The royal houses come with a ridiculous amount of cultural baggage. So it’s no surprise that their clothing and accessories pay homage to previous generations or even centuries-old customs. Fortunately, they have the financial means to support all of their fashion decisions, so they must do so in style.
1. Dresses worn by Duchess Kate to show her children
When presenting newborn Prince George to the world in July 2013, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, or simply Kate, wore a plain blue polka-dot dress. She was paying a lovely tribute to her mother-in-law, Princess Diana, by doing so. This gown seemed to be quite similar to the one Diana wore 30 years ago while leaving the hospital with Prince William.
Kate wasn’t the only one who paid tribute to Diana after she gave birth. Kate wore a red dress with a white lace collar as she left the hospital with Prince Louie in 2018, a reference to Diana’s outfit when she introduced Prince Harry to the world in 1984.
2. Meghan’s wedding veil
Meghan Markle’s wedding gown featured a stunning silk tulle veil with embroidery around the edges (it was 5 metres long!). Throughout the wedding ceremony, Meghan expressed her desire for all 53 Commonwealth countries to be a part of her journey. As a result, her veil was designed to incorporate the flora of each Commonwealth country: for example, the blue water lily represented Sri Lanka, while the daffodil represented Wales.
3. The ruby tiara of Princess Mary of Denmark
When attending major events, Danish Princess Mary favours a ruby-and-diamond tiara. These jewels have a fascinating history: they were first worn by Désirée Clary, a woman who was engaged to Napoleon Bonaparte himself at one stage. The tiara passed through a number of countries and families before landing in Denmark.
It represents a long tradition that spans centuries of European royalty.
4. Princess Eugenie’s open-back wedding dress
Princess Eugenie had to undergo difficult scoliosis surgery as an infant, which left a long scar on her spine. She opted not to conceal the scar at her wedding because it had become an integral part of her identity. She asked for an open back on her dress to show off her scar, demonstrating that real beauty is unaffected by such things.
5. Kate’s tribute dress
When royals fly around the world, they often wear something with national symbols or colours to pay homage to the countries they visit. Kate wore an eagle-adorned dress on her 2017 tour of Germany. Eagles are Germany’s national bird. A German designer also designed the outfit.
6. Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress
In 1947, Queen Elizabeth married, and her silk wedding gown was adorned with rich embroidery depicting spring flowers, as well as pearls and crystals. It was created to convey a message of optimism for the future. The dress was also influenced by Sandro Botticelli’s 1482 painting Allegory of Spring, which was most likely painted for a wedding.
7. Princess Diana’s tiara
Since the Spencers came from an aristocratic dynasty that can be traced back to the Tudor era, Princess Diana’s family had an impressive collection of jewels of their own. Diana wore an heirloom tiara from her family on her wedding day in 1981, as evidence of this.
It was originally Diana’s grandmother’s and was finished sometime in the 1930s. Diana’s sisters also wore it to their weddings, making it a wedding tradition to wear a family heirloom. Diana also preferred it to the Queen’s Lover’s Knot Tiara, which she was loaned from her private vault.
8. Sarah Ferguson’s flower crown and wedding gown
Fergie’s silk gown was rich with symbolism. The letter S, along with bees and thistles, representing her Coat of Arms, was beaded around the bodice.
Sarah wore a flower crown as a headdress before signing her marriage certificate. But as soon as the formalities were completed, she removed it and unveiled a stunning tiara that the Queen herself had given her. Sarah’s formal entrance into the royal family was symbolised by the symbolic removal of the roses.
9. Diana’s headband made of a choker
Diana was known for her originality and rebellious nature. She wore a diamond and emerald choker as a headband, which she borrowed from the Queen. While it was probably not what the Queen had in mind, it demonstrated Diana’s individuality and unique sense of style.
10. Meghan’s diamond pendant
Meghan Markle wore an enticing spiral pendant during her visit to New Zealand in 2018. The jewel was influenced by the Maori tradition of Ta Moko, an ancient type of tattooing. A local jeweller created it as a tribute to New Zealand’s cultural heritage.
Do you own any items of clothing that have a special significance for you? Please send us your stories and pictures!