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Royal Wedding Gowns – Elegant Coats and Wraps

Welcome our Royal Wedding Gown feature, and to our third post in the series on royal wedding gowns with coats and wraps. We have covered the dramatic and the second and third wedding coats and wraps. Today we are in the final of that series, coats and wraps worn to elegant effect.

Note: We covered Queen Letizia’s bridal ensemble here, so we won’t go over it again in this post. It’s in the poll, though!

Bride: Queen Mathilde
Designer: Natan

Yes, it was Natan, and yes, it was a success. That’s the short story. The long story is that the marriage was in chilly December, it was a union between an aristocrat (Mathilde was a jonkvrouw, a word that always tickles me) and the future King, and it was very royal wedding which included moving from venue to venue on the day itself. Natan had to design a gown with gravitas, and warmth, that would hold up to such a celebration. He also had to allow room for the beautiful but visually heavy heirloom veil from Queen Paola’s family.

He succeeded admirably, I believe. The gown was crepe silk, with front button and waist detailing and a very long train. The veil lay nicely on the 5 meters of silk, and the collar stood up and framed Mathilde’s lovely face well. She accessorized with Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Bandeau tiara.

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Bride: Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
Designer: Wenche Lyche

Princess Märtha Louise has been described as whimsical and quirky, and it is somewhat of a surprise that her wedding gown was rather subdued and conventional, until you look at the details. The coat was inspired by the Märtha lily and the Gothic arches of Nidaros Cathedral, and those details can be seen in the puffy insert of the sleeves at the shoulders, and how the train comes to a v-point at the end. But viewed in its entirety, this gown is classic elegance all the way.

The coat, which was removed for the reception, is embellished with Swarovski crystals. The front of the coat is held together with a clasp in an “A” shape, done up in pearls and representing her husband’s first name, Ari. There is a lovely detail of ivy and five lilies embroidered around the train, as well. The bride wore a silk veil, held in place by Queen Maud’s Diamond and Pearl tiara.

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Bride: Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Designer: Samantha Shaw

1999 was a year for coat wedding dresses. Both Sophie Rhys-Jones and Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz were married that year, Sophie and Prince Edward first, in June. The bride was 34, and the dress was a mature choice. Samantha Shaw designed a v-neck coat of made ivory silk organza, tulle and silk crepe. Although it looked simple from a distance, it was embellished with 325,000 pearl and cut-glass beads. The veil was silk tulle and extended beyond the train.

Sophie’s ensemble often loses points due to the much derided tiara, a gift or loan from the Queen. Many felt it had a cobbled together feel. The rather in-your-face necklace, which was designed by her future husband, is a controversial piece as well. The veil suffered from the notoriously windy entrance to St. Georges Chapel. But if you step back and take it all in from afar, it is a lovely and elegant silhouette.

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Bride: Autumn Kelly
Designer: Sassi Holford

Autumn Kelly married Peter Phillips, the Queen’s oldest grandchild, in 2008. If you cast your mind back to those days, you’ll remember that strapless gowns were simply the height of fashion. Royal brides don’t walk down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel in strapless, so a lace bolero came to Autumn’s rescue.

The dress itself was done up in Italian duchesse satin and Chantilly lace, and the short-sleeved bolero was also Chantilly lace. It was embellished with beads to give it an extra sparkle. The dress itself had a simple A-line skirt and a three-tiered sash at the waist. There were Chantilly lace inserts on the train and along the silk tulle veil. The bride secured her veil with the Festoon tiara, borrowed from her mother-in-law.

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Which of these elegant coats/wraps is your favorite?