Details on Meghan Markle’s gown were kept tightly under wraps ahead of the royal wedding, but now all of the design secrets are being recalled. The understated Givenchy wedding dress did not boast an abundance of lace or puffy sleeves, but even this “simple” gown took an impossible amount of time to create.
In a new interview with Women’s Wear Daily, royal wedding dress designer Clare Waight Keller revealed it took a whopping 3,900 hours to make Meghan’s dress. The royal wedding gown took more than four months to complete and it included a 16-foot veil embroidered with flora of all 53 of the Commonwealth countries.
Last year, British designer Clare Waight Keller became the first female Artistic Director at Givenchy. After meeting Clare in early 2018, Meghan Markle chose to work with her and the French fashion house to create her dream wedding dress.
According to the royal family’s official website, Meghan Markle and designer Clare Waight Keller worked closely together on the design, which featured a flowing train, three-quarter sleeves, and an underskirt in triple silk organza. In addition, Waight Keller designed a silk tulle veil that was hand embroidered with the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country. The royal website revealed that a team of ateliers “spent hundreds of hours meticulously sewing and washing their hands every thirty minutes to keep the tulle and threads pristine.”
Sketches of The Duchess of Sussex’s #RoyalWedding dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller, have been released.
The Duchess and Ms. Waight Keller worked closely together on the design, epitomising a timeless minimal elegance referencing the codes of the iconic House of Givenchy. pic.twitter.com/A9ZFKVZmUz
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 20, 2018
Clare Waight Keller told ITV she came up with the idea of the Commonwealth flowers as a nod to the Duchess of Sussex’ official future work as a royal family member.
“A lot of the work she’s probably going to do in the future will be connection to the Commonwealth and so that was something I really thought could be quite compelling,” the Givenchy designer said.
Waight Keller also revealed that Prince Harry personally thanked her for creating the stunning design.
“He came straight up to me and he said, ‘Oh my God, thank you, she looks absolutely stunning,'” the designer dished.
Clare Waight Keller said she felt “truly privileged” to take on the “enormous honor” of designing Meghan Markle’s royal wedding dress, telling ITV, “I’m so proud to have been part of it.”
— GIVENCHY (@givenchy) May 19, 2018
Meghan Markle’s royal wedding gown was so top secret that Waight Keller didn’t even tell her husband, American architect Philip Keller, that she was working on it. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Keller didn’t find out until the morning of the wedding, just like the rest of the world.
But even after all of that work and secret keeping, not everyone was a fan of Megan Markle’s royal wedding dress. Singer Katy Perry told Entertainment Tonight she thought the dress was ill-fitting.
“I would have done one more fitting,” Perry told ET. “I’m never not going to tell the truth! One more fitting, but I love you.”