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On the arm of beloved royal bachelor Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has dazzled us with her elegant dress sense. And now the countdown to the royal wedding has begun, thoughts are turning to that most important question – what will Meghan wear?
She’ll have the eyes of the world on her when she walks down the aisle on Saturday 19th May - and centuries of royal tradition and protocol to consider too. Luckily for her, we have some of the finest bridal designers in the world, many of whom would fall over their intricately beaded lace trains for the opportunity to dress our HRH-to-be.
Initial rumours have mentioned Israeli designer Inbal Dror as leading the race, but should Meghan decide to keep it local, here are some homegrown choices to help her shine on her wedding day.
Caroline Castigliano is a British celebrity designer known for her masterful corsetry and feminine silhouettes. Her first bespoke bridal boutique opened in Surrey some 26 years ago; today, the flagship store stands proudly in Knightsbridge.
Whether you loved or hated Victoria Beckham's own choice of wedding dress, she's since gone on to truly earn her style pedigree. While more of a prêt-à-porter designer, she did create wedding outfits for her friend, former Desperate Housewives actress, Eva Longoria – so perhaps she could help Meghan take that leap into British royalty?
Humanitarian Meghan has spoken about how she wears vegan leather, so this environmentally-minded bride might opt for a striking vintage look from Real Green Dress which specialises in original, ethical, alternative dresses. Owner Erica Arnold takes pre-loved designs and faithfully restores them from her studio in a converted farmhouse in the Hampshire countryside. It’s the ultimate in eco-friendly glamour – and sure to get the thumbs-up from our famously thrifty Queen too.
Meghan could even buck tradition with a bespoke, haute couture dress from 1970s punk princess, Vivienne Westwood. Sex and the City character Carrie Bradshaw famously chose this avant-garde designer when she married Mr Big in the feature-length film – but it’s expected that Meghan will pick a more traditional look for her British royalty debut.
Designer Stephanie Allin may have a Marylebone boutique in London’s West End, but you’re more likely to find her crafting her quintessentially British designs from her studio in Mumbles, Wales, overlooking Swansea Bay. Her range of exquisite lace shrugs give her traditional dresses a look that’s both demure and contemporary.
Poignantly, Meghan’s engagement ring contains diamonds from Harry’s mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and the couple could take that family link one step further. Elizabeth Emmanuel, one half of the couture team for Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s 1981 nuptials, is venturing back into wedding dress design – it could be a very fitting way to debut her brand-new 2018 collection.
Designers Adrien Nortier and Ben Shallow are following in the footsteps of male British bridalwear legends Bruce Oldfield and Alexander McQueen with their upcoming Nortier Shallow couture collection. After originally cutting their teeth doing bridal alternations, these rising stars can be found making wedding dreams come true from their brand-new boutique in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
One thing is for certain: Whichever designer Meghan ends up choosing, she’ll look just like a princess (or, more correctly, a Duchess). Congratulations Meghan and Harry!
Check out London Fashion Week, which takes place 22-25 Feb 2018, to discover even more talented British designers.
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VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com