Friday, April 29, 2011

A Nice Day for a (Royal) White Wedding

It was a white wedding for Prince William and his new bride, Her Royal Highness Princess William, a/k/a Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, affectionately known to all simply as "Kate." Kate's sister and maid of honor, Pippa Middleton wore white, as did the flower girls, and all carried white bouquets similar to the royal bride's.
Kate Middleton's Wedding Gown was designed by Sara Burton for Alexander McQueen. The gown has a modest plunging neckline and long lace sleeves, reminiscent of the gown worn by Grace Kelly to her marriage of Prince Rainer III, Prince of Monaco in 1956. When one marries in Westminster Abbey, strapless simply will not do! According to the Royal website, the lace applique on the bodice and skirt was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, based at the Hampton Court Palace. Individual hand-crafted lace flowers were hand-cut and -sewn onto the ivory silk tulle gown.
Prince William, dressed in his red Irish Guards uniform (he holds the rank of lieutenant) escorted his blushing bride out of Westminster Abbey to the cheering crowd lining the route to the royal reception at the Palace.
Kate's "halo" tiara was made by Cartier in 1936 and presented to Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) by her mother on the occasion of her 18th birthday. A simple sheer white veil made of the finest tulle covered Kate's face for most of the ceremony, until she and Prince William were pronounced "husband and wife together."
The royal wedding bouquet consisted of myrtle, symbolizing love; lily-of-the-valley, symbolizing "You've made my life complete," sweetness and gaiety; white hyacinth, symbolizing loveliness and "I'll pray for you;" and sweet William, which aptly describes Kate's prince: Gallantry, finesse and perfection!
Everyone knows about Kate's engagement ring, which was also Diana's engagement ring. After Diana's death, the ring reportedly came into the possession of Prince Harry. Harry decided that the ring should be on the finger of the future queen of England, and turned it over to Prince William. In a "cloak and dagger" operation worthy of James Bond, William retrieved the 18-carat oval sapphire ring from the royal safe (with Harry's blessing, of course!). Before leaving on the trip to Kenya during which he proposed to Kate, William carried the ring around in his backpack for three weeks in Africa before he finally popped the question!
According to news sources, William stated, "I literally would not let it go. Everywhere I went, I was keeping ahold of it because I knew, this thing, if it disappeared, I'd be in a lot of trouble."
Kate's very simple, plain gold wedding band is made of Welsh gold from the Clogau Goldmine at Bantdoo in Wales, the source for royal rings since the 1920's. It was given to Prince William by the Queen herself for Kate to wear-- evidence that the Queen heartily approves of William's new bride!

Kate once again chose to step out in a Sarah Burton-designed Alexander McQueen creation for the royal wedding reception. This time she chose a white strapless satin gazar gown with a circle skirt and diamante-embroidered detailing around the waist. She topped it off with a white angora bolero cardigan. This time around, Kate left the diamond tiara behind and let her hair down a little, while William and Harry changed out of their royal regalia and into suits and ties.

British cake designer Fiona Cairns worked five weeks to create the royal couple's 8-tiered confectionary masterpiece. The wedding cake, made of traditional fruitcake, was covered in cream and white icing and decorated with nearly 900 delicate sugar paste flowers. Architectural details of the reception room were reflected in the detail work on the 4th tier: roses, acorns, ivy leaves, apple blossoms and bridal rose.
Note the exquisite attention to detail reflected in the Scottish thistle, bridal roses, apple blossoms and daffodil!
William and Kate share a kiss or two on the palace balcony with flower girls and the cheering crowds below looking on in approval!
Meet the Inlaws: From left, Britain's Prince Philip, Kate's mother, Carole Middleton, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (and William's grandmother), and William's stepmother, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
William (in the driver's seat--this is England, remember!) and Kate take off with new titles in an old Aston Martin owned by Dad (Prince Charles) bedecked with balloons and streamers, one more "new" royal tradition William and Kate can call their own.