It was the best kept secret of the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: the wedding dress. Most fashion journalists expected to see Meghan in an haute couture gown by Ralph & Russo. The British maison, which was founded by an Australian couple, is the first British brand since 1915 to be admitted to the official programme of Paris Haute Couture Week. Other journalists had speculated that Meghan would opt for another British brand: Stella McCartney, Erdem or Alexander McQueen.
MEGHAN MARKLE’S GIVENCHY WEDDING DRESS
For her wedding with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle opted for British fashion designer Clare Waight Keller (48), creative director of Givenchy, a mythic French luxury brand founded in 1952 by Hubert de Givenchy. Givenchy used to be Audrey Hepburn’s favourite fashion house in the 50’s and 60’s.
Clare rose to fame when she became creative director of Chloé in May 2011. She had previously worked for Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Pringle of Scotland. Claire presented her first Givenchy collection in spring 2018.
Meghan walked down the aisle in a classic haute couture silk gown in pure white, with a 15ft veil embroidered with flowers of the Commonwealth. The veil is made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza. The bride wore a Cartier bracelet and earrings and a Queen Mary diamond bandeau tiara, loaned to her by the Queen.
WHY DID MEGHAN CHOOSE GIVENCHY?
After meeting Clare Waight Keller in early 2018, Meghan Markle chose to work with her for her timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanour. Clare and Meghan worked closely together on the design. The dress epitomises a timeless minimal elegance referencing the codes of the iconic House of Givenchy and showcasing the expert craftsmanship of its world-renowned Parisian couture atelier founded in 1952.
In an official press release, Kensington Palace describes the design of Meghan’s haute couture wedding gown as follows: “True to the heritage of the house, the pure lines of the dress are achieved using six meticulously placed seams. The focus of the dress is the graphic open bateau neckline that gracefully frames the shoulders and emphasises the slender sculpted waist. The lines of the dress extend towards the back where the train flows in soft round folds cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza. The slim three-quarter sleeves add a note of refined modernity.”
The veil is held in place by Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara, lent to Meghan by The Queen. The diamond bandeau is English and was made in 1932, with the centre brooch dating from 1893.
The diamond bandeau was made for Queen Mary and specifically designed to accommodate the centre brooch. This brooch was given as a present to the then Princess Mary in 1893 by the County of Lincoln on her marriage to Prince George, Duke of York. The bandeau and the brooch were bequeathed by Queen Mary to The Queen in 1953.
Meghan expressed the wish of having all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony. Clare Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united in one spectacular floral composition. Symmetrically placed at the very front of the veil, crops of wheat are delicately embroidered and blend into the flora, to symbolise love and charity.
The veil is five meters long and made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza.
THE BRIDE’S BOUQUET – A TRIBUTE TO LADY DIANA
The bespoke bridal bouquet was designed by florist Philippa Craddock. The spring blooms include Forget-Me-Nots which were Diana, Princess of Wales’ favourite flower. The couple specifically chose them to be included in Meghan’s bouquet to honour the memory of the late Princess on this special day. The myrtle sprigs are from stems planted at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.
MEGHAN’S WEDDING SHOES
The wedding shoes are based on a Givenchy refined pointed couture design made of a silk duchess satin.
BRIDAL HAIR AND MAKE-UP
Meghan Markle’s hair was styled by Serge Normant, with make-up by long-time friend and make-up artist Daniel Martin.
VIDEO: FULL-LENGTH ROYAL WEDDING OF PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE
Video: Washington Post
VIDEO: GOSPEL CHOIR SINGING STAND BY ME
FILM: HARRY AND MEGHAN, A MODERN LOVE STORY
How did Harry and Meghan meet? When did they fall in love? What was Meghan’s film career like? What is she giving up to become a member of the British royal family? The documentary “Harry and Meghan: A Love Story” reveals the fairytale of the hottest royal couple. (Video: Official European Royal News & Documentaries)
Click on the link to see the best pictures of the royal wedding
Click on the link to see the pictures of the guests who attended the royal wedding: Amal and George Clooney, Oprah, Victoria and David Beckham, Idris Elba, James Blunt, Sarah Rafferty, Elton John, David Furnish, Serena Williams.
Photos: Courtesy of Kensington Palace
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