Our week-long celebration of pearls worn by royal brides continues today with a look back at a wedding that took place nearly 30 years ago: the nuptials of Lady Helen Windsor and Timothy Taylor at St. George’s Chapel.
Lady Helen, who is the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, married her art dealer fiancé, Timothy Taylor, at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle on July 18, 1992. (Helen also worked in an art gallery at the time of their meeting.) The wedding took place at a time when the British royal family really needed a break—the Yorks had announced their separation a few months earlier, Princess Anne had recently finalized her divorce, and the Andrew Morton biography of Diana had just been published. The British press called the celebration a “fairy-tale wedding” and noted that “romance will make a welcome return to the family” because of the festivities.
Lady Helen, who was a style icon and had served as a muse to designer Giorgio Armani, chose a favorite royal couturier to make her wedding gown. Catherine Walker designed the silk dress, which featured an eye-catching neckline inspired by the architectural features of St. George’s Chapel. (Armani also provided an outfit for another part of the wedding celebrations.) The Sunday Mirror correspondent opined that “the bride from the art gallery looked as pretty as any picture,” and she “drew gasps of delight from the congregation as she walked down the aisle.”
Helen’s gown was embroidered with crystals and pearls, and she wore jewelry to match. Her tiara, the Kent Pearl Fringe, was loaned to her by her parents. It’s believed to be a remodeled version of the bandeau worn by her mother, the Duchess of Kent, on her wedding day in 1961. That bandeau originally belonged to Queen Mary.
The embellishment on the gown’s neckline appeared to deliberately echo the fringe tiara, and the rest of the jewelry, including the necklace and earrings, was also clearly designed to coordinate with that theme. The earrings, interestingly, look a little bit like upside-down hearts, with small pearls suspended as pendants. Helen’s jewelry look was completed with a simple gold wedding band made by Garrard.