There are some pretty obvious candidates within the House of Windsor who could have been chosen for our Iconic Bride series, but I think one of the most stylish and elegant is Princess Margaret during her marriage to Anthony Armstrong Jones.
The wedding took place on 6th May 1960 in Westminster Abbey and it was actually the very first televised Royal wedding, watched by over 20 million people. Margaret was 29 when she married and certainly lived up to the ‘Princess Bride’ title.
She was wearing a white silk organza gown designed by Norman Hartnell, who had previously designed the Queen’s Coronation and wedding dresses. It was a fairly traditional style for the era, but unlike many other royal wedding gowns (past and present) it was extremely plain with no embroidery, heirloom lace or heavy embellishments. It was designed with the Princess’s petite frame in mind, hence the high collar, V-neck detail and long slim fitting sleeves. The huge billowing ballgown skirt covered layers and layers of tulle petticoats.
Her veil was cathedral length silk organza, bound in satin, which descended from the base of her large Poltimore tiara (which incidentally can be converted into a necklace and which recently sold at auction for over £1.5 million).
She carried a cascade of orchids and was accompanied by eight young bridesmaids, all wearing short sleeved ballerina style dresses which were also designed by Norman Hartnell. A very young Prince Charles was included in the wedding party, sporting a kilt.
The wedding ring was a plain band which was made from the same nugget of Welsh gold used for the wedding rings of the Queen Mum, The Queen, Princess Anne and Prince Charles.
Unfortunately, as with many marriages, royal and otherwise, Margaret and Anthony’s didn’t last. After a series of reported affairs, including Mick Jagger and Peter Sellers, they were divorced in 1978. It was the first divorce of a senior royal since 1901. Her life after that is well documented and, unlike her wedding dress, is far from whiter than white!