Meghan Markle Says She Planned Her Wedding as a Teenager

The royal imagined her dream day for a high school assignment.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

WPA Pool / Getty Images

When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry on May 19, 2018 at St. George’s Chapel, she made history for her elegant Givenchy dress, her lush floral decorations, and her new royal status. However, as a teenager, the Duchess of Sussex was required to plan her dream wedding for her high school religion class, and her vision as a 14-year-old didn’t quite match her actual nuptials. In the latest episode of her Archetypes podcast, Markle chats with some students from Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, her former Catholic high school, about the project, which has been since removed from the curriculum. “Can you imagine,” she asks the students. “That to me was just what we did then, but now, for your generation, you’re thinking what on earth?”

The students agree that the assignments seems presumptuous. “Yeah, that sounds insane,” one student says. “They’re building a path for you.” Another student chimes in, “I think if we would have had those assignments now, we would have definitely spoken up about it. There is no doubt in my head that someone would have said something.”

The royal first discussed the details behind the class assignment during a separate podcast episode in September of 2022. “When I was 14, I planned my wedding,” she shared at the time. “Not my actual wedding. That would have been a bit harder to imagine.” Although her actual wedding didn’t match what she envisioned as a teenager, Markle took the project seriously and touched on every important element. “I remember every little thing about it,” she continued. “I wanted it to be at the Bel Air Hotel, and there was a swan lake, and I wanted the cake to be from Hansen’s Bakery. And the dress, oh my goodness the dress. It was strapless and poofy, and I had seen it in a bridal magazine. And I bought it—not the dress. I bought the bridal magazine.”

More than 20 years later, when Markle was really orchestrating her big day, her style and wedding dreams changed. Instead, the royal bride ended up trading vows at the iconic royal wedding venue in Windsor Castle. When she walked down the aisle, she donned a timeless and sophisticated ensemble rather than a glitzy one: a long-sleeve silk gown with a bateau neckline by Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy and the Queen Mary tiara (her second choice headpiece). Markle even helped design the dress. After becoming husband and wife, the couple celebrated with not one but multiple cakes by baker and California native Claire Ptak. Markle could have never predicted her confection would be two single-tiered cakes and one two-tiered cake decorated with blooms and filled with lemon and elderflower flavors.

Markle’s royal wedding received the most recognition, but she actually threw her first wedding in September of 2011 when she married Trevor Engelson. Just like her second nuptials, the first differed from the event she dreamed up as a teenager. The couple wed in a beachfront ceremony at the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, and they invited 107 guests, according to Metro UK. For the occasion, the actress sported a strapless white dress with a silver jeweled belt. The couple was married for two years until they split, citing “irreconcilable differences.”

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