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dress to impress

12 iconic Royal Wedding dresses throughout history

Dozens of dazzling diamonds and glamarous gúnas galore
HE NEWS broke of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement, there has been speculation of who would design her wedding dress.

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At this point nearly every British designer that Meghan Markle has ever worn has been thrown out as a contender – from Burberry to Victoria Beckham to Erdem.

With less than a day to go, the bookie’s favourite is Ralph & Russo, who also designed the €64,000 that Meghan wore in her official engagement photographs. No matter what Meghan wears, it’s sure to become iconic, just like these other royal wedding dresses through the years.

1. Queen Elizabeth II, 1947

Rationing was still in effect when then Princess Elizabeth was getting married and so she had to purchase her dress material using ration coupons.

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2. Grace Kelly, 1956

Kelly’s wedding dress was a gift from her studio, MGM, who commissioned their own costume designer to create the dress, using Brussels lace that was over 125 years old. It’s said that Kate Middleton’s dress was heavily inspired by Kelly’s dress.

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3. Princess Margaret, 1960

The royal couturier, Norman Hartnell, who had created the Queen’s bridal gown also designed her sister Margaret’s dress 13 years later.

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4. Princess Diana, 1981

With a 25 foot train, Diana’s dress caused a spectacular statement. However, the dressmakers failed to take account for the size of the glass coach that was to transport Diana to the cathedral. So when she stepped out, the dress had become very crinkled.

The lace used to trim the dress was antique hand-made lace from Carrickmacross, County Monaghan.

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5. Sarah Ferguson, 1986

Although not 21feet, Sarah Ferguson’s 17 foot long train was still impressive and featured her and her future husband’s initials A and S sewn in silver beads.

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6. Queen Letizia of Spain, 2004

Very similar to Princess Margaret’s dress, Letizia’s dress was designed by courtier Manuel Perteaz whose clients included Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and Ava Gardner.

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7. Camilla Parker Bowles, 2005

It was her and Charles’ second marriage, so Camila opted for a duck-egg blue and gold coat which was embellished with gold embroidery and inspired by piece of her mother’s jewellery.

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8. Autumn Kelly, 2008

Canadian Autumn Kelly wed the Queen’s Grandson Peter Philips at Windsor Castle, where Meghan and Harry are set to tie the knot. Autumn wore a hand-beaded lace dress created by British designer Sassi Holford.

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9. Kate Middleton, 2011

Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen made Kate’s stunning €286,000 dress. At the time, a fashion insider said

I think her choice to wear long sleeves signals a big goodbye to strapless wedding gowns.

The prediction has proven correct, with sheer and lace sleeves being a huge trend for brides in the years since. Meghan’s choice is anticipated to have a similar effect.

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Kate also had a second wedding dress, also designed by Sarah Burton, and supposedly more casual but still featuring oodles of dazzling diamonds.

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10. Zara Phillips, 2011

The Queen’s Grand-daughter and Olympian silver medalist is known for her chilled attitude, so of course this wedding dress had concealed pockets. Perfect for a shneaky naggin.

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11. Princess Claire of Luxembourg, 2013

Wearing one of the biggest names in bridal fashion, Elie Saab.

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12. Princess Sofia of Sweden, 2015

A strikingly similar dress to Kate Middleton’s. Sofia wore a  sparkling new tiara inset with diamonds and emeralds which was a wedding day gift from her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf.

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