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08 September 2016

Flashback: The Wedding of Princess Alexandra and Angus Ogilvy, 1963


From those of you who have visited the fashion exhibition at Buckingham Palace during this year's summer opening, I've heard consistent praise - and surprise - regarding one outfit in particular: The Queen's ensemble for the wedding of Princess Alexandra of Kent and the Hon. Angus Ogilvy, which was held on April 24, 1963 at Westminster Abbey. Indeed, in the event that you are able to pull yourself from the yards of lace in the bride's John Cavanagh gown - and then pull yourself from whatever is going on with Princess Margaret's hat/hair situation after that (watch the video above, you'll see) - what you'll find is The Queen beating Elie Saab at his own game, decades before he had a game.

British Pathé screencaps
Norman Hartnell dressed The Queen for the occasion, creating an eau-de-nil dress with lily of the valley embellishment of silk flowers and embroidery at the waist and a gauzy matching coat with three-quarter length sleeves. The hat, by Simone Mirman, is packed with more of the flowers. Hartnell's work for The Queen is known for its impressive embroidery and beading, but this impresses in the lightness of the outfit as well as the exemplary craftsmanship.

Royal Collection Trust
It's lovely, isn't it? I'm glad we got a closer look at it. Getting a closer look at the jewelry still proves tricky, however. From what we can see, The Queen wore the Teck Corsage Brooch with a larger double strand of pearls (perhaps the Hanoverian pearls; what looks like a significant diamond clasp is visible in the video above). The Queen Mother was also decked out with a triple strand of pearls, the Greville Peardrop Earrings, and Queen Victoria's Fringe Brooch. Classic sparkle all around.

This outfit is on display at Buckingham Palace's summer exhibition, Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen's Wardrobe, open now through October 2, 2016.