The 15 Most Iconic Wedding Dresses of All Time

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Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

If you haven’t become used to the royal wedding mania of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle back in 2018, you’re in luck! We’re looking back at history’s biggest royal wedding dresses. These royal women certainly know how to rock a gown down the aisle, from Queen Victoria’s phenomenon white dress to Princess Diana’s long train to Grace Kelly and the silk dress that spawned a thousand others (visions of Kate Middleton anyone?).

The iconic Claire Waight Keller dress by Meghan Markle is one for the historical record, but did you know it bears a strong resemblance to the plain silk gown of Princess Margaret? Did you also know the white wedding gown was popularised by Queen Victoria? Women wore their best clothes down the aisle before her. And most recently, by wearing a dress from her grandma’s royal wardrobe, Princess Beatrice made the case for antique gowns!

To explore more, browse through to see 15 famous royal wedding dresses.

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Image Source: PHOTO BY BENJAMIN WHEELER

On July 17, 2020, Princess Beatrice married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in secret after canceling her May 2020 nuptials. Her wedding gown, which she inherited from Queen Elizabeth, proved to be both her “something borrowed” and “something old”. Of course, by incorporating voluminous organza sleeves and changing the hem, Bea made her grandmother’s gown her own. With the Queen Mary diamond fringe tiara, the same tiara which Queen Elizabeth wore down the aisle in 1947, the extraordinary wedding dress style was complete.

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King Jean-Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte, a descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte I, was wedded in Paris to Empress Olympia von und zu Arco-Zinneberg, the great-granddaughter of Karl I, the very last emperor of Austria. A white Oscar de la Renta fern dress with a customized fitting capelet and a cathedral veil was worn by the bride. 10 dressmakers embroidered the entire look and it took over 1,440 to manufacture.

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While the granddaughter of Princess Grace of Monaco, Charlotte Casiraghi, organized a very low-key royal marriage at the beginning of June 2019, a month later, she hosted a huge celebration. Casiraghi wore a Giambattista Valli lace gown with a thin neckline, intricate lace, and layers of tulle for her second wedding in Provence.

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Princess Eugenie, like many royal brides before her, had a change of outfit just before her wedding reception. To create a Gracey Kelly-inspired gown, the Royal recruited close friend and designer Zac Posen for this look. The beautiful blush suit, which was a reference to the English rose, broke royal tradition and the princess tailored her special day in another way.

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During the royal wedding, Meghan Markle’s Givenchy wedding gown was the subject of much controversy, but we were even more incredibly impressed by her reception dress. Meghan changed into a glamorous Stella McCartney halter dress to party all night with her closest friends and family (including Serena Williams and George Clooney).

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In a long-sleeved lace dress with severe Duchess Kate vibes, Sofia Hellqvist said “I do” to Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip. The gown, created by Ida Sjöstedt, was covered with delicate lace by José María Ruiz and a hand-cut train that was then hand-stitched.

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When Kendra Spears married Prince Rahim Aga Khan in 2013, she became Princess Salwa Aga Khan. The former model picked classic ivory and gold sari for the traditional wedding.

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In an Armani Privé, which Charlene Wittstock called a “masterpiece,” she married Prince Albert of Monaco. Roberta Armani told Vogue, “It was such a huge duty that we actually made two dresses just in case something happened to one of them.” According to the publication, it took 2,500 hours to make the dress and featured a five-meter long train decorated with 40,000 Swarovski crystals and 20,000 crystals.

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What else can we tell about Sarah Burton’s lace-covered Kate Middleton wedding dress for Alexander McQueen that hasn’t been mentioned before? Kate’s dress spawned thousands of copycat brides, much like Princess Diana and Grace Kelly before her, and still influences bridal trends today.

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For her 2010 wedding, the heir to the Swedish throne wore an off-the-shoulder gown by Pär Engsheden. Like Queen Silvia, with the Napoleonic-era Cameo tiara, Princess Victoria topped the otherwise minimal look (except for that unbelievably long train).

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Camilla Parker Bowles wore a blue and cream silk chiffon dress for the low-key wedding, with a coordinated silk coat styled by Robinson Valentine. She also trimmed it off with a production by renowned hat designer Philip Treacy.

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Sophie Rhys-Jones hired designer Samantha Shaw to design a silver-encrusted V-neck ivory silk organza coated wedding gown for the marriage ceremony of Queen Elizabeth’s youngest sibling, Prince Edward, at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle (the same venue as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle).

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Marie-Chantal Marie wore a Valentino gown featuring 12 different styles of floral lace when she married Prince Pavlos of Greece. Also, you’ll be amazed to know that to finish the ivory silk wedding dress, it officially took over 25 seamstresses.

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The wedding gown Queen Rania of Jordan wore for her marriage with Prince Abdullah in 1993, developed by Bruce Oldfield, was beyond iconic. It was decorated in intricate gold trim and presented an overcoat with an embroidered collar and a bulky skirt.

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Grace Kelly’s daughter, Princess Caroline of Monaco, was hitched to Phillipe Junot in a stunning wedding gown designed by Marc Bohan in the 1970s for Christian Dior. She shunned a tiara in favor of two buns (very princess Leia ere princess Leia) enclosed in elegant flower crowns.

Needless to say, these ladies were evident enough in portraying that trendsetting runs in the family. Isn’t it? Well, if you think that I might have missed something, please let me know in the comments. And, until next time, keep reading!

Writer | Engineer

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