Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, which had been put up for exhibition at Buckingham Palace this summer has helped raise almost £10 million (over $15 million) from visitors from all over the world. More than 600,000 people saw the bridal gown during the 10 weeks on which it was on display, far outstripping the previous record of 420,000 visitors, set in 1994.
Palace officials have not yet released a figure for the amount of money raised by the summer opening, which ended on Monday, but it would equate to £10.5m worth of sales at the full ticket price of £17,50 ($27). Millions more are likely to have been spent in official Palace gift shops.
When she gave permission for the dress to go on display, the Duchess of Cambridge made it clear that she wanted the gown to raise money for charity, and a proportion of the takings will go to the charitable foundation set up by the Duchess and her husband to receive wedding gifts. Most of the money raised will go to the Royal Collection, which maintains the thousands of paintings and other treasures at the Royal palaces.
Designed and created by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, the Duchess’s wedding dress will now be put into storage and is not expected to go on public display again for several years because of fears that its delicate lacework will be damaged by wear and tear.
Other items on display include the diamond-encrusted 1936 Cartier ‘Halo’ tiara, lent by The Queen to Kate on her wedding day; the handmade McQueen wedding shoes; and the diamond earrings, specially commissioned by Kate’s parents featuring the new Middleton family crest.