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Sophie’s wedding style ‘may have raised eyebrows’ – but she wanted to make a ‘statement’

NewsSophie’s wedding style ‘may have raised eyebrows’ - but she wanted to make a ‘statement’

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, 58, and Prince Edward, 59, tied the knot 24 years ago today at St George’s Chapel in 1999.

The wedding received a lot of attention as Edward was the last of the late Queen’s children to get married.

Style experts spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to analyse the Duchess of Edinburgh’s “modest” wedding dress.

Fashion stylist Bella Hignett said: “I think Sophie’s dress suited her personality – understated, modest, safe! However, I do think more recently she is looking far more stylish.

“Both Sophie and Edward were in their mid-30s when they got married and I think the dress reflected that maturity and the event itself seemed to be a deliberate departure from the usual grand scale weddings of Edward’s family.”

The Samantha Shaw designer gown was “a medieval-inspired dress coat with a modest train”, according to Ms Hignett. She added: “For the private party following the ceremony, she removed the coat to reveal a simple silk dress.

“I thought her ensemble looked a little on the big side and I wonder whether she had lost too much weight by the final fitting. 

“Her pearl earrings and necklace with a cross pendant, also in a Medieval style, were a gift designed by Prince Edward made by Asprey & Garrard.”

Ms Hignett did not like the Duchess’s jewellery, saying: “I think they were too big and chunky for the dress but were most likely worn as they were special to her. I didn’t think they went well at all well with the delicacy of the tiara.”

Zoe Burke, a leading wedding expert and editor of Hitched.co.uk exclusively told Express.co.uk: “Her dress wasn’t overly showy or dramatic, but instead understated and quietly cool with its little details.

“This ties in with their overall wedding style – the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh famously adopted a more low-key dress code for their wedding too, reportedly banning guests from wearing hats and headpieces to their celebration, although the Queen Mother flouted this supposed rule, and wore a hat as is usually customary at royal weddings.”

Award-winning celebrity stylist Emma Trask and founder of The Chrysalis Lab added: “I like the fact that the coat dress choice seemed to be a nod to the fact she was a businesswoman when she wed. The gown underneath was only revealed to guests at the reception, which perhaps was also a statement about her views at the time on her public vs private life.

“Also, while the overall look may have been more subtle and subdued than other royal wedding dresses volume-wise, she did opt for pearl and crystal embellishment all over the coat, gown, train and veil rather than just embellished motifs.

“The over 325,000 pearls and crystal beads used throughout not only added sparkle to a classic look but undoubtedly made it sophisticated.”

Dr Benjamin Wild, a Senior Lecturer in Fashion Cultures at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Manchester Fashion Institute claimed: “Sophie’s wedding dress has been criticised for being too large for her figure, but I think it is representative of her style.

“The wedding dresses of Kate and Meghan cost in the region of £250,000 and were made by designers attached to prominent fashion houses; Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen and Clare Waight Keller from Givenchy, respectively.

“This was not the case for Sophie, whose dress was designed by Samantha Keswick (née Shaw). Samantha’s major claim to fame at this point was creating the wedding dress for Isabella Knachtball, who married tennis player Tin Henman earlier in 1999.”

Susie Nelson, the founder of Modes and More exclusively told Express.co.uk: “Most brides lose weight before their wedding, which can cause a headache for dressmakers. A possible taking-in may have improved the look, but silk organza is not the easiest fabric to alter.

“I would say it was a mid-price royal wedding dress, the beading and fabric were of wonderful quality. The jewellery Sophie chose to wear for her wedding may have raised a few eyebrows. Black pearls aren’t usually worn by royal brides.

“The black and white pearl necklace with a cross and matching earrings were made by Asprey and Garrard and were a wedding present from Prince Edward, so she may have wanted to wear them.

“It is believed the late Queen gave Sophie the Anthemion tiara for the wedding, most royal brides are lent them.”

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