Fashion

The 50 Greatest Gowns Ever Worn by a Royal

From Princess Margaret's iconic style to Meghan Markle's wedding reception dress.
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The royal family has no shortage of gorgeous gowns. From Princess Margaret's statement-making dresses to Meghan Markle's royal wedding reception gown, it's basically a royal rite of passage to wear a seriously jaw-dropping design. Here, we've rounded up the greatest royal gown moments of all time.

PRINCESS ELIZABETH AND PRINCESS MARGARET, 1949


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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.

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QUEEN ELIZABETH, 1953


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

PRINCESS MARGARET, 1956


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Margaret posed for her 26th birthday portrait wearing a one-shouldered pink tulle gown. The dress featured elaborate flower embroidery and sequins.

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.

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PRINCESS MARGARET, 1965


In 1965, Princess Margaret wore a blue dress and coat with a stunning tiara during a visit to America. The Princess attended an event at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles with Lord Snowdon.

PRINCESS MARGARET, 1965


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In 1965, Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones visited President Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson at the White House. The Princess wore a bright pink dress with a matching jacket for the occasion, paired with a stunning necklace.

PRINCESS ANNE AND QUEEN ELIZABETH, 1969


In May 1969, the monarch and her daughter, Princess Anne, went on a state visit to Austria. Both royals went full glamorous for an event at the British Embassy: Anne wore a white dress with a sash, gloves, and a tiara, while the Queen wore a lime green gown with a matching sash and lots of jewelry.

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PRINCESS ANNE, 1973


Princess Anne wore a floral printed gown with a sleek updo to a film premiere in London with her husband, Mark Phillips.

PRINCESS MARGARET, 1974


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Princess Margaret wore a white caped gown with sequined detailing to a ballet performance she attended with her husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, in New York.

QUEEN ELIZABETH, 1976


During a state visit in Washington, D.C., Queen Elizabeth wore this bright yellow design for a formal dinner with President Ford.

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PRINCESS ANNE, 1978


Princess Anne, the Queen's only daughter, wore a floral ruffled gown for an event at the Dorchester Hotel in London. The Princess finished the look off with elegant white evening gloves.

THE QUEEN MOTHER, 1980


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Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, wore a white chiffon evening gown to her 80th birthday celebration in 1980. She paired the gown with a stunning tiara and necklace set.

PRINCESS ANNE, 1980


The Princess Royal wore a white dress with an embroidered overlay to an event at the Royal Opera House in London.

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PRINCESS DIANA, 1984


Diana wore a pink and white dress by Catherine Walker to a ballet performance in London.

PRINCESS DIANA, 1985


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The Princess shined in a gold lame evening gown by Bruce Oldfield, which she wore to the premiere of the James Bond film A View to Kill in 1985.

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.

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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


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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


Diana wore this memorable number to a gala during the Cannes Film Festival. The pale blue flowing chiffon dress was designed by Catherine Walker, one of Diana's favorite designers.

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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.

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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


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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.

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PRINCESS MARGARET, 1990


In the summer of 1990, Princess Margaret was on hand to celebrate the Queen Mother's 90th birthday at the London Palladium. She wore this icy-blue number for the occasion, along with a blue necklace and earrings.

PRINCESS DIANA, 1990


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The Princess wore a strapless white gown by Catherine Walker with statement jewelry while attending a state banquet during an official visit to Hungary.

PRINCESS DIANA, 1992


In 1992, Diana wore another Victor Edelstein design, this time a striking red gown. She wore the dress numerous times, and is seen here wearing it with the Spencer tiara in Budapest, Hungary.

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PRINCESS DIANA, 1993


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

PRINCESS ANNE, 1995


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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


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The Princess wore this gorgeous purple dress by Versace to a gala dinner while on a visit to Chicago. Her clutch and shoes perfectly matched the plum shade.

PRINCESS DIANA, 1997


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

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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


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Princess Anne wore a matching silk dress and jacket with dot detailing in the skirt for a dinner held at the Royal Victoria Dock.

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 the Queen's coronation. The Queen chose a pale pink dress with dazzling details, worn with a diamond necklace.

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CAMILLA, DUCHESS OF CORNWALL, 2007


The 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


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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, Duchess Kate stunned in a blush Jenny Packham gown with elaborate detailing on the front.

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CATHERINE, DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE, 2011


The Duchess 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


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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.

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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. The Duchess also wore a stunning tiara to finish off her ensemble.

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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


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

CATHERINE, DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE, 2016


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

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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.

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CATHERINE, DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE, 2018


Will and Kate embarked on a royal tour of Norway and Sweden in early 2018. The Duchess 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.

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MEGHAN, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX, 2018



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Like many other royal brides, Meghan Markle changed into a second wedding dress to attend her wedding reception when she married Prince Harry in May 2018. The Duchess changed into a bespoke lily white gown by Stella McCartney featuring a high neck.

PRINCESS EUGENIE, 2018


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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


The newest member of the British royal family 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.

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*This article originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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