And the bride wore Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy! After months of speculation, Meghan Markle, the new Duchess of Sussex stole everyone’s breath in a simple yet stunning silhouette by British designer Clare Waight Keller, who became the first artistic director at the iconic French fashion house this year. The dress, made with silk fabric, featured a bateau neckline and long sleeves and was fashioned with a long train that took the world's breath away as she walked down the aisle at St. George's Chapel on May 19. Her hair was swept up in an elegant updo and finished off with Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara given to Meghan by the Queen and a delicate veil. As per Meghan’s request, her veil was designed with the distinctive flora of each of the 53 Commonwealth countries.
The dress was the royal wedding’s best-kept secret. In the days leading up to the wedding, Ralph & Russo were the frontrunners for designing the future royal’s dress. After all, the British couture label was responsible for the beautiful sheer dress she wore in the couple’s official royal engagement portrait. Other last-minute rumours included designer David Emanuel, who created Princess Diana’s iconic wedding gown in in 1981. They joined the growing roll-call of designers like Erdem, Roland Mouret and Christopher Bailey of Burberry.
The world looked to the royal-to-be’s sartorial choices as possible hints to what she might choose, from her Stella McCartney cape dress to her Alexander McQueen pant suit. With Oprah and Amal Clooney arriving in Stella, it was unlikely that she would wear the same. And while Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen already has experience in the royal wedding department, Meghan opted to go with another designer. In the end, she surprised in Givenchy.
The designer, Claire Waight Keller debuted her first couture collection for the house this past January and is reminiscent of the Duchess of Cambridge’s choice of Sarah Burton who designed the royal wedding dress shortly after joining Alexander McQueen. Meghan, like the Duchess of Cambridge before her, will change into a second dress for the evening.