When Did Queen Elizabeth II Wear the Gown That Became Princess Beatrice’s Wedding Dress?

Princess Beatrice has tied the knot. Whil her original royal wedding to happen during the COVID-19 crisis. While her original wedding date was May 29, 2020, the celebration was cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The rescheduled private ceremony was held with virus guidelines in mind and with only approximately 20 people in attendance. Queen Elizabeth II was one of those attendees — and she provided a key element to any royal wedding: the dress. When and where did Queen Elizabeth wear Princess Beatrice’s gorgeous wedding gown before her granddaughter got married in it?

What was Princess Beatrice’s wedding like?

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II in 2014 | Stefan Wermuth – WPA Pool /Getty Images

Princess Beatrice, 31, is the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York. She announced her engagement to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in October 2019; the wealthy real estate developer and the princess reportedly have dated since autumn 2018.

The COVID-19 pandemic mandated a much smaller affair than her sister Eugenie’s wedding. Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank had 850 guests at their October 2018 wedding.

Princess Beatrice wed Mapelli Mozzi on July 17 at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park. Prince Andrew walked her down the aisle according to a statement released by Buckingham Palace.

The palace’s statement went on to share:

The couple decided to hold a small private ceremony with their parents and siblings following the postponement of their wedding in May. Working within government guidelines, the service was in keeping with the unique circumstances while enabling them to celebrate their wedding with their closest family.

The son of Mapelli Mozzi, Christopher, or “Wolfie,” served as page boy and best man.

With the very small guest list, and the Sussexes living in Los Angeles, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex apparently did not travel back to England for the event. Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge extended congratulations on Instagram but also were not in attendance.

Queen Elizabeth loaned Princess Beatrice 2 items for her royal wedding

Beatrice borrowed two special items from her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, for her big day. The British monarch loaned out the Queen Mary Diamond Fringe tiara, the same headpiece she wore on her own wedding day to Prince Philip in 1947. The tiara was made in 1919, and Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, also wore it in 1973.

Princess Beatrice of the royal wedding in July 2020
Princess Beatrice of York in 2013 | Mike Marsland/WireImage

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The bride further chose to honor her grandmother by wearing one of the most fabulous hand-me-downs one could dream of: one of Queen Elizabeth’s vintage gowns, crafted by designer Norman Hartnell. According to Town & Country, the dress was “made from Peau De Soie taffeta and organza, trimmed with Duchess satin, and encrusted with diamanté.” Hartnell also designed Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress and coronation gown.

When and where did Queen Elizabeth II wear this gown before Princess Beatrice made it her wedding dress?

According to Marie Claire, Queen Elizabeth wore the dress that became Princess Beatrice’s wedding gown on numerous public occasions, “including a 1961 state dinner in Rome, a 1962 special viewing of Lawrence of Arabia, and the 1966 State Opening of Parliament.”

Although the queen and princess are about the same height, Beatrice’s vintage gown apparently required several fittings and alterations. The Princess of York also added organza puffy sleeves to the dress, which was originally sleeveless with straps and a voluminous skirt.

Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Peter O’Toole at the Lawrence of Arabia premiere in London | PA Images via Getty Images

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Princess Beatrice opted to make the wedding skirt a bit shorter and less full, and she added a panel at the bottom. The queen’s dressmakers, Angela Kelly and Stewart Parvin, remodeled the dress to the bride’s liking.