Since the engagement was announced, the world has been waiting with bated breath for the moment Catherine Elizabeth Middleton would transform from commoner to royal bride.
And the smiling Duchess of Cambridge was the picture of poise as she walked down the aisle wearing a stunning ivory and satin Alexander McQueen gown designed by Sarah Burton – finally confirming the most well-kept secret in fashion history.
The bride was heavily involved in designing the dress – working closely with Burton to ensure it would be a combination of both the traditional and the modern, yet in keeping with the Alexander Le.
McQueen vision and attention to detail.
Kate has always divided critics with her elegant and simple wardrobe choices – though some accuse her of failing to be fashion-forward.
However, her classic gown is testament to her personality, remaining true to her demure sense of style.
The result was an elegant lace appliqu? bodice with 9ft train that appeared to be inspired by Grace Kelly’s gown for her marriage to Monegasque Prince Rainier III.
She accessorised with a 1936 diamond ‘halo’ tiara by Cartier – her ‘something borrowed’ – lent to her by the Queen.
The hair was, as expected, worn in her signature loose waves with a ‘demi-chignon’.
The natural look was offset by pear-shaped diamond earrings designed by Robinson Pelham and inspired by the Middleton’s new coat of arms.
The veil – made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers – fell to her waist, framing her naturally beautiful face.
The workmanship involved saw the dress was made with Individual flowers hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a unique and organic design – which incorporates the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.
The matching wedding shoes were also hand-made by the team at Alexander McQueen and are made of ivory duchesse satin with lace hand-embroidered.
Celebrity bridal stylist Camilla Ridley Day hailed the dress the ‘perfect choice for a princess.’
Camilla said: ‘She wears the dress, the dress doesn’t wear her. It is totally fitting with her style and perfect for a princess.
‘It is romantic and elegant, with long sleeves very suited to the Abbey.’
Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld was equally impressed.
He said:’ Alexander McQueen’s dresses are always very elegant.
‘It’s very pretty, and relatively classic, but that goes with the decor, with a little touch of the 1950s that recalls Marilyn Monroe or Queen Elizabeth’s dress.
‘The lace is pretty, especially the embroidered veil and the tiara not too high, without too heavy a bun. It’s ravishing and the length of the train is perfect.’
‘It’s all elegant and chic — you don’t need to be born a royal princess to be like that.’
Despite rumours and rife speculation, Catherine insisted on keeping details of the dress under wraps until today to surprise her husband-to-be – who was one of the last in the world to see the stunning creation.
Suitably impressed, William – now know as the Duke of Cambridge – whispered ‘you look beautiful’ as she joined him at the altar,
The bride decided not to use a make-up artist opting instead to do her own.
Kate’s favourite black liner is still there and more exaggerated above the eye, but this will make her eyes stand out even more in photographs.
Beauty expert Elsa MacAlonan said: ‘Fresh, glowing and natural. The first glimpse of Kate Middleton’s make-up behind the veil shows slightly heavier make-up that we’ve been used to – with more emphasis on the eyes than we are used to.
‘It is not an understated look. We have been told that Kate has done her own make-up, but it looks like it’s been done by a professional.
‘She is definitely wearing blusher, which adds definition to her cheekbones. It looks like a soft, peachy pink. The lips are a soft rose.
‘The hair, half up and half down, is a great compromise. Curled very softly at the back and falling into ringlets, her impressive glossy mane is still part of the look.
Catherine’s simple posy ensured her hair received all the attention.
The wired bouquet included sweet William, as well as myrtle, lily-of-the-valley and hyacinth.
As tradition dictates for royal weddings, the bride’s bouquet contains a sprig of myrtle from the original myrtle bush planted by Queen Victoria at Osborne House, Isle of Wight in 1845.
But it also poignantly contains a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.Related posts: