Turns out, Meghan Markle’s royal wedding dress was more than meets the eye.
In an interview published on 25 August, the Duchess of Sussex’s gown designer Clare Waight Keller spoke to Vanity Fair about the intricate adornments she hid amongst the custom silk number for the royal’s big day five years ago. Tradition was not lost when Meghan, 42, wed Prince Harry, 38, inside St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Keller explained the pair not only honoured the longstanding wedding practice of including “something blue” but paid homage to their first date during their nuptials by including a scrap of the dress Meghan wore.
“We basically sewed it into the hem of the wedding dress, so she was the only one that knew that it was there,” the British fashion designer confessed. “It was a little blue gingham check. It was the perfect personal memento that was secretly hidden inside the dress.”
Since Keller had assumed the position of Givenchy’s first female artistic director at the time, Meghan’s gown fused the brand’s classic style hues with the bride’s desire for simplicity. Keller told the outlet that Meghan wanted the dress to embody a “timeless elegance” without being “overly feminine” or too minimal.
“That effortless American style, where it just feels really fresh and personal. But it’s not overwhelming. It’s not specific to any particular decade,” Keller noted of the duchess’ request.
The gown, which was off-the-shoulder and long-sleeved, was paired with a diamond-studded headband to hold the long, delicate veil over Meghan’s head and a pair of pointed-toe white heels. Meghan’s dress alone is estimated to cost over $265,000. Meanwhile, the tule veil took about 4,000 hours of meticulous design to represent each of the 53 countries that make up the Commonwealth.
Though Meghan and her husband eventually stepped away from their royal responsibilities in 2020, she embraced her “new role” two years prior by celebrating each country. “[She] felt like she was bringing an element of each of those countries down the aisle with her,” Keller pointed out.
“So that her new role - and that bridge to the new role - was captured in what she was wearing,” she continued. “For both of us, we felt it was a really beautiful signature, and I think even Prince Harry was just thrilled at the idea that we really tried to capture something for everyone in that service.”
Meghan has only ever spoken highly of Keller’s ability to bring her dream dress to life. In 2018, she recorded a message for Windsor Castle’s royal wedding exhibition, in which she talked about the incredible experience working with the renowned designer.
“What was amazing in working with Clare is that sometimes you’ll find designers try to push you in a different direction,” the mother to Archie Harrison, four, and Lilibet Diana, two, recounted. “But she just completely respected what I wanted to see for the day, and she wanted to bring that to life for me.”
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