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Kate's Wedding Dress Goes on Display!

Buckingham Palace Displays Kate's Wedding Dress
The Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress, with the Duchess (inset)
PA/Landov (2)

updated 07/22/2011 at 10:30 AM EDT

originally published 07/22/2011 07:30AM

There's a new headliner at the Palace: the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress.

The ivory and white satin-gazar dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen is the centerpiece of the annual summer opening of Buckingham Palace tours for the public.

Starting Saturday, about 643,000 tickets become available – and given the 107-percent increase in sales over last year, when 413,000 visitors went on tour, insiders expect box-office records to be broken.

On Friday, Kate, 29, and the Queen, 85, toured the exhibit.



Kate was instrumental in the decision to put the dress on display in the royal residence, where it stands under lights on a special platform in the Ballroom. Visitors are permitted within a few feet of the creation, which is topped-off with the Cartier "Halo" tiara that the Queen loaned the bride on the April 29 wedding day.



Tours, which run until Oct. 3, cost $28.50 and include 19 state rooms, a special Royal Fabrege exhibit and a walk in the south side of the garden. Further details are available at The Royal Collection.

"Visitors will see what a great example of British couture it is," exhibition curator Caroline de Guitaut says of the wedding dress. "And how much detail and how much work went into the creation of this dress. The beauty really is in the detail."

Kate's Wedding Dress Goes on Display!| The Royals, Kate Middleton, Prince William, Queen Elizabeth II

Kate and Queen Elizabeth view the exhibitions Friday

PA / Landov

In rooms where the wedding celebrations occurred are now showcases of the handcrafted bridal shoes by the team at Alexander McQueen (size 8, with three-inch heels) and a replica of Kate's bridal bouquet fashioned in silk flowers by the wedding florist Shane Connolly. There's also a film about the creation of the dress, featuring Sarah Burton.

In the state dining room is the tiered wedding cake. With the first cut, from Prince William's sword, still visible on its base, the cake is almost exactly as it was on April 29.

The top three tiers, however, have been replaced with replicas by baker Fiona Cairns, as the couple have held on to the top two tiers, keeping with the tradition of saving some to serve at a first child's christening.

The third section was eaten on the big day.





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