There were two main reasons for choosing Scotland as my holiday destination earlier this month. One was the fact that I enjoyed my visit 13 years ago very much and really wanted to go back. The other one was the small exhibition “A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex” at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. I therefore choose a hotel not too far from the centre of Edinburgh and quite close to the palace itself. The exhibition, that could previously be seen at Windsor Castle in Windsor, can be visited in Edinburgh from 14 June to 6 October 2019. The couple already wed on 19 May 2018 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
I have no idea how the set up of the exhibition at Windsor Castle was, but if it was similar the one of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank I think the set up was better in Edinburgh, where there was of course a bit more space. Having walked through the Palace of Holyroodhouse, almost having forgotten to take along an audio guide, I ended up in the shop and just afterwards there were several rooms where the exhibition was on display. On the outside there was a nice poster with a picture of the couple in their carriage taken from above.
Luckily it wasn’t too busy, so I took my time to have a look. Several lovely and huge photos on the walls, as well as a few royal portraits that probably usually hang in there. I finally had a good look at Meghan’s wedding dress designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, and I must say I liked it better than on the pictures of the wedding. It was great also to have a closer look at the Queen Mary’s bandeau tiara she wore on her wedding day and I especially loved it being able to have a good look at the wonderful veil with the flora of the 53 Commonwealth countries. I did see some people who really tried to look at every detail. Furthermore of course the page and bridesmaid outfits of Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge were shown.
If you haven’t seen the exhibition yet and heading for Scotland soon, I can only say: go and have a look. The entrance fee for the Palace of Holyroodhouse including the exhibition is £15.00.
The wedding dress
The wedding dress of Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, was designed by the British designer Clare Waight Keller, the artistic director of the French fashion house Givenchy. The result was a timeless minimal elegant gown with pure lines. It had a graphic open bateau neckline and a slender sculptured waist. The dress had three-quarter sleeves. While the underskirt was made in triple silk organza, the dress itself was created out of exclusive double bonded silk in a pure white colour.
Meghan wore shoes based on a Givenchy refined pointed couture design made of a silk duchess satin.
In contrast with the simple looking dress the veil was a spectacular floral composition representing the distinctive flora of all 53 countries of the Commonwealth. Meghan also selected two personal favourites: Wintersweet from the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage (their house at the time) and the California Poppy, the state flower of her place of birth, California. At the front of the veil one can see crops of wheat to symbolise love and charity. Every three dimensional flower on the five meters long veil, made from silk tulle, is unique. They were embroidered by hand in silk threads and organza.
Meghan’s veil was held in place by Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara, an English tiara made in 1932. The detachable brooch in the centre, with ten brilliant diamonds, dated from 1893. As a princess, Mary received the brooch as a present from the County of Lincoln when she married Prince George, The Duke of York. The diamond and platinum bandeau is a flexible band of eleven sections, pierced with interlaced ovals and pavé set with large and small brilliant diamonds. Queen Mary left the bandeau and brooch in 1953 to her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II.
The earrings and bracelet Meghan wore were by Cartier.
The bridal bouquet
On the day before the wedding Prince Harry personally handpicked a few flowers from their private garden at Kensington Palace. They were added to the bouquet designed by florist Philippa Craddock. The bouquet of spring blooms included Forget-Me-Nots, the favourite flower of Harry’s late mother Diana Princess of Wales. In the petite design one could also see scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, and sprigs of myrtle, all bound with a naturally dyed, raw silk ribbon. Traditionally the myrtle sprigs were 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 six bridesmaids wore dresses designed by Clare Waight Keller and showed the same timeless purity as Meghan’s dress. They were made of ivory silk Radzimir, had a high-waist and short puff sleeves. Around the waist was a double silk ribbon tied at the back in a bow. The dresses had pockets and pleated skirts, to create a relaxed and luxurious silhouette. The shoes of the bridesmaids were white leather shoes from Aquazzura, each monogrammed with the initials of the girls and the wedding date.
The bridesmaids wore flower crowns designed by florist Philippa Craddock. The flowers replicated the flowers used in the bridal bouquet.
Page boys’ attire
The four page boys wore a miniature version of the Blues and Royals frockcoat that Prince Harry wore on his wedding day. The frockcoats were made from blue doeskin, single-breasted in style with a stand-up collar and completed with figured braiding of Regimental pattern. The pages had their initials embroidered in gold on their shoulder straps. The leg garments are made from blue/black wool barathea with three-quarter scarlet stripes fastened with a leather strap. The uniforms were cut and made by the tailors Dege & Skinner in Savile Row.