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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Royal Wedding Bonanza!

I have a secret shame.  I love royal weddings.

My gran used to collect magazines devoted to Royal couples and when I was a young 'un and staying over at her house I would pore over them and look at all the pretty dresses.  It's an incredibly girly impulse that has never gone away, even though I am now the kind of person who asks for boob t-shirts for Christmas.

My mother was born in England, so even though I'm Irish I was brough up with the idea of celebrating royal weddings (or at least watching them on the TV).  So, in honour of Kate Middleton and Prince William's nuptials, here are a few of my favourite royal weddings dresses.

Queen Victoria


Fact fans: Wedding dresses were traditionally pale blue in England up to that point. Victoria was evidently not amused at this because she wore a white wedding dress, which ruined any chance of future brides being able to eat chocolate cake or drink red wine at their weddings without having a nervous breakdown.  Queen Victoria's gown was of satin and lace trimmed with orange blossoms and the lace manufacturer was so keen to make sure that it wasn't copied that she ended up destroying the designs.  EDIT:  This is actually a court dress. Many thanks go to the anonymous commenter who pointed my mistake out.

Mystery Royals


I know nothing about this photo, other than the year (1927) and that the bride and groom were both royals (French and Italian). The train is amazing.  It must have been very heavy.  Presumably, it doubled as a marquee if the weather suddenly got very bad.

Princess Margaret


I was lucky enough to see her wedding dress at the Enchanted Palace Exhibition at Kensington Palace .  It was a beautiful and sad experience, especially when you consider how unlucky she was in love (she was not allowed to marry the man she was in love with, married Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960 and got divorced in 1978).  Her dress was designed by Norman Hartnell and is simple but seriously high-impact.

Princess Grace of Monaco

Photo by Howard Conant
Grace Kelly's dress was designed by Helen Rose, the head of wardrobe at MGM.  In order to release her from her contract, the wedding was filmed and distributed by MGM.  Another fun fact - it's illegal to show Grace Kelly films in Monaco.  Don't they know what they're missing out on?

Priscilla Presley


Well, she DID marry The King.  And is that a snakeskin tux on Mr Presley?  A huh-huh.