Princess Margaret’s wedding dress

31 May 2011

I have an immense soft spot for Princess Margaret and as it seems to be the summer of Royal Weddings, I thought it would be nice to make a post about her gorgeous wedding dress. It was designed by Royal Family favourite designer Norman Hartnell, who also designed her sister, Elizabeth’s wedding dress in 1947.

Princess Margaret Rose, who was pretty stunning in her own right (we’ve talked before on here about the actual likelihood of a princess being anything like as pretty as Disney would have us believe they all are) was married to society photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones on the 6th May 1960 and was the first royal bride of a very fashion conscious decade. She was also the first royal bride to have her wedding televised – it was viewed by more than 20 million people across the globe.

As Margaret was rather short and had a very slender frame, she stipulated that her wedding dress should be simple and without the usual traditional lace, sequins and fuss that characterises a Royal wedding dress. The result, a gown made from around 30 extravagant metres of silk organza was absolutely stunning in its elegance and simplicity and one of the most gorgeous wedding dresses of all time, proving that you don’t need a mountain of glitz to look every inch a princess.


There was some glitz though in the form of Princess Margaret’s amazing tiara, which wasn’t a royal heirloom and was bought specifically for the Princess just before her wedding for around £5,000. It’s known as the Poltimore tiara as it was made in 1870 by Garrards for Lady Poltimore. Like many other pieces from this period it can also be worn as a necklace and eleven different brooches. Sadly the tiara was sold after Princess Margaret’s death for about £1 million so probably won’t be seen again.

As well as the tiara, Princess Margaret also wore a fabulous diamond necklace that she had inherited from her grandmother, Queen Mary and which was also sold in the 2006 auction of her effects for about £1 million. It’s sad that her lovely things were sold but her two children seem to lead very private lifestyles and so probably don’t have much need for tiaras and amazing diamond necklaces. I wonder who has them now?

There were sweet touches as well – the bridesmaids’ dresses were based on one of Princess Margaret’s first evening gowns, which had been her father’s favourite. How lovely is that? It’s sad that he wasn’t alive to see her wedding day – I wonder what he would have made of her choice of groom?

The Queen looked amazing too – just look at this gorgeous powder blue Norman Hartnell outfit that she wore to the ceremony. It seems to have been de rigeur to wear long dresses to weddings back then and this is a particularly elegant ensemble.