Meghan Markle's 16-Foot Wedding Veil Has a Surprise Connection to the Commonwealth
All eyes were on Meghan Markle's tiara at her royal wedding to Prince Harry, but her cathedral-length veil represented a special connection the Commonwealth
The bride’s headpiece, made from silk tulle, featured a trim of hand-embroidered flowers from each of the 53 counties in the Commonwealth in threads and organza.
Meghan added a couple personal touches as well: she had the Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) the State flower of California, added as well.
Designer Clare Waight Keller says that the idea came to her after several conversations with Meghan about what “story” she wanted to tell through her wedding.
“There was a conversation early on about the story that we were going to tell through this wedding,” she says. Part of what I wanted to do was talk to her about what type of stories they could be. The fact that her and Prince Harry will be working a lot in the Commonwealth was something that I thought was really intriguing and could be something built on to be part of the day.”
“We had different conversations back and forth and I came up with the idea of maybe representing each of the countries, the 53 countries of the Commonwealth, through their flora and fauna,” she adds. “We both loved the story of that. It also meant that single one of those countries also journeyed up the aisle with her. It was a really poetic moment.”
And Meghan was a big fan, too: “She just loved it, absolutely loved it,” Waight Keller says.
The creators of the veil spent hundreds of hours meticulously sewing the flowers, washing their hands every 30 minutes to ensure the piece was immaculate.
Crops of wheat, which symbolize love and charity, sit at the very front of the veil.
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The veil is held in place by the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau tiara, lent to Meghan by Queen Elizabeth. The diamond bandeau is English and was made in 1932, with the center brooch dating from 1893. The bandeau, which is made of diamonds and platinum, is formed as a flexible band of 11 sections, pierced with interlaced ovals and pavé set with large and small brilliant diamonds. The center is set with a detachable brooch of 10 brilliant diamonds.
Meghan styled the diamond tiara featuring a center floral motif with a chic bridal updo and a custom Givenchy dress featuring slim three-quarter sleeves and a statement train.
The stunning silk gown, designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, featured an open bateau neckline and sculpted waist. The train flowed in soft round folds cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza. The sleeves added a note of refined modernity.
- Watch our full special, Meghan and Harry – a Fairy-Tale Wedding, on PeopleTV, now available on PeopleTV.com and on your favorite streaming device.
She also wore shoes by Givenchy made of silk duchess satin and featuring a refined pointed couture design.