Having first struck up a romance during their university days, Kate Middleton, 37, and Prince William, 36, tied the knot in Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. Fast forward eight years, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are celebrating their bronze wedding anniversary. Today therefore also marks the day when the world got to see the stunning wedding dress worn by the royal. It was a design by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, which reportedly cost £250,000 – however a Clarence House spokesperson dismissed the claimed cost.
The stunning gown was admired by many fans and fashion experts from across the world.
But, to what extent did the design itself influence wedding dresses to come?
According to couture wedding dress designer and wedding blogger for Magpie Wedding, Stephanie Moran, this dress certainly shaped future designs.
“Kate’s dress set a trend both within the wedding industry and fashion industry for a more chic, sleek and modern look – whilst staying traditional and classic – it was the perfect look for a true regal wedding and it paved the way for the simple dress to really make a less is more statement,” she told Express.co.uk.
And, Stephanie has not only encountered the “Kate Middleton effect” in the years following the Royal Wedding of 2011, but also seen more recent royal brides set a trend.
She divulged: “We saw this portrayed even further with both Eugenie’s and Meghan’s wedding dresses having no lace at all on them – a ripple effect has definitely been seen with couture clients wanting this look more and more and has been recognised within the industry with designers opting for a simpler look when releasing collections.”
Kate Beavis, the owner of wedding blog Magpie Wedding, explained that a likeness could be drawn between the one worn by the late Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco at her and Rainier III, Prince of Monaco’s wedding.
And, after Kate wore this style of dress, she spotted a shift in the designs desired by brides-to-be.
She said: “Kate’s dress reminded us of Grace Kelly’s wedding dress with the high lace bodice and long sleeves and this sparked a love affair with vintage styles and even original gowns from the 1950s.
“Before this brides were wearing more contemporary shapes – sweet heart necklines, sleeveless and lots of taffeta; Kate started the trend for prettier lace, something nostalgic as well as bring back the veil.
“For a while this was taken further with brides choosing this style but a tea length – although now since Meghan and Eugenie’s wedding, brides are choosing much simpler, sleeker styles.”
Couture wedding dress designer Terry Fox, who previously worked with the Emmanuels and Zandra Rhodes, after they designed Princess Diana’s wedding dress, also spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk.
The designer pointed out that there were a number of similarities between Kate’s wedding dress and that of her late mother-in-law’s.
Pointing out the resemblance, Terry addressed how both gowns had a nipped in waist, full skirt, and close fitting bodice.
What’s more, “both created a huge refreshing change in the design of bridal wear trends, instantly,” the expert said.
An interview with Kate and Prince William from 2017 recently resurfaced, which saw the couple reveal how they ensured that they left Queen Elizabeth II delighted.
How did Kate Middleton become a royal?
Kate Middleton, or Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was born on 9 January 1982 at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, England.
She was born to Michael and Carole Middleton, a former flight dispatcher and air hostess. The couple founded a party supplies company, Party Pieces, in 1987 – now estimated to be worth £30 million.
Kate has a younger sister Pippa Matthews, 34, and a younger brother James Middleton, 31.
Kate and her family moved to Amman, Jordan, in 1984, where the future Duchess was educated at an English-speaking nursery school.
After moving back to Berkshire the family sent Kate to private school, St Andrews School. She went on to briefly study at Downe House before moving onto Marlborough College where she boarded.
For university the young Kate attended the University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland. Here she was awarded an undergraduate MA (2:1 Hons) in history of art.
Relationship with Prince William
Kate met Prince William when they were both studying at St Andrews, and both living in St Salvator’s Hall. Famously, William reportedly took a fancy to Kate after she wore a see-through dress during a fashion show.
In 2003 the couple began dating and lived together during their second year of university.
The couple split in April 2007, however, in October they were back together.
Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with his late mother Princess Diana’s engagement ring in October 2010. The couple were holidaying in Kenya at the time.
On 29 April 2011 they married at Westminster Abbey with a whopping 26 million watching the event live.
Kate wore an Alexander McQueen dress worth a reported £250,000 on the big day.
Kate assumed the title “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge” and also become the Duchess of Cambridge on the day.