When Meghan Markle stepped out of the Queen’s Rolls Royce on Saturday, the world gasped with delight as she showed off her stunning wedding dress. The Givenchy gown, designed by Clare Waight Keller, was beautiful and fashion fans raved about the elegant bateau neckline. When Adele Mayo, a PR Manager for Neal’s Yard Remedies, saw Meghan on TV, she couldn’t help but think of her own wedding dress she got married in just five months ago. When she married her husband Ben Mayo in an idyllic December wedding at Northbrook Park in Surrey, Adele also chose the bateau neckline - a high neckline that follows the curve of the collarbone - and admitted it was a photo of Diana, Princess of Wales which inspired her choice.
The Mayos on their wedding day
Adele told HELLO!: “Lady Diana epitomises timeless elegance, and I really loved the time she wore a velvet bateau neckline gown when she took to the dance floor with John Travolta - this has always been an iconic look to me. I was also inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s signature swooping necklines - they always looked so stunning.”
Diana, Princess Of Wales dancing with John Travolta at the White House, USA in 1985
Adele chose her wedding dress because of the neckline: “I love the understated elegance of a bateau neckline. It’s sophisticated, timeless and romantic, showing just enough decolletage for that feminine touch you want on your wedding day,” she said.
A beautiful shot of Adele by her wedding photographer, Philippa Sian Photography
“My dress was by a Spanish designer, Novia D’Art that I hadn’t ever come across before but I loved how I didn’t see another dress similar in all of the boutiques I visited,” she told us.
“I suspect after the Duchess of Sussex’s outing, that’s all about to change, and I couldn’t be happier that I got in there first.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their wedding day
Are there any downfalls to a bateau neckline? Adele says yes, telling HELLO!: “The only real hindrance of this neckline came into play on the dancefloor as the structured off-the-shoulder cut meant that I couldn’t lift my arms, so there were no first dance swirl moments.”
Fireworks during the wedding reception
Meghan really did think of everything - after her wedding at St George’s Chapel she changed into a gorgeous halterneck Stella McCartney dress for the evening reception at Frogmore House - she was officially ready for her Prince to twirl her into the night.
So, what exactly is a bateau neckline?
A bateau neckline is also described as a boat neck, or a Sabrina neckline, and it runs horizontally along the collarbone, stopping wide at each shoulder. It is sometimes called a boat neck because it was used in sailor’s clothing, and because of the wide fit, it was easy to remove - just in case a sailor fell overboard. The bandeau neckline, which we see lots in the shops today, is regarded as a lot lower than the bateau and is described as “a band-shaped covering for the breasts.”