When Kate Middleton married Prince William back in 2011, she wore a stunning white gown with a delicate veil that was over 9 feet long. The world fell in love with the gown and many brides have been inspired by it ever since, so much so that it’s become one of the most searched-for bridal dresses online. But how does it compare to Meghan Markle’s wedding veil?
Designed by Sarah Burton, Creative Director of Alexander McQueen, the Duchess’ veil was made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk thread and organza. Crops of wheat, which symbolize love and charity, were featured at the front of the veil, which took hundreds of hours to craft. It also included a floret of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley and sweet williams, which were chosen to represent Kate’s home country of England.
The lace work was carried out at the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) in Hampton Court Palace by a team of embroiderers working part time. The team was a mix of RSN studio staff, former staff, tutors and graduates as well as international embroiderers from Britain, Australia, China, India, Japan, Switzerland, the United States and Thailand.
As well as the beautiful lace, the duchess’s dress was finished with a beaded bodice featuring pearls and crystals, as well as floral appliques and embroidered motifs including hearts, thistles, oak leaves and flowers from her bouquet. In total, the dress and veil took over 800 hours to complete, which is no surprise when you consider how intricate the lace was and how detailed all the embellishments were.
The royal couple had a traditional church service at St Paul’s Cathedral, before travelling to the reception at St George’s Chapel of Windsor Castle. There, the couple was joined by Prince Charles and Camilla and their children George and Princess Charlotte. The ceremony began at 10am with guests entering the chapel for a pre-service procession, which was followed by the arrival of the couple and their family members.
After the ceremony, the couple departed in their Rolls Royce Phantom with all their loved ones in attendance. The couple then had a lavish luncheon at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen Mother.
Following the royal wedding, the dress was put on display at Buckingham Palace from July to October 2011 which drew record crowds and raised a total of PS10 million towards Middleton’s charity fund as well as the Royal Collection. The exhibition remained popular and it is likely that the dress will be displayed again in the future.
It’s difficult to say what happens to the dress after it leaves the Royal Collection, however, it would be safe to assume that it is kept in pristine condition in storage somewhere at either Buckingham or Kensington Palace where the couple live with their children. It is possible that Pippa will one day wear it at her own wedding, however, we’ll have to wait and see what kind of dress she chooses.