Find out why Meghan Markle’s wedding dress will cost less than Duchess Kate’s

By Jessica Bateman

Meghan Markle has been at the forefront of fashion news since she and Prince Harry announced their engagement in November. And up next for sartorial speculation is, of course, what dress she’ll don for her big day on May 19. Regardless of which stunning gown the former actress goes with, it won’t cost more than Duchess Kate’s did back in 2011, says royal expert Katie Nicholl. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, she said, “There have been reports that [Meghan’s] considering spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on a wedding dress. I think that’s incredibly unlikely. Kate’s dress is rumoured to have cost [$450,000]. It was her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, who paid for that bill.”

Ralph & Russo – who designed the dress Meghan wore in her enagement pictures – are rumoured to be creating her wedding gown too

"I think it is very unlikely that Meghan would spend more than that and in doing so try and upstage a future queen. I don’t think she's going to want to get royal life off to a start where she's criticised for spending something like $733,000 on a wedding dress."

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As for who might design the dress, eager royal watchers have whittled down a list of potential names. Back in February, bookmakers stopped taking bets on which label she'll choose after it saw a surge of punters backing Alexander McQueen. A spokesperson said at the time: "Our traders have been inundated with bets for McQueen to be the designer of Meghan's dress. So much so they've had to suspend the betting. Either someone sneaky knows something, or there's plenty of shrewd punters who are up on their fashion knowledge."

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But now Ralph & Russo, which created the stunning beaded gown Meghan wore in her engagement photos, has emerged as a new potential favourite. Fashion insiders told HELLO! that word is that the British haute couture fashion house has won the style war to create the most coveted wedding dress of the year. If the rumours are true, we could expect a spectacular full gown on the royal wedding day, as the design duo are famous for their intricate and head-turning looks.

Of course, royal watchers and fashionistas won't know until the day which designer Meghan has chosen. The 36-year-old is due to marry her fiancé on Saturday 19 May at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

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