29 April 2011

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge's Wedding: The Groom's Uniform

William had much to choose from when picking his wedding day attire: as we've previously discussed, he is commissioned in all three armed services (Army, Navy, Air Force). Many bets were on the groom wearing his Royal Air Force uniform, since he is an active duty search and rescue pilot at the moment. In the end, he accessorized his brand new titles (Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus) with a brand new uniform: that of the Irish Guards. The Queen approved Prince William's honorary appointment as Colonel of the Irish Guards earlier this year.
Specifically, this is the Irish Guards Mounted Officer's uniform in Guard of Honour Order with a Forage Cap. The uniform features a gold and crimson sash with gold sword slings, though William did not wear a sword. This bright red coat (tunic, actually), is Guards' Red.
He also wore, of course, the true blue sash of the Order of the Garter, the Garter Star, the Golden Jubilee Medal, and his Royal Air Force wings; these are the same decorations we see him in at events like Trooping the Colour.
Compared to the RAF uniform we usually see William in, the details here are much more intricate. The buttons are arranged in groups of four, a feature unique to the Irish Guards. The intricate fasteners have a Harp of Ireland on them, with the Crown Imperial over top.
The cap features the Star of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick.
Looking back, it probably should have been the front runner in speculation all along: we knew he was having a uniform specially made (fitting for one he'd never worn before), and this is the highest rank he holds. Makes sense, on such an occasion.
I can't say this is my favorite of William's uniforms, but it does have the greatest Prince Charming factor. It's the one most likely to be copied into Hollywood format, I'd say. But it was a lot of red alongside the red Abbey carpet, the red carriage interior, and the red balcony trimming. And the new Duke's occasionally red face (aww, blushing).

Throughout the ceremony, I found myself wanting to hop right through my television and rush up to Wills. And not because of my feelings about men in uniform, either.
It's because of the jacket/sash/waistband scrunching situation. It needed to be straightened out from the second he arrived at the Abbey, and it drove me nuts. As most noble commenter Alpa noted to me on Twitter during the festivities: we may have found a use for Letizia's infamous safety pin.

UPDATE: When William left Buckingham Palace, driving his father's classic car with his bride in the passenger seat, he wore his second new uniform of the day, which was hard to identify from inside the car.

We didn't get to see the details on this uniform until William and Kate paid their first visit to the Irish Guards after the wedding:

Were you a fan of the Irish Guards selection? Or are you still mourning the fact that he didn't pull an even bigger shocker and go for fan favorite Navy black?

Uniform Info: The Official Wedding Website
Photos: Reuters/AP/Daily Mail/Getty/Daylife