Meghan Markle took our breath away when she arrived at St George's Chapel in Windsor, ready to say "I do" to Prince Harry. Well-wishers cheered and burst with excitement as she stepped out of her car – a scene that called to mind the Duchess of Cambridge's arrival at Westminster Abbey some seven years ago at her wedding to Prince William. Both Meghan and Kate looked every inch the fairy tale bride on their big day, with their dresses having a couple of similarities, but on the whole, were vastly different. We take a closer look…
Meghan Markle's wedding dress
Meghan's dress featured a bateau neckline and long sleeves
The main similarity that springs to mind are the sleeves. Kate made long sleeves popular again with her bespoke Alexander McQueen gown, and given that Meghan was marrying in a royal chapel, it was no surprise that she also chose to cover her arms out of respect. Like Kate, her dream dress featured three-quarter length sleeves – although not as long as Kate's – and a defined bodice.
But while Kate's gown had intricate floral lace motifs, some the size of five pence pieces, and a smattering of embellishment, Harry's bride opted for more sleek lines and sharp cuts. Her skirt was also more slim-fit whereas Kate had a full-bodied skirt. One of the most notable differences was the neckline. Kate set the trend for many brides with her V neckline, while Meghan's dress focused on her open bateau neckline.
Meghan Markle's wedding veil
Like Kate, Meghan added the standout item in any bride's wardrobe – a stunning, ivory silk veil which was pinned onto her tiara and framed her face beautifully. Meghan opted for a truly dramatic veil, while the Duchess' was considerably shorter at nine feet, and made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers.
Meghan also opted for a floral motif, with Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy explaining: "The delicate floral beauty of the veil was a vision Meghan and I shared, a special gesture embracing the commonwealth flora, ascending the circumference of the silk tulle."
The bride's showstopping veil featured floral motifs
Meghan Markle's wedding tiara
Both Kate and Meghan's 'something borrowed' was their tiara, loaned by their future families. The Queen lent Kate the exquisite Cartier 'halo' tiara which was given to the monarch, then Princess Elizabeth, on her 18th birthday.
Meghan accessorised with an equally dazzling tiara, borrowing the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau tiara, which belongs to Her Majesty. The headpiece is a little-known piece that was first created for the Queen's grandmother Queen Mary back in 1932. It features a detachable brooch, given to Mary as a wedding present in 1893 by the County of Lincoln.
Meghan wore the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau tiara
The floral-shaped brooch is made of one large round diamond and surrounded by nine smaller diamonds. The bandeau part of the tiara contains 11 intricate glittering sections, including ovals and pave set with large and small diamonds. Queen Mary bequeathed the bandeau and brooch to the Queen upon her death in 1953.