Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in their engagement pictures, where the bride to be wore Australian designers Ralph and Russo. Picture: AFP PHOTO / ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI. The most iconic royal wedding dresses
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in their engagement pictures, where the bride to be wore Australian designers Ralph and Russo. Picture: AFP PHOTO / ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI. The most iconic royal wedding dresses

Meghan’s dress: what we know so far

BRITISH designer Stella McCartney has emerged as a late contender to design Meghan Markle's wedding dress, which has been kept a closely guarded secret for months.

It comes after the New York Post reported bridal designer Caroline Castigliano as saying Meghan would wear a gown by the British designer - who is Paul McCartney's daughter.

"Stella is such a perfect fit for Meghan, she uses organic fabrics and her ethos is the same as Meghan," she said.

"Her style is very underplayed, her dresses are very clean in style, very much Meghan - and they are friends.

"As soon as the engagement was announced I knew it would be a British brand, and I thought it would be Stella and people thought I was [crazy]!"

It was also claimed that Meghan would wear a tiara from Diana, Princess of Wales.

 

 

Stella McCartney has emerged as a late contender for designer of the dress. Picture: Mega,
Stella McCartney has emerged as a late contender for designer of the dress. Picture: Mega,

Australian design-duo Ralph and Russo were also tipped as favourites. Kensington Palace said the designer behind the world's most-watched dress would be revealed when the bride steps out on her wedding day in front of 5000 UK and international media and millions of people watching at home.

In the weeks leading up, the London-based duo Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo have been the subject of intense speculation, with bookies suspending betting on the real-life couple, following reports a $180,000 hand-stitched gown would be worn. The intricate handmade designs can take up to 300 hours to make.

The couture house, based just minutes from Kensington Palace, has refused to comment on reports. It has been claimed by UK media as a "British designer" and is the only design studio in London recognised by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Frogmore House, where she is wearing a Ralph and Russo design. Picture: Alexi Lubomirski.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Frogmore House, where she is wearing a Ralph and Russo design. Picture: Alexi Lubomirski.

 

 

Flowers adorn the front of the organ loft inside St George's Chapel for the wedding ceremony. Picture: AFP PHOTO / POOL / Danny Lawson
Flowers adorn the front of the organ loft inside St George's Chapel for the wedding ceremony. Picture: AFP PHOTO / POOL / Danny Lawson

 

Meghan has previously worn one of their glamorous $75,000 black and gold gowns for her official engagement picture with Prince Harry taken at Frogmore House - the venue for the evening reception where it's believed she will change into a second outfit.

The label was started by the couple in 2010 with just an ironing board and has become a full blown red carpet juggernaut with 400 staff and a luxury seven-storey studio, worn by Rihanna, Gwenyth Paltrow, Beyonce, Angelina Jolie and Kim Kardashian.

 

One of Ralph & Russo’s bridal gowns.
One of Ralph & Russo’s bridal gowns.

 

Designers Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo started their studio with an ironing board and rose to become Britain’s only haute couture house. Picture: Stephen Lock.
Designers Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo started their studio with an ironing board and rose to become Britain’s only haute couture house. Picture: Stephen Lock.

 

 

Shanina Shaik wearing her Ralph & Russo wedding dress. Source: Instagram
Shanina Shaik wearing her Ralph & Russo wedding dress. Source: Instagram

 

Others previously tipped to make the dress of the year include Stewart Parvin - a designer the Queen uses - and French designer, Roland Mouret, who is a friend of Meghan's.

Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen and Erdem Moralioglu were also the subject of speculation after Meghan said she had been wearing Erdem's designs "for years" in a Vanity Fair profile about her high-profile romance in 2017.

The former Suits actor has previously described her bridal style as "pared down and relaxed" following the on-screen wedding of her character Rachel Zane.

"Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist. I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic," she told Glamour in March.

"Delphine Manivet and Christos Costarellos are faves of mine for their uniqueness and beauty. And I will always be a fan of Ellie Saab. J. Mendel is spectacular as well, especially for more structural designs."

The dress is likely a surprise to Prince Harry, as Meghan has previously said she prefers "sticking with traditions" in terms of not letting the groom see the dress before the big day.

For her first wedding to US producer Trever Engleson in Jamaica, Meghan wore a strapless floor-length dress, however having shoulders uncovered in a church is deemed to be a no-no in Britain.

The intricate Ralph and Russo design in Prince Harry and Meghan’s engagement photos. Picture: Alexi Lubomirski.
The intricate Ralph and Russo design in Prince Harry and Meghan’s engagement photos. Picture: Alexi Lubomirski.

QUEEN'S TOUCHING GIFT

Ahead of the wedding, Kensington Palace anounced Prince Harry and Meghan chose Cleave and Company to make their rings.

Meghan's ring is made from Welsh gold and is a gift from the Queen. Royal tradition deems that rings are made from the same nugget of Welsh gold, including those of the Queen, her mother, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, and Diana, Princess of Wales. A "minute sliver" of this is still left and is held by the Privy Purse

Prince Harry's ring is a platinum band with a textured finish. Both will be carried into the chapel by Prince William, who is Harry's best man.

Other royal traditions include brides wearing a sprig of myrtle in royal bouquets, representing love, fertility and innocence. Brides also usually stop to lay their flowers at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

While Meghan is likely to wear a tiara, Queen Victoria wore a wreath of orange blossom in her hair for her wedding along with a white silk dress, sparking the trend for white dresses for years to come.

 

The design for Kate Middleton’s dress was kept secret until the moment she stepped into Westminster Abbey. Picture: AFP PHOTO / Carl DE SOUZA.
The design for Kate Middleton’s dress was kept secret until the moment she stepped into Westminster Abbey. Picture: AFP PHOTO / Carl DE SOUZA.

 

Kate Middleton wore a dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen for her wedding in 2011. Details of the iconic dress were closely guarded, with a tent covering the exit from The Goring Hotel so as not to spoil the surprise.

Ms Burton later described the dress as having "references to Victorian corsetry" with a padded hip, cinched waist and delicate needlework. It reportedly cost more than $450,000 and has since been put on display in Buckingham Palace and added to the Royal Collection.

 

 

Kate Middleton and her sister Pippa, in Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Picture: pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.
Kate Middleton and her sister Pippa, in Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Picture: pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.

 

 

Princess Diana had a wedding dress with a train more than seven metres long. Picture: AFP.
Princess Diana had a wedding dress with a train more than seven metres long. Picture: AFP.

 

 

Princess Diana’s dress designer said she was “horrified” it got creased as she made her way to the wedding. Picture: AFP/POOL.
Princess Diana’s dress designer said she was “horrified” it got creased as she made her way to the wedding. Picture: AFP/POOL.

 

Princess Diana's wedding dress was designed by Elizabeth Emanuel and her husband, David, who created the iconic gown out of more than 10,000 pearls, ivory silk and antique lace for her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.

It reportedly cost more than $16,000 and had a train stretching over seven metres long.


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