Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Prince William: What will he wear on his wedding day?

Forget what Kate Middleton will wear on her wedding day, there are more important things to think about, like what will Prince William wear? Unlike Kate, whose dress and designer are shrouded in mystery, Prince William has several options to choose from. The royal grooms attire tends to get a cursory mention in royal books but that doesn't mean William shouldn't make the effort. He could wear a morning suit but in keeping with royal tradition, he's more likely to wear one of his military uniform. But which one? His military career began at Sandhurst Military Academy and he has served in all of the armed forces which he will one day be head of. Let's take a look!

Prince William at RAF Cranwell
Image via The British Monarchy Flickr
This is William in his air force uniform. Looks dapper, no? I would say that this uniform looks a bit too casual for the grand occasion, though when accessorized with the Garter star and riband, it looks more formal. If William chooses to wear his Air Force uniform he would not be the first royal bridegroom to do so. His great-grandfather, Prince Albert, Duke of York (future King George VI) wore  the dress uniform of the Royal Air force with the Garter Riband and Star and the Star of the Order of the Thistle, bestowed on him by the King in honor of his Scottish bride. Prince William is the fourth successive generation of the royal family to become an RAF pilot. His great-grandfather, Prince Albert was the first member of the royal family to serve in the RAF in 1918-1919.

Like Prince George Duke of Kent, his grandfather, Prince Philip, his uncle Prince Andrew and his father, William could choose to wear his naval uniform. On his wedding day Prince Charles wore the full-dress uniform as Naval Commander cut to the instructions of his late great-uncle Earl Mountbatten.

Prince William could also choose to wear his formal Household Calvary Uniform. There is a precedent for royal bridegrooms wearing army uniforms to their weddings. In 1840, Prince Albert wore the uniform of a British field marshal. 1863, Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) wore the uniform of an army general. Henry, Viscount Lascelles, future 6th Earl of Harewood, wore the Grenadier Guards uniform at his 1923 wedding to Princess Mary. In 1935, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester wore the full dress uniform of the Colonel of the Welsh Guards. Captain Mark Philips, upon his marriage to Princess Anne, wore the full scarlet and blue uniform of his regiment, the Queen's Dragoon Guards.  Prince William was recently appointed Colonel of the Irish Guards and could choose to wear the red uniform, but this runs the risk of overshadowing the bride (yeah, right!)

Which one do you think he should wear?

© Marilyn Braun 2011


Leslie said...

I'm pretty confident that he will wear his Air Force uniform with the Garter Sash. Yes, it's the most 'casual' looking of the uniforms available to him, but I think the fact that it is the uniform of the branch for which he is currently serving trumps style considerations. If he wore anything else, I think it would be a poor mark of respect to his colleagues, and William would never do that.

Personally, if those things didn't matter, I'd like to see him in his Navy uniform,as I think it's the most handsome. But William will go for substance over style.

Marilyn Braun said...

That's a good point. He is current serving in the air force and he seems to take pride in his position so yes, it makes sense for him to wear it.

Not that the royal family necessarily adhere to this but according to Debrett's guide to weddings, they suggest that if military uniforms are worn that the groom should wear one equivalent to his best man. They are both part of the Air Forces so that would be another good reason for him to wear the Air Force uniform.

I do think he looks better in his naval uniform.I wouldn't be surprised if he did wear it despite not actively serving in that particular branch. The Royal Navy is the oldest and most senior of the armed services so William may choose to wear his Naval uniform as a way of honoring tradition.