Princess Anne was married in November 1973 to Captain Mark Phillips. Anne chose the sensible seamstress Maureen Baker to design her gown. Maureen had already been working as chief-designer for ready-to-wear label Susan Small for 30 years. The result was a Tudor-style dress with long hanging sleeves reminiscent of a medieval princess’s dress and a high collar. Maureen continued working for Princess Anne, creating about 250 outfits and then retired in the nineties.
Diana’s gown was designed by British designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel. It was styled to look like the typical fairy-tale wedding dress and is described as a meringue style, with a 25 foot train. The Emanuels were only out of college for a year before they were commissioned to design Diana’s dress and were dubbed the New Romantics. They did not translate this success into much of an effective business plan however in the time that followed.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson got married in July 1986 at Westminster Abbey. Sarah’s gown was designed by Lindka Cierach made of ivory duchesse satin. It had a 17-foot train with small crystal anchors and a large A in honour of Prince Andrew on the train. The dress having been designed in the eighties even had shoulder-pads. The designer’s ambition was to create a dress designed to show off Fergie’s love for Andrew. Lindka went on to design suits and dresses for women like Cherie Blair, Catherine Zeta Jones, Helen Mirren and Queen Rania of Jordan.
In 1999 Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones at St George’s chapel in Windsor. British designer Samantha Shaw designed Sophie’s dress made of ivory silk organza and silk crepe. The dress had full length sleeves and stitched on the back were many tiny crystals and pearls. Samantha had studied costume designing so had a theatrical flair in the designs that she created and the result was a dress that was modern but partly influenced by the medieval trend. Samantha has gone on to make dresses for other society women.