The royal wedding is one of those once-in-a-lifetime occasions you’ll never experience again – how often do you get to watch the modern day fairytale of a royal prince marrying his college sweetheart? Of course, while many people woke up at 4:00 am to watch the processional down the aisle and the couple’s vows, Kate Middleton’s wedding gown – and the rest of the wedding party fashion – was the main objective. With pastel colored skirt suits, court shoes with five-inch heels and fanciful hats broken out only for an event of this caliber, the British styles of the day did not disappoint.
Kept under wraps until the ceremony’s commencement, Middleton chose a stunning Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown to marry Prince William. With long white lace sleeves and a deep V-neck, the ivory and white satin gown echoed the wedding dress of another commoner who married European royalty - Grace Kelly, an American actress who married the Prince of Monaco. The dress featured a hand-engineered French Chantilly lace overlaid on the corset bodice and skirt (with an 8 foot train!), sewn by the Royal School of Needlework in assisting Burton and her team. For the finishing details, the Duchess of Cambridge wore a satin and lace pair of Alexander McQueen shoes and – best of all, in my opinion – a Cartier halo tiara from 1936 owned by the Queen herself.
In a second wedding ensemble, Middleton wore another Burton for McQueen dress – this time a satin strapless evening gown with a sparkling diamond waistband and a fuzzy shrug. While her first gown definitively ensured her status as a princess, Middleton’s second outfit showcased her ability to dress in an elegant yet festive manner for a royal gala!
The bride’s sister, Pippa Middleton, also wore Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, choosing a striking ivory satin column gown from the McQueen pre-fall 2009 collection. It was recognized around the world within seconds, as Cameron Diaz wore a version in red satin to the Golden Globes in January 2010.
Emblematic of the typical royal wedding guest uniform, the Countess of Windsor wore a classic skirt ensemble and interesting hat. She paired a champagne-colored suit with sparkle-encrusted sleeves and belt by Bruce Oldfield with a pair of nude Jimmy Choo shoe, similarly glittery clutch and a Jane Taylor hat featuring a supersized flower.
Appropriately attired, the sophisticated matriarchs of the ceremony all wore a trio of pastel-colored coats and dresses with large, dramatic country hats – Carole Middleton in pale blue, the Queen in bright yellow and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in a beige and sea foam green color scheme.
In an adorable ensemble seemingly made for a spring wedding, Princess Letizia of Spain wore a delicate pale pink dress by designer Felipe Varela with long sleeves and embroidered with flowers, paired with correspondingly hued shoes and cloche hat.
As per usual, Victoria Beckham’s sartorial choices were one of the most highly anticipated aspects of the wedding (beyond the official wedding gown, of course). Beckham chose a navy sheath with a pleated skirt from her own collection, paired with an intricate Philip Treacy hat, foldover black clutch, and sky high Christian Louboutin court heels. Keeping with the dark, dramatic theme, the designer showcased a deep smoky eye for makeup while her hair was slicked back into a tight ponytail.
The princesses of York, William’s cousins, chose the event’s most youthful, eccentric outfits – featuring elaborate Philip Treacy hats as their centerpieces, Eugenie wore a blue Vivienne Westwood dress with a poufy skirt and tight printed bodice with bows, while Beatrice chose a nude Valentino couture coat.
A British socialite, TV presenter and model (known for her extensive cocaine use and its negative effects on her nose job), Tara Palmer Tomkinson made a statement in a fitted sheath by Deborah Milner. She dressed head-to-toe in an attention-grabbing shade of royal blue, pairing the dress with matching gloves, shoe, hat and clutch.