It feels like only yesterday that we got our first look at Meghan Markle's wedding dress. After months of speculation, the Duchess of Sussex's grand wedding dress reveal was one of the most anticipated moments of the 2018 royal wedding—and both dresses certainly lived up to all the hype. Channeling Princess Margaret's own Norman Hartnell silk organza dress, Markle's wedding dress kept things simple but set trends for years to come. Want to know every detail of Meghan Markle's famous Givenchy wedding dress? Keep reading for everything we know.
Meghan Markle's Givenchy Wedding Dress
Months of rumors led up to the big reveal of Meghan Markle's wedding dress. From Ralph & Russo, to Erdem and even Kate Middleton-favored Alexander McQueen—many designer names were thrown around as contenders for the future Duchess's wedding dress. Ultimately, it was British designer Clare Waight Keller who took home the prize, designing Markle's wedding dress under the Givenchy label.
The public first glimpsed Markle's wedding dress as she stepped out of the care outside of St. George's Chapel with her mother, Doria Ragland, who was clad in Oscar de la Renta. The wedding dress made an immediate fashion statement, focusing on small meaningful details and keeping the dress itself rather minimal and classic—as is Markle's signature style.
In an immediate statement, Kensington Palace stated,"The dress epitomizes 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." The statement continues, "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 emphasizes 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 Duchess and Ms. Waight Keller worked closely together on the design, which epitomizes a timeless minimal elegance referencing the codes of the iconic House of Givenchy,” Kensington Palace later posted on Instagram, alongside a pair of exclusive dress sketches.
A few months after the wedding, Markle herself chimed into the conversation to describe the process of creating the dream dress. "I had a very clear vision of what I wanted for the day, and what I wanted the dress to look like," the Duchess said. "So what was amazing in working with Clare is that sometimes you'll find designers try to push you in a different direction, but she just completely respected what I wanted to see for the day, and she wanted to bring that to life for me."In so many ways you are capturing dreams, that as a girl and as you become a woman you will have been thinking about for years."
Meghan Markle's Veil
It wasn't just the dress that made a statement, but Markle's veil carried with it a special sentiment. As we saw at St. George's, Meghan's 16.5-foot silk tulle veil was adorned with embroidered flowers. “Ms. Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of all 53 Commonwealth countries united in one spectacular floral composition," the palace statement added. These blooms represented the 53 Commonwealth countries, according to Kensington Palace. Wintersweet, which grows on the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy, the state flower of California where Meghan had grown up, were among the flowers included.
Keller herself also chimed in on Instagram to reflect on just how special creating this piece of history was for her as she released sketches of the dress. "A Dream Day accompanying stunning #meghanmarkle on her journey to become the Duchess of Sussex in @givenchyofficial," she captioned a photo of Meghan Markle on the chapel steps.
Meghan Markle's Wedding Tiara
For her walk down the aisle, Meghan paired her 16.5-foot veil with the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau Tiara, a Cartier bracelet and pair of earrings. In a press release, Kensington Palace says, "The veil is held in place by Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara, lent to Ms. Markle by The Queen. The diamond bandeau is English and was made in 1932, with the entre brooch dating from 1893." Meghan herself favored the accessory for its minimalism, which meshed perfectly with her wedding gown. "I think it was just perfect because it was so clean and simple—and also to that point, an extension of what Clare and I had been trying to do with the dress, which was have something that could be so incredibly timeless but still feel modern," she stated in a recording for the "A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex" display at Windsor Castle.
The center brooch boasts ten diamonds and was a wedding gift from the County of Lincoln when Mary of Teck wed Prince George, the Duke of York in 1893. It wasn't until forty years later that Queen Elizabeth's grandmother had the bandeau specially designed to accommodate an interchangeable center brooch. The platinum bandeau is a flexible band, made up of eleven sections, with the detachable center brooch, and features interlaced ovals and set with different sized brilliant diamonds.
The tiara is so rare that it hasn't been seen or worn in public in over half a century. "The bandeau and the brooch were bequeathed by Queen Mary to The Queen in 1953," notes the Palace.
Meghan Markle's Reception Wedding Dress
Before our heart rates had even gotten a chance to return to normal after seeing such an awe-inspiring wedding dress, the Duchess of Sussex debuted her second wedding dress of the day—a stunning Stella McCartney halter-neck sheath gown. Meghan Markle wore the equally gorgeous dress to the evening royal reception hosted by Prince Charles at Frogmore House.
Seen as the newlyweds climbed into a vintage convertible and drove off to their evening party, Meghan Markle's reception gown toted a slinky silhouette and a refined glamour. With a high halter neckline and sans sleeves, this dress was wholly modern and totally Meghan. The designer of the gorgeous gown was also perfectly aligned with the bride's aesthetic. Not only is Stella McCartney a quintessential British designer, but her design house also promotes eco-friendly fashion, vegan leathers, and sustainability—three things that are totally on-brand for the philanthropic Duchess of Sussex.
“I am so proud and honored to have been chosen by the Duchess of Sussex to make her evening gown and represent British design,” McCartney told WWD. “It has truly been one of the most humbling moments of my career and I am so proud of all the team on this stunning sunny royal day."