Britain · Norway

Royal Wedding Gowns – Hereditary Homage

Royalty is about continuity, family, and tradition. No wonder royal brides often turn to previous generations for wedding gown inspiration. Today we will look at three such homages. Previous entries in this series can be found on the header, under Find That Post!/Recurring Feature.

Bride: Mette-Marit
Designer: Ove Harder Finseth
Inspiration: Queen Maud (Coronation Gown)

Mette-Marit’s wedding gown is described as ecru, but to my eyes it has always been a stream of perfectly fitted Scandinavian whiteness. The dress was fabricated from silk crepe, and no adornment mars the flow of fabric from the modest neckline to the long sleeves to the 6 1/2 foot train. The designer used Queen Maud’s coronation dress – among other of her dresses – as an inspiration, and you can definitely see it in the silhouette and train. They still managed to render a dress for Mette-Marit that is both timeless and strangely modern. It’s said that there is corseting in the waist of Mette-Marit’s dress, but all you see is flow, flow, flow.

Mette-Marit’s veil of silk tulle extended past the train, and was anchored by the Diamond Daisy tiara, a gift from King Harald and Queen Sonja. Her garland of green leaves and white and purple flowers was also said to be inspired by tradition, and Queen Maud. Click through the slide show to see both dresses.

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Bride: Princess Eugenie
Designer: Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos
Inspiration: Princess Elizabeth

Designer Peter Pilotto incorporated personal meaning into Eugenie’s dress through the use of embroidered flowers: thistle for Scotland, and also, possibly, Balmoral, a shamrock for Ireland and the Ferguson connection, and the York rose and ivy to represent Ivy Cottage. At the time, the design duo stated that they did extensive archive research into previous dresses worn by members of the royal family and finally settled on a corseted silhouette with full pleated skirt. The homage to her grandmother is most fully seen in the garlands of embroidery on the full skirt.

Princess Eugenie eschewed a veil, allowing the low back of the dress to frame her scoliosis scar. Also, it fortunately allowed the Emerald Greville tiara a lovely, veil free showcase. Click through the slide show to see both dresses.

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Bride: The Honorable Serena Stanhope
Inspiration: Princess Margaret
Designer: Bruce Robbins

Contemporary accounts made much of the fact that Serena’s gown was a nod to her new mother-in-law’s dress; however the truth is more complicated. The gowns both have the distinctive ball gown silhouette: long sleeves, v-necklines, fitted waists and very full skirts. The fabrics are different, though, and the effects also diverge. Serena’s gown is fabricated from oyster satin, with a split waist knotted at the back. The skirt is what I can only describe as an explosion of tulle, which flows into two meters of semi train in the back. A nod to Margaret in the silhouette, and also a big nod to this Christian Dior gown.

Serena wore the Lotus Flower tiara, and a rather fortunately simple tulle veil to finish off her ensemble. Click through the slide show to see both Serena and Margaret’s dresses.

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Which gown pings your “best inspired by” meter?