How Princess Beatrice made history with her vintage Norman Hartnell wedding dress

The Princess wore one of the Queen's vintage dresses on her big day

Princess Beatrice's royal wedding is one to remember for several reasons; not only was it the first to take place amid a global pandemic and entirely behind closed doors, but her choice of wedding dress designer is also historic.

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The 31-year-old bride looked stunning for her ceremony at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor wearing a vintage Norman Hartnell gown belonging to the Queen. Not only does this make her the first royal bride to opt for a second-hand wedding dress, but it also means she follows in the footsteps of her grandmother the Queen and late great aunt Princess Margaret by choosing to wear Norman Hartnell on her big day.

Other royal brides including the Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Sussex and Princess Eugenie have all chosen different designers to create their bespoke wedding dresses, meaning no other fashion designer has been given the honour of making more than one royal wedding gown.


Princess Beatrice wore a Norman Hartnell gown belonging to the Queen

While Princess Beatrice's ivory embellished gown wasn't originally designed as a wedding dress, a few subtle adjustments, including the addition of organza sleeves, ensured it was a beautiful choice for her low-key royal wedding.

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The gown was made from Peau De Soie taffeta in shades of ivory, trimmed with ivory Duchess satin, with organza sleeves. It's encrusted with diamanté details and has a geometric checkered bodice.

While it is different in style to both the Queen and Princess Margaret's royal wedding dresses, there are a few key signatures that identify it as a Norman Hartnell design, including the intricate embellishment and elegant silhouette that accentuated Beatrice's slim waist.


The Queen wore a Norman Hartnell dress on her wedding day

The Queen's royal wedding dress for her big day to Prince Philip in 1947 was inspired by Botticelli’s Primavera and was embroidered with garlands of flowers in silver thread along with delicate crystals and more than 10,000 seed pearls imported from the United States.

MORE: How Princess Margaret made history at her royal wedding

Princess Margaret also wore a Norman Hartnell wedding dress

Princess Margaret's gown, meanwhile, was a multi-layered white silk gown with a cinched-in waist and full skirt utilising many layers of fine silk. While the dress didn't feature embellishment like the Queen or Princess Beatrice's gowns, Margaret added a dazzling finishing touch with the Poltimore tiara, whereas both the Queen and Princess Beatrice wore the Queen Mary diamond fringe tiara.

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