This Is the Real Story Behind Meghan's Wedding Dress

The bride was inspired by another American "Princess."

Meghan Markle's sleekly elegant wedding dress by Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller was inspired by another American "princess"—Carolyn Bessette, the wife of John F. Kennedy Jr.

"Meghan has always admired Carolyn Bessette's chic style," said my source. "She doesn't like frills and fussy designs. She wanted to look like the modern bride she is. Carolyn's dress was absolutely an inspiration, but Meghan's had to be more covered up and regal. It was all that and more."

The unadorned boat-necked dress was designed by the acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller, the first female artistic director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy. The veil was held in place by Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara, lent to her by The Queen. There are 53 flowers embroidered on the veil to represent the 53 countries of the commonwealth. Seamstresses working on the veil washed their hands every half hour to keep the lace pristine.

The dress had no lace or embroidery and had three-quarter length sleeves and an A-line skirt, with a train measuring 16 feet long. The new Duchess of Sussex wore the Filigree tiara, loaned to her by the Queen, and an embroidered cathedral length veil, a bracelet, and small diamond stud earrings.

"Meghan also felt strongly about working with a female designer. It was a decision she made from the very beginning."

Years ago, Meghan told Glamour that she loved the classic simplicity of Bessette's satin dress by Narciso Rodriguez. "Her dress reflects the same sophistication and restraint. Meghan wanted to look timeless and relaxed. It was perfect." And for more on the Duchess's inimitable style, check out Meghan Markle's 10 Favorite Brands That Became Instant Bestsellers.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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