A Look Back at the Frilliest, Frothiest Royal Wedding Dresses Ever Worn

By Ebony Goodridge

Date May 17, 2018

Royal weddings have been fascinating the public for generations, ever since a young Queen Victoria kicked off the now-centuries long trend of wearing white wedding dresses. Society loves to witness fairy-tale romances turn happily ever after with the real-life fantasy of golden gilded carriages, sparkling tiaras, and larger than life pomp & circumstance. The the lead up to and Prince Harry’s impending nuptials have no different. After the initial excitement of the couple’s engagement died down, focus immediately shifted to what kind of dress Meghan would walk down the aisle in. While we have to wait until Saturday to see who’s officially dressing Meghan, we can daydream about what’s sure to be another iconic fashion moment while reminiscing over extravagant gowns of the past and the history behind them.

Queen Victoria

Although she married Prince Albert in 1840, they did a reenactment of their wedding in 1854 since photography didn’t previously exist. Victoria made history by setting the trend of white wedding dresses.

Victoria, Princess Royal

Daughter to Queen Victoria, her 1858 wedding marked the alliance of two prominent powers; Great Britain and Prussia. Her dress featured flouncy lace tiers and was made by dressmaker Mrs. Darvill.

Princess Alexandra of Denmark

Princess Alexandra, who married the Prince of Wales in 1863, and was the first royal whose wedding dress was ever photographed. Her wedding cake of a dress was made out of white silk satin, trimmed with puffs of tulle and lace.

Princess Louise

In 1871, Queen Victoria’s daughter married the Marquis of Lorne in a white silk dress decorated with royal symbols.

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

For her wedding to Prince Albert, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon wore a gown crafted by Madame Handley Seymour, former dressmaker to Queen Mary.

Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen’s elegant, long-sleeved dress featured a dramatic 13-foot long train. The designer, Norman Hartnell, was supposedly inspired by Boticelli’s “Primavera.”

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly wore a lace gown designed by Helen Rose of the MGM wardrobe department for her 1965 wedding to Prince Ranier of Monaco.

Princess Diana

The People’s Princess stunned in a David Elizabeth Emanuel silk taffeta gown with a 25-foot long train that’s the epitome of 1980s excess. Over 750 million people tuned in to watch her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981.

Princess Victoria of Sweden

For her 2010 wedding, Princess Victoria, heir to the Swedish throne, wore a regal yet modest off the shoulder ivory Pär Engsheden dress.

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge

Kate’s now-famous dress, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, combined modernity with traditionalism and still inspires bridal wear to this day.

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