Who else remembers waking up at 4:00 am on April 29, 2011, to watch Kate Middleton marry Prince William during the most extravagant royal wedding e-v-e-r? Yeah, honestly, me neither because I barely remember last week, but this wedding was a huge deal—and the buzz around Kate’s dress was extreme. Basically, the entire world lost their chill over this gown before she even showed up in it, and the story behind its creation is best described as Extravagant with a capital E. I, personally, have never put this much thought into any outfit I’ve ever worn—though I say that as someone who barely gets dressed anymore. Anyyyyyyway, here are some little-known facts about Kate’s wedding gown, shoes, and jewels.
Every. Designer. Ever. Wanted to Make Her Dress
Like, they were literally lining up to hand Kate a gown—and a ton of famous designers even submitted sketches. Let’s see, Karl Lagerfeld suggested a take on “the Victorian wedding dress,” Badgley Mischka designed a super sparkly off-the-shoulder silhouette, Gucci offered a boat neck style, and Valentino designed a “blossoming” gown which is honestly a dream:
But Sarah Burton Had a Special Royal Connection
There was a ton of speculation about who Kate would chose to design her gown, and in March, The Sunday Times broke the news that Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton had “won the most coveted commission, according to fashion industry sources.” She already had a royal connection thanks to designing the wedding dress of Sara Buys, the wife of Duchess Camilla’s son Tom Parker Bowles.
The Dress Was a Massive Secret
Hilariously, Sarah Burton tried to shut down rumors she was designing Kate’s dress by straight-up lying, legit saying “I am not doing it.” She even concealed the truth from people who worked on the dress—including embroiderers at the Royal School of Needlework, who were told that they were making a gown for a TV show.
Sarah eventually admitted in a statement that she’d been working with Kate, explaining why all the secrecy was so important:
“The last few months have been very exciting and an incredible experience for my team and I as we have worked closely with Catherine to create this dress under conditions of the strictest secrecy. Understandably, Catherine has been very keen to keep the details of her dress a secret, which is every bride’s prerogative, and we gave an undertaking to keep our role confidential until the day of the wedding.”
Embroiderers Had to Wash Their Hands Every 30 Minutes
According to the Huffington Post, the royal family put out a lengthy statement about Kate’s dress after the wedding—and went into nitty-gritty detail about the lace and fabric.
Things we learned:
- Individual flowers were hand-cut from lace and placed onto ivory silk tulle.
- Roses, thistles, daffodils, and shamrocks were included in the design.
- The skirt was made to look like an “opening flower.”
- Kate’s train was two meters 70 centimeters, so VERY long.
- There were 58 buttons down the back of the dress.
- Royal School of Needlework workers washed their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace pristine.
Kate Wore Queen Elizabeth’s Tiara
Kay, enough about the dress—let’s talk about the jewels. The Queen famously loaned Kate her Cartier “halo” tiara for the big day, which was made in 1936 and purchased by King George VI for The Queen Mother, who gave it to then-Princess Elizabeth on her 18th birthday.
Kate paired the look with earrings from her parents, which were based on the Middleton family’s coat of arms.
Viewers got their first glimpse at Kate’s entire look when she stepped out of her
carriage car at the wedding, and wowowowowowowow:
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Surprise! She Changed into a Second Gown
Kate debuted yet another Sarah Burton-designed gown for her reception, and I honestly need this fuzzy cardigan in my life immediately. Also truly lol at Camilla photo bombing her.
Yes, You Can Buy a Replica of Her Wedding Dress
If you, too, would like to have a royal wedding but are lacking someone to marry/a fancy title, please go ahead and buy Kate’s gown in party-length. Totally normal to go out in this, everyone will think it’s fine.
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