With this week’s exciting news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to wed in spring 2018, the attention has quickly gone from the ring to the dress. Already known for her impeccable style, including launching her own clothing line with Canadian fashion retailer Reitmans, all eyes will be on Markle to see what the American actor and humanitarian chooses to wear on her wedding day.
When it comes to royal wedding dresses, there’s no shortage of iconic gowns. From Princess Diana’s 25-foot-long train to Kate Middleton’s lace sleeves, royal wedding dresses have been setting bridal trends for decades.
Let’s take a look back at some of the most famous royal wedding gowns.
14 of the most iconic royal wedding dresses
Wallis Simpson, 1937It was the marriage that would change the succession of the throne and put Queen Elizabeth II in place to rule the monarchy for six decades (and counting). An American divorcee like Markle, Simpson opted for a simple blue gown designed by Mainbocher.Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II, 1947Only a few years before she would become the reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth (then Princess) married her love Prince Phillip using rationing coupons to pay for her dress by Norman Hartell.Getty Images
Grace Kelly, 1956The stunning American actor Grace Kelly wed Prince Rainier III of Monaco in a dress designed by Hollywood costume designer Helen Rose of MGM studios. More than 50 years later, Kelly's dress is said to have inspired Kate Middleton's own wedding gown. As a fellow American actor, we could see Meghan Markle taking inspiration from Kelly too.Getty Images
Princess Margaret, 1960Queen Elizabeth's sister Margaret wed 13 years after her sister, with her dress also designed by Hartnell. The simple yet stunning dress was comprised of 30 metres of fabric to make the skirt.Getty Images
Princess Diana, 1981Possibly the most iconic royal wedding gown of all time, Princess Di stunned the world when she stepped out of her carriage and was followed by a 25-foot-long train. At the time of the wedding, the ivory silk taffeta and antique lace dress was valued at £9000.Getty Images
Sarah Ferguson, 1986Fergie's dress worn for her wedding to Prince Andrew featured beaded anchors and waves for Andrew's background in sailing and bumblebees and thistles from Sarah's family crest. The ivory silk wedding dress quickly became the most talked about gown of the year.Getty Images
Sophie Rhys-Jones, 1999Harry's uncle Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, with the bride wearing a silk organza gown that featured pearls and crystals around the neckline. She paired the dress with a diamond tiara from the collection her new mother-in-law aka Queen Elizabeth II.Getty Images
Princess Alexia of Greece, 1999Princess Alexia worked with designer Inge Sprawson to create her wide v-neck gown that featured a train extending from the back of her waist.Getty Images
Princess Mathilde, 1999Princess Mathilde married Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium after secretly dating for three years. The pair married in December in Belgium, with the bride wearing a silk crepe coat over her wedding dress following the ceremony. She is now Queen Mathilde of Belgium.Getty Images
Camilla Parker Bowles, 2005After years of dating, Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles finally wed in Windsor Guildhall, Windsor. The bride opted for a less traditional gown because of her age and the fact that it was Charles' second marriage, wearing a beautifully embroidered dress and coat by London designers Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine.Getty Images
Autumn Kelly, 2008We can't leave out our Canadian bride! Autumn Kelly wed Queen Elizabeth's eldest grandchild Peter Phillips while wearing British designer Sassi Holford, with the bespoke gown featuring an A-line skirt and three-tiered sash waist.Getty Images
Kate Middleton, 2011Earning herself a spot on the list of most iconic wedding dresses of all time, Kate Middleton stunned the world in her beautiful lace sleeved gown in 2011. Working with designer Sarah Burton, head of Alexander McQueen, the dress was placed on display in Buckingham Palace following the wedding and reportedly drew a record number of visitors.Getty Images
Charlene Wittstock, 2011South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock wore an off the shoulder fitted gown by Giorgio Armani for her 2011 wedding to Prince Albert of Monaco.Getty Images
Zara Phillips, 2011Zara Phillips' something borrowed for her wedding to Mike Tindall included a tiara given to her by her mother, Princess Anne. The dress featured tulle sleeves and discreet pockets on the full skirt.Getty Images