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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

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British royal brides never fail to put on a true wedding extravaganza: walking elegantly down the aisle as if it were a royal catwalk, coated in the finest jewels and flaunting jaw-dropping dresses. Another thing you can be sure of is that they will be following the marital tradition of ‘something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.’ With its origins from Victorian times, each something is said to grace the bride with luck on her wedding day.

Something old symbolically connects the bride to her family as she embarks on a new journey with her husband, whilst something new exemplifies a token of hope for the newly married couple. Something borrowed is traditionally loaned from a happily married relative in the hope that some of their marital happiness is passed on. Queen Victoria reportedly leant Princess Beatrice her own wedding lace on her marriage to Prince Henry of Battenberg as a testament of her happy marriage to Prince Albert. Finally, the something blue is a symbol of loyalty and faithfulness.

Here’s a glance at how British royal brides have kept up the marital tradition of something old, new, borrowed and blue.

Queen Elizabeth:

Something old: Queen Elizabeth’s something old dates back to the 1800s with the Queen Anne and Queen Caroline Pearl necklaces draped around her neck.

Something new: The ivory satin and pearl-embellished wedding dress designed by Norman Hartnell and purchased with coupons was most likely Elizabeth’s something new.

Something borrowed: Following suit from most British royals and despite the mishap of it being snapped in two on the day of the wedding (!) Elizabeth’s something borrowed was a 47 diamond-bar fringe tiara belonging to Queen Mary.

Something blue: Although she lacked something blue, Elizabeth’s dress was decorated with an extra good luck charm. The designer Hartnell had embroidered a four leaf clover into the left side of her dress.  

Princess Diana:

Something old: following in the footsteps of Queen Victoria gifting Princess Beatrice her wedding lace, Diana’s something old was the traditional Carrickmacross lace belonging to Queen Mary.

Something new: Diana’s extravagant wedding dress with a 25-foot train and adorned in 10,000 pearls symbolised her something new.

Something borrowed: Rather than a tiara hand-picked from the royal vaults, Diana opted to borrow her family’s heirloom ‘the Spencer tiara’ for her big day.

Something blue: Diana added in some extra luck with not one but three something blues as she walked down the aisle. A small blue bow on the waist of her dress, another on her garter and of course her show stopping blue sapphire engagement ring were fitting symbols of loyalty and faithfulness.

The Duchess of Cambridge:

Something old: Kate Middleton’s iconic Alexander McQueen dress stole the show, with the delicate Carrickmacross lace sleeves symbolising her something old.

Something new: Kate’s dangling diamond acorn earrings were a gift from her parents as a nod to their family emblem and seemed to be her something new.

Something borrowed: Queen Elizabeth’s 18th birthday present, a Cartier diamond halo tiara, was the ultimate something borrowed for Kate’s wedding day.

Something blue: The Duchess of Cambridge shared her something blue with the late Princess Diana, wearing the blue sapphire engagement ring previously belonging to Diana and a blue bow sewn into the waist of her dress.

The Duchess of Sussex:

Something old: Meghan’s something old was hidden in her bouquet, with small stems of myrtle grown from the myrtle used in Queen Elizabeth’s wedding bouquet back in 1947. Albeit, this might not have been Meghan’s only something old, with rumours that a piece of fabric from Diana’s wedding dress was sewn into Meghan’s gown.

Something new: Meghan’s Givenchy wedding gown and new Cartier earrings embodied her something new.

Something borrowed: Like Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Sussex’s something borrowed was a diamond and platinum royal tiara dating back to 1893, previously belonging to Queen Mary.

Something blue: a piece of blue fabric from the dress she wore on her first date with Prince Harry concealed inside her veil.

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