weddings

The story of Fergie's wedding dress reveals what it's really like being a royal bride.

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This week Sarah Fergurson is likely in the midst of last-minute wedding preparations as she helps her daughter Princess Eugenie get ready for her big day on Friday.

But 22 years ago it was Fergie herself who was being “inserted” into a creamy satin wedding dress and about to walk down the aisle to wed Prince Andrew.

Recently resurfaced quotes from her 1997 memoir, My Story, give us an insight into what it was like to be a royal bride. And it sounds every bit as frantic, glamorous and nerve-wracking as you’d expect.

“As my wedding day approached, I lived in a frenzy,” the Duchess of York wrote a decade after her wedding at Westminster Abbey on 23 July 1986.

“Rising early and late to bed, I buzzed through a whirl of appointments and consultations.

“I was on the Royal Wedding Diet: there was no time to eat.”

That ‘royal wedding diet’ – which probably wasn’t healthy – resulted in the duchess-to-be dropping a considerable amount of weight to fit into her custom-designed gown.

The ivory satin dress was, in the same vein as Princess Diana’s dress five years earlier, over-the-top.

It featured a 5.2-metre train and a 6.1-metre veil and was intricately embroidery with images of bumblebees, anchors, and roses – allusions to the family’s new crest. The train was also embellished with the couple’s initials A and S intertwined in silver beading.

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Fergie described her wedding dress as "exquisite". Image: Getty
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Fergie described her wedding dress designer, Lindka Cierach, as a "genius" - mainly for how flattering the "exquisite creation" was.

"I knew she could make the most flattering gown ever, and she had," the now-58-year-old wrote.

"It was amazingly boned, like a corset. We’d chosen duchess satin because it is the creamiest material in the world.

"It never creases. It is smooth as glass and hangs beautifully, without a single bulge; it made my reduced figure look even better."

The Duchess recounted the fuss of getting ready on the morning of her wedding.

"My headdress - a fragrant crown of gardenias, Andrew’s favourite flower - was affixed."

"My veil was arranged. I was inserted into my ivory wedding dress."

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The wedding dress featured an epic 5-metre train. Image: Getty

Later that morning, Fergie emerged from her wedding carriage in her flower crown - which hid the "York" tiara she unveiled only after signing the wedding certificate - and gown.

"It isn’t so hard to enjoy mass adoration," she said of that day. "The tricky part is understanding that it has nothing to do with you, and that it rarely outlives an English summer."

Such wise words we expect Fergie is also passing on to her daughter Princess Eugenie this week as she prepares for her wedding to wine merchant Jack Brooksbank.

Princess Eugenie will wed at St George's Chapel - the same venue where Meghan and Prince Harry tied the knot - in front of a crowd of 850 guests on Friday.

Australians can watch the entire ceremony on Channel Seven from 7pm.

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