What a truly splendid wedding.
Referred to as an “act of faith in a world of doubt” this morning’s wedding had us all a-Twitter, literally. The internet crackled with questions we all had: was Kate Middleton wearing a tiara? Who made the dress? What did it look like? Miss Middleton’s secret was kept successfully, even when seeing the bride with her father on the way to Westminster Abbey we couldn’t decipher who created her gown.
One could almost hear a collective intake of breath when seeing Miss Middleton emerge from the Queen’s Rolls Royce. This was the shot that wowed the world.
The Alexander McQueen gown was designed by Sarah Burton. It was exquisite.
The dress was both ivory and white, incorporating hand-cut English lace and French Chantilly lace, appliqued by hand. The work was done by artisans from the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace. (Psst, they offer day classes!)
From the Palace news release:
“Individual flowers have been hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a unique and organic design, which incorporates the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.”
Some of us immediately thought of Grace Kelly’s gown, with its similar use of lace and high neck, tasteful and elegant.
Prince William wore the uniform of Colonel of the Irish Guards. He is commissioned in all three armed services, but the Army’s honorary Irish Guards position is his highest military title. The best man, his brother Prince Harry,wore the uniform of Captain of the Household Cavalry, also called the Blues and Royals.
Kate’s sister Pippa did a masterful job managing the train, almost 9′ long.
More on the dress from the news release:
“The ivory satin bodice, which is narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips, draws on the Victorian tradition of corsetry and is a hallmark of Alexander McQueen’s designs. The back is finished with 58 gazar and organza covered buttons fastened by Rouleau loops.”
The veil needed to be simple and it was. Made of ivory silk tulle, there were no gathers, it wasn’t hooped, just flat, allowing the focus to be on the bride and her gown.
The tiara was by Cartier, loaned to the bride by the Queen, definitely fitting the ‘something borrowed’ category.
‘Something new’ came in the form of a gift from her parents, diamond drop earrings shaped like oak leaves with a pave diamond acorn suspended in the middle. Pippa wore a similar pair, both pair were made by Robinson Pelham, and said to be inspired by the Middleton family’s new coat of arms, which includes oak leaves and acorns.
The bride’s wedding ring was made from Welsh gold by Wartski, an upscale jeweler and antiques firm located in Mayfair. The ring was crafted from a piece of Welsh gold given to the couple by the Queen.
Using Welsh gold for wedding rings is a royal tradition going back almost a century. Wartski is no stranger to Royal commissions, they made Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles’ wedding rings.
One of the more intriguing questions, “What did Harry say to William?” was answered by The Telegraph, they used a lipreader, evidently he whispered “Wait ’til you see her”.
And William’s words to Kate?
““You look beautiful…Yes, it looks fantastic, it’s beautiful…”
(Please give us a moment to gather ourselves and find another hankie.)
Pippa Middleton was also busy with the other wedding attendants.
The bridesmaids included Grace van Cutsem, Eliza Lopes, Lady Louise Windsor, and Margarita Armstrong-Jones.
The young page boys and bridesmaids were darling. Young Master Pettifer seemed to be enjoying himself enormously.
Below, Lady Louise Windsor and Margarita Armstrong-Jones.
Their dresses were made from the same fabric as the wedding gown, and embroidered with their names and the date. We liked their satin flats.
Some have said the Maid of Honour stole the show. She was also in McQueen.
The chic and elegant gown was surprisingly close in color to her sister’s white and ivory dress. While absolutely beautiful, we think the focus remained where it was supposed to be, on the bride. Below, Pippa beams with two of her young charges as they head to the Palace following the ceremony.
The couple are not only well-suited temperamentally, but also physically.
The service itself was lovely, with the British pomp and pageantry that has been perfected over the centuries.
The crowds waiting for the traditional balcony appearance were enormous.
They were not disappointed.
All in all, it was an extraordinary event, to some degree because getting from here…
…is an amazing accomplishment. Doing so as the whole world watches is remarkable.
The gown was precisely what it needed to be: breathtaking and understated, with an elegance that will stand the test of time. Classic and contemporary at the same time, it was ‘very Kate’.
After the balcony appearance and the early reception, the couple made a surprise appearance.
Who do you think decorated the car?
In opening his homily, the Bishop of London quoted St. Catherine of Siena: ““Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
We can only hope that is true for the couple as they move forward. It seems they have made a significant step on that path. Echoing what we said earlier this morning on Twitter, I think we all needed a fairy tale. We got that this morning.
We’ll have more later on what other people wore to the wedding, the hits and misses (oh my, there were some fashion faux pas!), and there will also be more later on WhatKateWore.
Until then, may the sun be shining on your corner of the globe!