MORE ROYAL WEDDING GOWNS

by Victoria Hinshaw

Originally posted in February, 2011

This is really just a collection of pretty wedding pictures and  gorgeous dresses.  But, since it’s on our minds, these days, why not?  Some of these brides are related to the U.K. royals, others from European families. At right is Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden with her husband, Daniel   Wrestling.  They were married in Stockholm in June, 2010.

The dress is elegantly simple and looks perfect on Princess Victoria. Only the tiara — though it looks more like a crown — is elaborately decorated.

Crown Princess Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée was in 1977.  She will become Queen of Sweden upon the death of her father, King Carl XIV Gustav. through her father, Victoria is related to the British royals and actually occupies a position in the line of U.K. royal succession.  Now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland, Victoria’s husband is her former personal trainer and ran a company owning several gyms.

Another Scandinavian royal wedding was in Copenhagen Denmark on May 14, 2005, when HRH Crown Prince Frederik married Mary Donaldson, an Australian.  They recently had twins, in January, 2011, a boy and a girl. Their older siblings are Prince Christian, born in 2005, and Princess Isabella, born in 2007.

Crown Princess Mary made a beautiful bride and her dress was picture perfect.  The overskirt draping makes graceful detailing near the hem, rather an unusual but pleasing feature.

 

Hollywood royalty was united with royalty from the tiny but rich principality of Monaco when film star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainer in 1956.

The very nigh neckline of the gown amused many observers who were well aware of Kelly’s reputation for behaving entirely contrary to her look of a perfectly-proper ice queen.  Princess Grace, mother of three royal children, died in a car crash in 1982. The Prince died in 2005.

 

David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, married Hon. Serena Stanhope in October of 1993 at St. Margaret’s, Westminster. He runs a thriving furniture business with a showroom in Pimlico which is quite fun to visit.  Fashion observers noted how the gown, by Bruce  Bobbins, resembled the neckline design of  Princess Margaret’s gown from 1960. The Viscount is Margaret’s eldest child. The Linleys have two children, Charles, born 1999, and Margarita, born 2002.

 

 

The very next year, Princess Margaret’s daughter Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones married  actor Daniel Chatto at St Stephen Walbrook in the City of London on July 14,  1994. Her gown by Jasper Conran is elegantly traditional, though the venue for the ceremony was unusual for a member of the royal family.  The Chattos have two sons, born in 1996 and 1999.

The last of Queen Elizabeth II’s sons to wed was Prince Edward. He married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999 at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, below.  They are titled the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The gown was designed by Samantha Shaw. The Wessexes have two children, Lady Louise, born 2003, and James, Viscount Severn, born in 2007.
 

The Queen’s eldest grandchild, Peter Phillips, married Canadian Autumn Kelly at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on May 17, 2008.  The strapless dress was certainly au courant with its lace shrug, or bolero, if you wish. It was designed by Sassi Holford, one of the leading bridal gown providers in Britain.    The tiara worn by Autumn was the “something borrowed” — from Anne, Princess Royal,  Autumn’s new mother-in-law.

The Queen’s first great grandchild was born to Autumn and Peter on December 29, 2010, named Savannah.

Lady Rose Windsor, daughter of the Duke of Gloucester (cousin of Queen Elizabeth II), was married to George Gilman, on July 19, 2008 at the Queen’s Chapel, St. James Palace.  The gown is lovely and the tiara one loaned from the royal collection, but finding the name of the dress designer was impossible — all the press reports focused on what Kate Middleton was wearing.

 

In addition to the wedding of Kate and Prince William, 2011 also saw the wedding of Zara Phillips, daughter of Anne, Princess Royal, and rugby star Mike Tindall on July 30.

ROYAL WEDDING GOWNS

by Victoria Hinshaw

Originally posted on February 12, 2011, ahead of the other wedding of the decade, that of William and Katherine.

As I write this, there is no word on the designer Kate Middleton has chosen to create her wedding gown, though I have heard many breathless accounts of who is and who is not in the running.  So let’s indulge our royal wedding mania by looking at some of the gowns worn in the past.

Above is the dress worn by Princess Charlotte of Wales at her May 2, 1816, wedding to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, as exhibited in the Museum of London here.

The Lady’s Magazine of May, 1816, described the gown: White silk net embroidered in silver strip with a spotted ground and borders. The wedding dress, composed of a most magnificent silver lama on net, over a rich silver tissue slip, with a superb border of silver lama embroidery at the bottom, forming shells and bouquets above the border; a most elegant fullness tastefully designed, in festoons of rich silver lama, and finished with a very brilliant rollio of lama; the body and sleeves to correspond, trimmed with a most beautiful point Brussels lace, in a peculiar elegant style.
The manteau of rich silver tissue lined with white satin, trimmed round with a most superb silver lama border, in shells to correspond with the dress, and fastened in front with a most brilliant and costly ornament of diamonds. The whole dress surpassed all conception in the brilliancy and richness of its effects. Head dress, a wreath of rose buds and leaves, composed of the most superb brilliants.”  At right, an engraving of Charlotte and Leopold at their wedding in Carlton House. 
 

The portrait of Queen Victoria, at left, is by Winterhalter. It shows a rather wistful young bride at the time of her wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg (nephew of the above-mentioned Leopold) on February 10, 1840 in the Chapel Royal of St. James Palace.
It was this gown and veil that supposedly has inspired generations of brides ever since to wear white for their ceremonies, though many brides had previously dressed in fashionable white as well as in a variety of other hues.

At right, an image of Queen Victoria’s dress on a mannequin in the collection of Kensington Palace. 

Left, the wedding gown of Alexandra of Denmark, who married Victoria’s son, eventually King Edward VII, on March 10, 1863 in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. She was Princess of Wales for almost forty years before becoming Queen in 1901. After her husband’s death in 1910, she was known as the Queen Mother until she died in 1925.

Like Charlotte’s mother, Caroline, Princess of Wales, and like the first wife of the present Prince of Wales, Diana (see below), Alexandra had to endure the infidelity of her husband.  But unlike the other two, she stuck with him to the end. We’ve all heard the possibly-apocryphal story about how Alexandra invited one of his mistresses, Alice Keppel, to comfort Edward VII on his deathbed.

 

Princess Mary of Teck wed Prince George, Duke of York on 6 July, 1893 in the Chapel Royal of St. James Palace. She had been engaged to Prince Albert Victor, eldest son of the Prince of Wales in 1891, but Albert Victor died in the great influenza epidemic of 1891-92.  Mary and George fell in love and were married with the approval of Queen Victoria as well as Edward and Alexandra, Prince and Princess of Wales.  George succeeded his father as George V in 1910.  Queen Mary, who was a godchild of Queen Victoria, had five sons and one daughter.
Her eldest son, known to all as David, was more than a disappointment. After inheriting the throne as Eward VIII in 1936, he abdicated less than a year later to marry Wallis Simpson.


After her husband’s death, Queen Mary chose to be addressed as Her Majesty, Queen Mary, rather than as Queen Mother.  She was very supportive of her second son, who became King George VI after his brother’s departure from the throne. According to several sources, she was the first dowager queen of Great Britain to ever attended the coronation ceremony of her husband’s successor.

 

As Duke of York, the second son of George V and Mary grew up in the  shadow of his dashing older brother.  He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon  on 26 April 1923 in Westminster Abbey. At the time of the wedding, it was not expected that “Bertie” would take the throne. Lady Elizabeth’s gown, perhaps for that reason, was not as elaborate as some of her predecessors. It was certainly in the style of the day, a rather loose gown,  slightly less than floor length.  Below is the dress on a mannequin in a Kensington Palace exhibition of several years ago, along with a detail of the veil and bodice.

On 20 November, 1947,  Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) married Prince Philip of Greece (later Duke of Edinburgh) in Westminster Abbey. The designer was Norman Hartnell and the fabric is silk spun at Lullingstone Castle in Kent. She wore a diamond and pearl tiara and a filmy veil. The long train was decorated with traditional symbols, such as Tudor roses and wheat.  All the details of the royal romance, the wedding, the gown and the ceremony were eagerly read around the world. It is said the happy event was like a tonic to the war-weary Britons still enduring shortages of goods and rationing.

 

The Gown on a mannequin

 

Princess Margaret, second daughter of King George VI, married Antony Armstrong-Jones (later Earl of Snowdon) on  May 6, 1960, at Westminster Abbey. Television cameras covered the event and the broadcast was seen worldwide. Like her sister, Margaret chose Norman Hartnell to design her bridal gown.The couple had two children: David, Viscount Linley in 1961 and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones in 1964. The Snowdons were divorced in 1978 and Princess Margaret died in 2002.

14 November 1973  – Anne, Princess Royal, married Captain Mark Phillips in Westminster Abbey. Born in 1950, she is Queen Elizabeth II’s only daughter.  Anne and Phillips have two children, Peter Phillips born in 1977 and Zara Phillips born in 1981. After divorcing Phillips in 1992, Anne married Timothy Laurence, in Scotland on December 12, 1992.

 

On 29 July 1981, Lady Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales, were married in St Paul’s Cathedral. Her dress was controversial — and still is. The designers, David and Elizabeth Emmanuel, immediately shot to the top echelon of British fashion. Like many of Diana’s fashions, the gown (or a replica) travels around the world for popular exhibition.


Charles and Diana had two sons, Prince William, born in 1982, and Prince Harry, born in 1984, before separating
 in the late 1980s, the Prince living in Highgrove and the Princess at Kensington Palace.  Formal separation came in 1992 and the marriage of Charles and Diana ended in divorce on 28 August 1996. On 31 August 1997, a year after the Prince and Princess divorced, Diana died in a car crash in Paris.

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, married at Westminster Abbey on 23 July 1986. The Duke and Duchess of York had two children during their marriage: Princess Beatrice of York (born 1988) and Princess Eugenie of York (born 1990). They separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996, though they are often together for vacations and family events. 



Of all the gowns shown above, I think I like Sarah’s best, as designed by Lindka Cierach.  It is beautiful, flattering to her and has no gimmicks.  Princess Elizabeth’s was lovely too, but I like Sarah’s veil better.  All in all this one is the winner in the gown category, if perhaps not in the list of “most suitable royal brides.”



If like us, you can’t get enough of this wedding stuff, here is a wonderful exhibition from the Royal Collection you will enjoy. 

Fashion Museums in Britain

Red Silk Robe a l’Anglaise, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1760’s

Victoria here, taking some time off of Pinterest for a change…and ruminating on the wonderful fashion museums which have so carefully preserved the clothing and accessories of bygone eras.  The U.K. is replete with wonderful museums, almost all of which have some fashions, in even the smallest of local collections. The grandaddy of them all is, of course, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which modestly calls itself, The world’s greatest museum of art and design.” The website is here.

I suppose no one who has visited the sprawling site on Cromwell Road would quarrel with the designation, for it is truly superhuman to cover its many displays even in multiple visits.I can hardly drag myself out of the fantastic gift shop when I get there!

Would you be disappointed if I did not include a link to that wonderful shop?  Be forewarned — they are excellent at shipping.  Click here — if you dare.

The Costume Collection has been recently redone and has re-opened with an exhibition of ball gowns from the 1950s to the present. It will be on display through January 2013, along with selections from the permanent collection of historic fashions.

I love the Georgian, Regency and Victorian gowns usually on view.  Due to their fragility, the items are frequently rotated from storage to display and back.

V and A: White Dress with scalloped hem, ca. 1830
British, cotton muslin with wool embroidery, silk, satin and wadded rouleaux

V and A: Evening Dress, 1807-11  British,
machine made silk net, embroidered with chenille thread, with silk ribbon, hand sewn; over red petticoat

Among the V and A’s fashion exhibits

Also in London, Kensington Palace stores, conserves and exhibits Historic Royal Fashions.  Recently, the collection of Royal Wedding Gowns was restored. Beginning this fall, some of the storage areas, formerly Princess Margaret’s Apartment 1A, will be renovated for Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his Duchess, the former Catherine Middleton.

Parts of Kensington Palace formerly housed Diana, Princess of Wales, and is the home in which Prince William grew up.  Other members of the extended royal family also have quarters there.

Here is an article that tells more about the Palace, the renovations and the Royals.  For more details, click here.

Parts of Kensington Palace include the State Rooms of William and Mary, the childhood rooms of Queen Victoria, and the Royal Fashions.   I have not seen an announcement of the final plans for the fashions, but one assumes that  Historic Royal Palaces, which administers Kensington Palace a well as other former Royal residences in the London area (e.g. Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace) will take advantage of sharing the complex with the popular young Royals to attract visitors to their displays.

Queen Victoria’s Wedding Gown, Kensington Palace
The Assembly Rooms, Ba
th

In Bath, The Fashion Museum is located in the Assembly Rooms, which are administered by the National Trust.  The Fashion Museum has more than 30,000 items from1600 to the present. The website is here.

a view of storage at the Fashion Museum
display at the Fashion Museum
Gown of plain-weave white cotton, ca. 1813, with striped wool shawl
 Bath Fashion Museum
Lilac cotton sateen corset lined with cream cotton
1880-85, Bath Fashion Museum
Shoes of many eras carefully preserved, Bath Fashion Museum
Another excellent Fashion Museum shows many items owned and preserved the the National Trust at Killerton House, a Regency-era country villa in Devon. The website is here.
Killerton, NT
Croquet Dress, 1863-65, silk taffeta with glass buttons
Killerton House Fashion Collection
Man’s Waistcoat, 1750, silk, satin, metal
Killerton House Fashion Collection

Also at Killerton are many attractive rooms and an extensive garden to explore.  As always, NT has a selection of tasty delights at the tea-room not to mention the temptations of the NT gift shop.

Manchester City Galleries

I have never visited Manchester (something I need to remedy), but the Manchester City Galleries website (here) has an extensive on-line fashion collection.  Here are a couple of examples of their holdings.

Man’s Court Suit, 1775-85
Tennis Dress, 1880’s

Bodice, 1650-1660, Dorset, UK

For a list of museums with fashion and costume collections, click here.  And if you are a resident of the US, there are many outstanding fashion collections here too.  Do you have any recommendations for good fashion collections on either side of the pond?

The Kyoto Fashion Institute seems to be an amazing place, or at least its website and publications are excellent.  They organize many exhibitions, some of which are shown in venues outside Japan.    Click here.

All The Queen's Hats

In the past  months, we have been watching Queen Elizabeth II at many events — the wedding of her grandson, the Diamond Jubilee, and many annual ceremonial events.  We are constantly fascinated by her lovely hats. 

Her hats cannot cover up her face, since that is why people come out — to see her!  So that means none of the big brims or fluttery veils that can be so flattering. And since she so often is climbing in and out of limos, they can’t be too big.  Or in danger of blowing off. However, her milliners certainly manage to come up with a wonderful and colorful selection of styles — here are a selection of our favorites.

For the Silver Jubilee in 1977, The Queen’s pink chapeau, decorated with 25 bells for the years in her reign, was designed by milliner Frederick Fox, who made more than 350 hats for Her Majesty.

At the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, 2011

The Queen with the Duchess of Cambridge in Leicester

Boarding the Spirit of Chartwell for the Thames Procession
Both of the Queen’s ensembles were created by her chief dresser-designer, Angela Kelly, who also made the creamy lemon outfit Her Majesty wore to the Royal Wedding.
At the Silver Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 5 June, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II in Northern Ireland, June 26, 2012, in Wedgwood Blue

Below, the pink number that is Victoria’s all-time favorite, worn at Ascot, 2011.

Another view below:

Trooping the Colour, 2011.

A rainbow of colo(u)r:

The Queen at Epsom Derby, this hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan
A paler blue hat by Philip Somerville, also a long-time milliner to Her Majesty

The Queen rarely wears beige, brown or black, being more visible in her favorite colorful couture, but there are exceptions!

At Remembrance Day, November 13, 2011

Sometimes, while not on official duties, the Queen enjoys a headscarf!
Regalia of the Order of the Garter

The Real Thing in Headware
9 May, 2012 opening Parliament

200 Years Ago: Spring and Summer Fashions

Here are a few fashions from 200 years ago, from Victoria’s print collection.  You might see something similar at Jane Austen Society meetings, Regency Dance groups, or Writer’s conventions, but few us us would probably want to cope with these outfits every day. Or want to change gowns several times a day.
At the end is a greatcoat for a gentleman to wear in the cool weather.
   Thanks to Sue Forgue at the Regency Encyclopedia for some of the descriptions I was missing.
Ladies Monthly Museum, April 1812
The Full Dress (left), for this month, is made of white satin, ornamented round the bottom with a rich Grecian border, over which is worn a tunic of yellow Italian gauze, trimmed with deep white lace, and fastened up the front with cord of blue silk. Head dress à la Diana, ornamented with wreathes of artificial flowers in dead gold, with a crescent in front of the forehead, composed of pearls and sapphire; the necklace and ear rings to correspond; kid gloves and shoes of pale pink.

The Walking Dress (right) is a white Indian robe of Muslin, made high in the neck; with a richly worked collar to turn over that of the pelisse, which is of blue silk, trimmed with white lace; over which is worn a white,or coloured shawl; the bonnet to be of the same materials as the shawl, and is ornamented with a white feather;–laced half boots of regency brown.

 
Ackermann’s Repository Morning Dress April 1812

A superfine Scotch or French cambric, over a cambric slip, with full long sleeves, and ruff à la Mary Queen of Scots. A neck-chain and sight set in gold; bracelets and necklace of white or red cornelian. A Flora cap, composed of white satin and lace. A capuchin or French cloak of blossom satin or Pomona green, trimmed with thread lace. Slippers of pale pink or green kid; and gloves of tan or Limerick kid.

Ackermann’s Repository, Ball Gown, April, 1812
A round ciracassian robe of pink crape, or gossamer net, over a white satin slip, fringed full at the feet; a peasant’s bodice, of pink satin or velvet, laced in front with silver, and decorated with the same ornament. Spanish slash sleeve, embellished with white crape foldings, and furnished at its terminations with bands of silver. A Spartan or Calypso helmet cap, of pink frosted crape, with silver bandeaus, and embellished with tassels, and rosets to correspond. A rich neck-chain and ear-rings of Oriental gold. Fan of carved ivory. Slippers of pink kid, with correspondent clasps; and gloves of white kid: an occasional square veil of Mechlin lace

Ackermann’s Repository, Morning Dress, May 1812

A French frock of fine plain India muslin, with demi-train, and long full bishop’s sleeves. Waggoners’ cuffs, with gaged front, and shoulders to correspond. Tucker of double-rolled muslin, which also finishes the cuffs round the hands. A Parisian mob cap of fine lace, confined round the head, and terminating on one side with a celestial blue or silver grey ribbon. Sash of the same, tied in small bows and ends in front. Hair in waved curls, divided in the center of the forehead. Spanish slippers of lemon-coloured kid, and gloves of the same material.  The peculiar taste and elegant simplicity of these habiliments are further specimens of the graceful invention of the celebrated Mrs. Gill, of Cork-street, Burlington-gardens, from whom we have obtained them.

Ackermann’s Repository, June 1812

A round robe of jaconot or fine cambric muslin, with long sleeve and high waist, with fan ruff of lace, ornamented up the front with borders of needle-work or lace, and finished at the feet with ball fringe. A Spanish hussar clock of deep amber sarsnet, lined with sea green or white, and trimmed with broad thread lace, put on very full.  Hair disposed in bands and waved curls; a large square veil of white lace, thrown over the head and shading the face. Half-boots amber-coloured kid, and gloves a pale primrose. Small French caps of lace, ornamented with a small cluster of spring flowers, on one side, are often seen in this style of costume, and have an appropriate and pretty effect beneath the long veil.

Ackermann’s Repository, July 1812
An embr
oidered crape round robe, decorated at the feet with a deep Vandyke fringe; short melon sleeve; bosom and back to correspond. White or blossom satin under dress. Hair a dishevelled crop, ornamented with a small cluster of the Chinese rose on each side, and confined with a comb of pearl at the back of the head. Necklace, ear-rings, and bracelets, of pearl and wrought gold. Grecian scarf of lilac silk, with embroidered variegated ends. Slippers of white satin, and gloves of French kid. Fan of imperial crape and ivory, embellished with gold antique devices.
  
La Belle Assemblee,  Evening Dress, April 1812
An embroidered white crape, or fine India muslin frock, with long sleeves, and trimmed round the bottom with fine lace, set on full, worn over a blush colour satin or sarsnet slip; the frock ornamented down the front of the skirt with beads and lace in the Egyptian style.  Parisian mob, worn unfastened, of puckered pink, and white crape over pink satin. Small pink satin tippet, with full plaiting of lace. Cestus of pale pink, confined by a clasp of pearl. Pink satin slippers, with white rosettes. The jewellery worn with this dress is the shaded cornelian or large pearls.
La Belle Assemblee, Evening Dress, 1812
A robe of Imperial blue sarsnet, shot with white, with a demi train, ornamented with fine French lace down each side the front and round the bottom; the trimming surmounted by a white satin ribband; the robe left open a small space down the front, and fastened with clasps of sapphire and pearl over a white satin slip petticoat: short fancy sleeve to correspond with the ornaments of the robe.  Parisian cap made open, formed of rows of fine lace and strings of pearl, the hair dressed à-la-Henriette of France, appearing between, and much separated on the forehead. Pearl necklace, and hoop earrings of the same. Scarf shawl in twisted drapery of fine white lace. White kid gloves and fan of ivory, ornamented with gold. Slippers the same colour as the robe, with white rosettes. This beautiful dress is the creation of Miss Walters, Wigmore-street, Cavendish-square 
Ladies Monthly Museum, Morning Dress, June 1812  
A white jaconet muslin gown, buttoned down the front with white regency buttons and trimming formed en lozenge; handkerchief, gloves, and sandals of dragon fly green; figurante cap ornamented with a rose in front.

Text from Michelle Anne Young’s Regency Rambles 

La Belle Assemblee,  Riding Outfit,  August,1812

Made of ladies habit cloth or Maria Louisa Blue, trimmed down each side of the front with Spanish buttons, the waist rather long with three small buttons on the hips; a short jacket full behind, the front habit fashion with small buttons up the neck and a row of small buttons on each side of the breast; a lapel thrown back from the shoulders and trimmed with Spanish buttons, has a most elegant effect and gives a graceful finish to the dress. The collar is made about a quarter inch in depth and fashioned negligently at the throat with a large cord and tassel; it opens sufficiently to display the shirt which is of lace in general but this article admits of considerable variations; some of our elegants wear a collar of lace to fall over, others have a shirt edged round the neck with a rich lace frill and not a few, in despite of the heat of the weather, envelope their necks in a large cravat of India muslin. A small woodland hat, whose colour corresponds with the dress with two white ostrich feathers fastened behind and falling carelessly over the left side. A cord and tassel is brought round the hat and fastened near the top of the crown on the right side. Buff gloves and half boots either of buff jean or leather.

 

                                       Costume Parisienne, 1812:  Five-collared Carriage Coat (Redingote)