Royal wedding dresses tend to get all of the attention at royal weddings. Who could forget Kate Middleton's Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen lace wedding dress? Similarly, Princess Diana's extravagant gown is downright iconic. And Grace Kelly's royal gown is now the very definition of elegance. But while royal wedding dresses get committed to both memory and history books, what about the attire of royal grooms?
While it's certainly hard to compete with their bride's gorgeous gown, the groom's garb at royal weddings is equally as important and oh-so-interesting. At Prince William's own royal wedding back in 2011, the groom wore the Colonel of the Irish Guards uniform. Seven years later, Prince Harry wore a military uniform of his own at the altar. However, the two brothers are far from the first royal grooms to sport military garb for their nuptials. Below are 25 royal grooms who've donned military uniforms for their royal weddings.
Prince Rainier III of Monaco
The Prince of Monaco married Grace Kelly, aka Hollywood royalty, in April of 1956 in a uniform he designed himself—a black tunic with gold cuffs and sky blue trousers with a golden racing stripe. His coat was decorated with medals representing the Italian and French military, and across his chest hung the red and white sash representing the Order of St. Charles.
Captain Mark Phillips
The only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Anne, married Captain Mark Phillips in November of 1973 at Westminster Abbey. At the time of the wedding, he was an acting Captain in the British Army. And one year afterward, he was appointed a Personal Aide-de-Camp to Queen Elizabeth II. Not bad!
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
In June 1976, King Carl XVI Gustaf married Miss Silvia Sommerlath in Stockholm. The King wore his Swedish naval admiral’s uniform decorated with the insignia of all four Swedish orders—the Order of the Seraphim, Order of the Sword, Order of the Polar Star, and Order of Vasa.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
On July 23, 1986, Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew in London. The Prince was in the dress uniform of a Royal Navy lieutenant, complete with a sword at his side. Symbolized by the insignia aiguillette draped over his shoulder, he holds the appointment of Vice Admiral, personal aide-de-camp to Queen Elizabeth II.
Willem-Alexander, Prince of Holland
In February of 2002, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander married Maxima Zorregueta Cerruti in Amsterdam. He wore his full Captain in the Royal Netherlands Navy uniform adorned with the Accession Medal 1980, ribbon and star of a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands, the Officer’s Cross, and star of a Knight of the House Order of the Golden Lion of Nassau.
Prince Felipe of Spain
Spain's Crown Prince Felipe married Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano in Madrid in May of 2004 in full uniform of a Commander of the Spanish Army. Accessorized with braided epaulets and a light blue sash, he was also decorated with an Insignia of the Order of the Golden Fleece, a Grand Cross Collar of the Order of Carlos III (Badge and Star), and the Grand Crosses for Military, Naval, and Aeronautic Merit with distinction.
When Prince William married Kate Middleton in front of millions in April of 2011, he followed royal tradition by wearing his Colonel of the Irish Guards uniform, which included a bright red coat that was rumored to have been selected by the Queen. William also wore his Royal Air Force wings in his Garter Sash, in addition to the Garter Star and Golden Jubilee Medal. A second sash was worn in gold and crimson because he was in the presence of members of the royal family, and the look was completed with white gloves and a gold sword sling—but without an actual sword.
Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
In June of 2015, Prince Carl Philip wed Sofia Hellqvist at the Royal Chapel in Stockholm. For the occasion, the groom wore a mess dress uniform of the Swedish Amphibious Corps that dated back to the year 1878. He also wore the sash and star of the Order of the Seraphim and the star of the Order of the Polar Star around his neck.
On May 19, 2018, Prince Harry arrived at St. George's Chapel in Windsor wearing the frockcoat uniform of the Blues and Royals. Kensington Palace revealed the Queen gave the groom her permission to wed in the military uniform. Since he was no longer serving in the Armed Forces, there was plenty of speculation on whether or not Prince Harry would wear a uniform.