At a royal wedding, the maid-of-honour's dress can attract almost as much attention as the bride's. Meghan Markle opted not to have any adult bridesmaids, as she didn't want to choose between her friends, while Pippa Middleton acted as Kate's maid-of-honour, memorably wearing a form-fitting Alexander McQueen dress. But what about Princess Beatrice's dress at Princess Eugenie's wedding?
Prior to the day, pictures of Beatrice leaving the Mayfair store of British-based designers Ralph & Russo carrying a parcel led to speculation that the brand might be behind her outfit. And, as bridesmaids usually wear the same designer as the bride at least at royal weddings, that they might have created Eugenie's outfit too. (Both Kate Middleton and her sister Pippa wore Alexander McQueen to Kate's 2011 wedding to Prince William, while Meghan Markle's bridesmaids wore white Givenchy dresses to match her gown.)
Stella McCartney and Erdem were other names among those rumoured to be designing Princess Eugenie's bride and bridesmaid's outfits. As it turned out those predictions were (mostly) completely off the mark. Princess Eugenie's dress was designer by Peter Pilotto, which was a surprise for royal fashion fans, as his name hadn't been a frontrunner prior to the big day.
While the designer of Princess Beatrice's dress wasn't a surprise — it was indeed Ralph & Russo — her choice of colour was. At the last two royal wedding the bridesmaids have worn colours similar to the bride — white or cream, Meghan Markle's wore ivory Givenchy dresses and Kate Middleton's maid-of-honour wore a cream Alexander McQueen gown. But instead Beatrice wore a bright royal blue dress complete with purple and blue headband, it was also designed by a different designer to her sister's outfit. But her look did tie into those of the other bridesmaids, whose dresses featured a sash with blue and green shades, and her new brother-in-law Jack Brooksbank's waistcoat which was also royal blue.
As well as her maid-of-honour duties — assisting her sister with her outfit and keeping the page boys and young bridesmaids in check — Beatrice also gave a reading during the ceremony. Eugenie and her new husband Jack Brooksbank opted to have a passage from The Great Gatsby read out to guests at St George's Chapel, that described Gatsby's beguiling smile.
This sisters are known for having a close relationship, most likely helped by their proximity in age — Beatrice is less than two years older than Eugenie. Although they sometimes carry out official engagements, they aren't technically working royals, unlike their cousins Princes William and Harry. As a result they both have careers of their own — Eugenie as a director of contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth, and Beatrice as vice-president of partnerships and strategy at tech firm Afiniti.
Earlier this year they spoke to British Vogue about their close bond. "We're each other's rocks," Eugenie said. "We're the only other person in each other's lives who can know exactly what the other one is going through."
They also detailed how they have helped each other cope with media scrutiny over the years. "There was a horrible article that had been written about Beatrice and she got really upset," Eugenie explained. "We were just about to step out and she had a bit of a wobble and cried. I was looking after her. And then about an hour later, I had a wobble and started crying and Bea was there for me."
Total sister goals.