In the months leading up to the royal wedding, Meghan Markle’s ability to make an item of clothing sell out in a matter of moments seems to have increased exponentially: thanks to the soon-to-be royal’s golden touch, we’ve coveted handbags from previously under-the-radar label Strathberry, coats by Canadian brand Sentaler and £45 knits from a British classic, Marks and Spencer. Such is the power of the Meghan Effect that each and every one of her sartorial choices is documented and analysed in minute detail; so, when it came to recreating the former actress’s personal style for the inevitable Lifetime Movie rendition of her relationship with Harry, where would a costume designer start (besides ordering a job lot of wrap coats in neutral tones, we imagine)?
According to Claudia Da Ponte, the designer tasked with recreating Meghan’s wardrobe for Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, Meghan’s now-deleted Instagram account was indispensable as a starting point. In an interview with Town&Country, she explains how she and her team used pictures pulled from social media – along with websites dedicated to documenting Meghan’s style, such as Meghan’s Mirror – to create a timeline of outfits. ‘Then, it was just the matter of comparing the real life dates when she wore pieces and the dates in our movie and trying to correlate as much as possible,’ she tells Town&Country.
One real-life outfit that made it into the film was a striking red dress, worn for a chat show appearance. ‘When Meghan did the press tour for Suits in New York, she wore this beautiful red dress – it’s always compared to a red dress that Kate Middleton wore,’ Da Ponte told the magazine. ‘In the scene, Meghan’s trying stuff with a stylist, and she comes out in this amazing red dress. I just love it on her.’
Look back at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship timeline in the gallery below...
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in London in July 2016.
They were introduced by mutual friend Markus Anderson, who is the director of Soho House.
In October 2016, the Express became the first newspaper to publish news that Prince Harry had a new girlfriend.
On November 8th 2016, Kensington Palace released an unprecedented statement which referring to Markle as Harry's girlfriend for the first time.
In the statement, Prince Harry condemned the 'wave of abuse and harrassment' faced by Markle, saying that he was 'worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.'
'It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,' the statement continued.
The couple were papped together for the first time in December 2016, shopping for a Christmas tree in London at the Pines and Needles store.
Later that week, they were seen on London's West End, catching a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
In February, Prince Harry wore a his 'n' hers bracelet on the cover of Town & Country magazine, just weeks after Markle was pictured wearing the same one on Instagram.
In March 2017, Meghan joined Prince Harry in the Caribbean for the wedding of his friend's Tom 'Skippy' Inskip and Lara Hughes-Young.
It was the first time that Markle accompanied Harry to a wedding, marking another milestone occasion for the couple.
The first public event attended by the couple was the polo at Coworth Park in May 2017.
Later in May, Markle attended the party portion of Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Middelton.
Prince Harry was seen driving her to the event after the church ceremony.
The couple made their first official public appearance in September, when Markle attended the opening of Prince Harry's Invictus Games.
Meghan wore a maroon midi dress with a pleated chiffon skirt by one of her favourite Canadian brands Aritzia.
She teamed it with a matching burgundy biker jacket by Mackage.
Although Prince Harry was sat next to First Lady Melania Trump at the event, rather than his girlfriend, she was only seated a few rows behind him.
The couple were photographed together the following day at the wheelchair tennis.
Much was made of Markle's choice of outfit: ripped jeans and a white blouse called 'The Husband'.
The couple 'broke with royal protocol' by holding hands and appearing affectionate while at the Invictus Games.
Prince Harry reportedly spent time with Meghan's mother Doria while at the Games too.
The couple indulged in some PDA at the closing ceremony.
Prince Harry was photographed kissing Meghan.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan referred to Harry as her boyfriend numerous times, saying: 'We're a couple. We're in love. I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people understand is that this is our time.'
In late September 2017, it was reported that Meghan had met the Queen, prompting speculation that the relationship was getting serious.
In early November 2017, it was reported that Meghan Markle was leaving Suits after seven series.
In mid-November 2017, bookies suspending betting on an impending royal engagement, as speculation grew that an announcement was about to be made.
On November 27th 2017, Prince Charles announced the engagement of his younger son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after 15 months of dating.
The couple later appeared at a photocall, with Markle wearing a white dress coat by Canadian brand Line The Label. The website has subsequently crashed.
The engagement ring, by Cleave and Company, was reportedly designed by Prince Harry himself, using two stones that belonged to Princess Diana.
When asked by waiting photographers if the proposal was romantic, Harry joked 'of course!'
Of course, there is no Instagram evidence of, say, Meghan and Harry’s first date for example, meaning that Da Ponte had to use a little creative licence, applying what she knew of Meghan’s personal style to create a situation-appropriate outfit. ‘Obviously with looks where there are no photos or evidence, it was a matter of what brands does she wear and what do you think she would have worn?’ she goes on to explain. ‘I just tried to stay true to her personal style.’ Jewellery-wise, promo photos from Lifetime show Parisa Fitz-Henley’s Meghan wearing one of the his-and-hers ‘promise bracelets’ that provided the first clue as to her relationship with Harry back in 2016.
What you won’t see in Harry & Meghan, however, are any attempts to predict or pre-empt Meghan’s wedding dress; you’ll have to wait until May 19th for the real deal.