Sealed with a kiss not once but twice, the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton now formally to be know as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was a day that will go down in history as ‘The Perfect Wedding’.
Everything went like clock work, a very English Wedding, and a great representation to the watching millions around the world and showed just how much the British still love and respect the Royal Family.
The police estimated around a million people lined the route from the Abbey to Buckingham Palace.
With cheers from the watching public outside the abbey as guest and celebrities arrived to take their places, the Beckhams had one of the loudest cheers and very fitting too as David and Victoria both looked stunning, (David broke from tradition wearing his OBE on his left lapel).
And with a packed church of 1,900 lucky guests, the excitement could be felt around the country, as the Queens and other dignitaries took their places.
It was sad yet wonderful to see Princess Diana’s boys in uniform walking down the red carpet, united as brothers William and Harry shared a joke, yet was respectful and dignified for this very special occasion.
Kate Middleton spent the night with her mother and sister at the 5 Star Goring Hotel in Belgravial. The best keep secret “who has designed the wedding dress”, was given a massive clue late last night when a lady stepped out of a car, head covered, but the giveaway was the distinctive ring and belt that she wore was Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen.
And sure enough when Kate Middleton finally stepped out of her car out side the abbey, the full glory and splendor of Sarah Burton’s creation could be seen by the world. In a word, exquisite, not only did it capture the elegance of Kate, but in many ways one could say that it captures what will surly be a new trend in luxury wedding dresses. The ivory and lace dress was simple yet elegant, the detailing on the dress and the lacing was a magical touch combining tradition and modernity, Kate wanted a dress that would represent timeless British craftsmanship.
As Kate entered the abbey tightly holding her fathers hands, with an air of calm and confidence, the world watched as the bridal party walked down the long red carpet to meet her Prince. Prince Harry turned to see her then turned to his brother saying “wait till you see what’s coming”, and sure enough when Prince Williams did, he leaned towards his bride and said “you look beautiful”….. His mother would have been so proud.
The Service ran smoothly with only a little moment when the prince struggled to place the wedding ring on to Kate’s finger. The wedding vows was said and quite noticeable Kate did not promise to obey her husband. Then there was the signing of the royal marriage register, the newly weds then payed their respects to the Queen before walking down the red carpet to meet the waiting public.
The bridal party and 650 guests then headed for a canape reception at Buckingham Palace where thousands of well wishers lined the streets leading up the Mall to the gates of the Palace.
The happy couple and bridal party soon appeared on the famous balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding service in Westminster Abbey where the 500,000 strong waiting well-wishers where given not one but two kisses to truly seal the wedding.
We awaited a flypast over Buckingham Palace which soon took place. Seven aircraft flew in formation, including a Spitfire, Hurricane and a Lancaster in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight formation, followed by two Tornado planes and two Typhoons in the Windsor formation.
We where told to expect something different and we where not let down, as the newly weds left Buckingham Palace to Clarence House in Prince Charles’s blue classic 1970 Volante DB6 Mk II Aston Martin driven by Prince William. The happy couple waved out of the open topped car which had been decorated with red, white and blue ribbons and balloons had a number plate reading JU5T WED.
Later that evening, Prince Charles hosted a dinner and disco for 300 very close friends and relatives. It was lovely to see the couple had changed outfits for the evening event – Prince William was in dashing black tie while Kate wore a white strapless satin evening gown with diamante embroidered detail round the waist, design by Alexandre McQueen’s Sarah Burton.
It was one of those days that will last in our memories for many years to come, and so many fantastic moments that can only be described as a fairy tail wedding.
Congratulations and Good Luck from 5 Star Weddings, this was indeed a 5 Star Event xx
Full details of the Dress is provided by officialroyalwedding2011.org
Miss Middleton chose British brand Alexander McQueen for the beauty of its craftsmanship and its respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing. Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterises Alexander McQueen’s work. Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress. The dress epitomises timeless British craftsmanship by drawing together talented and skilled workmanship from across the United Kingdom. The dress design pays tribute to the Arts and Crafts tradition, which advocated truth to materials and traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often Romantic styles of decoration. Ms Burton’s design draws on this heritage, additionally giving the cut and the intricate embellishment a distinctive, contemporary and feminine character.
The lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace. The lace design was hand-engineered (appliquéd) using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which originated in Ireland in the 1820s. 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. Hand-cut English lace and French Chantilly lace has been used throughout the bodice and skirt, and has been used for the underskirt trim. With laces coming from different sources, much care was taken to ensure that each flower was the same colour. The whole process was overseen and put together by hand by Ms Burton and her team.
The dress is made with ivory and white satin gazar. The skirt echoes an opening flower, with white satin gazar arches and pleats. The train measures two metres 70 centimetres. 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 underskirt is made of silk tulle trimmed with Cluny lace.
French Chantilly lace was combined with English Cluny lace to be hand-worked in the Irish Carrickmacross needlework tradition.
All other fabrics used in the creation of the dress were sourced from and supplied by British companies. The choice of fabrics followed extensive research by Sarah Burton and her team.
The Royal School of Needlework
The Royal School of Needlework (RSN), based at Hampton Court Palace, assisted the Alexander McQueen team in accurately cutting out the delicate motifs from the lace fabrics and positioning the lace motifs with precision into the new design. The lace motifs were pinned, ‘framed up’ and applied with stab stitching every two to three millimetres around each lace motif. The workers washed their hands every thirty minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours, to keep them sharp and clean. The RSN workers included existing staff, former staff, tutors, graduates and students, with the youngest aged 19.
The RSN’s work was used primarily for the train and skirt of the Bride’s dress, the bodice and sleeves, the Bride’s shoes and the Bride’s veil.
Veil and Jewellery
The veil is made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers, which was embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework. The veil is held in place by a Cartier ‘halo’ tiara, lent to Miss Middleton by The Queen. The ‘halo’ tiara was made by Cartier in 1936 and was purchased by The Duke of York (later King George VI) for his Duchess (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) three weeks before he succeeded his brother as King. The tiara was presented to Princess Elizabeth (now The Queen) by her mother on the occasion of her 18th birthday.
The Bride’s earrings, by Robinson Pelham, are diamond-set stylised oak leaves with a pear shaped diamond set drop and a pavé set diamond acorn suspended in the centre. Inspiration for the design comes from the Middleton family’s new coat of arms, which includes acorns and oak leaves. The earrings were made to echo the tiara. The earrings were a personal gift to the Bride from her parents for her Wedding Day.
Robinson Pelham have also designed and made a pair of diamond earrings for Miss Philippa Middleton. These earrings are more floral in nature to compliment the headpiece worn by Miss Philippa Middleton during the Service.
A tourmaline and diamond pendant and matching earrings have been designed and made for Mrs. Carole Middleton. Two gold stick pins, one with a single gold acorn at the head and the other with an oak leaf, are also worn respectively by the Father of the Bride, Mr. Michael Middleton, and the Bride’s brother, Mr. James Middleton.
The wedding shoes have made hand-made by the team at Alexander McQueen and are made of ivory duchesse satin with lace hand-embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework.
The Bride’s Bouquet
The bouquet is a shield-shaped wired bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth. The bouquet was designed by Shane Connolly and draws on the traditions of flowers of significance for the Royal Family, the Middleton family and on the Language of Flowers.
The flowers’ meanings in the bouquet are:
- Lily-of-the-valley – Return of happiness
- Sweet William – Gallantry
- Hyacinth – Constancy of love
- Ivy: Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection
Myrtle: the emblem of marriage; love.
The bouquet contains stems from a myrtle planted at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.
The tradition of carrying myrtle begun after Queen Victoria was given a nosegay containing myrtle by Prince Albert’s grandmother during a visit to Gotha in Germany. In the same year, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House as a family retreat, and a sprig from the posy was planted against the terrace walls, where it continues to thrive today.
The myrtle was first carried by Queen Victoria eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, when she married in 1858, and was used to signify the traditional innocence of a bride.
Miss Philippa Middleton’s Dress
Miss Philippa Middleton’s dress was designed and created by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. It is of a heavy, ivory satin-based crepe, with a cowl front and with the same button detail and lace trims as the Bride’s dress.
The Young Bridesmaids’ Dresses
The young Bridesmaids’ dresses were designed by childrenswear designer Nicki Macfarlane to echo the Bride’s dress. The four dresses were hand-made by Ms Macfarlane and her daughter Charlotte Macfarlane at their homes in Wiltshire and Kent.
The Bridesmaids’ dresses have been created using the same fabrics as the Bride’s dress. The ballerina-length, full, box pleated skirt gives the dresses a sculptural quality, with the layering of ivory over white satin gazar adding depth of colour. They have all been hand-finished with delicate English Cluny lace, which is visible under the skirts, and four layers of net underskirt. The puff sleeves and neckline are trimmed with the same English lace as the Bride’s underskirt. The backs have been finished with the same button detail.
The sashes are made of pale gold, wild silk, which is tucked at the front and tied at the back in a sumptuous bow.
As a special memento, the Bridesmaid’s name and the date of the wedding have been hand-embroidered onto the lining of each dress.
Capes (These may or may not be worn dependent on the weather)
The waist-length capes, also created by Nicki Macfarlane, are made from ivory Yorkshire wool, edged in fine English lace and tied at the front in the same satin gazar as the dresses.
The Bridesmaids’ shoes were designed and made by Devon-based Rainbow Club. The classic Mary Jane style shoes are made from satin and finished with a Swarovski crystal buckle. Devon-based Rainbow Club have been designing, making and colouring handmade wedding shoes since the mid-1980s.
The Bridesmaids’ flowers were designed and made by Shane Connolly. The ivy and lily-of-the-valley hair wreaths worn by the younger Bridesmaids were influenced by the Bride’s mother’s own headdress at her wedding in 1981. The bouquets held by the Bridesmaids replicate the flowers used in the Bride’s bouquet, and they incorporate lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth.
The Pages are wearing a uniform in the style of that worn by a Foot Guards officer at the time of the Regency (the 1820s). The uniform draws its insignia from the Irish Guards, whose Colonel is Prince William.
The tunic is Guards’ Red with gold piping, Irish shamrocks are on the collars and its buttons are arranged in fours, denoting the Irish – or Fourth – Regiment of Foot Guards. The buttons feature the Harp of Ireland surmounted by the Crown Imperial. The breeches are ivory and are worn with white stockings and black buckle shoes
The Pages will wear a gold and crimson sash (with tassel) around their waists. The sash is worn by officers in the Irish Guards when in the presence of a Member of the Royal Family.
The uniforms were designed in the Royal Household and were created by Kashket and Partners, who have also fitted Prince William’s uniform for his Wedding Day. The collars and cuffs were created by the Royal School of Needlework.
Copyright: 5starweddings 2011