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Meghan Markle's secret wedding tribute to Princess Diana we never knew about

The Duchess of Sussex was planning to wear Princess Diana's tiara on her wedding day

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle smiling at each other during their marriage in St George's Chapel
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
10 May 2023
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The Duchess of Sussex spent months planning every detail of her royal wedding with Prince Harry, but one person that remained at the forefront of her mind was the late Princess Diana.

Meghan Markle stepped out in a timeless wedding dress by Clare Waight Keller of Parisian fashion house Givenchy, complete with a bateau neckline and cropped sleeve. She added a 16 feet-long veil embroidered with the national flowers of the 53 commonwealth countries and secured in place with Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara.

princess diana wedding
Princess Diana wore the Spencer tiara on her wedding day

According to Harry's book Spare, which was released in January, she was actually due to wear a completely different headpiece – a family heirloom belonging to her late mother-in-law. 

"Next came the question of a tiara. My aunts asked if Meg would like to wear my mother’s. We were both touched. Meg then spent hours and hours with her dress designer, getting the veil to match the tiara, giving it a similar scalloped edge," Harry wrote.

Meghan Markle's wedding veil had a scalloped edge to match Princess Diana's tiara© Getty
Meghan Markle's wedding veil had a scalloped edge to match Princess Diana's tiara

"Shortly before the wedding, however, Granny reached out. She offered us access to her collection of tiaras. She even invited us to Buckingham Palace to try them on," he added.

The Duke of Sussex explained that Meghan modelled emerald and aquamarine tiaras before settling on the classic diamond hair accessory during a try-on session in the Queen's private dressing room.

WATCH: Meghan Markle shared her thoughts on her wedding day

"One of the five, however, stood out. Everyone agreed. It was beautiful, seemingly made for Meg. Granny said it would be placed in a safe directly and she looked forward to seeing it on Meg’s head come the Big Day," Harry continued, and said they felt "loved and grateful" following the pre-wedding bonding moment.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle smiling at each other during their marriage in St George's Chapel© Getty
Meghan Markle borrowed Queen Mary's bandeau tiara

So even though Meghan swapped her accessory, her wedding outfit still paid homage to the People's Princess with her scalloped veil, which was carried by page boys Brian Mulroney and John Mulroney, the sons of Meghan's friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney.

Givenchy later revealed that 3,900 hours of work went into creating the floral veil, which featured several more sentimental details. Crops of wheat were placed at the front to symbolise love and charity, and the California poppy and a wintersweet were added to represent both Meghan's place of birth and the flower that grew in Harry and Meghan's private garden at Kensington Palace.

The Duchess of Sussex showed off her flowing veil as she left St George's Chapel© Getty
The Duchess of Sussex showed off her flowing veil as she left St George's Chapel

Although the Queen had suggested that Meghan and her hairdresser practice securing the tiara and veil in place ahead of the wedding, describing the process as "tricky", Harry claimed that they were unable to do so after struggling to coordinate with her dressmaker Angela Kelly.

However, Meghan's look all came together at the last minute, and she looked breathtaking as she stepped out at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in May 2018, after only seeing her finished wedding dress hours before her ceremony.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry waving to crowds as they headed to their wedding reception© Getty
Meghan wore Princess Diana's aquamarine ring to her wedding reception

"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.

The couple later enjoyed a wedding reception at Frogmore House, where Meghan changed into a halterneck gown by Stella McCartney accessorised with Princess Diana's aquamarine ring.

See more memorable photos from Harry and Meghan's royal wedding...

Meghan Markle walks up the aisle with King Charles at St George's Chapel© Getty
Meghan Markle walked up the aisle with King Charles at St George's Chapel
Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel watched by royals including Queen Elizabeth II, the Princess Royal, and the Prince of Wales© Getty
The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince William and more attended the royal wedding
meghan markle wedding dress prince harry
The couple got married in May 2018
Prince Harry kisses his wife Meghan Markle following their royal wedding© Getty
Prince Harry delighted crowds by kissing his new wife Meghan Markle
Charles offering his arm to Doria Ragland and Queen Consort Camilla after the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle © Getty
King Charles was pictured offering his arm to Doria Ragland and Queen Camilla
meghan wedding heels© Getty Images
Meghan's heels acted as her 'something blue'

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