As future duchess Meghan Markle starts to ponder what she'll wear to her royal wedding, there's no doubt she'll look at the styles of the women who came before her. While Princess Diana's '80s ballgown and Kate Middleton's Grace Kelly-inspired dress were iconic in their own right, don't forget the biggest wedding of them all. Queen Elizabeth's 1947 nuptials to Prince Philip ushered in new bridal style where no detail went undone.
Elaborate embroidery was royal dressmaker 's signature, and he didn't skimp on his most important commission to date: the wedding dress of then-Princess Elizabeth for her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip. He dreamt up a heart-shaped-neckline and full skirt, calling it "the most beautiful dress I ever made."
Even though she was the future queen, the princess didn't have an unlimited budget. Wartime rationing was still in place for everyone, including the royal family. Luckily, the government granted the bride in addition to the ones she had saved.
Botticelli's Renaissance masterpiece Primavera , with the overall theme of rebirth and growth after World War II. Hartnell invoked this by covering the gown with in gold and silver thread.
While many parts of the gown came from Britain, Hartnell encrusted the gown with thousands of seed pearls from the United States in addition to crystals and sequins. for the fabric instead of recent foes Japan and Italy.
Although diamonds set in gold and silver sound pretty solid, the (on loan from the future-Queen Mother) actually snapped on the big day before the bride left for Westminster Abbey. A jeweler quickly mended the break, but the hasty fix left a slightly noticeable gap towards center of the frame.
Florist submitted five designs, and his arrangement of three kinds of British-grown orchids made the final cut. The all-white bunch also included a sprig of myrtle grown from the same myrtle in Princess Victoria's wedding bouquet. But when the newlyweds went to take a portrait after the ceremony, the flowers had disappeared. They ended up taking new pictures a week later, but without the distinguished guests.
He didn't tell the Queen, but Hartnell secretly added an extra lucky clover on the left side of the skirt, "so that Her Majesty's hand could rest upon it during the ceremony," according to the .
Hartnell also designed the bride's satin sandals, made by . The silver buckles were both studded with small pearls.