- · Team of 20 dressmakers took 4 weeks to make it
- · Told it was for a period drama on TV
- · Needles replaced every 3 hours
KATE Middleton's stunning wedding dress cost £250,000 - and was cloaked in a veil of secrecy even for some of the dressmakers.
Because today we can reveal that the 20 embroiderers who spent four weeks working on the intricate lace had NO IDEA it was for the royal bride.
And they were kept in the dark that the dress had been designed by Alexander McQueen protégé Sarah Burton.
The mainly female team of workers at the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) were told the ivory lace and silk gown was being made for a TV period drama.
Last night, a source said: "This was the most expensive and secretive project we've ever been involved in. Nobody had any inkling it was for the royal wedding."
The nimble- fingered seamstresses, aged from 19 to their 70s, replaced their needles every three hours to keep them sharp and clean as they painstakingly stitched on lace motifs, some as small as five-pence pieces, every two to three millimetres.
Delicate lace appliqué was a stunning feature of the ivory satin bodice, skirt and hand-embroidered silk veil.
The RSN team, based at Hampton Court Palace, were also told to wash their hands every 30 minutes so the lace stayed spotless.
Delighted... Sarah Burton
Fine details... 20 embroiderers spent four weeks on the dress's lace
The flowing gown with a train nearly 9ft long dripped with understated elegance and drew comparisons to the one worn by movie star turned princess Grace Kelly in 1956.
The lace team only found out it was for Kate two weeks before the wedding - and were told to stay quiet as the royal bride had insisted on keeping details of the most anticipated dress of the century secret.
Our source said: "We were assured money was no object because it was being made for a period television drama - which is a good job, because it came in at about £250,000."We were astonished when we found out the truth. We were just so proud to have been involved with such an amazing spectacle