Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Sign up to HELLO! Fashion for style tips, cultural insights, must-have items, and more

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

On Monday April 29, the Prince and Princess of Wales celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary.

The-then Kate Middleton opted for a vintage style corset dress created by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, which will forever stand as one of the most memorable dresses in royal wedding history.

From her secret 'something blue' to the inspiration for the design, here are 10 things you didn't already know about Kate's wedding dress...

William and Kate leaving Westminster Abbey as husband and wife© Getty
William and Kate leaving Westminster Abbey as husband and wife

1. Why she chose Alexander McQueen

Realistically, anybody whom the future Queen of England approached to make her dress would have done so with pleasure. She could have chosen Catherine Walker - one of her late mother-in-law Princess Diana's go-to designers, or Jenny Packham - another notable British brand in royal fashion history. So why Alexander McQueen?

A statement released by Kensington Palace revealed that Kate chose McQueen for "the beauty of its craftsmanship and its respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing".

"Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterises Alexander McQueen’s work."

Kate arriving at Westminster Abbey to her wedding in 2011© Getty
Kate arriving at Westminster Abbey to her wedding in 2011

MORE: Princess Kate's favourite designer Sarah Burton is leaving Alexander McQueen 

2. Kate helped with her dress design

Though she enlisted the expertise of Sarah Burton, it was also revealed that Kate "worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress".

3. Students worked on her dress

Catherine Middleton arrives to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)© Getty
Needlework students helped with the lace on the sleeves and bodice of her dress

The Royal School of Needlework played a significant part in constructing the dress. Not only did they hand-make the lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt, but they also worked on the train, skirt, bodice and sleeves, alongside Kate's shoes and her veil.

Kensington Palace explained: "The RSN workers included existing staff, former staff, tutors, graduates and students, with the youngest aged 19."

4. Her 'something blue' was hidden inside

Though it has never been pictured, Sarah Burton's team reportedly sewed a blue ribbon into the interior of the dress as Kate's 'something blue' for good luck.

5. The skirt represented a flower

The voluminous skirt, made with ivory and white satin gazar, actually represents the opening of a flower. Florals played a significant role in the design, particularly in reference to the symbols of the UK's four counties.

In an image of Kate's sister Pippa holding up her train, we get a glimpse of the underside of her skirt which includes layers of decadent silk tulle.

Kate's sister Pippa holding up her train© Getty
Kate's sister Pippa holding up her train

6. The train was nearly nine feet long

The dress train measured exactly two metres, 70 centimetres, adding a sense of dramatic elegance.

7. The subtle nod to countries of the UK

A close-up of the floral detailing in the dress© Getty
A close-up of the floral detailing in the dress

The intricate lace appliqué featured hand-cut individual flowers, incorporating the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock to symbolise England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

8. The dress was Victorian-inspired

The form-fitting bodice of her dress was inspired by Victorian-style corsetry. "The ivory satin bodice, which is narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips, draws on the Victorian tradition of corsetry and is a hallmark of Alexander McQueen’s designs," the palace said.

9. Her accessories were her 'something new' and 'something borrowed' 

Kate paired her dress with the historic ‘halo’ tiara made by Cartier in 1936. It belonged to the late Queen Elizabeth who let her wear it as her 'something borrowed'.

Custom earrings made by Robinson Pelham were designed to match the tiara. The oak leaf-shaped earrings with a pear-shaped diamond set drop and a pavé set diamond acorn in the centre were inspired by the Middleton family's coat of arms and were a personal gift to Kate from her parents.

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, smiles as they travel in the 1902 State Landau carriage along the Processional Route to Buckingham Palace, in London, on April 29, 2011. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)© Getty
Kate wore the Cartier 'Halo' tiara and custom earrings

10. She actually had two Alexander McQueen dresses 

Princess Kate leaving Clarence House in her second wedding dress© Getty
Princess Kate's second wedding dress

To continue the celebrations after the ceremony, Kate actually changed into another dress from Alexander McQueen. Her wedding reception dress featured a circular pleated skirt and a diamanté waistband, which she paired with a cropped white cardigan.