Royal wedding dresses are a great source of inspiration for brides-to-be dreaming of walking down the aisle in a glamorous princess-style gown. From Queen Victoria to Kate Middleton, many real-life princesses are fashion icon trendsetters, but while most of them got married in very traditional outfits, others opted for unconventional designs.
Throughout the nineteenth century, royal wedding gowns were very glamorous with hoops, corsets, plenty of lace and floral embellishments, but twentieth century brought about significant changes. Silhouettes became much more relaxed and dresses didn’t necessarily have too many ornaments and hand-made details. While Mary of Teck married King George V in 1893 dressed in a big satin and lace ball gown adorned with orange flowers, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon sported a hip flapper dress influenced by Coco Chanel’s design at her wedding with King George VI in 1923.
Princess Elizabeth wore a much more traditional dress than her mother and wed Philip Mountbatten in a satin dress with embroidered flowers which symbolised the country’s rebirth after World War II and Princess Margaret’s plain and chic wedding gown was named “the simplest royal wedding gown in history”.
Grace Kelly’s dress, with big satin skirt and tight-fitting lace bodice, is one of the most popular wedding gowns in history and inspired many famous brides including Marie-Chantal Miller who wore Valentino on her big day and Kate Middleton who opted for Alexander McQueen.
Lady Diana Spencer appointed relatively unknown designers David and Elizabeth Emmanuel to make her princess dress which was priced at £9,000 and featured a huge taffeta ball gown skirt, puffed sleeves, 25 foot train and hand-sewn embellishments.
Mabel Wisse Smit opted for a very extravagant dress from Dutch designer duo Viktor & Rolf for her wedding with Prince Johan Friso in 2004. It is made from duchess satin and features 248 hand-made crepe georgette bows, which covered the entire dress as well as the train.
Charlene Witsttock continued to break away with tradition with her modern off-the-shoulder dress by Giorgio Armani. This was her outfit for the wedding with Albert II Prince of Monaco in 2011 and it was adorned with thousands of pearls, crystals and stones.