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The royal wedding dress: A design fit for a princess

If you were waiting with baited breath for an official announcement about the dress, it appears you’re going to have to be more patient. With less than 12 weeks to go before the big day, palace officials have recently revealed that Kate Middleton has not yet signed a contract with a designer.

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If you were waiting with baited breath for an official announcement about the dress, it appears you’re going to have to be more patient. With less than 12 weeks to go before the big day, palace officials have recently revealed that Kate Middleton has not yet signed a contract with a designer. Moreover, when she does, she is determined to keep her choice of both label and dress a state secret right up until her wedding day. The reason, palace officials say, is to avoid the princess-in-waiting being immediately slotted as a clothes horse – the label that was stamped on Diana, Princess of Wales. Smart move, and typical of the intensely private young woman who’s managed not to put a foot wrong in publicity terms since she started dating her prince nearly a decade ago. At the same time, twelve whole weeks? The agony!

But don’t despair, there are, after all, certain details one can surely count on: The dress is certain to be white (or just off white), long, demurely covered at the shoulder (in keeping with Westminster Abbey dress protocol), and British designed. Top contenders for the job are Bruce Oldfield (whose boutique Kate’s mother Carole and sister Pippa were seen shopping at a few weeks ago), Matthew Williamson, Phillipa Lepley, Sassi Holford and Lisa Redman. If Kate decides to go more modern and whimsical, there are also Monique Lhullier and Alice Temperley. I’m rooting for the latter only because she designed my own wedding dress (admittedly it was off the rack, but hey, we don’t all have royal wedding budgets).

Almost all fashion commentators seem to agree that, based on Kate’s conservative, figure-flattering sense of style, the gown will likely be body-skimming, stream-lined, with a minimum of embroidery, ruffle, puff and pouff (see Diana’s dress for details). Of course these are just assumptions – for we know the girl will decide to stride down the red carpet at Westminster Abbey in a hoop skirt and pink feather boa. Hey, it’s her wedding day after all.