In light of the increasing number of spurious "royal experts" infiltrating the media, Princess Palace has created this online testing and training center/centre (a.k.a. trivia quizzes) to facilitate the recognition and certification of actual royal experts. Anyone receiving certification may add C.R.E. (certified royal expert) after one's name. This site is created and maintained entirely for fun. Its creator asserts no authority for certifying anyone's qualifications for anything. ;)

04 May 2011

Royal Wedding Gowns Answers

In this fashionable quiz, our experts could earn half a point each for correctly naming the designer(s) of the wedding gowns for the following royal brides. Here are the answers.

1. Lady Diana Spencer
The then-little-known-and-now-divorced couple David and Elizabeth Emanuel were shocked to receive a phone call from the newly engaged Diana. It has recently been revealed that they designed two gowns, in case one was discovered by the media. Diana's gown now tours regularly as part of the Diana: A Celebration exhibition. See the dress.

2. Sarah Ferguson
When she married Prince Andrew in 1986, Sarah also chose a little-known designer Lindka Cierach to make her dress, which incorporated bows galore and embroidery and beading that included the couple's initials, their crests, their careers and their love--which took a detour to the divorce courts six years later. They reportedly remain great friends. As for Cierach, recent headlines alleged that Catherine Middleton's mother hired her and then fired her for her own mother-of-the-bride look. See the dress.

3. Letizia Ortiz
News reporter and anchor Letizia Ortiz selected Spanish designer Manuel Pertegaz to create her gown when she married the future King of Spain. Her skirt, train, sleeves and collar of her gown were encrusted with symbols of Spanish heraldry and history. See the dress.

4. Crown Princess Victoria
When she wed in the summer of 2010, Crown Princess Victoria wore an elegantly tailored gown by Swedish designer Par Engsheden. Instead of V-neck front like Letizia, Victoria wore a deep v back. Although her sleek dress was very modern she paid tribute to the past by wearing her mother's wedding veil and the 19th-century cameo tiara that has worn by generations of Swedish royal ladies. See the dress.

5. Charlene Wittstock
Although Charlene has not yet married her prince--the wedding is in July 2011--it has been announced that her designer is Giorgio Armani. As the future princess of a principality nestled between France and Italy, she has made an excellent choice with such an iconic fashion house. In fact, she often wears Armani, however, this particular dress itself has yet to be revealed. (Update: Armani designed Charlene's gown for the religious ceremony; Chanel for the civil ceremony.)

6. Grace Kelly
Who else would an Oscar-winning screen actress turn to when she needs the most important ensemble of her career? A Hollywood wardrobe designer, of course. Grace selected Helen Rose of MGM Studios. The ideal dress of the 1950s, it included a full silk taffeta skirt with a button-up antique Valenciennes lace bodice and a wide sash at the waste. See the dress.

7. Queen Elizabeth II
In post-war Britain, the economy was very tough so women sent their clothing ration coupons to their future queen so that she could have a gown suitable for a princess. Created by a favorite royal designer, Sir Norman Hartnell, who drew inspiration from Botticelli for his petite but shapely client. He brought the seed pearls for the dress through customs from the U.S. but controversy later arose when reports circulated that the silk was produced by enemy silkworms. (Actually, it came from friendly Chinese worms.) Hartnell also created her coronation gown six years later. See the dress.

8. Mary Donaldson
To marry the Danish heir, Australian-born Mary selected Danish designer Uffe Frank. See the gown. The skirt of the gown included long panels that were pinned back to reveal 100-year-old Irish lace. The dress also included Chantilly lace from France and her ensemble included a fan that belonged to the groom's Swedish grandmother and a veil that had been worn when British Princess Margaret of Connaught married the Crown Prince of Sweden in 1905, when Danish Princess Anne-Marie married the King of Greece in 1964, when Greek Princess Alexia married her Spanish husband in 1999 and when several other princesses married. It was truly an international affair. See the dress.

9. Princess Margaret
The gorgeous Princess Margaret used the same designer as her sister: Sir Norman Hartnell, but with their varied personalities and more than 12 years between their weddings, their dresses were in no way similar. Where Elizabeth was ethereal and dripping in embellishment, Margaret was clean lines and stylish simplicity, not a single stitch of embroidery from the high v-neck to the wide skirt and short train. The classic look inspired her daughter-in-law's dress three decades later. See Margaret's dress. See Serena Linley's dress.

10. Maxima Zorreguieta
When Argentinian Maxima married the Dutch heir, she opted not to use a designer from either country, choosing instead to use legendary Italian designer Valentino. Highlights of the gown included a high cowl neck, three-quarter sleeves and lace details down the side of the flared skirt matched by lace along the edge of the train. Maxima must have loved the dress because she continues to wear Valentino quite frequently.See the dress.

BONUS: Catherine Middleton
The Official Royal Wedding photographs
Quiz takers were asked to hazard a guess as to the identity of this top-secret designer. Our responders decided to be more cautious than the media but they mostly agreed that it would likely be "sleek and modern."

Of course we now know that Catherine's dress was designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. I would certainly classify it as a "sleek and modern" re-imagining of the classic princess gowns of Princess Grace and Princess Margaret. Its sweetheart neckline covered in lace with long lace sleeves may inspire bridal fashions to turn away from the current strapless trends.

Photo by Hugh Burnand. From The British Monarchy on Flickr.

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