The Royal Wedding Dress Goes on Display at Buckingham Palace

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the annual summer opening at Buckingham Palace where visitors can tour the palace gardens, view a portion of the Royal family’s extensive art collection and get a personal look inside 19 different state rooms used to entertain heads of state and world famous celebrities. However this year there is a new attraction that may prove to be the biggest draw of them all as visitors will be able to get within a few feet of a display featuring the wedding gown that helped transform Kate Middleton into Catherine Duchess of Cambridge.

The gown, designed by Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton with plenty of input from Catherine herself is nothing short of a “real feat of engineering” as Burton puts it in her video-taped interview which is played as part of the exhibition. The lace applique on the bodice was created by cutting out hundreds of individual lace flowers which were then sown together by members of the Royal School of Needlework who washed their hands every 30 minutes to ensure the lace was kept spotless and changed needles every three hours to be sure they were sharp.

“We wanted to look to the past, yet look to the future as well,” Ms. Burton explains in the video interview. “There were a lot of references to Victorian corsetry… It has an essence of Victorian but we cut the dress in a very modern way.” Burton goes on to explain that the overall goal of the gown was to create “something that was incredibly beautiful and intricately worked.” Judging from the descriptions given it sounds like they achieved just that, and this amazing gown has already sold 125,750 advanced tickets according to a spokeswoman for the Royal Collection.

In addition to the gown and the video the exhibit will feature Catherine’s ivory satin heels, the tear drop diamond earrings she received as a gift from her parents and the famed “halo” Cartier tiara loaned to her by Queen Elizabeth II. Though the exhibit will not open until tomorrow it has been reported that the Queen and the Duchess will take a private tour later today. The summer opening runs until October 3rd and has a maximum capacity of 643,000, so if you’re going to be in London in August or September and you want to see this amazing piece of haute couture first hand you may want to think about buying tickets soon.

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