Cinderella’s glass slipper is the classic fairytale princess shoe, but royalty has evolved since the days of Hans Christian Andersen. And royal footwear has certainly evolved with it. As the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle approaches, here are the six most famous royal shoes of all time.
THE KATE MIDDLETON WEDGE
The Duchess of Cambridge has worn myriad iterations of the perennial style. Most memorable, perhaps, are the L.K. Bennett Mint Velvet wedge heels she wore in 2016 during a tour of India undertaken with Prince William. However, it was not because the shoes themselves were particularly striking, it was more because she wore them to play cricket.
SUPERGA COTU CLASSICS
Superga’s 2750 Cotu Classic pumps have a double claim to fame. They were a favorite of the late Princess Diana and remain a go-to for Kate Middleton, as well. Princess Diana wore them in navy blue on a visit to Angola for a Red Cross mission in 1997, while Middleton opted for white, notably sporting them to watch the London Marathon in 2017.
PRINCESS DIANA’S WEDDING SHOES
Princess Diana was channeling a kitten height heel long before the current obsession with the style. The wedding shoes by Clive Shilton she wore for her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981 were embellished with over 150 pearls and more than 500 sequins. They also featured heart-shaped appliqué on the toes, a hand-painted motif on the soles and a low kitten-style heel.
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN LOVE SHOES
Princess Diana also proved the inspiration for one of Christian Louboutin’s first pairs of shoes. The designer was inspired by that famous picture taken in front of the Taj Mahal. “She was looking at her feet, and I thought she looked so sad,” he remembered. “I thought it would be nice for her to have something to make her smile when she looked at her feet.” He created a pair of pumps featuring the word “LOVE” with “LO” on one foot and “VE” on the other and has been making various iterations of the style ever since.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II’S CORONATION SHOES
Queen Elizabeth II wore Roger Vivier pumps for her Coronation in June 1953. They were made of gold leather and embellished with real rubies. Her mother, Queen Elizabeth I, had also worn Vivier when her husband, George VI, became king in 1937, so it was something of a royal family tradition. Both pairs featured the same secret hidden platform as well, making it easier to stand for long periods of time.
MEGHAN MARKLE’S VELVET JIMMY CHOOS
Finally, although Meghan Markle is not yet a fully paid-up member of the royal family, bar any catastrophe, she will be come May 19. So with this in mind, the bronze velvet Jimmy Choo pumps she wore on an official visit to Belfast with fiancé Prince Harry definitely make our list. After all, they have all the makings of a new classic. The shade tones nicely with the complexion, and the velvet fabrication is super-flattering against the skin.