What to wear to a royal wedding

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A royal wedding requires guests to pull out all the style stops, so if you’re one of the fortunate few invited to celebrate the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on 19 May, what on earth should you wear?

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It’s guaranteed to be the most photographed event of 2018 and it’s not just the royal couple under scrutiny. 

Even for the brief period of the couple’s engagement, Ms Markle has won plaudits for her distinctive but occasion-appropriate sense of style. So who better to offer inspiration on this most public style platform than the bride herself?

Wear the trousers

It’s still relatively unusual to see women wearing trouser suits at weddings, but Meghan Markle showed just how elegant they can look at the Endeavour Fund Awards in February. Amal Clooney, meanwhile, wore elegant cream trousers and matching top with a wide-brimmed hat for her civil ceremony in Venice.

With jumpsuits given the official nod of approval at Royal Ascot’s Royal Enclosure for the first time last year, we can expect to see the all-in-one make an appearance in May, too.

Pale or bright colours and light fabrics such as silk or linen, paired with well-thought-out accessories, will ensure that you don’t look like you’re heading to the office. Remember that shoulders should be covered for a church ceremony.

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Keep it British

Royal weddings in the UK are occasions for celebrating homegrown craft and produce: sparkling wine from Chapel Down vineyard in Kent was served at the reception for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with an array of locally sourced food.

The Queen similarly chose to wear British designer Norman Hartnell on her wedding day, with Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge following suit in the Emanuels and Alexander McQueen respectively.

Meghan Markle has already shown her support for British labels and brands on a number of public appearances: Marks & Spencer sold out of its black bell-sleeve sweater when she wore it to visit Brixton radio station Representz earlier in the year. It is believed, however, that a sketch from Israeli bridal designer Inbal Dror has been requested by Kensington Palace – will she break with previous form in her choice of wedding gown?

For guests keen to bring the best of British to the wedding in May, Stella McCartney, Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Emilia Wickstead and Erdem are just a few of the homegrown choices on offer.

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Consider the occasion

Despite her relaxed approach to interacting with members of the public, Meghan Markle knows when to embrace formality, choosing smart but stylish outfits for her many high-profile appearances, such as on Christmas Day at Sandringham.

Guests at the wedding in May should bring a similar sense of occasion, opting for an outfit that incorporates both tradition and style to acknowledge the importance of the ceremony.

While Meghan Markle might prefer to dispense with formal physical protocol when meeting members of the public, if guests are introduced to a member of the royal family, women should still remember to curtsy and men bow from the neck.

 

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Remember to smile

She’s about to marry the UK’s most eligible bachelor, so why has the British public embraced Meghan Markle so readily to its heart? It could be because she seems so likeable. Much of her appeal is down to the warmth and authenticity of her smile: remember the relaxed grin with which she responded to events going awry at the Endeavour Fund Awards? 

Guests on 19 May should follow suit. If a heel breaks, or a button pops, or your hat topples, simply remember that you’re there to celebrate the couple – as is everybody else – so smile!

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