The Most Breathtaking Royal Wedding Beauty Looks

Understated glamor, topped off by world-famous jewelry.

royal weddings meghan markle
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From the moment a royal bride appears on her big day, everyone's eyes are on her—not just friends and family, as with a non-royal bride, but millions of fans, too. From the microscopic details of the eagerly anticipated royal wedding dress to the precise lip color used, every part of her royal wedding beauty look is unpacked and analyzed. From retro beauty to modern glamour, these royal wedding beauty looks are unmatched—and, of course, topped off by some of the world's most expensive jewels.

Charlene Wittstock (Princess Charlene of Monaco)

royal weddings Princess Charlene

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Despite the (alleged!) drama of the day, Princess Charlene looks extremely glamorous here. With her side-swept hair and low bun, plus gentle blush and lip gloss application, her eye makeup is a little more daring with a darker hue that sets off her eyes.

Lady Charlotte Wellesley

royal weddings Lady Charlotte Wellesley

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This extremely natural look feels effortless (even though it's guaranteed to have taken a lot of effort). The English socialite pairs her heavier wool dress with a simple hairdo—that even has some flyaways!—gentle tan, and minimal makeup.

Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Seri Pengiran Anak Sarah (Sarah, Crown Princess of Brunei)

royal weddings Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Seri Pengiran Anak Sarah

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One of several outfits that Princess Sarah wore for the "Asian wedding of the year," the makeup can be bolder and brighter to match the colors in the dress and jewelry. A nice touch is the fuchsia lip color to match the fuchsia flowers, and blue eyeshadow to match the blue flowers.

Camilla Crociani (Princess Camilla, Duchess of Castro)

royal weddings Camilla Crociani

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Obviously it's a little hard to see in this photo, but Camilla's makeup is petal pink (which is a brilliant match with the flowery bodice on her dress). Paired with darker mascara and eyeshadow, her eyes look large and luminous.

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway

royal weddings Princess Märtha Louise

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Since this wedding was in 2002, it makes sense that Princess Märtha Louise's beautiful makeup is a bit of that time (darker blush concentrated on the apple of the cheek, eye makeup concentrated on the lid). Extra points for the pink lipstick!

Sophie Rhys-Jones (Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh)

royal weddings Sophie Rhys-Jones

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Sophie married Prince Edward in 1999, and you can tell: Her look is neutral, with a mauve lip color that we all loved back then, and matching blush. With the benefit of hindsight, I actually love how straightforward this look is, including the front bangs.

Queen Noor of Jordan (Noor Al Hussein)

royal weddings Queen Noor of Jordan

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Not every bride can pull up the half-up, half-down hairdo, but Noor Al Hussein (who was in her mid-20s when she married) looks both youthful and polished. It also complements the simplicity of her dress and her minimal makeup.

Camilla Parker Bowles (Queen Camilla)

royal weddings queen camilla

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When she married then-Prince Charles, Queen Camilla kept it simple, going with peach lipstick, peach blush, and dark mascara and eyeliner. (It's a great example of a look that works well for older skin—minimal yet balanced without being drying).

Lady Gabriella Windsor

royal weddings Lady Gabriella Windsor

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Second cousin to King Charles, Lady Gabriella kept her look simple (the better to show off the Kent City of London Fringe Tiara that she's wearing!). The pretty petal pink lipstick and half-up hairdo are especially elevated choices.

Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden

royal weddings Princess Victoria

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Not every bride chooses slicked-back hair, but it's also the best way to show off a simply stunning crown. Princess Victoria wears it well (I always want to know how heavy these headpieces are) and keeps her makeup similarly simple.

Duchess Sophie von Württemberg of Germany

royal weddings Duchess Sophie von Württemberg of Germany

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Pro tip: If you really want your makeup to look cohesive with the rest of your outfit, go with a lip color that matches your flowers, as we see with Duchess Sophie here. The eyeliner actually ends in a short, graceful cat eye.

Elisabetta Maria Rosboch Von Wolkenstein (Princess Elisabetta of Belgium)

royal weddings Elisabetta Maria Rosboch Von Wolkenstein

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Aside from the general merriment of this photo (seriously, how happy do they look?), the best part of this photo, in my opinion, is Princess Elisabetta's nude pink lipstick. This is the exact kind of nude that works for a wedding day—it doesn't erase her lips, and only enhances their natural features.

Ekaterina Malysheva

royal weddings Ekaterina Malysheva

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With a low updo (the better to show off that pretty headpiece), I actually really love Ekaterina Malysheva's visible hair roots—it actually lends the whole aesthetic a slightly unfussy vibe. Ditto the simple makeup with petal pink lipstick.

Zara Phillips (Zara Tindall)

royal weddings Zara Phillips

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Zara Phillips (daughter of Princess Anne) got married in a style that honored her trademark simplicity. I actually really love it, with the darker blush and eye makeup in stark contrast with her light hair and eyebrows, but the whole look appearing natural.

Letizia Rocasolano (Queen Letizia of Spain)

royal wedding letizia

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With a lovely light tan, darker mauve lip, and smokey eyeshadow, Queen Letizia is giving us a gorgeous bolder look than we often see in royals (I mean, it matches the bold, architectural design of her $8 million wedding gown, so it fits!).

Princess Eugenie

royal wedding princess eugenie

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Princess Eugenie got married in the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara (a.k.a. the Boucheron Tiara), and when you're going with something as bold and colorful as that, you need a slightly bolder makeup look. See also: this pink lip gloss and rich pink blush.

Kendra Spears (Princess Salwa Aga Khan)

royal weddings Princess Salwa Aga Khan

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Princess Salwa wore a simple, embellished gold and ivory sari for her wedding, and kept things similarly simple in the beauty department. I actually really love how subtle, but eye-catching (pun intended) her smokey eyeshadow is, especially with the minimal blush and lipstick.

Masako Owada (Empress Masako)

royal weddings Princess Masako of Japan

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I find the brilliant pink lipstick and matching blush on then-Princess Masako to be a delightfully whimsical beauty decision. Because everything else she's wearing is either silver or white, it sets off her face incredibly effectively.

Princess Anne

royal weddings princess anne

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Princess Anne's wedding to her first husband was a glamorous affair, but Anne kept things characteristically simple. The simple, high-neck dress is complemented by her architectural hair (which also matches the Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara—the same Queen Elizabeth II wore at her wedding!).

Alessandra de Osma (Alessandra, Princess Christian of Hanover)

royal weddings Alessandra De Osma

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Alessandra's dress was very, very lacy (in a stunning way—go look at it full-length), and as such her wedding makeup was simple. Her lip color is just slightly darker than nude, and her minimal makeup just enhanced her natural face shape and skin texture.

Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland

royal weddings Princess Madeleine

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I just really appreciate a bold pink lip on a bride, particularly a royal one. To keep her lips from overwhelming the rest of the look, Princess Madeleine's eye makeup and eyebrows are darker and more substantial, with minimal blush.

Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg

royal weddings Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg

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First, how darling is that mini-tiara? (It's The Lannoy Tiara in case you're curious.) Secondly, everything about this look is deceptively simple, from the minimal eye makeup to the almost-nude lipstick and blush. She looks fresh-faced and glowing.

Mary Donaldson (Queen Mary of Denmark)

royal weddings Crown Princess Mary

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If your wedding look includes a glamorous, semi-over-the-top headpiece, you want your makeup to be simple and bold. Queen Mary's bold winged eyeliner is a cool, graphic look, and her lipstick is a shade or two darker than expected.

Kate Middleton (Catherine, Princess of Wales)

royal weddings kate middleton

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While she may have worked with a makeup artist before the day, Kate Middleton reportedly did her own makeup on the day of her wedding to Prince William. The deep flush of pink blush, very nude lip color, and darker eyeshadow is now a classic.

Pippa Middleton

royal weddings Pippa Middleton

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...I might actually love the makeup on Pippa Middleton, Kate Middleton's sister, a tiny bit more? (Blasphemy, I know.) I love how the blush is concentrated on the apples of her cheeks, and how the eyeshadow makes her eyes look big and bold.

Queen Elizabeth II

royal weddings queen elizabeth

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For perhaps one of the most important weddings of all time, Queen Elizabeth went big with the Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara and kept things simple everywhere else. (Obviously it's hard to know her exact lip color, given this photo is black and white, but the darker hue matches her darker brows and hair.)

Princess Margaret

royal weddings princess margaret

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In keeping with her vibrant personality, Princess Margaret (apparently) wore a darker lip color on the day of her wedding (this photo obviously doesn't do it justice). In keeping for the time, she kept eye makeup and blush minimal.

Diana Spencer, (Diana, Princess of Wales)

royal wedding princess diana

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For obvious reasons, Princess Diana's enormous gown and train were the star of the show at her wedding to Prince Charles. But her gentle, almost girlish makeup (plus the bangs worn full and in front of her face) helped her look sweet and youthful.

Jetsun Pema (Druk Gyaltsuen of Bhutan)

royal weddings Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan

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For a more colorful outfit, you can experiment with deeper and richer colors, as Queen Jetsun Pema does with her deep black cat-eye eyeliner and mid-pink lip color. The blush is minimal, and the whole look is soft and shimmery.

Sofia Hellqvist (Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland)

royal weddings princess sofia

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I'm a real sucker for Princess Sofia's wedding photos (the two look so delighted), and I also really appreciate that her makeup is strikingly minimal. Very little blush, not a ton of eye makeup, but some shiny gloss on her lips. Yes!!

Grace Kelly (Grace, Princess of Monaco)

royal weddings grace kelly

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Obviously it's harder to tell the exact colors here, but Grace Kelly tended to favor blush that started farther back on her cheeks and a deep pink-red lip color. By the time she got married, she had perfected that exquisite formula.

Meghan Markle (Meghan, Duchess of Sussex)

royal wedding meghan markle

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In my humble opinion, it'd be difficult to top the glowy, natural, shining-from-within wedding makeup Meghan Markle wore (which you can read all about, thanks to makeup artist Daniel Martin sharing all the details). The foundation was semi-sheer, meaning you could see her skin (and freckles!) shining through.

Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.