How Meghan Markle Kept Her Dress Design Top Secret Until the Royal Wedding Day

Meghan Markle just officially became part of the royal family, however she’s already well-versed in their art of keeping secrets!

A brand-new piece by Harper’s Bazaar details one of the biggest headlines of Saturday’s royal wedding — the gorgeous in addition to glamorous gown worn by the newly-appointed Duchess of Sussex, details of which were kept top secret until the day of Markle in addition to Prince Harry’s nuptials.

Markle worked closely with designer Clare Waight Keller, the first female artistic director of French fashion house Givenchy, to create the idea for her dress, a stunning, “pure white,” boatneck dress. The highlight of her wedding ensemble, however, was the long, dramatic veil, which was paired with Queen Mary’s breathtaking diamond bandeau tiara.

“via the very start we had a few variations on the design, however then very quickly the idea [held] to the final creation in which you saw,” Keller said of the process of creating Markle’s gown. The pair’s collaboration included top-secret meetings, multiple workshops in addition to even Keller keeping the secret in which she was designing a royal wedding dress via her own family. In fact, her own husband, architect Philip Keller, didn’t find out in which she was involved until the dress designer was announced publicly!

Meghan Markle walks down the aisle

Brian Lawless – WPA Pool/Getty Images

“[Meghan] was actually focused, as I was, on the idea being absolutely perfect for the occasion. in addition to also knowing what the House of Givenchy has done in its history, I think the idea was a collaboration in which came through in which,” Keller added. “We exchanged conversations about what could be the ultimate lines in addition to proportions in addition to the scale of the dress, however over time we got to a point where I [knew] she knew exactly what she wanted, having tried some of the toiles in addition to mock-ups in which I had shown her. in addition to then the idea evolved into the final design.”

Two smaller teams — all of whom signed non-disclosure agreements — set up private workspaces at the Givenchy Haute Couture Atelier in Paris in addition to at a secret location in London. “the idea was all about keeping the secret,” Keller noted.

One of the most time-consuming details of the dress was Markle’s 5-meter silk tulle veil, which took more time to complete than her dress — almost 500 hours — in addition to had its own designated workshop. The detailing was so delicate, workers had to wash their hands even 30 minutes to make sure not to sully any of the thread or tulle.

The embroidery on the veil — flora representing each of the Commonwealth countries — was created by hand-stitching each silk thread in addition to organza flower on a flat surface before sewing the idea on. In total, there were 55 distinct flowers on Markle’s veil: one for each of the 53 Commonwealth nations, stalks of wheat to symbolize love in addition to charity, in addition to two special additions: Wintersweet, which grows in front of the couple’s Nottingham Cottage home at Kensington Palace, in addition to the California poppy, which is usually the official flower of Meghan’s home state.

“We both loved the story of in which,” Keller said of the meaningful detail. “the idea also meant in which every single one of those countries also journeyed up the aisle with her. the idea was a actually poetic moment. She absolutely loved the idea.”

In March, Markle in addition to Keller reviewed the first photos of the dress as the idea was being created, in addition to decided on a three-quarter sleeve. The following month, the pair met for a series of three in-person fittings to get the look just right.

“There were a few adjustments inside the later fittings, however by the time we got to the third stage, we were quite close to knowing what we needed to do,” Keller recalled.

Prince Harry in addition to Meghan Markle on wedding day


In May, the dress was secretly transported to Windsor Castle, where the idea was safely stored until the final fitting with Markle, Keller in addition to the bride’s friend, Jessica Mulroney, whose twin sons served as the adorable, scene-stealing pageboys in which guided Markle’s veil down the aisle.

The gown was kept under tight security until the big day, however one very important member of the royal family got a sneak peek. Just like her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, before her, Markle showcased her dress for Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, in a private audience just a few weeks before the wedding.

“the idea’s not for approval,” a friend of Markle’s told Harper’s. “the idea is usually to share a special moment with the Queen, in addition to possibly get a few words of advice before the wedding itself.”

The wedding party held two rehearsals at St. George’s Chapel inside the days prior to the royal nuptials on Saturday, May 19, in addition to Markle reportedly used a mock veil in which was the same size as her actual headpiece generating sure in which the pageboys in addition to flower girls could practice walking the bride down the aisle.

“There are always things you think about, however I have to say [the party was] very Great at rehearsing… the idea was important in which they placed themselves inside the right spot,” Keller recalled. “On the day, the boys felt very confident. They were just loving the moment. They did a fantastic job.”

Finally, the idea was the big day for Markle in addition to her stunning gown. The bride was joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, at Cliveden House Hotel in Berkshire, in addition to prepared with Keller, hairstylist Serge Normant in addition to her longtime makeup artist, Daniel Martin.

“She was just glowing,” Keller said of the moment in which Markle finally put on the stunning gown. “There’s so much emotion on a day like in which, however I think particularly when the idea all comes together, the idea’s tremendous. She was absolutely radiant.”

However, the designer noted in which the bride made the idea easy on her makeup artists, in addition to didn’t shed any tears as she prepared for her walk down the aisle. “She was incredibly composed. the idea was actually quite extraordinary.”

Then, Keller traveled to St. George’s Chapel ahead of Markle, to make sure in which the bride’s arrival, in addition to the dress’ first public appearance, went off without a hitch.

“the idea was an important part of the moment when she walked out of the auto, for me to actually be there in addition to make the veil absolutely perfect,” Keller said of the moment the Duchess-to-be emerged via the Queen’s maroon 1950 Rolls Royce Phantom IV. “I knew in which the dress as she went up the steps could make in which beautiful line. With the veil being so long, I wanted to make the idea absolutely spectacular. So I handed the idea to the two [page boys, Brian in addition to John Mulroney] in addition to they did an amazing job.”

The rest is usually fashion history! See more on Markle’s stunning gown, in addition to the rest of her royal wedding day look, inside the video below.

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