The gown! The jewels! The tiara! The footmen wearing weird tights and satin slippers! The royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton--now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge--has come to an end. Details about the wedding continue to emerge, but here is a roundup of the fashion and flair so far:
The Dress: The best-kept secret of the wedding was revealed only when Kate appeared to the public at Westminster Abbey. Her dress was created by Sarah Burton for English design house Alexander McQueen. (McQueen committed suicide last year.) Many are comparing the McQueen dress to the worn by Grace Kelly when she wed Prince Rainier of Monaco. The ivory-and-white-satin floor-length gown had a lace overlay, and full-length lace sleeves. Kate's wedding dress had the combination of romantic and modern touches I had hoped for: romance in the lace, modernity in the sleek silhouette and full skirt with sharp pleats. The veil Kate wore was also designed by Burton, and reports indicate that the designer also created four pairs of custom shoes for the royal bride. Burton also designed the bridesmaids dress worn by Kate's sister, Pippa.
The Tiara: Kate wore the Cartier "Halo" tiara along with her veil. The jewels are on loan from the Queen. The Queen received the tiara from her mother on her 18th birthday, and some speculate the loan will become a gift. The Ring: We already know Kate's sapphire and diamond wedding ring is the one worn by Prince William's mother, Princess Diana, when she was married to Prince Charles. Kate's wedding ring was fashioned out of a nugget of Welsh gold which was gifted to the couple by the Queen when they announced their engagement. The ring was created by the royal jeweler Wartski, who also designed Camilla's ring for her 2005 wedding to Prince Charles.
The Earrings: Kate's diamond earrings were a gift from her parents, and designed to go with the tiara she wore. Designed by Robinson Pelham Jewellers, the earrings are an oak-leaf motif; the center drop of the earring is in the shape of an acorn. Robinson Pehlham also designed earrings for Kate's sister, Pippa. The Middleton men coordinated with the girls, wearing tie pins featuring acorns and oak leaves.
Nail polish: Kate Middleton did not, in fact, wear the hideous, sparkly-purple monstrosity named in her "honor"--No More Waity Katie--by Butter London. (The company isn't actually based in London.) Rather, Kate wore the lovely and sheer "Allure" by Essie. I expect Allure to be sold out online by the end of the day.
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The Men: Both Prince William and Prince Harry came decked out in military uniforms. Prince William wore the scarlet tunic worn by the Irish Guard, a nod to the First Battalion currently deployed in Afghanistan--the Prince has a senior honorary appointment as Colonel of the Irish Guard. Prince Harry wore the uniform of Captain of the Household Cavalry, in colors of dark blue with gold. Prince Charles, an admiral in the Royal Navy, wore the ceremonial Royal Navy Number One Dress uniform.
The Hats: So many hats! CNN put together a slideshow of royal wedding hats. The biggest news in royal wedding hats was not that one was more outrageous than the rest, but that one was missing. Prime Minister David Cameron's wife showed up sans hat, opting instead for a jewel-and-feather barrette.
The Flowers: The couple chose large maple trees to line the aisle of Westminster Abbey, which gave a stunning effect on television, particularly in aerial shots. Kate chose to use plants that are in-season, and all plants and flowers will be replanted after the ceremony--perhaps a nod to her father-in-law's commitment to the environment?
The Tradition: Reports indicate that modern bride Kate kept an eye toward tradition as well. Apparently her "something old" is the Carrickmacross pattern design in the lace of her dress; the pattern is very traditional in Britain. Her "something new" were the earrings from her parents, the "something borrowed" the Queen's tiara, and her "something blue" a bit of blue ribbon she had sewn into the dress.