King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) 1923 Wedding Photo

NPG x158916; The wedding of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother by Bassano Ltd

The wedding of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother by Bassano Ltd
bromide print, 26 April 1923. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x11910; Royal Family Group by Bassano

The wedding of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother by Bassano Ltd
sepia-toned platinotype on original card mount, 26 April 1923. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

Rita Hayworth & Prince Aly Khan Wedding (1948)

In 1948, at the height of her fame, Hollywood actress Rita Hayworth left her film career to marry Prince Aly Khan, a son of Sultan Mahommed Shah, Aga Khan III, the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shia Islam. Because Hayworth was already one of the most well-known celebrities in the world, the courtship and the wedding received enormous press coverage around the world.

They were married on May 27, 1949. Her bridal trousseau had been influenced by Dior’s “New Look”, launched in 1947. The wedding marked the first time a Hollywood actress became a princess.

On December 28, 1949, Hayworth gave birth to the couple’s only daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan.

Though Hayworth was anxious to start a new life abroad, away from Hollywood, Aly Khan’s flamboyant lifestyle and duties proved too difficult for Hayworth. She struggled to fit in with his friends, and found it difficult to learn French. Aly Khan was also known in circles as a playboy, and it was suspected that he had been unfaithful to Hayworth during the marriage. In 1951, Hayworth set sail with her two daughters for New York. Although the couple did reconcile for a short time, they officially divorced by 1953.

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Rita Hayworth on her wedding day, 1948  via

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Prince Ali Khan and Rita Hayworth on their wedding day, 1948  via

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Rita Hayworth riding in a car with her husband Ali Khan after their wedding at Vallauris to the reception at Chateau de l’Horizon, May 27, 1949. Photo by Nat Farbman via

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Prince Ali Khan and Rita Hayworth cutting into their wedding cake at Khan’s Riviera Chateau de L’Horizon, May 27, 1949. Photo by Nat Farbman  via

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Rita Hayworth at Chateau de l’Horizon with Prince Aga Khan and his fourth wife, May 27, 1949. Photo by Nat Farbman  via

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Rita Hayworth and Prince Ali Khan at Chateau de l’Horizon, May 27, 1949. Photo by Nat Farbman  via

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During the wedding reception of Rita Hayworth and Prince Ali Khan at Chateau de l’Horizon, May 27, 1949. Photo by Nat Farbman  via

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During the wedding reception of Rita Hayworth and Prince Ali Khan at Chateau de l’Horizon their initials float in the pool, May 27, 1949. Photo by Nat Farbman  via

The Royal Bridal Gown of Queen Elizabeth (nee Bowes Lyon), 1923

Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon were married on 26 April 1923 in Westminster Abbey. Elizabeth’s wedding dress was made from deep ivory chiffon moire, embroidered with pearls and a silver thread. It was intended to match the traditional Flanders lace provided for the train by Queen Mary. Elizabeth’s dress, which was in the fashion of the early 1920s, was designed by Madame Handley-Seymour, dressmaker to Queen Mary.

A strip of Brussels lace, inserted in the dress, was a Strathmore family heirloom. A female ancestor of the bride wore it to a grand ball for “Bonnie Prince Charlie”, Charles Edward Stuart.

The silver leaf girdle had a trail of spring green tulle, trailing to the ground; silver and rose thistle fastened it. According to an era news article:

“In the trimming the bride has defied all old superstitions about the unluckiness of green.”

Unlike more recent dresses, details of this one were publicly revealed in advance of the wedding day. However, the dress was worked on until the last possible opportunity: the day before the wedding, Elizabeth divided her time between the wedding rehearsal and her dressmakers.

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Queen Elizabeth (nee Bowes Lyon) wearing her long bridal veil of old point de Flanderes lace (1923) via

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Queen Elizabeth (nee Bowes Lyon) in her wedding dress (1923) via

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Queen Elizabeth (nee Bowes Lyon) & Prince Albert wearing RAF full dress in the rank of group captain, his senior service rank at the time of his marriage (1923) via

Queen Victorias Wedding 10th of February 1840

Queen Victoria first met her German cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1836, and they became engaged during his second visit to England in 1839. Their wedding ceremony took place on 10 February 1840 at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace.

Queen Victoria chose to marry Prince Albert in a white silk satin gown featuring Honiton lace, an unusual color choice for bridal gowns at the time; she started the white wedding gown tradition that remains today. On her wedding morning, Queen Victoria wrote in her journal:

Dressed….I wore a white satin gown with a very deep flounce of Honiton, imitation of old. I wore my Turkish diamond necklace and earrings, and Albert’s beautiful sapphire brooch.

She also wore a wreath of orange blossoms (symbolising purity) and myrtle (symbolising love and domestic happiness), and these became the most common flowers carried and worn in Victorian weddings.

Their wedding day itself was inauspicious, a heavy rain falling; but immense multitudes assembled to gaze upon the processions. The bridal procession from Buckingham Palace to St. James’s begun to move through the triumphal arch at 12 o’clock. It was the first wedding of a reigning Queen in England since 1554.

Queen Victoria spent the evening after her wedding lying down with a headache, but wrote ecstatically in her diary:

I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!!! MY DEAREST DEAREST DEAR Albert … his excessive love & affection gave me feelings of heavenly love & happiness I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, & we kissed each other again & again! His beauty, his sweetness & gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! … to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life!

Her marriage to Prince Albert brought nine children between 1840 and 1857. Most of her children married into other Royal families of Europe.

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Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on their return from the marriage service at St James’s Palace, London, 10th February 1840. Engraved by S Reynolds after F Lock.

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A middle aged Victoria and Albert recreate their wedding day.

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Princess Margaret & Anthony Armstrong-Jones Wedding Day (1960)

Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret, married photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones on May 6th 1960. Thousands lined the streets to witness the Queen’s younger sister get married. It was the first ever televised wedding, and 20 million viewers tuned in.

Princess Margaret made the journey from Clarence House to Westminster Abbey in the Glass Coach with the Duke of Edinburgh.

She dressed in white silk and sported a diamond tiara. Among the 2,000 guests in the church were the King and Queen of Sweden, and the traditional Church of England service was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

After the ceremony, the pair travelled to Buckingham Palace where they waved to a delighted crowd.

The newlyweds boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia on the Thames and set off for a honeymoon in the Caribbean

Anthony Armstrong-Jones (now the Earl of Snowdon) and Princess Margaret had two children, Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones. Over time, Lord Snowdon got tired of official engagements, saying “I’m not royal; I’m just married to one.”

The couple officially separated in March 1976, and divorced two years later (source).

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Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, May 6, 1960.

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Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, May 6, 1960.

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Princess Margaret, May 6, 1960.

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Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, May 6, 1960.

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Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding (1956)

Invited at Cannes’ Film Festival, in 1955, Grace Kelly meets the prince of Monaco and in 1956, the American actress becomes a princess while she settles in Monaco after a sumptuous wedding. News of the engagement was a sensation, even though it meant a probable end to Kelly’s film career.

The Napoleonic Code of Monaco and the laws of the Roman Catholic Church necessitated two ceremonies – both a civil ceremony and a religious wedding.

The 16-minute civil ceremony took place in the Palace Throne Room of Monaco on April 18, 1956, and a reception later in the day was attended by 3,000 Monaco citizens. To cap the ceremony, the 142 official titles that she acquired in the union (counterparts of his) were formally recited.

The following day the church ceremony took place at Monaco’s Saint Nicholas Cathedral, before Monaco’s Bishop Gilles Barthe. 

The wedding was estimated to have been watched by over 30 million viewers on live television, and was described by biographer Robert Lacey as “the first modern event to generate media overkill.” 

Her wedding dress, designed by MGM’s Academy Award–winning Helen Rose, was worked on for six weeks by three dozen seamstresses. The bridesmaids’ gowns were designed by Joe Allen Hong at Neiman Marcus.

The 700 guests included several famous people, including Aristotle Onassis, Cary Grant, David Niven and his wife Hjördis, Gloria Swanson, Ava Gardner, the crowned head Aga Khan III, Gloria Guinness, Enid, Lady Kenmare, Daisy Fellowes, Etti Plesch, Lady Diana Cooper, Louise de Vilmorin, Loelia Lindsay, and Conrad Hilton.

She and Rainier left that night for their seven-week Mediterranean honeymoon cruise on his yacht, Deo Juvante II.

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Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956

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Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956

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Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956

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Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956

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Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956

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Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956

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Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956

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Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956

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Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956

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Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956

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In April 19th 1956, the world watched as Prince Rainier of Monaco wed Hollywood actress Grace Kelly at the Cathedral of St Nicholas.