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Duchess Sophie rocks brunette pixie cut and thigh split wedding guest skirt in unearthed photo

The Duchess of Edinburgh was a bold wedding guest five years before she married Prince Edward

Duchess Sophie rocks brunette pixie cut and thigh split wedding guest skirt in unearthed photo© Samir Hussein
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
July 21, 2023
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Since she married Prince Edward in 1999, royal fans have been used to seeing the Duchess of Edinburgh with her trademark honey-blonde hair, but one unearthed photo reveals she used to sport a much darker colour.

Five years before her royal wedding, Duchess Sophie (née Rhys-Jones) was pictured attending Lord Ivor Mountbatten's nuptials in 1994 with her brunette pixie cut blowing in the wind. True to 90s style, Sophie had bouncy longer strands that had been blow-dried away from her face to create lots of volume, while the back of her hair was cut short.

Prince Edward in a bow tie with Sophie Rhys-Jones in a red jacket attending a wedding© Getty
Prince Edward's then-girlfriend sported a darker pixie haircut in 1994

She wore a glamorous red and black outfit for the occasion, including a long red jacket with covered buttons layered over a midi skirt with a high leg split. Sheer tights kept the cool April weather at bay, while black heels and a matching clutch added the finishing accessories to Sophie's wedding guest attire.

While entering the royal family comes with some rules when it comes to your wardrobe, Sophie has proven that you can still dress in bold prints and experimental styles. Take her other wedding guest outfits, for example.

She attended Prince Guillaume and Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg's wedding in 2012 wearing an unexpected horse-print frock, while her feathered hat from King Charles and Queen Camilla's 2005 nuptials is particularly memorable.

The Duchess even broke the mould when it came to her own wedding day, as she chose to wear just one bridal outfit that she tweaked during her big day - unlike the two separate gowns that Princess Kate, Meghan Markle and more royals chose to wear.

WATCH: Most memorable royal wedding dresses of all time

Prince Edward's wife stepped out at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in a silk organza coat dress designed by Samantha Shaw in June 1999. Decorated with over 325,000 pearls and crystal beads, she later removed the intricate overcoat to reveal her very similar evening dress with fitted long sleeves and a sparkly waist.

prince edward sophie wessex wedding© Getty
The couple got married in 1999

She topped her highlighted blonde pixie cut with a diamond tiara from her mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth's private collection and a long veil.

The couple met at Capital Radio in 1987 when the Prince was dating PR executive Sophie's friend, but romance blossomed after they bumped into each other again in 1993 at a charity event. They announced their engagement in January 1999 after Edward proposed with a stunning Asprey and Garrard ring featuring a two-carat oval diamond flanked by two heart-shaped gemstones.

sophie edward waving in their car following their wedding reception
The royal bride removed her coat to reveal her embellished evening wedding dress

Sophie admitted that she found her transition from her career to her royal duties difficult, telling The Times: "I had to take a really big step back."

The royals went on to welcome two children: Lady Louise Windsor on 8 November 2003, and James, Viscount Severn on 17 December 2007.

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