19 May 2018

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Wedding: More Guest Fashion

How’s your royal wedding fever holding up? Still hanging in there? It’s like running a marathon, but on your couch, with snacks. We’ve already done the main stuff:

So let’s finish up the fashion business with a little look at what a few of the other guests - the ones that aren't members of the royal family - brought to the party.

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One of the first guests to catch my eye: Countess Spencer in Pamella Roland with a Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat. A purple outfit after my own heart! With a wee cape! She was terribly elegant back in 2011, too, I still remember her blush pink ensemble with a massive hat.

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Lady Kitty Spencer caught my eye too, in a green Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda dress with a hand-painted floral design and a Philip Treacy hat. Fantastic use of orange velvet accessories to give it an extra splash of interest.

Royal Family Channel/Instagram
You give Oprah an invite to the royal wedding, she's not about to chicken out on the hat game. Her hat is Philip Treacy she's had since 2005, with new feathers for the occasion. I had quibbles on the dress until I checked Oprah's Instagram; Stella McCartney’s team made this for her overnight after she suddenly realized her planned beige outfit was going to photograph too white. All things considered? That’s a pretty good result. McCartney labels this a “blush, double tiered dress with lace trim made of sustainable viscose.”

It’s hard to go wrong with a blush pink outfit for a royal wedding, isn’t it? Oprah would agree. This Versace dress on Serena Williams is just right, as is the fascinator that keeps clear of her long braids.

Serena also posted her look for the evening reception, a Valentino gown. Not everyone could carry this print off, yet on Serena, it's pure fun.

Amal Clooney opted for a bold color choice for the ceremony with this honey yellow Stella McCartney midi dress with a side tie detail in silk Cady, accompanied by a custom Stephen Jones hat. I loved this ray of sunshine during the broadcast, but in the photos, I suddenly want a little color variation. Maybe not full yellow on the hat?

Meghan’s good friend Priyanka Chopra posted just after midnight that she was still waiting for her outfit to arrive, but no problems here: this is Vivienne Westwood with a to-die-for suit silhouette. A Philip Treacy hat tops it off.

Also to-die-for: Priyanka’s evening look from Christian Dior. That is one sparkly dream of a dress, no? Let's get this on a princess or something.

The whole crew from Suits rolled up with their partners to support their former costar. I was watching all the guests arrive, trying to think which outfit I'd claim as my own if I were invited (as you do), and I think I found it: Jacinda Barrett's merlot grape Emilia Wickstead, be mine.

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Let’s end with the ever-appropriately dressed Middleton crew. The only surprise comes when you realize that Pippa’s floral dress from The Fold actually looks startlingly like an Arizona Tea can…and once you see it, there’s no turning back.

Who else caught your eye at the royal wedding?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Wedding: Evening Reception for the Bride and Groom


Royal Family
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sped off to an evening reception at Frogmore House hosted by the Prince of Wales, giving us a chance to see Meghan’s second wedding look.

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Turns out there was something to those Stella McCartney rumors after all! The evening dress is a bespoke Stella creation, a lily white high neck gown made of silk crepe. I really like this silhouette for her, I just wish we could see it with the skirt fully down. Meghan’s shoes for the evening are by Aquazurra, made of silky satin with nude mesh and soles painted baby blue.

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To go with those baby blue soles, she has another something blue: a big aquamarine ring. This looks to be…

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…the one worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales. It was in her personal collection and she also had a pearl bracelet with an aquamarine clasp. It’s fantastic to see that the slow integration of Diana’s personal jewels will continue, after the few pieces the Duchess of Cambridge has used so far.

Meghan also wore Cartier earrings that match the bracelet she wore for the wedding ceremony. Her collection's shaping up nicely already!

The Duke & Duchess of Sussex’s Wedding: Royal Guest Fashion

The Windsors always manage to put on a show, don’t they? The hats, the clothes, the jewels, the whole thing. This time around, while there was no shortage of the family favorite shades of dark blue, there was also a garden of light and bright outfits for a happy Spring wedding. Let’s hand out some awards:

Best in Spring Leadership
The Queen
Royal Family Channel screencap
The Queen sets the tone, as always, in lemon and lime and purple from Stewart Parvin with a matching Angela Kelly hat. It’s no Neon Birthday Queen, but it still can’t be missed. She also sized up the bling with the Richmond Brooch.

Most Unlikely Twin Act
The Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge
Ministry of Defence/Crown Copyright 2018
It occurs to me that these two outfits are really a lot alike in certain ways. Both could be repeats; Camilla’s is a new outfit from Anna Valentine that sticks to her usual pastels and her usual shapes, and Kate’s McQueen coat is so much the same as what she wore for Princess Charlotte’s christening that I’m not actually sure if it is a repeat or not. I’m certain plenty of you are ready to line up in the comments and tell me that’s on purpose, to make sure she doesn’t upstage the bride.

They both sported sculptural hats from Philip Treacy – just look at the structure involved on Camilla’s! That’s a feat of architecture. You can’t even see her face in lots of the photos, which is par for the course. And they both went big on the jewel front, Camilla with her Pink Topaz Choker (my faaaaave) and Kate with another new earrings from Kiki McDonough, plus a ring. An unlikely twin act, you see.

Safest Plays
The York Ladies
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We laughed so hard at Princess Beatrice’s last big royal wedding hat, she very nearly didn’t give us one this time around. This Stephen Jones hat is not much more than a headband. Of course, it was the right choice for her custom Roksanda dress, which has enough going on by itself.

Princess Eugenie toned it down in retro fashion in a blue Gainsbourg dress that doesn’t really get interesting until you see the back. Her Fiona Graham pillbox hat was the perfect complement.

Sarah, Duchess of York followed suit in an understated outfit by Emma Louise Design and Jess Collett hat. Reads a little dated to me, but a nice effort overall.

Most Predictable Play
The Countess of Wessex
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All Sophie’s faves came to the party: outfit from Suzannah, long length, bespoke Jane Taylor hat. I think this outfit needs the longer length to make it special enough for the occasion, and simultaneously I’d like her to shorten the skirt. I’m difficult like that. Lady Louise looked great while dressing out of her mother’s closet (as pointed out by the Countess of Wessex Blog) in an Alaïa outfit.

Best of the Blue Crew
Autumn Phillips and Lady Sarah Chatto
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Of all the blue ladies – and these are the Windsors, so there’s a lot – Autumn and Sarah Chatto really hit it out of the park for me. Autumn’s dress, by Ceri Brooks of Hen House worn with a Juliette Botterill hat, flowed so well on the walk to the church and teal is one of my weaknesses.

Sarah’s Jasper Conran dress is more colorful than her usual palette, topped with a bigger Stephen Jones hat than she usually goes for, and it all works. She gets me every time, she does.

Also joining the blue-ish crew (accents of blue...whatever, just go with it), we have the Princess Royal and Zara Tindall in a Claire Mischevani teal coat with embossed navy detailing, a navy silk dress, and a Rosie Olivia hat. Is it bad that my first thought was that Anne had a hat made to go with Hugh Hefner’s best robe? Zara looked so exquisitely uncomfortable, I’ll just note that her hair was fantastic and leave it at that.

Most Classic Styling
The Countess of Snowdon
Is this classic or what? Shirt dress with a full skirt, strand of big pearls, wide brim hat. Serena, she always gets me too. (Her Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat is a repeat from another big royal event, the Thanksgiving Service for the Diamond Jubilee.) Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, in the white with black trim, followed suit with Lady Louise and borrowed something from mom's wardrobe. Serena wore this outfit to Ascot in 2017.

And Also…
No disrespect to the rest of the royal ladies in attendance, but we only have the briefest of glimpses. Looks like business as usual for Princess Michael of Kent and the Duchess of Gloucester, with some lovely pink from Princess Alexandra and a bit of pattern to pep it up from the Duchess of Kent.

Who was your best dressed Windsor guest?

The Duke & Duchess of Sussex’s Wedding: The Bride, Groom, and Bridal Party

Coming up later, we’ll have a review of fashion from the guests, so hang on for that! But first, we've got a long look at the main players in today’s fantastic wedding…

Owen Cooban/MOD Crown copyright 2018
As we chatted about our predictions for Meghan Markle’s wedding look, many were torn between her personal style – fairly modern so far, lots of clean lines – and the traditional type of gown one expects at a royal wedding. In the end, I think the brand-new Duchess of Sussex managed to combine both styles in spectacular fashion with a crisp and clean wedding gown and a lengthy, showstopper veil with some very significant embroidery. Plus, a tiara surprise!

Let’s break it down, piece by piece:

The Dress
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I jokingly asked which designer’s name hadn’t been thrown into the mix a couple days ago, and lo and behold, it turned out to be a designer whose name really wasn’t thrown around until the morning of the wedding! Well done on the secret keeping, guys.

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Meghan selected British designer Clare Waight Keller, who last year became the first female Artistic Director at famed French design house Givenchy. According to the royal press release, designer and bride met in early 2018 and worked together to create a “timeless and elegant aesthetic” with “impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanor”.

The wedding gown is made of an exclusive double bonded silk cady fabric developed for this dress, in a design with an open bateau neckline, three-quarter sleeves, and a slim, modern shape created with six seams.

Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy
Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy
A train extends to the back with an underskirt in triple silk organza. Her wedding shoes are silk duchess satin, by Givenchy.

The Veil
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At the bride’s request, all 53 countries of the Commonwealth are represented in the veil, with distinctive flora from each Commonwealth country all combined in one design. (You can read the complete list of the selected blooms here, in the palace press release.)

Owen Cooban/MOD Crown copyright 2018
Meghan also selected two additional flowers to add into the design, Wintersweet from the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy to represent her place of birth. The front of the veil includes crops of wheat blending into the flora, symbolizing love and charity.

The five-meter-long veil is made from silk tulle and is trimmed in hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza. Hundreds of hours were spent working each flower in three dimensions to create the design, the workers washing their hands every 30 minutes to keep things pristine.

The Tiara, Earrings, and Bracelet
Funnily enough, the one tiara that was enough of a question mark I didn’t bother covering it beforehand or including it in our poll turned out to be the tiara of the day. Good thing we love surprises, right?! (We'll have to give this the full Tiara Thursday treatment later, but for now...)

Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau Tiara, as the palace refers to it, was loaned to the new Duchess of Sussex by the Queen. It is a diamond bandeau of English manufacture and was made in 1932.

Royal Collection Trust
Royal Collection Trust
The bandeau is a flexible piece with eleven different sections in a design of interlaced ovals, pavé-set with large and small brilliant diamonds in platinum. The bandeau was designed to accommodate the brooch at its center, which was a present to Queen Mary on her wedding in 1893 from the County of Lincoln. The bandeau was bequeathed to the Queen when Queen Mary died in 1953.

On Queen Mary, with what looks to be a different centerpiece (it would be very Queen Mary thing to wear this with different centers, she loved her jewel flexibility)
This wasn’t an entirely unknown (to the public) tiara; Queen Mary wore it in her later years. It has not been seen since Queen Mary wore it, however, so its status was unknown – until now. You’ll find it referred to as the “filigree tiara” in the past, a name floated around online in lieu of any official information. (Clearing up some confusion, because Queen Mary had a lot of diamond bandeau tiaras: this is not Marie Feodorovna’s Sapphire Bandeau, nor is it Queen Mary’s Lozenge Bandeau. It is a different piece.)

Meghan also wore earrings and a bracelet by Cartier. The earrings are Galanterie de Cartier Earrings in white gold and diamonds and she has worn them in the past. The bracelet matches the earrings she wore for the evening reception.

The Bride’s Bouquet
The bouquet was designed by florist Philippa Craddock and features some flowers handpicked yesterday by Prince Harry from the couple’s private garden at Kensington Palace. It includes Forget-Me-Not flowers as a tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, because they were her favorite flower. Other spring blooms in the bouquet include scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, and sprigs of myrtle. Carrying myrtle is a royal family wedding tradition, and the sprigs come from stems planted at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.

The Groom and Best Man
Both the new Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge wore the frockcoat uniform of the Blues and Royals, the regiment in which they both served. (The Queen had to give Harry permission to get married in his uniform, according to the palace information.) Prince Harry wore the star of the Royal Victorian Order; Prince William wore the star of the Order of the Garter. The gold braids on William’s shoulder indicate that he is an Aide-de-Camp to the Queen. Both uniforms were tailored at Dege & Skinner on Savile Row.

Prince William once remarked that he wanted to wear a frockcoat for his own wedding and was vetoed by the Queen (she, quite rightly I think, favored the distinctive red coat), so I love that he finally got to wear one to a wedding!

The Bridal Party
Clare Waight Keller also designed dresses for the six bridesmaids at the Givenchy Haute Couture Atelier. They’re about as classic as a dress for a young bridesmaid can be, made from ivory silk Radzimir with high waists, short puff sleeves, pleated skirts, pockets, and a double silk ribbon detail tied in a bow at the back. Their shoes are keepsake gifts from Meghan, created by Aquazurra in white leather, each monogrammed with the girls’ initials and the wedding date. The bridesmaids wore flower crowns from Philippa Craddock.

The four page boys wore miniature versions of the Blues and Royals frockcoat worn by Prince Harry and Prince William, made by Savile Row tailors Dege & Skinner. The coats are made from blue doeskin with a stand-up collar and a scaled down version of the figured braiding of Regimental pattern that features on these uniforms. Each page boy’s initials are embroidered in gold on their shoulder straps. Their leg garments are made from blue/black wool barathea with three-quarter scarlet stripes fastened with a leather strap.

The Mother of the Bride
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Ms. Doria Ragland was supremely elegant for her daughter’s wedding day, wearing a bespoke dress and day coat by Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, creative directors at Oscar de la Renta, with Aquazurra shoes and a bespoke hat by Stephen Jones. Her gentle pistachio shade fit in perfectly with the pastels worn by the top ladies in the royal family. Doria's jewelry came from Birks, the Canadian jeweler often favored by Meghan: the Birks Rosée du Matin Pearl and Diamond Drop Earrings in 18kt white gold and the Birks Snowflake Starry Night Pendant, a new design not available until fall.

Now, over to you:

What did you think of this much-anticipated bridal gown?

Prince Harry & Meghan's Wedding: The Open Post

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good whatever it is wherever you are! This is your open post for chatting during the wedding of Prince Harry (now the Duke of Sussex!) and Ms. Meghan Markle (very shortly the Duchess of Sussex!).

Please make sure you read the notes at the bottom of the post.

Livestream links (YouTube):

The Official Channel of the Royal Family (Goes live at 11 am)

SkyNews Live

The Royal Family Channel (not the official channel)

These are far from your only options to watch the wedding, including other streams and television stations! I'll be mixing some streaming with PBS in the U.S., which is broadcasting the BBC's coverage.

Titles: The Queen this morning made Harry the Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton, and Baron Kilkeel.

Wedding Timeline (from the Order of Service, which is available here, and this PA video):
  1. 9:30 am (4:30 am Eastern): Guests begin to arrive.
  2. 11:00 (6:00 am Eastern): The first glimpse of the bride is expected, as she leaves her hotel.
  3. 11:25: Members of the royal family arrive.
  4. 11:40: The groom and his best man arrive.
  5. 11:42: The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arrive.
  6. 11:45: The mother of the bride, Ms. Doria Ragland, arrives.
  7. 11:52: The Queen arrives.  
  8. 11:59: The bride arrives.
  9. 12:00 (7:00 am Eastern): The ceremony begins.
  10. The ceremony lasts approximately 1 hour, after which the newlyweds will take a carriage ride around Windsor.
  11. 7:00 pm: The bride and groom head to the evening reception at Frogmore House.

Please note the following:
  1. Please take a moment to read (or re-read) our commenting policy.
  2. Don't feed the trolls! Just flag objectionable comments for me and move on to better discussions.
  3. Comments that go into moderation on this open post will not be approved. This is because moderation doesn't happen instantly, and comments come in so fast on open posts that the wait time means they get lost in the fray. Including an active link in your comment is the most likely cause of moderation. You can resubmit without the link, etc., so that you can be part of the discussion in real time.

Enjoy! Our wedding posts will be up later on.