Kate Middleton, now known regally as ‘Duchess Catherine of Cambridge’, married Prince William, winning the hearts of millions not only across England, but around the world. Their love, and the beauty of their rags to riches story, literally crossed Oceans, and over 1 million people lined the Streets of London to celebrate the biggest ever Royal Wedding.
But the biggest question of the day, aside from ‘Will you?’, was ‘what dress will she wear?’.
Fashionistas across the globe, and every woman watching, was desperate to know what Dress she would wear to become a Princess, and boy did she impress.
With a full length ivory and white Alexander McQueen dress designed by Sarah Burton, and a two meter train, this dress was not only stunning but extremely symbolic, heightening the emotion of the day still further.
The material used was ivory and white satin gazar to ensure it wouldn’t crease, and the skirt was designed to resemble “an opening flower” with pleats and arches. The bodice and train were elegantly decorated with delicate lace applique flowers, handcrafted using the ‘Carrickmacross’ lace-making technique, which takes an extreme amount of skill that ensures a unique design with no seams. This technique, dating back to the 1820’s, represented “something old” on her big day. Hand-crafted by the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace, this stunning lace detail was used to create long sleeves and a stunning neckline, wowing the world and ensuring wedding dress trends around the world changed in an instant.
Appliqueing for the Duchess involved some extremely important standards, with workers washing their hands every 30 minutes to ensure the lace and threads remained perfectly clean, and the needles were replaced every 3 hours to ensure they were as sharp as can be.
The lace detail incorporated the Rose, Thistle, Daffodil and the Shamrock, which are the four floral emblems of the United Kingdom, and in doing so demonstrated her dedication to her future role as Queen of England.
Further committing herself to her future role, and in respect for the Royal family she was joining, she also ensured her gown’s bodice tapered at the waist and was padded on the hips – subtly mirroring Victorian corsetry so often seen worn by Queens such as Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria.
Her veil, which fell to just below her waist, was also hemmed with hand-embroidered flowers, and her tiara (Cartier diamonds) was her ‘something borrowed’ – lent to her by the Queen herself.
The Bride’s bouquet was a touching tribute to her husband, with the delicate flowers incorporating ‘Sweet William’ along with myrtle, lily of the valley, and hyacinth, and her elegant earrings were a gift from her family (her “something new”) reflecting their new coat of arms which incorporates acorns and oak leaves.
Without a doubt, ‘subtlety’ and ‘class’ were the emphasis of the day, with her two meter train extremely modest compared to previous Royal Weddings and her bouquet tiny in comparison to her late Mother-in-law (Princess Diana). It was clear that Kate was marrying for love, not ‘luxury’ or ‘lavish impressions’. The world’s population loved her for it, and thousands of brides-to-be around the globe are now redesigning their wedding plans to echo those of a Princess.