The Most Iconic Royal Dresses: Poll Results
We asked and you answered! Take a look at the results and see which royal dress our readers think is the most iconic.
OCTOBER 2nd, 2020 (UPDATED: OCTOBER 12th, 2020)
hroughout the years there have been many iconic royal dresses, but which is the best? From the Duchess of Cambridge’s lilac BAFTA gown worn in 2011, the Queen’s Coronation gown designed by Norman Hartnell, to Princess Diana’s headline making “revenge” dress, the gowns worn by members of The Royal Family quickly come to define and record their lives within the monarchy.
We put the question to you, and after casting over 2,000 VOTES, we have the answer! Take a look at the full below.
14. Blue Cape Gown by Safiyaa – The Duchess of Sussex (5 votes, 0.4%)
Meghan wore the gown whilst on a visit to Fiji in 2018, and chose the distinctive colour to represent a shade of Fijian blue, worn in tribute to the country. The gown continued Meghan’s LA style and simplified designs.
She wore a similar red gown earlier this year before stepping down as a working member of The Royal Family.
13. The Blue Kennedy Ballgown by Norman Hartnell – HM The Queen (15 votes, 1%)
The Queen wore this stunning blue ballgown to welcome President John. F. Kennedy and the First Lady, Jackie Kennedy to Buckingham Palace in 1961. Designed by Norman Hartnell, the dress made headlines alongside Mrs Kennedy’s stylish gown, and was expertly recreated for the second series of Netlfix’s The Crown.
Someone who wasn’t impressed by the Blue dress was the First Lady who Cecil Beaton claimed she was “unimpressed by the palace furnishings and by the Queen’s dress and hairstyle.”
12. Eugenie’s Wedding Reception Gown by Zac Posen – Princess Eugenie (27 votes, 1.8%)
When Princess Eugenie married in 2018 many fell in love with the stunning wedding dress, and the Zac Posen gown she wore for her wedding reception was just as beautiful.
Inspired by Grace Kelly, Eugenie described the creation of the dress, saying: “I wanted something reminiscent of Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief so I showed that for reference and Zac came up with this silk that he’d found from Manchester. Every single draping effect, every single detail, every button, it’s all painstakingly done by him and his team.”
11. Cannes Gown by Catherine Walker – Diana, Princess of Wales (35 votes 2.6%)
Princess Diana wore many iconic dresses, yet one which stands out is her flowing chiffron ballgown she wore when attending Cannes in 1987. Designed by Diana’s favourite designer Catherine Walker, the People’s Princess was adamant she wanted to wear a British brand to the event to promote the country’s fashion industry.
Critics adored the dress and thus is has become of the Princess’ most renowned and celebrated. Even today it continues to inspire modern designs on the red carpet and runways around the world.
10. Meghan’s Wedding Reception Gown by Stella McCartney – The Duchess of Sussex (66 votes, 2.9%)
After her wedding to Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex decided to wear a vegan, sustainably sourced gown designed by Stella McCartney. The white high neck gown made of silk crepe was accessorised with silky satin shoes and Princess Diana’s aquamarine ring.
The gown followed the simplified design of her wedding dress and has been dubbed Meghan’s best dress.
9. The “Travolta” Dress by Victor Edelstein – Diana, Princess of Wales (88 votes, 3%)
This dress is so iconic that it has its own Wikipedia page. Designed by Victor Edelstein, the “Travolta” dress is arguably one of Princess Diana’s most stunning. Made from midnight blue velvet, the design was inspired by Edwardian fashion. Critics described the gown as “dramatic in style and regal in fabric”.
The dress was also the last gown Diana would wear for an official portrait photograph, taken by the Earl of Snowdon in 1997 before her tragic death the same year.
In 2019, the dress sold for £264,000 to Historic Royal Palaces and has since been on display at Kensington Palace.
8. Catherine’s Wedding Reception Gown by Sarah Burton – The Duchess of Cambridge (104 votes, 4%)
After her wedding to Prince William, demand for a similar design to The Duchess of Cambridge’s iconic wedding dress rocketed by 120%, yet her reception dress was just as stunning. Designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, the sensational dress was much simpler and featured a sweetheart neckline and gorgeous train.
The Duchess accessorised the gown with a bedazzling diamante waistline and wore her trademark bouncy brunette locks down for the occasion.
7. Catherine’s Engagement Dress by Issa – The Duchess of Cambridge (124 votes, 5%)
The Duchess of Cambridge has long been celebrated for mixing high-street with high fashion, and when she first appeared as the fiancé of a future king, she opted for an elegant and history-making emerald blue dress by Issa.
In the immediate aftermath of the engagement announcement, the public got their first look at the famed “Kate-effect” as the dress instantly sold out, breaking retail records at the time.
Issa suffered due to with instant popularity and the small team struggled to meet demand. After closing its doors in 2017, House of Frasier purchased the brand in 2017 and there first item was a replica of the iconic engagement dress, which continues to outperform projected sale numbers.
6. The Dior Dress by Christian Dior – Princess Margaret (144 votes, 8%)
It is arguably Princess Margaret’s most iconic dress and has been deemed one of the most beautiful ever made. The Dior Dress made the princess into a fashion icon and she nominated it as her “favourite dress of all”.
She kept the dress for 17 years, before donating it to the London Museum in 1968, and her love for Dior never wavered. Margaret remained a loyal client almost to the end of her life, claiming that when she wore Dior she truly felt like a princess.
5. Grecian Lilac BAFTA Gown by Alexander McQueen – The Duchess of Cambridge (177 votes, 9%)
There were many memorable fashion moments throughout the Duchess of Cambridge’s first ever royal tour in 2011. With over 1,300 journalists credited as covering the visit to Canada and Los Angeles, Catherine’s fashion choices were beamed all around the world to universal praise.
Yet one dress stood out, a Grecian Lilac gown worn to a BAFTA ceremony in Los Angeles. The Duchess stunned the crowd as she walked the red carpet, and accessorised the dress with a bracelet gifted to her from her father-in-law, The Prince of Wales.
4. The Pearl “Elvis Dress” by Catherine McQueen – Diana, Princess of Wales (179 votes, 10%)
Many dresses have come to define the style of Princess Diana, yet her pearl “Elvis Dress” designed by Catherine Walker is arguably a standout moment. Whilst the dress, at the time, wasn’t deemed a success – many stated that Diana made the Catherine Walker creation work.
Someone who wasn’t a fan was Prince William, who commented to his mother who had decided to sell many of her dresses at a charity auction: “Mummy, that’s too awful to sell”. Irrespective of the personal opinions over the dress, the design later featured on a Princess Diana doll. Love it or hate it, the Elvis dress will forever go down in history as an iconic Princess Diana look.
3. The Queen’s Coronation Dress by Norman Hartnell – HM The Queen (191 votes, 12%)
Throughout her near-seventy-years reign, the Queen has worn many an iconic dress, yet nothing will come close to the historic significance of her Coronation Gown. Designed by Normal Hartnell, the Queen look regal in what many historians describe as “the most important example of twentieth-century design, created by a British couturier”.
Nine different designs were submitted to the palace, with the Queen accepting the eighth, though offered some alterations be made. She requested that in addition to the four national emblems, those of the Dominions of which she was now Queen should also be added.
The dress has become one of the most recognisable dresses in the world and thus iconic within its own right.
2. The Revenge Dress by Christina Stambolian – Diana, Princess of Wales (353 votes, 18%)
Quite simply, it is Princess Diana’s most iconic and recognisable dresses, not for what it looked like, but for the message it delivered loud and clear. Dubbed the “revenge dress”, the Christina Stambolian number sent the world into meltdown after Diana wore the dress on the same night her husband’s interview with Jonathan Dimbleby aired, where the Prince of Wales admitted to adultery with Camilla Parker-Bowles.
Wearing a gown which broke royal protocol, Diana looked breath-taking in the form-fitting black silk dress, and instantly pushed Charles off the newspaper frontpages. It has since become one of the late-princesses greatest fashion moments and historically significant to the change of the once “shy Di”.
1. Catherine’s First Royal Gown by Jenny Packham – The Duchess of Cambridge (508 votes, 26%)
Making you debut in the world of royalty is a huge deal, and for the Duchess of Cambridge, the entire world was waiting with baited breath to see what fashion choice she would make when she stepped out alongside Prince William at a charity event for Absolute Return for Kids in central London, in 2011.
The Duchess chose a dusty pink, sparkling Jenny Packham gown, which sold out instantly; a remarkable considering the hefty price tag of $5,015 at the time. The dress has only been occasionally worn by the Duchess, though has become one of her most recognisable. It perfectly showcased Catherine’s growing fashion sense and style, one which she has built upon ever since.
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