Royal Weddings: What Will the Queen Wear? Predictions for Prince Harry’s Upcoming WeddingDecember 20, 2017
Every royal wedding sparks an interest worldwide. Speculation first was the date, then was the location, and now: what will she wear and what jewels will she be given, and what will the Queen wear?
Have you been following details of the past royal weddings? Thomas Moore III is the founder of London Connection Vacation Apartments, and he certainly has. In a recent interview with Moore, he shared from memory the details of past weddings and also offered predictions for the upcoming marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, scheduled for 19 May, 2018.
- The bride will wear a white simple gown and veil, no tiara or major jewels. Perhaps some orange blossoms in her hair, at least in her bouquet.
- Harry will be in blue military dress.
- Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Prince William will all wear black tuxedos.
- Queen Elizabeth will wear a floral, knee length suit with matching hat, and an important jewel.
How did Moore formulate these conclusions? To come up with a good educated guess, he took a look back over the past two centuries to see the precedents that have been set.
Let’s go right back to Queen Victoria: She was queen, and she was married to a royal consort. Therefore, the wedding would have been as formal as the traditions of the time would have expected. However, the jewel that she wore was only a large blue sapphire which was given to her by Prince Albert the night before their marriage. Her tiara was a band of orange blossoms with no jewels. She wore a veil of English lace, and a magnolia-colored shimmering gown. At this particular period of time, this was probably the first royal wedding wearing white, and sapphires were more preferred than diamonds. This gives us no insight into what to expect for Prince Harry.
Queen Victoria’s eldest son, later to become Edward VII, married Princess Alexandra of Denmark at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel. Because the queen remained in mourning for her husband, Prince Albert, she did not formally attend the wedding. She tucked herself in a balcony above, watching the event in absentia. Princess Alexandra wore a large magnificent wedding gown, covered in lace and draped in orange blossoms. She had more blossoms in her hair, and massive jewels around her neck — the gifts from the royal family for her wedding day. The precedent here is Windsor Castle, St. George’s Chapel as an option, a venue NOT in London.
The next important bride to discuss is Mary of Teck’s marriage to George, Duke of York. It is significant to discuss because it is the first important wedding of a prince NOT expected to be king, so the wedding had less protocol. Interestingly, George was marrying his deceased brother’s fiancee. So in all regards, it was not a great public event. Princess May (Mary) again wore white, no tiara, and very few jewels. But again, the whole dress including the train, was draped in orange blossoms. What’s important here, it was the wedding of a prince NOT expected to become king.
Another wedding in developing our projection is the wedding of Prince Albert, to Elizabeth Bowes Lyon. Again, here was the wedding of a prince NOT expected to become king. The wedding was in Westminster Abbey, attended by the entire Royal Family. She wore a gown typical of the era in which she married, the 1920’s. Her veil was Queen Mary (her mother-in-law’s) veil. The only jewels she wore were her favorite and much loved pearls. Again, her wedding ring jewel was a sapphire. She went to Westminster in a gilt coach with her father, but not accompanied by the household guards. She had not married the royal prince, heir to the throne. So again we have the precedent for a marriage of a prince not planned to be king. As you know, Prince Albert became King George VI, when his brother Edward abdicated.
The next wedding of major importance to consider is the marriage of George VI and Elizabeth’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth (later to become Queen Elizabeth II) to the Duke of Edinburgh, a Danish/Greek prince. For the first time in over 100 years, the heir to the throne is being married, and therefore, it is an entirely different matter. The princess wears the diamond tiara dating back to King George III, royal pearls dating back to Queen Anne, and a DIAMOND wedding ring created for her from Prince Philip’s mother’s ring. She wears a white gown, full veils — all created by the court designer, Norman Hartnell. She leaves from Buckingham Palace accompanied by her father, the King, and escorted by the full house cavalry to Westminster Abbey. Obviously, because of her position, the wedding is entirely different.
The next wedding to be reviewed is the marriage of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer. It’s a royal wedding, with the heir to the throne. Therefore the carriages will leave from royal residences. Prince Charles from Buckingham Palace, and Lady Diana Spencer from Clarence House. The wedding is held for the first time at St. Paul’s Cathedral to accommodate such a large public wedding that has never been seen before. She chooses a white gown with the largest train ever commissioned for a royal wedding. She wears her family’s diamond tiara, but again, chose a large sapphire as a wedding ring jewel. What do we learn from this? It follows the traditions, even grander than any previous wedding, and becomes a public affair — the first in British history. This is also the first time that the “royal ladies” wore knee length gowns, rather than floor length — yet smothered in jewels. Queen Elizabeth II wore a knee length blue chiffon dress with a large pink diamond brooch. The Queen Mother wore pastel green with a massive emerald brooch. Prince Anne wore a yellow/orange floral. Princess Margaret wore a coral knee length chiffon dress.
Prince Charles’s second marriage — to Camilla Parker Bowles takes place at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. Without fanfare, and a tiara nothing more that sheaths of wheat, fashioned from gold in her hair. She chose NOT to wear white. It was obviously a low-key wedding with discussion that perhaps the Queen may not even be present. She did, however, attend.
Now back to another royal wedding and heir to the throne, that will follow precedent. William was escorted from Buckingham palace, Katherine came from Brown Hotel where her family was staying, since she is not from royal descent. The gown was white lace, again a diamond tiara, once worn by The Queen Mother. And once again, the famous sapphire wedding ring that had been Diana’s. No necklaces, and small pendant diamond earrings. Elegantly beautiful and simple. The marriage took place in Westminster Abbey, which was a smaller venue for the ceremony. Then the royal party returned to Buckingham palace to an amazing reception on the balcony where hundreds of thousands of spectators were lining and packing the mall, including Thomas Moore III. He had chosen to sleep rough for days before the wedding to stake out his spot across from Westminster Abbey to catch the best view available. It was the largest public wedding celebration in British history.
So the question among those gathered outside the Abbey was “What will the Queen be wearing?” Moore recalls how the betting company of Central London was walking down the street taking five pound bets about that very thing. The top choices in order were first: blue, next pink, followed by yellow, then green, then floral. Moore bet his £5 on yellow, and he was correct. Yellow she wore, and he never claimed his ticket. He still has it — “it meant more to me to save than the money I would have claimed.”
So now, where are we? “Here is my bet.” So for the last two weddings, the Queen has worn a tailored suit of pastel colors. This time, Moore predicts it will be floral. We know that it will take place at Windsor Castle, away from the formalities, not to be associated with a state wedding. And to be appropriate for a prince who is currently fifth in line to the throne, Moore projects that Prince Harry will wear a blue military uniform, while his brother wore red, by order of the Queen. Meghan will wear a simple white dress with a simple veil and NO tiara or other major jewels. “I doubt that one of Diana’s jewels would be worn, to draw the attention away from the event.” Her wedding ring IS set with a large diamond, once owned by Diana.
“I predict there will be an open landau departure from St. George’s Chapel through the streets of Windsor to the pleasure of the adoring crowds.” He predicts that Philip and Prince Charles will wear black tuxedos — no military dress. Prince William will be the best man, and will also be in black. The only one in military dress will be Prince Harry. “That’s my bet.”
Now, tell us what you think.
By the way, Moore will be sleeping rough on the street in Windsor with his eager camera. Want to join him?