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Princess Anne goes bold in white wedding guest dress and sultry red lip in rare photos with husband Timothy

King Charles' sister surprised with her outfit at Lady Rose Windsor's 2008 nuptials

Princess Anne in a white ruffled dress and yellow headpiece
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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Princess Anne's wardrobe is filled with casual raincoats for outings at her home in Gatcombe Park and stylish coat dresses for her royal engagements, but she ditched her usual attire for a bolder look back in 2008.

Flipping back through her style file, it's clear to see the Princess Royal is not afraid to experiment with her wedding guest looks – case in point was Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman's nuptials.

The Princess Royal in a white wedding guest dress with her husband Timothy Laurence© Stefan Rousseau - PA Images
The Princess Royal and her husband Tim Laurence at Lady Rose Windsor's wedding

Instead of keeping clear of white, the one colour that is typically reserved for the bride, Anne chose an ivory summer frock that fell to her knees. In true 60s style, it featured a wrapover bodice with a ruffle trim and subtle jacquard polka dots with the bridal colour broken up by a feminine orange floral print.

A pearl necklace, white shoes and a clementine and lemon-coloured floral headpiece with a birdcage veil tied in with her dress perfectly. She was joined by her husband Timothy Laurence, who chose a more classic look with his morning suit.

WATCH: More times the royals served up wedding guest outfit inspiration

Colour expert Gabi Winters from Chromology has previously told HELLO! about the possible special meanings behind the bridal colour. 

"Scientifically speaking white contains an equal balance of all the colours of the spectrum, so naturally, white's most fundamental feature is equality, neutrality and independence. Culturally speaking white is a symbol of purity, cleanliness, immaculacy and perfection, which is why it's the natural colour choice for bridal dresses, doctors' coats and seafarers."

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth wore a white coat dress to the wedding of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in 2005
© Getty
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth wore a white coat dress to Prince Charles and Camilla's 2005 wedding

Anne is not the only royal to have chosen a rebellious white wedding guest dress. In the past, the late Queen Elizabeth II wore a cream dress flecked with yellow to her son Prince Charles' wedding with his second wife Camilla. At the time, Queen Camilla had chosen a blue and gold embroidered wedding dress, so her mother-in-law's choice of gown was not as eyebrow-raising as you may assume. 

Meanwhile, the Princess of Wales rocked an off-white Stella McCartney dress for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding in 2018.

kate meghan wedding© Getty
The Princess of Wales also wore a cream frock to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's nuptials

Traditionally, guests avoid the colour to ensure they don't upstage the bride, but royal weddings have their own set of rules. Up until around the 1940s, it was a given that your bridal party would be dressed in white, which is a custom that many members of the royal family continue to practice. 

It's believed that the likes of Princess Kate chose snowy-hued bridesmaid dresses due to a historical belief that white deterred evil spirits.

READ: The story behind Princess Diana's engagement - the 123k engagement ring and its legacy

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