It was probably the most highly-anticipated royal moments of the year: Camilla Parker Bowles arriving at Windsor Guildhall in a classic Rolls-Royce Phantom VI and stepping out to reveal what has remained top secret for months – her wedding ensemble.
Accompanied by groom Prince Charles, the bride was glowing in the simple and crisp Robinson Valentine creation: an oyster silk basket-weave coat featuring hand-worked herringbone stitch silk embroidery, paired with a chiffon dress embellished by Swiss-made appliqué woven laquered disc detail at the hem and neck.
Topped by a magnificent natural straw Philip Treacy hat trimmed with ivory French lace and a fountain of feathers, the ensemble was accessorised with a cream leather 'East/West' clutch handbag and LK Bennett beige suede shoes. Also part of the newly-unveiled outfit were some familiar jewellery – Camilla's ever-present gold bangle on her left hand, and an elegant brooch in the form of the Prince of Wales' emblem which Charles gave her years ago.
Prince Charles was equally elegant in a dark morning suit with grey waistcoat and silver tie as the couple entered the Winsdor Guildhall. There, in a 20-minute ceremony, the longtime couple exchanged vows in the intimate Ascot Room, surrounded by their families, including Charles' siblings and the bride and groom's children. Charles' elder son, Prince William – who, along with Camilla's son, Tom Parker Bowles, was witness to the marriage – had the responsibility for looking after the wedding rings, hand made by Wartski in the court style using Welsh gold.
The venue had been filled with fragrant flowers cut from the gardens at Highgrove and Raymill – including the couple's favourite bloom, Lily of the Valley, a symbol of the return of happiness.