While new brides tend to favour the full-on romantic white gown, choosing a suitable style for second nuptials can be more of a challenge. As Camilla prepares to unveil the outfit for her April 9 wedding to Prince Charles, hellomagazine.com takes a look at her likely fashion statement and those of other second-time-around brides
REPORT BY JUDY WADE, WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FRANCESCA FEARON
CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES
A massive meringue may have been Camilla's dream dress when she floated down the aisle of Westminster Abbey to marry Andrew Parker Bowles in July, 1973, but what does a divorcee choose for her second wedding?
With unpredictable spring weather in April, Camilla is planning to wear a dress with a matching coat to the Guildhall civil ceremony in Windsor, HELLO! has learned. But she has also ordered a more formal, full-length outfit for the post-ceremony blessing at St George’s Chapel in the precincts of Windsor Castle and reception afterwards for 700 in the state apartments. Fashion industry insiders whisper that she will wear gold, rather than the pastel pinks and blues she usually favours.
Camilla’s special outfits have been created by the Kensington-based couturiers, Anna Valentine and Antonia Robinson, who work under the joint name Robinson Valentine and who have been giving their famous client secret fittings at Clarence House.
Laura B, the top London designer who dresses Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Catrina Skepper, and many other celebrities, says: “The whole look should be one of understated elegance. A sleek dress with a matching coat in a floaty fabric like organza would be suitable. But knowing Robinson Valentine specialise in long skirts, I imagine they may have made an ankle or floor length skirt topped off with a fitted jacket with a peplum."
Designer Neil Cunningham, whose famous brides include Ffion Hague, Darcey Bussell, Jools Oliver and Katie Derham, doesn’t have a problem designing for an older bride. “Camilla obviously can’t wear a full-blown bridal gown nor just a dressy suit, but I would definitely try to avoid the hybrid jacket and long skirt look that Mrs Thatcher favoured for grand nights out,” he says. “I would suggest a semi-structured gown with a scooped neckline, featuring soft floaty edges – maybe a rose pink organza or a large rose print even!”
Jenny Packham, who specialises in both catwalk and bridal fashion, recommends that Camilla covers her upper arms, suggesting either a dress with long sleeves or, alternatively, a bolero jacket. “A deep neckline is perfect when accessorising with amazing jewellery and this could be adopted with either the suit or dress option,” she adds.
Irish milliner Philip Treacy, who has been commissioned to create Camilla’s wedding hat, is understood to have produced one of his trademark feathered head-pieces for the big day. Philip, who has been creating hats for Camilla for several years, is said to have opted for a small hat, perched at a natty angle.
The high-necked, princess-line gown she wore to her first wedding now looks rather prim, but Princess Anne married Army officer Captain Mark Phillips in November 1973 when it was rather chilly. Her second trip down the aisle at Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral, in December 1992, also called for a long-sleeved, woollen suit, as all the guests wore overcoats.
Her cream outfit's simple lines may have been rather unexciting, but it had a classic simplicity. She wore a black velvet beret trimmed with cream flowers to echo the colour of her suit and carried a posy of heather, a tribute to her Scottish surroundings. The groom looked smart in his naval uniform.
The Queen’s only daughter is renowned for ignoring passing trends, although she wore a miniskirt in the 1960s when she favoured the designer Susan Small. Since then she has become famous for wearing outfits that are up to 25 years old. It’s a sure bet that somewhere, carefully preserved at the back of a wardrobe, she still has her 12-year-old second wedding suit.
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