Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Countess Sophie's rarely-pictured second wedding dress is seriously dazzling in resurfaced photo

The royal wore a coat dress for her ceremony

prince edward sophie wessex
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyWeddings Editor
Share this:

The Countess of Wessex and Forfar is one of the few royal brides who didn't appear to change outfits on her wedding day – but one unearthed snap revealed she did actually have a second wedding look.

MORE: Countess Sophie's pearl-encrusted wedding dress was wildly different from other royals

Prince Edward's wife Sophie (née Rhys-Jones) stunned royal fans when she stepped out at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in a silk organza Samantha Shaw wedding dress in June 1999. 

WATCH: Most jaw-dropping royal wedding dresses of all time

The coat dress was decorated with over 325,000 pearls and crystal beads, some of which lined her V-neck, wide sleeves and skirt. She finished off her bridal look with a full-length veil made of silk tulle and crystals, held in place by a diamond tiara from her mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth's private collection.

SEE: 14 bold second royal wedding dresses: Princess Eugenie's pink gown, Sarah Ferguson's florals and more

RELATED: 12 private royal wedding moments: From Princess Kate's rehearsal to Princess Eugenie's first dance

The Countess was later pictured leaving her wedding reception and heading on her honeymoon dressed in a similar V-neck gown, which appears to be the one she wore underneath her coat dress. Perhaps Sophie removed the top layer for the evening celebrations to reveal a fitted long-sleeved gown with a sparkly waist.

edward sophie bridal party

Sophie looked beautiful in a silk organza Samantha Shaw coat dress for her royal wedding

The striking resemblance between the two gowns could be why the outfit change went largely unnoticed.

The couple were pictured waving to the cameras in the back seat of their limousine, with Edward still wearing his smart morning suit with an animal-print tie.

Sophie and Edward reportedly wanted a wedding without any ceremonial state or military involvement and a more relaxed dress code. The royals supposedly asked guests to wear evening gowns and smart attire but no headpieces, which was a surprising decision since they are normally customary.

sophie edward wedding reception

The bride appeared to remove the coat to reveal a sparkly gown at her wedding reception

However, some members of the royal family continued with tradition and rocked beautiful hair accessories. The Queen, for example, wore a lilac feathered fascinator that tied in with her lace dress, while the Queen Mother was pictured in a purple hat with bold feathered detailing.

Prince Edward announced his engagement to Sophie in January 1999 after presenting his bride-to-be with a two-carat central oval diamond flanked by two smaller, heart-shaped diamonds. Made by Asprey and Garrard, the ring is thought to be worth in the region of £105,000 ($149,000).

READ: Princess Margaret's lady-in-waiting reveals 'terrible times' amid royal divorce

Planning your wedding? Sign up to HELLO!’s Bride Guide newsletter for expert advice, budget help, wedding inspiration and real life stories delivered straight to your inbox.

More Weddings

See more