When your nuptials are being watched by millions of viewers around the globe and your gown needs the approval of a queen, it can take wedding dress shopping to a whole new stratosphere of stress. But Meghan Markle nailed it with the style and grace of a woman who’s been doing the royal thing for years. The now-Duchess of Sussex took that life-changing walk down the aisle of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor in a minimalist long-sleeve boatneck gown designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy.
Her style is fashionable but accessible, or as Amanda Dishaw of style blog Meghan’s Mirror told the Wall Street Journal, “It boils down to polished imperfection.”
With that in mind, speculation as to what look she would choose for the biggest fashion moment of her life had reached fever pitch by Friday evening. Ralph & Russo, the label she famously donned in her official engagement photos was the front-runner for bridal gown designer guesses. Inbal Dror, Alexander McQueen (who designed Kate Middleton’s dress), Erdem, Christopher Bailey, and Jenny Packham were all also considered top contenders.
In the end, Waight Keller for Givenchy won out — and it may have been a girl power move on Markle’s part. Last year, Waight Keller became the first female artistic director of the storied French fashion house (we see what you did there, Meghan).
Made of double bonded silk cady, the gown was perfectly suited to Markle’s classic modern vibe. The bride’s veil was equally as thoughtful. According to a statement from the palace, “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.”
Markle also had Waight Keller represent Wintersweet, which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace, and the California Poppy, the state flower from her native California.
Measuring out at five meters — or 16 feet —long and made from silk tulle hand-embroidered floral trim in silk threads and organza, it was, indeed, fit for a now-royal.
Let the swooning commence.
(Photos via Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty, Andrew Matthews – WPA Pool/Getty, Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty, Dominic Lipinski/AFP/Getty, Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty, Andrew Matthews – WPA Pool/Getty, Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty)
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