60 Unforgettable Gowns Worn by British Royalty

Explore Britain's esteemed royals through breathtaking ball gowns and iconic fashion statements, showcasing exquisite craftsmanship.

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The royal family is renowned for their stunning array of gowns fit for royalty. From Princess Margaret’s show-stopping birthday dress to Princess Diana’s iconic wedding gown, it has become a time-honored tradition to don breathtaking designs within the monarchy. In this compilation, we present the most unforgettable moments featuring the greatest royal gowns of all time.

Please note that throughout this story, the members of the royal family are referred to by the titles they held at the time of the photographs, even if some titles have since changed.


Princess Diana, 1981

Di’s famous 1981 wedding gown was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. Between her 25-foot train and 153-yard tulle veil, the look was truly fit for a princess.


Princess Diana, 1982

An absolute vision of grace and style, Princess Diana donned a captivating red dress by David Sassoon at London’s Barbican. The vibrant hue perfectly showcased her radiant presence, captivating all who beheld her. With its impeccable design and exquisite craftsmanship, the dress accentuated Princess Diana’s innate elegance, leaving an indelible impression on the fashion world and solidifying her status as a true style icon.


Princess Diana, 1982

Later that year, Princess Diana wore an emerald gown by Graham Wren for a charity concert.


Princess Diana, 1984

For a captivating ballet performance in London, Princess Diana chose to wear a mesmerizing pink and white dress crafted by the renowned designer Catherine Walker. The delicate blend of pink and white hues exuded elegance and grace, perfectly complementing Diana’s radiant presence.


Princess Diana, 1985

Diana graced the premiere of the James Bond film “A View to Kill” in 1985, donning a captivating gold lame evening gown designed by Bruce Oldfield.


Princess Diana, 1985

The Princess chose a white, crystal-beaded silk chiffon gown by Japanese designer Hachi for an event at the National Gallery in Washington D.C.


Princess Diana, 1986

In true 1980s fashion, Princess Diana wore a black and white evening gown with a giant bow in the front to a royal wedding in Saudi Arabia. The royal also wore the ultimate piece of jewelry: a stunning tiara.


Queen Elizabeth, 1987

In this portrait taken to celebrate her 40th wedding anniversary to Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth chose a white dress with a dot pattern. She accessorized with a sparkling tiara and elaborate diamond necklace as well.


Princess Diana, 1987

A true fashion moment was created when Princess Diana graced a gala event during the Cannes Film Festival in 1987. She captured everyone’s attention in a memorable pale blue flowing chiffon dress, expertly designed by Catherine Walker, one of Diana’s cherished fashion collaborators.


Princess Diana, 1987

For the premiere of The Living Daylights, Lady Di opted for a sparking Emanuel gown.


Princess Diana, 1987

Princess Diana’s velvet dress by Victor Edelstein is one of her more iconic ensembles. The Princess wore this dress during a visit to the White House in 1985, where she famously danced with John Travolta. Diana re-wore it two years later on a state visit in Germany, as seen here.


Princess Diana, 1988

Diana wore a dress that was quite striking for the era: a red and black patterned one shoulder dress. The Princess wore the Catherine Walker evening gown to a dinner hosted by the British Ambassador while in Paris.


Princess Diana, 1989

Diana wore this head-to-toe red sparkly gown with the Spencer tiara to a banquet held at Claridges in London. The dress was designed by Bruce Oldfield.


Princess Diana, 1989

During a royal visit to Hong Kong, the Princess wore a white silk dress with pearl and sequined detailing by Catherine Walker that is now called “The Elvis Dress” by many.


Princess Diana, 1989

While attending a Nigerian state banquet in 1989, Princess Diana sparkled in this lavender gown by Catherine Walker.


Princess Diana, 1990

Attending a state banquet during an official visit to Hungary, Princess Diana exuded grace and sophistication in a stunning strapless white gown designed by Catherine Walker.


Princess Diana, 1992

During a visit to Budapest, Hungary in 1992, Princess Diana showcased her impeccable style by donning a striking red gown designed by Victor Edelstein. This iconic dress became one of her cherished pieces, as she was seen wearing it on multiple occasions.


Princess Diana, 1993

Diana wore emerald green Catherine Walker dress to a state banquet at the Dorchester Hotel in 1993.


Princess Diana, 1994

Known as the “revenge dress,” Princess Diana wore this Christina Stambolian off-the-shoulder design the same night Prince Charles admitted on television that he cheated on her.


Princess Anne, 1995

In 1995, Anne wore this festive gown with plaid detailing to the Royal Caledonian Ball at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.


Princess Diana, 1996

Princess Diana wowed in an electric blue dress by Versace while at a dinner in Sydney, Australia in 1996.


Princess Diana, 1996

During her visit to Chicago, Princess Diana made a stunning fashion statement at a gala dinner, captivating all with her choice of a gorgeous purple dress designed by Versace. The vibrant and bold hue exemplified her daring sense of style and complemented her radiant presence. To complete her impeccable look, Princess Diana coordinated her clutch and shoes flawlessly,


Princess Diana, 1997

Diana wore this memorable ice blue dress by Jacques Azagury to a performance of Swan Lake in London.


Princess Diana, 1997

The Princess celebrated her 36th birthday in a stunning black gown designed by Jacques Azagury with an emerald and diamond necklace.


Princess Anne, 2003

For a dinner held at the Royal Victoria Dock, Princess Anne showcased her impeccable style in a matching silk dress and jacket ensemble. The elegant outfit featured a skirt adorned with delicate dot detailing, adding a touch of sophistication and charm.


Queen Elizabeth, 2003

In 2003, the Queen posed for a photo with Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Prince William in honor of the 50th anniversary of her coronation. The Queen chose a pale pink dress with dazzling details, worn with a diamond necklace.


Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 2007

The then-Duchess looked regal in a pale blue dress while at a dinner hosted by the King of Bahrain’s wife, Shaikha Sabika.


Queen Elizabeth, 2011

The Queen paid tribute to her host country while on a royal visit to Ireland. The white evening dress was embellished with chiffon shamrocks, the national emblem of Ireland.


Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, 2011

In one of her first appearances after her royal wedding in April 2011, Kate stunned in a blush Jenny Packham gown with elaborate detailing on the front.


Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, 2011

Kate looked regal in a pale purple gown by Alexander McQueen while attending BAFTA Brits To Watch event in Los Angeles during a royal visit to North America.


Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 2012

Sophie chose this pink one shouldered gown for the 2012 Paralympic Ball, which she attended with Prince Edward.


Zara Tindall, 2012

Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara Tindall wore a deep purple gown with a belt to the Rugby For Heroes Charity Gala Dinner at Twickenham Stadium, which she attended with her husband, Mike Tindall.


Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 2013

Camilla wowed in a black and white dress with sequined detailing on the top, which she wore to a dinner hosted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in Amsterdam. She also wore a stunning tiara to finish off her ensemble.


Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 2013

In 2013, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attended Princess Madeleine of Sweden’s wedding to Christopher O’Neill. The Countess wore a pale pink gown with lace detailing on the top.


Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, 2014

In 2014, Kate attended the National Portrait Gallery’s annual gala in London wearing a dark gown by Jenny Packham with a sparkling necklace that belonged to Queen Elizabeth.


Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, 2016

In April 2016, Prince William and Kate went on a royal tour of India, where the Duchess wore this royal blue look by Jenny Packham.


Queen Letizia of Spain and Queen Elizabeth, 2017

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain embarked on a state visit to the United Kingdom in 2017. Queen Elizabeth hosted the royals for an official state banquet at Buckingham Palace. Letizia wore a striking off-the-shoulder dress with a gorgeous tiara, while the Queen wore a white embroidered gown also with an equally impressive tiara


Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, 2018

Will and Kate embarked on a royal tour of Norway and Sweden in early 2018. Kate chose an ethereal blush pink gown by Alexander McQueen that featured a cape and stunning crystal detailing for a formal state dinner during the royal visit.


Princess Eugenie, 2018

The second dress Princess Eugenie wore to her royal wedding in October 2018 is one for the books. For her reception, the Princess changed into a blush tone draped gown designed by Zac Posen.


Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 2018

Meghan looked stunning in a gown by Safiyaa that featured a subtle cape detail while on a royal tour visit to Fiji. The vibrant Fijian blue color of the gown was a tribute to the country’s flag.


Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, 2019

In 2019, Kate arrived at an event at London’s National Portrait Gallery in this beautiful floral gown by Alexander McQueen. The royal, who’s known to recycle outfits on occasion, also wore this look to the 2017 BAFTAs.


Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 2020

During her last formal engagement as a working royal, Meghan stole the show in this green Emilia Wickstead cape dress.


Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 2022

A few months before she became Queen Consort, Camilla attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Dinner in Rwanda in this bold blue look by Bruce Oldfield Couture. She also wore it in Vogue to celebrate her 75th birthday earlier in the year.


Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, 2022

Kate wore this sunny yellow Roksanda Ilinčić dress to 2022’s Wimbledon Women’s Finals match.


Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, 1949

Then-Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret went glamorous for a royal variety performance in London. The sisters each wore an elaborate ball gown with fur wraps.


Princess Margaret, 1951

In 1951, Margaret posed for a birthday portrait taken by Cecil Beaton in a one-shouldered cream gown with gold embellishment by Christian Dior.


Queen Elizabeth, 1953

For her coronation day, the Queen had an elaborate gown designed by Norman Hartnell. The dress was made of a white duchess satin, and was embroidered with floral emblems representing the Commonwealth countries in a gold and silver thread.


Queen Elizabeth, 1961

American royalty met actual royalty when President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy visited Buckingham Palace for the first time. The Queen wore a blue ballgown by Norman Hartnell with white gloves for the occasion.


Princess Anne and Queen Elizabeth, 1969

During their state visit to Austria in May 1969, Queen Elizabeth and her daughter, Princess Anne, exuded elegance at an event held at the British Embassy. Princess Anne graced the occasion in a resplendent white gown adorned with a sash, complemented by gloves and a radiant tiara. Queen Elizabeth, on the other hand, captivated in a striking lime green ensemble, accentuated by a coordinating sash and adorned with an array of exquisite jewelry pieces.


Princess Anne, 1973

Attending a film premiere in London alongside her first husband, Mark Phillips, Princess Anne made a fashion statement with a captivating floral printed gown. Her choice of attire showcased a perfect blend of elegance and style, while her sleek updo added a touch of sophistication to her overall appearance


The Queen Mother, 1980

For her 80th birthday celebration in 1980, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, radiated grace in a resplendent white chiffon evening gown. The ethereal choice of attire perfectly captured her regal presence, enhanced further by a captivating tiara and a complementing necklace set. Her ensemble epitomized timeless elegance, befitting the esteemed monarch’s milestone celebration.


Princess Anne, 1980


Gracing an event at the Royal Opera House in London, the Princess Royal exuded sophistication in a white dress adorned with an exquisite embroidered overlay. Her choice of attire showcased a harmonious blend of elegance and intricate detailing, perfectly complementing the grand setting of the occasion. Princess Anne’s refined taste in fashion was evident as she effortlessly captivated attendees with her timeless and chic ensemble.

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