After the end of a royal courtship comes a royal wedding, and along with it, the watchful eye of the entire world.
From the venue to the guest list, every news outlet and inhabitant of Earth is sure to be watching the world-stopping event. And while many enjoy the day, most are awaiting the arrival of the bride herself. But even more so, what she’s chosen to wear.
With every eye on the royal brides, each of their wedding gowns are heavily studied, from the choice of fabric to how the dress fits. But much like the rest of royal attire, most of these wedding gowns house many personal and special messages that the bride wants to cherish on her big day.
From Kate Middleton’s special earrings to Queen Elizabeth’s secret inscription on her wedding band, keeps scrolling for every secret, hidden message that live in the most notable royal wedding gowns.
Princess Eugenie chose symbolic flowers to be embroidered inside her wedding dress
For Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank back in May 2018, the bride wore a stunning, custom number by Peter Pilotto for the big day. What some might not know is that designer Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos wove some special symbols into the material of the dress, each of which “are meaningful to Princess Eugenie as motifs”, a statement from the Palace explained.
There was a thistle, which is associated with the family’s royal residence in Balmoral, a shamrock for her Irish heritage on the Ferguson side, the York rose (the Duke and Duchess of York are her parents) and ivy to nod to their home of Ivy Cottage at Kensington Palace.
Kate Middleton’s wedding dress also had its own arrangement of flowers sewn into it
Much like Princess Eugenie, Kate Middleton chose flowers to symbolise her humble beginnings and the places she now represents during her wedding to Prince William in 2011. Used to create the ornate appliqué that covered the bodice of the dress, the Royal School of Needlework cut out floral patterns from long lengths of lace and then stitched them onto silk tulle.
The florals incorporated roses, thistles, and shamrocks, which traditionally represent England, Scotland, and Ireland, respectively. They were also embroidered using a 17th-century Irish lace-making technique called ‘Carrickmacross’, another nod to the nation.
Kate Middleton’s earrings were from her father and the acorn represented their family crest
Middleton’s Robinson Pelham earrings took inspiration from the Middleton family crest, that echoed the acorn and oak leaf motifs. Her mother Carole, and father Michael, gave the diamond set to their daughter as a wedding present.
Princess Diana’s ‘something blue’ was sewn into her iconic, ivory taffeta wedding gown
Chosen as her ‘something blue’, Diana had a tiny blue bow sewn into the waistband of her dress. But that wasn’t the only tradition she followed. Along with the antique lace and blue bow, her ‘something new’ was fabric made especially for Diana from a British silk farm and the Spencer family tiara was her ‘something borrowed’.
And her matching shoes included hers and Charles’ initials
While the shoes were hardly visible beneath the hem of her gown, Princess Diana’s silk slippers included 542 sequins and 132 pearls assembled in a heart-shaped design. The soles of the shoes were hand-painted and included the initials C and D on the arch, with the heels remaining quite low.
There was also a tiny horseshoe charm hidden on the inside of Princess Diana’s dress
Not visible to the naked eye, dressmakers David and Elizabeth Emanuel attached an 18-carat gold trinket studded with white diamonds to the label of the dress. And apparently, another token spent some time on the dress as Elizabeth apparently left a safety pin on the dress and didn’t remember until the day after.
Meghan Markle’s wedding veil sported an ode to the Commonwealth that many didn’t notice
Apparently, Markle wanted to have all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey to the altar, so she asked Keller to sew flowers from each country on her veil. This was her way to show her gratitude at being able to support the Commonwealth.
And she also added two extra flowers, the California Poppy, as she was born in California, and the Wintersweet, which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage. This is believed to be a little nod to the Queen, who has welcomed Meghan into the Royal family.
Meghan Markle used a piece of fabric from their first date as her ode to ‘something blue’
In addition to the flowers and her commitment to the Commonwealth, Markle also wanted to pay homage to something more personal to her—her and Prince Harry’s first date. Sewn into her veil, Markle included a piece of blue fabric which was a secret message specifically for Prince Harry. Explaining in the documentary Queen of the World, Markle admitted that her “something blue” was “fabric from the dress that I wore on our first date.”
Queen Elizabeth’s wedding band has a secret inscription
In the book Prince Philip: Revealed, royal biographer Ingrid Seward reveals the story behind Queen Elizabeth’s wedding ring, admitting that the jewellery conceals a hidden message.
“At least Philip didn’t have the expense of a wedding ring, as the people of Wales supplied a nugget of Welsh gold from which the ring is made,” she wrote of Prince Philip who had little fortune to his name when he married the then Princess Elizabeth.
“She never takes it off and inside the ring is an inscription. No one knows what it says, other than the engraver, the Queen and her husband.”
Sarah Ferguson paid tribute to Prince Andrew’s favourite things and her dedication to the royal family
While the pair are now divorced, Sarah Ferguson’s wedding day to Prince Andrew in 1986 saw Ferguson pay homage to her new and existing families.
Initially, she chose to not wear a tiara—despite it being tradition for royal brides to do so—and chose to wear a floral crown made of her future husband’s favourite flowers, gardenias, to enter the church. Once the ceremony concluded and the newly-weds left, she swapped her floral crown for a tiara, to symbolise her entrance in the royal family.