From the heavy-handed Princess Diana symbolism to gratuitous references to The Crown to the vilification of Kate Middleton as Kensington Palace’s resident mean girl, there are plenty of things wrong with Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, the Lifetime movie based on the earlier stages of the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship, but costume design is not one of those things.
Claudia Da Ponte, the designer tasked with recreating Meghan’s pre-royal wardrobe for the two-hour cliché-fest, looked to the former actress’s now-deleted Instagram account to learn more about her personal style, and scoured websites dedicated to documenting precisely that (such as the indispensable Meghan’s Mirror). Now, in a plot twist far more exciting than any of Harry & Meghan’s soapy micro-dramas, it seems that not one but three guests at Harry and Meghan’s real-life wedding wore a dress worn by Lifetime Meghan in one of the movie’s pivotal scenes.
The dress in question is a £340 style from one of Meghan’s go-to occasionwear labels, Self-Portrait. The Sweetheart Crochet-Lace and Crepe Midi Dress (which is still available in a handful of sizes on the brand’s website) features the label’s distinctive crochet work on the long-sleeved bodice, with a pleated midi skirt in a navy and white chevron print.
Twitter user Michaela was the first to spot the first two instances of this strange case of life imitating art (the question of whether a Lifetime movie can be described as art is one that we'll tackle another time).
Another user @itsMegha then spotted the same style on a third guest, albeit in an inverse colourway.
To further add to this tangled web of fashion and high culture, the dress in question was inspired by an outfit that (real) Meghan was photographed in while travelling to the Queen’s annual Christmas lunch: Self-Portrait’s Nightshade Midi Dress, a £300 midi style with a similarly intricate bodice (this time in Self Portrait’s specially designed guipure lace). More recently, she wore a floral print style in green from the label (which is also favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge for red carpet events) for an Invictus Games reception at the Australian High Commission.
Was this a style faux pas or merely the ultimate meta-fashion moment? We'll leave you to decide.
Catch up on some of the most fashionable guests at the royal wedding in the gallery below...
Earl Spencer and Lady Karen Spencer
Prince Harry's uncle - and Princess Diana's younger brother, with his wife, Lady Karen Spencer.