The Best and the Behatted of the Royal Wedding
The last major Royal Wedding of our generation was held on Saturday, May 19th. Let’s ooh and ahh over the outfits and the hats.
The marriage of Prince Harry of Wales and Miss. Meghan Markle occurred on Saturday morning before half the United States was even awake. The two of them came out the other side as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and like that it was done. The marriages of both Charles’ son was over. Though there will be other second-tier royal weddings after this (such as Princess Eugenie, Prince Andrew’s daughter, which is scheduled to take place in October) this was the other “big” one after William.
And the choice of spouse for Harry also meant that this would be a different kind of wedding that the Palace or the royal family had done before. Markle is a biracial divorcee, and an actress whose claim to fame is the budget filmed cable series Suits, which airs on the USA Network. That meant a segment of the invitees were American, and a small phalanx of them were actors one has probably vaguely only heard of and might recognize as a “that person” from B-level movies.
But that didn’t stop the hats from marching in, as the Royals did their own heads proudly, and those whose life choices improbably scored them a golden ticket strove mightily to match. Let’s run down the results.
The Bride and Groom
This gown is exquisite. It is also plain, like amazingly, timelessly plain. Like “ain’t nobody gonna look at this dress and say it’s 2018 in 20 years” plain. (Ahem, Diana’s so totally painfully 1980s gown.) If this look kicks off an era of wedding gown minimalism for the next few years, don’t be surprised.
More facts: Meghan’s dress was designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, which was a real surprise. Most rumors had her either wearing Stella McCarthy or Ralph & Russo. Her veil, for the record, has the symbols of all 53 members of the British Commonwealth, which is the only detailing on her whole outfit and accounts for why it is so damn long.
You know what you really care about though:
Her tiara is the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau, from the Queen’s personal collection. It was fashioned in 1932, but the center stone has been part of the collection since 1893.
So this is a big deal. Harry got married in Uniform and didn’t shave. That’s a huge breach in etiquette. To be fair he did tone it down, all the way to a George Michael 3-day scruff. But still. facial hair. That’s huge.
As for his outfit: According to the Palace, the Queen gave Harry her blessing to wear his single-breasted black uniform. As one can see, Prince William actually wore a matching uniform, but he is adorned with elaborate gold braiding from the regimental pattern, as well as his Knight of the Garter star.
ETA: The Bride’s Second Dress of the Day
This is the Stella McCarthy gown that was designed for Meghan to wear that didn’t make the chapel. You can see why. It’s extra modern with the high neck and lack of sleeves and feels very 2018. But it also confirms the idea of the completely unadorned dreans was a anchor point of the design brief.
But it works great here with Harry’s tux, and is a great “private dinner” gown.
The Royal Family You Recognize
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who conducted herself admirably this morning. She neither was shocked by the subversive sermon given during the ceremony, and she didn’t seem to let on if she was bothered by Harry’s refusal to shave. Good work.
This may be the last time we see Philip in public, so that’s a moment in history all by itself.
Camilla not only wore one of the largest hats but a great choker. Charles somehow never had a photo taken by himself, so this will have to do.
Here’s a full shot of Camilla’s dress.
Doria Ragland, mother of the bride, and the only family member Meghan has who was allowed to attend.
I love this fact: Kate Middle re-wore an outfit. It’s an Alexander McQueen coat. Talk about making sure you don’t steal the spotlight.
The full Bill and Cathy Cambridge family. Charlotte was great by the way, but George was cranky and whiney, as you can see in the photo.
Royal Relations You Might Vaguely Recognize
Princess Anne, Charles’ younger sister and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wife of Prince Edward, who never seems to turn up to these things.
Princess Beatrice wore the most boring fascinator in the entire UK. No repeats of 2011, please.
Eugenie wore an actual facts hat, but she’s getting married in six months and it trying to tone it down in general.
Sarah Ferguson was invited, though she looks like she’s terrified someone will kick her out any minute. Prince Andrew also didn’t seem to be anywhere in photos.
Zara Phillips, Princess Anne’s daughter, and her husband.
Unlike Zara, Pippa’s pregnancy isn’t showing yet, though her dress looks like an Arizona green tea bottle label.
Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn.
Charles Spencer, the brother of the late Princess Diana. This is probably the last time the royal family has to invite the Spencers to anything, so they made the most of it.
Kate Middleton’s mother, dressing like an older version of her daughter.
Lady Kitty Spencer, who might have had one of the best outfits on the day.
People You Definitely Recognize
Amal Clooney may still be terrible at standing for photos, but she’s got the dress game down.
Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre, whose shoes match her dress perfectly.
Of *course* Oprah is here. In custom Oprah, and a church hat.
Posh and Becks, in Posh & Becks Mode.
Elton John and his husband, David Furnish.
Fun fact: Tom Hardy’s girl Charlotte O’Reilly played Kate Middleton in King Charles III.
I mostly included James Blunt because I love the fabric pattern on his wife’s gown.
James Cordon. I dunno. His wife’s hat is dull.
Serena Williams and a dude who’s really excited he got to be her +1.
Casey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford. No sons though.
People You Might Vaguely Know From TV
Of all the TV people, Priyanka Chopra had the best hat and outfit. Hands down.
This is Patrick J. Adams. He starred on Suits and married Meghan on screen.
This is Gabriel Machts. He still stars on Suits, even though Adams and Markle quit.
This is Gina Torres. She just left Suits to go star in her own spin-off. I hate her hat.
This is Sarah Rafferty. She still stars on Suits.
This is Rick Hoffman, who probably the only one you recognize from Suits because he’s the least generic looking character on the show. I have no idea who the people are on the left.
And this is Joss Stone. Remember Joss Stone? She was famous for like a minute in 2006.
Conservative ex-Prime Minister John Major (retired), and the only politician in attendance.
And Athlete David Hanson and his wife and her hat.
People We Don’t Know Who Happen To Have Great Hats
Nope, no idea who John Warren is, but he and his wife are picture perfect for what one should expect for this type of event.
These are Caroline and Will Greenwood, friends of Harry. Her hat is great.
Tom and Lara Inskip, more friends of Harry. Fantastic hat, fantastic dress.
The guy is Johnny Wilkinson, but it’s the lady on the right who I love the most.
Lady Edwina Louise Grosvenor and her husband. Love her hat.
This is Chelsy Davys, who was one of Harry’s longtime girlfriends, the one he almost married. She’s working very hard to look happy.
The other ex-girlfriend, Cressida Bonas, who might have had the most casual outfit of the entire affair.
Chloe Madeley and James Haskell. The front of her dress looks like armor.
And finally, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. No one knows who they are at all.