Articles - January 2021

Princess Beatrice

Granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II Marries During Pandemic

Princess Beatrice, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, and ninth in line of succession to the British throne, married property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi during the pandemic. The wedding was in accordance with all relevant Government Guidelines concerning the coronavirus. The small ceremony took place at The Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor and was attended by only close friends and family, including Beatrice’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

People probably don't think about the origins of wedding attire that most of us have come to know today, but the royals have been a far more significant influence on wedding apparel's conceptual vision, thank you might think. Members of the royal family have been trendsetters in bridal fashion for nearly a century and a half, starting with Queen Victoria's iconic white silk wedding dress in 1840 when she married Prince Albert. Victoria's white wedding dress was an unusual choice at the time when most brides opted for colored fabrics, but white has since become the traditional color of bridal gowns around the globe. Since the time of Victoria and Albert's nuptials, royal brides have commonly worn their own similar, but personalized version of her famous white, long-sleeved gown containing lace and a full train.

In 1923 Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, the late Queen Mother, wore a white loose-fitted gown, as was popular throughout the 1910s and 20s, with intricate lace detailing, a lace train, and long veil (photo on page 87). Following Lady Elizabeth’s example, each generation of royal brides has had their dress designed based on their personal preferences, current fashion trends, and sometimes even world events. For instance, when Queen Elizabeth II was married to Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947, shortly after the end of the Second World War, she wore a high-necked cream-colored dress embellished with 10,000 pearls and a 13-foot embroidered train, said to be symbolic of rebirth and growth after the war.

Making fashion history once again, Princess Diana wore what is considered to be one of the “Most Influential British Royal Wedding Dresses of All Time” (according to Time magazine). Her gown was made of ivory silk taffeta and antique lace containing ‘80s-style puffy sleeves, a fashion hit of the decade (photo on page 85). Likewise, thirty years and a generation later, Kate Middleton, during her wedding to Prince William, gained high praise from an adoring public with her choice in bride couture. From their wedding almost ten years ago to present times, the Duchess of Cambridge has been known for her refined and impeccably polished fashion sense while maintaining a willingness to follow well-established and respected traditional protocols. She gracefully wore a more modern, sleek style, but the traditional long sleeves, fabrics and lacework remained a key feature of her ensemble. The dress was beloved by many, and long-sleeved gowns became an extremely popular choice for brides across the world following the 2011 ceremony (photo on page 87). Kate has chartered forward on her new found royal journey, and her characteristic elegance continues to be highly regarded when it comes to representing international fashion even today. Another notable illustration of sophistication, during the 2018 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – Meghan wore a pure white, boat neck gown with three-quarter length sleeves, a full train, and a long, lace veil (photo on page 88). She chose to include a symbolic element to the design as well: her veil was hand-embroidered with flowers representing the 53 countries of the Commonwealth, plus a poppy for her home state of California, and a wintersweet, which grows in the garden of Nottingham Cottage.

Fast forward to July of 2020, Princess Beatrice wore a beautiful vintage gown, on loan from her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. Wearing vintage as opposed to enlisting a couturier to craft a custom-made wedding dress was Beatrice’s first break with what is commonly expected of royals. The gown was made by Norman Hartnell, a well-established designer of the 20th century and a go-to for the Windsors. This was quite a departure from the mainstream designers responsible for previous brides' wedding dresses, including Alexander McQueen, who crafted Kate's, and Givenchy's Clara Waight Keller, who made Meghan's. Moreover, unlike the others, the one worn by Princess Beatrice contained short sleeves and no lace. Beatrice did, however, pay tribute to her royal heritage not only in the borrowed gown from Queen Elizabeth II, but also by wearing Queen Mary's diamond fringe tiara, the same one the Queen wore on her own wedding day. Beatrice's ensemble was put on display at Windsor Castle encased in glass for preservation purposes, to add to those who came before her. When exhibits open again, fans and admirers will be able to go and see for themselves - the beautifully woven, intricate details of this royal garment. Although it may have been an unexpected departure from royal wedding style, Beatrice was stunning in her vintage gown, and her unanticipated look was perfect for a wedding during such challenging times.

FREE Digital Edition
See and read Diplomatic Connections Magazine
View Archived Digital Editions