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Detail from a portrait of the marriage of Princess Helena
Royal Weddings

The history of Royal weddings as seen through items in the Royal Collection

Wedding dresses

Although the ceremony involved in a royal wedding evokes long, ancient tradition, often the dress worn by the bride is reflective of contemporary fashion and the bride's personal style. For example, Queen Victoria wore a plain court dress whereas Queen Elizabeth wore a drop waist dress of ivory chiffon typical of the early 1920s fashion.

Uniting all wedding ensembles was the incorporation of incredibly fine lace. Queen Victoria commissioned Honiton lace for her wedding ensemble, reviving the flagging lace industry in Honiton Devon. She also insisted that Princess Alexandra, in her wedding to Prince Edward VII, wore Honiton rather than Brussels lace. Queen Mary continued the tradition of wearing Honiton lace; this was used for the trimming of both the bodice and skirt of her dress.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.