'Beautiful' Kate wears dress by McQueen designer

Kate Middleton wore a stunning ivory and lace wedding dress Friday by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, her face covered lightly with a hand-embroidered veil held by a tiara lent by the queen.

Smiling broadly and waving to the cheering crowd, the 29-year-old also clutched a bouquet of flowers that included Sweet William. Her bridegroom showed his appreciation by mouthing to her: "You look beautiful."

Burton, the 36-year-old creative director of the fashion house Alexander McQueen, had long been tipped for the commission, but palace officials had remained tight-lipped right up until the moment Kate stepped out of the car.

They said the bride has "worked closely" with Burton in formulating the design, which she wanted to "combine tradition and modernity".

"It's a bridal gown of very refined detail, much more refined than the one Diana wore" at her marriage to William's father Prince Charles in 1981, commented German couturier Karl Lagerfeld.

He told French television: "It's very pretty, and relatively classic, but that goes with the decor, with a little touch of the 1950s that recalls Marilyn Monroe or Queen Elizabeth II's wedding dress."

The dress had long lace sleeves and an ivory satin bodice, narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips.

The skirt resembled an opening flower, with white satin gazar arches and pleats and a train measuring 2.7 metres (8.8 feet) - relatively short by royal standards, particularly Diana's, which was 25-feet long (7.6 metres).

The train and bodice were adorned by delicate lace applique flowers, in a design that incorporated the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock - the four floral emblems of the United Kingdom.

Workers from the Royal School of Needlework helped make the dress, washing their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours to keep them sharp.

Kate wore a veil made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers. It fell to just below her waist, held in place by a Cartier tiara lent to her by Prince William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Her earrings, made by Robinson Pelham, were diamond-set stylised oak leaves, in reference to the Middleton family's new coat of arms, which includes acorns and oak leaves. They were a gift from her parents for her wedding day.

On her feet, she wore hand-made shoes made of ivory duchesse satin and lace, made by the team at Alexander McQueen.

In her hands, Kate held a bouquet of lily of the valley, which symbolises the return of happiness; sweet William, which means gallantry; hyacinth, constancy of love; ivy, fidelity and marriage; and myrtle, love and marriage.

Burton also created the dress for Kate's younger sister Pippa, 26, who was her maid of honour. It was simple and elegant, made of heavy ivory satin-based crape with the same button detail and lace trims as the bride's dress.

The designer said Kate looked "absolutely stunning".

"It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with Catherine Middleton to create her wedding dress, and I have enjoyed every moment of it," she said, adding that it had been "such an incredible honour to be asked".

The dress was the work of skilled workmanship from across Britain, and Burton paid tribute in her design to the Arts and Crafts tradition.

Burton took over as creative director after Alexander Lee McQueen committed suicide in February 2010. The 36-year-old graduate of Central St Martin's had worked side by side with him for 14 years.

The dress is expected to spawn a thousand reproductions.

Elizabeth Emanuel, who created Diana's fairytale ivory silk taffeta wedding gown in 1981 with her husband David, is still being asked to make copies.

"There are going to be people watching as she walks down the aisle with their sketch pads, with the machinists and pattern cutters all ready and waiting. By the next morning you'll see copies in the high street," she said.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
tv

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    KS1 Float Teacher needed in the Vale

    £100 - £110 per day + Travel scheme plus free professional trainnig: Randstad ...

    Science Teacher

    £100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Are you a qualified secondary...

    KS2 Float Teacher required in Caerphilly

    £100 - £110 per day + Travel Scheme plus free professional training: Randstad ...

    Science Teacher

    £100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Are you a qualified secondary...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week