On Meghan’s final outing with the full joy of self-expression

Meghan’s Stella McCartney dress a final fling before her austere new life

As the newly-wed Duchess of Sussex made her way to her evening reception in a striking bridal gown, the watching world saw her complete her journey into the royal family.

But it also marked the last moment she could indulge in the full joy and self-expression of fashion, the dress designer has said.

Stella McCartney, who worked with Meghan Markle to create the look for her evening reception, said the dress was the final outing before the former actress began her “very austere” and “very serious” new life.

She said she was proud to have helped the Duchess tread the “delicate line” of appropriate attire and had aimed to make Markle feel “a million dollars”.

The dress, described by Kensington Palace as a “bespoke lily-white, high-neck gown made of silk crepe”, was seen around the world as the couple drove to their evening reception. McCartney said it was the “last moment that she could reflect sort of the other side to her: the joy and the human within her”.

The British designer, who opened a new flagship store in London this week, also dressed high-profile guests, including Amal Clooney and Oprah Winfrey for the wedding, saying she was surprised and thrilled by the positive response she had received.

In an interview with the BBC, McCartney said of dressing Markle: “I feel it’s such a private experience. And as a designer and a woman who’s been married, it’s such a big deal.

“It was very much her dress, and I felt very proud that she came to me for that part of the wedding. She got to reflect her in it.”

Asked whether Markle had come to her with ideas for how she wanted to look, McCartney said: “Yeah, we worked together. When you come to a wedding, you don’t just go, ‘here, this is what you’re wearing’. That person has to feel like a million dollars; they need to feel like they own it.

“The role she’s taken on, it’s very austere, it’s very sort of serious, and I think there’s a great weight that she has acquired through that and she takes it very seriously.

“I think it was the last moment that she could, sort of, reflect the other side of her: the joy and the human within her.

“I was aware that we had to get the right kind of positioning, the right pace, the right voice. There was a delicate line. It’s either a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, it’s that kind of gig.”

Since her wedding, the Duchess has made noticeable changes to her wardrobe, choosing a demure pink dress and chic bun for her first official engagement in married life, at the Prince of Wales’s birthday garden party.

She has since brought some of her own style to public appearances, showing off her shoulders during a carriage ride and on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour.

The designer of her wedding dress had been a closely kept secret, with even the most dedicated of fashion followers surprised on the day when the designer, Givenchy, was finally named.

Clare Waight Keller, the creative director of Givenchy who designed the dress for the formal wedding, carriage ride and daytime reception, said previously: “I think every bride is unique.

“They always come with their own ideas. She was really focused, as I was, on it being absolutely perfect for the occasion. That was the modernity and the fact that I really wanted something that was so elegant and classical and timeless in a way.” – The Daily Telegraph