Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
There have been many spectacular royal wedding dresses over the years, all unique in their own way. However one thing they all have in common is their hue: different shades of white, from ivory to cream.
And the reason behind this, and for the general trend in the UK for wearing white wedding dresses is none other than Queen Victoria.
The 20-year old monarch wed her great love Prince Albert in 1840, and was one of the first brides in the UK to wear white.
Before that, it was customary for brides to wear colourful gowns on their wedding days, with gold and blue being popular choices for the wealthy, and whichever colour their best dress was for the not-so-wealthy.
But on her own big day, Queen Victoria chose to wear white, not because of the purity associated with it, but because it would make her stand out in the crowd. According to biographer Julia Baird, the monarch knew a pale hue would enhance her dress’ delicate details.
‘Victoria had chosen to wear white mostly because it was the perfect colour to highlight the delicate lace,’ she wrote.
She also apparently asked that no one else wear white at the wedding, thus making her the centre of attention. Following the big event, which saw her illustration on every newspaper in the country, brides throughout the UK decided to emulate her, and so a trend was born.
Queen Victoria even chose to get buried in white, wearing her wedding veil, foregoing the tradition regalia.