Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding to Prince William is the gift that keeps on giving. Though the royal’s stunning Alexander McQueen dress, with its nine-foot train and fitted lace bodice, has already become the stuff of lore, it recently resurfaced that the Duchess had not one, but two gorgeous gowns for her big day.
The second dress, which she wore to the reception following the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, was also designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. This particular design featured a more relaxed silhouette, perfect for an intimate reception at Buckingham Palace later that evening. Middleton’s second gown was comprised of ivory satin and included a sweetheart neckline, a circle skirt, and a gorgeous diamante belt at her slim waist. Middleton capped off her look with a modest, white angora bolero to cover her shoulders (it’s unclear whether the dress itself was strapless or not).
Middleton also swapped the daytime updo for a more relaxed hairstyle, wearing her long hair down in her trademark waves.
The Duchess’ more famous gown, which sparked copycat versions on Amazon even six years after the fact, had a few lesser known features as well. For instance, Middleton’s silhouette got a little bit of oomph with the help of padding around the hips of her Victorian-inspired primary gown. (The contrast made her naturally slim waist appear even slimmer, in the tradition of corsetry.)
The elaborate gown was actually a mixture of white and ivory fabric, with a blue ribbon sewed on the inside for good luck. Speaking of which, the underskirt of Middleton’s gown was also created for show; when her younger sister Pippa lifted up the bride’s train as she strode into the church, onlookers were given a glimpse of a the lace-trimmed tulle that Burton painstakingly designed to look like an opening flower.
Middleton’s shoes, which were hidden for much of the wedding day, were also custom made: hand-embroidered ivory satin heels with lace by the Royal School of Needlework.