Fashion

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate Middleton’s weddings

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Carole, Camilla and Anne (Picture: PA/Getty)

At any wedding – royal or not – as well as what the bride is wearing, all eyes are on what the mother of the bride has chosen for her daughter’s special day.

Have they gone textbook mother of the bride in pale pink satin? Or perhaps they’ve opted for a more subtle-yet-stylish number? Maybe they’ve tried to upstage the bride in white? God forbid they clash with the mother of the groom – or (even worse) the bridesmaids.

Choosing a mother of the bride outfit is a minefield.

As the speculation mounts over what – and who – Meghan Markle has decided to wear for her wedding to Prince Harry in May, what outfit her mother Doria Ragland is going to be wearing is sure to be another of the key focuses of the day.

To offer some inspiration – and a hefty dose of nostalgia – here, we take a look back at what the royal mother of the brides have worn in history…

ZARA PHILLIPS’ WEDDING TO MIKE TINDALL

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Zara Phillips departs for her wedding at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh (Picture: Getty)

On 30 July 2011, Zara Phillips married Mike Tindall.

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE: Anne, Princess Royal

When daughter Zara Phillips married Mike Tindall, Anne, Princess Royal wore a pretty red pleated dress with a cream and red floral jacket. She finished her look with a head-piece, cream gloves and a cream bag.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Princess Anne and Phil Tindall depart from the Royal wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall at Canongate Kirk (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

What about the Queen?

The Queen looked absolutely stunning in a peach-coloured dress and jacket with a pretty matching hat.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending the wedding between England rugby player Mike Tindall and her granddaughter Zara Phillips at Canongate Kirk (Picture: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

What about Peter Phillips' wedding?

Princess Anne was mother of the groom on 17 May 2008 when her son Peter Phillips married Canadian Autumn Kelly.

She wore a burgundy dress with a cream jacket for the occasion.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The bride’s father Brian Kelly speaks to Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her husband Timothy Laurence following the wedding of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor (Picture: Pool/Anwar Hussein Collection/WireImage)

What about the Queen?

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Queen Elizabeth ll speaks to bridesmaid Zara Phillips at the wedding of her brother Peter Phillips (Picture: Pool/Anwar Hussein Collection/WireImage)

KATE MIDDLETON’S WEDDING TO PRINCE WILLIAM

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Prince William and Kate Middleton on their wedding day in April 2011 (Picture: AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

On Friday 29 April, Kate Middleton – now the Duchess Of Cambridge – married Prince William.

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE – Carol Middleton

Carol stunned in a powder blue dress and jacket ensemble, with a stylish matching hat. Her shoes and bag were blue/silver, providing a subtle contrast to her outfit.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Carole Middleton (L) and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (Picture: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

What about the Queen?

The Queen opted for a spring-themed yellow outfit.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
(Picture: Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The outfit and hat, designed by Angela Kelly, went on display at Fashioning A Reign: 90 years Of Style From The Queen’s Wardrobe at Buckingham Palace in July 2016 (Picture: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

What about Pippa Middleton's big day?

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Pippa Middleton, the sister of Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrives with her father Michael Middleton for her wedding to James Matthews at St Mark’s Church in Englefield (Picture: REUTERS/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool)

As it was a ‘kind-of’ royal wedding, here’s what Carol wore to Pippa Middleton’s wedding on 20 May 2017.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Carol Middleton and Michael Middleton seen leaving St Mark’s Church after the Wedding Ceremony on May 20, 2017 in Englefield, England. (Picture Neil Mockford/GC Images)

LAURA PARKER BOWLES’ WEDDING TO HARRY LOPES

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Laura Parker Bowles and Harry Lopes (Picture: Gianfranco Calcagno/FilmMagic)

On 6 May 2006, Camilla’s daughter Laura Parker Bowles married Harry Lopes,

Harry used to be a Calvin Klein underwear model and now works as a chartered accountant.

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE – Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall

Camilla looked radiant in a pale green dress and jacket outfit with featured pleats.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The Prince Of Wales & The Duchess Of Cornwall Attend The Wedding Of Laura Parker Bowles & Harry Lopes At St Cyriacs Church, Lacock, Wiltshire. (Photo by Justin GoffUK Press via Getty Images)

What about Tom Parker Bowles' big day?

This next outfit isn’t strictly a mother of the bride outfit but it is what Camilla wore as mother of the groom when her son Tom Parker Bowles married Sara Buys in 2005.

Tom and Sara split in January 2018.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Sara Buys at St. Nicholas Church in Rotherfield Greys, Great Britain. (Picture: Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)
Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The Prince Of Wales & The Duchess Of Cornwall at the wedding of Tom Parker Bowles and Sarah Buys on 10 September 2005 at St. Nicholas Church Near Henley On Thames (Picture: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

LADY SARAH ARMSTRONG-JONES’ WEDDING TO DANIEL CHATTO

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Sarah Armstrong-Jones and Daniel Chatto on their wedding day at St Stephen Walbrook in the City (Picture: ADRIAN CLACK/AFP/Getty Images)

On 14 July 1994, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones married Daniel Chatto.

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE – Princess Margaret

Princess Margaret chose a pale blue outfit for her daughter’s wedding – again showing the royals love to match their dresses to long jackets for weddings.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Princess Margaret with Lord Snowdon at Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones’s wedding (Picture: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

David Armstrong-Jones' wedding

Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon’s son David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, married Serena, Vicountess Linley in 1993.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The Wedding Of Viscount And Viscountess Linley At St. Margarets, Westminster. (Picture: Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The Queen With Lieutenant Colonel Sir Malcolm Ross, Comptroller Of The Lord Chamberlain’s Office, Arriving For The Wedding Of Viscount Linley To Lady Serena Stanhope (Picture: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

SARAH FERGUSON’S WEDDING TO PRINCE ANDREW

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson wave outside of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day (Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

On Wednesday 23 July 1986, Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew. The pair divorced in 1996.

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE – Susan Barrantes

Susan Barrantes (1937-1998) wore yellow for her daughter, Sarah Ferguson’s, wedding to Prince Andrew. Another example of the jacket-and-dress combination.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
(Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

What about the Queen?

As mother of the groom, the Queen wore a lilac number with a matching hat for her son’s wedding.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The Queen And Prince Philip Attending The Wedding Of The Duke And Duchess Of York. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

DIANA SPENCER’S WEDDING TO PRINCE CHARLES

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Diana Princess of Wales and Prince Charles on their wedding day (Picture: Ron Bull/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

On Wednesday 29 July 1981, Diana and Charles married.

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE – Frances Shand Kydd

Similar to the colour worn by the Queen five years later for Prince Andrew’s wedding, Frances Shand Kydd (1936-2004), opted for a lilac-hued mother of the bride outfit.

It complimented her blue sapphire engagement ring perfectly, which is reportedly why Diana chose to have a blue sapphire engagement ring, so she could match her mum.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and Frances Shand Kydd during the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer in London (Picture: Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

What about the Queen?

The Queen stood out in a turquoise number.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
GREAT BRITAIN – JULY 29: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with Frances Shand-Kydd, Earl Spencer and other wedding guests at St Paul’s Cathedral for the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The Queen stands next to Diana on the balcony at Buckingham Palace (Picture: Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

PRINCESS ANNE’S WEDDING TO MARK PHILLIPS

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Princess Anne and Capt. Mark Phillips share a laugh on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding (Picture: Getty)

On 14 November 1973, Princess Anne married Zara and Phillip Peter Phillips’ father Mark Phillips. They divorced in 1992.

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE: Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen wore a royal blue jacket dress for her only daughter’s wedding – and she couldn’t have looked happier as she stood next to her mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother pose on the balcony during Princess Anne’s wedding (Picture: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The Queen’s royal blue outfit, designed by Sir Norman Hartnell, went on display at Fashioning A Reign: 90 years Of Style From The Queen’s Wardrobe at Buckingham Palace in 2016 (Picture: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

What about her sons' marriages?

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The Queen wore turquoise for Prince Charles’ wedding to Diana Spencer in 1991 (Picture: Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The Queen wore blue for Prince Andrew’s wedding to Sarah Ferguson in 1986 (Picture: Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The Queen wore lilac to the wedding of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones (Picture: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

And Princess Anne’s second marriage…

On 12 December 1992 – the same year she divorce Mark Phillips – Princess Royal married Timothy Laurence.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Commander Tim Laurence and Britain’s Princess Anne are seen in their car after their wedding at Crathie Church 12 December 1992 in Scotland (Picture: EPA/AFP/Getty Images)

PRINCESS MARGARET’S WEDDING TO ANTONY ARMSTRONG-JONES, 1st EARL OF SNOWDON

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Princess Margaret and her new husband Antony Armstrong-Jones leave Westminister Abbey after their wedding.(Picture: Getty)

On 6 May 1960, Princess Margaret (1930-2002) married Antony Armstrong-Jones (1930-2017), 1st Earl Of Snowdon. They divorced in 1978, the same year he married Lucy Hogg. Princess Margaret never remarried.

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE: Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

The Queen Mother (1900-2002), wore an off-white gown with a matching jacket and a peach-coloured hat.

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Queen Elizabeth (foreground), the Queen Mother and Prince Charles (right), arrive at the wedding of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey in 1960 (Picture: Derek Berwin/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth with Queen Mother and son Prince Charles in the Queen Alexandra coach on way to Westminster Abbey for the wedding of Princess Margaret with Antony Armstrong Jones (Picture: Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

ELIZABETH II’S WEDDING TO PHILIP MOUNTBATTEN

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh marry (Picture: Getty)

On 20 November 1947, Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip.

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE: Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother

Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
The iconic balcony moment (Picture: Getty)
Royal mother of the bride dresses for inspiration from Diana to Kate's weddings
King George VI (1895 – 1952) and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1900 – 2002) at Westminster Abbey, on the wedding day of Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Prince Philip (Picture: Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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