Princess Anne's 'simplistic' wedding dress was inspired by one of history's most famous monarchs - and it's not Queen Elizabeth II

The Princess Royal married her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, in 1973

Princess Anne's wedding
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Princess Anne's wedding dress was a 'Tudor-style' gown. Worn for her first wedding in 1973 it was inspired not by her mother, Queen Elizabeth II, but by another of history's most female monarchs - Queen Elizabeth I.

Princess Anne has always been one of the Royal Family's most fashionable members. While today she makes headlines for her brilliant hat collection, her most recent choice giving off Jamiroquai vibes and proving she is the ultimate style queen, the Princess Royal's most famous fashion choice has to be her 1973 wedding gown. 

The dress was made for the Princess by Maureen Baker, the chief designer at Susan Smalls, and featured a lot of Tudor influence. The simple princess line silhouette perfectly merged classic with cool, with the addition of medieval trumpet sleeves and a fabulously extravagant seven-foot-long train leaving the dress imprinted on the minds of royal fans.

Princess Anne's wedding

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Walking down the aisle on November 14, 1973, the gown's high neckline and pearl embroidery drew comparisons to the Tudor style of dress, with specialists now sharing that Anne was likely inspired by the infamous Queen Elizabeth I as opposed to her own mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Specialists at Steven Stone Jewellers explained that Princess Anne, (who was the first of the Queen and then Duke of Edinburgh’s children to get married), took inspiration from the court dresses of the first Elizabethan era. They said, "Full-length trumpet sleeves and huge cuffs reminiscent of Elizabethan ruffs became one of the most memorable parts of this royal wedding dress."

The cuffs seem to be where the royal comparisons stop. Anne's dress was vastly different from the extravagant styles usually worn at royal weddings, but the simplistic design was very similar to the then-current-day 1970s wedding trends. Ever the fashionista, Anne was likely drawn to the trending look of the modern era, wanting to show off her impeccable style even if it did mean deviating from tradition.

But Anne did decide to follow some royal traditions during her wedding ceremony. Accessorizing the modern dress, she opted for the grand Queen Mary’s Fringe tiara which her mother, Queen Elizabeth II, wore as her “something borrowed” during her wedding ceremony to Prince Philip in 1947. 

The Queen's wedding

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The stunning headpiece was created by E Wolff & Co who have made several major tiaras for the Royal Family. Queen Mary’s Fringe tiara was crafted from a necklace that was given to, unsurprisingly, Queen Mary by Queen Victoria. The jewelry was then commissioned by Mary to be repurposed into the dazzling tiara. 

Princess Beatrice most recently wore the iconic headpiece when she wed Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a secret and intimate ceremony at Windsor.

Continuing the royal references, Anne’s golden wedding band was cast from the same Welsh gold that features in the wedding rings of her mother, grandmother, and aunt.

Princess Anne's second marriage

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Following her and Mark Phillips separation in 1989, the Princess Royal married Timothy Laurence at the end of 1992, the same year her divorce from Mark was finally finalized.

The pair were forced to marry at the Church of Scotland as, at the time of their nuptials, the Church of England, the Church the Royal Family preside over, didn't approve of remarriage after divorce.

Perhaps it was because of this that Princess Anne stepped out in a more low-key wedding outfit for her second ceremony. The Princess wore a high-necked white midi dress and matching suit jacket, accessorizing the chic, pared-back look with black court shoes and her iconic beehive.

For her bouquet, Anne carried a small posy of heather and also sported some of the sprigs in her hair. The decision likely stemmed from the fact heather symbolizes good luck - an ideal bloom for wedding day bouquets.

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Freelance news writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with Good To, BBC Good Food and The Independent.