World

Ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, look back on past royal wedding dresses

Left: Prince William and Kate Middleton. Right: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
AFP/Getty Images
Left: Prince William and Kate Middleton. Right: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

Ahead of American actress Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry on Saturday, speculation has run rampant about what sort of wedding dress the bride will choose. The palace has said the gown won’t be revealed until the day of the wedding, but in the meantime, take a look back at the dresses past royal brides have chosen and watch how the styles have evolved over decades.

Prince Harry’s great-great-grandmother, Mary of Teck

Married 1893

Princess Mary of Teck married the Duke of York in 1893, and the pair later became Queen Mary and King George V. Princess Mary wore a white and silver dress that featured floral embroidery made of roses, thistles, and shamrocks, according to the the royal family’s website.

The wedding of the future King George V and Queen Mary at Buckingham Palace om 1893.
W. & D. Downey/Getty Images
The wedding of the future King George V and Queen Mary at Buckingham Palace in 1893.

Prince Harry’s great-grandmother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

Married 1923

The future Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother married the future King George VI, then Prince Albert, in Westminster Abbey in 1923. The bride stopped on her way to the ceremony to lay her bouquet at Britain’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a Westminster Abbey memorial commemorating a fallen World War I serviceman whose identity is a mystery. Then known as the “Great War,” it had ended just five years earlier.

Advertisement

Bowes-Lyon’s dress featured a loose drop-waist popular in the 1920s and was made of silk crepe .

Prince Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II

Married 1947

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The future Queen Elizabeth II married the future Prince Philip in 1947 at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony that was broadcast over the radio. Then-Princess Elizabeth’s dress was made of duchesse satin and featured a delicate 14-foot train. According to the royal family’s website, the dress’s floral accents were inspired by the 15th-century Botticelli painting “Primavera,” which means “spring” in Italian.

Princess Elizabeth and Philip The Duke of Edinburgh.
AFP/Getty Images
Princess Elizabeth and the future Prince Philip in 1947.

Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana

Diana Spencer, later Princess Diana, married Prince Charles at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in a televised ceremony in 1981. Diana was married in a dramatic, full-skirted silk taffeta dress with a 25-foot train that featured thousands of pearls. The bodice was decorated with lace that once belonged to Queen Mary.

Married 1981

ROYAL WEDDING Lady Diana, Princess of Wales and Charles, Prince of Wales are seen during their wedding at St Paul Cathedral in London 29 July 1981. (Photo credit should read /AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images
Princess Diana and Charles, Prince of Wales in 1981.

Prince Harry’s sister-in-law, Kate Middleton

Married 2011

Kate Middleton, the future Duchess of Cambridge, married Prince William in 2011, also in a televised ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Middleton wanted a modern yet traditional wedding dress and was closely involved in the design of the gown, according to a statement released by the palace on the couple’s wedding day.

The dress was made of satin with extensive lace appliques on the bodice and skirt. The gown ended in what the royal family’s website describes as “a short train,” measuring around nine feet.

ROYAL WEDDING (FILES) In this file photo taken on April 29, 2011 Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, come out of Westminster Abbey following their wedding ceremony, in London, on April 29, 2011. Britain has long entranced the world with its spectacular royal weddings, occasions of glittering pageantry and glamour that feed into a fascination with the British royalty. A million people lined London's streets and two billion television viewers worldwide watched as Kate Middleton swept up the aisle, a "commoner" destined to become a queen. Prince William's brother Prince Harry will marry US actress Meghan Marklein a ceremony at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Carl DE SOUZACARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
Carl DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.