When Meghan Markle arrived at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Britain for her wedding to Prince Harry, her stunning, elegantly minimal dress rightly caught the world’s attention.
Her veil, however, also deserves admiration. Also the work of Markle’s clothing designer Clare Waight Keller, British artistic director of French fashion house Givenchy, the silk tulle veil was a marvel of craftsmanship filled with subtle symbolism.
Kensington Palace revealed that each of the hand-embroidered flowers on the border of the five-meter-long veil was unique. They expressed Markle’s desire to have the 53 members of the Commonwealth Nations family, a voluntary association of countries who were once ruled by Great Britain, represented at the ceremony. The team that created the veil researched each country’s distinctive flora, and Waight Keller’s design weaved them all into one composition.
The effort required to do so was extraordinary. “Each flower has been worked flat, three-dimensional to create a unique and delicate design,” Kensington Palace said in the statement. “Workers spent hundreds of hours sewing and washing their hands meticulously every thirty minutes to keep the tulle and threads spotless.”
The palace stressed that the Commonwealth will be at the heart of Prince Harry and Her Royal Highness Meghan official job, once he is appointed Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. “Ms. Markle wanted to express her gratitude for the opportunity to support the work of the Commonwealth by incorporating references to its members into the design of her wedding dress,” he noted.
The flowers on the veil are not purely political. They also include two of Markle’s personal favorites. One is the mild winter, a modest shrub that grows on the grounds of Kensington Palace opposite Nottingham Cottage. The other is the California poppy, the flower of the state of California, where Markle was born.
Harvests of wheat also appear on the front of the veil, symbolizing love and charity.