This is why Meghan Markle actually has to wear white on her wedding day

And it's all thanks to Queen Victoria

(Image credit: REX)

And it's all thanks to Queen Victoria

It's no secret that there's a strict wedding dress code for the upcoming nuptials of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, and when the pair got engaged, a few critics questioned whether she would be able to wear white as she is a divorcée.

Well rest assured that she is allowed to wear white, as it's part of a long-standing tradition dating back to Queen Victoria.

She set the trend when she wore pure white to wed Prince Albert in 1840, which was very unusual at the time, with most brides opting for other colours like blue or yellow. Royal brides usually opted for gowns embroidered with silver or gold thread.

Since then, Royal brides have typically favoured white dresses, including Kate Middleton, Princess Diana and Princess Margaret.

There's also an extra significance in Meghan wearing white. Historian professor Kate Williams said on the ITV documentary Invitation to a Royal Wedding, that 'When Victoria got married, she was in pure white, which signalled to the world that she was this innocent girl and so different to the debauched monarchs who’d gone before.

And there is still this convention across the board, even the most fashion-forward, the most celebrity of brides, everyone still wears white.'

While of course we're not saying anyone is debauched, the white will symbolise Meghan's pure love for Prince Harry, and the Royal family embracing change and new traditions.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.