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Prince William's rarely-pictured third wedding outfit following 'gloomy' appearance in red suit

Princess Kate's husband's red uniform was reportedly not his first choice

Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
1 May 2024
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To this day, Prince William and Princess Kate's royal wedding remains fresh in the minds of fans across the globe despite thirteen years passing since they said their vows.

One of the most memorable parts was the couple's much-anticipated outfits. As they exchanged vows in Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011, the Princess of Wales (then Kate Middleton) looked resplendent in a lace corset gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, while her royal groom wore his red Irish Guards uniform to reflect his most senior military position.

William's second wedding outfit

William and Kate leaving Westminster Abbey as husband and wife© Getty
The Prince of Wales wore his Irish Guards uniform on his wedding day in 2011

While thousands of photos documented the couple's first ensembles, William didn't wear the ruby tunic for long. The couple's latest wedding photo, which they shared on their 13th anniversary, showed newlywed William smiling in his dapper Blues and Royals suit.

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He rocked his high-neck black wool coat as he placed his hands on the waist of his wife, who was still wearing her first gown. The photo was taken during his afternoon wedding reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the late Queen. 

Kate's second wedding dress 

Meanwhile, Kate made her grand entrance in her second wedding dress – a strapless Alexander McQueen dress with an embellished waist and fluffy cardigan – while leaving Clarence House for the couple's evening reception. At the time, William had made yet another swap, stepping out in a black tux and bow tie.

Designer Sarah opened up about the process of creating the two wedding dresses during a chat to the New York Times, T Magazine.

Prince William in a suit and bow tie and Princess Kate in her second wedding dress with King Charles© WPA Pool
Prince William and Princess Kate were pictured in new outfits as they left Clarence House for their evening wedding reception

She said: "I loved making the dress, I loved adapting my ideas to suit the person and the occasion, and we put our hearts into it. I respect the intimate nature of that lovely project and I respect the friendships that were forged during it... an instinctive, intelligent, imaginative young woman's wish for a beautiful wedding dress - or any kind of dress - is the most natural thing in the world. I was honoured to pick up the challenge and always will be."

William 'frustrated' over wedding uniform

It is not clear why the Prince changed more times than his bride, but William had reportedly wanted to wear his black ensemble for his entire royal wedding day. His younger brother Prince Harry claimed in his book Spare that William was left feeling "frustrated" and "gloomy" after the late Queen Elizabeth II overruled his wedding outfit request.

The red jacket featured the Irish Guards’ distinctive arrangement of buttons and a gold trim, alongside gold sword slings, the Garter Sash with the Wings of the Royal Air Force, the Garter Star and the Golden Jubilee Medal. 

Prince Harry in his black military uniform and Prince William in his red military uniform© Shutterstock
Prince Harry claimed Prince William's red uniform was not his first choice

While it was not his first choice, William admitted that his wedding outfit was "for the best." Robert Hardman reported in the MailOnline that William said: "I wanted to decide what to wear for the wedding.

"I was given a categorical: 'No, you’ll wear this!'" he said. "So you don't always get what you want, put it that way… But I knew perfectly well that it was for the best. That 'no' is a very good 'no'. So you just do as you’re told!" 

Wedding guests' multiple outfits

Carole Middleton in a black tiered gown with her hair up© Shutterstock
Carole Middleton was spotted in a glamorous black gown as she left The Goring Hotel for William and Kate's wedding reception

The bride and groom - who now share children Prince George, ten, Princess Charlotte, eight, and six-year-old Prince Louis - were not the only ones who did a switch up for their evening reception.

Photos show Princess Kate's family also chose glam evening gowns. Mother-of-the-bride Carole was pictured in a tiered black evening gown with flutter sleeves and a V-neck, while bridesmaid Pippa rocked an emerald embellished second dress.

DISCOVER: Princess Kate's wedding cake designer announces huge news on royal anniversary

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