June 29, 2011 12:00 PM

Flower Power

Kate walked down the aisle wearing the fragrance White Gardenia Petals, one of several floral-inspired touches to her ensemble. In addition to the shamrocks and roses she had included in the pattern of her lace gown, she carried a bouquet loaded with symbolism: lily of the valley (signifying the return of happiness), sweet william (gallantry), hyacinth (love’s constancy), ivy (fidelity, affection) and myrtle (the emblem of marriage, traditionally carried by royal brides).

Past PERFECT

CATHERINE TOOK HER CUES FROM TWO ICONIC PRINCESS BRIDES

For months it was one of the world’s best-kept secrets: What would the bride wear? The Duchess’s regal satin-gazar gown—with lace bodice and trimmings hand-stitched by craftspeople at the Royal School of Needlework (who washed their hands every 30 minutes to keep the threads pristine)—didn’t disappoint. With its high collar, nipped-in waist and full skirt, the design, by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, drew immediate comparisons to Princess Grace, while Catherine’s choice of jewels evoked memories of her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana.

Grace Kelly

The ivory peau de soie and Brussels lace gown that Kelly wore for her 1956 wedding to Prince Rainier III of Monaco “has the same regal elegant feel” as Catherine’s dress, says bridal designer Monique Lhuillier. “It’s the most iconic wedding dress of all time.”

Princess Diana

Like Diana, who wore the Spencer family tiara and her mother’s drop earrings in 1981, Catherine held back her silk-tulle veil with the Cartier “Halo” tiara loaned to her by the Queen, and her acorn drop earrings (a nod to the Middleton coat of arms) were a gift from her parents.

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