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A Regal Affair

Originally published in Redbrick (

The sun is out, and the nation’s Royal Wedding fever is reaching an all-time high.  Not one magazine cover, newspaper page or website update hasn’t included a beaming picture of thrust-into-the-spotlight Kate Middleton perched on the arm of (slightly balding?) Prince William.  Bless them.  The wedding and the sun is a pleasant distraction from the foreboding talks of financial cuts, and the government must be breathing a sigh of relief that there is good news to report to the public.

And boy, are they reporting – every detail of the secretive nuptials are being speculated and meticulously dissected.  Who is being invited? (Reportedly the Beckhams and Kanye West, but not the Obamas or Sarah Ferguson…)  Who’s making the cake?  (Fiona Cairns)  And who, oh WHO, is making the dress?  (Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen?  Issa?)

If you’re feeling in the Royal spirit, there are plenty of outlets to celebrate the British union.  Our Guild of Students are planning a street party on Tiverton Road (Selly Oak) on the 29th April – with free barbeque and, hopefully, an outdoor projection of the Westminster Abbey service.  If, like many young women, you have embraced Kate Middleton as a new style crush, you can find endless copies of her (sold out) Issa engagement dress online – try ASOS’s Twist Front Jersey dress in Navy, a snip at £30.  A Royal Wedding App is available (see the Royal Wedding website for details –, and H Samuel have even produced a replica of Kate’s inherited ring (18ct gold, diamonds and the signature sapphire for £799.00 – the ‘Diana Royal Engagement’.)  This is monarchy madness.

However, whilst the official dress design and creators are being kept under hush-hush lock and key, we take a look back at some of the wedding dresses of the Queens of the past – and wonder if Kate will similarly be looking back for some truly vintage inspiration…

Queen Victoria (1840); Queen Mother (1923); King Edward (1937); Queen Elizabeth II (1947); Prince Charles & Diana (1981)

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