Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton
A reported two billion people watched breathlessly from around the world as Catherine Middleton said “I will” to Prince William on the 29th April 2011.
The cheer that went up from a million people lining the route of the procession could be heard inside Westminster Abbey itself.
Over 5000 street parties were held to mark the Royal wedding throughout the United Kingdom
See ‘THE DRESS’ on display
The Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress was the hottest topic of conversation for months leading up to the Royal Wedding, and the final reveal not only wowed onlookers, but also showcased centuries of home-grown skill, and design craftsmanship.
Thanks to the Royal Collection Trust you can see this exquisite example of British tailoring for yourself, as the dress will be on display at Buckingham Palace from the 23rd July till the 3rd of October for the annual Summer Opening.
Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen was commissioned for the design, and the ensemble respected McQueen’s hallmark style of Victorian corsetry. Pinched at the waist with padded hips, a satin bodice, and made from ivory and white stiffened organza, the design remained regal, but with a modern touch (including a considerably shorter train) to fit a thoroughly modern Duchess.
The Royal School of Needlework, founded in 1872, put their brilliant technical skill to work for the lace appliqué. A traditional Irish Carrickmacross lace-making technique was used on the bodice, made of ivory silk-tulle, and hand-engineered flowers; a rose, thistle, shamrock, and daffodil were incorporated into the design. The intricate lace embellishment seen in the bodice of the dress, was also replicated throughout the whole ensemble, including the shoes that were handmade at McQueen, and the silk-tulle veil.
Generational tradition appeared in the Tiara, which held The Duchess’ veil in place. Littered with small brilliants and baton diamonds with a large brilliant in the centre, the Cartier ‘Halo’ tiara was lent to the Duchess by the Queen. Originally made in 1936, the tiara was purchased by The Duke of York (later King George VI) as a gift for The Duchess of York (The Queen Mother), who then presented to Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday.
Included in the display will be the earrings commissioned by the Middleton family and created by London-based jewellers Robinson Pelham. Inspired by both the new Middleton family coat of arms, as well as our wonderful national tree ‘The Great Oak’, the design boasted a pavé-set diamond acorn suspended from beautifully bejewelled oak leaves.
If all of this isn’t enough to take your breath away, the display will also be complimented by the Royal Couple’s wedding cake, which will be shown in the State Dining room. Using British ingredients, and decorated with sugar flowers, cake designer Fiona Cairns created a multi-tiered masterpiece that would’ve made Marie Antoinette blush.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress and the royal wedding cake will be on display as part of the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace, which also includes the special exhibition Royal Fabergé.
Opening dates: 23 July – 3 October 2011.
The royal honeymoon
So far the royal newlyweds have only managed a short weekend away, but have plans for a longer break. Jordan, the Seychelles, Mustique and Australia have all been floated as possibilities, but the eventual decision will no doubt remain under wraps for as long as possible to give them some privacy. Read More »
William and Kate Balcony Kiss
The kiss between William and Catherine, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, was for many the most memorable moment of the day. Once the procession of carriages had made its way from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, the crowd was allowed to fill the Mall and move right up past the Victoria memorial to the gates of the palace itself, providing a grandstand view for the formal balcony appearance.
Ever since Romeo and Juliet, balconies have had an air of romance, and as a privileged place linking public and private they have special meaning for the royal family. The balcony at Buckingham Palace has been the site of royal appearances to mark nationally celebrated events from the Queen’s birthday to VE day, and of course royal weddings.
It was Queen Victoria who began the tradition of the royal bridal party making a public appearance on the balcony after her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. The Queen Mother in 1923, the Queen and Prince Philip in 1947, and Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981 all followed this tradition – though it was not until Charles and Diana’s wedding that the appearance also involved a kiss.
As Catherine stepped out onto the balcony with her new husband, the sight of the crowds filling the Mall prompted an involuntary “Oh wow!” The party lined up on the balcony and, to the crowd’s delight, the young couple kissed twice – and giggled.
At this point the sky began to roar with the approach of the flypast: first the Battle of Britain memorial flight, with a Lancaster flanked by a Spitfire and a Hurricane; then a formation of modern fighter jets, Tornadoes and Typhoons.
The flypast over, the royal group began filing back into the palace, leaving the new Duke and Duchess standing for a moment on their own. As they turned to go back inside, hand in hand, Catherine looked over her shoulder one last time at the sea of cheering people.
In an appealing break with tradition, William then drove his bride from Buckingham Palace back to Clarence House in Prince Charles’ blue convertible Aston Martin, with a number plate reading JU5T WED, and festooned with balloons and L plates courtesy of his brother – an endearingly informal moment in this day of extraordinary royal pomp and ceremony.