The new Duchess of Cambridge‘s gorgeous Alexander McQueen gown, designed by Creative Director Sarah Burton, had elegant lace sleeves – a formal touch befitting the venue, Westminster Abbey. The lace appliqué was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which served as her “something old.”
Hand-cut English lace and French Chantilly lace adorned the ivory silk gazar skirt, which flowed out from the fitted corset and padded hips of Burton’s design. For the finishing touches, 58 covered buttons fastened the gown in the back – and a bit of blue ribbon constituted the bride’s “something blue.”
She had a multitude of beautiful jewels to choose from, but in the end, Catherine’s “something borrowed” was a Cartier “halo” tiara loaned to her by Queen Elizabeth II. Originally a gift from the Queen’s father, King George VI, to the Queen Mother, it was given to Elizabeth on her 18th birthday.
Princess Kate on her wedding day in 2011
For her “something new,” Catherine wore a pair of diamond earrings created for her by jeweler Robinson Pelham. Designed to complement the tiara, as well as to reference the Middleton family’s new coat of arms, the earrings were composed of an oak-leaf stud and diamond drops, which encompassed a tiny diamond acorn.
Symbolism was key in the small bouquet Catherine carried, designed for her by Shane Connolly. In addition to the flower sweet William, the bouquet included lily-of-the-valley (for return of happiness), hyacinth (constancy of love) and ivy (for fidelity, marriage and affection). Also key to the arrangement were stems from plants grown from sprigs of the bridal bouquets of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.
HAIR AND MAKEUP
Another way the bride put her own spin on the proceedings: She did her own makeup after several tutorials with makeup artist Arabella Preston. For her hair, however, she turned to the pros. Longtime stylist James Pryce of the Richard Ward salon created a “demi-chignon” for Catherine – a half-updo with cascading curls that was designed to offset the tiara – that took two hours of prep and two more hours to style.
Try On Kate’s Tiara amp Veil! >