Royal wedding bridal beauty inspiration

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    From the pomp and circumstance to the fairytale story of a commoner marrying her prince charming, it's no wonder that there's such a fascination with royal weddings. But the most exciting part of the whole event? The wedding dress, of course. So with that in mind, we've rounded up our favorite royal wedding dresses ever, from Kate Middleton's lacy look to Queen Noor's custom Dior number. Which is your favorite?

     

    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (née Kate Middleton)'s wedding dress was a wildly anticipated (but well-kept!) secret prior to her April 29, 2011 nuptials to Prince William. The result was an exquisite Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress featuring an ivory lace bodice with a V-neck and long, lace sleeves that has inspired hundreds of look-a-likes since.  

    Photography: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
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    Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland

    On June 13, 2015, at the Royal Palace of Stockholm, former model and reality TV star Sofia Hellqvist walked down the aisle to marry husband, Prince Carl Philip, wearing a custom Ida Sjöstedt gown (not unlike the Duchess of Cambridge's Alexander McQueen dress), featuring long lace sleeves and an A-line silhouette. 

    Photography: ANDREA RENTZ/GETTY IMAGES
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    Grace Kelly

    On April 19, 1956, this Hollywood star became European royalty when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco wearing a gown designed Helen Rose. The Academy Award-winning costume designer made this iconic wedding dress from 25 yards of taffeta and 125-year-old lace embroidered with pearls.

    Photography: Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
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    Princess Diana

    While the poufy sleeves and ruffled neckline of Princess Diana's taffeta wedding dress might seem a bit too '80s for today, there's no denying that David and Elizabeth Emanuel's design with its record-breaking 25-foot train is iconic. "The dress had to be something that was going to go down in history, but also something that Diana loved. And we knew it was going to be at St. Paul's, so it had to be something that would fill the aisle and be quite dramatic," Elizabeth Emanuel said in Diana: The Portrait. Goal achieved.

    Photography: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
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    Queen Rania of Jordan

    When Rania Yassin wed Prince Abdullah, the eldest son of Jordan's King Hussein, at the Royal Palace in Amman on June 10, 1993 she wore a short-sleeved dress with golden details by Bruce Oldfield (a favorite designer of Princess Diana's).

    Photography: RABIH MOGHRABI/AFP/Getty Images
  • Royal brides, they're just like us, right? After World War II, the future royal wedding bridal beauty inspiration Queen of England had to use clothing ration coupons to pay for her wedding dress. But Norman Hartnell's design was still worthy of a princess. Inspired by Botticelli's Primavera, he embellished the satin gown with thousands of seed pearls and crystals in an ornate floral pattern. 

    Photography: PhotoQuest
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    Charlene Wittstock

    The other major royal wedding of 2011 was the marriage of Grace Kelly's son, Prince Albert II of Monaco, to Charlene Wittstock. The South African Olympic swimmer wore an Armani Privé duchesse silk dress that featured 40,000 Swarovski crystals and a 16-foot train.

    Photography: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
  • Choosing the same wedding dress designer as her older sister, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret commissioned Norman Hartnell to create this relatively unadorned silk organza gown for her wedding to photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones on May 6, 1960. 

    Photography: Central Press/Getty Images
    See Vintage Celebrity Wedding Cakes
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    Queen Soraya of Iran

    When she wed the last Shah of Iran in 1951, Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari wore a custom Christian Dior wedding dress made of 37 yards of silver lamé embellished with  20,000 feathers and 6,000 diamonds.

    Photography: Dmitri Kessel/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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    Queen Noor of Jordan

    For her 1978 wedding to Jordan's King Hussein, the American-born bride wore a simple white silk crepe dress by Christian Dior with a high neckline and a loose, flowing skirt.

    Photography: Sahm Doherty/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
  • Swedish designer Pär Engsheden created this ivory satin wedding dress with a wide boat neck collar for the future Queen of Sweden to marry her personal trainer, Daniel Westling in 2010.

    Photography: Pool/Getty Images
    See Royal Children at Weddings
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    Queen Fabiola of Belgium

    Cristóbal Balenciaga designed Queen Fabiola's dress for her December 15, 1960 wedding to King Baudouin of Belgium. The drop-waist dress was made of ivory satin with white mink trim and is now on display at the Balenciaga Museum in Spain.

    Photography: KEYSTONE-FRANCE
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    Queen Letizia of Spain

    When you're marrying the future king of Spain, you need to pick a dress worthy of a queen. Journalist Letizia Ortiz did just that for her wedding at Madrid's Almudena Cathedral in 2004, where she wore a high-collared dress designed by Manuel Pertegaz with silver and gold embroidery around the edges of its 15-foot train.

    Photography: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
  • For her 1937 wedding to the former King of England who famously abdicated his throne to marry the two-time divorcée, Wallis Simpson wore a slim-fitting Mainbocher dress in her signature shade of pale "Wallis Blue" to match her eyes. The dress is now a part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection.

    Photography: Keystone/Getty Images
    See More Colorful Celebrity Wedding Dresses
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    Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall

    While Camilla Parker-Bowles wore a stylish cream-colored dress and coat to her civil wedding ceremony on April 9, 2005, we much prefer this elegant blue and gold damask dress coat by designer Anna Valentine with a matching chiffon dress she wore to the service of blessing later on at Windsor Castle. And opting for a spray of gold feathers instead of wearing a tiara? Genius.

    Photography: ROTA-Pool/Getty Images

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