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Royal wedding dress: The thoughtful details on Kate Middleton's dress

April 29, 2011 |  3:50 am

Sara

We're learning much more about Kate Middleton from her stunning Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress than we ever knew before. For one thing, she is quite a thoughtful young lady with a deep admiration for British heritage.

Middleton chose the British brand "for its craftsmanship and its respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing," according to a statement on the official wedding website. Apparently, the bride worked closely with the designer in creating the dress, which pays homage to the Arts and Crafts movement.  

The lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace.  Individual flowers were hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create an organic design with rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock motifs.

Photo gallery: Royal wedding coverage

The skirt is meant to echo an opening flower, and the bodice to draw on the Victorian tradition of corsetry. The train is just short of 9 feet. French Chantilly lace was combined with English Cluny lace to be hand-worked in the Carrickmacross needlework tradition which originated in Ireland in the 1820s. The workers washed their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours, to keep them sharp and clean.

Now that's really throwing down the royal gauntlet for the knockoff artists.

-- Booth Moore

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Photo: Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton exchange rings in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Abbey. Dominic Lipinski / Associated Press / Pool.

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