Wedding Dress Moment
Catherine’s Royal Wedding dress was inspired by the dress worn by Grace Kelly for her wedding to Prince Ranier in 1956.
The ivory white satin silk gown was created by Sarah Burton, Head Designer at the House of Alexander McQueen. Burton signed a confidentiality agreement and was not permitted to speak about the commission. The dress remained a secret until the moment Catherine stepped out of the wedding car with her father.
The structure of the dress, which is a mix of Victorian detailing and contemporary styling, is designed around a traditional corset, with nipped in waist, padded hips, and 58 organza covered buttons.
The delicate bodice is fashioned from a mix of English lace and French Chantilly lace. Hand embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework, the lace applique includes flowers to represent each area of the British Isles – roses for England, thistles for Scotland, daffodils for Wales and shamrocks for Ireland.
The veil is made from layers of ivory silk tulle and finished with hand sewn flowers and, the modest yet beautifully embroidered train measures just over 8ft. Princess Diana’s train, in comparison, was 25ft long.
Catherine wore her hair partly down and partly up, held in place by a tiara lent to her by the Queen. The ‘halo’ tiara was designed by Cartier in 1936 and was originally a gift to Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, from her husband – later King George VI.
The diamond earrings were a gift to Catherine by her parents on her wedding day and featured oak leaves and acorns, to match the Middleton’s new coat of arms.
The myrtle flowers in Catherine’s bouquet, cut from a sprig planted in 1845 by Queen Victoria, symbolised love.