06:00PM, Wednesday 31 October 2018
Anyone glued to their television screen or patiently waiting in Windsor for a glimpse of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on May 19 will have a treat if they visit Windsor Castle in the coming months.
As well as access to the outdoor castle precincts and a tour of the State Apartments visitors will also be able to view the outfits worn by the couple in the exhibition, ‘A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’.
In an audio guide to accompany the exhibition The Duke and Duchess discuss plans for the nuptials. The Duchess says: “A great level of detail went into the planning of our wedding day.
“We knew how large the scale of the event would be, so in making choices that were really personal and meaningful, it would make the whole experience feel more intimate.”
Set in the semi-state apartments visitors will enter the ‘Green Drawing Room’ where the family portraits were captured and take in views onto the East Terrace.
The wedding outfits are encased in glass in the Grand Reception room where the Duchess’ five-metre-long veil ‘perfectly falls into this beautiful circular train’.
The dress and veil were designed by Claire Waight Keller, artistic director of Givenchy.
The Duchess wanted a British designer to embrace her new home and as an American, historic French fashion house, Givenchy represented a couture house that had international reach.
Caroline de Guitaut, senior curator of decorative arts at the Royal Collection Trust, was behind the exhibition.
Speaking about the dress, she said: “The Duchess and Claire had a very clear vision of what they wanted to create.”
“When we look at the final design what creates the dress and what makes it so successful is the attention to detail.”
Made from just ‘six meticulously placed seams’ the dress has a boat-neckline bodice that elongates the neck and emphasises the collar bone.
A floating hemline, a signature of Givenchy, made it look as though the Duchess was gliding and a bespoke double-bonded cady silk woven in Italy give the material a ‘luminosity’.
Speaking about the Duchess, Caroline said: “While the dress is very simple, very structured, very tailored, she wanted the veil to have a drama”
The veil is in part reflective of the Duke and Duchess’s official work following His Royal Highness’s appointment as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.
Embroidered into the silk tulle are wild flowers from the 53 countries of the Commonwealth as well as ears of wheat that symbolise love and charity.
The outfit is complete with a replica of the Duchess’ bouquet made from silk flowers and the diamond and platinum bandeau tiara, lent from the Queen, held the veil in place.
Drawings of the dress from ‘initial sketches to finished garment’ are also on display.
The exhibition also includes the Duke’s outfit, a frockcoat uniform of the Household Cavalry (the Blues and Royals) which is seen as ‘one of the most glamorous uniforms of the British Army’ and the outfits worn by Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
The Duke has two identical uniforms after having one made especially for the wedding by military tailors Dege & Skinner – the other one he owns is displayed in the exhibition.
Dege & Skinner also made the page boy uniforms, it was the first time they had ever made ‘a military uniform on a miniature scale’.
The page boy uniform displayed is that of Prince George and the bridesmaid that of Princess Charlotte.
The exhibition can be viewed until January 6.
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