Phillips Wedding, Ten Years On

 This week marks 10 years since the last major British royal family wedding was held at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle (also with a North American born bride and a reception held at Frogmore House) – the wedding of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly. To raise a glass to their 10th anniversary and kick off this wedding week, I thought we’d take a look back at these nuptials and the hats in attendance.

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Peter and Autumn’s wedding ceremony was a smaller event than what I expect we’ll see this Saturday with a ceremony that remained private.  Autumn’s custom dress, in ivory Italian Duchesse satin, was designed by British designer Sassi Holford. It featured a strapless bodice covered in beaded French Chantilly lace with a wide, pleated cummerbund sash at the waist.

 Embed from Getty Images
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The  A-line skirt extended into a flowing two meter long cathedral train with inset panels covered in more of the French lace and decorated with bows (this photo suggests the train was bustled for the reception). An unlined bolero jacket in beaded Chantilly lace completed the gown.

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May 17, 2008 in Sassi Holford | Royal Hats

Holford created a custom Cathedral length veil for the ensemble in Swiss silk tulle, bordered in scalloped panels of the same beaded lace as on the bolero and dress. Autumn anchored the veil with the Festoon diamond tiara borrowed from Princess Anne. Her pearl and diamond earrings and pendant were gifts from Peter.

May 17, 2008 in Sassi Holford | Royal Hats

May 17, 2008 in Sassi Holford | Royal Hats

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The wedding party consisted of Zara Philips and Autumn’s friends Jacqueline Aubie and Susannah Toynbee as bridesmaids in pale sage green strapless Vera Wang gowns with fresh flowers tucked into their hair. Peter’s half-sister Stephanie and Autumn’s half-sister Jessica, who were both 11 years old, also attended the couple in matching green dresses and fresh floral headpieces. The attendants all carried small posies of the same white freesia, roses, lily of the valley and stephanotis that made up Autumn’s cascading bouquet.

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Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

I always loved the pairing of the Festoon tiara with Autumn’s dress- it adds a bit of sparkle without any heaviness and feels in scale with the dress. We’ve not seen Autumn in a tiara since this event – not surprising but a shame, nonetheless, because she wears it very well.

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Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Photos from Getty as indicated and Hello

11 thoughts on “Phillips Wedding, Ten Years On

  1. The flowers are gorgeous, the bride’s tiara is perfect for her, her grown is lovely, the groom is handsome and they look so happy together. Everything else is a detail.

    But some of those details … I don’t like the back of the dress – the bows just seem too fussy, although I love how the fabric ‘flows’ and hangs in the front of the dress. It looks beautiful from the front and she found a good way round having a strapless dress (although I agree with Patsy that it’s a style I’d like to see disappear). The colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses is lovely but, again, why strapless? All the attendants could have worn the small girls’ style and then we wouldn’t have to endure Zara’s tan lines (honestly, did she think no one would notice?).

    • Why strapless? It was difficult to find anything else! I remember searching for formal wear a decade ago and getting incredibly frustrated because it was nearly impossible to find non-strapless options.

      • Strapless certainly was THE look for a while! I always thought Autumn’s lace jacket was the perfect way to do strapless for a royal wedding. It’s also brilliant to finally see the back of her skirt! It’s a bit fussy but I’ve never seen it before!

        Can’t wait to see the hats this weekend and hear what you have to say about them.

      • The concept of a strapless white wedding gown always puzzled me. The whole idea behind the white wedding dress traditionally was to express virginity, even though in modern times that was likely not the case. A strapless dress in general expresses sexiness, modernity and sophistication, the very opposite of expressing virginity, so I never really understood it. I do agree with Chummy however that the lace jacket was the perfect addition, making this in my opinion a beautiful wedding gown.

        Autumn’s wedding tiara was borrowed from Princess Anne. Just curious, did she ever acquire a tiara of her own? Did she have need to own one, or is she not close enough into the center of the Royal Family that she would have needed one?

        • It was a fashion blip- for a time, strapless dresses took over mainstream bridal and formal wear. I didn’t like it or understand it either but it was what it was.

          Autumn has no reason to need a tiara and I don’t believe she has one.

        • Well said, Matthew, re strapless wedding dresses. I have recently been exposed to US tv programmes about women choosing wedding dresses and almost invariably they want strapless and to look ‘hot’. Which shocks old-fashioned me. IMO brides should want to look demure and elegant!

          • If HatQueen will indulge me an off-topic comment, you should not believe that those wedding dress programs are real in any way — they are quite scripted and staged. A good friend of my daughter’s is a hairdresser, and one of her clients was selected to be on one of those shows, and so Cheryl (the hairdresser) would have been on it also, but when they started filming, the director wanted to stage a scene where the bride-to-be was unhappy with the hairstyling and would yell at Cheryl so much that she would start crying, when in fact the bride-to-be was perfectly happy with the hairstyling. So Cheryl resigned from doing that bride’s hair, and consequently from being on the show.

            I have actually not been to that many weddings in person, but the brides in those weddings all went for demure — none wore strapless or anything “hot”.

  2. I’ll be happy when the strapless dress trend dies but am thankful that Autumn wore the beautiful lace bolero. The tiara suits her very well.

  3. Happy anniversary to the Phillipses! The look on Peter’s face in the second photo is melting my heart. I do love the flowers, especially the large arrangements around the door and the combination of green and white looks very fresh and springy. Autumn does look lovely as every bride does, it’s been great to watch her style evolution over the years. She looks great in a tiara, too bad she doesn’t have more chance to wear one (that we know of anyway!)

  4. Totally gorgeous: bride, gown, flowers. I especially love the huge flower arrangements outside the chapel. I wonder if Meghan and Prince Harry will have something similar.

  5. I like the colour combination : white and green, so many fresh green colours in the flowers en in the wedding party. I know it is simple but I love it, feels like spring, she was a beautiful bride and they looked very much in love. The tiara was well chosen.

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