Christine Kendall, a bridal designer in Hertfordshire, has accused the label of using her sketches as inspiration for Kate's satin-and-lace bridal dress. According to Britain's The Sunday Times, Kendall is suing Alexander McQueen with a claim filed at the Intellectual Property Enterprise in London.
Kendall alleges that the dress copied aspects of her own designs, which she says she sent to the palace prior to the royal wedding. With what she calls a "1950s theme" featuring a "full A-line skirt and an unusual feature at the rear using layers edged with appliqué lace," the designer says the final design would not have been the same without her input.
Want to keep up with the latest royals coverage? Click here to subscribe to the Royals Newsletter.
Kendall says she sent her ideas to Kate five months before the wedding and received a letter back from the palace in January 2011, thanking her for her sketches and saying that should Kate "wish to see more of your designs, I will of course be in touch." The top-secret commission was in fact being carried out by McQueen's creative director, Sarah Burton, who was sworn to secrecy until the big reveal on April 29, 2011 – Kate and Prince William's wedding day.
A spokesperson for McQueen told the newspaper they were "utterly baffled" by the claim, saying that "Christine Kendall first approached us almost four years ago, when we were clear with her that any suggestion Sarah Burton’s design of the royal wedding dress was copied from her designs was nonsense."
A palace source tells PEOPLE, "The Duchess has never seen Christine Kendall's sketches."
Kate continues to wear McQueen for many of her official engagements and last wore a red peplum design by the luxury British label earlier this month when she arrived in India for the start of the royal tour.