Her bateau-necked pure white gown was designed by British designer, Clare Waight Keller, who last year became the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy.
Kensington Palace said: “Markle chose to work with her for her timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanour.
“Ms. Markle also wanted to highlight the success of a leading British talent who has now served as the creative head of three globally influential fashion houses – Pringle of Scotland, Chloé, and now Givenchy.
“Ms. Markle and Ms. Waight Keller worked closely together on the design. The dress epitomises a timeless minimal elegance referencing the codes of the iconic House of Givenchy and showcasing the expert craftsmanship of its world-renowned Parisian couture atelier founded in 1952.”
The gown was made from a material created by Waight Keller after extensive research in fabric mills throughout Europe. It is an exclusive double bonded silk cady, which Kensington Palace described as being “perfect for the round sculptural look required”. The pure white fabric also has a soft matt lustre, which was chosen by Markle and Waight Keller as it “brings a fresh modernity to the dress”.
Her shoes were based on a Givenchy refined pointed couture design and made of a silk duchess satin.
It had been rumoured Markle might do her own makeup, but instead she called on the help of her long-time friend, makeup artist Daniel Martin. Her hair was styled by Serge Normant.
Markle’s five-metre-long silk tulle veil features a trim of hand-embroidered silk and organza flowers, to represent the 53 countries of the Commonwealth. Markle said she wished to have all the countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony, as they will be a central part of her and Prince Harry’s official work following his appointment as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.
The floral design also incorporates two of Markle’s personal favourites: Wintersweet, which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy, the State flower from Markle’s place of birth.
Workers spent hundreds of hours meticulously sewing and washing their hands every thirty minutes to keep the tulle and threads pristine.
Symmetrically placed at the very front of the veil, crops of wheat are delicately embroidered and blend into the flora, to symbolise love and charity.
“It is beautifully demure, a clean veil with no gathers, and a tiara,” says couture wedding dress designer, Phillipa Lepley. “It is incredibly theatrical and exquisitely cut with an embroidered cathedral length hand made tulle veil. The A-line cut with a relatively short train of about 70 inches from the waist, results in lovely movement as the bride walks. When you have a dress with clean lines like that the bride really shines.”
The veil was held in place by Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara, lent to Markle by The Queen. It was made in 1932, with the centre brooch dating from 1893. She is also wearing earrings and a bracelet made by Cartier.
Clare Waight Keller stayed under the radar in the lead up to the royal wedding, with bookies favourites swinging between Ralph & Russo, Stella McCartney and Erdem.
Wedding dress designer Caroline Castigliano told HuffPost UK she was pleased Markle had managed to “surprise us all”. “Meghan’s gown is simplistic and certainly fits in with her way of dressing in a timeless and elegant manner,” she said. “I thought Meghan would wear a more fitted gown than past Royal brides and she certainly has.”
Markle left Cliveden House Hotel, in Taplow, accompanied by her mother Doria Ragland in a vintage Rolls-Royce Phantom IV.
Her wedding ceremony to Prince Harry took place at midday at the historic chapel at Windsor Castle.
Speculation about the dress has been rife ever since the couple announced their engagement on 27 November last year.
The dress reveal is one of the most eagerly-anticipated parts of the wedding day. During Kate Middleton’s marriage to Prince William in 2011, fans were able to catch a glimpse of her now-iconic lace bridal gown as she drove to Westminster Abbey.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s dress was designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and saw long lace sleeves brought back into fashion again.
Hamish Shephard, founder of wedding app Bridebook, told HuffPost UK that the classic A-line cut of Markle’s dress is “the choice of cut of 31% of UK brides in 2017.” He adds that after years in which we’ve seen the influence of the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress on bridal designers, he’s thrilled that Markle’s dress will prompt new trends.
“Ever since Kate’s wedding dress, the wedding industry has been dominated by long sleeves and extensive embroidery (as with Pippa Middleton’s dress),” he said. “In comparison Meghan’s dress is striking, structural and clean, evoking a forward thinking and modern style that still gives a nod to tradition - just like Meghan herself.”