Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia and Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia
Photograph (c) Royal Collection Trust



by Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia

1938, Potsdam, Germany

My wedding dress is a family heirloom. It belonged to my grandmother, the Duchess of Edinburgh, and later Duchess of Coburg, who was an only daughter of Emperor Alexander II.

It came from her own country, from Russia, where it was made for her and where she wore it as a Russian grand duchess.

It is an old court dress of heavy silver brocade richly embroidered, cut low off the shoulders, very slim at the waist; the long sleeves slit open so that the arms are free.

The heavy train hangs from the waist and is three meters long.

The gorgeous embroidery was made by nuns in a convent famous for its exquisite needlework.

This dress, perhaps (and I think surely) the only example of its kind left, is now nearly 100 years old.

It lay for many years without coming to the light of day. The first time it was worn again after the war and revolution was 12 years ago when my sister, Grand Duchess Marie, Princess of Leiningen, was married in it. Now it is to be worn once more; hardly any alterations or touches were necessary to make it fit.

The Russian national headdress, the famous kokoshnik, goes with it, or a diadem, and a long lace veil and silver low heeled shoes. 

No modern dress could equal this one in beauty of style or material. It is something unique, belonging to golden days of the past, the past of a great and rich country which supplied the world with so many things of beauty. 

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