As regularly readers may know, we love to post guest blogs from our wonderful Interns here at Stylish Events, we are delighted to introduce you to our new Intern, Claudia.
Hi, my name is Claudia and I am lucky enough to be completing a six week internship with the lovely Dominique and Stylish Events team. The subject I have selected is something that has been in the spotlight for a few months now. THE ROYAL WEDDING!
Since November last year when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement, the nation has been on a countdown and a craze about what the wedding will be like. Like Kate Middleton, Meghan has been given a “style influencer” status – the ‘Meghan’ effect has started – meaning it is inevitable that her look will be replicated by thousands of brides in the next couple of years. Their beautiful and inspiring ceremony is to take place on May 19th at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. As we wait just a little longer to see what Meghan’s dress will look like, I thought we could look back at some of the trends that other royal brides have set over the years.
It was Queen Victoria who set the biggest wedding trend of wearing a white dress. In the 1800’s, it was tradition to wear a red wedding dress. However in 1840, when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, she decided to wear white to her wedding to symbolise purity and innocence. It is said that she wrote in her own journal that it was a ‘white satin dress’ with lace and jewels, including Albert’s sapphire broach. From this moment, this trend has revolutionised the wedding fashion industry and has now become the norm. Queen Victoria’s dress has also been compared to Katherine Middleton’s dress, in terms of the vintage style and lace.
Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, married in 1947 and are still a strong presence together today. The Queen was just 13-years-old when she first met Prince Phillip of Greece and Denmark and instantly fell in love. The two wrote one another letters and their relationship blossomed from there, later becoming secretly engaged in 1946, however it was not until Elizabeth turned 21 that the engagement became formal. Around the time of the wedding, after WWII, the Queen purchased material for her wedding dress by using coupons, as rationing was still around. The style of dress that the Queen wore was a fit and flare ivory silk dress, which was designed by Norman Hartnell. The dress was embroidered with 10,000 white pearls, as well as silver thread, crystals and tulle. Her satin shoes matched this and were created by Edward Rayne. The couple then shared their honeymoon at Prince Phillip’s Uncle’s home.
Prince Charles’ first wedding to Lady Diana Spencer was an extremely iconic day for many Britons, in 1981. Their wedding was like a fairy tale at St Paul’s Cathedral, that was fit for a Princess. When the Queen Mother married King George VI in 1923, she had a simple wedding dress, designed by the court dressmaker Madame Handley Seymour, which fit the Coco Chanel era. When Diana and Charles got married 58 year after this, Diana had a very different dress, made by designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, which characterised 80s style with its big shoulder pads, frills and a 25-foot-long train, which made headlines. This was the start of the late Princess of Wales becoming a fashion icon, which is what people say today about the Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle.
Prince Charles’ second wedding was to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005. Camilla’s look was perfect for a mature bride, with a simple embroidered pale blue and gold coat over a matching chiffon gown, designed by Robinson Valentine, as well as golden feathers in her hair.
One of the biggest weddings of the century so far is the marriage of Prince William and Katherine Middleton, in 2011. Like Diana’s wedding gown, the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding gown, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, has now become one of the most iconic royal wedding dressing in the world. She was given away by her father Michael Middleton, as is tradition. Her silk tulle skirt, 9 foot train and elegant long-sleeved lace dress with a satin bodice was a staple point in the wedding fashion industry and spurred many different designers to created ‘Kate inspired’ wedding dresses, which flew off the racks with brides soon after the wedding day itself. She also wore the Queen’s Cartier halo tiara and Robinson Pelham diamond earrings, giving a little sparkle which made her glow. Broadcasters reported that over 24 million viewers watched the TV coverage of the big day.
From Queen Victoria to Kate Middleton, royal weddings have always been a cause for national celebration and the world-famous balcony appearance by the bride, groom and the family is now an expectation. Most of the time, when an immediate member of the British Royal Family gets married, we tend to look back at previous royal weddings and compare them, as well as try to make our predictions for the upcoming ceremony. It was Queen Victoria who began the fashion of marrying in a white dress, Princess Diana with the puffy sleeves, Kate with the lace dress and now it is almost time to see what trend Meghan Markle will be setting for the next year or so.