When Meghan Markle wed Prince Harry on May 19, 2018, she wore an iconic Givenchy dress that set the trends for years to come. Her off-the-shoulder, long-sleeve gown quickly gained attention for its elegance and simplicity.
But, Queen Elizabeth wasn’t thrilled about the color the royal bride chose. According to The New Royals by Katie Nicholl, the Queen wanted Markle to don an off-white dress, signifying her previous marriage to film producer Trevor Engelson, whom she married in 2011. Nicholl wrote that the Queen had “reservations” about the “pure white of Meghan’s Givenchy dress.”
A source also told the reporter that the Monarch expected Markle to honor the tradition, just like Queen Consort Camilla did when she married King Charles on April 9, 2005. “The Queen was surprised that Meghan wore pure white on her wedding day,” the source said. “Perhaps, it’s a generational thing, but she believes if you’ve been married before, you wear off-white on your wedding day, which is what the Duchess of Cornwall did.”
Although Markle’s dress sparked controversy within the royal family, the actress worked with designer Clare Waight Keller to create the dress with utmost care and attention to detail. The BBC reports that it took 3,900 hours and 50 people to craft the design. “I had a very clear vision of what I wanted for the day and what I wanted the dress to look like,” the Duchess explained a few months after the wedding. “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."