Zara and Mike Tindall are celebrating eleven years of marriage this weekend. I am feeling sentimental about these two crazy kids, who are now not-so-staid parents of three children. Since things are slow, let’s wallow in some nostalgia.
Party on the Yacht
The pre-wedding cocktail party was held on the royal yacht Britannia, which had been retired for some time at that point. It’s permanently berthed in Edinburgh and was a handy – and sentimental – choice for a family and friends blowout.
Reflecting on this wedding all these years on, the following things occurred to me. Anne has had those shades FOREVER, Zara is a fan of tie-dye, Bea had a bit of a butterfly theme going during that period, Sophie had fabulous hair, and Kate was really dressing down the entire weekend in an effort to disappear into the crowd.
The Wedding Dress
Zara wore an ivory dress designed by one of her grandmother’s favorite designers, Stewart Parvin. The gown was made of silk faille, silk duchess satin, and decorated with silk tulle on the sleeves.
My two favorite details about this dress were that the skirt was said to contain concealed pockets and that there were buttons that ran down the length of the back to the hem.
The bride wore a family favorite: the Meander Greek Key. This is an all-diamond, all-the-time tiara. The large central diamond is flanked by a laurel wreath. The rest of the tiara features repeating geometric Greek keys interspersed with honeysuckle motifs. It is a strong, uncluttered design that has been worn by a series of women with strong personalities. It was originally the property of the remarkable Princess Alice of Battenberg, the mother of Prince Philip and Zara’s great-grandmother.
Princess Alice gave the tiara to then-Princess Elizabeth upon her marriage to Prince Philip. There are no photos of the Queen in it, but at some point in the early seventies, she gave it to her daughter, Princess Anne. On Anne, it got frequent use, particularly back in the days when one donned a diadem for far more events than royals do today. It was last seen on the Princess Royal during the Dutch State Visit in 2018.
It seems the tiara was a favorite of Zara’s too since she chose it for her single public tiara outing. It suits her strong facial structure and was a nice compliment to the simple design of her wedding gown. The sleek hairstyle and off-the-face veil attachment were nicely done. She rivals Princess Madeleine for my “from-the-neck-up” best wedding styling. She borrowed those earrings from her mum (see the famous – and glamorous!- 1973 British Vogue cover).
The Wedding Party
You know, I don’t know that we have ever given the lovely, cool, and sleek wedding party their due. These are some of the un-fussiest bridal attendants I have ever seen at a royal wedding. One of Zara’s good friends, Dolly Maude, was her main attendant. Dolly wore a duchess satin dove gray Stewart Parvin dress. The four “littles” (also bridesmaids, not flower girls) wore Sue Palmer white dresses. Love those sashes! The page boy is in the Balmoral tartan, of course!
Zara chose to have her wedding in Scotland, just as her mother did for her second nuptials. Canongate Kirk is in Edinburgh. It serves the Parish of Canongate, which includes the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Queen has attended services there during her residence in Scotland, and it was no doubt this royal connection that brought the venue to the attention of Zara. There is both a royal pew and a castle pew in the church, so that was handy for this wedding!
The Mother of the Bride is submitted without comment. She did beam throughout the wedding – so big points for that.
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie both wore outfits designed by Angela Kelly, which means Queen Elizabeth’s designers had quite a sartorial impact on this wedding.
Camilla wore an explosion of a hat, and I love every spiky bit of it.
An explosion and an enormous pink topaz!
The Prince of Wales very much deserves some love for this grey-on-grey ensemble.
I know you all just love the chip hat – so here it is and you are welcome! The new Duchess of Cambridge took a restrained route with her dress and went with an emphatic statement on her chapeau. Of course, there are still as many photos of her floating around as they are of the bride.
The Countess of Wessex looked utterly fabulous in her Bruce Oldfield ensemble and Jane Taylor hat.
Sarah Chatto had her style well established at this point. Also, she’s a reminder that “don’t wear white to a wedding” is very much a regional “rule”, and not enshrined on a wedding etiquette tablet worldwide.
Peach dress, the Queen Mother’s shell brooch (fancy name: Courtauld Thomson Scallop-Shell Brooch), and the Duke of Edinburgh as her escort – what more can you ask for? Here comes the Queen!
Let’s get drenched in nostalgia and sentiment to start our weekend. Post your thoughts and photos of this couple, pre or post-wedding (including the new members of their family)!