Kate Middleton was the most beautiful bride when she donned her first tiara and walked down the aisle to meet her prince and officially become the Duchess of Cambridge.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the world watched the future king, Prince William, marry his university girlfriend.
Months of hard work went into planning the couple’s royal wedding in April 2011, and a dedicated team of organisers, dress makers, bakers and chefs worked around the clock to ensure everything was perfect on that sunny spring day.
However there were reportedly tears behind the scenes when details of one of the most important parts of the day – Kate’s dress – were leaked to the press.
Kate picked Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton to design her dress, and the two women worked to combine their ideas for the perfect wedding gown.
It’s said that Kate first noticed Burton’s work when attending the wedding of Tom Parker Bowles in 2005, where she had designed the bride Sara Buys’ gown.
Kate did everything she could to keep her chosen designer secret, but someone leaked it and Burton’s name hit the headlines.
At the time, The Sunday Times reported: “A fashion source said that the dress will be a combination of Middleton’s own design ideas and Burton’s deep knowledge and understanding of high fashion.”
Speaking on Channel 5 documentary Secrets of the Royal Dressmakers, exert Katie Nicholl claimed the future Duchess of Cambridge was heartbroken that her secret was out.
She said: “Behind the scenes I think that caused tears at the Palace because Kate had done everything she could to keep the wedding dress a secret.”
Burton, of course, denied any involvement until she was officially announced as the designer when Kate stepped out of the car in front of Westminster Abbey.
While there was upset in the lead up to the celebrations, Kate didn’t seem at all bothered on the day and wore a huge smile from start to finish.
Burton attended the royal wedding and styled Kate’s dress before she walked down the aisle, making sure everything was perfect.
Her dress has been praised by fans and fashion critics, who said it was the perfect dress for our future Queen Consort.
Kate’s ivory gown featured a satin bodice, which was slightly padded at the hips (signature McQueen) and incorporated floral motifs cut from machine-made lace.
Burton used traditional Carrickmacross craftsmanship in making the dress, a technique which dates back to the 1800s, to represent ‘something old’.
The attention to detail was breathtaking – from the hand-cut Chantilly lace of the sleeves, to the lace applique on the bodice and the individual lace roses, thistles, daffodils and shamrocks hand-engineered on to the ivory silk tulle.
The skirt was crafted with white satin gazar arches and pleats to echo an opening flower, and the weight of the silk tulle underskirt and 2.7m train ensured it glided along.
Kate’s veil was created at the Royal School of Needlework and crafted with hand-embroidered flowers, and on the back of her dress were 58 buttons of gazar and organza, which fastened by means of rouleau loops. In a bid to keep the design secret, staff was told they were making it for a costume drama.
Kate accessoried with a pair of Robinson Pelham earrings that were a gift from her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton.
Inspired by the family’s coat of arms, they comprised of diamond-set stylised oak leaves with a pear-shaped diamond set-drop and a pavé-set diamond acorn in the centre.
And of course the most important piece of bling was her debut tiara, a Cartier piece made for the Queen Mother in 1936.
It was passed to the Queen on her 18th birthday in 1944, but she didn’t wear it very often and instead loaned it to her sister Princess Margaret.