30 Royal Wedding Dresses Throughout History

Take note Meghan Markle

Updated 10/01/18

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If you didn't get enough of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle royal wedding mania earlier this year, you're in luck! In honor of Princess Eugenie's upcoming royal wedding, we're looking back at the greatest royal wedding dresses in history. From Queen Victoria's trend-setting white dress to Princess Diana's long train, Queen Letizia of Spain, the lace dress that launched a thousand others on Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle's not one, but two iconic wedding dresses, these royal women sure know how to rock a dress down the aisle.

We drowned in all things royal wedding earlier this year, and we didn't get enough. The second royal wedding of 2018 is fast approaching and we love nothing more than an excuse to browse royal wedding dresses through the years. Meghan Markle's classic Claire Waight Keller dress is already one for the history books, but did you know it bears a striking resemblance to Princess Margaret's simple silk gown? Did you know that Queen Victoria popularized the white wedding dress? Before her, women just wore their best dress down the aisle. From Princess Diana's absolutely unforgettable big princess moment, to Grace Kelly's all over lace Hollywood creation? (Visions of Kate Middleton anyone?)

While the designer for Princess Eugenie's wedding dress hasn't been confirmed, we can definitely expect her to take some inspiration from the royal brides who came before her.

Can't get enough royal wedding dresses? Scroll through to see 30 iconic royal wedding dresses throughout history.

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Queen Victoria, 1840

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The white wedding dress that started it all! Fans of Masterpiece's Victoria are no doubt intimately acquainted with Queen Victoria's courtship and subsequent wedding to her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha on February 10, 1840. For her wedding at St. James Palace, the young Queen started a wedding trend that would live on for centuries by wearing a white wedding dress.

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Mary of Teck, 1893

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Mary of Teck married the future King George V, Queen Victoria's grandson and Queen Elizabeth's grandfather, in a beautiful gown designed by London-based Lingon and Curtis. The over-the-top gown was trimmed in ostrich feathers and orange blossoms.

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Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, 1923

Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married the Duke of York in 1923 and became an instant bridal icon. Her gown was considered a trend-setting piece of fashion, with its dropped waist, pearl and silver embellishments and very 1920s headpiece.

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Wallis Simpson, 1937

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For her wedding to the Duke of Windsor at the Château de Candé in France in 1937, Wallis Simpson (the world's most famous divorcée), wore a dress by designer Mainbocher. The pale blue color was custom created for the Duchess, and coined "Wallis blue."

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Queen Elizabeth, 1947

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For her wedding to Prince Phillip, the then Princess Elizabeth chose a duchesse-satin long-sleeved wedding gown with floral embroidery and crystal and pearl appliques (10,000 pearls, to be exact) designed by Norman Hartnell, who cited as his inspiration Botticelli's painting "Primavera." The 13-foot silk train made for quite the entrance and no doubt set royal wedding trends for the future.

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Rita Hayworth, 1949

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Rita Hayworth's wedding dress was an instant classic. The screen siren married Price Aly Khan in a periwinkle blue dress, complete with matching hat, from Christian Dior's classic New Look collection.

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Queen Soraya of Iran, 1951

Dmitri Kessel

The Empress of Iran's magnificent Christian Dior dress was complete with 20,000 feathers and 6,000 diamonds, for the over-the-top 1951 wedding.

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Grace Kelly, 1956

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Grace Kelly's wedding dress has become the stuff of designer, bride-to-be, and fashionista inspiration, the symbol of fairy-tale weddings, and one of the most-often-referenced wedding gowns in history. The high-necked, long-sleeved dress, with a long, billowing skirt (and a 10-and-a-half-foot-long train), was designed by Helen Rose and made from 125-year-old Brussels lace, taffeta, and thousands of hand-sewn pearls.

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Princess Margaret, 1960

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The silk organza wedding dress worn by Princess Margaret was also designed by Norman Hartnell, and was described by Life Magazine as "the simplest royal wedding gown in history." The Princess would perhaps start a trend as many royals after her would wear a similarly minimal long-sleeved silhouette.

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Queen Fabiola, 1960

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Designed by Cristóbol Balenciaga himself, Queen Fabiola's wedding dress, featuring a white mink trim, was so amazing it's currently housed at the Balenciaga Museum.

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Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, 1966

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The minimalist satin wedding dress Princess Beatrix wore to her 1966 wedding was designed by Bergé-Farwick of Maison Linette, and featured a long train.

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Princess Margrethe of Denmark, 1967

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The now Queen of Denmark chose a gown by Danish designer Jørgen Bende. The front of the square-necked and long-sleeved dress was covered in piece of lace that has been used on several of the royal family's wedding dresses.

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Queen Silvia of Sweden, 1976

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Dior's Marc Bohan also designed Queen Silvia's minimalistic wedding dress. Not minimalistic? The Cameo Tiara gifted by Emperor Napoleon to Josephine.

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Princess Caroline of Monaco, 1978

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Grace Kelly's daughter, Princess Caroline of Monaco, married Phillipe Junot in a very 1970s wedding dress by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior. She shunned a tiara in favor of two buns (very Princess Leia before Princess Leia) covered in dainty floral crowns. Trendsetter indeed.

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Queen Noor, 1978

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American Lisa Halaby, the future Queen Noor, married Jordan's King Hussein wearing a demure high-necked Christian Dior gown.

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Princess Diana, 1981

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Designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, Princess Diana's wedding dress became an instant icon, and sparked a thousand knockoffs—with the first copycat design hitting a department store just five hours after the royal ceremony. The silk-and-taffeta creation took the breath away of aspiring brides the world over. Hand-embroidered with mother-of-pearl sequins and an estimated 10,000 pearls, the gown took the designers months to prepare. Most famously, the 25-foot long train, adorned with lace that once belonged to Queen Mary, defined a decade of brides in the 1980s, who all longed for that show-stopping dramatic entrance.

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Queen Rania of Jordan, 1993

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Created by Bruce Oldfield, the dress Queen Rania of Jordan wore to marry Prince Abdullah in 1993 was beyond iconic. Covered in a gold detailed trim, the dress featured an over coat with a embroidered collar and a voluminous skirt.

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Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones, 1994

Much like her mother, Princess Margaret, Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones's wedding dress by Jasper Conran turned royal into minimal. The silk crepe chiffon dress, with heavy satin organza layers, was fantastically simple and timeless.

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Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, 1995

When Marie-Chantal Marie married Prince Pavlos of Greece she wore a Valentino gown featuring 12 different types of floral lace. It reportedly took more than 25 seamstresses to complete the ivory silk wedding dress.

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Sophie Rhys-Jones, 1999

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To marry Queen Elizabeth's youngest son Prince Edward at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle (the same venue as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle), Sophie Rhys-Jones tapped designer Samantha Shaw to create a pearl encrusted v-neck ivory silk organza coat dress.

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Camilla Parker Bowles, 2005

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For the low key wedding, Camilla Parker Bowles chose a blue cream silk chiffon dress topped with a matching silk coat, designed by Robinson Valentine. She topped it off with a creation of Philip Treacy's.

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Queen Letizia of Spain, 2004

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Journalist Letizia Ortiz married King Felipe of Spain in a design by Manuel Pertegaz. The wedding dress featured natural silks embroidered with gold thread, and a 15-foot train.

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Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, 2010

Torsten Laursen

The heir to the Swedish throne wore an off-the-shoulder gown by Pär Engsheden for her 2010 wedding. Like Queen Silvia, Princess Victoria topped the otherwise minimal look (except for that incredibly long train), with the Napoleonic-era Cameo Tiara.

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Kate Middleton, 2011

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What else can we say about Kate Middleton's lace covered Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding dress? Like Princess Diana and Grace Kelly before her, Kate's dress spawned thousands of copycat brides and is still influencing bridal trends today.

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Princess Charlene of Monaco, 2011

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Charlene Wittstock married Monaco's Prince Albert in an Armani Privé which she called a "masterpiece." Roberta Armani told Vogue, “It was such a huge responsibility that we actually made two dresses just in case something happened to one of them." According to the publication, the dress took 2,500 hours to make and featured a five-meter-long train adorned with 40,000 Swarovski crystals and 20,000 mother-of-pearl teardrops.

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Zara Phillips, 2011

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Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter Zara Phillips married Mike Tindall in a classic English a-line wedding dress created by the Queen's couturier Stewart Parvin.

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Stephanie de Lannoy, 2012

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The Belgian duchess wore an ivory Elie Saab wedding dress, complete with a 13-foot long train, to marry the heir to the throne of Luxembourg.

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Princess Salwa Aga Khan, 2013

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Kendra Spears became Princess Salwa Aga Khan when she married Prince Rahim Aga Khan in 2013. For the traditional wedding, the former model chose an ivory and gold classic sari.

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Elisabetta Maria Rosboch von Wolkenstein, 2014

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The ivory Valentino wedding dress Elisabetta wore to marry Belgium's Prince Amedeo was topped off with a 5 meter long point d'esprit tulle veil.

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Princess Sofia of Sweden, 2015

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Sofia Hellqvist said "I do" to Sweden's Prince Carl Philip in a long-sleeved lace dress with serious Duchess Kate vibes. Created by Ida Sjöstedt, the gown was covered in delicate lace made by José María Ruiz and a hand-cut then hand-stitched train.

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Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, 2018

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With the whole world watching, Meghan Markle was every ounce of royal grace in a classic and surprisingly minimal wedding dress designed by Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller, topped off with the Queen Mary Filigree tiara.

In a statement, the palace noted,"The focus of the dress is the graphic open bateau neckline that gracefully frames the shoulders and emphasizes the slender sculpted waist. The lines of the dress extend towards the back where the train flows in soft round folds cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza. The slim three-quarter sleeves add a note of refined modernity." The veil represented all 53 countries of the British Commonwealth with a floral embroidery for each, and hid a sweet message for Prince Harry—her "something blue" was a piece of the dress she wore on their first date sewn into the veil. “Somewhere in here there’s a piece of—did you see, the piece of blue fabric that’s stitched inside? It was my something-blue,” Meghan says in a clip of the upcoming documentary Queen of the World.

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Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, 2018

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Meghan Markle's Givenchy wedding dress was the talk of the town during the royal wedding, but we were even more blown away by her reception dress. To dance the night away with their closest friends and family (including Serena Williams and George Clooney), Meghan slipped into a sexy halter top Stella McCartney dress.

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