Meghan Markle Doesn't Want Her Wedding Dress to Upstage Kate Middleton's (Exclusive)

ET’s royal expert Katie Nicholl explains that Prince Harry’s future bride is keeping her wedding gown designer under wraps -- likely until the the big day.

Meghan Markle’s wedding day to Prince Harry is fast approaching, and while Kensington Palace recently released information on the couple’s wedding cake and invitations, some special details of the big day are being kept under wraps -- including the particulars of Meghan’s sure-to-be-stunning wedding dress!

“I expect that Meghan will go to great lengths to keep her wedding dress designer a secret until the moment that she emerges from the bridal car,” ET’s royal expert Katie Nicholl recently explained. “Let's be honest, this is a girl who knows how to keep a secret. She and Harry kept their romance clandestine for months, so she knows how to stay tight-lipped… There's going to be so much attention on the dress. She's like every other bride in that respect, she wants to keep it a secret up until the last minute.”

Nicholl, who’s written several books on the royal family -- including her latest, Harry: Life, Loss, and Love, on the soon-to-be groom -- speculated that, despite Meghan’s proclivity so far to gently buck royal tradition when it comes to her fashion statements, the Suits star will likely make a more conservative choice when it comes to her wedding gown.

“I think when it comes to her wedding dress, she knows that this is a very, very important dress,” the royal biographer explained. “It’s got to fit for the occasion, it’s got to suit the regal historical backdrop that is Windsor Castle.”

“I'm told that she wants something with lace, that she wants something with sleeves,” Nicholl added. “Of course she's dressing for the rather inclement British weather, but more than that she's dressing for a very, very important occasion. So I think you will be probably pleasantly surprised for Meghan the ‘rule breaker’ when it comes to this dress. I think it's gonna tick all the right boxes: traditional, elegant, sophisticated, memorable, and fitting.”

Meghan’s had a crash course in the royal ropes over the last few months, and a source recently told ET that Kate Middleton, as well as Harry’s step-mother, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, have been instrumental in assuring the actress that “she’s loved and supported as she navigates her life as a future royal.”

And, while Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry will no doubt face heavy comparisons to Prince William and Kate’s 2011 nuptials, Nicholl assures that the American actress has no plans to upstage her future sister-in-law when it comes to her wedding dress.

“There have been reports that [Meghan’s] considering spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on a wedding dress. I think that’s incredibly unlikely,” the author noted. “Kate Middleton's dress cost 150,000 pounds. It was her parents, Carol and Michael Middleton, who paid for that bill. I think it was very unlikely that Meghan would spend more than that and in doing so try and upstage a future queen.”

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Kate’s elegant wedding gown featured an ivory lace bodice with long sleeves and a satin skirt, and was designed by Sarah Burton, creative director of luxury fashion house Alexander McQueen. Similar to Nicholl’s speculation for Meghan’s dress, the gown and its maker were not formally announced until the bride stepped from the bridal car to enter Westminster Abbey just before the wedding service.

“I think Meghan is very sensible,” Nicholl added. “She understands what the perception will be of this gown. I don’t think she's going to want to get royal life off to a start where she's criticized for spending something like 400,000 pounds on a wedding dress. I just dont think it will happen.”

As for the gown’s designer, Nicholl noted that many have speculated Meghan may choose British luxury house Ralph & Russo, who designed the stunning dress she wore in her official engagement photos. But the royal expert also offered another option, which could help endear Meghan to Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

“There's a lot of speculation that she might be going for Stewart Parvin, who is one one of the queen's favorite couturiers,” she noted. “It would be fabulous for her to fly the flag for British fashion, but we will have to wait and see. And I think we'll probably have to wait until the day.”

See more on the upcoming nuptials in the video below, and keep up with all of ET's coverage of the Royal Wedding right here as we count down to May 19!