Kate's Wedding Dress Draws Record Numbers
10/04/2011 AT 08:00 AM EDT
A record number of visitors showed up to view Kate Middleton's wedding dress while it was on display at Buckingham Palace this summer, it was confirmed Tuesday.
While exact numbers are not available, a rep at the palace says that more than 600,000 people paraded through the exhibit while it was open from late July to Oct. 3.
The previous best was 420,000 visitors in 1994, and last year's figure was 413,000 – so the appearance of the ivory and white satin-gazar dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen helped raise the turnout by about 50 percent.
"It is an incredible figure," says the spokeswoman for the Royal Collection, which organizes the annual exhibit. "It is easily a record. We were thrilled to welcome people from all over the world and delighted it has been such a huge success."
Next for the dress? Storage. According to a palace source, Kate is "keen to ensure that the dress survives undamaged for as long as possible, and so this inevitably means limiting the number of times that it is transported or displayed."
The Royal Wedding effect clearly worked its magic for all the residences of the family, with visitor numbers up at all the official homes this year, the Royal Collection spokeswoman added.