Exactly fifty years ago, the Princess Anne wrote a new page in the history of the wedding dresses of the royal family of Windsor. The second daughter of Queen Elizabeth was the first of the children of Her Majesty the Queen to get married: he chose November 14, 1973, the twenty-fifth birthday of his brother Carlo, who only eight years later – on July 29, 1981 – would marry Lady D. Anna’s dress, however, had nothing similar to the sumptuous one ( and meringue) of Diana: created for her by Maureen Baker, at the time Chief Designer of the Susan Smalls fashion house, Princess Anne’s wedding dress turns fifty this month. Let’s rediscover its history.
Ninety-one years old, a wealth of unpublished memories and a piece of life lived together with Lady D: the legendary English designer David Sassoon tells his story to Vanity Fair. A journey back in time through his memory. Vivid and precious more than ever
He is Captain Mark Phillips to whom Princess Anne promised love in Westminster Abbey. It was not eternal love, however: the two, who had met at a horse race in Mexico City in 1968, separated in 1989 and divorced in 1992, the year in which the queen’s daughter married for a second time – very secretly, it seems there were only thirty guests – with Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. But it is eternal the charm of her wedding dress which, although it was inspired by the style of the Tudor era, is today more relevant than ever.
The history of Princess Anne’s wedding dress also recalls that of the small English fashion house Susan Smalls, founded in the early 1940s by Leslie Carr Jones. The creative director of the brand was the stylist Maureen Baker (before the royal wedding he had already created some dresses for the princess), who then founded his eponymous fashion house in 1978.
The dress, although inspired by the Tudor era, also had medieval reminiscences, traceable in the collar and wide tulip sleeves. It was made with silk chiffon, embellished with tiny pearls and accessorized with a silk veil with floral embroidery. In her bridal look, couldn’t miss the tiara: Princess Anna chose it Queen Mary’s Fringeor the same tiara that Queen Elizabeth wore to marry Prince Philip in 1947. The precious masterpiece was created by the jeweler Garrard just like the engagement ring – complete with sapphire and two diamonds – with which Captain Mark Phillips gave her he had asked for her hand.
The Cubitt-Shand Tiara has a very long history, which proceeds from generation to generation. And she returned to events at her Windsor home, despite Camilla also wearing it on her (first) wedding day with ex-husband Andrew Parker Bowles
There were five hundred million people who followed Anna’s wedding live on television that day: a day on which the divorce of 1992 finally brought the curtain down, leaving room for the humble and modest bridal look (without a tiara, in fact) that the princess showed off in the same year for her second marriage to Sir Timothy Laurence. However, the memory of her white dress remains indelible from that November 14, 1973: crystallized in the collective imagination of royal watchers, after fifty years it is still more relevant than ever. Long live Princess Anne’s wedding dress.
Source: Vanity Fair
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