When a British royal gets married, the whole world watches.
Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding was an event for the ages, and Meghan Markle’s wedding today was as much cause for celebration. Here, FN looks at how the two weddings compare, from the brides’ stylish looks to the guests.
Middleton’s wedding dress was specially designed for her by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. The gown — which inspired a slew of replicas — featured lace appliqué on the bodice and skirt, with individual flowers that British artisans cut by hand.
Middleton selected British brand Alexander McQueen because of the brand’s high-end craftsmanship and attention to detail — and she wanted a dress that combined modernity and tradition.
The gown’s ivory satin bodice cinched in at the waist and was padded at the hips, accentuating Middleton’s narrow waist, and the back of the dress included 58 gazar and silk organza covered buttons.
Although it was rumored that Markle would select British brand Ralph & Russo to design her dress, she chose a design from French label Givenchy — designed by British creative director Clare Waight Keller.
Markle selected Givenchy because of its timelessness and elegance, as well as its focus on tailoring. Her goal was to create a minimalist gown that highlighted Givenchy’s impeccable craftsmanship.
The gown is made of double bonded silk with an open bateau neckline that elegantly frames the shoulders. For a modern touch, the dress features three-quarters length sleeves and a soft matte luster.
Middleton’s veil was made of ivory silk tulle with hand-trimmed flowers, created by the Royal School of Needlework for the occasion.
Created by Waight Keller, Markle’s veil featured the flora of each country in the British Commonwealth. The veil was made of silk tulle and was five meters long.
Middleton’s delicate Cartier tiara was commissioned by King George VI in 1936 and was presented to Queen Elizabeth II on her 18th birthday.
In addition to the tiara, Middleton sported Robinson Pelham diamond-set earrings with an oak leaf design, inspired by her family crest, which features oak leaves and acorns. The earrings were a gift from Middleton’s parents on the occasion of her wedding.
Markle sported Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara, which is made of diamond and platinum and was created in 1932. The center features a detachable brooch with 10 diamonds.
The bride completed her look with Cartier diamonds, wearing earrings and a bracelet by the jeweler.
Middleton’s shoes were made by Alexander McQueen to match her gown. Made of ivory duchess satin, the shoes featured lace hand-embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework.
Markle’s footwear was created by Givenchy to match her gown. Based on a Givenchy refined pointed couture design, the shoes were made of a silk duchess satin.
The Bridal Party:
Middleton’s four young bridesmaids sported dresses designed by childrenswear designer Nicki Macfarlane to echo her own gown. The girls wore custom Rainbow Club shoes with a Swarovski buckle.
The pageboys wore a uniform that draws its insignia from the Irish Guard, of which Prince William was colonel at the time.
Breaking with royal tradition, which dictates that no adults are members of the bridal party, Middleton’s bridal party included Pippa Middleton, who wore an ivory gown custom-made for her by Alexander McQueen.
Markle’s six young bridesmaids sported dresses created by Waight Keller to resemble her own wedding gown. The girls’ completed their look with Aquazurra shoes in white leather that were monogrammed with their initials.
The four pageboys sported pint-sized Blues and Royals frockcoats, which draws its insignia from the regiment to which both Prince William and Prince Harry once belonged.