Kate's Lace!

A light but fun post today. A few months ago, Kate wore a beautiful blue lace dress by Jenny Packham to the Royal Albert Hall for a gala hosted by the British Olympic Association. As soon as I saw it, it became my favourite:

And it was so lovely seeing Kate’s hair in an updo that really showed off the petite buttons and intricate lace on the back of the dress:

A few months ago, I received an email from the designer who made my wedding dress that said that the lace for this dress of Kate’s is from the same supplier as the lace we used for my wedding dress. Fun! Since my dress was custom made, we searched all around for an especially light and intricate lace and the supplier we ended up with was Renard Griere, who we now know also supplies lace for Jenny Packham. Renard Griere  is located in Caudry which is the last of two French towns (along with Calais) where lace is still made in France. Their website is here.

It’s funny that when I saw Kate’s dress I thought that they looked quite similar…turns out they had more in common than the cap sleeves and low back. Compare for yourself!

Here’s a closer look at the lace:

Since we’re on the subject, here are some more lace related posts if you feel like some more royal reading:

Similarities between Kate Middleton and Isabella Orsini’s wedding dresses

Emily McCorquodale chose lace, too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Princess Alexandra of Denmark’s Wedding Dress

There is a whole lot going on with our British Royals, what with the annual Order of the Garter ceremony taking place yesterday and Ascot getting started off today. We’ll jump back to the goings on in England soon enough, but we’re going to take a wee break today to spend more time with the Danish Royals . As you may have been able to tell, I’m going through a bit of a Danish phase at the moment and feel like chatting about Princess Alexandra of Denmark’s two wedding gowns, so that’s what we’re going to do.

Let’s start with Alexandra’s first gown, from when she married Prince Joachim of Denmark on November 18, 1995.

She had only met the prince in the fall of 1994, so it was quite a whirlwind. As we discussed in our post on her engagement ring, the engagement was announced in May of 1995, so there was a good six months of planning for the wedding.

For her dress, Alexandra chose Danish designer Jorgen Bender. In much the same way that Norman Hartnell was the go-to designer for the Royal ladies for several decades, Jorgen fulfilled that role for the Danish royals. After all, he designed the then Crown Princess Margrethe’s dress  for her 1967 wedding to Count Henri de Labordre de Monpezat as well as many gala dresses up until his death in 1999. (Side Note: He also designed Queen Anne-Marie of Greece’s gown in 1964. Not a bad resume!)

Here’s Crown Princess Margarethe in her lovely wedding gown, which had one heck of a train:

The dress he designed for the future Princess Alexandra shared some of the same details; the long sleeves, full skirt, and another generous train.

This is Jorgen himself, in front of Princes Alexandra’s gown. After the wedding, it went on display at Amelienborg Palace.

Princess Alexandra’s gown was made of silk and featured over 8,000 pearls.The train was about 12 feet long:

On her head, the Princess wore the Alexandrine Diamond Drop Tiara. So, yeah, it seems they picked a tiara based on the new Princess’ name. Cute. This tiara dates back to the early 1900’s when it was made for Queen Alexandrine of Denmark. As you can see, it features a whole lot of dangling diamonds for extra sparkly effect:

Nice shot of the princess and her dad – and that tiara. Remember we were just out of the ’80’s at this point so I think she did quite well:

To me, this wedding dress bears quite a resemblance to Princess Margaret’s, what with the neckline and full skirt:

Even the veils were very similar:

Yay? Nay? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Love this candid shot from the reception (and another chance to compare those two veils). That’s Prince Henrik, perhaps tucking away a speech…or really studying the menu:

Afterwards, it was quite the royal party!

And it looks like serious fun was had. Try to count the tiaras and royal orders in this one:


And here they are driving off at the end of the night in the farthest thing from a carriage. Check out those cans!

As we know, the Prince and Princess divorced in 2005  She and Prince Joachim have joint custody of their two sons and was reportedly allowed to keep her diplomatic passport so that she would have the same status as her sons when travelling together.

On March 3, 2007, Alexandra married Martin Jorgensen. This second wedding dress was designed by Henrik Hviid, who also designed the most recent Danish royal christening gown.

It’s sort of like she borrowed Princess Margaret’s wedding hair this time, no?

Upon her wedding, Alexandra no longer had police protection and was now officially known as Her Excellency the Countess of Frederiksborg. However, she is still included in some royal events, and even showed up this past January to  a gala event in celebration of Queen Margrethe’s 40th Jubilee. And OMG – she was wearing the Alexandrine tiara, so it seems she got to keep that, too! Here she is at that event:

Martin came, too:

Any thoughts?

Royal Designer Norman Hartnell Part Four: Princess Margaret’s Wedding Dress

Before we get too busy with all of the upcoming Jubilee events later this week, we thought we’d finally get to our fourth post on royal designer Norman Hartnell. Today, we’re all about Princess Margaret’s wedding dress. If you missed our past posts on Mr. Hartnell, click here to catch up! He’s quite a gem in our books.

Naturally, there was much anticipation and fanfare ahead of the May 6, 1960 wedding of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones. Norman Hartnell was commissioned to design the bride’s wedding dress, and it was to be his last significant gown for a State occasion.

The bride knew that she wanted clean and simple lines, and originally the dress wasn’t going to have the full skirt that she ended up with. Several layers of tulle created this fullness, and a lot of technical work was done by the Hartnell seamstresses to make it flow ‘just so.’ The result was a sophisticated gown that was a great choice for the petite Margaret. We think that this dress still looks amazing over forty years later, and chose this gown as one of our top ten royal wedding dresses ever. Click here to check out that post.

Notably, Hartnell designed the dress to split at the back of the skirt, so that the Princess wouldn’t crush it too badly while she was riding to Westminster Abbey. Too bad the Emmanuel’s didn’t think of that when they designed Lady Diana’s dress, which was famously crushed in the carriage en route to St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Princess Margaret was accompanied to the chuch by her brother-in-law Prince Philip, who gave her away.We get a good look at the Poltmore Tiara in this photograph. And, yes, that’s Prince Philip even though it doesn’t really look like him here:

Looks like that skirt opening came in handy here, too:

Lovely family photo:

Decades later, Princess Margaret’s daughter-in-law Serena Stanhope used this dress as inspiration for her own wedding gown. She married Viscount Linley on October 8, 1993. The silhouette, neckline, and long sleeves are all very reminiscent of Margaret’s dress:

She also kept the 1960’s big hair:

We also have an upcoming post featuring Princess Alexandra of Denmark’s 1995 wedding dress, which seems to have taken some cues from Princess Margaret’s gown as well. Stay tuned for that!

Margeret’s dress has been on display over the years so fortunately we have some more great photos of it:

So, what do you think of this Norman Hartnell dress? Has it held the test of time?

Our other Norman Hartnell posts inspired by the book Be Dazzled! Norman Hartnell 60 Years of Glamour and Flash can be found below, and if you’d liked to pick up a copy of the book, it can be found here.

Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Dress

Princess Elizabeth’s Wedding Dress

Norman Hartnell’s Career

Royal Designer Norman Hartnell Part Two: Princess Elizabeth’s Wedding Dress

In our last post on Norman Hartnell, we reviewed the major impact that Queen Elizabeth’s ‘white wardrobe’ had during her 1938 State Visit to France.

During the war years, Norman made very few original pieces due to restrictions, but he did help to update existing pieces owned by the Royal family. A major commission came in 1947, when he was asked to design the wedding dress for Princess Elizabeth’s marriage to Prince Philip of Greece.

Despite the numerous gowns he had created for society brides, the dress he came up with for the Princess was completely original and different from what he had designed before. It didn’t quite make our Top Ten Favourite Royal Wedding Dresses, but it is beautiful in it’s own way and for its time. Princess Elizabeth’s gown was was made of ivory duchess satin and had enhanced shoulders, long sleeves, a full skirt, and an elaborate 15-foot train.

The satin for the train came from Lullington Castle and the satin for the dress came from the Scottish firm Winterhur, which created quite a stir. According to the book Bedazzled! Norman Hartnell, Sixty Years of Glamour and Fashion, Hartnell explained, “I was told in confidence that certain circles were trying to stop the use of the Scottish satin on the grounds of Patriotism. The silk worms, they said, were Italian, and possibly even Japanese! Was I so guilty of treason that I would deliberately use enemy silkworms?” In the end, it was determined that the silk worms came from China so all was well. What a to do.

The dress was ornately embroidered with “garlands of star shaped lily heads and white York roses with orange blossoms and ears of corns.” Thousands of seed pearls and crystals were used. The pearls were brought in from the United States:

Here is a good look at the bodice:

In a write-up of the wedding, the New York Times reported that, “Her long embroidered train seemed at first to float behind her, but in walked two tiny creatures in Royal Stuart tartan kilts, Prince Michael of Kent on the left and Prince William of Gloucester on the right.”

There they are:

 Love this formal portrait

Norman also created all of the attendant’s gowns. Here is Princess Margaret looking lovely in her bridesmaids dress:

The wedding dress and attendant’s outfits have been put on display in recent years. These photographs reveal some of the details that aren’t so evident in the pictures from the actual wedding day:

Just in time for all of the upcoming Diamond Jubilee celebrations, we will next look at Princess Elizabeth’s Coronation Gown, which was all designed by Norman Hartnell. The wonderful book Be Dazzled! Norman Hartnell Sixty Years of Glamour and Flash which inspired this post can be found here.

UPDATED: Our post on the Norman Hartnell designed Coronation Gown can be found here and our post on his design for Princess Margaret’s wedding dress is here.

 

Royal Designer Norman Hartnell Part One


I’ve recently finished poring over the book Bedazzled! Norman Harnell Sixty Years of Glamour & Fashion by Michael Pick and highly recommend it. It highlights how Norman Hartnell led the charge to turn London into a fashion capital and has oodles of rarely seen pictures of the Queen to boot (you can pick up the book here).

Here’s the dashing fellow himself in front of his Bruton Street couture house: 

Norman Hartnell was born on June 12, 1901 and started his business on April 23, 1923.

According to Michael Pick, his first customers were the mothers and sisters of his friends from his days at Cambridge, where he studied Modern Languages. While at university, he also started designing costumes for plays and found he had quite a knack for it.

Here’s an example of one of his early designs. This dress is from 1924:

Fun Fact: each of Hartnell’s dresses were given a witty name, like “Grandma’s Garnet’s.” I’d like to think that the dress above was called something like “Cascading Crystals.”

The Royal Connection Begins, 1935

We recently touched on the 1935 wedding of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, to Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas Scott.  It was this wedding that brought Norman firmly into the Royal fold. When he heard about the impending wedding, Norman took the smart move of sending a letter to the bride asking for permission to submit designs for the wedding. Lady Alice took him up on the offer and came to see his work at his salon. She was so impressed with what she saw and chose him to design her dress as well as those of the bridesmaids. Two of her bridesmaids were Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.

On the day of the wedding, he was asked to be at Buckingham Palace while the official wedding photos were taken at which point Queen Mary told him. “We are very pleased. We thing everything is very, very pretty.” He must have been all, “HECK YA!” at that.

Lady Alice’s dress was made in pale pink satin (her father had recently died so white wasn’t considered appropriate) and was beautifully draped:

The Duchess of York (the future Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mum) was impressed and asked him to start making clothes for her as well. In particular, he help build her wardrobe after the abdication crisis.

The 1938 State Visit to France 

The 30 outfits that Norman Hartnell designed for this significant trip became known as “The White Wardrobe.” The Queen’s mother Coutness Strathmore passed away five days before the trip, and consequently the visit was postponed by three weeks. Since a wardrobe of black mourning clothes would just not do for a hot Parisian summer, it was decided that the clothing that had been created for the visit would be recreated in all white. He wrote, “silks, satins, velvet, cloth, taffeta, tulle, chiffon, and lace were all to be in white.” We can only imagine how frantic they must have been. It must have been a sewing frenzy over at the House of Hartnell!

All that hard work paid off because the trip – and the Queen’s stunning wardrobe- was a HUGE success. This was the equivalent of the ink that was spilled to recount the Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe during her North American tour. The Queen was all over the papers and everything she wore was considered a sensation.

The clothes that Hartnell designed helped to solidify her image as a strong Queen of England and resonated with many. Christian Dior paid Hartnell the ultimate compliment when he said “Whenever I try to think of something particularly beautiful, I always think of those lovely dresses that Mr. Hartnell made for your beautiful Queen when she visited Paris.” Oh la la! That’s almost as good as the “we are very pleased” comment we just spoke about.

Here are a couple of those frothy, floaty designs:

Queen Elizabeth loved the dresses so much she put them on for some formal portraits taken by Cecil Beaton at Buckingham Palace:

She loved that parasol:

The white wardrobe is now preserved as part of The Royal Collection and an exhibition of the gowns was put on at Buckingham Palace during the summer of 2005. The Queen popped in for a look:

Our next post on Normal Hartnell will review the war years and beyond. He was a very busy man. See you then! In the meantime, what do you think of the white wardrobe?

Updated:

Click here to Read Part Two

Click here to Read Part Three

and Click here to Read Part Four…and then you’ll be all caught up 😉

Let’s Reminisce: Favourite Kate & William Wedding Moments Part Three

So, tomorrow is William and Kate’s one year anniversary and we’re just in time with the final part of this nostalgic blog party all about their wedding. Click here for Part One and here for Part Two if you missed ’em. Today’s post is all about the Buckingham Palace receptions and beyond.

Right before the balcony appearance, photographs were taken of the bridal party and the groom and bride’s families.The Little Blonde Dude we talked about yesterday is what we love most about this picture. He just wanted to make sure he was in the frame and to get up close and personal with Kate – and he was!

Also, it was the closest we got to this delightful and relaxed photo from Charles and Diana’s wedding when everyone collapsed in a heap:

So while all this was going on, the people lining the streets were able to walk down The Mall towards the Palace so they could watch the balcony appearance and get a good look at the Fly Past. The police had this all planned out and let people onto the street in an organized fashion.

This police officer got into the spirit of things and made it fun:

The crowd loved it:

Check out this video to see his swagger and hear the crowd. It’s just 24 seconds and will make you smile:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix0ZtHUfvgI]

Next awesome moment: when Kate said “wow” stepping out onto the balcony. Yeah, it must have been quite the WOW. That is at the nine second mark of this video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8sQIti_9-A]

Then all eyes were on Grace van Cutsem, the grumpy flower girl who was having none of it and hated all the noise. She was hilarious; even Kate couldn’t cheer her up. More on her later…

A sweet moment as they headed in and we finally got to see more of the bustle and back detailing on Kate’s dress. The veil was lovely, it’s just too bad it obscured all that detail work:

And taking it all in one more time:

 Then, the couple received their guests. Love this insight into the receiving line. That must have been seriously exhausting…and people probably starting “M’am’ing” and “Your Royal Highness-ing” Kate at this point for the first time:

Looks like William led the charge down the line:

Then, after some cake and a lovely toast from Prince Charles, the couple headed back to Clarence House.  This was such a fun surprise. Kate & William left Buckingham Palace in Prince Charles’ Aston Martin, which he has owned since 1969. I’d fallen asleep right before this happened so it was a treat to wake up to.

Apparently in the midst of all the excitement William forgot to take off the hand break which made it a wee bit difficult to drive:

Here’s a youtube video of the departure from the gates:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB-m4ApP4ho&feature=player_embedded]

At this point William and Kate had some time to chill out and watch some of the wedding coverage before heading out to their evening reception for their closest family and friends. They left Clarence House with Prince Charles and Camilla and we got to see Kate’s second wedding dress, also by Sarah Burton:

The best part was when William said what we all were thinking and mimicked Grace covering her ears on the balcony:

Check it out for yourself here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPNQKPjnh9U&feature=fvwp]

Meanwhile, the Middleton’s were leaving The Goring where they had hosted some friends who were not able to be included in the Buckingham Palace ‘do.

Here’s Pippa in Temperley, which Lindsay Lohan later copied (check out our post on royal copycats here):

And Carole Middleton also in Temperley:


Little tidbits have trickled out about the reception, like Kate’s dad referencing the time William landed a helicopter in their backyard and that fireworks were set off in the courtyard before William and Kate made their exit. Harry apparently was the emcee and kept the party going until late into the night. Here he is leaving with some fellow revellers:

The next morning, photographs were released of the couple heading out in a helicopter to an undisclosed location, which turned out to be their cottage in Anglesey:

Kate with next day hair! It still looks great:

The Middletons also left The Goring and headed back home:
And, to end, after all that Kate was spotted picking up groceries in Wales just a couple of days later:
 
And Dad Michael Middleton did a spot of gardening:
Well, it has been a lot of fun to relive it all! Thank you for joining our little party and for your comments. Happy Anniversary to Wills & Kate.

Let’s Reminisce: Favourite Kate & William Wedding Moments Part Two

In Part One of this Three Part Series, we delved into the days right before The Royal Wedding – the trees being brought into the Abbey, William and Harry’s impromptu walk about, Sarah Burton’s not so discrete dash into the Goring Hotel…it still makes us all happy to think about it…

And then it was morning in London and announcements from the palace began to be relseased.  One of the first announcements was that William and Kate would be Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Earl and Countess of Strathearn, and Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus. For the actual statement as issued by the Press Secretary to the Queen, click here. It was about midnight where I was at this point, glued to the TV screen with friends. Life sized cut out figures of William and Kate might have been there, too. Meanwhile this is what some of London was looking like:

The statements were all timed out to perfection and rolled out one after the other. They detailed the clothing that the Queen, Duchess of Cornwall, and Mrs. Middleton were wearing…and then it was all about the groom (The Irish Guards uniform!), the bride (Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and the Cartier Halo Tiara!) and the attendants (Sarah Burton for Pippa and Nicki Macfarlane for the girls!).

Of course, all morning long the crowds continued to gather. This picture shows the thousands that came together in Hyde Park to watch the wedding on huge screens:

It was a bit of a hoot watching all of the guests arrive and wait in the Abbey, particularly the Beckhams, Elton John, and Chelsy Davy:

Nothing like checking your blackberry as you wait for the Royal Wedding of the Century to start. Elton looks tickled pink to be there:

Chelsy Davy showed up for her seat in the section reserved for close friends:

Then all eyes were on The Goring. Pippa and the flower girls headed out first and we loved their dresses. Side Note: If you’re really into the spirit of things, you might want to check out our post from when we had hight tea at The Goring last winter. We discretely took lots of pictures of the lobby and such because, you know. Click here to see.

And we loved watching William and Harry driving to the Abbey. Here they are walking in looking especially dapper:

Then the attendants arrived. Here’s Tom Pettifer, aka Little Blonde Dude, being just as delightful as he was the whole day. He’s the son of Tiggy Legge-Bourke, who looked after Wiliam and Harry when they were young. Prince William is reportedly his godfather. The little brunette dude is Billy Lowther-Pinkerton, the son of William’s private secretary.

Kate Leaves The Goring!!!

And then we finally got a glimpse of The Dress. I do wonder why they didn’t have the car in a little porte-cocher type tent so we wouldn’t see anything at all until she stepped out at Westminster Abbey, but no matter. It was a lovely sneak peak:

Arriving at the Abbey:

A peak under the dress and the derriere that ignited conversations the world over:

What a great overhead shot of the attendants. There’s the little blonde dude lapping it up again. He was just the best:

Prince Harry and his “wait to you see her” comment to William is right up there in our best ever royal moments. It’s at about the 9 second mark of this video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHxKCEyevmo]

Then William was all cute when Kate and Michael Middleton arrived. He joked, “it was just meant to be a small family affair.”

Another view, just because. You can tell Harry is doing his best to be appropriately solemn for the occasion:

And then up went the veil…this wasn’t show on TV so getting a hold of this picture was a treat:

And how cool was this shot. So dramatic:

There was a chance to sit down and pretend to sing:

And then…it was official! Miss Middleton no more; now she’s HRH! Time to curtsey to Her Majesty:

Heading off to Buckingham Palace. Check out the Queen in yellow in the background:

And Harry was like the fun babysitter in this carriage:

Once all of the guests had left Wesminster Abbey, a relieved verger did a couple of celebratory cartwheels which were thankfully captured by the cameras. Check out the video below to see and to hear the bells peeling in the background. Seriously. It’s soooo worth checking out:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Awj7xXv8N3w]

And with that, we’ll pause until tomorrow. In part three, we’ll dive into the two receptions and some more of the delightful shenanigans that went on. Thank you for joining us for this nostalgic blog party!

Let’s reminisce: Favourite Kate & William Wedding Moments Part One

Time for a little blog party to commemorate the upcoming one year anniversary of William and Kate’s wedding. The year has flown by, and we thought it would be fun to take a look at all our favourite moments from the days leading up to the wedding as well as the wedding itself.

Warning: there might will be some gushing ahead. You have been notified. Can’t help it. Do feel free to join in.

A Spot of Shopping with the People:

Ok, to start there’s just so much to love about this picture of Kate popping into the shops in Chelsea just days before the wedding. Take a look and then we’ll discuss.

All right, that’s a Cath Kitson shop in behind, all decked out in wedding fanfare. How weird must that have been for Kate to see all this wedding stuff all over the place in shop windows and what not? Then there are all these oblivious folks going about their day checking out their Blackberries and what not. Kate’s wearing an Issa wrap dress and seriously old pair of shoes that are from years ago and should have been retired. Anyway, that is neither here nor there. It was all just so darn fun surprising to see her out like that when all the excitement was starting to ramp up. Maybe she had to pick up her own commemorative tea towels.

The last rehearsal!!!

Kate was really getting into her royal wave and it was all just around the corner. Heck, this was my Christmas Eve:

And it was so much fun seeing the little attendants trotting into the last rehearsal wearing their Sunday best:

Let’s be nostalgic for a second and look at this photograph of the young attendants heading to the rehearsal for Lady Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles with their mums:

And here’s a sneak peak inside. That’s a very young looking Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones sitting on the chair:

And here are Diana and Charles leaving St. Paul’s after their final rehearsal:

The Trees

Back to kate and William and…the trees! Now this is when things really started to get real. I mean –  there were TREES going INTO the ABBEY! What a brilliant idea. Truth be told, I didn’t get much done at work after seeing this on CNN. It was over from this point on until the wedding weekend was over.

London Getting Ready:

One Royal Poster was in London and took this snapshot of port-o-potties being delivered. The juxtaposition with Buckingham Palace in the background is hilarious:

The Goring

Seeing The Goring get all set up for the arrival of the Middletons was also pretty thrilling.

Our royal poster took this snapshot when it was starting to get dark. She reported seeing people inside the hotel peaking out at the Looky-Lous below:

Hmmm…that looks like Sarah Burton:

Another significant moment was realizing that that HAD to be Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton under that hood heading into the hotel for the night. Dress designer revealed!!

An Impromptu William & Harry

Then, when we thought that was it for the night, William went on an impromptu walk about with Prince Harry outside of Clarence House. Radar Online reported that when asked how he was feeling, William said, “I hope I’m not too nervous tomorrow.”  He also said, “Make sure you wave at Charles and Camilla” who were back inside Clarence House.

Ever the royal scamp, Harry jollied the crowd along saying, “I’m sleeping out here tonight. The atmosphere is fantastic. That’s why we came out. In there we can hear it.”

Soooo fun:

Parts Two and Three are all about the big day itself and we’ll post that later this week. First, though we’ll have a recap of Kate and William’s upcoming London outings. It’ll be their first engagements since William returned from the Falklands.

On Wednesday, they will be out on the town for the UK premiere of the documentary film African Cats and then on Thursday they will attend a reception at Goldsmiths’ Hall to celebrate two Army teams who recreated the famous race to the South Pole by adventurers Scott and Amundsen.That’ll be a full night; they will later help launch the Imperial War Museum Foundation’s campaign to create new First World War galleries in time for the centenary of the conflict in 2014. Looking forward to it…

The Orsini-Ligne Aquamarine and Diamond Wedding Tiara and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Wedding Gown Similarities

The last of our aquamarine tiara postings for March, here’s something a bit different – the Orsini-Ligne Aquamarine and Diamond Wedding Tiara!

The Orsini-Ligne Aquamarine and Diamond Wedding Tiara and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Wedding Gown Similarities

On September 7th 2009, Prince Edouard de Ligne de La Tremoille of the Belgian noble House de Ligne married the famous Italian actress Isabella Orsini in a religious ceremony in his family’s ancestral castle in Antoing, Belgium. The House of Ligne can trace its history all the way back to the Holy Roman Empire. HH Princess Isabella as she is now known wore a gorgeous aquamarine and diamond tiara with matching earrings.

Coming out of the cathedral with her new husband. They look so happy! I believe Isabella had just released a dove

As you may have noticed from the above photos, Isabella’s Gerald Watelet wedding gown bears a striking resemblance to the Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen designed wedding gown that Catherine Middleton wore to marry HRH Prince William of Wales two years later. There was some surprise in the press (and to Isabella) when the similarities were noticed (lace covered bodices with a v-neckline and lace sleeves, similar skirts and train lengths), but it seems likely that both Catherine and Isabella chose a similar royal style icon for their wedding dress inspiration – Princess Grace of Monaco. They are both gorgeous and royal wedding gowns, and suit the bride. This Royal Post-er has been enamored of Princess Grace’s wedding gown since she was 5 years old, and thinks this trend to long lace sleeves and lace adorned bodices in wedding gowns is all for the best!

It should be noted that there are many differences between Catherine and Isabella’s wedding gowns – Isabella wore a lace jacket on top of her gown, while Catherine’s lace adorned bodice was part of her gown, Catherine’s gown has significantly more detail on the waist, hips and train, and seems to be of a more elaborate construction. Interesting to see this marked trend in wedding gowns, which has now translated into the bridal design industry.

A detail of the back of Catherine’s dress, as her veil is slightly covering it in the above photo

What do you think?

Hope you enjoyed our aquamarine tiara postings for March!

Here are links to the previous aquamarine postings: Queen Elizabeth’s Brazilian Aquamarine and Diamond Parure and the Boucheron Diamond Clips, The Aquamarine Pine Flower Tiara, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands’ Aquamarine Tiara and Parure, The Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara of Sweden, and the Wessex Aquamarine and Diamond Wedding Tiara