Brittany Brolley @brittanybrolley
It finally happened! On May 19, 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially became husband and wife. They also earned their royal titles. According to a statement released by the royal family, Prince Harry is now His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, while Meghan became the Duchess of Sussex upon marrying her prince. Standing before friends, family, and even celebrities, the couple said “I do” — well, technically they said “I will,” but you get the idea.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch the royal wedding live — it was streaming super early in the majority of the United States, after all — or if you just want to get a closer look at Meghan’s stunning wedding day look, have no fear, we’ve got you covered. From her understated makeup to the sentimental bouquet to the incredible veil, the Duchess of Sussex did not disappoint. Keep reading to find out how.
The beautiful, natural (and non-professional?) makeup
Meghan once told Allure one of her very biggest pet peeves: when magazines decide to airbrush out her freckles. Not cool, guys, not cool. “For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger,” she told the magazine, “‘A face without freckles is a night without stars.'” Although her father was not able to walk his daughter down the aisle on the big day, she likely remembered his wise words and proudly wore her “stars.”
As Harry lifted his bride’s veil, Meghan’s makeup — and freckles — were revealed. In true Meghan Markle form, she kept things simple with just a bit of bronze eyeshadow, an outline of eyeliner, mascara-coated lashes, and a pop of pink for lip color. It’s possible that Meghan didn’t even have her makeup done professionally. A palace insider told Express that two of her friends from the States, who are not makeup artists or professionals, were given the task.
The bridal bun
Meghan wore her hair back during her wedding. Although she usually opts for messy buns for royal engagements, her bridal do was slightly less messy. Instead of leaving some wispy locks around her face, she decided to pull her hair back into slight twists, finishing the look in a low bun with her bangs settling behind her ears. She also chose to keep her signature center part.
Perhaps the best part of her wedding hair do is that it was so very Meghan. Yes, she may now be the Duchess of Sussex, but that doesn’t mean she has to totally transform into an unfamiliar and unrecognizable person, right?
Meghan once told Birchbox that she uses a boar bristle toothbrush and hairspray to tame her flyaways. “This is especially good for a sleek bun,” she explained. Maybe, just maybe, that’s how she got her hair so perfect for her wedding day.
The meaningful tiara
No one was really sure which, if any, tiara Meghan was going to wear to her wedding. In fact, royal expert Leslie Field, author of The Queen’s Jewels: The Personal Collection of Elizabeth II, told People her opinion prior to the wedding, saying, “It wont be a traditional headdress, meaning a diamond tiara.” Instead, she thought Meghan may opt for something non-traditional and maybe even American — a headdress with “fabric flowers, set with fake jewels” perhaps.
In the end, Meghan did decide to don a traditional tiara — and it was an amazing choice. Queen Elizabeth II, now Meghan’s grandmother-in-law, loaned her the dazzling tiara. Queen Mary bought the delicate diamond headband from the London-based luxury jeweler Garrard back in 1925. When Queen Mary passed, the tiara stayed in the family, first inherited by daughter-in-law, Princess Marina. According to People, Princess Margaret, the only sister of Queen Elizabeth, has also worn the tiara in the past.
The traditional welsh gold wedding band
Blink and you’d have missed it. Meghan kept her wedding day jewelry minimal, but one item she obviously had to have was her wedding band. According to ABC News, the duke placed a Welsh gold wedding ring on his bride’s finger. The ring was designed in the Cleave workshop, the very same place that was also responsible for Meghan’s phenomenal engagement ring.
Using Welsh gold in bridal bands is an age-old wedding tradition in the British royal family. These days, however, Welsh gold is incredibly rare as the mines are all but depleted. Nevertheless the royal family has their own inventory of the coveted gold, according to a statement they released (via BBC News). Thankfully for Meghan, that means she was able to carry on the tradition that began as far back as 1923, when Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (the Queen Mother) married George VI.
Those diamond earrings
Although Meghan kept her jewelry simple — as simple as one can while wearing a tiara — she picked a couple of great pieces. According to People, Meghan’s incredibly gorgeous and subtle diamond stud earrings were crafted by the French jeweler Cartier. Meghan paired the earrings with a classic diamond bracelet, also by Cartier, which she wore on her right wrist.
Meghan’s minimalist choices when it came to jewelry were expected by some. “I’m sure she will go for something that is true to her style and I’m sure it is going to be refined and elegant,” Eva Hartling, vice president of one of Meghan’s favorite jewelers, Maison Birks, told People ahead of the big day. “It will probably involve a simple pair of earrings that will bring out her natural beauty, she won’t overdo it,” Hartling further explained.
The vice president was certainly on the money with this one. Meghan definitely didn’t overdo it and her choices undoubtedly accentuated her natural beauty.
The tear-worthy bouquet
Meghan’s bouquet was, like much of Meghan’s wedding day look, minimalist and sophisticated. However, the story behind the bouquet is a real tear-jerker and makes it that much more beautiful.
On Friday, the day before their wedding, Harry stopped off at his and Meghan’s private garden in Kensington Palace. He then handpicked flowers for his soon-to-be bride’s bridal bouquet. A statement from the royal family (via People) confirmed that he then gave them to their wedding florist, Philippa Craddock, so they could be included in the floral arrangement.
Knowing Harry handpicked flowers for Meghan is all kinds of adorable, but this tale gets even sweeter. The flowers Harry chose were Forget-Me-Nots, the favorite flower of his late mother, Princess Diana. According to the palace, Harry used the flowers as a way to honor his mother’s memory on his wedding day. No, you’re crying!
Meghan’s bouquet also featured sweet peas, astrantia, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, and laurel, as is the custom in royal weddings. The bridal bouquet was fastened together with silk ribbon. Gorgeous!
The 16-foot veil
When Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip, she wore an alluring gown with a massive 15-foot train. By comparison, Meghan’s train was relatively short. Her veil, on the other hand, was a whopping 16 feet long and is arguably the most incredible in royal wedding history.
According to People, the veil took “hundreds of hours” and those who had the responsibility of working on it washed their hands every half hour, making sure not to dirty the piece. The veil was made from silk tulle and featured hand-embroidered flowers — a flower for and from each of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth — all along the trim.
Meghan also added an American touch to her veil by adding the state flower of California, the California poppy. In addition, the headpiece also featured Wintersweet blooms, which are planted out front of the Nottingham Cottage she shares with Harry, and crops of wheat to symbolize both love and charity.
And, of course, Meghan’s stunning gown
While every piece of jewelry, every smidge of makeup, and every spiraled lock of hair undoubtedly brought Meghan’s wedding day look together, it was her gown that anchored it all.
Made of ivory silk, Meghan’s royal wedding dress was simultaneously modern, timeless, and delicate. A simple A-line with a slightly off-the-shoulder bateau neckline and fitted three-quarter-sleeves, it was everything we were hoping to see, and more.
The designer of the dress, who we know now is Givenchy, was a well-kept secret and ended up being a fairly unexpected choice. The designer wasn’t even thought to be a frontrunner, according to CNN. Meghan is not the only one donning Givenchy these days. Cate Blanchett and Gal Gadot are two other big names who have been spotted sporting the label on the red carpet. Of course, Meghan has now taken Givenchy to a whole new level by choosing it for her wedding to Prince Harry. What a perfect choice for the newest royal.
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues.
He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.