Corsets, necklines and long sleeves - here are 3 wedding styles inspired by the Royals

 HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and HRH The Duchess of Sussex. Photographed by 
Chris Jackson & 
WPA Pool. Collage by Futhi Masilela
HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and HRH The Duchess of Sussex. Photographed by Chris Jackson & WPA Pool. Collage by Futhi Masilela
Chris Jackson & WPA Pool

When you imagine your wedding day, the first concept that comes in mind is, "I want to look like a princess". This goes to show that some way or another, royal weddings have inspired several women’s dream weddings - from the style of the tiara and veil to the cut of the wedding gown. 

It is no doubt that royal weddings have evolved from Queen Elizabeth I, who married King George VI without wearing a tiara, as they were not popular in 1923, and instead wore a full veil covering her entire head, Mirror UK reported. 

READ MORE: Reimagining the bridal veil – here are 4 bold veils for millennial brides to try out straight from the runway

Queen Mary, grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II gave her granddaughter her Russian Fringe tiara on her wedding day and since then, we have seen a few modern brides in tiaras at royal weddings. 

Here are three 'traditional' royal wedding gown styles that have influenced the dresses of modern brides:


In the early 16th and 17th centuries, the corset was introduced as an undergarment by Catherine de Medici into France in the 1500s, and had its origins in Italy. The women of the French court embraced it and it has since become a popular item for women across the globe. Among all other bridal traditions Queen Victoria introduced, including the white dress, she was the first royal bride to introduce a corset in 1840.

Following her, was the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Mary in 1893, another royal bride who wore a corset on her big day. In 2019, corsets for brides are making their return, with brides now accentuating their figures and curves using this item. 

wedding styles form the royals

Queen Elizabeth II with her husband Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. Photographed by Topical Press Agency 

READ MORE: Here are 10 'naked' wedding dresses for edgy brides to try out as seen on runways this year so far


The neckline is the most important element of any dress, as it highlights your facial features, flatters your figure, and balances the proportions of your body. According to Mirror UK, royal brides have moved with the times when it comes to necklines. For example, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester's wedding gown had a cluster of orange blossoms by her neckline when she got married in 1935.

At her first wedding in 1973, Princess Anne wore a Tudor-style high-neck gown, and at her second wedding in 1992, she wore a high-neck knee-length dress. When Princess Diana got married in 1981, she wore a dress with a V-neck front with a taffeta bow. Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, wore a dress that featured a bateau-style neckline.

wedding styles inspired by the royals

The wedding of Anne, Princess Royal to Mark Phillips. Photographed by Keystone

READ MORE: Here are 4 of our favourite wedding gowns from recent weddings


Sleeves have evolved a lot over the fashion years, and when it comes to brides, new trends were introduced which now don’t seem as on-trend anymore. From long to short sleeves with long lace gloves, the first royal bride to make a big change in the design of her wedding gown sleeves was Princess Anne, who wore her Tudor-style high-neck gown that had dramatic trumpet sleeves.

Princess Diana most likely had the most memorable dress, which ushered in a new trend for brides of the 80’s - large balloon sleeves. 

The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, tied the knot in a lace-sleeved dress, while The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, wore a three-quarter length sleeve dress designed by Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller. 

wedding styles inspired by the royals

Wedding styles from the royals

         The Prince and Princess of Wales. Photographed by Princess Diana Archive 

All images from Getty

Sources: Mirror UKTown and Country Mag, Champagne Corsets & Designs

What is your favourite wedding style from the royals? Tell us here

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
23% - 1194 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 461 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 2558 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 68 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 922 votes