How the Countess of Wessex's royal wedding inspired future royal brides

It's been 20 years since Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex tied the knot

It has been 20 years since Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex married in a beautiful ceremony at Windsor Castle on 19 June 1999. In the 20 years that have passed there have since been a handful of royal weddings including those of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and most recently Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston – and it's easy to see the influence Edward and Sophie's unique royal wedding may have had on the younger generation of royal couples.

The couple declined for their wedding to be a state occasion, meaning there was no ceremonial state involvement and no politicians invited to the wedding, but instead the nuptials were decidedly more low-key. While Prince William and Kate's wedding was considered a state occasion due to his status as second in line to the throne, Prince Harry and Meghan also made the choice not to invite any political leaders to their big day.


5 royal couples have married at St George's Chapel since the Earl and Countess of Wessex 

Prince Edward and his bride may also have inspired a new generation of royals to host their weddings at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, rather than Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral like his siblings Princess Anne, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew. Prior to their wedding day in 1999 there had only been one royal wedding in Windsor in over 40 years – that of the Duke of Kent's daughter Lady Helen Windsor to Timothy Taylor in 1992.

GALLERY: Look back at the Earl and Countess of Wessex's royal wedding

However, in the two decades since Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex's wedding there have been five royal weddings in Windsor. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall hosted a service of prayer at St George's Chapel after their ceremony in 2005, while Peter Phillips, Prince Harry, Princess Eugenie and Lady Gabriella Windsor have all followed suit with weddings at the historic chapel.


Comparisons have been drawn between Sophie and Kate's wedding dresses

Although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge didn't marry at the same venue as his aunt and uncle, comparisons have been drawn between Kate and Sophie's wedding dresses. The Countess of Wessex wore a beautiful silk organza dress designed by Samantha Shaw, decorated with 325,000 crystals and pearls, while Kate wowed in a bespoke gown designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Kate's wedding dress was crafted from lace rather than silk, but with its long sleeves, v-neck and cinched-in waist, the similarities between the two gowns are undeniable.

STORY: Meet the royal wedding dress designer behind these iconic gowns

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