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Royal guidelines: The gown, the bouquet and the royal marriage ceremony traditions Meghan Markle has to observe

When Meghan Markle walks down the aisle of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Citadel on Saturday, Might 19, her gown will little doubt be lovely — however it’ll additionally undoubtedly be in adherence to quite a lot of long-held traditions most individuals do not even know exist. 

Lengthy sleeves

Royal brides are anticipated to take care of a sure stage of modesty in terms of their marriage ceremony robes. Due to this, it has turn into custom, albeit an unofficial one, that royal marriage ceremony attire function lengthy sleeves. 

So, whereas lesser-known British royals like Woman Helen of Windsor have opted for robes that showcase their arms, these at higher-profile ceremonies often find yourself with a extra traditional, long-sleeved look. For instance, Kate Middleton (now the Duchess of Cambridge) wore a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen robe with intricate lace sleeves. Harry’s mom, Princess Diana, wore a robe by David and Elizabeth Emanuel that additionally featured dramatic sleeves, although hers have been extra voluminous, ruffled silk taffeta. And Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, married in a long-sleeved satin robe by designer Norman Hartnell again in 1947.

Meghan Markle‘s robe could harken again to her American roots — and Hollywood at that — but it surely’s tough to think about her breaking from this custom on Might 19.

It is custom that her bouquet include myrtle

Each royal bride since Queen Victoria has carried a sprig of myrtle in her bouquet. Queen Elizabeth did it. Princess Diana did it. Kate did it. And it will be extremely uncommon if Meghan Markle did not observe of their footsteps. Myrtle is seen as an emblem of marriage and love, however its significance for the royals goes far deeper than that.

A recreation of the Duchess of Cambridge’s marriage ceremony bouquet is photographed earlier than it goes on show at Buckingham Palace throughout the annual summer time opening on July 20, 2011, in London. The bouquet, product of lily of the vallery, hyacinths, ivy and myrtle (which was grown from the bouquet of Queen Victoria), was featured in her marriage ceremony day, April 29, 2011, when she married Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

Lewis Whyld/WPA Pool/ Getty Pictures

When Queen Victoria received married to Prince Albert in February 1840, Albert’s grandmother gifted the younger bride-to-be a sprig of myrtle. Queen Victoria later planted that sprig within the backyard outdoors her house on the Isle of Wight. Then, when her daughter received married in 1858, she carried a sprig from that plant in her bouquet. And ever since, royal brides have opted to do the identical — most even go as far as to incorporate a sprig from Queen Victoria’s authentic backyard of myrtle. In reality, that backyard opened to the general public for the primary time in June 2017, in order that royal followers might see and scent the well-known myrtle firsthand. 

A couple of royal brides, nonetheless, have chosen to incorporate myrtle from a special supply. When Prince Charles wed Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005, for instance, the bride selected as a substitute to incorporate a sprig from a supporter in Cornwall. 


Whereas there are a number of exceptions, most high-profile royal brides have both worn lace attire or attire of a special materials that also incorporate numerous lace. In reality, the latest instance, Kate’s 2011 Alexander McQueen robe, was paying homage to the lace gown worn by American actress Grace Kelly at her 1956 marriage ceremony to Prince Rainier III of Monaco. In 2013, Princess Claire of Luxembourg opted for a long-sleeved lace robe as effectively. In 2015, so did Princess Sofia of Sweden. Now, specialists are predicting that Meghan Markle will seemingly observe of their footsteps.

Royal brides don’t present their shoulders or cleavage

Whereas Kate’s marriage ceremony gown had a low-cut V-neckline for a royal robe, royal brides by no means naked their shoulders and keep away from displaying an excessive amount of cleavage. So, on her marriage ceremony day in 1960, Princess Margaret, the queen’s sister, wore a Norman Hartnell robe of silk organza which featured one of many slenderest v-necks you have seemingly ever seen. Likewise, in 1995, Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece selected a lace robe with a turtleneck in adherence to this custom of modesty.

A tiara to high all of it off

Many of the British royal brides in current reminiscence have adorned their bridal appears with diamond tiaras. Princess Diana famously wore her household’s Spencer tiara when she married Prince Charles in 1981. In 2011, the queen loaned Kate the Cartier Halo tiara for her stroll down the aisle to marry Prince William. And the Queen Mom, Woman Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, wore a tiara of untamed roses set amidst rose-cut diamonds. 

Many royal specialists speculate that Meghan Markle will proceed the custom by sporting a diamond tiara, both from the queen’s private assortment or from that of Harry’s mom.

Chances are you’ll now  not kiss the bride

Lastly, in contrast to most American weddings which culminate within the iconic line, “Chances are you’ll now kiss the bride,” royal weddings hardly ever do. 

In reality, the Church of England really forbids such acts in sacred locations like Westminster Abbey. That is why William and Kate shared their first kiss as a married couple on a balcony outdoors Buckingham Palace. Thus, we’re unlikely to see a kiss between Prince Harry and his new bride, Meghan Markle, throughout the precise ceremony at Windsor Citadel. For that memorable second, royal followers will merely have to attend and see.

Royal Wedding - Carriage Procession To Buckingham Palace And Departures

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after getting married on April 29, 2011 in London, England. 

WPA Pool / Getty Pictures

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