Kate Middleton has wowed Westminster Abbey and the world, arriving at the Royal Wedding in a stunning dress designed by Sarah Burton, creative director at the fashion house Alexander McQueen.
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The 29-year-old bride stepped out of the Rolls Royce Phantom VI to an estimated two billion viewers wearing an ivory gown with lace applique floral detail.
It features a high-necked, sculpted long-sleeved bodice in lace which contoured the waist and hips, and is decorated with delicate lace applique flowers, handcrafted using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique originating in Ireland in the 1820s.
The dress’s intricate train measures just 2.7 metres – modest in comparison to many previous royal brides, including William’s late mother Princess Diana whose train was 7.6 metres.
Kate finished the outfit with a small pearl and diamond tiara borrowed from the Queen.
Her bridal flowers include the flower ‘sweet William’ – a touching tribute to her husband to-be.
The first glimpse of the spectacular gown ended weeks of speculation and gossip.
Rumours that it was Sarah Burton who had secured the commission of the decade were only heightened when the designer was spotted at the Goring Hotel last night, where Kate and the Middleton family were staying.
Kate is thought to have chosen Mrs Burton to design her dress after being impressed by a £10,000 silk strapless wedding gown worn by her friend Sarah Buys, who married the Duchess of Cornwall’s son Tom Parker Bowles in 2005.
St James’s Palace said she picked the British brand Alexander McQueen for the “beauty of its craftsmanship” and its “respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing”.
Cheshire-born Mrs Burton was assistant and confidante to McQueen for 14 years – and was devastated by the East Eand designer’s suicide last year at the age of 40.
She has also created dresses for Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Bjork.
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