13 June 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Rania's Gown

HRH Prince Abdullah of Jordan and Rania al Yassin
June 10, 1993
Amman, Jordan

Prince Abdullah, oldest son of King Hussein of Jordan, proposed to Rania al Yassin a mere two months after meeting her at a January dinner party, and married her in June of the same year. She was 22 years old, the daughter of a Palestinian doctor and had worked in the corporate world; he was 31 and was preparing for a life devoted to the military. At the time of their whirlwind romance, neither knew that they would end up as Jordan’s king and queen.
Rania chose British designer Bruce Oldfield to create her wedding look. Drawing on inspiration from the embellishments on Syrian formal dresses exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Oldfield added gold detailing to the trim of the bride’s voluminous gown, matching hair ornament and gloves.
The exaggerated lapels, short sleeves, and large belt seem like a power suit gone formal (a suit dress, instead of a coat dress, perhaps). The skirt was full with folds and extended into a train at the back.
Rania arrived in a cloud of veil, including one to cover her face. Her towering hairdo (apparently so tall it made the car entry and departure process a bit of a task) was accented not with a tiara but a headband-type affair.
For a later reception, Rania donned a new dress. The second gown is sleeveless, featuring a v-neck at the front and a similar dip at the back, with plenty of embellishment. And once again, a major updo.
As we’ve discussed in the past, Abdullah was not the crown prince at the time of his marriage. That job belonged to his uncle, Hassan; it wasn’t until right before King Hussein’s death that Abdullah was named as crown prince. Abdullah became the King of Jordan in 1999. Together, King Abdullah and Queen Rania have four children.
With Rania’s gown, I find myself wondering the same thing I wonder with gowns like the future Queen Mother’s: if she had known she was eventually going to be queen, would she still have picked this design? It’s quite grand and all that, but it has dated with time and now seems to stand more for the makeover Rania gave herself when her husband came to the throne than for anything else. Regardless, this is one of the gowns I receive the most requests for, so tell me…

What do you think of Rania’s dress?

Photos: Corbis/Vanity Fair