Royal Wedding Fashion Moments Ranked Best To Worst

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may not have been as large and lavish an affair as that of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, but with a smaller guest list comes greater exclusivity. The redheaded royal and the American actress chose to tie the knot in the intimate — by royal standards, at least — St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the traditional resting place of English kings and queens of years gone by. The newly titled Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to open the castle's stately grounds to 1,200 worthy members of the British public, London's Evening Standard confirmed, but the chapel has a capacity of only 600. As such, scoring an invite to the ceremony was extremely difficult — and those that did had to look the part.

While the majority of Harry and Meghan's lucky guests nailed their outfits on the big day, others left a lot to be desired. Let's take a look at the fashion highlights (and lowlights) from the 2018 royal wedding.

Meghan Markle

It seemed only fitting that the best dressed of the day should be the bride, and that was certainly the case. Rumor had it that Meghan Markle chose a dress by British designer Stella McCartney (via The Sun), but when she stepped out of her Rolls Royce to climb the steps of the chapel, she was wearing a beautifully cut Givenchy gown. According to the Independent, Markle's elegant but stylish number was created by Clare Waight Keller, who became the first ever female artistic director of the French luxury fashion and perfume house in 2017.

"The shaping of the dress begins just at the bust point and continues all the way down into seams on the skirt," luxury wedding dress designer Caroline Arthur remarked. "If you look at the back of the dress the seam lines are absolutely beautiful. You always need darting or a vertical seam at the back of the dress in order to get it to fit really nicely." 

As per royal tradition, the bride borrowed a tiara from Queen Elizabeth's personal collection. The Filigree tiara, as it is officially known, belonged to Queen Mary (1867–1953).

Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney made Vogue's 2018 Met Gala best dressed list, and she pushed the envelope once again with her choice of outfit for the royal wedding. She and husband George Clooney (who looked as dapper as ever in a gray suit and pale yellow striped tie) were among the first A-listers to arrive at Windsor Castle, and Amal's stunning outfit immediately set Twitter ablaze.

The Lebanese-British barrister looked like a ray of sunshine in a goldenrod dress designed by fellow human rights advocate Stella McCartney (via Elle) and a Stephen Jones hat adorned with a sequined mini-veil (via CNN). Fashion commentator Caryn Franklin called the summery ensemble "a wonderful tonal choice" for her complexion. "Already a seasoned performer in front of the camera, her body language and grace is polished." 

Serena Williams

Serena Williams married her very own prince charming in November 2017, tying the knot with Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian at a fairy-tale ceremony in New Orleans. The tennis ace and Markle have been BFFs for quite some time, and Williams even offered the future duchess some advice when she spoke to Good Morning America. "I just think it's so important to enjoy the moment," she said (via Cosmopolitan). "And eat the cake! I didn't get to eat mine at the wedding. We were just having so much fun."

Of course, no friend goes out of her way to upstage the bride, but Williams certainly turned a lot of heads when strolled up to Windsor Castle with a cascade of beautiful braids, a Bulgari necklace, and a pastel pink Versace number. "Wearing a blush Versace shift dress and matching whimsical fascinator, the tennis champion's hair was woven into cornrows at the crown with a ponytail of thigh-grazing plaits, worn over the shoulder to stunning effect," Vogue said of her eye-popping look.

Priyanka Chopra

A long time friend of Meghan Markle, Indian actress Priyanka Chopra confirmed that she had made the royal wedding guest list a few weeks before the event, but at the time she still hadn't yet decided on what outfit she was going to wear. "I sort of may have an idea," she teased when she talked to Us Weekly in April 2018. "But no, I haven't picked one out yet." The former Miss World waited until the last minute to reveal which designer she'd chosen, telling her Instagram followers that she was still waiting for her mystery outfit to arrive a matter of hours before the ceremony began.

In the end, it was well worth the wait. The Baywatch star dropped jaws in a sophisticated lavender lunch suit by British fashion legend Vivienne Westwood (via Cosmopolitan). Like many of the guests, she visited milliner Philip Treacy's atelier to pick up a matching fascinator, and she completed her look with Chanel makeup. "Chopra's makeup look, done by Pati Dubroff using Chanel, was equally stunning," Elle reported. "She matched her lavender dress with berry eyes and lips plus glowing skin. Their inspirations included royal purple velvet, Prince, and Rihanna."

Prince Harry

The military has always been important to Prince Harry, so it came as little surprise that he opted to walk down the aisle in full uniform. The new Duke of Sussex served in the British Armed Forces for the best part of a decade, completing two tours of Afghanistan (including a deployment to the notoriously dangerous Helmand Province) and picking up a number of medals along the way. His military career came to an end in 2015, but the prince insisted on wearing his uniform on his wedding day.

"The Queen gave Prince Harry her blessing to wear the single-breasted black uniform of the Blues and Royals," reported The Sun. "Made of blue doeskin, Harry's outfit had a white buckskin belt with sword slings." The uniform (one of 20 worn by the cavalry regiment) was tailored at Dege and Skinner on London's famous Savile Row, a neighborhood renowned for bespoke tailoring. His brother and best man, Prince William, looked equally sharp in his uniform, and so did Prince George and the rest of the page boys, who were fitted with miniature versions of the military garb, each with the wearer's initials embroidered in gold on the shoulder straps (via Metro).

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth looked as elegant as ever when she attended a concert at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate her 92nd birthday just a few weeks before her grandson's big day, and her royal wedding outfit did not disappoint, either. Her Majesty cut a colorful figure in a Stewart Parvin floral print flared dress that combined limes, lemons, purples, and shades of gray. She completed her summery look with a lime silk tweed coat (also by London-based designer Parvin) and a matching Angela Kelly hat decorated with handmade crystals and pearls from Lucy Price.

According to Color Psychology Today author June McLeod, there's a good chance that her majesty chose this color scheme for a reason. "Green is the color of growth and rebirth," McLeod told Good Housekeeping. "...Green is a highly significant color worn as a sign of respect and intention for the future." As for the purple trim, McLeod confirmed that it's a "proud" color that also "symbolizes cleansing and indicates a passion for creativity."

Kate Middleton

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was Kate Middleton's first big outing since the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her third child, Prince Louis, in April 2018. As she always does, Middleton appeared to have already dropped every ounce of her baby weight and looked very familiar in a pale yellow Alexander McQueen number designed by Sarah Burton. That's because she's actually worn this very dress on two previous occasions: at Princess Charlotte's christening and again at a birthday bash for Queen Elizabeth II.

"While it might seem like an odd move to not buy something brand-new for such a special event, Middleton's choice could be read as the kindest one possible," Fashionista reported. "Considering the fact that her own wedding dress (also designed by Burton for McQueen) became one of the most imitated ever and her style has consistently placed her in the public eye, Middleton's choice to go with something that the world has already seen her in could be read as a way of avoiding attention on what should be exclusively considered Markle and Prince Harry's big day."

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey reportedly had to change her royal wedding outfit at the last minute after she realized that her white get-up was perhaps a little too bridal for the occasion. "Oprah had a wardrobe malfunction yesterday because her original dress for the ceremony turned out to be too white," journalist Kate Stanhope tweeted. Luckily, she had flown to England with a back-up. The legendary talk show host arrived at St. George's chapel looking typically glam in a blush pink Stella McCartney dress with a delicate lace trim (via Marie Claire).

Oprah attended Harry and Meghan's big day without long-time partner Stedman Graham, but she was accompanied by an eye-catching hat designed by London milliner Philip Treacy. According to the Independent, the hugely popular TV personality was given two different hats to choose from by Treacy, opting to go with a "natural sweeping brimmed hat with artisan sculpted flowers" rather than her second option, a "gold hand-blocked concertina lace hat featuring a dramatic pheasant feather plume."

Pippa Middleton

Pippa Middleton became known the world over for her pert posterior when she attended sister Kate's wedding to Prince William wearing a fitted Alexander McQueen dress in 2011, though she found her new fame difficult to deal with. "As I have found, recognition has its upside, its downside and — you may say — its backside," she said (via the Mirror). Everyone expected to see a bump of a different kind when she attended the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but the pregnant 34-year-old was barely showing at all underneath her elegant floral dress by British fashion house The Fold.

"Made in pure silk with a delicate floral design exclusively hand painted and printed in Italy, [it's] a great choice for a summer event," a spokesperson from the label said (via E! News). Middleton topped off her look with a pair of nude suede Jimmy Choo lancer pumps and an understated fascinator by milliner Jess Collett.

Doria Ragland

As the only member of Meghan Markle's family in attendance, mother of the bride Doria Ragland had to represent to the fullest. (Sadly, father-of-the-bride Thomas Markle was unable to attend the nuptials due to ill health, so Prince Charles walked his new daughter-in-law down the aisle instead.) Ragland was very close to the action, fighting back tears as her little girl entered the British royal family in style, though mama was looking rather stylish herself. The 61-year-old wore a floral embroidered pistachio green dress and matching coat designed by the creative directors of Oscar de la Renta, Fernando Garcia, and Laura Kim (via the Express).

Markle is very close with her social worker mother, who rumor has it, could become the life of the after party. "If the DJ cues Al Green's soul classic 'Call Me,' just forget it," Markle said in a 2014 social media post (via Town and Country). "She will swivel her hips into the sweetest little dance you've ever seen, swaying her head and snapping her fingers to the beat like she's been dancing since the womb. And you will smile. You won't be able to help it. You will look at her and you will feel joy."

The Suits cast

Markle's former Suits castmates turned out in full force for her big day, and they definitely brought some Hollywood flair to the occasion. Markle's TV husband, actor husband Patrick J. Adams, was there with his real life wife (Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario), and both were looking sharp. Adams went for a simple but effective three-piece suit with a red tie and white pocket handkerchief, while the beautiful Bellisario opted for a classy bell-sleeved cream dress.

Sarah Rafferty, Rick Hoffman, Gabriel Macht, and the show's creator, Aaron Korsh, were also in attendance, though it was Gina Torres (whose character Jessica Pearson is getting her own spin-off) who stood out from the crowd in a white fedora and bright print dress from Greek fashion house Costarellos. "On this occasion she was, naturally, looking beautiful in a red and white embroidered tulle dress from Costarellos' Spring 2018 collection," RCFA said. "Offering up utter elegance, she let the dress do the talking with a simple beige clutch bag, hat and pumps."

The bridesmaids

As per royal tradition, Markle's bridesmaids were all children, the most famous of the group being Prince William and Kate Middleton's daughter. Princess Charlotte took her duties in tiny stride, smiling and waving enthusiastically to the adoring public as she arrived at St. George's chapel with her mother. The rest of the party was made up of Ivy Mulroney (daughter of Markle's BFF Jessica Mulroney,) Zalie Warren and Florence Van Cutsem (Harry's Goddaughters,) and Remi and Rylan Litt, the daughters of Markle's friend Benita Litt.

All six girls behaved impeccably and looked beyond adorable in their dresses, which were designed by Clare Waight Keller in the Givenchy Haute Couture Atelier in Paris. "Each dress is sculpted in Ivory silk Radzimir, and is high-waisted with short puff sleeves and hand finished with a double silk ribbon detail tied at the back in a bow," a Palace statement reported. "The bridesmaids' dresses include pockets and pleated skirts to create a relaxed and luxurious silhouette." Markle also had Keller craft six unique pairs of white leather Aquazzura shoes as keepsakes for the kids, each monogrammed with the bridesmaids initials and the date of the wedding.

Zara Tindall

Zara Tindall, the daughter of Princess Anne (Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's second child) and wife of English rugby star Mike Tindall, was reportedly about eight months pregnant at the wedding. Though she looked fabulous from head to toe, her baby bump was perhaps her best accessory. Zara opted for a chic teal coat and matching dress from Claire Mischevani, a brand that is fast becoming a favorite among royals.

"Zara Tindall looked bloomin' beautiful at Harry and Meghan's wedding," the Daily Mail reported. "She's close to her due date now and still didn't hold back in the style stakes. The coat was custom made for Zara and it neatly hugged her baby bump and finished in a sophisticated below-knee length. We love the teal hue and the embroidered details, all finished off with a Peter Pan collar." 

Tindall and her husband looked as loved-up as ever during the ceremony, with the retired sportsman frequently placing his hands on her bulging belly, apparently feeling for kicks.

Victoria Beckham

They might not be actual royalty, but the Beckhams might as well be. Soccer star David and his pop-singer-turned-fashion-designer wife Victoria wore similar color schemes to the event. Their expressions, however, certainly didn't match. Victoria was mocked by television viewers for looking absolutely miserable on her way into St. George's Chapel, with one Twitter user calling her scowl "the Pippa's bum of this wedding" (via News). Husband David looked dashing in a Dior Homme black and grey two-piece suit, with a smile to match as he waved to onlookers and even stopped to pose for photos.

There was nothing wrong with what Victoria was wearing (even if it was similar to what she wore to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding,) but if you're going to go dark at a wedding, you need to brighten it up with a smile, don't you think? "The fashion designer opted for an understated slash-front midi dress featuring a belted neck and split sleeves from her upcoming pre-spring/summer 2019 collection, which she teamed with a Stephen Jones tulle pillbox hat," reported Harper's Bazaar.

Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy

Two of Prince Harry's ex-girlfriends attended his wedding. Actress and model Cressida Bonas (who dated the prince between 2012 and 2014 and remains on friendly terms with him) appeared to be having a jolly old time as she floated onto the grounds in a colorful rainbow dress and a pink-feathered fascinator. Harry's other long-term girlfriend from years gone by, Chelsy Davy, is also supposed to be on good terms with him — but judging by her expressions in photos, that may be up for debate.

According to the Express, the Zimbabwean national looked "happy and relaxed" as she approached St. George's Chapel, but once inside she struggled to hide her stony "it should have been me" face, and it became an instant meme. Whether that assessment is accurate or not, one thing is certain: She looked good from the neck down — Davy wore a rather short navy dress with a one-button cape and a matching navy head dress. She accessorized with a black quilted Chanel handbag and nude strappy, heeled sandals.

Charlotte Riley

She was all smiles when she turned up at Windsor Castle with her actor husband Tom Hardy, but actress Charlotte Riley (Peaky Blinders) must have been a little nervous about bumping into one royal in particular. In 2017, Riley portrayed Kate Middleton in a TV adaptation of the play King Charles III, in which Prince Charles ascends to the throne following the death of his mother, despite public pressure to abdicate in favor of his eldest son, William.

We can only imagine the awkward conversation that could have taken place had Riley bumped into Middleton (or Charles, for that matter.) Perhaps that's why she chose to hide behind a black veil and tilted Philip Treacy fascinator. She completed her slightly off-season look with a bespoke Vampire's Wife silk Cinderella dress, the fashion house founded by Susie Cave, wife of Australian musician Nick Cave.

Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre

British actor Idris Elba isn't particularly close to the bride or the groom, according to Bustle, but he was invited to their wedding because of his connections to The Prince's Trust, Prince Charles's charity. "I left school at 16 with dreams of attending the National Youth Music Theatre but was disheartened when I realised how much it would cost," Elba said. "It was The Prince's Trust who made it possible. They gave me a £1,500 grant and set me on the path that would eventually change my life."

The Luthor star and his fiancée, Sabrina Dhowre, arrived at Windsor Castle bright and early, though they didn't exactly get the event off to a great start in terms of fashion. Elba played it smart but safe in his navy suit, and Dhowre came across a little underdressed in her Gucci cardigan. "Heavily featuring the brands signature green and red webbing, this didn't work for me," RCFA said of the look. "The cardigan was felt too blasé for a royal occasion. The webbing throughout the dress, cardigan, shoes and Sylvie bag was too matchy matchy, and not in a good way."

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

For Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, earning the acceptance of her mother-in-law has been a long, hard road. Queen Elizabeth reportedly referred to her as "that wicked woman" after her son Prince Charles came clean about his adultery (he had an affair with Camilla during his marriage to Princess Diana.) 

While the queen's stance on the duchess has softened somewhat over the years, one could argue that the public has never really forgiven Camilla, and this was reflected in the reaction to her royal wedding outfit. The duchess went all out with a pink silk marocain asymmetrical coat dress from designer Anna Valentine and a feathered Philip Treacy hat (via Town and Country). The latter was roundly mocked on social media. Irish film critic Iain McNally tweeted that the hat seemed to be "inspired by the destruction of the Death Star ... but pink."  

Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice and her younger sister, Princess Eugenie, made headlines for all the wrong reasons when they attended the wedding of their cousin, Prince William, in 2011. At those nuptials, Beatrice rocked a Valentino Haute Couture dress and matching coat, but her Philip Treacy hat made her the subject of much ridicule online — it was compared to everything from a pretzel to a toilet seat. To her credit, Beatrice used the negative press to raise money for Unicef and Children in Crisis by auctioning the ghastly hat on eBay.

So how did she do this time out? With her past mistakes no-doubt at the forefront of her mind, the princess went too far in the opposite direction, bending the royal protocol (ladies are required to wear hats on formal occasions) with what was essentially a glorified headband. Beatrice wore a blue Roksanda Viola number, but her matching head dress (designed by Stephen Jones, according to Harper's Bazaar) was barely noticeable perched so far back on her head.

Princess Eugenie

Though her sister Beatrice bore the brunt of the criticism back in 2011, Princess Eugenie's bold choice of outfit for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding didn't go down well with fashion pundits either. "Was she wearing this outfit, or was it wearing her?" the Daily Mail quipped after seeing the younger daughter of the Duke of York and Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson in "a gaudy blue and green Vivienne Westwood suit that pulled too tightly around her bosom and waist."

Like her sibling, Eugenie (who will marry her fiancé, Jack Brooksbank, at the same royal venue in October 2018) played it a little too safe this time around. Perhaps playing on the Anglo-American theme of the day, she wore what appeared to be a Jackie Kennedy-inspired light blue Gainsbourg dress. "Eugenie chose to accessorize her look with a plain hat paired with a nude colored clutch and silver Valentino heels," Town and Country reported. Perhaps this ensemble was a snooze, but she'll no doubt top the list when she walks down the aisle on her own special day