Today, Lady Gabriella Marina Alexandra Ophelia Windsor, who goes by the nickname “Ella,” married financier Thomas Kingston wearing a tulle and lace dress by Italian designer Luisa Beccaria. After dating for many years, Lady Ella and Kingston became engaged on the Isle of Stark in August of 2018, and this, which falls on the day before the anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding, marks the third nuptials of the year for the royal family, who, along with the birth of baby Archie, have a lot to celebrate lately. (Prince Harry made attended the wedding sans the Duchess of Sussex who stayed home to care for the couple’s newborn.)
Lady Ella graduated from Brown University and Oxford with degrees in comparative literature and social anthropology, and because she’s not what’s known as a “working royal,” she has been able to dedicate her time to her career path. She now serves as an arts and travel director for the communication agency Branding Latin America, in addition to being 52nd in line to the British throne. “She’s such a modern girl,” Beccaria says. “She’s very elegant and terribly bright. She works hard. [For her wedding dress,] she didn’t want to go too much into the past and do something so formal. We tried to incorporate a little bit of tradition though. She wanted to be spontaneous. She didn’t want too much volume in the dress so it’s quite skinny in the front, which helps to show her real figure and body. Then, in the back, there is a long train.”
The se for Lady Ella’s choice of Beccaria as her wedding dress designer were first sown when she went to go see her collection in London years ago. “I’m very good friends with her parents—they come to my country house in Sicily sometimes,” the designer says. Shortly thereafter, Lady Ella started wearing Beccaria’s feminine, whimsical pieces to everything from friends’ weddings to meetings with the Queen. “Then, she came to visit us in Sicily summers ago, and she became friends with my two daughters. After she accepted the proposal, she flew to Milan in November and saw all of our creations. She had never been to our store and atelier there before. We have a ready to wear and a couture department, and we have an atelier from when I was doing proper couture in Paris. She looked in the room with the bridal gowns.” After taking it all in, Lady Ella tried a few pieces on, but wanted to think about it—as brides so often do . . . especially those who have been expected, practically since birth, to wear a British designer.
Eventually, she circled back to Beccaria, sending a text that said: “I would love for you to help me do my entire wedding.” “More and more brides love to enter into our sort of wedding world,” Beccaria says. “They are looking for something different. They appreciate the freshness and lightness of a dress that is not a proper bridal gown. Some wedding dresses [out there] are still very much costume. Ours have a sort of modernity in the way they are made, the way they preserve, the comfort you feel when you put them on, they become like part of your body.”
Beccaria began designing the dress in earnest right after the holidays. “It was a lot of work—and to obtain the [correct] color was really complicated,” she explains. “We had to put so many different layers of blush and cream organdy tulle so that it looked like just a little touch of blush. We also added a bit of blush to the veil.” And while the design process was long and very involved from the start, Lady Ella had a clear idea about exactly how she wanted to look. ”She fell in love with a certain lace,“ Beccaria says, “and I had it special embroidered in her own color and then we combined a couple of dresses that she saw here.” The inclusion of that touch of blush was always part of the equation though. “She was scared to do something too much,” Beccaria says. “But she wanted something modest and not that obvious.”
The bride complemented the dress with six-meter veil secured with a Russian Fringe style diamond tiara that once belong to Marina of Greece and Denmark, who was her grandmother and whose own wedding at Westminster Abbey to Prince George, Duke of Kent and fourth son of King George V of England, was a grand affair. “She was one of the most elegant women of all time,” Beccaria says. “When she married in the 1930s, she wore the most incredible tiara. [As a result,] we decided to leave Lady Ella’s dress very simple in the front. And she wanted long sleeves and embroidery that goes over the hand, like a glove.”
When Lady Ella entered St. George’s Chapel, a bit of the veil covered her face. “In the beginning we actually wanted to make it lace—but then we decided that felt like too much,” Beccaria notes. “It had to be very light so as to give the importance to the tiara she’s wearing. My aim was just to be able to catch the right color in the veil.”
Six flower girls and three page boys accompanied the bride, all in Luisa Beccaria designs with embroidery that repeats the detailing on the wedding dress. The boys’ looks are comprised of two pieces that are cream with a belt in blush, while the flower girl dresses each have eight layers to achieve the perfect light pink color.
“The new trend is to take care of the whole picture around the bride—the children, the best friend, the bridesmaids, and more,” Beccaria says of her decision to design looks for the entire bridal party. “In the past, in American weddings, the bridesmaids’ dresses often looked like carnival dresses . . . they were made of cheap fabric and sometimes the family picture could look quite strange. Now, more and more brides are asking us to do 20 to 30 dresses that are similar to each other because there’s the realization that everyone is part of the same picture.
“I think about it like a movie,” the designer continues. “These people aren’t the protagonist, but they are other actors who are a part of the same picture. A beautiful wedding is made up of the whole crowd. Of course the bride is important, but the colors should all flow and be a part of the story.” And with Beccaria handling the look, feel, and styling, this is a love story that no doubt has a happy ending.