Who is designing Meghan Markles wedding dress – from Ralph & Russo to Alexander McQueen
Since their engagement announcement on 27 November last year, royal fans have been feverishly pondering who and what Meghan will wear.
Will she be in white? Perhaps shell opt for blush? Will she have a long trail, a cape or a two-piece? And which fashion house has she given the daunting yet career-enhancing job of designing, creating and fulfilling her royal wedding frock?
All we know is that her dress is reportedly more of a show-stopper than Kate Middletons and will also likely cost less than the Duchess Of Cambridges gown, which cost £250,000, out of respect for a future Queen Consort.
Some bookies have already suspended bets on who will be Meghans chosen designer, and while Ralph & Russo are the current favourites, a number of names have been strongly linked to the job over the past six months.
Heres the lowdown on the favourite contenders for designing Meghans wedding dress…
Meghan is a self-confessed fan of the Canadian-Turkish designer, having been spotted in it at a friends wedding and previously telling Vanity Fair that Erdem is a designer Ive been wearing for years.
It was rumoured back in December that Meghans wedding dress could be the creation of Israeli designer Inbal Dror.
The fashion house revealed theyd been asked to submit designs for Meghans dress by Buckingham Palace shortly after Meghan and Harrys engagement in November.
Whether their designs were favoured by the Palace is another question altogether.
Roland Mourets designs ooze sophistication and Meghan has proven she is one heck of a sophisticated dresser with her many royal engagements with Prince Harry since their engagement.
The Duchess Of Cambridge is also a fan of Mourets and Meghan once attended a dinner in his honour in Toronto, proving she too is a fan.
Jenny Swire, contributing fashion director at Wedding Venues Magazine, believes Meghan may go for an American designer like Caroline Herrera.
I dont think it will be anything like Kate Middletons, she added, comparing her frock to Kates lace and full-skirted choice, Swire suggested.
I imagine her in something glamorous, almost red carpet in way – probably something bias-cut.
But she may just decide “Its always been my dream to have a princess wedding dress and Im marrying my prince so Id like to wear a really traditional dress”.
She may be very demure, with long sleeves and lace and a beautiful ballgown skirt.
Ralph & Russo
Ralph & Russo is potentially one of the favourites when it comes to betting on Meghans wedding dress.
She famously wore it in her and Harrys engagement photos in December, which were unveiled mark the start of their journey to marriage. In the photo, Meghan looks incredible in what she is wearing – a full-length gown with a sheer bodice and a layered, ruffled skirt.
The couple behind Ralph & Russo, a British label run by Australian couple Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo, specialise in intricate dresses decked out in crystals, feathers, and ruffles. All of their dresses are made by hand, which can take up to 3,000 hours.
Oscar de la Renta
Swire also predicts that Meghan could opt for Oscar de la Renta, still swaying towards her choosing a designer from her native America.
Im sure it wouldnt be anything too heavily bridal and traditional just because shes such a fashion girl and its her second wedding, Swire added.
Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen
It has also been rumoured that Alexander McQueen could land a double whammy and create Meghans dress after Sarah Burton created Kates for McQueen for Prince Williams 2011 wedding.
Meghan going down this route would be a subtle nod of respect to her future sister-in-law, however it may also be viewed as her trying to match Kates status.
Either way, while it will be a bespoke design carefully created for Meghan and far more expensive than us mere mortals could afford, her gown will cost less than Kate Middletons did. (To be fair, this feat isnt too difficult – Kates set her parents Carole and Michael Middleton back £250,000
So why will it cost less? Out of respect for the Queen Consort, apparently.
There have been reports that [Meghans] considering spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on a wedding dress. I think thats incredibly unlikely, Katie Nicholl explained to Entertainment Tonight.
It was [Kates] parents, Carol and Michael Middleton, who paid for that bill. I think it was very unlikely that Meghan would spend more than that and in doing so try and upstage a future queen, she added.
A closer look at the Duchess Of Cambridge's wedding dress
Alexander McQueens creative director Sarah Burton was the brains behind Kates elegant – and stunning – lace bridal gown for her wedding to Prince William.
For months speculation was rife on who would be the designer and Sarah had kept a stealthy silence on the matter.
So it was only natural that everyone was clamoring for the first glimpse of Kate in her dress – even it it was shielded in part by the screens at The Goring.
As Kate finally emerged outside Westminster Abbey – with the entire world seeing her dress on TV screens before her husband-to-be had – it was confirmed that Burton was in fact the designer.
She was even on hand to neaten the train – which was 9ft long – on the day and ensure every inch of the dress looked perfect as Kate made her way down the aisle.
It later emerged that Kate and Sarah had been having secret meetings at Hampton Court Palace to discuss the dress – the location chosen due to its proximity to The Royal School Of Needlework, who created the lace for the gown.
It was so hush-hush that staff there were told that the lace they were creating was actually for a period drama.
Recognise the model in the above photo? Of course you do – its Meghan Markle.
Anne Barge is another designer whose name has been added to the mix of potential wedding dress designers after she created the frock worn by Markles character Rachel Zane in the finale of Suits.
Meghan wore Barges Versailles princess ballgown for the role.
Its understood the dress was from Meghans BFF and stylist Jessica Mulroneys wedding dress store Kleinfeld Hudsons Bay in Toronto, Canada (yep, thats Kleinfeld that features in Say Yes To The Dress).
Could they have struck up a friendship during filming so much so that Meghan decided to stay loyal and buy her frock from her former home in Canada?
Who will design Meghan's wedding dress?
The latest odds, according to bookies Ladbrokes:
Ralph & Russo 1/3
Christopher Bailey 3/1
Roland Mouret 9/2
Victoria Beckham 6/1
Jenny Packham 6/1
Giles Deacon 6/1
Inbal Dror 8/1
Emilia Wickstead 9/1
Suzanne Neville 10/1
Alexander McQueen 10/1
Oscar de la Renta 10/1
Antonio Berardi 12/1
Misha Nonoo 14/1
Carolina Herrera 14/1
Vera Wang 20/1
As if what Meghan is wearing isnt exciting enough, all eyes will also be on what her mum Doria Ragland – and the Queen! – are wearing, given they will be taking up the crucial roles of mother of the bride and grandmother of the groom.
Check out what previous royal mother of the brides and grooms have worn here.