LONDON: Will it be white? Satin or lace? Made in Britain or not? The tightly-guarded secret of Meghan Markle’s wedding dress will finally be revealed when she walks down the aisle to marry Prince Harry tomorrow.
Anticipation has reached levels not seen since the 2011 wedding of Harry’s brother Prince William and Kate Middleton, who in the end wore a white and ivory satin gown designed by Sarah Burton from the Alexander McQueen fashion house in England.
The former Suits star may also opt for a dress from her adopted country to curry favour with the public and boost Britain’s valuable fashion industry. There is also some speculation, although far less, about what Harry will wear on his big day – a civilian suit or a full dress uniform?
London has been buzzing for weeks with rumours about who will design Markle’s dress, with Ralph & Russo, who had made her engagement dress, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Erdem, Alexander McQueen, Antonio Berardi and Roland Mouret all being mentioned.
Mouret told AFP in February that he wouldn’t reveal if he was the chosen man, saying, “She’s a friend and the great gift I can give my friends is to keep their lives private.” Markle told Glamour magazine in 2016 that her ideal outfit would be “very pared down and relaxed.” She said, “I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic.”
But by marrying into the royal family, Meghan is also joining an institution whose traditions will impose their own restrictions. “From Honiton lace to Orange Blossom, Royal Wedding Dresses over the years have encompassed tradition, whilst still embracing changing fashions,” the family’s official website said of its approach to the gown.
British Fashion Council chief Caroline Rush believes Markle will strike the right balance. “Throughout the past couple of months, Meghan Markle has proved to be very considered in her choice of what she wears,” she said. “She understands the subtle power fashion has in terms of challenging conventions, connecting to a community but also putting local companies in the spotlight.”
Meghan’s previous marriage to film producer Trevor Engelson also throws up a complication, raising the question of whether she will be able to wear white. “The etiquette on white dresses for second marriages is now very fluid,” wedding dress designer Raishma said. “However, she is marrying a member of the Royal family, so she may opt for ivory or an off-white shade which actually would be perfect on her skin tone.”