Designer accuses Alexander McQueen of STEALING design for the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress

By Kirstin Buick
26 April 2016

Small-time designer Christine Kendall is adamant the gorgeous gown was inspired by her sketches.

When Kate walked down the aisle at Westminster Abbey to wed Prince William, all anyone could talk about was THE dress.

Featuring a full a-line skirt, a high lace collar and hand-embroidered lace sleeves, the gown, designed by Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton, ensured the young woman from Berkshire looked every inch a princess on her special day.

But now, five years later, a designer from a small studio in Hertfordshire is suing the fashion house for stealing her design.

Christine Kendall is adamant the gorgeous gown was inspired by her sketches, and she said as much in a video posted to YouTube in 2013.

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"I believe without my sketches the royal wedding dress would not have looked as it did," says Christine, who claims to have sent the 1950s themed designs to Kate five months before the wedding.

The small-time designer says she even a reply from the palace in January 2011.

"Miss Catherine Middleton has asked me to write and thank you so much for your letter of 18th November enclosing bridal gown designs," an official wrote.

"Miss Middleton was most interested to see your work and very much appreciated you taking the trouble to write. Should she wish to see more of your designs I will of course be in touch."

She has started legal proceedings against Alexander McQueen at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court in London, which can award up to $940 000 (R13,6 million) in damages.

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This after Christine first approached the company four years ago, clearly with little success

“Proceedings have been issued because our client is certain that her company’s design was unfairly taken and copied," her solicitor Humna Nadim told the UK's Sunday Times.

The lawyer was quick to add that Christine has no quarrel with Kate herself.

"This claim is not against the duchess and there is no allegation of wrongdoing against the palace."

But Alexander McQueen says they're "baffled" by the claim.

"Christine Kendall first approached us at Alexander McQueen almost four years ago, when we were clear with her that any suggestion Sarah Burton’s design of the royal wedding dress was copied from her designs was nonsense," a spokesman said.

"Sarah Burton never saw any of Ms Kendall’s designs or sketches and did not know of Ms Kendall before Ms Kendall got in touch with us -- some 13 months after the wedding.

"We do not know why Ms Kendall has raised this again, but there are no ifs, buts or maybes here: this claim is ridiculous."

Kate's dress is believed to have cost around £40 000 to make, and was hand-stitched by a team of embroiderers at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace.

According to the Mirror, they wore gloves and had to wash their hands every half an hour to keep the materials immaculate.

The project was so secret that even the embroidery team had no idea who the designer was until the wedding.

Sources: The Mirror, The Sunday Times, News.com.au

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