Queen Victoria decided against the traditional royal silver wedding dress and wore a dress of rich pure white satin, trimmed with orange flower blossoms. The lace which formed the flounce of the dress was Honiton lace; it measured four yards, and was three quarters of a yard wide.
The pattern was a rich and exquisitely tasteful design, designed especially for Queen Victoria’s wedding dress.
Wedding flounce of Queen Victoria
The headdress was a wreath of orange flower blossoms, and over this a beautiful veil of Honiton lace, worn down her back. Her slippers were white as well.
The bridesmaids or train-bearers, as they were called back then, were also dressed in white. Prince Albert did not wear the royal finery that was tradition at the time. Instead he wore a field marshal’s uniform, with large rosettes of white satin near his shoulders. In doing this, his bride stood out as the most important person in the chapel and gave to Queen Victoria her “hour of beauty”.
This touched the hearts of women everywhere regardless of their status in society and so began the tradition of the white wedding dress and the bride “a queen for a day”. The styles of the white wedding dress have changed throughout the years, but the concept has stayed the same. Queen Victoria & Prince Albert broke from tradition and started a tradition we still follow today.
The Godey’s Lady’s Book, written about a decade after the 1840 royal wedding wrote: “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.” The dress and her wedding attire is currently on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum.