Ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first anniversary on May 19, we’re remembering the highlights of their incredible royal wedding. Here take a look back at her beautiful Givenchy bridal gown.
Seeing Meghan in her classic gown was one of the most anticipated moments of the day, and photographers first captured the bride in the car on the way to St. George’s Chapel alongside her mother, Doria Ragland.
But it wasn’t until she stepped out of the car at Windsor Castle that we could see the full look. See a few photos of her dress below.
Who designed her dress?
On the day of the wedding, Kensington Palace revealed that “acclaimed British designer” Clare Waight Keller designed the dress.
“Ms. Waight Keller last year became the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy,” read a statement from the Palace.
The day after the wedding, Kensington Palace released Waight Keller’s sketches for the dress.
Waight Keller was certainly not the front runner in the press leading up to the wedding. Rather, the dress was rumored to be designed by Ralph & Russo. In early May, the Royal School of Needlework, which helped craft Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, posted the below tweet, highlighting the fact that Ralph & Russo’s haute couture atelier team was visiting, fueling speculation.
Just one day before the wedding, Stella McCartney also emerged as another potential option, with the New York Post citing British bridal designer Caroline Castigliano as saying that McCartney would be the perfect fit.
Eventually, we would find out that McCartney designed Markle’s second wedding dress.
In the months before, online betting sites saw a frenzy of activity over Markle’s dress designer, with Erdem, Roland Mouret, Inbal Dror, Jenny Packham, and Alexander McQueen proving to be the favorites.
In fact, in late February, betting on McQueen has intensified so quickly that Betfair actually suspended all bets on Markle’s dress designer. Many believe that the heightened interest in McQueen was due to an information leak, but nothing has been confirmed. “We previously had Ralph and Russo as the 2/1 [favorites] and there’s also been a lot of talk of Erdem as a big front-runner,” a Betfair rep said in a statement, Harpers Bazaar reports. “However, we’ve now suspended this market after seeing some interesting betting on Alexander McQueen this morning who went from 16/1 to 8/1 in a very short space of time.”
Previously, Markle had also called out Delphine Manivet, Christos Costarellos, Ellie Saab, and J.Mendel as bridal designers she particularly liked.
How much did it cost?
“Meghan’s dress is expected to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” E!’s royal expert Melanie Bromley told Harper’s Bazaar.“It’s going to be featured in the history books so needs to stand the test of time.”
Prince Harry didn’t see his bride in her dress before she walked down the aisle.
“That tradition is very important to them,” a palace spokesman reportedly said, just days before the wedding.
She actually had two dresses.
Following in the footsteps of her soon-to-be sister-in-law, Markle wore two gowns, one to the ceremony, and one to the reception.
“She will have two dresses, one for the ceremony and another dress for the evening,” a source shared with Vanity Fair before the wedding. “The plan is for her to change after the ceremony so that she can party the night away in something glamorous and less restrictive.”
Indeed, Meghan’s second dress, which was designed by Stella McCartney and featured a high neck, was much less traditional than her formal wedding gown. See photos of that look below:
Waight Keller had to work closely with Kensington Palace.
“It is very important for the dress to fit the venue as well as the occasion,” Sassi Holford, who designed Autumn Phillips’s gown for her 2008 wedding to the Queen’s grandson, Peter Phillips, told Marie Claire. “The grand rooms and drama of Windsor Castle and St. George’s means the dress should have enough detail to be seen from a distance, be fit for a royal wedding, and, for Meghan, incorporate the glamorous Hollywood side of her personality.”
Holdford also revealed that the final fitting of the dress were likely be held at Windsor Castle, and that it might have be stored in the Queen’s private apartments on-site.
Here’s what we predicted the gown could look like.
In March of 2016, before she and Harry had even met, Markle described her perfect wedding gown during an interview with Glamour about her Suits character Rachel’s storyline.
“I have the luxury of wearing beautiful pieces of clothing every day for work, so my personal style—wedding or not—is very pared down and relaxed,” she said.
“Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist. I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic.”
And while the gown her character wore to get married on Suits wasn’t exactly Markle’s taste, she did call out one specific detail that she loved.
“For TV we did have to bring the neckline up a touch per the producers’ request, but the original design has a low ballerina inspired neckline and I happen to love that.”
Who helped her make the decision?
Scobie also reported that Markle’s good friend Jessica Mulroney was in London to help the bride-to-be through the process.
She reportedly “quietly flew in to London on Jan 10, spending four days at the couple’s Nottingham Cottage home.”
Mulroney, who runs her own bridal-styling business, was also reported to be helping “with several other wedding day elements.”