Camilla's sweeping, gold-threaded coat-gown and crystal diamond-studded headdress made a spectacular impact at the Chapel
Photo: EMPICS
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It was in sharp contrast to her elegant but discreet Guildhall outfit, also by Robinson Valentine with Philip Treacy hat
Photo: AFP

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9 APRIL 2005

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When the just-married Duchess of Cornwall made a spectacular entrance at St George's Chapel with her husband the Prince of Wales on Saturday afternoon, it was immediately very clear that the wedding blessing was going to be something special.

A stunning porcelain blue silk floor-length coat-gown enhanced with gold thread detail and a beautifully flowing fishtail train had replaced the simple, Robinson Valentine chiffon dress and silk embroidered coat she had worn for the civil ceremony at the Guildhall.

At the bride's request, the medieval-inspired outfit was based on the style of a velvet dress she once wore to a Royal Opera House gala. Robinson Valentine researched embroidery, technique and fabric in the textile collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum to produce the desired effect.

And there was a sentimental aspect to the hand-painted design adding such a regal touch to the gown. The intricate pattern, which was layered with five tones of gold thread, was based on a piece of jewellery which belonged to the Duchess' beloved mother.

As she had done earlier, she topped the elegant ensemble with an eye-catching Philip Treacy hat. While the Duchess opted for a French lace-trimmed straw confection for the civil ceremony, it was a unique gold-leafed feather headdress, tipped with Swarovski crystal diamonds, which completed her second ensemble.

Peeping out from the bridal gown as it rippled opulently in the strong spring breeze were pale grey shot silk shoes with subtle gold embroidery on the toes - the work of High Street designer Linda Bennett.

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