In the wake of Queen Elizabeth II‘s death, royal enthusiasts are looking back on her life — including a moving story about her wedding dress.
When Her Majesty, who died at age 96 on Thursday, September 8, married Prince Philip in 1947, the British government was still recovering from World War II — and materials needed to bring her gown to life were scarce and expensive.
Rationing had become the norm in the U.K., and the royal family was not exempt. Determined to get her dream dress, Elizabeth, who was just a princess at the time, saved up clothing coupons in order to pay for the gown, MSNBC reported on the air Thursday. Though she was given 200 extra ration coupons, the public grew excited about her upcoming nuptials and sent her their own rations through the mail, according to Town & Country. (Each donation, however, was returned.)
The monarch’s dress was designed by Norman Hartnell and was “decorated with 10,000 pearls sent from America,” according to the Royal Collection Trust. The dress was finalized with a 15-foot train that was hand woven in Essex. On her head, Elizabeth wore a tiara she borrowed from her mother, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip said “I do” at Westminster Abbey. (A few years later, following the death of King George IV, Her Majesty took the throne at only 25 years old.)
The couple remained married until Philip’s death on April 9, 2021. Together, they shared sons King Charles III, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne.
Similar to her wedding, people all over the world tuned in as the queen said farewell to her longtime love. For his funeral, Queen Elizabeth wore a black coat, hat and face mask. She was seen adjusting her mask and wiping away tears upon arriving.
On Thursday, the palace announced Elizabeth’s death in a statement, sharing: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.”
News of her passing came hours after it was revealed that Her Majesty was “under medical supervision” amid recent mobility issues.
“Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” the statement read. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
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The queen’s loved ones, including her grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry, rushed to her side, saying their final goodbyes to the monarch, who reigned for 70 years.
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