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Jamie McCarthy, Wireimage

Now that Catherine "Kate" Middleton and Prince William are officially engaged, we wonder who and what she'll wear for the next royal wedding. Take a look at some of the most fashionable royal brides in history for inspiration.

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Royal Wedding Dresses

Prior to 1840, most brides wore wedding gowns in soft colors. But Queen Victoria set a lasting trend when she donned a gown of creamy white satin, trimmed with white lace to match her handmade Honiton lace veil and a crown of orange blossoms, to marry her German first cousin Prince Albert. The dress had a fitted, pointed bodice, full skirt and train attached at the waist. It reportedly required more than 200 workers over the course of months to complete, making it the ideal, traditional wedding gown for all future dresses to emulate.

Royal Wedding Dresses

For her marriage at Westminster Abbey to the man who would become King George VI, the future Queen Elizabeth wore a traditional full-length, dropped-waist gown with a court train made by Madame Handley Seymour. The dress followed current fashion in its fairly shapeless lace bodice, a silhouette made popular by designer Coco Chanel.

Royal Wedding Dresses

To marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, Prince Edward abdicated the crown, which means their union wasn't exactly a royal wedding. At the small and intimate ceremony, the bride wore a simple blue dress with a long plain skirt, wide fitted waistband and simply gathered bodice. Topped with a hat, the look was widely copied for its practicality.

Royal Wedding Dresses

For her wedding at Westminster Abbey, the queen's dressmaker Norman Hartnell designed an ivory duchesse satin gown ornamented with silver thread, sparkling crystals, transparent appliqué tulle embroidery and 10,000 tiny, imported pearls. The elaborate patterns on the 15-foot train (attached at the shoulder) were embroidered in pearl, crystal and appliqué duchesse satin and inspired by Botticelli's Primavera, to signify hope after the long war.

Royal Wedding Dresses

One of the most celebrated wedding gowns in history, actress Grace Kelly's wedding dress was made by Helen Rose, a wardrobe designer at MGM. To solidify her suitability as a princess, her high-neck wedding gown featured a modest rounded collar, full skirt of ivory peau de soie, and a fitted bodice made of Brussels lace embroidered with seed pearls. Her veil was covered with appliquéd lace lovebirds.

Royal Wedding Dresses

Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister, wore a simple gown by her favorite designer, Norman Hartnell, for the first-ever televised royal wedding. The white silk organza dress, with a high neckline and fitted bodice, had a short train rather than a separate court train. Princess Margaret wore a Claude St Cyr of Paris veil with piping on the trim to match her dress, and a Poltimore tiara purchased at auction (the tiara was again sold in 2006 at a Christie's auction for more than $1 million).

Royal Wedding Dresses

To marry the future King of Spain in an elaborate Catholic ceremony in Athens, Princess Sophia (a descendent of Queen Victoria) wore a beautiful dress in lamé with ancient brocade by Jean Desses, a world-famous designer of the time. Her 15-foot train was kept in place by a tiara that was gifted to her by Queen Frederica.

Royal Wedding Dresses

Christian Dior's then-designer Marc Bohan was the choice for Queen Silvia's couture gown. For the wedding at Stockholm Cathedral, her simple-cut ivory gown was accentuated with a 13-foot train and a veil made of Brussels lace that was held in place by the Queen Josephine cameo tiara.

Royal Wedding Dresses

For the royal event at St. Paul's Cathedral in London that was watched around the world, the bride wore a silk taffeta wedding gown created by British designers Elizabeth and David Emanuel. In true 1980s fashion the dress had huge puff sleeves and a frilly neckline, and was bedecked with 10,000 hand-stitched pearls. Most notable about the gown was the record-breaking 25-foot train.

Royal Wedding Dresses

An ivory duchesse satin gown by designer Lindka Cierach was created for the Duchess of York to reflect her love for her husband. A 17-foot train was embroidered with an "A" for Andrew, and featured an anchor to represent the groom's experience in the navy. Typical of dresses in the 1980s, the scooped-neck gown had padded shoulders accented by bows and a large bow at the bustle that flowed into the long, personalized train.

Royal Wedding Dresses



More Royal Wedding News:

Prince William Gave Kate Middleton His Mom's Engagement Ring -- Check it Out!


Browse our Gallery of Royal Weddings of Windsor

From the wedding cake to the dress: Find out what the royal wedding details are!

Will Prince William and Kate Middleton be inspired by other royal weddings? Browse our gallery of royal weddings from around the world

Visit RoyalWedding.aol.com for the Most Comprehensive Royal Wedding Coverage on the Web



Royal Wedding Videos

  • LINDA

    I STRONGLY FEEL EVERY BRIDE SHOULD FEEL, AND LOOK LIKE A PRINCESS ON HER WEDDING DAY. PRINCESS DIANA WAS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, HER GOWN WAS SPECTACULAR.. NOW THAT WAS CLASSY !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Pili

    Couldn't say it any better....

  • Megan

    The picture of Prince Charles and Camilla is wrong. The description is of her wedding dress, but the photo is the outfit she wore later in the day, which is clearly not what is being described.

    Reply
  • 3 Comments / 1 Pages

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