Home / Fashion & Style / 10 Hidden Details You Didn't Know About Kate Middleton's Wedding Dress

10 Hidden Details You Didn't Know About Kate Middleton's Wedding Dress

She’ll soon step out in more maternity dresses than ball gowns, but the Duchess of Cambridge knows how to nail a formal look. Her wedding dress was so iconic you can still buy copycat versions on Amazon over six years later.

A $200 knock-off doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing, however. Designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, the bridal gown cost a rumored $434,000 to make. Where did that chunk of change all go? Get the insider scoop on the Duchess’s wedding look below:


The hips got subtle padding.

Victorian-inspired corsetry is an Alexander McQueen signature, and Kate Middleton’s gown was no exception. To accent the bodice’s narrow waist, Burton added a little extra oomph below the midsection.

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The underskirt didn’t skimp on detail.

Burton designed the bottom of the dress to resemble an opening flower. When bridesmaid Pippa Middleton lifted her sister’s train, onlookers caught a glimpse of the lace-trimmed layers of silk tulle that gave the gown its shape.

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The Queen provided the tiara.

A “something borrowed” doesn’t get better than this. The reigning monarch received the Cartier halo tiara on her 18th birthday, but her father King George VI initially purchased the piece for his wife. The delicate sparkler includes nearly 1,000 diamonds—not a bad way to hold a veil in place.

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The sleeves paid homage to other royals.

With a similar lace collar and long sleeves, the Duchess’s outfit drew instant comparisons to Grace Kelly’s iconic wedding dress, as well as the Queen’s own gown and ’50s bridal style in general. An official statement confirmed that Kate wished to “combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterizes Alexander McQueen’s work.”

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It included both white and ivory fabric.

Most brides stick to one or the other, but the Duchess’s dress featured satin gazar—a smooth but stiff fabric that holds its shape—in both shades. Burton also sewed a blue ribbon on the inside of the dress for good luck.

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The lace featured lots of delicate flowers.

To create the elaborate applique on the bodice, the Royal School of Needlework used a Sophie Hallette silk tulle woven with shamrock, roses and lilies. The workers cut around the shapes and applied them to a machine-made net. The gown also included lace from Solstiss and the Cluny Lace Company.

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The earrings came from her parents.

The Robinson Pelham danglers took inspiration from the Middleton family crest, echoing the acorn and oak leaf motifs. Mom Carole and dad Michael gave the diamond set to their daughter as a wedding present.

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The train stretched 9 feet long.

When you’re marrying in Westminster Abbey, the dress needs to hold its own. The Duchess’s skirt didn’t break any royal wedding records though. At a whopping 25 feet long, Princess Diana’s gown takes the cake!

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The look included custom heels.

The floor-length hem didn’t reveal her shoes often, but Kate Middleton didn’t slip on her favorite wedges for the formal occasion. Alexander McQueen provided ivory satin heels, hand-embroidered with additional lace by the Royal School of Needlework.

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Another dress debuted at the reception.

As gorgeous as her cathedral-length gown was, the newlywed didn’t stay in it for long. She swapped the heavy train for another McQueen creation at the reception. The second outfit included a circle skirt with diamante detailing at the waist, topped with a shrug.

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