PHOTOS: Kate’s Royal Wedding Dress & Designer Unveiled!

There was a moment on the morning of April 29 when a British girl from a good family got out of a car, received thunderous applause from tens thousands of people and headed into a church to marry her prince. And at long last, months of betting and speculation came to an end about what she would wear on her walk down the aisle! Kate Middleton looked stunning an a custom white silk dress with a lace bodice and sleeves, designed by Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton.

Her sister Pippa Middleton, serving as lady-in-waiting, also wore a dress of Burton’s design. But all of the spotlight went to Kate — now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge — whose dress featured embroidered rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock. Her tiara is Queen Elizabeth II‘s Cartier halo tiara, which was a gift from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Her earrings, custom Robinson Pelham acorns, were a gift from her parents, and her veil was hand embroidered with flowers by the Royal School of Needlework, where “workers washed their hands every thirty minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours, to keep them sharp and clean.” While some people were early to compare Catherine to Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco, or to her husband’s mother, Princess Diana, we think the Duchess of Cambridge stands on her own as a singularly beautiful bride. And there’s proof of that in the photos below.

And just in case you missed it, here’s Kate as arrived at the abbey:

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