Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress goes on display
By Danielle Wightman-Stone
Feb. 28, 2019
Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie's wedding dress, created by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, founders of the British-based label Peter Pilotto, has gone on display at Windsor Castle, as part of the royal families tradition to display all wedding gowns to the public.
The ‘A Royal Wedding: HRH Princess Eugenie and Mr Jack Brooksbank' exhibition at Windsor Castle will run from March 1 to April 22, in the Grand Reception Room, the same place that the ‘Duke and Duchess of Sussex showcased their wedding outfits last year.
The exhibition, organised by the Royal Collection Trust has been curated by Caroline de Guitaut, and features Her Royal Highness’s wedding dress, tiara and evening gown, alongside Jack Brooksbank’s morning suit, and the maid-of-honour outfit of HRH Princess Beatrice of York.
Princess Eugenie worked closely with Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos on the design of her wedding dress, which features a neckline that folds around the shoulders to a low back, which drapes into a flowing full-length train.
In a recording made for visitors to the exhibition, Princess Eugenie explains that she specifically requested a low back to the dress in order to show the scar from surgery she underwent aged 12 to correct scoliosis, stating: “I had always wanted a low back, part of it was showing my scar. I believe scars tell a story about your past and your future and it’s a way of getting rid of a taboo.
“For me it’s a way of communicating with people who are going through either similar situations with scoliosis or having a scar of their own they are trying to deal with.”
The fabric of the dress, also designed by Peter Pilotto, includes a number of symbols that are meaningful to Princess Eugenie, such as the White Rose of York, interwoven with ivy representing the couple’s marriage and their future together. The symbols were reinterpreted in a garland motif woven into a bespoke jacquard fabric.
“When it came to the textile…we wanted to engineer the garlands containing all the symbols that were important to Princess Eugenie,” explains Pilotto in the recording for visitors. “So there’s a sense of progression from small to large in a wave-like motif around the whole dress…It was all about the beautiful silhouette but yet the motif adding a sort of richness to the fabric.”
A Royal Wedding: HRH Princess Eugenie and Mr Jack Brooksbank exhibition opens at Windsor Castle
Princess Eugenie’s Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, which was lent to her by Her Majesty The Queen, is also on public display for the first time. The tiara is made of brilliant and rose-cut diamonds pavé set in platinum, with six emeralds on either side and was made for Mrs Greville in 1919 by the Parisian jewellery house Boucheron in the fashionable ‘kokoshnik’ style popularised in the Russian Imperial Court.
The bride’s diamond and emerald drop earrings, which were a wedding gift from the groom, feature alongside a replica of her bridal bouquet, designed by Rob Van Helden Floral Design. Made from artificial flowers specially for the exhibit, the bouquet consisted of lily of the valley, stephanotis pips, baby-blue thistles, white spray roses, trailing ivy and sprigs of myrtle from Osborne House.
The Princesses wedding gown stands alongside her husband, Jack Brooksbank’s wedding outfit, a black and grey morning suit with a vivid blue waistcoat, made by tailors at Huntsman of Savile Row, London.
As well as the bride’s ceremony wedding gown, the exhibition also includes the blush coloured evening gown worn by Princess Eugenie designed by American designer Zac Posen, who took inspiration from the “beauty of Windsor Castle and the surrounding countryside”. The gown is made of British silk chiffon and incorporates a cape, subtly embroidered with the White Rose of York, and gathers at the lower back and draping into a softly pleated full-length train.
The evening dress is on display with the two diamond wheat-ear brooches, lent to Her Royal Highness by Her Majesty The Queen and worn by the Princess as hair slides at the evening reception. The brooches, on display for the first time, were originally commissioned by William IV (1765–1837) for Queen Adelaide (1792–1849) and were inherited by Her Majesty in 1952. The Queen has worn them as both hair slides and brooches.
Like with the ‘A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ exhibition, the Royal Collection Trust has also included the wedding outfit of the bridesmaids and pageboys by Amaia Kids, which includes a sash that features a pattern based on the work of American artist Mark Bradford.
In addition, the blue Ralph and Russo couture gown with an asymmetrical neckline, worn by Princess Beatrice as maid-of-honour features alongside her blue and purple headpiece by British milliner Sarah Cant.
A Royal Wedding: HRH Princess Eugenie and Mr Jack Brooksbank is part of a visit to Windsor Castle and will take place from March 1 to April 22, 2019.
Images: courtesy of the Royal Collection Trust