London: In true bridal tradition, Kate Middleton — now the Duchess of Cambridge — arrived at Westminster Abbey Friday wearing ‘something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue'.
Confirming suspicions raised the night before the wedding, her dress was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, made with ivory and white satin gazar (a silk organza), with a 2.7-metre train and ivory satin bodice.
The lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt — hand-made by the Royal School of Needlwork — was made using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique that originated in Ireland in the 1820s. This was the Duchess' ‘something old.'
Catherine's ‘something new' is a pair of earrings by Robinson Pelham.
The earrings are diamond-set in the style of oak leaves with a pear-shaped diamond set drop and a pave set diamond acorn set in the middle. These were a personal gift to the bride from her parents on her wedding day.
‘Something borrowed' was the tiara, leant to Catherine by the Queen. The tiara was given to Queen Elizabeth by her mother for her 18th birthday and was made by Cartier in 1936.
The ‘halo' tiara held the bride's veil of ivory silk tulle, with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers, in place.
A small blue bow was sewn into the inside of the bride's dress, in keeping with tradition.
The Duchess' bouquet holds significance for the Royal family, and comprised lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth.
Lily-of-the-valley means a ‘return of happiness'; sweet William is ‘gallantry'; hyacinth is ‘constancy of love'; ivy is ‘fidelity, marriage, wedded love, friendship and affection; while Myrtle is the ‘emblem of marriage and love.'