The Duchess of Sussex wore two very memorable outfits on her wedding day to Prince Harry, and they have inspired many brides over the past four years.
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But it wasn’t just her Givenchy wedding gown that made up her first bridal look – do you remember her custom-made, 16-foot veil secured with the Queen Mary Bandeau Tiara? Not only was the cathedral-length accessory fitting for a royal bride, but it also paid tribute to the Commonwealth with embroidered flowers representing all 53 countries.
WATCH: Meghan Markle Is Reunited With Her Wedding Dress
Royal ladies always keep their wedding dress design a secret from the public until the big reveal at their nuptials, but apparently even Meghan’s husband and her future in-laws were shocked and delighted by her thoughtful design, which was put together by Clare Waight Keller and her team.
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In the HBO documentary Queen of the World which was released in 2018, Meghan explained to a royal conservator: “It was important for me, especially now being part of the royal family, to have all 53 of the commonwealth countries incorporated. And I knew it would be a fun surprise for my now husband – he didn’t know!
The Duchess’ veil was embroidered with flowers representing the Commonwealth countries
“He was really over the moon to find that I would make this choice for our day together, and I think the other members of the family had a similar reaction.”
She continued by stating the royal family have an “appreciation for the fact that we understand how important this is for us and the role that we play, and the work that we’re going to continue to do within the Commonwealth countries.”
Nick Kent, executive producer of the documentary, told Glamour that her veil also showed a sweet link to Her Majesty the Queen.
“Apart from being something she gave a lot of thought and care to, it shows an appreciation of something not everybody necessarily understands, which is that symbols are really important to monarchy.
The royal’s dress and veil was designed by Givenchy’s Claire Waight Keller
“That particular symbol of having flowers embroidered into a dress—I don’t know if [Meghan] was aware of this—but 65 years earlier the Queen did the same thing on her coronation. She had the eight flowers of the then-eight Commonwealth countries embroidered into her gown.
“It says something really personal and individual; but also as a symbolic gesture. It was a great tradition of how symbols have a powerful significance in terms of bonding monarchy to people.”
Meanwhile, Givenchy’s Claire opened up about the design process with The Royal Family Channel in 2018. She said: “Part of the discussions around the veil was, ‘What were we going to do?’
“Would it be a lace edge, border, and I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if we took the 53 countries of the Commonwealth and embroidered the flower and some flora and fauna from each one of those and they would go up the aisle – that journey up the aisle with you?'” We can confirm it was amazing!
Alongside the Commonwealth flora, Meghan also chose to add crops of wheat to her veil – to symbolise love and charity. It was also decorated with the California poppy to represent Meghan’s place of birth and a Wintersweet, which grew in Harry and Meghan’s private garden at their previous home Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace.
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