“[She] felt like she was bringing an element of each of those countries down the aisle with her. So that her new role—and that bridge to the new role—was captured in what she was wearing,” Waight Keller says. “For both of us, we felt it was a really beautiful signature, and I think even Prince Harry was just thrilled at the idea that we really tried to capture something for everyone in that service.”
To symbolize love and charity, crops of wheat were intricately blended into the floral motif at the front of the veil, which was secured with Queen Mary’s diamond and platinum bandeau tiara. The Givenchy atelier workers in Paris sewed for hundreds of hours and washed their hands every 30 minutes to ensure that the threads and tulle remained immaculate.
The groom’s father, a staunch supporter of British hand-craftsmanship and artisan traditions, was also moved by the gesture. “King Charles was just in awe of the dress and the [veil] embroidery, and he asked me about it while we were waiting inside the nave,” Waight Keller says. “He was really very interested, actually, in all the different motifs and the floral representations.”
Celebrating Prince Harry With “Something Blue”
The duchess put a creative twist on her serendipitous “something blue.” After dismissing “a garter or something like that,” Waight Keller explains, Markle snipped a piece of fabric from the dress she wore on her first date with Prince Harry.
“We basically sewed it into the hem of the wedding dress, so she was the only one that knew that it was there. It was a little blue gingham check,” Waight Keller says, dropping a significant clue about the Sussexes’ origin story—and for social media sleuths to scour the Wayback Machine. “It was the perfect personal memento that was secretly hidden inside the dress.”
Coordinating With the Bridesmaid Dresses
The six bridesmaids (or flower girls), including Prince William’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, coordinated with Markle in crisp white Givenchy haute couture. “She said, ‘I don’t want them to feel trussed up or like they’re in some old-fashioned dress,’” Waight Keller explains. “So these were just really modern and clean, but also something that they could move around in and felt like they were real children’s clothes.”
Evoking “very simple little T-shirt shapes,” in look and comfort, Waight Keller animated the ivory silk radzimir frocks with lively details: empire waistlines, short puff sleeves, tiny pleats, and hand-finished double silk ribbon bows at the back. “They had the same principles of modernity that the wedding gown had,” says Waight Keller, who also added pockets. “It was an important link between the two.”