How the royal wedding gave subtle nods to Meghan's feminist values

Yahoo Lifestyle
Walking down the aisle by herself is believed to be a feminist move. (Photo: Getty Images)
Walking down the aisle by herself is believed to be a feminist move. (Photo: Getty Images)

When Meghan Markle arrived at St. George’s Chapel this morning to marry Prince Harry, the world let out a collective gasp at her stunning choice of gown.

Choosing to forgo other, more obvious designers, the royal bride instead opted for a simple yet elegant dress by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy.

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While many were focused on declaring the dress a style triumph, other experts speculated that the choice of designer could actually be a subtle feminist statement by the newlywed thanks to the fact that Keller last year became the first female artistic director at the historic French fashion house.

As a passionate women’s rights activist, ambassador for UN Women, and proud feminist, if Meghan’s design choice was in fact a deliberate nod to feminism, it certainly won’t have come as a surprise to Meghan’s fans.

“I am proud to be a woman and a feminist,” she told the congregation at the UN Women Conference in New York back in 2015.

Her feminist values were in place right from childhood, when she challenged a sexist ad campaign at just 11 years old.

So it isn’t entirely surprising that the former Suits star would want to incorporate some of her beliefs into the wedding’s festivities.

And the dress wouldn’t be the only feminist nod.

Here’s every way Meghan and Harry incorporated the bride’s feminism into their wedding day.

Meghan Markle chose to omit the word “obey” from her vows. (Photo: Getty Images)
Meghan Markle chose to omit the word “obey” from her vows. (Photo: Getty Images)

The vows

Meghan and Harry are not averse to breaking a few royal rules, particularly when it comes to their wedding. And the ceremony itself was no different.

During her vows, Meghan decided to omit the traditional promise to “obey” her husband-to-be.

Instead, she pledged: “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ’til death us do part.”

It is worth noting that, when Princess Diana married Prince Charles in 1981, she also omitted the phrase, and the Duchess of Cambridge followed suit in 2011 during her wedding to Prince William.

The walk down the aisle

Perhaps the most striking feminist statement came when Meghan opted to walk by herself partway down the aisle.

In an unprecedented step for a royal bride, Meghan walked unescorted down the aisle of the chapel nave.

Accompanied only by her bridesmaids and pageboys, the bride met her now father-in-law Prince Charles at the Quire. Prince Harry’s father then walked Markle down the rest of the aisle to the foot of the altar, where her future husband was waiting.

No other royal bride in the U.K. has walked unescorted down the aisle at her wedding ceremony.

Meghan’s decision may indicate a desire to assert herself as a strong, independent woman who won’t shy away from challenging royal norms.

Was Meghan’s choice of designer a subtle nod to her feminist beliefs? (Photo: AP)
Was Meghan’s choice of designer a subtle nod to her feminist beliefs? (Photo: AP)

The speech

Meghan also plans to express herself at the wedding reception, where she’ll break with tradition and deliver her own speech.

In a press release issued by Kensington Palace, it was confirmed that the bride will join her new husband in addressing the guests herself.

“The Reception will include the cutting of the wedding cake and speeches from The Prince of Wales, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle,” the press release read.

“The Duke of Cambridge, who is the Best Man, will act as compere for the Reception.”

The decision for Meghan to give a speech actually reflects a growing trend for U.K. brides.

For all things royal wedding, from details on Meghan Markle’s dress to cute pictures of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, click here. Want to relive every moment? Watch it all here.

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