Memorable royal wedding gowns as Meghan’s dress goes on display

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A special exhibition featuring the wedding outfits of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will enable royal watchers to see Meghan’s famous dress up close.

Queen Mary’s 1932 diamond and platinum bandeau tiara, lent to Meghan by the Queen for the star-studded ceremony, will be on public display for the first time, alongside the Duchess’s Givenchy wedding gown, created by British designer Claire Waight Keller.

The exhibition, A Royal Wedding: The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex, will begin at the wedding site of Windsor Castle before making its way up to Holyrood Palace.

Here, with the help of Karen Whybro, owner of designer bridal boutique Rock The Frock (, we take a look back at some of the most iconic and memorable royal wedding dresses through the decades…

Princess Alexandra, March 10, 1863

Princess Alexandra in her wedding dress (PA)

Whybro describes it as “an opulent and highly detailed dress, with an off-the-shoulder neckline and large floral motifs that dominated the design”. Adorned with decorative lace depicting Scottish thistles, Irish shamrocks and English roses, plus a 21ft train that took eight women to carry, it was a particularly over-the-top gown.

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, April 26, 1923

Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on her way to wed the Duke of York (PA Archive)

Princess Elizabeth, November 20, 1947

The Queen and Prince Philip leaving Westminster Abbey (PA)

Elizabeth’s diamond tiara snapped hours before she was due to leave for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Luckily, a court jeweller was on standby, and they took the tiara via police escort for some emergency welding before returning it to the bride. If you’re eagle-eyed, you can spot a slight gap at the centre of the headpiece.

Princess Margaret, May 6, 1960

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones emerge from Westminster Abbey (PA)

Princess Anne, November 14, 1973

Captain Mark Phillips and Princess Anne (PA)

Princess Diana, July 29, 1981

The Princess of Wales in her bridal gown at Buckingham Palace (PA)

The gown, she adds, “set wedding dress trends for years to come, with its large puffed sleeves, narrow waist & meringue style skirt”. But having such a dramatic dress did come with its share of problems – too big for her glass carriage, Diana arrived at the ceremony slightly creased.

Sarah Ferguson, July 23, 1986

Sarah Ferguson
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, in her wedding gown (PA)

Sophie Rhys-Jones, June 19, 1999

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones leaving St George’s Chapel (PA)

Camilla Parker-Bowles, April 9, 2005

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall leave their wedding ceremony
The Duchess of Cornwall opted for a contemporary frock (Toby Melville/PA)

Kate Middleton, April 29, 2011

Prince William and Kate Middleton get married
William and Kate’s wedding had the nation enthralled once again ( Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

Meghan Markle, May 19, 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George’s Chapel (PA)

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