The pageantry of a British royal wedding – with its horse-drawn carriages, orchestras, and cheering masses – requires a bridal gown that can keep up. For Meghan Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry, the world looked on with curiosity to see who would dress her for the most significant day of her life. Many assumed that it would be a British designer, along the lines of Ralph & Russo or Alexander McQueen, and while they weren’t wrong about the nationality of the designer, they were dead wrong about the brand.
With the sun shining and stylish guests arriving in droves to Windsor Chapel to witness the royal nuptials, we caught a first glimpse of Markle’s look as she arrived in the back of a maroon Rolls-Royce with her mother, Doria Ragland. Through the glint of glass, we spied an ivory veil and sparkling tiara. And then, as the crowd looked on and cheered, she exited with a massive tulle train in tow in a stunning look that was revealed to have been the work of Givenchy.
The brand’s new Creative Director, Clare Waight Keller, is a British designer, but Givenchy is a French luxury maison. Regardless, Waight Keller honored the nation by crafting a five-meter veil made from silk tulle, the exquisite floral designs of which represented the 53 countries that comprise the Commonwealth.
Equally as impressive as her wedding train was the tiara that held it all together. For the special day, Queen Elizabeth II loaned Markle the ‘Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau’ tiara, which was made in 1932, accounting for the bride’s “something borrowed”. Meanwhile, vintage Cartier earrings provided her with “something old”.
While an extravagant white gown and a glittering diamond tiara are expected when it comes to British royal wedding traditions, Markle’s walk down the aisle was anything but. With her father undergoing heart surgery and unable to attend the ceremony, Markle was escorted down the “Quire” by Prince Charles as a symbol of being accepted into the royal family. However, her walk into the palace – also known as the bridal procession – was done entirely on her own, proving that this young bride has the confidence and self-assurance it takes to embrace her new role as the Duchess of Sussex.