Ever since that bright and beautiful Spring day when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said "I do," we've been musing over the exact cost of Meghan's Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy wedding dress — with some varied conclusions. What exactly is it likely to have cost, and how about the rest of the newly minted duchess's bridal ensemble?
Let's take into account Kim Kardashian's 2014 Givenchy wedding dress, which was said to have cost around $500,000. Those in the know have estimated that Meghan's gown by the same design house would have cost somewhere between $200,000 and $400,000, with Marie Claire's guesstimate landing around $264,000, while fashion expert Dawn Del Russo told Money magazine: "Haute couture gowns like this can be priced as high as $340,000." This number is probably the closest we'll get to finding out the truth, since Kensington Palace isn't about to reveal that coveted information.
These figures are thought to include the Givenchy-designed veil and shoes as well, but what about the wedding day bling? Although Meghan's choice of jewelry wasn't flashy, her big-day gems added a hefty price tag to her overall look. The cost of her triple-diamond engagement ring depends on the quality of the stones and is estimated to be up to $350,000. Meanwhile, her diamond Cartier button earrings cost $80,000 and the diamond Cartier cuff she wore around her right wrist is worth $155,000. (Keep in mind that we're not even counting the $68,000 earrings and vintage aquamarine ring she wore to the reception.) Topping off the look was Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara on loan from the queen, which has been priced at $600,000.
So yes, there's a very good reason Meghan looked like a million bucks on her wedding day . . .
But how does Meghan's dress cost stack up against those of other royal brides over the years? Well, when the queen (then Princess Elizabeth) got married in 1947, wartime rationing was still in place, so her dress was paid for with coupons. Just over three decades later, Princess Diana's fairy-tale number cost $13,000. Other members of the family have recently scaled down costs — by royal standards — with Autumn Kelly's dress costing around $4,000 and Zara Phillips's gown around $9,000. However, back in 2011, Kate Middleton pulled out all the stops with her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen creation, which was heavily embellished with seed pearls and lace and estimated to have cost $434,000.