London: The famous silk gown worn by Meghan Markle that had a selection of flora, including an Indian lotus, in its veil when she married Prince Harry in May is to go on public display at Windsor Castle. The famous Givenchy dress, designed by British designer Clare Waight Keller for the French fashion house, will be on display complete with the Duchess of Sussex’s five-meter-long veil.
The veil had been famously assembled from silk tulle to feature flora from all the Commonwealth nations, including India’s lotus, as a nod to Markle’s new role alongside Harry as youth ambassadors of the 53-member organisation. According to Kensington Palace, the 36-year-old former actress “wanted all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony” and so designer Clare Waight Keller created a veil embroidered with the flowers and petals of each one. Each three-dimensional flower is unique and was embroidered on to the long train by hand.
“The workers spent hundreds of hours meticulously sewing and washing their hands every 30 minutes to keep the tulle and threads pristine,” Kensington Palace had said in a statement. The veil was held in place by a diamond and platinum bandeau tiara, which was lent to the bride by Queen Elizabeth II, and will also be on display for the first time. The bandeau was made in 1932 for The Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary, who received the centre brooch of 10 brilliant diamonds as a wedding present in 1893.
A copy of her husband, the Duke of Sussex’s, Blues and Royals frockcoat uniform will also be included as part of the new exhibition titled ‘A Royal Wedding: The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex’, which is due to open in October. Prince Harry will need his actual wedding uniform for another occasion during the exhibition period, resulting in a replica going on display instead. The Blues and Royals uniform was specially commissioned for the wedding and made by tailors at Dege & Skinner on London’s famous Savile Row.
The royal couple were married at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19 at a ceremony attended by thousands of guests, including members of the public and representatives of charities supported by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Markle worked with Clare Waight Keller, the artistic director of French fashion house Givenchy, on her dress because of her “timeless, elegant aesthetic and impeccable tailoring”. Her dress was made from a double-bonded silk cady and featured a boat neckline bodice. It took a team of embroiderers hundreds of hours to create the intricate design of her veil, washing their hands every 30 minutes to keep the tulle and threads pristine.
While millions could see the dress on television, the new exhibition is intended to give people the chance to admire it up close. After a run at Windsor Castle from October 26 this year to January 6 next year, the special exhibition will move to Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh from June 14 to October 6, 2019.