Kate Middleton is advised to wear a bridal gown by a British designer when she marries Prince William.
Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Kate Middleton is rapidly discovering that royal wedding planning is a collective enterprise. For her bridal gown, she favours the Brazilian designer Daniella Helayel, but Prince William's fiancée is being strongly urged by palace officials to use a British couturier.
"Kate has been advised that while Helayel makes stunning cocktail dresses, her designs are too sexy for a royal wedding," says my man with the tailor's scissors. "The Royal family believes that we should support British talent whenever it is possible."
Viscountess Linley, who married the son of Princess Margaret in 1993, has joined the officials in suggesting that Kate should buy British.
"My wedding dress was designed by Bruce Robbins," says the wife of Viscount Linley at a party in Belgravia to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Linley, the furniture firm owned by her husband. "He was known for his work with Marks & Spencer."
Does she think that Kate will opt for a British designer? "I hope so," says Lady Linley, whose daughter, Margarita, eight, is expected to be a bridesmaid at the wedding.Bruce Oldfield, who designed Samantha Cameron's wedding dress, is understood to be among the leading contenders, along with Alice Temperley and Dame Vivienne Westwood.
Her use of Oldfield, who was a favourite of Diana, Princess of Wales, would increase the comparisons between Kate and William's late mother.
However, she has already happily accepted the engagement ring that Diana was given by William's father, the Prince of Wales, and described her as "an inspirational woman to look up to on this day".
For the engagement announcement, Kate wore a blue dress by Helayel, whose label is called Issa. Yesterday, the Brazilian, whose dresses have been worn by Kate for some years, said she was keen to be chosen for the bridal gown.
"I would be so nervous," said the publicity-loving Helayel. "Maybe I should start making it now. We are very thrilled with the engagement news. It's fantastic and we wish Kate and William all the best. I am very happy. She is a very pretty and lovely girl – and I am happy that she wears Issa. I just think she wears clothes very well."