When you're a queen in waiting, getting married in the biggest royal wedding the whole of Europe has seen for three decades and there's a TV audience of millions to think about, the pressure to get the dress right is huge. Victoria of Sweden showed just what she was made of by not buckling when she turned up to the church in one of the best gowns ever seen at a royal marriage ceremony. Ever. That's not an exaggeration. Stare at this frock and love it and you will only come to love it more. Meet the perfect royal wedding dress.
It's not just royal, it's not just elegant, it's not just that it doesn't look like someone designed it in 1904 like many a regal wedding gown before it. It is a truly beautiful dress that suits the bride down to the ground but it's also fit for a queen. This one will look just as good in the history books as it did on June 19th 2010 when Victoria wore it to say 'I do' to her own handsome, dad's just made him a prince, Daniel Westling.
Victoria's designer was Par Engsheden who produced a masterclass in royal wedding dresses. Admittedly, the amount of people who need that class is limited but there you go. It's made of duchess satin and unlike many other dresses of the 21st century there's barely a bead to be seen. The embellishments are all in the cutting and folding and that's what makes it a marvel.
So what's the best bit about this dress? How can we get past the off the shoulder bodice. Yes, we said off the shoulder. Royal wedding dresses have to be modest - no spaghetti straps or heaving, Poldark style tops thank you very much for asking - and that usually means sleeves that reach all the way to the collar bone. Not for Victoria. This is off the shoulder but the clever double fold of fabric at the top keeps the modesty marks high.
The top of the dress itself is a simple fitted bodice but this is a royal bride who has worked out her best angles. If you're standing in a cathedral with most of Europe's royalty not to mention a knock you sideways huge TV audience watching on, the the back of your dress will spend quite a lot of time in the front of everyone's view. Meet the rather lovely buttons, V dip back to the neckline and huge sash on Victoria's gown, keeping the lines simple but interesting.
The skirt fans out into a lovely little train but let's face it, when you're a future queen you don't get to stop there. Royal weddings, especially for monarchs in waiting, mean a huge train. Victoria's was attached at that spectacular sash and measured 16 feet. It's got a border detail to it but nothing overwhelming (we all learned a lot about what not to do from Fergie) and added yet another clean line to a dress that oozes class, sophistication and, well, royalness.
Plus, it didn't crease. How many royal wedding gowns have we seen that have fallen prey to the dreaded crinkle factor? Victoria's stayed as smart as a pin from beginning to end and this was a seriously long royal wedding, the dancing ending quite possibly weeks after the ceremony itself began.