Stepping out at a society wedding in rural England on Saturday, Meghan Markle’s only rough patch looked to be when she stumbled on an uneven path and Prince Harry whipped out a steadying hand.
But, days later, the new Duchess of Sussex’s outfit for the nuptials of Harry’s cousin Celia McCorquodale – Princess Diana’s niece – has sparked love-it-or-hate-it drama.
While high fashion sites raved over the look, social media users gave Meghan a royal dressing down.
“Overpriced gown or style inspiration?” asked the Telegraph, which called it “man repelling” fashion.
Harper’s Bazaar hedged its bets, calling the dress itself “flawless” but adding a codicil: “The gown looked slightly baggy on the duchess.”
The controversial maxi is a $6989 floral wrap-style from Oscar de la Renta’s 2019 resort collection.
It’s so fashion-forward it’s not even in shops yet.
Meghan, 36, teamed the floaty dress with a fascinator and white stiletto heels. Her colour palette matched that of her husband, who wore a grey morning suit with a blue tie.
While saying “Meghan’s new husband, Prince Harry, probably doesn’t really get this dress”, the Telegraph noted it would have scored points with his set of women friends and family.
“If she’d pulled one of her razor-sharp, bodycon power dresses from her cupboard she wouldn’t have looked so approachable.”
Most high-fashion sites raved about Meghan’s choice, which came days after she wore a super chic Givenchy cape dress for a train trip with the Queen.
Vogue praised the look as “luxe bohemian”, and Elle said it was “gorgeous”.
Social media users were much more scathing, saying the dress didn’t fit.
Wrote one on Twitter, “She’s so beautiful but good God, she needs a seamstress to fit her clothing to her tiny frame.”
Another said the fascinator looked like a bath sponge – “I have several of those ‘hats’ hanging out with the shower gel in my bathroom” – while one compared Meghan’s dress to a doona cover.
— Katie (@CilloMurphy) June 17, 2018
— Michael Pearson (@MPJourno) June 17, 2018
Me in my charity shop bedspread and toilet paper on my head Megan Markle, I think we're twins pic.twitter.com/1k3nWszT99
— alley einstein (@alleyeinstein) June 17, 2018
#Meghan Markle – looks like she re-inacted the Gone with the Wind scene where Scarlett makes a dress from old curtains. Megan only had a M&S duvet to work with.
— Kitty Air (@kittyair) June 17, 2018
Royals commentator Victoria Arbiter told Town & Country critics were “misguided” in slamming Meghan: “Everybody’s a judge, everybody’s got an opinion, everybody wants their voice heard.”
She said Meghan would have “Camilla and Kate” and expert stylists helping her, “But ultimately, there’s Prince Harry, and he’s not about to throw his new bride under the bus.
“She would have asked him, and he would have said ‘Yes, that’s fine.'”
Meghan’s fashionable life came under the spotlight last week via comments made by designer Stella McCartney, who made the duchess’ evening wedding reception halterneck dress.
She said Meghan choosing the sexy style was “the last moment that she could reflect sort of the other side to her … the joy and the human side” before joining the “serious” royal family.