See Kate's wedding dress! 500,000 expected at palace summer opening

Ruth Doherty

Visitors to London with tickets to the summer opening of Buckingham Palace this weekend are in for real a treat - because they will get a glimpse of Kate Middleton's wedding dress.

Not surprising, then, that ticket demand for the event is at an all-time high. Royal Wedding fever is still alive and kicking.

The beautiful lace Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown - with its 9ft train - will take centre stage as the palace opens to the public this weekend.

The price for a ticket is £17.50 - but that hasn't put anyone off as more than half a million people are expected to be at the opening, beating the previous high of 420,000 at the opening weekend of 1994.

It is the first time the dress will have been on display since the 28 April wedding. The Duchess' dress will be available to view from 23 July until 3 October in the palace ballroom - the grand room that was used for their wedding recetopn.

But it's not the only thing that will be on show. Kate's handmade shoes, diamond earrings - a present from her parents - and the Halo Tiara she was loaned by the Queen will also be on show.

The eight-tiered wedding cake by Fiona Cairns will be exhibited in the State dining room.

Visitors can also view the 1977 Rolls Royce Phantom VI used by the Duchess and her father Michael to travel from the Goring Hotel to Westminster Abbey, and the 1902 State Landau carriage used to take the new bride and groom back to Buckingham Palace.

The self-guided audio tours run from 9.30am to 6.30pm and take about two-and-a-half hours, and visitors have fixed start times (the last entry is 4.15pm) to prevent overcrowding.

And it would be a good idea to book early to avoid lengthy queues... but anyone expecting to see the famous bridesmaid's dress that turned Pippa Middleton into an overnight sensation will, unfortunately, be disappointed.

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