The 24 Most Stunning Royal Wedding Dresses Throughout History

With Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's sure-to-be-rule-breaking royal wedding just a few weeks away (stay tuned with Who What Wear UK for live coverage of all the most important fashion intel), we're looking back through the history books to find clues about the all-important dress to come. On June 19, everything will become clear, but what if—bear with us—Meghan had seen Princess Anne's statement-sleeved gown from her 1973 wedding to Captain Mark Phillips and felt inspired to re-create a modern version? It is, in our opinion, one of the most underrated wedding gowns of last century (keep scrolling to check it out).

Princess wedding dresses: Princess Diana of Wales wearing a bridal gown from David and Elizabeth Emanuel

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When you come across the phrase "princess wedding dress," a big poufy ball gown probably comes to mind, right? Well, based on our research, the actual princess wedding dresses throughout history aren't always of the poufy ball gown variety—although there's a decent amount of tulle and underskirts to keep those of you who like a dramatic gown happy.

Princess Diana's wedding dress certainly put all poufy wedding dresses to shame (we'll refresh your memory below), but that was the peak of '80s extravagance, and many other royal gowns run the gamut from slim, lace, and long-sleeved to off-the-shoulder and satin. You're probably familiar with a few of the below (has anyone on this planet not seen Kate Middleton's dress a thousand times?), but many of the princess-style wedding dresses included below are significantly more under-the-radar.

Head below to see 24 stunning regal gowns throughout history, from 1925 via Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Grace of Monaco and many more up to now.

Mafalda of Savoy, 1925
Princess wedding dresses: Mafalda Of Savoy wearing a 1925 drop-waist satin dress with the Hesse wheat tiara

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Designer: Unknown

Mafalda was noted to be wearing the Hesse family wheat tiara.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, 1947
Princess Wedding Dresses: Queen Elizabeth II wearing a floral-embellished Norman Hartnell gown

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Designer: Norman Hartnell

Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco, 1956
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco wearing a lace Helen Rose bridal gown

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Designer: Helen Rose

Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, 1964
Princess wedding dresses:  Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark wearing a blue chiffon gown with lattice-work

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Designer: Cartier tiara

Anne, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, 1973
Princess wedding dresses: Anne, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal wearing a bodice gown from Maureen Baker of Susan Small

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Designer: Maureen Baker of Susan Small

Princess Caroline of Monaco, 1978
Princess wedding dresses: Princess Caroline of Monaco wearing a white gown with a floral headband

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Designer: Unknown

Princess Diana of Wales, 1981
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Diana of Wales wearing a bridal gown from David and Elizabeth Emanuel

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Designer: David and Elizabeth Emanuel

Princess Masako of Japan, 1993
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Masako of Japan wearing a frilled bridal gown from Hanae Mori

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Designer: Hanae Mori

Princess (now Queen) Máxima of the Netherlands, 2002
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess (now Queen) Máxima of the Netherlands  in a Valentino gown

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Designer: Valentino

Princess Letizia of Asturias (now Queen of Spain), 2004
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Letizia of Asturias (now Queen of Spain) wearing a V-neck dress from Manuel Pertegaz

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Designer: Manuel Pertegaz

Princess Mary of Denmark, 2004
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Mary of Denmark wearing an off-white gown from Uffe Frank

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Designer: Uffe Frank

Princess (now Queen) Noor of Jordan, 2004
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess (now Queen) Noor of Jordan wearing a white lace gown with a matching veil

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Designer: Unknown

Princess Alexandra of Denmark, 2007
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Alexandra of Denmark wearing a cream satin sleeveless dress from Henrik Hviid

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Designer: Henrik Hviid

Princess Victoria of Sweden, 2010
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Victoria of Sweden wearing a white satin off-the-shoulder dress from Pär Engsheden

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Designer: Pär Engsheden

Duchess Catherine of Cambridge, 2011
Princess Wedding Dresses: Duchess Catherine of Cambridge wearing a lace gown from Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

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Designer: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, 2010
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg wearing a lace gown from Henrik Hviid

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Designer: Henrik Hviid

Princess Sophie of Prussia, 2011
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Sophie of Prussia  wearing a chiffon layered bridal gown from Wolfgang Joop

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Designer: Wolfgang Joop

Princess Charlene of Monaco, 2011
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Charlene of Monaco  wearing a white off-the-shoulder Giorgio Armani Privé gown

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Designer: Giorgio Armani Privé

Princess Stéphanie of Luxembourg, 2012
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Stéphanie of Luxembourg wearing a silver and cream embroidered lace gown from Elie Saab

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Designer: Elie Saab

Princess Claire of Luxembourg, 2013
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Claire of Luxembourg  wearing a white lace dress from Elie Saab

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Designer: Elie Saab

Princess Madeleine of Sweden, 2013
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Madeleine of Sweden  wearing a white Valentino gown with a long matching train

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Designer: Valentino

Princess Beatrice of Monaco, 2015
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Beatrice of Monaco in a pleated sleeveless wedding gown from Giorgio Armani Privé

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Designer: Giorgio Armani Privé

Princess Sofia of Sweden, 2015
Princess Wedding Dresses: Princess Sofia of Sweden, 2015

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Designer: Ida Sjöstedt

Princess Ekaterina of Hanover, 2017
Princess wedding dresses:  Princess Ekaterina of Hanover wearing a lace gown from Sandra Mansour

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Designer: Sandra Mansour (and you can read all about this beautiful gown with via our interview with the designer).

Next up, the best high-street wedding dresses you'll love.

This piece was previously published on Who What Wear U.S. and has since been updated.

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