The royal bride-to-be stepped out of the car outside St George's Chapel wearing a gown by Claire Waight Keller for Givenchy featuring an open bateau neckline and three-quarter sleeves.
The gown also features a dramatic train and lace-trimmed veil topped off with a tiara, believed to be Queen Mary's.
Ms. Meghan Markle’s wedding dress has been designed by the acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller. Ms. Waight Keller last year became the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy.
After meeting Ms. Waight Keller in early 2018, Ms. Markle chose to work with her for her timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanour. Ms. Markle also wanted to highlight the success of a leading British talent who has now served as the creative head of three globally influential fashion houses – Pringle of Scotland, Chloé, and now Givenchy.
Ms. Markle and Ms. Waight Keller worked closely together on the design. The dress epitomises 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.
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 emphasises 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.
Following extensive research by Ms. Waight Keller in fabric mills throughout Europe, an exclusive double bonded silk cady was developed. Perfect for the round sculptural look required, the silk cady has a soft matt lustre whilst the bonding process and pure white colour chosen by Ms. Markle and Ms. Waight Keller bring a fresh modernity to the dress.
Ms. Markle expressed the wish of having all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony. Ms. Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united in one spectacular floral composition.
The Commonwealth family of nations – of which Her Majesty The Queen is Head –will be a central part of Prince Harry’s and Ms. Markle’s official work following His Royal Highness’s appointment as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Ms. Markle wanted to express her gratitude for the opportunity to support the work of the Commonwealth by incorporating references to its members into the design of her wedding dress.
Significant time was spent researching the flora of each Commonwealth country and much care was taken by Ms. Waight Keller to ensure that every flower is unique.
The veil is five meters long and made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza.
Each flower was worked flat, in three dimensions to create a unique and delicate design. The workers spent hundreds of hours meticulously sewing and washing their hands every thirty minutes to keep the tulle and threads pristine.
In addition to the flora of the Commonwealth, Ms. Markle also selected two personal favourites:
Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) the State flower from Ms. Markle’s place of birth, California.
Symmetrically placed at the very front of the veil, crops of wheat are delicately embroidered and blend into the flora, to symbolise love and charity.
Meghan made the drive to the church with her mum Doria Ragland by her side where we got the first glimpse of Meghan Markle as she made her way via car from Clivedon House where she spent her last night as a single woman, to St George's Chapel, Windsor where she will marry Prince Harry.
Speculation has been rife over the dress Meghan would choose, with rumours of designers changing almost daily. Ralph & Russo, Erdem, Oscar de la Renta and Burberry’s Christopher Bailey were all believed to be the top contenders.
Meghan is expected to wear a second dress to the evening reception, just as the Kate Middleton did at her wedding to Prince William in 2011.
Earlier today it was announced that the Queen had bestowed the couple with an official Dukedom.
Kensington Palace made the official announcement on Saturday May 19th.
“The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.
“Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms. Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.”
Prince Harry is sixth in line to the British throne after his father Prince Charles, his brother, Prince William his nieces and nephews, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.