BRIDAL TRENDS | Timeless Royal Wedding Dresses

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Timeless Royal wedding dresses

.long sleeved wedding dresses

As a self confessed lover of all things timeless and a secret admirer of Royal Wedding Dresses both historic and modern; then perhaps the one thing we have in common (if you are reading this), is our shared love of iconic dresses.

A factor that I often share with brides-to-be, especially those ‘I know’ would look breathtaking in a timeless bridal gown, is to consider the style choices of past royal brides.  The style of choice among Royal brides (in spite of wealth and access to any bridal gown they desire), is nearly always closely linked with historical styles worn by their predecessors – meaning that their choices have less to do with the fashion of the day.

If you observe with care, you will also note the most common thread (excuse the pun), is one of modesty. Long sleeves, high necklines, tailored fabrics etc; all details that bridal fashion influences and designers either incorporate into their work or adapt to create fresh and innovative fashion looks.   Whilst the royal wedding dresses worn by both Princess Grace, Lady Diana and Kate Middleton will forever be etched upon our memories and hearts, they are irreplaceable images that will inspire decades of fashion in the future, surpassing both the trends and hype that dominate bridal fashion today.


It is so easy to be dismissive about the design and details within a simpler dress, especially when it doesn’t meet with our idea and expectations.  However, a factor that I have learned over the years to fully appreciate – as the leading couture wedding dress designer, is the complexity of simplicity.


Design that looks seamlessly simple to the untrained eye, requires far more attention to the cut, fit and finer details of the finish resulting in far longer production time as the focus is on getting everything absolutely right.  Megan Markle’s classic white gown designed by wedding dress designer Claire Waight Keller was  strikingly simple shape and is a classic example of the point I am making here.  The main body of the dress comprised of seven seams – but oh so cleverly cut and constructed to fall as perfectly as they did.



Perhaps Megan’s gown was a little too simple for many judging by the numerous times I have been asked to comment upon the subject.  Yes, I agree it was quite the plainest wedding dress that you would expect given the publicity and visibility.  And Yes, I truly expected Megan to wear a gown that had more of a wow factor; but, consider how very her’ her second gown was (the Stella McCartney dress).  A total break away from the first dress and a much better fit too (So there…I said it).  But let’s not be too critical, as this wouldn’t be the first understated Royal wedding dress, especially if you can remember the understated and simple silk two piece wedding dress worn by Princess Margaret on her wedding day?

Royal wedding dresses, Megan Markle's wedding dress

The Fabric – a heavy weight Italian silk crepe with a gentle sheen and which drapes beautifully when used for minimalist tailored wedding and special occasion dresses.




Materials – Overlay jacket in Silk Organza, Strapless ballgown in silk Duchess Satin.

Princess Margaret’s wedding dress was designed and made by London couturier Norman Hartnell, who had created the Queen’s bridal gown 13 years earlier, reports Town & Country. According to T&C, at the time, Life magazine reportedly described the Hartnell creation as: “the simplest royal wedding gown in history.


Royal wedding dresses, lady sarah armstrong jones wedding dressSilk Crepe chiffon , Heavy Silk Satin Organza

Following in the footsteps of her mother Princess Margaret, Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones’s wedding dress created by British designer Jasper Conran was fantastically simple and timeless in keeping with the trend a the time for slimmer lined gowns.


Material – Silk brocade and duchess satin

This is a standout photo for me.  Princess Mary styles her century-old crown so that it sits beneath the silk tulle veils.  It is such a understated statement and totally in tune with how I would wear mine too 🙂   As the full crown would be too ‘heavy’ a look against such a modestly  designed wedding dress cut in silk duchess satin and brocade for Mary Donaldson’s wedding in May 2004 to Crown Prince Frederik.



Materials – Two piece A-line gown and matching Coat cut in Silk Duchess Satin.

Norwegian Princess Martha-Louise, daughter of King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, married Ari Behn in May 2002 in a custom dress and coat by designer Wenche Lyche.   The coat was densely hand beaded from the collar to the tip of the train to create a shimmering border that contrasted nicely against the Duchess satin and, which was reported at the time, removed for her reception.



Royal wedding dresses

Materials -Silk Duchess Satin with beadwork  gently flowing from the centre of the bodice following the line of the dress and fanning out towards the hemline

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert II of Monaco were married in 2011.  This royal wedding dress broke away from the standard typical lace, a full skirt and an epic train, to showcase a minimal, sleek and chic custom wedding dress by Armani Privé with an off-the-shoulder neckline and a slim silhouette. In fact, of all the gowns worn by royal brides, this one is a firm favourite having stood the test of time for enbracing timeless chic glamour.




Cynthia Grafton-Holt couture, is a must visit for discerning brides searching for that once-in-a-lifetime dream dress.  With over 30 years of experience designing outstanding luxury bridal couture gowns and voted by Grace Ormondes Wedding Style and ‘One of the leading Luxury Black Wedding Professionals for High End Weddings’.  Visit the NEW HOME of Bridal Couture HERE

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