Following recent speculation, the Royal Collection Trust has confirmed that royal fans will soon be able to see the Duchess of Sussex‘s wedding dress up close when it goes on public display later this year.
A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will open in Windsor Castle’s state apartments on 26 October. The exhibition will show Meghan’s elegant bridal gown, designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, alongside her five metre-long veil and the diamond and platinum tiara gifted to the bride by the Queen. An identical version of Harry’s Household Cavalry frockcoat uniform made by Savile Row tailors, Dege & Skinner, will also be included in the two-part display.
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After it closes on 6 January, the exhibit will transfer to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh from 14 June to 6 October next year – a move which makes “perfect sense,” says curator Caroline de Guitaut.
“I think it’s really important to be able to show the display to the widest possible audience,” de Guitaut tells Harper’s Bazaar UK. “The location at Windsor’s Grand Reception Room is also incredibly fitting as it was the setting for the wedding reception.”
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After months of planning, which started well before Harry and Meghan tied the knot on 19 May, the special exhibit aims to give visitors a chance to view the detail and craftsmanship involved in the creation of the bride and groom’s outfits. Organised by the Royal Collection Trust, Meghan and Harry have also “absolutely” been a part of the curation.
“They have been closely involved with all aspects of the exhibition and Clare Waight Keller has been working with me,” says de Guitaut. “It has required a lot of planning and a lot of careful working together.”
There’s no doubt that the duchess’ dress will be the centrepiece. The elegant, floor-length gown was made with a double-bonded silk cady and a triple silk organza under skirt, along with the most standout feature – a bateau neckline.
“There is beauty in its simplicity,” de Guitaut adds. “It’s almost architectural. It’s the most beautiful thing, but it’s the veil in a way that completes the ensemble.” The intricate silk and tulle veil was the result of hundreds of hours of work. In a tribute to the Duke of Sussex’s role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, it was embroidered with the flora of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth, along with two of Meghan’s favourite flowers – wintersweet and the California poppy. Ears of wheat, symbolising love and charity, can be seen at front of the veil, which was edged with organza flowers.
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The display wouldn’t be complete without the tiara that held the bride’s veil in place. Originally made in 1932 for the Queen’s grandmother, this will be the first time it has been exhibited in its history. When viewed up close, the 11 sections of the sparkling band can be identified, along with a detachable brooch at its centre.
Diamonds aside, the detail involved in Prince Harry’s dashing Blues and Royals military uniform is also not to be missed. As the outfit he wore on the day is required to be worn at upcoming events which take place during the exhibition, the duke loaned an identical uniform he had worn a few years earlier. The single-breasted blue doeskin jacket was adorned with braiding on the stand-up collar and sleeves and in a nod to its owner, gold embroidered crowns on the epaulettes.
Like the display of the Duchess of Cambridge‘s wedding dress at Buckingham Palace in 2011, it’s worth noting that this will be a temporary instalment at both Windsor and Holyroodhouse. The Royal Collection Trust is encouraging visitors to book tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment on the day.
“The outfits will remain the personal property of the duke and duchess,” de Guitaut explains. “After the exhibition, they will go back into their wardrobes, so to speak. The whole ensemble looked so wonderful on the day, when you see it in the flesh, it’s really beautiful. I hope we do it justice.”
A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex is part of a visit to Windsor Castle from 26 October 2018 to 6 January 2019 and part of a visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse from 14 June to 6 October 2019. Tickets can be booked at royalcollection.org.uk. Tickets for the Palace of Holyroodhouse will be available from 1 November 2018.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.