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).

Photo:

Getty Images

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

Photo:

Getty Images

Designer: Unknown

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

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, 1947

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Norman Hartnell

Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco, 1956

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Helen Rose

Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, 1964

Photo:

Getty Images

Designer: Cartier tiara

Anne, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, 1973

Photo:

Getty Images

Designer: Maureen Baker of Susan Small

Princess Caroline of Monaco, 1978

Photo:

Getty Images

Designer: Unknown

Princess Diana of Wales, 1981

Photo:

Anwar Hussein/Getty Images 

Designer: David and Elizabeth Emanuel

Princess Masako of Japan, 1993

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Hanae Mori

Princess (now Queen) Máxima of the Netherlands, 2002

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Valentino

Princess Letizia of Asturias (now Queen of Spain), 2004

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Manuel Pertegaz

Princess Mary of Denmark, 2004

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Uffe Frank

Princess (now Queen) Noor of Jordan, 2004

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Unknown

Princess Alexandra of Denmark, 2007

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Henrik Hviid

Princess Victoria of Sweden, 2010

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Pär Engsheden

Duchess Catherine of Cambridge, 2011

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, 2010

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Henrik Hviid

Princess Sophie of Prussia, 2011

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Wolfgang Joop

Princess Charlene of Monaco, 2011

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Giorgio Armani Privé

Princess Stéphanie of Luxembourg, 2012

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Elie Saab

Princess Claire of Luxembourg, 2013

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Elie Saab

Princess Madeleine of Sweden, 2013

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Valentino

Princess Beatrice of Monaco, 2015

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Giorgio Armani Privé

Princess Sofia of Sweden, 2015

Photo:

Getty Images 

Designer: Ida Sjöstedt

Princess Ekaterina of Hanover, 2017

Photo:

Getty Images

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.