Kate Middleton was a vision in white from the minute she stepped out of her royal carriage on April 29, 2011. Along with her custom-made nail polish and her second wedding dress, the entire look generated buzz around the world, and the gown she wore for the ceremony still inspires copycats to this day. It’s no wonder her pictures with Prince William are among the 20 most iconic wedding photos throughout history.
It’s easy to see why, of course. Everything from the elegant neckline to the luxurious train was nothing short of stunning. But funny enough, the gown had one touching detail that you probably didn’t even notice.
The floral embroidery on Kate’s sleeves wasn’t just a pretty embellishment; it also represented a tribute to the United Kingdom, HuffPost reports. The design included roses, daffodils, thistles, and shamrocks—the national emblems of the four countries in the United Kingdom: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. (Seven years later, Meghan Markle incorporated a similar tribute into her wedding dress.)
What’s more, the delicate flowers were handcrafted using a 17th-century Irish lace-making technique called Carrickmacross. Here are 15 more facts you didn’t know about past royal weddings.
Tradition calls for royal brides to wear a dress by a British designer. In Kate’s case, she chose a custom design by Alexander McQueen’s creative director, Sarah Burton. The bride adored the British brand for the “beauty of its craftsmanship” and its “respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing,” St James’s Palace told the Mirror.
But that’s not the only time the Duchess has wowed us with her impeccable sense of style. See 16 photos of her gorgeous transformation since becoming a royal.