Grazia Daily can reveal, after months of speculation, that Kate Middleton’s wedding dress is by Sarah Burton.
As Kate arrived at Westminster Abbey for her wedding to Prince William, Burton was announced as the designer after six months of fevered speculation as to the name of the person behind the most hotly anticipated wedding dress this century.
The dress itself is lace and satin, with the body cut from ivory and white satin gazar, and the skirt featuring arches and pleats to the back has been designed to echo an opening flower. The lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt has been hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, which is based at Hampton Court Palace. Individual flowers have been hand-cut from lace and then hand-sewn onto onto the skirt in a design which incorporates the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock; emblems which represent England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Both English and French Chantilly lace have been been used throughout the bodice and skirt. In a McQueen signature, the bodice is narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips, and is fastened to the back with 50 gazar and organza covered buttons. The train, which Grazia Daily reported on yesterday, measures two metres and 70 centimetres.
Kate's veil is made of layers of ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers, again by the Royal School of Needlework. Holding the veil in place is a Cartier ‘halo’ tiara, owned by the Queen and lent to Kate for her wedding. The tiara was made by Cartier in 1936 and was purchased by The Duke of York (later King George VI) for the then Duchess of York (who was later The Queen Mother). The tiara was later presented to the now Queen by her mother on her 18th birthday.
The designer, Sarah Burton has been linked to the wedding dress since a leak to the Times at the beginning of March, when Alexander McQueen’s chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd reportedly revealed to a colleague that Burton was the chosen designer. Though the suggestion was denied by the house, the rumours stuck – not least because Burton’s designs were considered by many, including Grazia Daily, to be the perfect choice for a future queen. On the eve of the wedding, a fur-hooded Burton was spotted entering the Goring hotel where Kate was staying with her mother, Carole and sister Pippa before the wedding. Having deftly steered the company through the tragedy of the Lee McQueen’s death in February 2010, Burton quickly established herself as an intuitive and assured designer who took the McQueen signature aesthetic and softened it to create beautiful and feminine designs. You can read Burton's statement regarding the dress here.
- Alex Butt