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The House of Windsor’s May Royal Brides

Stephen Lock/i-images

Princess Beatrice and fiancé, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, are set to wed the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, London, on the 29th of May.

In the leadup to their nuptials, Royal Central is looking back on other brides from the House of Windsor who married in the spring month of May.

The last royal wedding of a member of the Windsor family occurred on the 18th of May 2019 when the Lady Gabriella, daughter of the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, first cousin of The Queen, married Thomas Kingston in a ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

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The bride, affectionally known as Ella to her friends and family, wore a dramatic white lace gown from Italian designer Luisa Beccaria which included a six-metre veil to match the dress.

Ella chose to wear her family tiara known as the Kent City of London Fringe Tiara, which had been worn by her mother and grandmother (Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent) on their wedding days.

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Several senior members of the Royal Family, including The Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Anne, Prince Harry, and Princess Beatrice were in attendance at the nuptials.

While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did not attend, several members of Catherine’s immediate family were in attendance as her sister Pippa had previously dated the groom.

The bride carried a bouquet that contained a creamy, ivory ‘Ella’ rose by David Austin, sprigs of myrtle, lily of the valley and white and apricot sweet peas.

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Being a private event, there was no carriage procession of the newlyweds.

Almost one year earlier, Suits actress, then-Meghan Markle married Prince Harry on 19 May 2018.

Upon their marriage, Queen Elizabeth conferred upon Prince Harry the titles of Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. On her marriage, Meghan became the Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Dumbarton and Baroness Kilkeel.

The wedding was held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, a popular venue for royal weddings including the groom’s father, Prince Charles’s second marriage to then-Camilla Parker Bowles and his uncle, Prince Edward’s marriage to then-Sophie Rhys-Jones.

Meghan chose to wear a gown designed by British born designer Claire Waight Keller from the house of Givenchy. The stunning and demure silk gown features a boat neckline, full-length sleeves, and a sweeping train.

The star of the show was the bride’s stunning 16-foot long silk veil that had been hand embroidered with 55 flowers. Fifty-three of these represented the countries of the Commonwealth. The other two represented the couple themselves – wintersweet (which is in the garden at Nottingham Cottage, the couple’s home) and the California poppy, the state flower of California (Meghan’s home state) in the United States.

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The veil was secured in place by a tiara loaned to Meghan from Queen Elizabeth. Meghan wore the Diamond Bandeau Tiara which was made in 1932 for Queen Mary. It is made up of eleven sections, with a detachable center brooch with interlaced opal and diamonds set in platinum.

Meghan chose to wear natural makeup, which showed off her freckles through her foundation. Meghan spoke to Allure magazine in 2017 about embracing her natural beauty and showing her freckles as much as possible.

 “To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot,” she said.

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She carried an all-white bouquet which included forget-me-not’s which were the favourite flower of her deceased mother in law, Diana, Princess of Wales. It also included a traditional sprig of myrtle, which all royal brides since Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Victoria have carried and sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, and astrantia.

Meghan’s bridal party consisted of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as well as several of Harry and Meghan’s godchildren and children of their friends.

The bride’s friend, Jessica Mulroney was the ‘unofficial’ matron of honour, who travelled with the children, along with the Duchess of Cambridge on the day.

The wedding was attended by 600 guests including The Queen, members of the Royal Family and Hollywood celebrities including George and Amal Clooney, Oprah and Meghan’s Suits co-stars.

Following a controversy, the bride’s father, Thomas Markle did not attend; so, Prince Charles walked his new daughter-in-law part of the way down the aisle as a gesture to welcome her to the family.

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The wedding included a gospel choir and Bishop Curry, the first African-American presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, who gave a passionate address titled “The Power of Love” at the service.

After the nuptials, the couple kissed on the steps of the chapel before riding through the streets of Windsor in an open-top Ascot carriage, much to the delight of waiting crowds.

They then travelled to Frogmore House for the reception.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were ”stepping back” from their roles as “senior royals” earlier this year.

Princess Anne’s son, Peter became first of The Queen’s grandchildren to wed when he married Canadian Autumn Kelly on 17 May 2008.

The pair had met five years earlier at the Montreal Grand Prix where Peter failed to mention his royal relatives, which Autumn only found out about six weeks later when she saw her new ‘boyfriend’ on TV standing next to Prince William.

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The wedding was held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, the same venue Prince Harry and Meghan would later choose to wed at.

As she was raised a Roman Catholic, Autumn needed to convert to Anglicanism for the groom to keep his place in the line of succession. He is currently 15th in the line of succession to the British throne.

The couple signed an exclusive deal with Hello! which granted the magazine photos and interviews on the day for a reported £500,000.

Friction was said to be caused between Peter and his cousins, Prince William and Harry, following the event as the magazine published several photos of their girlfriends, Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge and Harry’s ex-girlfriend Chelsea Davy as part of the 100-page special.

Autumn wore an Italian duchesse satin and Chantilly lace gown with a three-tiered sash at the waist by British designer Sassi Holford.

She also borrowed her mother-in-law, Princess Anne’s Festoon Tiara and wore a pearl necklace which was a gift from Peter.

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The designer spoke to Hello! about the experience, saying that “doing such a gown does kind of encompass all the emotions the bride feels on her day – I was excited, then terribly nervous, then full of joy.”

The wedding was attended by 300 guests, including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, with around 80 of Autumn’s family and friends flying in from Canada.

“I was frightened of walking down the aisle. But when I got to the top of the stairs and saw how many of our friends and family had turned out to support us, I stopped being scared and actually enjoyed it,” Autumn told Hello! at the time.

Autumn chose two friends, Jacqueline Aubie and Susannah Toynbee to serve as bridesmaids, who accompanied her down the aisle in strapless Vera Wang gowns, as did Peter’s sister, Zara.

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Peter’s half-sister, Stephanie and Autumn’s half-sister, Jessica, both 11 at the time, were flower girls.

Autumn carried a bouquet of white roses, spray roses, and lily of the valley.

Afterward, the newlyweds travelled to their reception at Frogmore House in a Balmoral Sociable open carriage pulled by two Windsor Greys, where they would gather with family for the official portraits.

The couple did not receive any titles upon their marriage, as the Princess Royal declined titles for both Peter and his sister, Zara when they were born to give them a “normal life”.

Sadly, the couple announced their formal separation on 12 February 2020.

About author

Kylie is a journalist whose words have appeared in some of Australia and New Zealand's best selling magazines including Woman's day, Girlfriend, OK and that's life! and online at Daily Mail Australia. She has a strong interest in anything to do with the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex, Princess Diana or Grace Kelly. Kylie's personal wardrobe contains over 100 of the same dresses, shoes and clutches, seen on the Duchess of Cambridge. When not writing, you'll find her searching for Sydney's best brunch spot. Follow her on Instagram @theladywallace