Queen Victoria’s Wedding Dress – Royal Central

Queen Victoria’s Wedding Dress – Royal Central

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Victoria’s wedding dress is a powerful symbol of what she would refer to in her journal as the ‘happiest day of my life’. Most probably, it represents more than any other item of clothing or object, the Queen’s identity as a royal bride. Certainly, she chose to wear it again in 1847, when she was painted in her wedding attire by the fashionable portraitist Franz Xaver Winterhalter, as a gift for Prince Albert on their seventh wedding anniversary. The simplicity of the dress could not be mistaken.
Queen Victoria was appearing as a woman, dressed as she was on the day she became a royal wife.The colour of white at weddings, which she helped to popularise as the standard dress for Victorian brides, should not surprise us when we contrast this with the deepest black of her mourning dresses of the early 1860s, the rawest years of her widowhood. Instead, we should see it as a ready illustration of the radiant love she had felt as Prince Albert’s bride naturally translating into the dreadful grief of becoming his widow when he died. .


For the 10 February 1840 (wedding day) should be looked on like the opposite of 14 December 1861 (the day of Prince Albert’s death), when she became a widow. This image of the Queen which still endures, in the full severity of the mourning that she wore, should I think, point to a richer understanding of her identity as a bride. White is in fact, the traditional colour of mourning for Queens of France.Black cannot be a greater contrast to white, a widow opposite to a wife.
This is clearly told through a comparison of the Queen’s clothing. The deepest period of mourning meant that in the early 1860s, the Queen’s mourning dresses were covered almost totally in black crape. .

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