Jubilee TV Special: Royal Wedding Fugs and Fabs


I know we’re done with the actual Jubilee festivities, but I only just got around to watching this on my DVR: BBC America (and probably the real BBC also) aired a retrospective on the major weddings in QEII’s clan, beginning with the Queen Mum marrying her Bertie — a.k.a. George VI, a.k.a. Colin Firth — and going right up to Wills and Kate’s tiny little homespun ceremony. It’s fun to see the evolution of the fashion, including Princess Margaret’s dress that so influenced Duchess Catherine’s, but let’s face it: You really just want to remind yourself what Elton John looked like in 1986. WISH GRANTED.

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Comments (90):

  1. Stefanie
    0

    OH MY GOD. I havent even entered this post and Im already SO pumped for it. I think I’ll save it for my lunch break so I can savor it.

  2. Ellie
    0

    Love these pics! Isn’t interesting how all of the dresses appear to be very much *of a time* and Kate’s seems to be so timeless? I wonder if all of the other gowns were thought to be timeless at the time. Hmm.

    I do love Charles and Camilla together — he seems genuinely thrilled and public opinion has really turned toward Camilla in the past few years. I like that. And I loved her wedding wheat wreath hat thingie — something so rustic and etheral and just plain lovely about it, in my opinion.

    • Chasmosaur
      0

      I really loved that hat. It was wonderful with her hair, skin and outfit and evoked a tiara-concept, without actually having a tiara (which wouldn’t have been appropriate, probably).

  3. Eli
    0

    Princess Margaret’s dress is the best and probably the least dated of the bunch. I prefer hers to Kate’s even.

    Prince Phillip was a dish back in the day.

    And I find it amusing that Elton John has more hair now (on the top of his head) than he did twenty years ago. Hair Club for Men clearly worked for him.

  4. Valerie C.
    0

    I posted this link in the comments of yesterday’s jubilee slideshow but since you mentioned the Queen and her HATS today; here is the link again:
    http://www.vanityfair.com/society/2012/05/diamond-jubilee-hats-queen-elizabeth#slide=1
    I immediately thought of Heather and Jessica when viewing!

    • Katie
      0

      That. Was. AWESOME! Slide 21 is my favorite!

      • Valerie C.
        0

        I hope the Queen kissed their sweet little faces as often as possible. And still does ^_^

    • Danni
      0

      That is the best thing ever. All the turbans!

    • Chasmosaur
      0

      Thanks for posting. That was awesome.

    • Vaughns
      0

      Re #21: Harry was pointing from a very young age!

    • Electric Landlady
      0

      FABULOUS. My parents and my aunt & uncle were both married in 1967, and in the photos all the mothers are wearing floral caps very much like the one in slide 4. I see where that came from now!

  5. Lisa S
    0

    I used to make fun of “Lady Di” and her silly sleeves but then my mother told me they were designed like that because it evokes the time period at which the Spencers became nobility (or something along those lines). I’d love to know what other design decisions like that one were made about ALL of these!

    Also I feel obligated whenever I gush about royal clothing to say that actually some animals are NOT more equal than others, you fascist pigs.

    • Chris
      0

      The show that Heather was referring to in this post talked all about the details of the more modern dresses since their designers are alive and kicking. The designed to Diana’s dress said that the sleeves and skirt were so huge to help make Diana’s waist look tiny. I thought Sarah Ferguson’s was very interesting.

  6. juliannarose
    0

    All of the royal wedding dresses have had a lengthy train because they have to follow the rules of traditional court dress, which mandated train length.

  7. Susan
    0

    Please, please, please do the QEII “Hats on to HRH” slideshow!

  8. Zuzzie
    0

    The Queen was running behind the carriage to catch little William and stop him being run over :) I love her. With real love.

    • Linney
      0

      I’m glad someone else was tickled by that.

      • mary lou bethune
        0

        Yes, I remember that— those jolly wee princes were running after the carriage…. so dear. And the Queen, Her Majesty, was running after them! Granny to the rescue….

        • Sierra Delta
          0

          I remember thinking young William was going to get a lecture from Granny about proper public behavior!

    • Molly
      0

      Oh, I’m glad to hear that! I thought maybe she was running after Sarah and Andrew because she had just had a vision of the future. Especially Bea’s fascinator of a year ago.

      “FOR ALL THAT IS HOLY – STOP!!!”

  9. Linney
    0

    I saw on Lainey that the reason Elizabeth is running after Fergie’s carriage is because William scampered off and she was chasing him down (like a real grandma!). Love it.

  10. Sandra
    0

    Diana’s dress is the text-book illustration of “wretched excess”. Did she want it to look like that? And of course, nit-picker that I am, Westminster Abbey DID NOT see her wedding-dress train because she and Charles were married at St. Paul’s. More room to stuff the world leaders into, I suppose.

    And I do like Sarah’s dress. Too bad that she and royal life were not cut out for each other, though she and Andrew seem to like each well enough still.

    • Steph
      0

      My grandma made me a copy of Fergie’s dress for my Barbie. It had a removeable train, and it was amazing. The detail work she put into it!

      I love Kate’s dress, and Sophie’s was elegant and lovely too. I don’t think I ever liked Diana’s, even back in the day I thought it to be “too much”.

    • Gigi
      0

      Charles was said to prefer St. Paul’s from a purely aesthetic point of view – the architecture and the acoustics for Kiri Te Kanawa’s singing, etc.

      I was watching live when Diana exited the carriage and was so excited to see the dress – the fluffy meringue enveloping her had potential magic – but my heart sank when she stepped out. And I was 15! I should have loved it. And it wasn’t just that it was wrinkly. It was just such a little girl’s dress with the bows at the shoulders and everything. And her hair was flat and uncolored. She had yet to discover The Magic of Blonde Highlights.

      • Heather
        0

        I was about 10, and I too should have been swept away, but remember thinking, “what the HELL is she wearing?” (or the 10-year-old’s version of that) when she stepped out. But let’s remember that poor Diana was all of 19 and either had no say in the matter, or had a teenager’s input into her wedding dress – neither of which would bode well. Remember the Project Runway challenge where the designers had to make a wedding dress based on what their models wanted and the models – like all models – were about 16? Disaster ensued.

  11. Andrew S.
    0

    YAY!

  12. Steph
    0

    Not gonna lie, I still love me some Fergie. I don’t care what she does. I love her (and Andrew).

  13. Hazel
    0

    Fergies dress had embroidery on it to reflect the couple which included little anchors and an A for andrew at the bottom of her train, I love that in the eighties this would be fit for a royal wedding, these days more reminiscent of a big fat gypsy wedding!

    • Gigi
      0

      Yes! And there were also thistles and bees from her family’s crest. I want a family crest with flora and fauna, but we’re rednecks from Arkansas. A pig and a toothless drunk would not be within the image I’d like to portray.

      • vandalfan
        0

        Yes, the one detail I remember was the embroidery of bees in the lace, and that later she named her daughter “Beatrice”. I think I’d like to have a beer with Fergs.

        • Ponytail
          0

          I love the three comments above – I was just coming to say “How could you not mention the embroidery on Fergie’s dress ?! The bees, the initials !”. Glad to see I’m not the only one who remembered/knew about this !

  14. Jenna Horko
    0

    This was originally shown on the BBC last year, in the countdown to the Wills/Kate wedding. At the time I kept thinking, “if only the Fug Girls could see this!” So glad you finally got to see it!

  15. Evalyn
    0

    I do love Fergie, and of all the royal weddings, I’m sorry she and and Andrew didn’t take. I hear they are still great friends which is some happiness. Charles and Camilla seem made for each other.

    • LF
      0

      I have always felt that Fergie “had to go” because of her behaviour and that Andrew still loved her. They share a house and there has not been a new woman in his life. I’ll bet that they live as a family. It just ain’t official.

    • hippetyhop
      0

      I don’t know how well they get on since she was caught selling access to him…

  16. Jenna Horko
    0

    Gotta say, I think Diana and the Queen Mum are my least favourites in terms of dresses (although long-distance shots of Diana’s train always awe me). I’ve always loved Margaret’s, Anne’s, Sophie’s and Camilla’s dresses. For me, Margaret and Anne had the best ones. I think I like the simplicity.

    Loved all the little things we learned about the details of the dresses, bouquets and veils. I’m a sucker for the trivia!

    Oh, and I second the support for the “Hats on to Her” slideshow! Bring it on!

  17. Jasmine
    0

    The clothes in slide 20 look just like clothes that Hillary would wear on Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

  18. Karen
    0

    I remember seeing Diana get out of the carriage and wishing I liked the dress more than I did; still think it’s over the top. I like all of the others, except that 1923 style does not lend itself to formal portraits.

  19. alh
    0

    I know this blog was referenced in the Jubilee thread, but if you love royal fashion you simply must check out the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor blog. Fascinating and fun. She has done a lot of posts specifically about royal weddings, and the clothes and jewels: http://orderofsplendor.blogspot.ca/p/royal-wedding-headquarters.html Also, check out Mad Hattery (http://madhattery.royalroundup.com/) for discussion of hats. Brilliant.

    I have such love for the queen. She is amazing.

    • cleak
      0

      On the suggestion of yesterday’s royal post’s commenters, I checked it out and I am seriously in love. I kept thinking about how much the Fug Girls would love it. How can anyone not love a site that features Tiara Thursdays?

      On a different note, in light of the Lily Allen and Kate Moss vails, I think the Queen Mother’s vail could make a successful reappearance. I think Princess Beatrice could rock it with one of the tiaras worn over top of the forehead. The dress would have to be very careful to compliment without overwhelming,but it could be awesome. Now I’m rooting for that to happen.

  20. Becky
    0

    I’m sure you all noticed this ages ago, but dang, looking at the wedding pictures of Charles and Diana, it’s amazing how much William looks like his father.

  21. junaitatres
    0

    This was a delight!

  22. Shiitake
    0

    Princess Margaret’s dress was exquisite. She looked so delicate and had such a tiny waist.

  23. Prolixity
    0

    Elton John looks like a bad french gameshow

    [falls of chair laughing]

  24. Cat
    0

    Love this! I watched it on Sunday and it was fascinating to see where all the traditions came from. I personally loved QEII’s wedding dress the most– fancy and fit for a princess, but not overwhelming and gaudy. I also really love Princess Margaret’s. The rest I could leave (well, Sophie’s is lovely). Diana’s is certainly iconic, I don’t dispute that in the least, but I loathe those sleeves.

  25. Kirsten
    0

    There’s a whole lot of stuff about the design of Princess Elizabeth’s dress when she married Phillip, to do with the designs on it representing aspects of her future realm. I want to say kingdom, but that’s not right – is queendom a word? And I think people donated their ration coupons to help her get enough silk for it. Oh, look, wiki has a load about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_dress_of_Princess_Elizabeth

    Princess Margaret’s dress was easily the best of all of them. So simple and elegant and classy, but just beautiful too.

    It’s a shame the pictures of Princess Anne’s dress aren’t very good because if you see th detail of it, it’s actually very lovely. http://orderofsplendor.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/wedding-wednesday-princess-annes-gown.html

    I remember loving Diana’s dress on the day, but in my defence, I was 11. Now I think “crumpled paper bag.” Sarah Ferguson’s dress is beautiful. I think all the bows and crap are tacky and over the top, but the cut and shape are lovely, and very flattering on her. Sophie’s dress is lovely too – very simple and elegant and pretty.

    I wasn’t that keen on Kate’s dress. I love the skirt, and I don’t dislike the lace, but I don’t like the way the bodice looks plasticy and like it has moulded cups in it. And her flowers just looked tatty.

    Princess Margaret’s dress ftw!

  26. Edith
    0

    Loved all of this. I was in college when Andrew & Fergie got married, and my work-study boss in the library was a LOVELY older British woman. When they got engaged, my boss remarked, “Oh, Sarah Ferguson – she’s a lovely woman. From a distance. But when you get close you see that she’s horse people; after a few generations, it shows in the face.” I can never see Fergie without thinking of that.

  27. Heather
    0

    That. Is. WOW.

  28. Moya
    0

    Poor Diana, I couldn’t imagine marrying at 20 years old. No wonder she was a mess. You just have to assume the hairstylist was fired during the ceremony. It looked like they never practiced!! And the dress, they kept having to take it in because she was loosing so much weight. When you see video of her walking up the aisle it is so clearly 2 sizes too big. She was swimming in it.
    Kate clearly studied well. She looked amazing!

    And I love the Queen running after Prince William after Andrew & Sarah’s wedding. She was fast for being 60.

  29. Billie
    0

    Poor, poor Diana’s dress swallowed her whole, along with the tiara and veil selection. You just see dress and massive tule, you can barely see her face!

    This was so much fun to look through. I personally think Sophie’s was the best, so elegant.

  30. Chasmosaur
    0

    I loved Sophie Rhys-Jones’ dress – it was classic and elegant and just lovely. It gets such short shrift in these wedding retrospectives.

    I, too, think Charles looks so much happier since he married Camilla. As popular as Diana was – and as handsome as her children turned out to be – the Queen should have just let him marry whoever he liked. It wasn’t as if the Windsors had a sterling reputation in the marriage department at that point. And I am quite convinced that if there was ever a reservation on William marrying Kate, Charles piped up with “remember what happened the last time you didn’t let the heir marry a woman he knew and loevd?”

    • LF
      0

      Princess Margaret was not allowed to marry the love of her life either. And it turned out badly.

      • Kirsten
        0

        It wasn’t that she wasn’t allowed to marry him, it was that she would have had to surrrender her claim to the throne and give up her participation in royal life. She chose duty, but she certainly would have been allowed to choose Peter Townsend.

    • annie
      0

      I just have to say that Charles and Camilla never broached the subject of marriage on their first go around. Charles was 27-29 and not ready to marry. Camilla was ready so when Chuck sailed off for his tour of duty in the navy Camilla got married to Andrew Parker-Bowles. There was no great tragedy until they both decided that they’d rather cheat on their spouses than live an honorable life with the decisions that they’d made.

      • Jennifer E.
        0

        thanks, annie. i was a bit chagrined that everyone is team camilla now, and i just can’t be. ever. she is conniving, they broke diana’s heart, and i know it isn’t her fault but she’s just ugly to boot. it IS her fault she can’t dress. there is nothing about her that i can like at all. i’m just too heartbroken about diana and her legacy of pain, and i guess i always will be.

        it just isn’t fair that camilla got what she always wanted and diana got… broken, chastened, chased, and killed. and if anyone’s life ought to be fair it would have been hers! *sob*

  31. Wendy
    0

    Loved this whole post, even if I am now weeping for how handsome Prince Andrew used to be. As a 10-year-old, I was convinced I was going to marry him someday. These days — according to the always entertaining Sam Neill on Twitter — he’s being mistaken for Timothy Spall.

  32. pinkcheese
    0

    I have to confess that I love the Queen Mum’s dress. I have a fondness for early 20th century fashion, plus they showed newsreel footage of her heading to the ceremony, and seeing it in motion really does help.

    I never like Di’s dress, even as a little girl. When they were playing the footage of her walking down the aisle, it about broke my heart – she was drowning in that damned thing, and look about to pass out due to hyperventilating. She was so terribly young.

  33. joey
    0

    One of Prince Charles’s brothers (I don’t know which one – Andrew or Edward) was a TOTAL BABE back in 1981. Also, Prince Philip – was a TOTAL BABE back in the day too. In a very reverent kind of way, or whatever.

    I think Sophie’s dress is beautiful. She’s a very beautiful woman and usually fantastically dressed. The way her veil is blowing in the breeze in the screen shot is lovely.

    I remember when Charles and Camilla got married there were a lot of jokes about how terrible her outfits were (I think I remember that she had two outfits). But I just remember thinking that she looked great, I loved the hat featured in this slide show.

    Look, the more I hear about QEII, the more I appreciate her. Something about her makes hearing just little details, like the stories above of her chasing after William, an absolute delight. She’s always had a certain beauty (and such good posture) and I love looking at pictures of her.

  34. Ann from Canada
    0

    I love looking at pictures of her too.
    I went into a bookstore on Friday and bought four books and two magazines about The Queen.

  35. Robyn
    0

    Did anyone else see the first slide of Anne’s dress and think VA-VA-VOOM? Girl had some awesome curves!

    • Kristin
      0

      Yes! That dress looked fantastic on her! I’d kill for an hourglass figure like that.

  36. pc
    0

    What a great post! Thanks for this. (Would someone please kick the door to the ’80s closed now?)

  37. Lisa (Halifax, NS)
    0

    When Prince Edward turned 16, the Royal Family had a formal portrait done of him under or near a tree with a black dog, maybe a black lab. Anyway, the local paper printed it in color on the front page, and I cut it out and stuck it to my wall like he was a pinup, haha.

    I think Margaret’s dress was my favorite, but I was also crazy for Anne’s. And of course I absolutely loved Kate’s.

  38. Lena
    0

    Does anyone know/can you see how Kate’s veil stayed on? It looks like it just floated on top of the tiara at first, but then after the ceremony, when it’s lifted back, clearly it’s attached to the tiara or her hair somehow…

    Thanks for this gorgeous post!

    • Zuzzie
      0

      Ha, I’ve just read that the tiara was actually sewn on! They did a tiny plait in her hair and stitched it onto that, to avoid it falling off. Amazing.

  39. ccm800
    0

    Bertie was SUCH a dish

    • ML
      0

      I hope you’re not being facetious here because I think Bertie’s one tall cool drink of ale myself. Not bloody bad…

  40. Sarah
    0

    I really want to watch this- what was the programme called? Thanks!

  41. Lis
    0

    To be honest, I never liked Diana; and I’ve always thought her choice of dress (for surely she wasn’t pressured into wearing something that tackily extravagant by the new in-laws) reflected badly on her, as it did not at all compute with the Shy Deer Smiling Up From My Downwards Turned Face way she usually presented herself in. She *was* very young, of course.

  42. jerkygirl
    0

    I was 8 when Charles and Diana got married, so her dress fit right in with the whole fairytale wedding thing in my imagination. I loved it then, and can’t quite hate on it now because I remember being so awed by it, and them, back then. Now that I’m a mean old hag, if someone attempted something like that I’d be all “OK, WE GET IT, SHEESH” about it.

    I also remember that when Charles married Camilla, someone on some blog somewhere quipped that the hat she was wearing in the pic above was a sympathy combover in honor of Charles, and I can’t see it any other way. :)

    I can’t pick a favorite because they’re all so beautiful in different ways. I love weddings, and wedding dresses, I could look at these kinds of pictures all day!!! And I’d like to toss my vote in for a “Hats on to Queen Elizabeth II” slideshow because my fangirliness for both GFY and ERII demand it. :)

  43. Heather
    0

    I’d forgotten that Elton John was once married to a woman. (snort.)

  44. Kate O
    0

    Re: the slide with the attendee’s hats at Princess Anne’s wedding – OUCH. I didn’t realize Dick Button did commentary on British royal weddings, but the more I think about it, the more I like it! :)

  45. Hooples
    0

    The 70′s were not good for wedding dresses – My mum got married in 1973 to her first husband and she had on a white HOODED full length dress with Medieval sleeves. I think that was a trend in 1970′s England….

    • ChristieLea
      0

      My mom also married in 1973, and she had an enormous medieval headpiece that must have weighed a ton. I look back and wonder how she kept it on all day. Mind you, she ALSO paired the dress with white patent leather platforms, which apparently scandalized my grandmother (and is kind of awesome). Ah, the 70s.

  46. annie
    0

    I’ve liked Margaret and Anne’s dresses since I first saw them. For someone who did/doesn’t care one bit about fashion I think Anne knocked it out of the park. Margaret’s daughter-in-law Serena (Stanhope) had a very similar wedding dress and even the same huge bun-in-the-tiara hairstyle.

    I loved Diana’s dress as a 10-year old and still can’t diss it. It was a fairytale dress. I remember reading somewhere that she and the Emmanuelles were very concerned about Diana not disappearing in St. Paul’s. It is a vast space and some of the size of the dress was an effort to counter that.

    I can still see the Queen running after a young William at Andrew’s wedding. It was such a “family” moment. Something you don’t see often with the royals. Diana’s outfit at that wedding was awful.

  47. Jan
    0

    My parents were married in 48, and her dress looks almost exactly like Kate’s. Mom’s was Chantilly lace for the sleeves and the bodice overlay, however. So Kate’s is my favorite. Fergie’s is my second favorite because of the bees. The Queen Mum’s is pretty darned unattractive in the bodice, ye gods. And poor Diana; I was her age-ish when she married Chuckles and even I thought that dress was hideous. Looked like a big, crumpled used Kleenex. Of course I watched the whole wedding…

  48. JanetP
    0

    I saw on a PBS Royal wedding special that when QEII got married, people were sending her their clothing rations so she could have a proper dress.

    And Andrew’s girls get their looks from Uncle Edward, judging from that pic of him as a little boy. Wow! (That sounds snarky, which I don’t mean it to. I was just really struck by the resemblence.)

    • ChristieLea
      0

      I heard that, too. Apparently, QEII saved up her own ration coupons, and so she returned all the ones that were sent to her-with a very gracious note of thanks, of course.

  49. Andrea
    0

    Princess Anne was totally channeling Game of Thrones with her dress, when game of thrones was all about trying out a different loo in the palace each day.

  50. Cecily
    0

    That was WONDERFUL. Thank you.