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Queen Elizabeth Saved Coupons to Buy Her Wedding Dress — inside Her Wedding With Prince Philip

Jené Liebenberg
Apr 14, 2021
05:30 A.M.
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Tying the knot in the wake of World War II resulted in Queen Elizabeth resorting to creative means in gathering the necessary material for her gorgeous wedding dress. 


In the years following the devastation of World War II, even the royal family was not immune from the rations imposed on the people until the economy got back into full swing. 

These rations stretched beyond the basic needs of everyday life as Queen Elizabeth's wedding dress, and the material needed for it was not automatically given to her. The royal had to save her rationing coupons to afford her beautiful gown. 

Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II with her husband Phillip on their wedding day, 20th November 1947. | Getty Images



The striking dress made from ivory silk that Queen Elizabeth donned as she made the trip down the aisle toward Prince Philip was paid for by the coupons that the bride had put aside paired with the 200 coupons that the government had gifted her. 

However conservative the manner of payment was, the result was breathtaking. The gown was made up of a 13-foot train and sported 10,000 seed pearls imported from America. A Botticelli painting inspired the pattern seen on the train. 



With her 200 plus coupons, 21-year-old Queen Elizabeth roped in the help of designer Norman Hartnell to put her ensemble together. The designer only had four months to make the showstopper gown and had a team of 350 women. 

The Duke of Edinburgh caught the eye of 13-year-old Queen Elizabeth while she was visiting the Royal Naval College with her family.

Hartnell had the design of the gown done within a month of the royal couple's engagement and was reported to have said that he wanted the future queen's dress to be "the most beautiful dress I had so far made."



Queen Elizabeth's modest approach to her wedding outfit is definitely not a tradition passed on to the new generation of royals. Prince William's bride opted for a gown that racked up a bill of $434,000 in 2011. 

Despite the considerably lower value of the Queen's dress when made, it still holds a sense of charm and beauty. The dress was put on display for Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, and dressmaker Betty Foster shared

"I had forgotten how beautiful it was, with that exquisite train—and how small the Princess was."



Having exchanged nuptials in 1947, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip shared 73 years of marriage before the Queen's spouse passed away at the age of 99. 

Prince Philip referred to tolerance as one the most critical elements in his successful relationship with the reigning royal. Having come from very different backgrounds, the two had to learn to compromise on their differing ideals. 


The Duke of Edinburgh caught the eye of 13-year-old Queen Elizabeth while she was visiting the Royal Naval College with her family. He was 18 at the time and a cadet in training. 

Seven years later, Prince Philip approached King George VI to ask for Queen Elizabeth's hand and marriage. After four short months of being fiancés, they embarked on the lifelong journey of being husband and wife.