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The story behind royal wedding dresses as told by designers: Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more

These royal wedding dresses are stunning

royal wedding dresses stories
Rachel Avery
Rachel AveryHomes Editor
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Royal weddings are grandiose affairs with hundreds of guests, millions of spectators and all eyes on the gorgeous gown! From Princess Eugenie's meaningful wedding dress to Princess Diana's record-breaking design, we hear the stories behind these iconic gowns as told by those who know best – the designers.

SEE: 7 most expensive royal wedding dresses in order of price

Clare Waight Keller on Meghan Markle's wedding dress

meghan markle wedding dress© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan Markle's dress took 3,900 hours to make

When Meghan Markle stepped out on her wedding day in 2018, about to marry Prince Harry, she was wearing a flawless Givenchy gown, and everyone was keen to know all of the details behind its design.

Clare Waight Keller, artistic director of the Parisian couture house posted on her Instagram account to celebrate the nuptials, but it wasn't until two-year royal wedding anniversary that Clare revealed a few things about the stunning design.

WATCH: Learn more about Meghan Markle's incredible gown

She wrote: "Through hours of conversation, meetings together, and research, slowly all the pieces of [the] story came together. Purity and simplicity were the guiding principles, a narrative of nature through the 53 florals of the Commonwealth to bring the world into the journey of the ceremony and subtlety bringing the lines of Givenchy and the history of the Maison to capture the classical timeless beauty I knew she wanted to achieve."

Clare also revealed to American fashion industry bible Women's Wear Daily that the dress took an incredible 3,900 hours over the course of four months to make.

David Emanuel on Princess Diana's wedding dress

princess diana wedding dress z© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Diana's 25-ft train broke a royal record

Speaking exclusively to HELLO!, David Emanuel revealed what it was like to craft such an iconic gown for Princess Diana when she married Prince Charles in 1981, and he told us the story behind that record-breaking train.

"We did research that the longest royal train was 20ft, we said to Diana, 'what do you think? Let’s do 23ft' and she blushed. And I said 'do you know what, let’s make it 25ft'," David reminisced. "Because St Paul's is vast, you couldn’t have a quiet unassuming dress. It had to make a statement," he added.

READ: Princess Diana thanked her wedding dress designer David Emanuel in the sweetest way

David also told us that Diana also expressed an interest in looking like a true princess on the day: "We promised to make her like a fairytale princess - that was discussed."

princess diana carriage

Princess Diana's dress was recreated for Neflix's The Crown

When asked for a stand-out memory from the day, David recalled the moment Diana's father saw her in the gown. "It was a wonderful moment - just like when Audrey Hepburn was going to the ball in My Fair Lady - she comes to the top of the stairs and there’s a gasp," he said. "She stood at the top of the stairs and her father Earl of Spencer was at the bottom and he looked up and simply said 'Diana'."

The Say Yes To The Dress host disclosed a secret detail about her dress – it had a tiny gold horseshoe sewn into it for good luck. Designer David only told the Princess of Wales on the morning of her wedding about this – and she was moved by the thoughtful gesture!

READ: 9 fascinating rules royal brides have to follow

SEE: 12 hilarious royal wedding moments caught on camera

Sarah Burton on Kate Middleton's wedding dress

kate middleton© Photo: Getty Images

Kate Middleton's wedding dress was hand-crafted

In 2011, when Kate Middleton married into the royal family, saying "I do" to Prince William, the world watched on – and she looked radiant in an Alexander McQueen design which was the creation of Sarah Burton and her team.

Although Sarah has remained quite tight-lipped about the process, she has occasionally spoken about the very special task.

In a Harper's Bazaar interview she said: "Making that dress was no kind of burden at all and it never will be. I loved making the dress, I loved adapting my ideas to suit the person and the occasion, and we put our hearts into it. I respect the intimate nature of that lovely project and I respect the friendships that were forged during it."

kate middleton pippa

Kate Middleton's sister Pippa helped with her amazing train

Images of roses, thistles, daffodils, and shamrocks were placed on both the bodice and skirt of Kate's dress using a nineteenth-century technique called Carrickmacross, but the striking lace was also a big part of the design process.

Mandy Ewing, who was part of the team who created the bespoke lace on the gown has spoken out about the secrecy of such a project. Chatting about the gown following the Duchess of Cornwall's visit to the Royal School of Needlework (RSN), Mandy said: "We knew who it was for, but it was very secret - we had net curtains up and cleaners were not allowed into the room and the code on the door was changed."

Peter Pilotto on Princess Eugenie's wedding dress

princess eugenie wedding dress z© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Eugenie looked incredible on her wedding day

It was the first time Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos has designed a wedding dress, but that didn't stop the gorgeous gown for Princess Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank from going down in history.

Speaking to The Star, Peter explained the reason behind Princess Eugenie's decision for them to design her royal wedding dress. "She told us she chose us because our dresses are the dresses she feels most confident in when she goes to events, so she has a few. That is exactly the feeling she wanted to have on her wedding day," he said.

eugenie wedding dress back

Princess Eugenie chose this cut to highlight her scoliosis scar

Her gown was specifically designed to showcase her scoliosis scar, bringing a more emotional meaning to her breathtaking gown. Peter went on to open up about the significance of designing such an iconic dress: "It gives me goosebumps. It is such an honour. That dress told Eugenie’s story like she wanted it to be told, and we could tell that story of that day and of her experience. It just says so much about the incredible young woman that she is."

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