When Meghan Markle stepped out to the crowds on 19 May 2018, ready to marry Prince Harry, the world took a collective gasp at her stunning wedding dress. Her timeless gown was the handiwork of Clare Waight Keller, of Parisian fashion house Givenchy – and it has gone down in history. Take a look at some of the most stunning photographs of the Duchess of Sussex in her bridal gown and discover the most remarkable facts…
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The rumour mill went into overdrive in the weeks leading up to the wedding, with couture house Ralph & Russo hotly tipped to have won the much-coveted gig, and designers including Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham also touted as possible contenders. But when the royal bride finally stood on the steps of St George's Chapel in Windsor, her stunning gown by Givenchy was revealed.
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What a moment it was, eh? Since the happy couple celebrate their wedding anniversary on 19 May, there's no better excuse to look back on Meghan's beautiful wedding gown - here's ten fashion facts you might have missed on the big day...
1. Meghan's stunning veil was embroidered with the national flowers of each of the 53 commonwealth countries
She was later filmed reuniting with her dress in the ITV documentary Queen Of The World – revealing that it had been a total surprise to her groom! Touching the beautiful veil, she said: "It was important for me, especially now being part of the royal family, to have all 53 of the commonwealth countries incorporated. And I knew it would be a fun surprise for my now husband - he didn't know! He was really over the moon to find that I would make this choice for our day together, and I think the other members of the family had a similar reaction."
Meghan's beautiful veil
2. Crops of wheat were blended with the floral details
The statement from Givenchy read: "Symmetrically placed at the very front of the veil, crops of wheat are delicately embroidered and blend into the flora, to symbolise love and charity."
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3. The veil was also decorated with the California poppy and a wintersweet, also known as a Japanese allspice
This represented both Meghan's place of birth, and the flower that grew in Harry and Meghan's private garden at their previous home in Kensington Palace.
Meghan and Harry married at St George's Chapel in Windsor
4. Hundreds of hours (3,900 in fact!) were spent sewing the flowers on the veil
The fashion house stated: "Each flower was worked flat, in three dimensions to create a unique and delicate design. The workers spent hundreds of hours meticulously sewing and washing their hands every thirty minutes to keep the tulle and threads pristine."
5. The stunning veil was 16 feet long
Or five metres! It was sweetly carried by page boys Brian Mulroney and John Mulroney, the sons of Meghan's best friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney.
Designer Clare Waight Keller shows off sketches of the gown
6. Meghan only had a few meetings with Clare Waight Keller about the iconic dress
She revealed she had always wanted a classic look during Queen Of The World, saying: "We had two or three meetings talking about sketches and different ideas of how this could really come to life. We knew we wanted it to be very delicate, but then after that point, I just said I trust her implicitly with what she did."
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7. She chose to work with Clare after meeting her in early 2018
It's thought that Meghan wanted to highlight the success of a leading British talent who has served as the creative head of three globally influential fashion houses – Pringle of Scotland, Chloe and Givenchy. Clare said of their relationship: "It has been an immensely rewarding experience to get to know Meghan on a personal level, one I will forever carry with me. The House of Givenchy joins me in wishing her and Prince Harry every wish of happiness in their future."
With the adorable bridesmaids and pageboys!
8. A piece of material from the dress Meghan wore on her first date with Harry was also sewn into the dress
How adorable is that? Meghan told the ITV documentary it was her "something blue". She added: "It's fabric from the dress that I wore on our first date."
9. It's believed Meghan's wedding dress cost around £100,000
And she paid for it herself, just like the Duchess of Cambridge did in 2011.
The couple shared a moment after arriving in church
10. The bride didn't see her finished dress until the big day!
That's right, Meghan didn't know exactly what her gown looked like until her royal wedding day. "I didn’t see it really until the morning of, so this is my first time seeing the veil like this," she said, while viewing her dress in its exhibition display at Windsor Castle.
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