The Best-Dressed Royal Wedding Guests Ever – MarieClaire.com

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Royal weddings are typically spectator events: every element of the day, from the wedding dress to the tiaras to the guest list, is pored over by the public. So when you’re a royal wedding guest, keenly aware that the walk into the church might as well be a red carpet, you’re likely to go the extra mile, sartorially speaking.

Many of the outfits on this list are from recent weddings: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s, Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s, and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s. I’d argue that that’s because royal wedding outfits have fairly recently evolved from formal and traditional to fashion statement. In the ’90s and mid-’00s, royal wedding guests like Princess Diana and Victoria Beckham helped usher in this movement, showing you can be dressed up and stylish.

Sarah Rafferty

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For Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials, former Suits costar Sarah Rafferty arrived in this gorgeous puffed-sleeve concoction. In any other color, I might hate it, but the navy color and contrasting beads (that nicely match the detail of her hat) pick up just enough of the light to feel vibrant.

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice

royal wedding guest eugenie beatrice

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These two hats on Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie (technically they’re fascinators by Philip Treacy) are pretty legendary for being show-stopping and kinda controversial at William and Kate’s wedding. Honestly, I appreciate that they went for it.

Princess Eugenie

royal wedding guest Eugenie

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For Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Eugenie went simple, with a Jackie Kennedy-esque pillbox and a matching light blue tweed dress. It’s easy-breezy, it’s comfortable (except for those sky-high heels, which are just impressive), and it’s one of her best colors.

Princess Beatrice

royal wedding guest princess Beatrice

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In a complementary hue as her sister, Beatrice wore a pretty beaded dress and a very minimal hat made of delicate matching strands of fabric.

David Furnish and Sir Elton John

royal wedding guest David Furnish and Sir Elton John

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Two dapper gentlemen (in matching vests!), arriving at the wedding of the century. Elton and husband are appropriately dressed up here, but because he’s Elton freaking John, he adds some important flair in the form of some pink glasses. Yes, I say, to all of it.

Karolina Kurkova

royal wedding guest Karolina Kurkova

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To the royal wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene, Karolina Kurkova (on the arm of spouse Archie Drury) attended in a classic color—navy—and a surprise design feature that I love: a studded, ankle-length train attached to her coat.

Roberta Armani

royal wedding guest Roberta armani

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At the Monaco royal wedding, Roberta Armani (niece to Giorgio Armani, also pictured) wore a magnificent tulip-esque topper and a contrasting dress that mimicked the shape of the hat. Oh, and it has a cape feature, which I’m always a fan of.

Doria Ragland

royal wedding guest Doria Ragland

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This isn’t the best photo, but it does show Doria Ragland’s full outfit as she walks to the church to watch her daughter get married. The pattern on this Oscar de la Renta is stunning up close, and the pistachio hue is such a striking, perfect color for a mother of the bride.

Patrick J. Adams and Troian Bellisario

royal wedding guest Patrick J. Adams and Troian Bellisario

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Suits actor Patrick J. Adams with his wife, fellow actor Troian Bellisario, celebrate their friend getting married in some serious style. Normally I don’t like a blush this light (it can sometimes wash people out), but the beaded detailing at the shoulder gives much-needed flair.


royal wedding guest oprah

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Leave it to Oprah to go with an enormous and very fun hat—and some cool sunglasses to match, naturally. The lace detailing on this tiered petal pink dress is incredibly intricate, and I love the backless pumps (and marvel at how she doesn’t fall over in them, as I would).

Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece and Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece

royal wedding guest Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece

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Both Crown Princess Marie-Chantal and Princess Maria-Olympia look great here, but I give the slight edge to Maria-Olympia for that hat—it literally looks like a silvery Medusa, does it not? But both dresses are pitch perfect and appropriately ornate.

Cressida Bonas

royal wedding guest Cressida Bonas

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What do you wear to the wedding of your ex (in this case, Prince Harry)? Something bright, colorful, and absolutely stunning, when you’re Cressida Bonas. In all seriousness though, we don’t always see this much patterning at a royal wedding, and it paid off in spades.

Princess Diana

royal wedding guest princess diana

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Ok so technically, this might not have been a major royal wedding, per se (Camilla Dunne, daughter of Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, was getting married to the Honourable Rupert Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill), but I couldn’t not put Princess Diana in here, looking chic in teal with a tremendous hat.

Kate Middleton

royal wedding guest kate middleton

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Now this is a striking wedding outfit (in this case, Alexander McQueen, one of Kate’s favorite designers). That burgundy color plus the matching floral fascinator is quite queen-like—Queen Elizabeth always dressed in vibrant colors so people could see her.

Pippa Middleton

royal wedding guest pippa middleton

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To the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston, Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton (alongside husband James Matthews) wore a pretty cornflower blue dress with delicate patterning, ruching and sheers, and buttons throughout. But somehow the look is so, so cohesive.

Queen Rania

royal wedding guest queen rania

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For the wedding of then-Crown Prince Felipe of Spain, Queen Rania of Jordan takes an outfit that could skew casual—a button-down shirt and skirt—and makes it into a gorgeous, fashion-forward statement. The sheer and lace details add a ton of visual interest.

Gina Torres

royal wedding guest Gina torres

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Now this is a hat! I’m getting cowboy-hat-but-smaller energy from this, or perhaps fedora-but-larger? Either way, it’s probably the most counterintuitive, surprising, and enjoyable hat on this list, and complements nicely with the flirty floral dress.

Jacinda Barrett and Gabriel Macht

royal wedding guest Jacinda Barrett and Gabriel Macht

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Suits star Gabriel Macht looks great, of course, but let’s be honest: wife Jacinda Barrett is stealing the show. I love the deep wine color of the dress, I love the bow detailing at the shoulder, and I love the triangular cutout at the top. What a cool way to elevate a basic dress.

Carey Mulligan

royal wedding guest carey mulligan

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Carey Mulligan and husband Marcus Mumford are pretty private people, but when they’re out in public like this, they make for a darling couple. Whether it’s intentional or not, the fact that Mulligan’s black dress band matches Mumford’s suit is a darling coordinated moment.

Abigail Spencer and Priyanka Chopra

royal wedding guest Abigail Spencer and Priyanka Chopra

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Suits actor Abigail Spencer is a vision in navy and polka dots with a white collar. Priyanka Chopra is equally fancy in lavender (I particularly appreciate the asymmetric neckline at the top), and the two together are sartorial perfection.

Lady Kitty Spencer

royal wedding guest Lady Kitty Spencer

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All eyes were on Lady Kitty Spencer (niece of Princess Diana), especially since her dress looks like an actual work of art. I also appreciate the relatively daring choice of accessories—it would have been so much easier to do black or beige, but orange is much cooler.

Beatrice Borromeo

royal wedding guest Beatrice Borromeo

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For Prince Felix’s wedding, Beatrice Borromeo wore what I can only describe as the coolest headgear I’ve ever seen. It looks so incredibly minimal (two tendrils extending from behind her right ear), but the contrasting color makes it immediately eye-catching.

Meghan Markle

royal wedding guest meghan markle

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At Eugenie’s wedding, Meghan (who was pregnant, but not necessarily publicly so) was a vision in simple navy. In her time as an active royal, she brought out many chic and simple outfits, in this case accompanied by impressively high heels and a dashing little hat.

Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre

royal wedding guest Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre

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In addition to the best accessory ever (Idris Elba), Sabrina Dhowre is rocking one of the more unusual outfits from Meghan and Harry’s wedding. The cardigan jacket might skew too casual, but the construction, plus matching dress and shoes, really elevate it and make it a surprising and chic choice.

Charlotte Riley

royal wedding guest Charlotte Riley Tom Hardy

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The wife of fellow actor Tom Hardy (also pictured), Charlotte Riley is a vision in flowers at Harry and Meghan’s wedding. The black background of the pattern really grounds the look and makes it feel appropriately dressy, and that hat matches to perfection.

Cara Delevignge

royal wedding guest Cara delevignge

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At Eugenie’s wedding, Cara Delevignge (who’s never been afraid to buck tradition) attended in a menswear-inspired suit. I find the toothpick distracting, but otherwise I love it—even if it was breaking dress code, it was still formal and tailored perfectly.

Sofia Wellesley

royal wedding guest Sofia Wellesley

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In addition to being married to James Blunt (pictured), Sofia Wellesley is the daughter of Lord John Henry Wellesley and Lady Corinne Vaes—so this is a stylish power couple. The semi-sheer detailing on her dress is exhibit a of how to do florals for a wedding.

Victoria Beckham

royal wedding guest victoria beckham

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Look at the height of those shoes!! Add in the fact that Victoria Beckham is pregnant here at William and Kate’s wedding, and it makes the feat of walking in those heels all the more impressive. My favorite part might be her pillbox-esque fascinator, worn at the front of her head for maximum flair.

Victoria Beckham

royal wedding guest victoria beckham

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For Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Beckham essentially rewore a similar outfit in an almost identical color (the dress is one of her own designs). I particularly appreciate the little grace notes: the slits in the long sleeves, and the buckle detail at the neck.

Princess Sofia

royal wedding guests princess sofia

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Attending the wedding between Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O’Neill, Princess Sofia (whose style I have long admired) is a vision in lavender. It’s proof that an outfit doesn’t have to be overly ornate to be formal, and that sometimes the basics are best.

Serena Williams

royal wedding guests Serena williams

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Serena Williams looks absolutely stunning here. From the delicate and ethereal fascinator, to the petal pink wrap dress, to the high but still practical pumps: it’s all a win. It doesn’t hurt that Alexis Ohanian looks thrilled to be there, and thrilled to be on her arm.

Amal Clooney

royal wedding guests amal clooney

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I just really, really appreciate a daring color at a formal wedding—particularly when it’s a royal wedding! Yellow is one of the trickier hues to pull off, but Amal Clooney makes it look like she was born to wear the color. That short train in the back is an extra-special touch.

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