Get the royal wedding look: Meghan Markle

22 May 2018

The Meghan Effect is sweeping the nation. Here's how to achieve royal wedding status with a look fit for a fairytale bride

It was the topic on everyone’s lips since Monday, 27th November, when the world rejoiced in the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were to wed… what would she wear?

There was no doubt that Meghan would nail it on her wedding day; her style icon status has accelerated rapidly since she and Prince Harry started courting. Timeless, elegant and classic are just some of the words consistently used to describe the Suits actress’s fashion sense and now women the world over strive to emulate her signature style.

Yet the now Duchess of Sussex kept people guessing right up until the big reveal of her bridalwear, with her style of dress and choice of designer a closely guarded secret that garnered an inordinate amount of speculation.

When Meghan stepped out of her wedding car, the reaction was one of agreement… Meghan looked sensational in every aspect. And when the wedding reception rolled in, we were treated to a second dress which showed a different side to Prince Harry’s bride. Here, we break down the bridal look that will undoubtedly be sought by many future brides-to-be, with advice on how to replicate it.

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The dress and accessories

Demure and dignified, Meghan’s wedding dress was one of a kind. Designed by Claire Waight Keller for Givenchy, the dress was modern, minimalist and allowed Meghan’s Queen Mary tiara and scallop-hemmed cathedral length veil to make the statements instead.

The dress cost a reported £200,000 and according to Givenchy: "The focus of the dress is the graphic open bateau neckline that gracefully frames the shoulders and emphasizes the slender sculpted waist. The lines of the dress extend towards the back where the train flows in soft round folds cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza. The slim three quarter sleeves add a note of refined modernity." 

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Anna Hare, owner of Pure Brides and Grooms in Norwich, comments: “Meghan’s dress has to be one of the most hotly anticipated wedding gowns in recent memory. After months of speculation in the store, we were so excited to watch as Meghan emerged from her car in her Givenchy inspired dress. We predicted a sleeve and an elegantly simple slim A-line and so we were pretty much spot on.

“The stunning bateau neckline beautifully framed her face and shoulders and the silk cady fabric added a sense of glamour. While the dress was simple (some argued underwhelming, but we disagree), it really was all about her veil. We are totally in love with the story it told, with the five-metre long veil featuring unique floral embroidery that represented the 53 countries in the Commonwealth.”

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Arleigh by Sottero & Midgley, available from Pure Brides and Grooms, £1,489

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Duchess Wedding Dress by Morilee

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Justin Alexander Fall 2017 Collection, £1,500-£2,000

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Missguided, £35

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Chi Chi London, £65

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Ivory and Co Princess Mia Art Deco Crystal Embellished Wedding Tiara, £225

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Rainbow Club Lunaria Lace Edge Train Veil, £175

The jewellery

Jewellery was kept to a minimum, with a simple set of Cartier diamond earrings and a sole bracelet to echo the simplicity of her overall bridal look. The minimal jewellery also offered the perfect complement to Meghan’s dazzling engagement ring and Welsh gold wedding ring.

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Lorna Haddon, diamond ring and jewellery buyer at Beaverbrooks the Jewellers, says: “Meghan teamed her rings with a stunning set of diamond studs and an elegant diamond bracelet which perfectly complemented her gown. These Dance 9ct White Gold Diamond Earrings (£695) and this 9ct White Gold Diamond Shaped Cubic Zirconia Bracelet (£595) will help any bride hoping to recreate the look.”

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The hair and make-up

Fresh and fuss-free, Meghan’s natural beauty radiated during the wedding ceremony with minimal make-up. A simple chignon with loose tendrils at the front and pulled back behind the ears exposed Meghan’s face which displayed a flawless complexion and soft, smokey eyes.

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Mathew Soobroy, principal stylist at Charles Worthington Salons, says: “Meghan went for a sleek, simply beautiful hair style. This is a royal classic that is incredibly elegant. The Alice band tiara simplified it even further. This is the perfect style to show off the neckline of the dress beautifully. She looked amazing; very regal and very bridal. Simple, structured and elegant is the order of the day."

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Make-up artist Daniel Wood, based in Leeds, comments on the make-up: "In an age where more is more, I was delighted to see Meghan looked every bit the modern princess. From her freckles, her divine golden skin, pinky-nude lips to her chocolate smokey eyes everything was applied with respect, enhancing her natural beauty rather than overpowering it.

“To create the ethereal bare skin effect, Face and Body Foundation by MAC Cosmetics is an absolute must, providing just the slightest cover while imparting a regal glow over the skin. Finish with a cream blush for a barely-there glow while adding a flush of colour to the cheek area. 

“It’s been suggested Meghan wore her favourite ‘Teddy’ Eye Kohl (also MAC) to add a soft smokey haze to her eyes, and I would have to agree. A warm brown with a dreamy bronze sheen is perfect for adding definition to any eye colour or skin tone for that matter.  It’s an absolute staple in my kit. 

“To finish the look Pillow Talk lipstick from Charlotte Tilbury is perfect for that barely-there yet polished lip; this kind of lip colour in my experience always looks incredible in person but especially on camera." 

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The flowers

Contrary to speculation, Meghan reserved peonies for her venue flowers and instead opted for a small and simple arrangement for her bouquet. The all-white florals featured: forget-me-nots – a tribute to Princess Diana, who favoured the flower; sweet peas; lily-of-the-valley; astilbe; jasmine; and astrantia. The bouquet also carried a sprig of myrtle, a royal tradition introduced by Queen Victoria and which – rather fittingly for a wedding – symbolises hope and love.

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The evening outfit

Many predicted Meghan would switch it up for the evening celebrations and sure enough, she stepped out in a lily white Stella McCartney dress in silk crepe to accompany her prince who had also changed into a suave tuxedo. The halter neck and backless design signalled a more relaxed side to Meghan, suggestive of a bride ready to party the night away in style. Diamond drop earrings and an aquamarine ring, that once belonged to Princess Diana, finished the outfit perfectly.

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British bridal designer Caroline Castigliano, commented: “Stella MaCartney designed Megans evening gown - a simple crepe dress halter neck, backless – alluring and sensual. I predicted Stella would design a dress for the day and I got it right.

"I thought Stella was such a perfect fit for Meghan as Stella uses organic fabrics and her ethos is very much the same as Meghan. Meghan set the tone of her dress absolutely right again. She regularly wears a high neckline and its a style that really suits her.” 

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Melody by Caroline Castigliano