The cost of Meghan Markle’s wedding dress has long been a subject of contention. The wedding as a whole inspired people to ask just who was paying for the luxurious nuptials and Markle’s bridal gown specifically. Gossip Cop looked into the finances for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding and were surprised at what we found.
When Markle and Prince Harry had their wedding in 2018, one detail that viewers simply couldn’t get over was Markle’s wedding dress. Its design was a far cry from the exquisitely detailed gown worn by her royal sister-in-law, Kate Middleton. That dress, with its long lace sleeves and full skirt, was instantly popular among royal watchers.
Markle’s dress, however, has been much more controversial. Some critics even scoffed at the dress’ simple design, not knowing that Markle had long professed a love for simplistic elegance. In a 2016 interview with Glamour, Markle called Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s wedding dress, a streamlined ivory gown with a plunging neckline, “everything goals.”
Markle revealed a lot about her own personal style and what her ideal wedding dress would look like in that interview, so it’s not so surprising that for her own wedding, Markle would choose a gown that was timeless. “I have the luxury of wearing beautiful pieces of clothing every day for work, so my personal style — wedding or not — is very pared down and relaxed. Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist,” Markle explained.
The dress itself, though simply designed, was truly a marvel of elegance. It was designed by Clare Waight Keller, who had been appointed as the first female artistic director at the house of Givenchy in 2017. Kensington Palace, in a statement released shortly after the wedding, described the gown as “a timeless minimal elegance.”
Only six discreet seams held the gown together. The gown was made of silk and had no other embellishments, like lace, at all, but it did have one secret, heartwarming detail. A small piece of the blue dress Markle had worn on her first date with Prince Harry had been sewn into the dress. The 16-foot veil had all the intricate details that were missing from the gown. In fact, the veil took longer than the dress to create.
The silk tulle veil took 500 hours to complete, with the workers washing their hands every 30 minutes in order to keep the delicate fabric pristine until Markle’s big day. Included on the trim of the veil were the hand-embroidered flowers from each of the 53 Commonwealth countries. As an added detail, Markle also requested the California poppy, to represent her birthplace of California, and Wintersweet, a flower which grew in Kensington Gardens right in front of Nottingham Cottage. Though the dress and veil seemed simple, there was actually a huge amount of effort and detail that went into them.
A dress that intricate, designed by the artistic director of Givenchy, likely wasn’t cheap. There have been several unsubstantiated estimates to how much the dress might cost. For comparison purposes, Kate Middleton’s gown reportedly cost about $434,000. Markle’s dress, on the other hand, is estimated to have cost anywhere from $110,000 to $500,000. Either way, that’s probably much higher than what the average bride pays for a wedding dress.
There have been a handful of conflicting reports about just who paid for much fo Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding. The Royal Family released a statement in the lead up to the wedding, which read in part, “As was the case with the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Royal Family will pay for the core aspects of the wedding, such as the church service, the associated music, flowers, decorations, and the reception afterwards.” Markle reportedly paid some of the costs for the wedding, and it’s speculated that Markle’s wedding dress was paid for by the former actress herself. Middleton and her family paid for her own dress, so it’s likely that Markle followed in her sister-in-law’s footsteps.
Tabloids have no love for Meghan Markle and constantly make the duchess out to be a materialistic diva. So really, it’s no surprise that when it came to Markle’s wedding dress, and the wedding in general, these outlets didn’t hold back. Gossip Cop’s archives are full of tabloid rumors concerning the cost of the wedding and bad predictions about the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding dress.
In December 2017, Life & Style claimed that Markle had “big plans” for her wedding dress and erroneously listed designers Elie Saab and J. Mendel as the two top contenders for the honor of designing Markle’s dress. As we already know, that honor went to Waight Keller. The outlet was merely using quotes from Markle’s Glamour interview to speculate about the highly anticipated wedding.
HollywoodLife insisted that the soon-to-be spouses would incorporate Prince Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, into the design of Markle’s wedding dress. A highly dubious source informed the gossip site, “Meghan has been thinking of creative ways to incorporate Harry's late mother Diana's memory into the most important day of their life and so she has been in talks with Elizabeth Emanuel, Diana's wedding dress designer.” Of course, this untrustworthy celebrity gossip site had no real insight into Markle’s plans, which is why their reporting on the topic was so embarrassingly incorrect. Markle did not end up using the same designer as her late mother-in-law. Though Markle and Prince Harry had already agreed that they’d like to include his mother in a meaningful way, this clearly wasn’t it. “It's so important to me know that she's a part of this with us,” Markle explained during the couple’s engagement interview.
Speaking of Princess Diana, Prince Harry also never gave his new bride his late mother’s jewelry to wear on her big day, either. That same gossip blog claimed Markle was given Princess Diana’s sapphire bracelet to wear on the day of the wedding. A source told the outlet, “Diana was known for her love of sapphires and so Harry feels it is special, romantic and important for him to share the regal gem with his bride-to-be.” The same seemingly fake source added, “Harry is hoping that Meghan will wear the sparkling piece on their wedding day as a sweet homage to his wonderful, loving mother.” Gossip Cop called out the source for its unnatural language and expressed our suspicions that any palace “insider” would refer to Prince Harry without his title. Since Markle didn’t wear a bracelet, let alone a sapphire one, on her wedding day, our judgement was clearly correct.
In the months leading up to the wedding, Gossip Cop encountered a seemingly endless stream of stories claiming to have the inside scoop on what the wedding would cost. The same tabloid listed above claimed the wedding could cost upwards of $30 million, citing Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding tally, which it estimated to be about $35 million, as evidence. We not only thought it unwise to count the chickens before they’ve hatched, since the article in question was published almost six months before the wedding, but we also found fault the tabloid’s supposed inside information. That’s why we ultimately determined the story was untrue.
In the end, a lot of tabloids simply looked foolish for making predictions that never came true. It would be a lot more professional for these outlets to just wait until the details are released to report the facts, but “professional” and “facts” aren’t what the tabloids are known for. Rather, these shady publications thrive on spreading misinformation, especially if that misinformation is scandalous or negative.