Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married…

backveil
Entering the Chapel

I came down with a serious case of RWF (Royal Wedding Fever) this weekend and am only now recovering.  Did you tune in to watch Megan marry Harry? I could not bring myself to get up at the crack of dawn to watch live but have spent a LOT of my free time since Saturday looking at all of the pictures and video of the event and am still captivated by each image from the ceremony, all of which show the radiant couple beaming with joy and love…

Official Wedding Portraits of Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex Released by the Palace
One of Three Dreamy Official Wedding Portraits (Image by Alexi Lubomirski) 

This was such a symbolic wedding for so many reasons.  An older bi-racial divorcee actress from California marries a charming playful motherless prince from the very Anglican Windsor monarchy. I loved that Megan initially walked into the down the aisle alone, then was escorted by Prince Charles partway before once again walking on her own to join Harry. I got teary watching the groom tell his bride how beautiful she looked when she arrived at the altar.  And how about Reverend Michael Curry?  His emotional sermon about the power of love was only made better by the facial expressions made in reaction to his fiery oratory. Finally, the handsome Kingdom Choir sang one of the most moving renditions of ‘Stand By Me’ I have ever heard.

Then there was the gown.  Before the big day, Ladbrokes had Ralph & Russo at 1/4, Erdem at 2/1, Burberry at 3/1, Roland Mouret at 9/2, and wedding guest Victoria Beckham at 6/1 odds.  I guess not many were able to cash in on their wagers, since the design honors went to Brit ex pat artistic director of Givenchy, Clare Waight-Keller.  As a one-time fashion designer and pattern maker I appreciated the talent that went into making such an classically elegant dress (which was made with only 6 seams) but it was Megan’s veil/train  that really made me swoon!

gownsketch
A front and back sketch of Megan’s wedding dress and train

Co-designed by Ms. Markle and Ms. Waight-Keller, the silk tulle train measured just over 5 yards long and was embellished with flowers from all 53 countries of the Commonwealth, each of which was hand-embroidered in silk and organza.  Megan also had crops of wheat embroidered at the very front of the veil to symbolize love and charity and added two of her favorite flowers to the design: the Wintersweet flower, which grows in front of Nottingham Cottage (where she and Harry reside), and the California Poppy, her birth state flower. “Each flower was worked flat, in three dimensions to create a unique and delicate design,” according to the statement from the palace. “The workers spent hundreds of hours meticulously sewing and washing their hands 30 thirty minutes to keep the tulle and threads pristine.

train2
Details from some of the 53 hand-embroidered flowers on Megan’s train 

I would love to know more about the creation of the train.  How many seamstresses worked on the embroidery?  How many hours each day did they work?  How long did it take to finish the piece?  Was the fabric laid flat on a table or was it held taunt in a frame?  Were individual patterns created for each flower?  Was the pattern transferred to the tulle?  And finally, what 53 flowers were embroidered on the train?  Actually, I know the answer to that question, and in case you are interested the veil/train flowers by continent and country are:

AFRICA:

  • Botswana – Ear of Sorghum and Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
  • Cameroon – Red Stinkwood (Prunus africana)
  • Gambia – White Variety Orchid
  • Ghana – Caladium (Caladium)
  • Kenya – The Tropical Orchid
  • Lesotho – Spiral Aloe (Aloe polyphylla)
  • Malawi – Lotus (Nymphea lotus)
  • Mauritius – Trochetia Boutoniana
  • Mozambique – Maroon Bell Bean (Markhamia zanzibarica)
  • Namibia – Welwitschia (Welwitschia mirabilis)
  • Nigeria – Yellow Trumpet (Costus spectabilis)
  • Rwanda – Torch Lily (Kniphofia uvaria)
  • Seychelles – Tropicbird orchid (Angraecum eburnum)
  • Sierra Leone – Scadoxus (Scadoxus cinnabarinus)
  • South Africa – Protea (Protea cynaroides)
  • Swaziland – Fire Heath (Erica cerinthoides)
  • Uganda – Desert rose (Adenium obesum)
  • United Republic of Tanzania – African violet (Saintpaulia)
  • Zambia – Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea)
orchid
Tropicbird Orchid from Seychelles (Image by Giani Trevisanto)

ASIA:

  • Bangladesh – White Water Lily ( Sada shapla)
  • Brunei Darussalam – Simpor (Dillenia suffruticosa)
  • India – Indian Lotus (Nelumbo nucifers gaertn)
  • Malaysia – Bunga Raya Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa sinensis)
  • Pakistan – Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)
  • Singapore – Vanda Miss Joaquim Orchid (Miss Joaquim)
  • Sri Lanka – Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea nouchali)
hibiscus
Bunga Raya Hibiscus from Malaysia

CARIBBEAN & AMERICAS:

  • Antigua and Barbuda – Agave (Agave karatto)
  • Bahamas – Yellow Elder (Tecoma stans)
  • Barbados – The Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)
  • Belize – The Black Orchid (Encyclia cochleata)
  • Canada – Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
  • Dominica – Carib Wood (Sabinea carinalis)
  • Grenada – Bougainvillea (Nyctaginaceae)
  • Guyana – Victoria Regia Water Lily (Victoria amazonica)
  • Jamaica – Lignum Vitae (Guiacum officinale)
  • Saint Lucia – The Rose and the Marguerite
  • St Kitts and Nevis – Poinciana (Delonix regia )
  • St Vincent & the Grenadines – Soufriere Tree (Spachea perforatais)
  • Trinidad & Tobago – Chaconia (Warszewiczia coccinea)
rose
The Pride of Barbados  (Image from Plant Answers)

EUROPE:

  • Cyprus – Cyclamen Cyprium (Cyclamen cyprium)
  • Malta – Maltese Centaury (Cheirolophus crassifolius

UNITED KINGDOM:

  • England – Rose
  • Wales – Daffodil (Narcissus)
  • Northern Ireland – Flax flower
  • Scotland – Thistle
the_ancient_mariner_1_1
The Ancient Mariner English Rose (Image from David Austin Roses)

PACIFIC:

  • Australia – Golden Wattles (Acacia pycnantha)
  • Fiji – Tagimaucia (Medinilla waterhousei)
  • Kiribati – Bidens Kiribatiensis
  • Nauru – Calophyllum
  • New Zealand – Kowhai (Sophora microphylla)
  • Papua – Sepik Blue Orchid (Dendrobium lasianthera)
  • Samoa – Teuila (Alpinia purpurata)
  • Solomon Islands – Hibiscus (Hibiscus)
  • Tonga – Heilala (Garcinia sessilis)
  • Tuvalu – Plumeria (Plumeria frangipans)
  • Vanuatu – Anthurium (Anthurium)

This may have been my favorite royal wedding ever.  How about you? Did you watch? What did you think fo the dress and train? And are you, like me, counting down the years to Princess Charlotte ties the knot?  I’d love to know…

*Going to the Chapel – Dixie Cups

 

One thought on “Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married…

  1. THIS WAS A GREAT POST. LOVED THE LIST OF FLOWERS ON THE VEIL
    MEGAN LOOKED SPECTACULAR IN A SIMPLE, ELEGANT DRESS

    Like

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