April 29, 2011 --
The world can undoubtedly agree, Catherine Middleton looked stunning as she married Prince William. Middleton, now known as Catherine, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, wore a dress designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. According to a press release, Middleton wished for her dress to "combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterizes Alexander McQueen’s work. Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress." The ivory and white satin gown's sweeping train reached just over six feet and Middleton wore a long, sheer veil. Now take a look back at some of the dresses worn by past royal brides.
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Prince Charles and Princess Diana leave London's St Paul's Cathedral after exchanging vows on July 29, 1981. Princess Diana's royal wedding gown was made with ivory silk and was accentuated with huge, elegant sleeves, an oversized veil -- and a 25-foot train.
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Nine years after his divorce from Diana and eight years after her death, Prince Charles married longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles on April 9, 2005. The Duchess of Cornwall kept her attire low-key for the event, wearing a cream-colored dress and coat with a wide-brimmed cream-colored hat.
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew (the third child of Queen Elizabeth II) wave to the crowd outside Buckingham Palace on their wedding day, July 23, 1986. Britain's Duke and Duchess of York would remain married for 10 years. Although the wedding took place during the peak of 1980s fashion, Ferguson's dress was made in a mainly classic design, save, perhaps for a slight poof in the sleeves at the shoulder.
Princess Margaret (the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II) and Antony Armstrong-Jones pose at Buckingham Palace with their bridal party on May 6, 1960. The ceremony was the first British royal wedding ever televised, drawing 300 million viewers worldwide. Princess Margaret wore what was considered an understated dress, with a jacket-style bodice, long sleeves and a V-cut neckline, lengthening into a train at the back.
For what was called the "Wedding of the Century," in 1956, U.S. actress Grace Kelly wore a dress of delicate rose point lace, with a bodice made up of elaborate floral motifs, when she married Prince Ranier III of Monaco.
When the current Queen married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947, she was still a princess. Princess Elizabeth wore a gown with a heart-shaped neckline and sweeping panels. The material was ivory satin and embroidered with crystals and 10,000 seed pearls. Five years later, she becomes Queen Elizabeth II.
Click here to see LIFE.com's full gallery of royal weddings.
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