Meghan Markle's designer Clare Waight Kelle recalls pressure to deliver 'flawless' dress for royal wedding
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Meghan Markle’s wedding dress designer Clare Waight Kelle recalled the immense pressure that came with designing the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding dress. The former artistic director of Givenchy opened up about creating the duchess' dress for her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry in the fourth episode of ‘Harry & Meghan,’ the Netflix docuseries starring Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In an interview for the documentary, Waight Keller said, “Looking at the design of the dress, there were many conversations we had over how you want to present yourself to the world.”
The British designer spoke about how the royal wedding, which was watched by 29 million people in the United States, amplified the stakes of designing the gown. “I mean, most of us have a wedding with, you know, 70 to 200 people. This was billions of people watching this wedding. It has to be flawless, it has to be perfect,” she remarked. According to a press release from the palace at the time, Waight Keller, who in 2017 became Givenchy's first female artistic director, created a simple white silk cady gown with an open bateau neckline, slim three-quarter sleeves, elegant train, and six "meticulously placed" seams.
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Meanwhile, Meghan said about the dress, which was put on display as part of a royal wedding exhibition at Windsor Castle in 2018, “I had a very clear vision of what I wanted for the day, and what I wanted the dress to look like, and so what was amazing in working with Clare is that sometimes you’ll find designers try to push you in a different direction. But she just completely respected what I wanted to see for the day, and she wanted to bring that to life for me.”
Besides the gown, Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara, on loan from Queen Elizabeth II, was worn by Markle on her wedding day along with a Cartier bracelet, and a pair of earrings. However, over the years, rumors have circulated that the duchess had her heart set on a different headpiece. According to Daily Mail, in the book ‘Battle of Brothers,’ royal biographer Robert Lacey wrote, “Unconfirmed by the palace — but not denied — we were told that the Queen felt that she had to say ‘no’ to Meghan’s first choice,” adding that the duchess had been eyeing a stunning emerald headgear that was reported "to have arrived from Russia." On December 15th, the duke and duchess' Netflix documentary series, 'Harry & Meghan,' delivered its final three episodes. The couple's 2018 wedding was extensively covered in volume two of the groundbreaking documentary series.