It might sound like the title of a Sherlock Holmes story, but the Mystery of the Royal Wedding Dress Designer is, if not as elaborate as a Holmes tale, then certainly as thrilling, judging from the feverish media coverage the topic has garnered ahead of Saturday’s nuptials of Great Britain’s Prince Harry and Los Angeles-born “Suits” actress Meghan Markle.
And just like the dapper detective, fashion hounds have been sniffing out clues at every possible opportunity. When Markle wore a Stella McCartney cape dress for Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London last month, that label was suddenly a contender. But the subsequent choice of a bespoke Emilia Wickstead skirt suit for a commemoration service at Westminster Abbey a few days later proved equally tantalizing to royal watchers — especially because Wickstead created a universally admired wedding gown for the Duke of Wellington’s daughter, Charlotte Wellesley, two years ago.
Other names being bandied about include Erdem, Burberry and Alexander McQueen; the last of those labels was responsible for the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress in 2011.
It’s a simple and oft-overlooked accessory, but between Rihanna’s bishop’s mitre at the May 7 Met Gala in New York and the fascinator frenzy sparked by Saturday’s British royal wedding where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot amid a sea of stylish headgear, the hat is making a comeback.
Royal weddings have long been occasions of fascination and splendor. Here’s a look at the marriages of key members of the British royal family beginning with Queen Victoria’s 1840 union with her first cousin Prince Albert.
It’s shouting into the headwinds of romantic swoonery, but Saturday’s wedding will not create “Princess Meghan.”
Quaint and odd they may be, but the rules of the royal road are both clear and strict, and neither tabloids nor TV will change them. In the House of Windsor, princesses are born, not made – or married.
No members of the British royal family can put the title “prince” or “princess” in front of their names unless they are born royal. So technically, there can be no “Princess Meghan,” just as there was no “Princess Diana.”
If the sheer volume of air time devoted to the run-up to the royal wedding is any indication, Americans apparently do want to immerse themselves in a ceremony full of arcane tradition for a royal sixth in line to the throne.
Blame or thank a world gone mad. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding is a fortuitously timed distraction from the disturbing deterioration of our own democracy, which appears to be crumbling like the British Empire we once fought to escape. But it's also a curious escape hatch given that the last few royal nuptials to elicit this much attention from American TV audiences were hardly idyllic or dreamy affairs.
The "Game of Thrones" blood-soaked "Red Wedding" is still at the top of that list, followed by King Joffrey's less bloody but still colorful demise. Then there's "The Crown's" near-loveless union between Queen Elizabeth II and Philip, "Victoria's" fraught marriage, the pairing that ripped apart a nation in "The White Queen" and the ill-fated string of matrimonies that made marriage a blood sport in "The Tudors." And we haven't even hopped the channel yet to the infidelity capitol of "Versailles."
For native Angeleno Meghan Markle and Britain’s charming Prince Harry of Wales, the first stop on the way to happily ever after will be setting up housekeeping inside Nottingham Cottage, a.k.a. Nott Cott, a (comparatively) modest-sized, rose-covered brick cottage behind a white picket fence on the grounds of Kensington Palace.
Previously home to William and Kate, Nott Cott’s newlyweds will now put their own stamp of style on the royal residence that is rumored to have low ceilings and an absence of air conditioning.
So how do you marry effortlessly chic SoCal style with the formality of British tradition under one red-tiled roof?