Whether you are born a princess or a commoner, there is something so special about picking out your wedding dress. Royal weddings are like fairytales, and the stakes to wear the perfect gown are much higher when the world is watching. From Princess Diana to Kate Middleton’s dress that sparked a design trend, these are the most fabulous royal wedding dresses and the secrets behind their designs. Take a trip down royal memory lane to see the most iconic wedding dresses you might have forgotten about.
1. Princess Caroline Of Monaco And Philippe Junot – 1978
Princess Caroline of Monaco could not have been more glamorous at her wedding to Philippe Junot. As Grace Kelly’s daughter, she had a lot to live up to for her wedding look, but she did not disappoint. Her ’70s style gown designed by Marc Bohan made everyone gasp because she looked flawless.
The gown was originally designed for Christian Dior, and it featured translucent bell sleeves and a delicate skirt with lace flowers. Instead of wearing a tiara, Princess Caroline channeled Princess Leia with two buns and floral crowns.
2. Princess Elizabeth And Prince Philip Mountbatten – 1947
Before she became the Queen, Elizabeth II was Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York. In 1947, she married the Duke of Edinburgh in this stunning Norman Hartnell gown that was inspired by the painting ‘Primavera’ by Sandro Botticelli. Although her dress was perfect, her original tiara cracked in half two hours before the wedding.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The ivory dress was embellished with white seed pearls and an embroidered floral pattern using silver thread. The Queen was a vision on her wedding day, and she could not have looked more regal. She set the trend for wedding dresses during this time, and many brides used this style.
3. Queen Letizia And King Felipe of Spain – 2004
Journalist Letizia Ortiz married King Felipe of Spain in 2004, and it came as a surprise to many. The couple met at a dinner party held by a mutual friend, and they secretly dated for a year before announcing their engagement. Six months later, Letizia walked down the aisle in the most expensive dress worn by a royal.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Letizia’s gown was designed by Manuel Pertegaz, featuring natural silks embroidered gold thread and a 15-foot train. The dress also had a high standing collar, and she wore a simple tiara to compliment the whole thing. The dress cost a whopping $8 million!
4. Princess Grace Kelly Of Monaco And Prince Rainier – 1956
Oscar-winning actress Grace Kelly might have been used to wearing glamorous outfits for Hollywood premieres, but her wedding day was a new level of fashion. When she married Prince Rainer III, she wore a gown designed by MGM costumer, Helen Rose.
Joseph McKeown/Getty Images
It was the ultimate fairy princess look, and Grace Kelly looked like a million dollars. It was the only royal wedding dress designed by a Hollywood costume designer, but it was nothing short of perfection. It featured 125-year-old lace and hand-sewn pearls as finishing touches.
5. Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew – 1986
Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew in 1986 at Westminister Abbey, and as someone who was looked to for fashion inspiration, people were excited to see what she would wear. Designed by Lindka Cierach, her gown was ivory and had lots of delicate details.
John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images
The Duchess’s dress featured heavy beadwork, depicting sentimental symbols to the couple, like hearts, anchors, thistles, and bumblebees. Although the couple ended up divorcing, this gown is something special she can hold onto from that marriage.
6. Princess Diana And Prince Charles – 1981
Princess Diana’s wedding dress was the most closely guarded secret in fashion history. When she and Prince Charles got married, everyone was anxiously waiting to find out what she would be wearing because she was already a style icon at that point.
David Levenson/Getty Images
Diana walked down the aisle in a David and Elizabeth Emanuel gown featuring elaborate hand embroidery, 10,000 pearls, and a 25-foot long train. There was so much fabric that they actually had trouble fitting it all into the glass coach that took her to the church. She also spilled a bottle of perfume down the front of her dress.
7. Princess Masako Owada And Prince Naruhito – 1993
Princess Masako Owada of Japan finally married Prince Naruhito after almost a decade and three proposals. The couple had their ceremony at the Kashiko-dokoro, the Shinto shrine of Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
Imperial Household Agency/Getty Images
The stunning princess wore an ivory gown with large ruffles on the neckline for her actual wedding day. Here the couple is pictured at their 11th wedding anniversary, where she wore a similar dress with the same tiara she wore on her wedding day.
8. Prince William And Kate Middleton, Duchess Of Cambridge – 2011
As one of the most-watched royal weddings on TV, the world watched with bated breath as Kate Middleton stepped out of her car to reveal her wedding dress. The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing a white Victorian-inspired gown designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. To give her something blue, the designer sewed a blue ribbon inside the dress.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Middleton’s gown was distinct from the strapless gowns that dominated the early 2010s with the delicate lace sleeves and cinched-in bodice. Since her wedding, bridal boutiques have been referencing this style often.
9. Princess Beatrice And Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi – 2020
Because their wedding was during a pandemic, Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi tied the knot at an intimate ceremony at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Windsor’s Royal Lodge. Their initial nuptials were scheduled for May but had to be replanned.
BENJAMIN WHEELER/PA WIRE
It was much smaller than the other royal weddings, but Princess Beatrice looked fabulous. She wore a vintage Norman Hartnell gown on loan from the Queen. She paired it with the Queen Mary’s diamond fringe tiara, the same one the Queen and Princess Anne Wore for their wedding.
10. Sophie Rhys-Jones And Prince Edward – 1999
Sophie Rhys-Jones married the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Andrew, at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The stylish bride looked angelic in her white gown designed by Samantha Shaw, featuring a pearl-encrusted V-neck and an ivory silk coat style.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Everyone who was anyone was in attendance, and people were so excited to see Jones with the youngest son of the Queen. As her veil flowed in the wind, Jones looked perfect, and she was ready to be a royal.
11. Princess Eugenie Of York And Jack Brooksbank – 2018
Although she was marrying a commoner, Princess Eugenie wasn’t going to have a simple wedding. The couple wed in 2018, and Eugenie wore a custom gown by Peter Pilotto. It featured an off-the-shoulder neckline, long sleeves, a dramatic train, and it fit her beautifully.
Victoria Jones – WPA Pool/Getty Images
She requested this silhouette to show off the scar on her back from surgery she had as a child. The fabric contained a thistle from Scottland because of the couple’s fondness of one of the royal estates there, a shamrock, and the York rose and ivy.
12. Lady Helen Of Windsor And Tim Taylor – 1992
When Lady Helen of Windsor married art dealer Tim Taylor, she had to have the most perfect wedding dress. The couple got married at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and the beautiful architecture inspire the designer of the dress.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Designer, Catherine Walker took inspiration from the arches at the church to create this one-of-a-kind dress with a wide neckline and short sleeves. The neckline was embroidered and looked stunning on Lady Helen.
13. Princess Margaret And Antony Armstrong-Jones – 1960
Although she wasn’t next in line for the throne, Princess Margaret got a royal wedding like any of the other family members. Her wedding to fashion photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones was the first royal wedding broadcast on TV, so she had to look her best.
Central Press/Getty Images
Three hundred million people watched as Princess Margaret walked down the aisle wearing an elegant but simple Norman Hartnell gown, the same designer who made the Queen’s wedding dress. She started the trend of more minimal dresses with long sleeves.
14. Princess Anne and Mark Philips – 1973
Princess Anne and her husband Mark Phillips got married in 1973. As the daughter of the Queen, her wedding was very special, and she chose a Tudor-style white gown with strikingly long sleeves and a high mock neck.
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Princess Anne’s dress was designed by Maureen Baker and resembled an outfit worn by Princess Leia in Star Wars. Maybe she was hoping to rule a galaxy far, far away one day.
15. Camilla Parker Bowles And Prince Charles – 2005
After his divorce from Princess Diana, Prince Charles soon began dating his long-time lover, Camilla Parker. While they waited a few years to get married, their wedding wasn’t small. The couple exchanged vows at St. George’s Chapel and she wore something different than the typical bride.
Bowles walked down the aisle in a soft blue chiffon dress with a sleek blue and gold overcoat. The collar of the coat was embellished with gold, and she added a matching fascinator. It set the trend for women getting married for the second time who didn’t want to wear traditional gowns.
16. Zara Phillips And Mike Tindal – 2011
Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter Zara Phillips Married Mike Tindal in a fabulous ceremony for Scottland’s first royal wedding in 20 years. Well-wishers lined the streets as the couple exchanged vows.
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Zara wore a classic English A-Line gown created by the Queen’s couturier Stewart Parvin. The dress featured tulle sleeves and a corset-like bodice. She looked breathtaking, and women couldn’t get enough of this style that year after they saw her wearing it.
17. Prince Harry And Meghan Markle – 2018
Like Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, all eyes were glued to the TV when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walked down the aisle. People had been anticipating their wedding for months, and because she is a Hollywood star, everyone was curious what she was going to wear.
Ben STANSALL – WPA Pool/Getty Images
For the ceremony, Markle wore a simple white dress with a bateau neckline designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy. Her veil was 16.5 feet long and featured hand-embroidered silk tulle. Markle later changed into a Stella McCartney gown for the reception.
18. Princess Marie-Chantel of Greece And Prince Pavlov – 1995
Princess Marie-Chantel of Green married Prince Pavlov at St. Sophia’s Cathedral in London. The princess wore an ivory Valentino gown with rose appliques and sleeves decorated with more floral details.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
We can see many brides rocking this style because it is so flattering. Princess Marie-Chantal’s dress was timeless, and she looked so effortlessly beautiful on her wedding day.
19. Mary Donaldson Of Denmark And Crown Prince Frederik – 2004
Mary Donaldson of Denmark married Crown Prince Frederik in a fabulous ceremony at the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, Denmark. Donaldson’s wedding dress was designed by Uffe Frank, featuring ivory duchess satin with a scooped neckline.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
The slim-fit bodice and lily-like sleeves looked perfect on Donaldson. The finishing touch was her antique veil that was first worn by Crown Princess Margaretha of Sweden. It was the perfect color match for her ivory dress.
20. Princess Victoria And Prince Daniel Of Sweden – 2010
As the heir to the Swedish throne, Princess Victoria wore an off-the-shoulder gown Pär Engsheden for her 2010 wedding. Like Queen Silvia, Victoria kept her look minimalistic and topped the outfit off with a Napoleonic-era tiara that couldn’t be missed.
Jonas Ekstromer – Pool/Getty Images
Victoria’s gown was special because it had a 16-foot detachable train, a round collar, and delicate details on the fabric. She looked regal, and she was fit for royalty the second she was born, but this was only enhanced by the way she looked on her wedding day.
21. Lady Rose Windsor And Prince Edward – 2008
The daughter of the Queen’s cousin, Lady Rose Windsor, married Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. She wore a white gown with a long train and flowing short sleeves. She also wore a glistening tiara that once belonged to Queen Mary.
Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images
Lady Rose and Prince Edward looked stunning together and the whole royal family was in attendance. They must have a busy calendar because of all the weddings scheduled each year.
22. Princess Charlene Of Monaco And Prince Albert – 2011
Princess Charlene of Monaco is yet another royal bride who nailed her wedding day look and inspired brides everywhere. Charlene married Prince Albert in an Armani Prive gown, which she called a ‘masterpiece.’
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Roberto Armani said, ‘it was such a huge responsibility that we actually made two dresses just in case something happened to one of them.’ The gorgeous gown took 2,500 hours to make and featured a five-meter-long train with 40,000 Swarovski crystals and 20,000 mother-of-pearl teardrops.
23. Lady Gabriella Windsor And Thomas Kingston – 2019
In 2019, the daughter of Prince Michael of Kent, the Queen’s cousin, Lady Gabriella Windsor, wed Thomas Kingston at St. George’s Chapel. The traditional ceremony brought in most of the royal family, and Lady Gabriella wore a Luisa Beccaria dress.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The lace gown featured an illusion neckline and long sleeves with a delicate pattern. She looked terrific with a subtle tiara that complimented her dress, and the happy couple looked so in love.
24. Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands And Prince Claus – 1966
In her 1966 wedding, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands wore a minimalist satin gown designed by Bergé-Farwick of Maison Linette. The simple dress featured a long train, but she kept all the other details minimalistic.
Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Beatrix’s sparkling tiara stole the show while her red hair complimented the ivory satin dress. She and her husband, Prince Claus, looked like the picture-perfect couple and showed that royal wedding gowns don’t have to be over the top to make a statement.
25. Princess Madeleine Of Sweden And Christopher ONeill – 2013
The wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O’Neill took place in Stockholm, and her dress was grand. Her white lace gown designed by Valentino Garavani had a long train that needed to be carried by assistants, but she looked phenomenal.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
The wedding was broadcasted on TV, and people were excited to see what she would be wearing because she is such a chic woman. She was escorted halfway down the aisle by her father, and people there were people to help her with the train.
26. Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones And Daniel Chatto – 1994
Like her mother, Princess Margaret, Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones’s wedding dress by Jasper Conran was minimalistic yet chic. The silk chiffon dress, with heavy organza layers, was fantastic and timeless. We can see many brides wearing this style even today.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
For a royal, the event was intimate and took place in a small 17th-century church because they didn’t want a big affair. Instead of a tiara, she wore a flower crown, and it looked perfect on her.
27. Kendra Salwa Spears And Prince Rahim Aga Khan – 2013
Formerly known as Kendra Spears, the former model became Princess Salwa Aga Khan when she married Prince Rahim Aga Khan in 2013. For her traditional nuptials, Kendra chose an ivory and gold sari.
Gary Otte/The Ismaili via Getty Images
She looked picturesque in the traditional frock that was perfectly fit for a royal wedding. Although she is married, a princess, and a mother now, Kendra still has time to model and continue her work to keep up with her career.
28. Princess Elisabetta Maria Rosboch von Wolkenstein And Prince Amedeo of Belgium – 2014
Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images
29. Princess Sofia of Sweden And Prince Carl Philip of Sweden – 2015
Sofia Hellqvist said ‘I do’ to Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip in 2015. She wore a long-sleeve lace dress that took inspiration from Kate Middleton’s wedding gown. Designed by Ida Sjöstedt, the dress featured delicate lace made by José María Ruiz and a hand-cut and hand-stitched train.
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Sofia’s veil was made of tulle embellished with cotton appliques. She looked perfect, and her tiara tied the whole thing together. It must be cool to become a princess and get to wear a shiny tiara.
30. Charlotte Casiraghi And Dimitri Rassam – 2019
Although Princess Grace of Monaco’s granddaughter hosted a very lowkey wedding in June 2019, she had a larger celebration a month later. Charlotte Casiraghi and Dimitri Rassam tied the knot for the second time in Provence, and she wore a couture Giambattista Valli gown.
Charlotte’s dress looked like something from the 70s, and it fit her perfectly. They weren’t too over the top like other royal weddings, and it was perfect for their taste level and how they are as a couple.
31. Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz And Prince Michael of Kent – 1978
German-born Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz married Prince Michael of Kent in Vienna, Austria. Belville Sassoon designed the ’70s-style classic silk crepe royal wedding dress. The high neck donned with pearls looked fabulous with her large tiara.
John Downing/Getty Images
It was her second husband after she got an annulment, and she wore the city of London diamond fringe tiara. Many other women copied her wedding dress style because it was so on-trend for the time.
32. Alessandra de Osma And Prince Christian of Hanover – 2018
The ceremony between Prince Christian of Hanover and Alessandra de Osma took place in San Pedro Church in Lima, Peru. The 17th-century structure was the perfect backdrop for their nuptials, and Alessandra wore the most gorgeous dress.
Raul Sifuentes/Getty Images
Designed by Spanish fashion designer Jorge Vazquéz, the dress featured long lace sleeves, and it was inspired by Kate Middleton’s dress. She wore a large bejeweled tiara to compliment her simple hairstyle.
33. Lady Charlotte Wellesley And Alejandro Santo Domingo – 2016
The other royals should watch out because Lady Charlotte Wellesley and Alejandro Santo Domingo’s wedding was absolute perfection. Lady Charlotte wore a breathtaking white wedding dress by Emilia Wickstead, and she looked like a princess.
Daniel Perez/Getty Images
Lady Charlotte gave us all the #Bridegoals with her long-sleeve gown and unique collar. People lined the streets to watch the arrivals of the family, and there was even a bit of rain, which is good luck on your wedding day.
34. Autumn Kelly And Peter Phillips – 2008
Peter Phillips was the first of Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren to marry, and his beautiful bride Autumn Kelly was a vision in white. She wore a Sassi Holford gown with an A-line shape and a lace shall.
Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
Her bridesmaids wore sage green dresses that matched her bouquet. Her simple tiara complimented the minimalistic dress. The couple’s wedding was more beyond beautiful, and the royal family showed up to share in the happy day.
35. Princess Stéphanie Of Luxembourg And Prince Guillaume – 2012
The religious wedding of Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg and Prince Guillaume took place at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Luxembourg. Lebanese designer Ellie Saab took a total of 3,900 hours to make the dress.
Vic Fischbach/Grand-Ducal Court of Luxembourg via Getty Images
Seven hundred hours were spent on the construction of the dress, and another 3,200 were spent on the embroidery. It was complete with the 13-foot train and 50,000 pearls.
36. Claire Lademacher And Prince Felix Of Luxembourg – 2013
Claire Lademacher and Prince Felix of Luxembourg got married in a religious ceremony in the south of France. Claire wore a picturesque lace gown by Ellie Saab. The ivory silk dress was embroidered with Chantilly lace floral motifs and glimmering silver threads.
The gown had a 10-foot train with neo-baroque flower details that continued into the length of the silk tulle veil. She was the most gorgeous bride we have ever seen, and her tiara topped the whole look off.
37. Princess Tatiana of Greece And Prince Nikolaos Of Greece – 2010
The lavish wedding of Princess Tatiana and Prince Nikolaos of Greece took place in the breathtaking Spetses, Greece. Tatiana arrived in a horse-drawn carriage wearing an Angel Sanchez gown.
Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Created from 131-feet of Chantilly lace with a molded bodice that showed off her slender waist. To keep herself modest in the church, she added a lace shall to cover her shoulders, and it perfectly matched her lace veil.
38. Princess Anne Marie And King Constantine II – 1964
When Princess Anne Marie married King Constantine II, she must have predicted Princess Leia’s iconic hairstyle because she looked like a princess from a galaxy far, far away. Her dress was simple, yet the attention to detail was incredible.
Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The high-waisted number had lots of lace, and it was the perfect choice for her body. The wide neck design showed off her decolletage, and her simple necklace was the perfect accessory for the look.
39. Princess Martha Louise And Ari Behn of Norway – 2002
Her brother’s rule-breaking marriage to a woman with a complex past paved the way for Princess Martha Louise to marry author, Ari Behn. For her lovely nuptials, Princess Martha wore an ivory dress covered in crystals and with long sleeves shaped like trumpets.
Sion Touhig/Getty Images
The coat dress was designed by Norwegian designer Wenche Lyche and she added Queen Maud’s pearl and diamond tiara. For the reception, she removed the coat to show off her arms.
40. Queen Soraya Of Iran And Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – 1951
Queen Soraya of Iran married Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on February 12, 1951, at the Marble Palace in Tehran. She wore the most stunning 40-pound strapless dress made of 37 yards of silver lame.
The gown featured 6,000 diamond pieces and 20,000 marabou feathers. It was also studded with pearls, and it was the perfect dress for a woman of her status. The dress was talked about for years because it was so lavish.