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HRH Princess Beatrice of York’s wedding dress to go on display at Windsor Castle

Release date: Monday, 7 September 2020

Princess Beatrice's wedding dress


HRH Princess Beatrice of York’s wedding dress, first worn by Her Majesty The Queen in the 1960s, will go on public display at Windsor Castle from 24 September 2020.

Designed by the renowned British fashion designer Sir Norman Hartnell, the dress was loaned to Her Royal Highness by Her Majesty The Queen for her wedding to Mr Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on 17 July 2020. It is made of ivory peau de soie taffeta, and the skirt is trimmed with a band of ivory duchesse satin. The dress is an example of Hartnell’s signature crinoline silhouette and love of embellishment, as seen in the geometric hand embroidery in crystals and diamantés over the bodice, waist and hips.

Sir Norman Hartnell’s original design was altered for Princess Beatrice under the direction of Miss Angela Kelly, Personal Advisor, Dresser and Curator to The Queen, and the British fashion designer Mr Stewart Parvin. The full-skirted silhouette was softened to give a more contemporary, simplified shape, and the underskirt and petticoats were recreated and bound with silk tulle. Short sleeves of triple organza were added to the straps and embroidered with vintage diamantés to match the original Hartnell embroidery design. Each alteration made to the dress is reversible.

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901–1979) first became couturier to Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) in 1937 and then to her daughter, Her Majesty The Queen, who awarded him a Royal Warrant in 1957. Hartnell was responsible for designing many of the outfits worn by The Queen for State events, tours and family occasions throughout the first half of her reign, including Her Majesty’s wedding dress in 1947 and Coronation dress in 1953. He was knighted by The Queen in 1977 and continued to work for Her Majesty until his death in 1979.

The Queen first wore the taffeta gown for a State dinner at the British Embassy in Rome during a State Visit in 1961. Her Majesty wore it again to the London premiere of the film Lawrence of Arabia in 1962 and for the State Opening of Parliament in 1966. The design of the dress is in keeping with Her Majesty’s predominant style of State evening wear in the 1960s – a full-skirted silhouette, often executed in shades of ivory to provide a perfect foil for rich embroideries and the brightly coloured broad ribands of orders of insignia.

The display at Windsor Castle will also feature Princess Beatrice’s wedding shoes, made by Valentino and previously worn by Her Royal Highness on occasions including the wedding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. In addition, a replica of Her Royal Highness’s bridal bouquet made from artificial flowers has been created for the display. The bouquet was designed by Patrice Van Helden, co-owner of RVH Floral Design, and contained trailing jasmine, pale pink and cream sweet peas, Royal Porcelina spray roses, pink O’Hara roses, pink ‘wax flower’ (Chamelaucium uncinatum) and baby pink astilbe, as well as sprigs of myrtle in keeping with royal tradition.

The special display of HRH Princess Beatrice of York’s wedding dress is part of a visit to Windsor Castle from 24 September to 22 November 2020.