Duchess of Sussex reveals her wedding day ‘something blue’ was taken from her first date with the Duke

Hannah Furness
Meghan Duchess of Sussex meets Hannah Belcher, senior exhibitions coordinator of the Royal Collection  - PA

When Meghan Markle walked up the aisle of St George’s Chapel with an enigmatic smile, the watching world could only guess what was running through her mind.

Four months on, as she takes part in her first television interview as a member of the Royal family, she has shared one of the secrets she carried with her: a very romantic “something blue”. 

The Duchess, who married in a simple Givenchy gown, has disclosed that she had a blue ribbon sewn inside the dress, made from the fabric of the outfit she wore on her very first date with Prince Harry.

The blue dress is known to have had quite the effect on the Prince, who has said he was “beautifully surprised” when he first saw his future bride in July 2016, and realised he was “going to have to up my game”.

The Duchess has now spoken for the first time of how she kept her “something blue” a secret, as well as surprising her husband and new in-laws by having the 53 flowers of the Commonwealth sewn into her wedding veil.

Conservator from the Royal Collection carefully unwrap the veil of Megan Duchess of Sussex's wedding dress  Credit: ITV Pictures

In a television documentary, called Queen of the World, she is reunited with her dress at Buckingham Palace, where curators of the Royal Collection Trust are conserving it ready to put on public display.

“My goodness, it’s amazing, isn’t it?” she said, upon seeing the handiwork of designer Clare Waight Keller and her team.

“Somewhere in here, there is a piece of…did you see it? The piece of blue fabric that’s stitched inside?

“It was my ‘something blue’. It’s fabric from the dress that I wore on our first date.”

The Duchess has previously said of the date, after the couple were matched by mutual friend Violet Von Westenholz: “It was definitely a set-up. It was a blind date.

“I didn’t know much about him and so the only thing I had asked her when she said she wanted to set us up was, I had one question. I said ‘Was he nice?’”

Now married, the couple will appear in the documentary about the Queen’s work around the Commonwealth and speak of how they plan to carry it on. 

The Duchess disclosed her decision to include wild flowers from each of its 53 members into her veil had gone down well with her new family, who interpreted it as a sign of her commitment to duty.

“It was important for me, especially now being a part of the Royal Family, to have all 53 of the Commonwealth countries incorporated,” she said.

“And I knew that it would be a fun surprise as well for my now husband, who didn’t know, and he was really over the moon to find out that I would make this choice for our day together.

“I think the other members of the family had a similar reaction, and just appreciation for the fact that we understand how important this is for us and the role that we play, and the work that we’re going to continue to do within the Commonwealth countries.

“So it was good news all around, I think. I hope people liked it as much as I liked helping to create it.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding Credit: Reuters

The Duke and Duchess will next month embark on their first Commonwealth tour to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

“You know, it’s such an exciting time for us, especially with Harry’s role as Youth Ambassador for the Commonwealth and the travel that we intend to do, to do work specifically in all those different territories,” the Duchess added.

“Which is why it was so important to have some sort of example of that present with us on the day. 

“53 countries as well, my goodness. It’ll keep us busy.”

The documentary will also see the Prince of Wales, who was this year confirmed as the next head of the Commonwealth, pay tribute to his mother’s decades of duty.

“When you think how young the Queen was when suddenly my grandfather died, to be required to take on such an enormous task to have met that challenge the way she did is truly remarkable,” he said.

“It appeared effortless, but it jolly well isn’t, of course.”

The programme will also see the Princess Royal and household staff share the secrets of life on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

The Queen meets Heads of State and dignitaries as they arrive at Buckingham Palace ahead of a summit for the Commonwealth Nations April 2018 Credit: ITV Pictures

Royal yachtsman Ellis Norrell described the scrapes the young Prince Charles got into on his maiden voyage.

“The children, they loved it,” he said. “They came down to our mess deck for tea. They wanted to know how the lads got into their hammocks.

“Charles, he shook this lad who had been asleep and he picked him up by the scruff of the neck. “He said, ‘Don’t you do that again or you’ll never live to be King’, and put him down.”

The first episode of the two-part Queen of the World will be broadcast on ITV at 9.15pm on Tuesday, (September 25).