Finally, the much-anticipated moment arrived: the royal wedding of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle and, more importantly, the unveiling of the royal wedding gown. Meghan surprised all of us with her choice of wedding gown, not only with its simplistic style, but also with her choice of designer. With months of speculation that Meghan would choose a couture gown from Ralph and Russo or Stella McCartney, she went with British designer Clare Waight Keller, recently appointed Creative Director of Givenchy. Keller showed her first collection for the French label earlier this year.
Clare, 48, was born in Birmingham and has worked for the likes of Clavin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Pringle of Scotland and Chloe. Meghan worked closely with Clare to create her romantic, timeless and elegant wedding gown.
Meghan looked gorgeous in an (almost) off the shoulder ivory satin gown, with train and long veil. It is estimated the gown cost £200,000. The dress was crafted from a double-bonded silk cady, featuring a bateau neckline and a fitted bodice that extended into bracelet length sleeves. The bodice cinched in at the waistline, with two darts extending from the waistline reaching to just below the bust line.
Flowing from the fitted bodice and cinched waistline, a very slight a-line flared skirt fell to the floor. This skirt is beautifully crafted and tailored immaculately. A longer, separate train flowed from the back of Meghan’s skirt, in rounded folds and the underskirt features triple silk organza. Below is a design from Clare’s first Givenchy show from January 2018. The dress is almost identical to Meghan’s in silhouette, although the runway piece is highly embellished.
Meghan wore Queen Mary’s filigree tiara, also known as the bandeau tiara. Queen Mary was grandmother to the current Sovereign, Elizabeth II. The Queen loaned Meghan the piece for her special day. The tiara features a flexible band comprised of 11 sections; made from platinum and diamonds, the interwoven sections feature a mix of pave and large and small diamonds. The centre flower is made up of 10 large brilliant cut diamonds and is actually a detachable brooch.
We think this was the perfect choice of tiara for Meghan; the arch of the tiara framed Meghan’s face perfectly. This art deco style tiara dates back to 1932, although the stunning centre stone actually dates further back to 1893 and the time of Queen Victoria.
The tiara was used to hold in place Meghan’s beautiful veil. The extensive veil was significantly longer than her train, and unwound from the car to a 15 foot (5m) length. In an incredibly cute moment, two of the couple’s pageboys very reverently picked up the rear of Meghan’s veil, holding it off the ground as she ascended the steps of St. George’s Chapel.
Meghan’s tulle train was trimmed with hand embroidered floral emblems in silk threads and organza. Meghan paid homage to every nation in the Commonwealth by incorporating the floral emblems from each of the 53 nations, a beautiful and very thoughtful tribute. There was also a nod to her homeland, with the poppy emblem: the floral symbol of California. We hope that Meghan’s wedding gown and veil may go on display as Kate’s did so we can see the detail of the flowers on this veil more closely.
Meghan wore her Cartier Galanterie de Cartier earrings, which are a very pretty and subtle pair of disc shaped post earrings. The earrings feature a larger diamond, surrounded by four slightly curved loops inlaid with diamonds. The earrings are made from white gold. Though the website has the price upon application, we have it on good authority these earrings retail for £8,910.
It was quite surprising that Meghan opted to wear a pair of earrings that she has already worn on numerous occasions. We would have thought she may have had some bespoke earrings made for her wedding day, similar to the ones The Duchess of Cambridge had made for her by her parents, or even perhaps a wedding gift from Prince Harry. These earrings do perfectly work with her choice of tiara. You can purchase these earrings here. Get an affordable pair of Meghan’s earrings here.
Meghan’s shoes were also designed by Keller and based on a Givenchy design. The pointed court heel was hand crafted from silk duchess satin. We only got a glimpse of Meghan’s heels as they peeked out from under Meghan’s skirt when she lifted it to walk up the stairs of the Abbey. Get a nice pair of replicate heels here.
Meghan also accessorised with a glittering Cartier diamond bracelet on her wrist. Meghan wore the Cartier Reflection de Cartier Bracelet, which costs £115,061. The bracelet has smaller square diamonds and baguette cut diamond than the one we show below, which is a thicker diamond bracelet with a diagonal pattern.
Of course, the Duchess gained a new piece of jewellery on her wedding day: her wedding ring! Made from Welsh gold, the band is simple, and was put on Meghan’s finger by Prince Harry.
We think that Meghan, now The Duchess of Sussex, looked beautiful and stunning in her gown, though we were quite surprised that her gown was so simple, void of any embellishments or lace. We would’ve liked to have seen a small amount of embellishments somewhere on the gown, perhaps around the neckline, or cuffs or hem of her skirt.
Meghan’s gown evokes a feeling of timeless elegance, which is in keeping with the codes of the design aesthetic of the iconic house of Givenchy. Meghan’s dress design will not date and will look elegant for all time. We are sure this dress will be copied by many Royal Brides to come.
Many social media commentators have said that Meghan’s dress reminds them of Crown Princess Mary’s of Denmark’s wedding gown, worn when she married Crown Prince Frederik, whilst others did not like the simple look. What do you think of Meghan’s wedding gown? Let us know in the comments below.