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Royal Beauty Secrets of the 19th Century

Several 19th century European monarchs married young women who were renowned for their beauty. As they took their place as wives of world leaders, they were all aware of the impression they made upon the public and worked hard to keep up appearances. Empress Eugénie, wife of Napolean III, wasn't at all vain, but was mindful that her choice of dress influenced an entire fashion industry. Empress Elisabeth, wife of Franz Josef, on the other hand, set aside an entire day to wash her hair, and spent three hours daily having it dressed. It wasn't wasted time, though, as she took lessons while her hair was tended to. Princess Alexandra of Denmark (pictured), who became the Queen consort of the United Kingdom as the wife of Edward VII, made the deepest impression of all on her subjects.

Princess Alexandra’s effect on fashion was so profound women even copied what some people might have considered to be a drawback. It was her limp. She acquired it in 1867 after suffering an illness that “threatened to contract her leg and make her a cripple.”[8] Thus, whenever she appeared in public she used a walking stick and exhibited a slight limp. Her infirmity was soon copied by “distinguished people, and the ‘Alexandra limp’ was adopted by various members of fashionable society!”[9]

Although fashion conscious women might have copied the Princess’s limp, perhaps, the most prized beauty secret of the Princess Alexandra was her goodness.     

Alexandra’s most lasting legacy was the choker necklace, which she used to cover a scar. A Google image search shows that she wore jewelry to cover her neck the rest of her life. Read about all three women and their beauty regimens at Geri Walton's blog. -via Strange Company

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