The Royal Wedding II: Gentlemen & Morning Dress
Today, we will extend our stay in Britain and take a detailed look at the guests’ wedding outfits for the royal wedding ceremony. Please read the following article for Royal Wedding evening attire.
The Royal Wedding Ceremony
With regard to dress, the invitation apparently read:”Dress: Uniform, Morning Coat or Lounge Suit”. This is just a slight variation on the dress code at Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding, which stated:”Dress: Uniform, Morning Dress or Lounge Suit”.
Overall, a considerable number of the male guests not entitled to wear a uniform actually showed up in a morning coat for the ceremony, which was very nice to see.
The father of the bride wore a charcoal morning coat with a double button, a dove grey, 6×3 double breasted waistcoat and striped trousers, which were apparently provided by Kashket & Partners. The morning dress ensemble was combined with a white shirt and a burgundy tie with polka dots that was kept in place by a tie stick pin. In his breast pocket, he wore a white pocket square and for his boutonniere, he chose the classic lily of the valley. He wore black oxford shoes, and strangely, he chose to accessorize with a rather informal stainless steel wristwatch instead of a FOB watch (pocket watch). Outside Westminster Abbey, he looked quite dapper with his black silk top hat.
His son wore an identical outfit, except for a buff double breasted waistcoat and a blue shirt with a white detachable collar. In the picture, we can see that his shirt collar did not remain on the shirt front and underneath the collar – instead it moved up a bit. Also, his tie knot slipped a little bit, despite the tie stick pin, leaving a careless looking gap.
Despite a few imperfections, both were very well dressed and their morning coats draped very nicely without leaving any undesired wrinkles.
Sir John Major & The Sultan of Brunei
Former prime minister Sir John Major wore a charcoal morning coat and striped trousers with a light grey waistcoat, pink shirt and a shiny satin silk tie. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were not invited because they were not Knights of the Garter. Current prime minister David Cameron also wore a morning dress ensemble with a grey, not particularly well fitting, double breasted waistcoat.
The Sultan of Brunei also decided to put on a morning coat with striped trousers, single breasted bluish grey waistcoat, blue tie and a white pocket square.
The King of Tonga in a Frock Coat & Spats
One of the most interesting outfits was worn by the King of Tonga. He pulled off a mid grey 6×2 frock coat with a vibrant blue lining and partial silk facings on the lapels, matching trousers, black shoes / boots and grey spats! It’s an exceptional combination, to say the least. With it, he wore a dark blue shirt, a contrasting white collar and a blue tie, and an elegant walking cane. Outside the church, he decided to go with a black silk top hat instead of a matching one in grey. This was probably the only frock coat I saw all day, apart from the military version which was displayed by the Prince of Orange.
David Beckham – Ralph Lauren Purple Label & Mourning Band
On TV, we saw David Beckham dressed in Ralph Lauren Purple Label Morning coat, strangely and probably unknowingly wearing his Order of the British Empire (also known as OBE) Honour on the right lapel instead of the left one. As an exception to this rule, the medal is worn on the right if the wearer’s father or mother earned the award and is now deceased. Since neither of Beckham’s parents did earn the award, he wore it on the wrong side. Therefore the medal was worn incorrectly. Interestingly he did not show any cuff whatsoever. The garment was apparently made by Ralph Lauren Purple Label, and as you can clearly see, the collar stood away from his neck. His charcoal morning coat was combined with striped trousers, a charcoal waistcoat, a white shirt with a wing tip collar and a silver tie. He also carried (and only carried) a top hat which seemed to have a mourning band on it, adding another faux pas to his combination unless he was in fact in grief. On his feet, he of course wore black oxford shoes.
Prince Albert of Monaco in a Dove Grey Morning Suit
Prince Albert of Monaco wore a dove grey morning coat with matching trousers and a light grey waistcoat. His silver tie, white shirt and grey gloves made for a very monotone look that you usually see only at horse races like Royal Ascot. At a wedding, this kind of attire is usually reserved for the groom, his father or a Viscount.
Earl Spencer, Sir Trevor Brooking & Others
Earl Spencer, who is Diana’s brother and William’s uncle, wore a classic morning coat with rather small lapels, a single breasted light blue waistcoat with the bottom button undone as well as striped strousers. Other than that, many other men showed off their morning coats in all kinds of varieties. On TV you could see quite a few buff or almost mustard yellow vests, and some like Elton John’s partner David Furnish even decided to wear a slip – a white Marcella band that is buttoned onto the waistcoat from underneath creating a slim white strip along the “V” of the waistcoat.
Sir Trevor Brooking, former football player now serving on committees in the Football Association, wore a loosely tied knot that likely could have been prevented by using a tie snug. Weddings are not the occasion to look sloppy, especially royal ones!
Both male and female ushers wore a medal with a blue ribbon around their neck clearly identifying them as such.
Altogether, most gentlemen were dressed rather well, while a few did not look the part in their rented morning dress from Moss Bros. Despite the sheer number of morning coats, I was surprised by the lack of buttonholes – only very few men thought about the flower on their lapel.