100 years of royal wedding dresses

The newly crowned Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, leaves Westminster Abbey after her April 29, 2011 wedding to Prince William.

The newly crowned Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, leaves Westminster Abbey with her sister, Pippa Middleton, after her April 29, 2011 wedding to the UK’s Prince William.

From Princess Juliana of the Netherlands’ simple ivory satin gown, which was inspired by Ancient Grecian robes, to Queen Rania of Jordan’s masterfully ornate wedding dress that featured thread made from gold – and an updo so high, she could barely get out of her wedding car, royal wedding gowns have reflected, but also set, fashion trends for centuries.

British fashion site Zalando has put together Royal Weddings: A Century of Elegance,  a beautiful infographic highlighting 100 years of iconic royal wedding gowns, explaining the highlights of each outfit as well as trivia snippets, such as the fact that the knee-length dress worn by Monaco’s Princess Stephanie during her 1995 wedding to former royal bodyguard, Daniel Ducruet, was one of the shortest royal wedding gowns on record. It was also one of the shortest royal marriages on record with the couple divorcing shortly after their first wedding anniversary.

“When the Duke of York announced his engagement to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in March 1923,” says Zalando, “the world was saying goodbye to the restraints of the corset and welcoming a relaxed silhouette with unstructured dresses and dropped waistlines inspired by the likes of Coco Chanel and Jeanne Lanvin.

“As predicted, The Queen Mother’s wedding dress followed suit and married her groom in a straight-cut silk moiré gown designed by British couturier Madame Handley Seymour.

“As Queen Elizabeth II walked down the aisle in 1947,” the site continues, “Britain was facing austerity in the wake of war. Although she was subject to the same clothing rationing of the rest of the UK, The Queen’s wedding dress symbolised the hopes of a country in recovery. Inspired by a Botticelli painting, designer Norman Hartnell focused on using sumptuous materials, fashioning an ivory silk bodice and opulently embellished train, giving the future Queen’s wedding gown the feminine silhouette that the 40s became known for.”

We’ve included the images below, but we’ve also added in some other weddings, including the latest royal wedding, between former model Sofia Hellqvist and Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip, which took place in Stockholm on June 13, 2015 and, of course, the marriage of Harvard educated Masako Owada to Japan’s Crown prince Naruhito in June 1993. Japan’s royal family is thought to be the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world.

Click here, to read more from Zalando’s Royal Weddings: A Century of Elegance. 

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