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Queen Elizabeth II, five, is the most regal bridesmaid in unearthed royal wedding photos

The young royal bridesmaid wore fur cape

queen elzabeth bridesmaid
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
27 September 2022
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Queen Elizabeth II went to her fair share of royal weddings, but we've tracked down what was arguably her most adorable outfit in resurfaced photos of Lady May Cambridge's nuptials.

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King George V's niece Lady May and her husband British Army officer Captain Henry Abel Smith exchanged vows in a low-key ceremony at St Mary's Church in Balcombe, West Sussex in October 1931. The bride had an impressive 12 bridesmaids, three of which were royal – Princess Ingrid of Sweden, Princess Sybilla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and then-Princess Elizabeth, who was just five years old at the time.

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The young royal looked adorable in a capped-sleeve blue velvet dress with contrasting silver shoes, and she kept warm in the cool autumn weather with a royal-looking fur cape draped over her shoulders. Like the older bridesmaids, Elizabeth wore her hair in waves complete with a white hair accessory and held a bouquet of flowers.

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She was pictured alongside her parents, the Duke and Duchess of York, who would become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth following the abdication of George's elder brother Edward VIII just five years later.

elizabeth bridesmaids lady may wedding

Princess Elizabeth was five when she acted as a bridesmaid for Lady May Cambridge in 1931

Meanwhile, Lady May opted for a satin long-sleeved bridal gown with a V-neck, wrap-over bodice and statement train. She finished off her look with a lace veil and a wild floral bouquet. 

During their 61-year marriage, Lady May and Henry, who later became the Governor of Queensland in Australia, went on to welcome three children: Anne, born in 1932, Richard, born in 1933, and Elizabeth, born in 1936.

elizabeth fur cape

The royal kept warm with a fur cape over her velvet dress

This wasn't the only time Her Majesty took on bridesmaid duties – in 1946, the 20-year-old future queen was pictured alongside her sister Princess Margaret, then 16, at the wedding of Captain Lord Brabourne and Patricia Mountbatten.

The late monarch, who sadly passed away in September 2022, wore a puff-sleeve dress with buttons down the bodice, which she teamed with a pearl necklace and flower crown which contrasted with her dark hair.

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