Style & Trend
70 years of iconic looks: princess style wedding dresses
In honour of the Platinum Jubilee, we're looking back over some of Queen Elizabeth II's most iconic fashion looks to see how they have inspired princess style wedding dresses modern brides wear today.
After all, you can never have too many princess wedding dresses, can you?
In her seven decades on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II has become a fashion icon, delighting the nation with her unique take on the royal style. During her reign, she’s worked with some of the UK’s best designers to create a look that’s truly her own, while also being perfectly in tune with her many duties, whether that’s a Buckingham Palace garden party or meeting visiting presidents.
The debutante years
Even as a young debutante, Princess Elizabeth was the epitome of elegance, dressing in simple but chic silhouettes made with luxurious fabric. Of all our princess style wedding dresses, we think our classic Mikado A-line, Colleen, captures this mood best.
The modern draped bodice is paired with a traditional sweetheart neckline while, underneath, there’s a couture-inspired internal lace-up. We know the Queen would also love its eco-credentials, as it’s made from 75% responsibly sourced, recycled materials!
A white wedding
In 1947 the young Elizabeth married her prince in a Norman Hartnell masterpiece featuring 10,000 seed pearls, crystals and a 15-foot train with a breathtaking star pattern. The princess reportedly also collected coupons to pay for the luxurious ivory silk fabric, as Britain was still under rationing.
Sparkling Mirella would be our choice for her today. It’s a modern A-line with delicate lace appliqués and, of course, a showstopping train fit for a princess. A sparkling sequin tulle underlayer also provides plenty of shimmer. Plus, at only £699, no doubt our thrifty Queen would approve!
In the 1950s Princess Elizabeth was getting ready for her moment in the spotlight. During a visit to Ottowa in Canada in 1951, she wore an elegant pink gown featuring a beautiful floral lace pattern, teamed with a stunning ruby and diamond necklace.
Our Tess design, a flattering fit and flare silhouette, features the most delicate floral lace, in a look that’s definitely suitable for a soon-to-be queen.
Following her coronation on 2nd June 1953, the Queen continued to up the style stakes. In 1954 she was photographed wearing a lacy peach gown with a plunging V-neckline and beautiful wide lace straps.
Our choice for her would be stunning Avery, which has a similar neckline and delightful wide lace illusion straps in a soft champagne shade. The unique embroidery also means every single leaf and petal has a delicate lustre, accentuated by hundreds of sparkling sequins.
A dress with real wow factor
While visiting France in 1957, the Queen wore a Norman Hartnell dress that was designed to ensure all eyes were on her. The breathtaking A-line was embroidered in gold and silver glass, gold beads and pearls and had a large bow at the back to complete the look.
Take inspiration from the look and turn heads on your big day with one of our most extravagant princess wedding dresses. Esther features a heavily beaded bodice with ornate swirling lace and stylish cross-hatching details, completed by a shimmering Mikado skirt.
Then, add your own beautiful bow, just like the Queen. Our gorgeous Daphne bow belt, made from more sleek Mikado, is a perfectly elegant finishing touch.
An enduring classic
One of our favourite royal dresses is another Norma Hartnell gown. The Queen wore it for the opening of parliament in 1967 and also to the world premiere of Laurence of Arabia in 1962. It featured slim straps, a nipped-in waist and silver, beaded embroidery on the bodice and running down the top of the skirt. Her granddaughter, Princess Beatrice, liked it so much that she wore the same dress for her wedding in 2020.
Our Cherie dress ticks many of the same boxes when it comes to modern princess style wedding dresses. There’s the nipped-in waistline, chic boned bodice with beautiful embroidery and, of course, a super pretty flowing tulle skirt.
Then, just add our Kora straps, in soft floral lace, to complete the look.
The star of the show
Finally, even in her 80th year, the queen still manages to steal the show with her fashion sense. Most recently in 2006, when she arrived at the House of Lords State Opening of Parliament wearing a sparkly white, body-skimming column dress with a glamorous fur stole and tiara, looking like the absolute belle of the ball. Ma’am, we salute you!
So, we know she’d love our suitably dramatic Nadine sheath, with its embroidered tulle, halter illusion neckline and exquisite floral lace. It’s a dress that will guarantee all eyes are on you!
Complete the look...
With a literal treasure trove of jewellery at her disposal, we know the Queen loves a bit of sparkle, sometimes combined with a luxurious fur stole or glamorous satin gloves. Get the look with our silky soft Gia faux fur jacket, which would be perfect for the palace ballrooms or a glamorous film premier.
Alternatively, go for even more glamour. How about our slightly more daring Marlee jacket, with its slinky, off-the-shoulder look?
The Queen often favours long elegant gloves or arm-covering sleeves. So maybe our fabulously rich and soft Kinsley jacket could be the one instead?
Finally, where’s the fun in being queen if you can’t wear a tiara at any given opportunity? Alexi is one of our most regal designs and goes perfectly with any one of our princess wedding dresses. It has a peaked row of crystals and diamantés set into silver, for a very classic feel.
Darcey features a row of graceful pearls and floral-shaped diamantés. It looks amazing with a traditional design or one with complementary floral embroidery.
Perla also has crystals and pearls in a classic tiara shape that’s truly fit for a queen.
And, finally, we have fabulous Neveah. Saving the very best for last, it’s the ultimate princess accessory. Designed to sit into your hairstyle, this stunning tiara is a striking 6cm high in the centre and is covered with sparkling stones. A real showstopper, it’s ideal for brides who want to feel positively regal!
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