On May 19, American actress Meghan Markle will marry Prince Harry. Her dress is certain to be the center of attention at the royal ceremony. While we wait for a glimpse of Meghan's dress, here are royal wedding dresses throughout the ages.
It's the dress that started it all. When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840, she started the trend of brides wearing white for their wedding. The young queen selected a gown made of silk, satin, and lace to wear when she married Prince Albert.
In 1923, the future Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, married the Duke of York (later King George VI). Her dress was very different than Queen Victorias; it was classically 1920s.
Queen Elizabeth II
When Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip in 1947, her wedding gown had national importance. It was intended to symbolize the "rebirth and regrowth" of Britain after World War II. It was made of silk from China rather than silk from Japan or Italy because of the war. The queen had to save ration cards to pay for the dress, and it took 350 women seven weeks to create it.
Another iconic wedding dress was worn by an American. Grace Kelly's 1956 wedding dress that she wore to marry Prince Rainer of Monaco has influenced wedding fashion ever since. Its influence can be seen in Kate Middleton's dress, as well as the wedding dresses of Kim Kardashian (when she married Kris Humphries) and Ivanka Trump.
The whole world watched as Princess Diana married Prince Charles in 1981. Nearly 750 million people watched the wedding, and they were all in awe of her iconic dress. The gown featured a 25-foot train, sequins, and the embroidery of 10,000 pearls.
Just like Queen Victoria started the trend of wearing white for weddings, Kate Middleton radically influenced wedding dress trends when she married Prince William in 2011. The long sleeves on her elegant dress caused a shift from all of the strapless dresses that filled the wedding dress market. Brides will be emulating her clean and classic look for decades to come.
Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments. In other news, here's the one wedding tradition that Meghan and Harry will NOT be skipping. It has to do with her dress.