Royal Shade: Was Meghan Markle’s Wedding Gown a Knockoff?

Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, depart following their wedding in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, in England.
Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, depart following their wedding in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, in England.
Photo: Owen Humphries (WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Just when we thought we’d seen the end of royal-wedding drama, here comes more: British bridal designer Emilia Wickstead told the Daily Mail that the now-iconic custom-made silk dress worn by Meghan Markle to her wedding to Prince Harry is a rip-off of one of her own designs.

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“Her dress is identical to one of our dresses,” said Wickstead. “Apparently, a lot of commentators were saying, ‘It’s an Emilia Wickstead dress.’”

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This is true; prior to Markle’s emergence at St. George’s Chapel last Saturday, several commentators speculated that she may have been dressed by Wickstead. However, the simplicity of Markle’s dress, which was designed by Givenchy designer Clare Waight Keller, raises the question of whether the silhouette is really that highly original or if the details—like the custom-created double-ply silk fabric and six-seamed construction—are the real MVPs here.

In fact, the design also garnered comparisons to the wedding gown of another black princess; Princess Angela of Lichtenstein wore a similarly simple gown when she married Prince Maximilian in 2000.

That said, Waight Keller’s design purportedly cost an estimated $515,000 to create, while, by contrast, Wickstead’s ready-to-wear gown retails for approximately $9,300, meaning that the Duchess of Sussex likely could have gotten the look for much less (not that she needed the discount).

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Wickstead also had some choice words about the fit of Markle’s gown, echoing criticism from singer Katy Perry when she said, “If you choose a simple design, the fit should be perfect. Her wedding dress was quite loose.” And of the bride’s hair? Wickstead said, “I was like, ‘Hold the wisps [of her hair] back—it’s a royal wedding, for God’s sake.’”

Yikes.

But obvious similarities aside, was it wise for Wickstead—who has long been considered one of Kate Middleton’s favorite designers, and whose designs have been worn by Markle as well—to throw shade at the Duchess of Sussex? After all, brides-to-be looking to emulate Markle’s wedding day look may very well now go flocking to Wickstead for her lower-priced version; not to mention all those future royal photo ops she may have just talked herself out of.

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Because if there’s one thing we know about the royal family, it’s that they value discretion above all else.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, an avid eyeshadow enthusiast and always her own muse. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.

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DISCUSSION

No!Wire!Hangers!

Wickstead is delusional if she thinks Markle’s dress was a knock-off of her design because she’d have to have been the first to design that style of dress in the first place. Also, Wickstead’s dress sucks and makes the model’s boobs look long and droopy. But on the matter of the accusation at hand, Wickstead didn’t invent that style of dress. Neither did Givenchy, for that matter. Markle’s dress was very much a throwback to those posh 1960s wedding dresses in thick silk and with that kind of off the shoulder cut and long sleeves.