Wedding gowns go on show at Ripon

A collection of 50 wedding gowns and accessories with royal connections will be exhibited in Ripon Cathedral between June 23 and September 19.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 3:10 pm

The exhibition will contain dresses, with their headdresses and veils, from 1885 to 2021, and including a copy of Princess Diana’s outfit.

And it will include a copy of the wedding gown worn by Katherine Worsley for her marriage to Edward, Duke of Kent, in York Minster in 1961 and a gown donated by Kleinfeld, New York - known for the TV programme ‘Say Yes to the Dress’.

For enthusiasts of Downton Abbey there is a copy of the Crawleys’ Downton Tiara with a wedding gown from 1898 plus a 1923 winter velvet wedding gown, handmade by Coco Chanel for a family friend.

When supporter Christine Wood, who was married at Ripon Cathedral in May 1964, heard about the Wedding Gown Exhibition she got in touch and donated her wedding gown.

Christine said: “Having thought that I had lost my wedding dress during a house move, it turned up in a box in the loft years later and I love the fact that my wedding dress will once again be inside the cathedral after 57 years!”

On Tuesday June 22 there will be a ticketed launch evening in the cathedral for a first viewing of the collection and an opportunity to meet Kevin Thornhill, the curator of the exhibition. The evening will be COVID safe and include social distancing measures.

On July 29, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the wedding of HRH Prince Charles to the late Princess Diana, there will be two fashion shows, featuring a copy of the dress and tiara worn by Diana.

Kevin Thornhill said: “During my time working with David and Elizabeth Emanuel in London I was given the absolute honour of being a member of the team who made the wedding gown worn by Diana, Princess of Wales.”

The finale of the fashion show will contain copies of the gowns from the Royal Collection including those of the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Margaret and Princess Anne along with exact copies of the tiaras worn at the weddings.

The exhibition is supported by the cathedral’s Business Partner, Raworths Solicitors,