Royal fans didn’t get quite the wedding they were expecting when Princess Beatrice tied the knot this summer. Princess Beatrice had initially planned on marrying Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in May, with a 150-person ceremony at the Chapel Royal, followed by a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth in the Buckingham Palace Gardens.
Alas, the Princess had to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic, and ended up pulling off a secret, surprise wedding at Windsor Castle on July 17, with around 30 guests in attendance, including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
Princess Beatrice borrowed a vintage Norman Hartnell dress from Queen Elizabeth to wear on her special day, and now royal enthusiasts can get an up close and personal look at the gown, as it will be displayed at Windsor Castle starting later this month.
The Queen first wore the dress for a state dinner in Rome in 1961, and donned it again for the London premiere of Lawrence of Arabia in 1962, as well as for the State Opening of Parliament in 1966. The dress is made of ivory peau do soie taffeta, and the skirt is trimmed in ivory duchess satin. Crystal and diamanté is hard embroidered on the bodice, waist and hips.
According to a press release from the Royal Collection Trust, the dress was slightly altered for Princess Beatrice under the direction of Angela Kelly, the Queen’s personal wardrobe advisor. The “full-skirted silhouette was softened to give a more contemporary, simplified shape, and the underskirt and petticoats were recreated and bound with silk tulle. Short sleeves of triple organza were added to the straps and embroidered with vintage diamantés to match the original Hartnell embroidery design.” The release notes that all the alternations are reversible.
The display will also feature a replica of Princess Beatrice’s wedding bouquet, as well as the Valentino shoes she wore for her wedding. The shoes weren’t new, and in fact, Beatrice wore them many times prior, including to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding in 2011.
The wedding dress exhibit is something of a tradition for royal brides, and both Princess Eugenie and Meghan Markle’s bridal gowns were displayed at Windsor Castle following their nuptials. The Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress, designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, was featured at Buckingham Palace following her marriage to Prince William.
If you’re hoping to get a peek at Princess Beatrice’s wedding gown, it’ll be on public display at Windsor Castle from September 24 until November 22. Windsor is open from Thursday through Monday, and you’ll need to book your tickets in advance.