When her fashionista sister married at Westminster Abbey on 6 May 1960, all eyes were on the stunning wedding dress of Princess Margaret, but The Queen’s beautiful blue evening gown also drew accolades that day.
Designed by court designer Norman Hartnell, The Queen sported a belted turquoise faille and lace evening gown with a full skirt and matching bolero to the wedding of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones.
The silhouette was intended to evoke memories of her coronation gown from 1953, and was a theme woven into the overall design of the day as Hartnell was also inspired by the silhouette for Princess Margaret’s wedding dress. He reportedly kept the design and silhouette simple to not overpower Princess Margaret’s tiny frame; the result is that her wedding dress has become an iconic example of royal wedding design and is still inspiring royal brides decades later.
The Queen also sported a blue hat for her sister’s Westminster Abbey wedding, its design included roses to echo her sister’s name: Margaret Rose.
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Famed photographer Cecil Beaton, no stranger to photographing the Windsors, said about The Queen’s ensemble: “Her dress was wonderfully romantic—with a skirt of stiff folds—and everything of a kingfisher brilliance.”
The Queen’s evening dress was on display in 2016 as part of her 90th birthday celebrations. The Royal Collection Trust displayed the gown at the Palace of Holyroodhouse for the Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe exhibition.
Though he continued designing for The Queen, The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret for the rest of his life, Princess Margaret’s wedding was his last major commission for the Royal Family. Hartnell died in 1979, having worked for the royals since the 1930s.