Princess bride un­veils a new era

Sim­ple, yet so­phis­ti­cated, and with a touch­ing nod to the past, the bride looked a thor­oughly mod­ern royal, writes Holly Byrnes in Wind­sor

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - HARRY & MEGHAN -

AND the royal bride wore … Givenchy. Peer­ing through her del­i­cate silk veil, bou­quet hand quiv­er­ing as she reached her prince, for­mer Suits star Meghan Markle avoided the typ­i­cal princess meringue gown in favour of her own sim­ple but so­phis­ti­cated style state­ment.

The thor­oughly mod­ern and struc­tured de­sign, de­signed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, merged her nat­u­ral sex ap­peal and new re­gal sta­tus. The Tu­dor-style bodice, de­void of the em­bel­lish­ment she turned to for her Ralph & Russo en­gage­ment dress, was given the royal seal of ap­proval by her groom — who whis­pered “amaz­ing” and “ab­so­lutely gor­geous”.

Of­fer­ing a hint of shoul­der, and rem­i­nis­cent of Princess Mary of Den­mark’s bateau neck wed­ding gown, the dou­ble-bonded silk-cady gown with three-quar­ter sleeves was the ul­ti­mate in re­served el­e­gance.

Despite this be­ing her sec­ond mar­riage, the new royal rule­breaker looked daz­zling in her crisp white wed­ding dress — blind­ing in the spring sun­shine.

With her de­voted mother, Do­ria Ragland — re­laxed and chic in a sor­bet lime-coloured Os­car de la Renta suit dress — by her side for the jour­ney from Clive­den House Meghan over­came the late with­drawal of her fa­ther Thomas Markle to walk part of the way down the aisle on her own.

Help­ing with her lav­ish fiveme­tre veil train were her page boys, Brian and John, the twin sons of her stylist best friend Jes­sica Mul­roney - with one flash­ing a too oth­less grin as he walked be­hind her.

In a nod to Prince Harry's new roles as a Com­mon­wealth Am­bas­sador, the em­broi­dered veil fea­tured the flora of each of the 53 coun­tries, in­clud­ing the golder wat­tle of Aus­tralia. The exquisitely sim­ple gown drew gasps and ap­prov­ing ap­plause from the 100,000-strong crowd, gath­ered around St Ge­orge's Chapel and at live sites dot­ted around Wind­son

and across the cap­i­tal cen­tre of Lon­don. Givenchy was a favourite of Au­drey Hep­burn and Jackie Kennedy, Amer­ica’s an­swer to tra­di­tional roy­alty.

In a sign she has been fully em­braced by the Royal Fam­ily, Meghan bor­rowed from the Palace col­lec­tions and wore Queen Mary’s di­a­mond ban­deau tiara.

The tiara was de­signed to ac­com­mo­date a brooch given to Mary in 1893 to com­mem­o­rate her en­gage­ment to the then-Prince Ge­orge. Queen El­iz­a­beth II in­her­ited the pieces in 1953.

The 10 flower girls and page boys, the youngest a tod­dling twoyear-old Zalie War­ren, were not the hand­ful first feared, walked into the church by their moth­ers.

Prince Ge­orge, in a mini-me black frock coat like his dad, and Princess Char­lotte, in a sim­ple white frock dress, also by Givenchy, with a baby’s breath wreath in her hair, were both on their best be­hav­iour as their mother Kate watched on in prim­rose yel­low Alexan­der McQueen.

Harry and Meghan also re­mem­bered the late Diana, Prin- cess of Wales, by se­lect­ing for­get-me-nots, her favourite flow­ers, for the bridal bou­quet. Harry also contributed by hand-pick­ing flow­ers from their pri­vate gar­den at Kens­ing­ton Palace.

Myr­tle sprigs from stems planted at the Isle of Wight’s Os­borne House by Queen Vic­to­ria in 1845 also fea­tured, fur­ther­ing a long tra­di­tion. Sprigs were used from a plant grown from the myr­tle in the Queen’s wed­ding bou­quet in 1947.

Meghan’s bou­quet also in­cluded scented sweet peas, jas­mine and lily of the val­ley.

Pic­ture: An­drew Matthews.

The bride walks down the aisle fol­lowed by a gag­gle of page boys and young mem­bers of the bridal party.

Pic­tures: AFP, AP

Page­boys Brian and John Mul­roney hold the bride’s train. Meghan and Harry at the al­tar say­ing ‘I do’.

The happy cou­ple leav­ing the church, with the bride look­ing stun­ning in a Givenchy gown de­signed by Clare Waight Keller.

Meghan takes a glance back as the cou­ple leave the church.

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