Royal Brides–In or Out?

So the November 1 deadline is on track (thankfully!), though I must push past that point which comes in every WIP, the moment where I am sick of the characters and all their doings and am quite sure no one will ever want to read this story. The End is in sight, I must persevere, and get to the point where I realize it’s not so bad after all! (Plus on Janet’s rec I’m reading The Age of Wonder, which is a terrific book). In the meantime, I don’t have lot of brain cells to spare, so this Tuesday’s blog is a no-brainer return to In or Out. The subject this time–royal brides!

Now, I know that the fact that it’s wedding dresses makes them much of a samness, but still some stand the test of time better than others. Let’s take a look!

Empress Alexandra of Russia (including the real mantle she wore that day). In or Out?

Queen Alexandra of England. In or Out?
Queen Victoria (and her shoes!). It’s said her white, lace-trimmed gown and veil started the whole trend for flouffy white dresses that lasts to this day. Is she In or Out?

Her youngest daughter Princess Beatrice, in the same lace veil. In or Out?
Elizabeth II. In or Out?

Her mother, Elizabeth the Queen Mother. In or Out?
And her sister, Princess Margaret. I have to admit, I love this dress! I wouldn’t mind having one just like it myself. Is she In or Out?

Princess Grace: In or Out?

Princess Charlotte: In or Out?
Catherine the Great: In or Out?
Marie de Medici: In or Out?
Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotta, Duchess of Sodermanland and later Queen of Sweden: In or Out?

Princess Diana. When I first saw this gown on TV, my 5 year old self thought this was exactly what a wedding gown should be! Now, of course, it’s pretty well Out, though I have noticed a new trend in wedding gowns towards unwieldy poufiness again. Is it In or Out?

What do you think? Who is in and who is (horrors!) out? What did you wear for your own wedding, and what would your dream gown be??

Now, back to my deadline…

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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Lynz Pickles
12 years ago

I cannot stop staring at the Princess Charlotte dress. It’s so gorgeous! I would totally get married in it! *staaaaares* Oh wait, was there a question? Sorry, but the extreme fabulousness of the dress has fried my brain and I’m no longer able to think.

12 years ago

Beautiful pictures, but I don’t understand what you mean. In or out? Do you mean had they been presented? Am I missing something?

Amanda McCabe
12 years ago

LOL Erastes! I just mean “is it good or not”–like the feature in the fashion mag.

Lynz, I love the Princess Charlotte gown, too! I read it’s beaded with thousands of crystal beads and pearls, gorgeous.

Amanda McCabe
12 years ago

Or rather, In or Out like Project Runway–not enough tea this morning πŸ™‚

Maggie Robinson w/a Margaret Rowe

Channeling Heidi, auf wiedersehn for most of them—they just look uncomfortable to actually move in. But I still have a soft spot for Diana’s dress.

I wore a high-neck white Victorian blouse with lace-insets on the puffy sleeves and a long maroon skirt when I got married. I’d like a do-over, please.:)

Margaret Evans Porter
12 years ago

Quite coincidentally, I’ve got photos of my own wedding gown posted on my blog, because it’s our wedding anniversary today! My mother wore it also, and the Brussels lace veil has adorned generations of family brides.

I’ve seen some of these gowns in person and photos can’t quite do them justice. I really admire Catherine the Great’s gown, although she had a miserable marriage so it wasn’t a lucky dress at all!

Jane Austen
12 years ago

I love Princess Charlotte’s dress and I also love Queen Elizabeth II’s dress.

I am not married, but I do know I want a classic gown with straps (I’m a little too large chested for strapless) and I’d like the dress to be a very pale lavender. So pale it almost looks white, but it’s not. And I wouldn’t wear a veil. I would wear a fabulous hat that I paid 800 great british pounds for.

Jane Austen
12 years ago
Diane Gaston
12 years ago

My favs are a toss up between Princess Charlotte and Catherine the Great.

My wedding dress was a Regency dress before I’d ever heard of “Regency”
See it here:

Amanda McCabe
12 years ago

JA, I’m not married either, and even though I love fancy gowns (and cake!), I’ve seen too many friends go absolutely bonkers planning weddings to want a big one. A muslin Regency gown in a meadow for me, I think. But there will have to be cake. πŸ™‚

Funnily, a minister at a friend’s wedding once told me she wished there was a requirement for brides to practice wearing their gowns BEFORE the big day, as she’s seen too many women with enormous skirts take a fall in the aisle.

12 years ago

They’re all rather dated (well, that’s the point I guess!) but mostly lovely nonetheless. I could see updated versions of Princess Margaret’s (my fave of the bunch), Princess Grace’s, and Princess Beatrice’s on a modern bride.

Really makes you think about how wedding dresses mark an era. You know those bunchy big skirts that are in now? I’ve always thought those would be very dating for the 2000s — just like 1980s puffy sleeves.

12 years ago

I am in awe that these dresses have survived the ravages of time. Also, when viewing them, you realize how terribly tiny these ladies were. Makes me feel like a giant.

They are all ‘in’ because they are meant something special at a time in history. πŸ™‚

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Does anyone else watch the TLC show “Say Yes To The Dress” about Kleinfelds Bridal Salon in NYC? I love that show!

Jane Austen
12 years ago


I love Say Yes to the Dress. I really want Randy and Audrey to choose my wedding dress for me (If I ever get married). Although I can’t really see spending that much on a dress. Did you see the one where the woman spent $24,000 on her dress. Crazy! It’s also on every day now at 6PM.

Leslie Carroll
12 years ago

I love this post!! Not only am I a complete Project Runway junkie, having never missed an episode, but the timing of your post was perfection! It was just the delicious break I needed after reviewing the second pass page proofs of NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES. Whether or not the royal wedding dresses were “in or out,” for better or for worse, the couples profiled in my book had to “make it work.”

I’m going back to ogle the photos again. Heck, I’d try them all on. First time around I had a pale pink dress with ruching at the neckline, long sleeves, and a full skirt. Second time around, I went for a strapless white mermaid gown.

Keira Soleore
12 years ago

Ammanda, hooray for your Historical PR show.

Empress Alexandra – In – ermine’s always in style πŸ™‚
Queen Alexandra – Out – flounces, ick
Beatrice – Out – too fussy
Victoria – Out – even fussier
QEII – IN – want!
Queen Mum – Out
Margaret – In – gives Catherine’s dress an extra panache
Grace – In – always, even a gunny sack, esp w/ Rainier on the side
Charlotte – In – sigh-worthy gorgeous
Catherine – undecided – could be great depending on the wearer
de Medici – Out – blah!
Queen of Sweden – OUT! – vote it off the planet (Wee loves it!)
Diana – Out- too much material that got easily crushed

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Jane Austen, YES! I saw that one. I love seeing all the dresses, although I’d like to tell some of the brides that their strapless dresses look like they are falling down.

Anyone watching Project Runway? Keira, I’ll bet you are!

Amanda McCabe
12 years ago

I sometimes catch “Say Yes to the Dress” and always enjoy it! I loved the bride who said she was on a “very strict budget” of $4000. They almost never go for the dress I would pick, though…

Keira, I bet Miss Wee is the only one small enough to fit into Hedvig’s dress! πŸ™‚ I started PR but have slacked off on it–the challenges are very blah this season (Make a pretty dress for a pregnant woman! Now make a pretty dress for the red carpet! Now make a pretty dress but it has to be blue! Where are the dresses made out of car parts???)

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
12 years ago

Amanda, it’s funny about Princess Margaret’s dress, because her daughter-in-law wore something similar when she married Viscount Linley. It was eerie how much alike they looked, although Serena is blonde, and Princess Margaret a brunette. As for Queen Elizabeth’s dress, it’s amazing it was so nice considering all the rationing. And I’ve always like the Duchess of York’s dress over Princess Diana’s.

The Wedding Directory
12 years ago

That blog is awesome. I really like the designs and color of the dresses. I confirm that the dresses are showing my family status and make my wedding so memorable. For the more information visit on www(dot)theweddingdirectory(dot)co(dot)uk.
Mother of The Bride Outfits

Keira Soleore
12 years ago

Diane & Ammanda, I’ve been silent on PR this season, because I’m always a week behind. I’m catching up to them online, since 10pm’s become late for me. πŸ™‚

I’m also a week to two late on Top Chef since I wait for the re-runs.

But I’m very much on top of DWTS, however, lame this Monay’s dances were.

Bunnie's Mom
12 years ago

What does a bride love to talk about more than her wedding dress?! I didn’t have my wedding planned from age 5, but I knew the minute I saw my dress in a mag that it was The One. I felt like Cinderella. Someday I hope to have the money to have it cleaned and put in a glass case…Anyway, Diana’s dress, even despite the GIANT poofy sleaves, is classic IMO.

11 years ago

I never liked Princess Diana’s gown. Way over the top, especially the ruffles arund theneck ine and those giant poofy sleeves. I’ve seen the dress in person and that solidifed my opinion.

11 years ago

Most of the dresses are obvious outs, although Beatrice had something nice going. Margret’s was also very nice and timeless. Princess Grace’s I would say is the best of the bunch, and if Diana’s did not have the poofy sleeves, hers would be right with Margaret’s gown.