Wedding Dresses of the Past - Victoria Lockwood

When Victoria Lockwood married Charles Spencer, Viscount of Althrop, there was outrage about her dress. It wasn't a big meringue as was popular at the time, instead, it was a medieval champagne-coloured gown, fashioned from French antique lace and trimmed with Russian sable by an unknown designer at the time called Tomasz Starzewski.With her undone hair, barely there makeup, and a wan demeanor, she looked like the reluctant bride, reminiscent of Buttercup from The Princess Bride. By all account, Charles Spencer is a bit of a Prince Humperdinck of Florian so if the shoe fits... 

But let's talk about the dress. 

Victoria was inspired by two Joshua Reynolds paintings of Spencer family members in the painting gallery at Althrop. 

Countess Lavinia Spencer, by Reynolds, painted 1781-1782


And another of a younger Countess Lavinia Spencer, also by Reynolds.


Note the fur trim of the first image and colour of the dress in the second image.

Now let's look at Victoria's dress.


Victoria also took inspiration for the pageboy outfits from the Reynolds. The below image is of John Charles Spencer, Viscount Althorp by Sir Joshua Reynolds.



And here is Prince Harry as pageboy at the wedding.


Let's throw in the veil, which is more like a tablecloth, it's so thick. Was she trying to keep the flies away? 


Victoria had clearly done her history lessons on how to be a Royal, by also researching the obscure ring that Queen Victoria’s beloved half-sister, Princess Feodore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, gave the Queen on her wedding day.  A ruby and diamond ring for her wedding, showing two hearts, inscribed with the words: “Unis a jamais” [United forever].

Below is Queen Victoria's ring.


And below is Victoria Lockwood's engagement ring.


So much Royal "inspo" for Victoria, who had clearly done her cramming on the family history but ultimately the union didn't last. I'm fairly sure this wedding party photo portended the outcome of the marriage. So many glum faces, perhaps the ring should have been inscribed "Bientôt être divorcé".

Au revoir.