Friday, July 22, 2011

A Royal Display from "that" Special Day

The Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress
The Duchess of Cambridge's Sarah Burton/Alexander McQueen wedding gown,
currently on display in the regal surroundings of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace.
Photo linked from the British Monarchy flickr stream.

Today, the Duchess of Cambridge got a new perspective on some of her last memories as Kate Middleton.  Side by side with Queen Elizabeth, she toured a new display that will open tomorrow at Buckingham Palace and which will be a featured part of the Palace's Summer Opening public touring season.  "The Royal Wedding: A Story of Great British Design" features the Duchess's now-iconic Sarah Burton/Alexander McQueen wedding gown, along with her veil and shoes.  It also showcases the stunning jewels worn for the occasion: the Cartier "Halo" tiara lent by the Queen, and the earrings given to the bride as a wedding gift from her parents.  A reproduction of the bridal bouquet and the wedding cake - yes, the real thing, still mostly intact! - complete the royal display commemorating "the" wedding of a generation.

Royal Collection curator Caroline de Guitaut arranges the train of the wedding gown.
Photo linked from

By far the best thing about this exhibit - made even more thrilling because it can be fully enjoyed even by those of us who live across the pond and are too far to be able to go! - is the tremendous and unprecedented amount of detail the Royal Collection offers online about the gown and the other items from the display.  At long last, we have photos that allow us a very fine and up-close look at the incredibly intricate craftsmanship that makes this simple yet elegant gown such a landmark creation of British fashion.  Be sure to check out the zoomable photos of the gown (and that lace, oh that lace) on the gown detail page, and don't miss the podcast with Royal Collection curator Caroline de Guitaut, which not only includes a fascinating discussion of the gown's design, but also a supplemental set of photos with even more views of this special piece of royal fashion history.  The podcast is a treasure in itself, well worth the time.

Detail of the gorgeous lace-covered bodice of the wedding gown.
Photo linked from

Additional photos of the gown and other pieces can be found on the official British Monarchy photostream on flickr and on

Admission to the exhibit is included with the ticket to the Buckingham Palace State Rooms and can be purchased online.  The Summer Opening begins tomorrow and extends through the 3rd of October.  Further information can be found on the Royal Collection website, and the press release about the exhibit can be viewed here.


lahbluebonnet said...

I had read several weeks ago that it was going on display. The close-ups are amazing!

Rebecca said...

Yes, I remember them saying even during the wedding broadcast that they were planning to display the gown so people could have the chance to see it up cloae. Oh, how I wish I was over there now, don't you?!

Aren't those close-ups stunning? I'm so glad we're finally getting to see all those details we've been reading so much about!