from her new royal family, wearing an Irish veil handed down from Queen Ingrid of Denmark and a tiara gifted by Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik. (Photo via Sean Gallup/Getty)
Princess Marie of Denmark: A near 10-foot train, a full skirt, and a floral tiara once belonging to Queen Margrethe ensured a timeless look for the princess of Denmark as she made her way down the aisle in a gown to say her vows to Prince Joachim. She added delicate diamond-drop earrings for an extra bit of bling with the Arasa Morelli style. (Photo via Steen Brogaard/AFP/Getty)
Countess Alexandra of Fredericksborg: The former Princess of Denmark, now a Countess in her own right, was first wed to Prince Joachim (now married to Princess Marie) in a Jorgen Bender gown, but it was the Henrik Hvild getup she wore for her second marriage to photographer Martin Jørgensen that drummed up some serious attention. Its modern, fitted silhouette was far less old-fashioned than most royal bridal pieces, yet every bit as elegant with the most dainty embroidery at the bodice. (Photo via MJ Kim/Getty)
Princess Madeleine of Sweden: While not quite as long as Diana's gown, the dress Princess Madeleine of Sweden wore to tie the knot with Christopher O’Neill wasn't far behind. The Valentino design of silk organdies and Chantilly lace had a train which stretched more than 13 feet, with an even longer veil of nearly 20. (Photo via Andreas Rentz/Getty)
Queen Elizabeth II: Queen Elizabeth II’s Chinese ivory silk gown, which boasted 10,000 seed pearls, floral embellishments, and a 15-foot train, was not only beautiful; it was also hard-earned: The monarch was reportedly dealing with a post-WWII budget at the time of her wedding, thereby forcing her to use clothing coupon rations to afford the fine dress. It was money well spent: The piece, which was inspired by Bottielli's painting of Primavera from 1482 and took a team of 350 seven weeks to make, set a new wedding style standard for rulers the world over, particularly when paired with satin jeweled Edward Rayne heels and a silk tulle veil. (Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty)
Princess Claire of Belgium: If Princess Claire Coombs' Edouard Vermeulen masterpiece looks... familiar, there’s good reason for that: As royal wedding blog The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor points out, it’s also nearly identical to the one Princess Mia Thermopolis wore in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, released shortly after Princess Claire’s ceremony. Coincidence? (Photo via Scott Barbour/Getty)
Queen Soraya of Iran: While it’s somewhat difficult to make out here, we’d be remiss not to include Queen Soraya’s Dior wedding gown from 1951. According to Order of Splendor, it’s one of the most extra royal wedding gowns in existence, boasting no less than 6,000 diamonds and 20,000 maribou feathers. Add in 37 yards of silver lame, and you’ve got a 44-pound jaw-dropper that the bride could barely hold herself up in — in fact, the Shah ordered the petticoats and train to be cut just so she could walk! (Photo via Keystone/Getty)
Lady Helen of Windsor: It was all in the details when it came to the Catherine Walker gown Lady Helen Taylor, daughter to Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, chose for her big day. As Walker revealed in her autobiography, she was inspired by the bride’s wedding venue of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, using its arches as her muse for the design’s neck and sleeves. Its embellishments were custom made to match the bride’s diamond and pearl tiara, and the train spanned the length of the Cathedral, making Lady Helen’s nuptials to art dealer Tim Taylor a day to remember, indeed. (Photo via Tim Graham/Getty)
Princess Claire of Luxembourg: To marry Prince Felix, Princess Claire went full couture, entrusting Lebanese designer Elie Saab for her wedding gown. Chantilly lace and a slim, fitted shape made it less traditional than most. (Photo via Grand-Ducal Court/Guy Wolff/Handout/Getty)
Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau: Princess Mabel Wisse Smit nabs our vote for most distinctive wedding gown, if only for those standout bows. Viktor & Rolf handmade hundreds of them (248, to be exact) in varying sizes for the unusual garment, with the largest bows at the back of her near 10-foot train. (Photo via Michael Porro/Getty)
Queen Sonja of Norway: Queen Sonja of Norway singlehandedly proved that modest does NOT equal boring: The striking Molstad creation she chose for her long-awaited wedding ceremony to Prince Harold of Norway in 1959 made *quite* the splash, even with its uber-modest neckline. How could one NOT appreciate that bell-skirt, square-edged train, and subtle pearl embellishments at the cuffs and neck? (Photo via STRINGER/AFP/Getty)
Princess Diana: With a train that stretched 25 feet behind her and an even longer veil, Princess Diana holds the record for the longest gown in royal wedding history. So big was the David and Elizabeth Emanuel dress, in fact, that it barely fit in the carriage. Its details were no less impressive, with 10,000 pearls embroidered onto its taffeta fabric and a tiny 18K gold horseshoe charm sewn onto the label. The gown featured lace dating back to the reign of Queen Mary and was topped off with an 18th century Spencer family tiara. It also included a tiny perfume stain which the late royal hoped no one would notice (spoiler alert — no one did). (Photo via Fox Photos/Getty)
Who has your favorite Royal wedding dress of all time? Share over @BritandCo.
Who has your favorite Royal wedding dress of all time? Share over @BritandCo.
(Photo via Pascal Le Segretain/Getty)
Nicole is the weekend editor for Brit + Co who loves bringing you all the latest buzz. When she's not busy typing away into the wee hours, you can usually find her canoodling with her fur babies, rooting around in a bookstore, or rocking out at a concert of some sort (Guns N' Roses forever!). Check out all her latest musings and past work at nicolebjean.com.