How Meghan's £200,000 Givenchy gown compares to her new royal in-laws

  • Meghan Markle walked down the aisle in a custom silk Givenchy wedding dress
  • Kate Middleton's gown cost £250,000, making it fifth most expensive dress ever
  • Diana's £9,000 frock known as 'most closely guarded secret in fashion history'
  • The Queen was given 200 extra clothing coupons towards her wedding dress

By Cheyenne Roundtree and Siofra Brennan and Laura Forsyth For Mailonline

Published: 16:32 EDT, 19 May 2018 | Updated: 07:37 EDT, 20 May 2018

Meghan Markle walked down the aisle wearing a custom silk Givenchy wedding dress - a gown so stunning that it made Prince Harry cry.

The bespoke creation is estimated to have cost £200,000, including £78,000 for custom-made fabric and £4,000 for fittings. 

The veil was made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza, while the look was completed by a Cartier bracelet and earrings and a Queen Mary diamond bandeau tiara, loaned to her by the Queen.

Meghan chose acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller, 48, from Birmingham, the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy, to design her dress after meeting in early 2018.

But how did her dress stack up against her new royal in-laws? 

The glowing bride chose an Audrey Hepburn-style gown in a classic style as opposed to the beaded number she was predicted to wear 
The glowing bride chose an Audrey Hepburn-style gown in a classic style as opposed to the beaded number she was predicted to wear 

The glowing bride chose an Audrey Hepburn-style gown in a classic style as opposed to the beaded number she was predicted to wear 

The beaming bride opted for classic simplicity for her dress design
The beaming bride opted for classic simplicity for her dress design
Meghan's look has been widely praised by other bridal designers and fashion experts
Meghan's look has been widely praised by other bridal designers and fashion experts

The beaming bride opted for classic simplicity for her dress design, which has been widely praised by other bridal designers and fashion experts 

Say 'I do' to a classic wedding gown like Meghan's by Clare Waight Keller

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big day is finally here and we haven't been this excited for a white dress since the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding back in 2011.

Kate's Alexander McQueen gown has got to be one of the most copied styles of all time, and this breathtaking design is destined to be just as iconic.

We've all been speculating for months as to who Meghan might ask to create the all-important dress. Stella McCartney, Ralph & Russo, Burberry or perhaps Erdem?

She kept us all guessing right up until the last moment, and as she arrived at St. George's Chapel in Windsor it was announced that it's the work of British designer Clare Waight Keller, Artistic Director at Givenchy.

We love the elegant simplicity of this dress. The slight off shoulder neckline, the dramatic train... it's perfection. When teamed with a veil, sparkly tiara and the best accessories a bride could ask for, adorable flower girls and page boys, it's a fairytale come true.

The dress is undoubtedly the biggest decision you'll make when you say 'I do' and the virtual high street is a great place to start your search, so browse the Royal wedding-inspired options we've got lined up for you in the edit below.

* PRICES MAY NOT BE AS ADVERTISED
...NOW GET ONE LIKE IT FOR LESS
Meghan's veil is five meters long and made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza
Meghan's veil is five meters long and made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza

Meghan's veil is five meters long and made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza

Kate Middleton

Kate famously wore a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen lace dress when she married Prince William in 2011 and became the Duchess Of Cambridge.  

When Kate married Harry's brother Prince William back in April 2011, the wedding dress cost a phenomenal £250,000, making it the fifth most expensive dress of all time.

The Duchess of Cambridge's stunning gown was hailed a perfect tribute to Alexander McQueen.

Kate famously wore a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen lace dress when she married Prince William in 2011 and became the Duchess Of Cambridge
Kate famously wore a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen lace dress when she married Prince William in 2011 and became the Duchess Of Cambridge
When Kate married Harry's brother Prince William back in April 2011, the wedding dress cost a phenomenal £250,000, making it the fifth most expensive dress of all time
When Kate married Harry's brother Prince William back in April 2011, the wedding dress cost a phenomenal £250,000, making it the fifth most expensive dress of all time

Kate famously wore a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen lace dress when she married Prince William in 2011 and became the Duchess Of Cambridge

When Kate Middleton married Prince William (pictured) back in April 2011, the wedding dress cost a phenomenal £250,000
When Kate Middleton married Prince William (pictured) back in April 2011, the wedding dress cost a phenomenal £250,000

When Kate Middleton married Prince William (pictured) back in April 2011, the wedding dress cost a phenomenal £250,000

The design, by the late designer's protegee and successor Sarah Burton, also paid homage to another princess bride. 

The intricate lace appliqué bodice and sleeves of Catherine's dress mirrored those on the wedding gown of Grace Kelly, who became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Ranier III, Prince of Monaco, in 1956.

Kate's 1936 diamond 'Halo' tiara by Cartier was her 'something borrowed', on loan from the Queen
Kate's 1936 diamond 'Halo' tiara by Cartier was her 'something borrowed', on loan from the Queen

Kate's 1936 diamond 'Halo' tiara by Cartier was her 'something borrowed', on loan from the Queen

Both gowns shared a high-waisted, full-skirted silhouette with a long, dramatic train, and were worn with the sheerest of veils and diamond tiaras.

However Kate's vintage headwear was from an era that preceded Princess Grace's marriage - the 1936 diamond 'Halo' tiara by Cartier was her 'something borrowed', on loan from the Queen.

The comparison reveals how very classic Kate's style is, and how timeless Princess Grace's bridal look was. 

Princess Diana 

 The details of Princess Diana's dress managed to be kept a complete mystery until hours before her wedding to Charles, Prince of Wales, at St Paul's Cathedral
 The details of Princess Diana's dress managed to be kept a complete mystery until hours before her wedding to Charles, Prince of Wales, at St Paul's Cathedral

 The details of Princess Diana's dress managed to be kept a complete mystery until hours before her wedding to Charles, Prince of Wales, at St Paul's Cathedral

Don’t be nervous: Diana chats to five-year-old bridesmaid Clementine Hambro under the watchful eye of the Queen
Don’t be nervous: Diana chats to five-year-old bridesmaid Clementine Hambro under the watchful eye of the Queen
An excited Diana travels from Clarence House to St Paul’s in the royal carriage, the Spencer tiara keeping her veil in place
An excited Diana travels from Clarence House to St Paul’s in the royal carriage, the Spencer tiara keeping her veil in place

Diana chats to five-year-old bridesmaid Clementine Hambro under the watchful eye of the Queen (left) and travelling from Clarence House to St Paul's in the royal carriage (right)

Harry and William's mother Princess Diana wore a huge puffy gown designed by the Emanuel's when she married Prince Charles in 1981. 

Her dress was known as at the time as the 'most closely guarded secret in fashion history.'

The meringue style gown, which was worth £9,000 in 1981 is approximately equivalent to £36,800 today. 

Details of the future princess's dress managed to be kept a complete mystery until hours before her wedding to Charles, Prince of Wales, at St Paul's Cathedral.

And the grand unveiling of the gown, which back in 1981 cost £9,000, did not disappoint.

Designed by husband-and-wife duo David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the intricate ivory taffeta gown later saw copycat creations made around the world.

Charles and Diana with Princes Andrew and Edward (back row); pageboys Lord Nicholas Windsor (far left) and Edward van Cutsem; and bridesmaids (l-r) Clementine Hambro, Catherine Cameron, India Hicks, Sarah-Jane Gaselee and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones
Charles and Diana with Princes Andrew and Edward (back row); pageboys Lord Nicholas Windsor (far left) and Edward van Cutsem; and bridesmaids (l-r) Clementine Hambro, Catherine Cameron, India Hicks, Sarah-Jane Gaselee and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones

Charles and Diana with Princes Andrew and Edward (back row); pageboys Lord Nicholas Windsor (far left) and Edward van Cutsem; and bridesmaids (l-r) Clementine Hambro, Catherine Cameron, India Hicks, Sarah-Jane Gaselee and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones

However with the elaborate embroidery, 10,000 pearls and a 25-foot-long train, it is difficult to even come close to replicating her beautiful bridal look. 

For designers Elizabeth and David Emanuel, in their late 20s and not long out of fashion school, it was a career-defining moment. 

Months earlier, in March 1981, Buckingham Palace had announced, to widespread surprise, that the Emanuels had been asked to design the dress Lady Diana Spencer would wear to marry Prince Charles.

It was the commission of a lifetime to make the dress of the century. 

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II's Sir Norman Hartnell gown with its fitted bodice and intricate embroidery was perfect for the young 21-year-old princess to marry Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten
Queen Elizabeth II's Sir Norman Hartnell gown with its fitted bodice and intricate embroidery was perfect for the young 21-year-old princess to marry Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten

Queen Elizabeth II's Sir Norman Hartnell gown with its fitted bodice and intricate embroidery was perfect for the young 21-year-old princess to marry Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten

Queen Elizabeth II's wedding dress has been hailed as 'fresh and timeless' 70 years on from when she walked up the aisle on November 20, 1947.

The Sir Norman Hartnell gown with its fitted bodice and intricate embroidery was perfect for the young 21-year-old princess to marry Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. 

The Duchesse ivory silk-satin creation took royal couturier Sir Norman and his team three months to finish.

The Duchesse ivory silk-satin creation took royal couturier Sir Norman and his team three months to finish
The Duchesse ivory silk-satin creation took royal couturier Sir Norman and his team three months to finish

The Duchesse ivory silk-satin creation took royal couturier Sir Norman and his team three months to finish

With a heart-shaped neckline with scalloped edge, the gown was decorated with 10,000 seed pearls, glittering crystals and featured an intricate 13ft star-patterned train. 

Embroidered with roses, star-shaped flowers and wheat in pearl, crystal and appliques of transparent tulle, its floral design was seen as a symbol of growth and regeneration after the hardships of the Second World War. 

On the day of the wedding at Westminster Cathedral, the seamstresses who worked tirelessly on the gown were given a prime spot outside Buckingham Palace as a reward.  

The Queen, like all British brides in the post-war days, was given 200 extra clothing coupons from the Government towards her wedding trousseau.

Women across the UK, keen to ensure Princess Elizabeth would have the dress of her dreams, sent their own coupons to the young royal to help out.

But it was illegal to give coupons away and the gifts had to be returned.  

However, The Crown gave a good idea of how much the dress might cost to make today as designers for the BBC programme created an identical gown for the wedding scene, which cost £30,000.

 

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