What to Expect From Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding: The Dress, Ceremony and Bridal Party (Exclusive)
By Leena Tailor
The countdown is on to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s spring 2018 wedding and ET got the scoop from royal correspondent Victoria Arbiter about all of the glorious details surrounding the couple’s big day.
As fashion designers around the globe scramble to get a shot at consideration for creating the most anticipated wedding dress of the decade, Arbiter doesn’t rule out the divorcee wearing white as she walks down the aisle.
“It won't be an issue if Meghan's dress is white,” Arbiter says, addressing Markle’s two-year marriage to Trevor Engelson. “She was married before, it didn't work out. I don't think anyone would begrudge her a white dress. She may choose something different. I'd be surprised if she did because that would be making more of an issue with the divorce, rather than that just being something of her past that everyone has moved on from.”
Regardless of color, Arbiter says the Suits star’s choice of designer will strengthen ties with the region that she chooses to represent with her gown. A U.K. designer would “win a gold star” with the British public, while promoting an American designer would be a great way to acknowledge her heritage.
“She could choose a British designer, which would be very popular with the British public and really seal her new position within the British family; she could go with an American designer, who would really be championed by this new American member of the royal family; or perhaps she'll split the difference and go with a Canadian designer,” Arbiter says. “Canada being just north of America, but also one of the British realms -- the queen is head of state in Canada. And, Meghan has spent the last few years of her life in Canada.”
“Some of the designers being thrown around already are Erdem -- a popular designer with Kate [Middleton] -- and Sarah Burton, who recently designed the dress for Serena Williams, who is a good friend of Meghan,” she continues. “Whatever she chooses, it’s going to be very much on fashion. I think it'll be completely different to what we saw with Kate. Kate's was quite feminine and girly [and] Meghan's got a different sophistication about her. She's a little bit older and perhaps will want something a bit more fashionable.”
When it comes to the big day, Arbiter predicts a “traditional” church ceremony, but on a smaller scale than Prince William’s 2011 nuptials. While the couple may avoid the fanfare that could come with inviting too many of Markle’s famous friends, there could be another group of attendees stealing the limelight -- the royal kiddies!
“What I anticipate seeing is a bridal party made up of children,” Arbiter says. “Royal parties love to have children in the bridal party. Perhaps we'll see George and Charlotte redo the roles that they had at Aunty Pippa’s wedding earlier this year, and there’s nothing quite as cute as George marching down the aisle behind Uncle Harry.”
“There's been a lot of speculation that Meghan's famous friends might take part, but I think the couple is going to be keen to avoid the circus that comes with that,” she adds. “This is not a red carpet affair [or] a celebrity wedding. This is a wedding between a member of the royal family and someone who happens to have been an actress. They're going to want to minimize the fuss.”
As for how the royal sweethearts will spend their happily ever after, Arbiter says it’s unlikely that Markle will have to give up her U.S. citizenship, but she will need to become a British citizen. The pair is expected to reside at Kensington Palace.
“For now the couple is going to be based in Nottingham cottage, which is Harry's cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace,” she says. “I'm sure at some stage they'll be given much larger accommodations in the same way William and Kate were. They'll probably want to stay at Kensington Palace, so they'll be trying to figure how that’s possible and I'm sure they'll be looking at country estates as we speak.”