Meghan Markle speaks about her "timeless" Givenchy wedding dress for the first time

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
Harry and Meghan were married on May 19 (PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have revealed more about their royal wedding in commentary for a new exhibition at Windsor Castle.

The exhibition, A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will see their wedding outfits go on display for the first time since their nuptials on May 19, and the couple have also provided audio commentary for it. 

Touching stories behind the couple’s big day are unveiled, from Harry joking about joining the Queen and Meghan for a meeting to choose a tiara, to how a cold Easter meant there were less flowers to pick for his wife’s wedding bouquet.

Meghan picked Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy to design her double-bonded silk cady bridal gown.

Meghan reveals why she chose Clare Waight Keller to design her wedding dress (PA)

She reveals she had followed Keller’s career for a long time and she ticked “all the boxes” from being British, to reflect the duchess’ new home, and a woman, to working for Givenchy as artistic director, a global fashion house which added an international dimension to the big day.

Meghan said she had a clear vision of what she wanted for the day and that British designer respected her vision for the dress, from the shape of the neckline to the length of the sleeves – and recognised the importance of tailoring as the outfit had to be “modest”.

In the commentary, Meghan says: “So I knew at the onset I wanted a bateau neckline, I wanted a cropped sleeve, I wanted a very timeless, classic feeling and, obviously with respect to the environment we were in and St George’s Chapel, being really modest in what it would look like, I knew that the tailoring was so key, because the dress itself would be so covered up.”

One of the main focuses of the exhibition is Meghan’s five-long silk tulle veil, which was embroidered with flowers that represented each of the 53 Commonwealth nations. It took 3,900 hours of work by a 50-strong team.

Meghan’s veil was embroidered with flowers of the 53 Commonwealth nations (PA)

Meghan adds: “There was a great level of detail that went into the planning of our wedding day.

“I think for us, we knew how large the scale of the event would be, so in making choices that were really personal and meaningful, it could make the whole experience feel intimate, even though it was a very big wedding.”

An identical version of Harry’s Household Cavalry frockcoat has been loaned for the display.

In the commentary, the couple describe the “surreal” moment they visited the Queen to choose a headpiece for Meghan for their big day.

Her Majesty loaned Meghan Queen Mary’s diamond and platinum bandeau tiara, which was made in 1932, with the centre brooch from 1893.

Meghan wore Queen Mary’s diamond and platinum bandeau tiara (PA)

The Duke joked: “Every girl’s dream to be able to try on a tiara, and, funnily enough, the one that suited the best, the one that looked the best on you without question, I shouldn’t have really even been there, but such an incredible loan by my grandmother, it was very sweet.”

The bride’s bouquet, designed by florist Philippa Craddock has also been recreated for the exhibition, using artificial silk flowers.

It contained scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, and sprigs of myrtle, all bound with a naturally dyed, raw silk ribbon.

In a touching tribute to his late mother Princess Diana, Prince Harry also added several handpicked flowers from their private garden at Kensington Palace, including her favourites Forget-Me-Nots.

The Duke and Duchess revealed that the cold weather earlier in the year meant there were less flowers available for the wedding bouquet from their cottage garden at Kensington Palace.

Harry picked his mother’s favourite flowers to include in Meghan’s bouquet (PA)

Harry explains in the commentary: “We didn’t have as many flowers in our little garden as we had hoped for because I think it snowed at Easter.

“That kind of ruined the whole thing. But, they’re very much a bouquet of wild flower, wild flower meadows and making sure that we had forget-me-nots in as it was one of my mother’s favourite flowers…”

Prince George’s page boy coat and Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller, are also included in the exhibition.

Princess Charlotte and Prince George’s royal wedding outfits are on display in the exhibition (PA)

Harry joked: “We had 10 bridesmaids, page boys under the age of seven which everybody says is impossible to have them behaving, but they did it.”

Meghan quipped: “It was a miracle.”

The Duchess of Cambridge’s Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding dress was exhibited at Buckingham Palace after her big day in 2011.

But the Queen’s reaction to the headless ‘ghost-like’ mannequin on the display, prompted her to describe it as ‘horrible,’ when she viewed it with Kate.

A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle runs from October 26 to January 6 at Windsor Castle.


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