Sophie Wessex’s understated wedding coat dress concealed secret reception gown

Sophie Wessex attends the Royal Windsor Flower Show

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Sophie Rhys-Jones opted for a silk organiza and crepe number as she walked down the aisle of St George’s Chapel, Windsor in the 1990s. Designed by Samantha Shaw, Sophie’s dress arguably marked the start of a new royal wedding dress era, as previously puffy dresses like Princess Diana’s had been more in fashion than Sophie’s sleek and simple ensemble.

Samantha Keswick (née Shaw), told Tatler that Sophie’s wedding day was one she would “forever hold very dear”.

She also revealed that the coat dress Sophie debuted at the chapel actually concealed an evening gown underneath.

She said: “There was an evening dress under the coat dress, which was to remain super private for the evening dinner, and I had to get the fabric perfectly dyed to colour-match the beautiful stone of St George’s Chapel.”

Sophie paired her dress with a set of three-inch court silk crepe court shoes by Gina, and of course some show-stopping jewellery.

The “wow” elements of Sophie’s wedding outfit included a stunning pearl necklace gifted to her by Prince Edward.

Daniel O’Farrell, Founder, Bespoke Jeweller and Diamond Expert at DC Jewellery, told “Sophie stayed very true to her sense of style on her wedding day, especially with her choice of accessories.

“She usually opts for a classic heel and has a particular fancy for quaint jewellery and unique headpieces.

“On the day, the bride accessorised with simple white heeled pumps.

“Her ‘wow’ elements were her black and white cross motif pearl necklace with matching black and white pearl drop earrings, both of which were a wedding gift from Prince Edward, who had them created by Asprey and Garrard.”

The Queen lent her daughter-in-law to be a truly impressive tiara for her big day too.

The Anthemion Tiara is comprised of four anthemion elements thought to have started life as parts of Queen Victoria’s Regal Circlet.

Mr O’Farrell added: “While most royal brides borrow a tiara from the Queen for their wedding day, Sophie’s tiara was specially designed for her.

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“She has added her own personal touch to the tiara by adding a new row of diamonds to the band of the tiara, along the hairline.

“It is so special to Sophie that she has reworn it on numerous occasions after her wedding day, including at several European royal weddings.”

Sophie and Edward are known to be a royal wedding success story, as Prince Edward remains the only one out of the Queen’s four children not to have divorced their first spouses.

The couple share two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, and on June 19, 2022, they celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary.

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