A mourning veil is a traditional garment worn by women in mourning. The item of clothing has been part of Christian funerals for many years, although they are less popular now.
The piece is associated with royals especially because of Queen Victoria, who was so stricken by the death of her husband Prince Albert that she wore a mourning veil for 40 years.
Her Majesty wore such a veil to her father’s funeral, as did her mother and Princess Margaret.
While any widow or someone known the deceased may choose to wear a mourning veil, it is less fashionable now.
It is thought to be tradition a veil is worn to the funeral of a Monarch, however, traditions adapt with time.
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It is traditionally customary to do follow the Vatican dress code to show respect, and the Queen did despite the fact she is the Head of the Church of England.
A veil and a hat are traditional Vatican attire. However, these rules are more relaxed these days and Pope Frances has met female heads of state at the Vatican without such garb.
Notably, Melania and Ivanka Trump during Donald Trump’s presidency wore very traditional garments to meet the Pope, including black veils.
While during the Victorian era wearing veils was etiquette for widows, for a short time, eventually they would return to clothing that at least partly resembled normal clothing, although never fully.
Victorian’s were incredibly superstitious about death, including stopping the clock in a room at the time of death.
The mourning dress craze died out amid World War I.
Women began working at a larger scale and it was no longer practical for widows to wear veils as it interfered with their work.
This was especially the case given the large number of widows World War I made.