From Victoria to Meghan: The Hidden Stories Behind British Royal Wedding Gowns


This talk will be an examination of the history and impact of British royal wedding gowns over the last 170 years, including the styles worn by Queen Elizabeth II, Wallis Simpson the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Anne, Princess Alexandra and Princess Diana. All reveal details about the women who wore them, their status and future roles and changed the way we celebrate our own marriages.

Since early times we have thrilled to admire the finery as worn by the monarchy on their most splendid of days. Weddings are political alliances as much as romantic events, but the richness of their adornment is unsurpassed and provide an important support to local industries and recognition of communities and colonies.

When a youthful Queen Victoria choose Honiton lace and Spitalfields silk for her gown in 1840, she was promoting the skills of the Devon lace-making industry and the fine products of the East London weavers, but she was also changing the way we dress.

Her unusual choice of white remains the preferred colour to this day. Similarly, American Meghan Markle chose a British designer, Clare Waight Keller, to create her elegant and simple gown in 2018. Also made of white silk, the similarities with Victoria’s end there, but her silk veil was embroidered with floral motifs from countries of the Commonwealth and the California Poppy from her own native land.

This event is owned and operated by The Johnston Collection, and proudly promoted by Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival as part of the Independent Program. Please contact the organiser directly for further information.

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