Queen Elizabeth wedding dress did not have sapphires but a gift did.

How Queen Elizabeth II’s Beaded Wedding Dress Was Almost Crowdfunded

There is a lot of focus on Queen Elizabeth in 2017 because of a 2014 David Bailey portrait of the queen in blue that will be used to celebrate her Sapphire Jubilee.

While an emphasis is currently being placed on the sapphire necklace, a wedding gift from her father, that Queen Elizabeth wore in the portrait, the near-crowdfunding story behind her unique wedding dress is almost as breathtaking.

Alternatively, it almost seems that Queen Elizabeth sends a subtle nod to that war ration wedding dress with the blue floral beading in her 2017 portrait.

Daily Mail reprinted Queen Elizabeth’s 2017 publicity portrait with the sapphire necklace, but an emphasis on her unique history with beaded gowns is not detailed.

Queen Elizabeth wedding dress remade for The Crown.
Queen Elizabeth’s 1947 wedding dress was replicated for the Netflix series, The Crown. [Image by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]

Before she was the rich Queen Elizabeth II with a closet of stylish beaded evening gowns, her majesty was a princess growing up in one of the hardest economic times in the past 100 years, according to People.

For this reason, when Queen Elizabeth got married in November 20, 1947, people from around the U.K. went out of their way to see that the then-Princess Elizabeth could have a truly royal wedding gown.

A masterpiece in and of itself, created by Norman Hartnell, the wedding dress of Queen Elizabeth was a beaded beauty with tens of thousands of seed pearls and crystals woven into an extravagant ivory silk frock.

After a long period of poverty and war, Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress soon became the talk of the nation, and that is when unsolicited ration stamps started flooding the royal family as if it were a crowdfunding charity.

During World War II, clothing was rationed for the war effort, and this led to many new clothing trends such as wearing shorter dresses. Naturally, clothing coupons became extremely valuable because even if you had money, you could not purchase clothing without the ration stamp or government approval.

When news broke that Queen Elizabeth would be using her own clothing ration stamps to create the wedding dress, in true crowdfunding fashion, the public started to donate their personal clothing coupons.

 Queen Elizabeth wedding dress did not include sapphire jewelry.
Queen Elizabeth’s wedding jewelry and wedding gifts that are made of jewels are two separate collections. [Image by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images]

Interestingly, according to History, the donated ration stamps for her wedding dress were returned by Queen Elizabeth because it was illegal for her to use another person’s stamps.

Like everyone else in the U.K., the royal family was rationing their food, clothing, and other luxuries. In fact, Queen Elizabeth also showed she was dedicated to her royal subjects during World War II by working in the truck department.

One other weird piece of trivia about Queen Elizabeth’s 1947 wedding dress is that the exact cost is difficult to compare to today’s standards.

Town and Country stated that the government of the U.K. eventually decided to award Queen Elizabeth 200 clothing rations for her wedding dress, but the exact price is not listed.

Harper’s Bazaar, on the other hand, says that while the exact comparative value is unknown, the price tag for the materials for Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress today would be $37,000 in 2017. This information was being updated for 2016 because Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress was being replicated for the Netflix show, The Crown.

One interesting thing that has changed between 1947 and 2017 is how long it takes to make a wedding dress like the one Queen Elizabeth wore.

It is alleged that Queen Elizabeth’s 1947 wedding dress took six months to make with one designer, a seamstress, and three helpers. As for the replica for The Crown, Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress took just seven weeks from start to finish.

Unlike the original designers of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress, and their team of five, the replica made for The Crown had an army of costume designers.

Michele Clapton, the award-winning costume designer for The Crown, stated in an interview with Elle in October, 2016, that remaking Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress required six embroiderers that worked 10-hour days for six weeks.

The costume department for The Crown currently employs between 80 to 100 people.

[Feature Image by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]

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