A dress fit for a princess
HRH Princess Beatrice of York’s wedding dress, first worn by HM The Queen in the 1960s, is now on display at Windsor Castle.
Created by British fashion designer Sir Norman Hartnell, the dress was loaned to Princess Beatrice by The Queen for her wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on 17 July this year. It is made of ivory peau de soie taffeta and the skirt is trimmed with a band of ivory duchesse satin. The dress is an example of Hartnell’s signature crinoline silhouette and love of embellishment, as seen in the geometric hand embroidery in crystals and diamantés over the bodice, waist and hips.
Sir Norman’s original design was altered for Princess Beatrice under the direction of Angela Kelly, personal advisor, dresser and curator to The Queen, and the British fashion designer, Stewart Parvin. The full-skirted silhouette was softened to give a more contemporary shape, and the underskirt and petticoats were recreated and bound with silk tulle. Short sleeves of triple organza were added to the straps and embroidered with vintage diamantés to match the original embroidery design.
Sir Norman first became couturier to the Queen Mother in 1937 and then to her daughter, who awarded him a Royal Warrant in 1957. He designed many of the outfits worn by The Queen for state events, tours and family occasions throughout the first half of her reign, including her wedding dress in 1947 and coronation dress in 1953. He was knighted by The Queen in 1977 and continued to work for Her Majesty until his death in 1979.
The Queen first wore the taffeta gown for a dinner at the British Embassy in Rome during a state visit in 1961. She wore it again to the London premiere of Lawrence of Arabia in 1962 and for the State Opening of Parliament in 1966.
The display at Windsor
Castle will also feature Princess Beatrice’s wedding shoes, made by Valentino and previously worn by Beatrice at the wedding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. A replica of her bridal bouquet, made from artificial flowers, has been created for the display. The original was designed by Patrice Van Helden, co-owner of RVH Floral Design.
The display is at Windsor Castle from 24 September to 22 November. Tickets must be booked in advance from rct.uk
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