By REBECCA ENGLISH and TAMARA COHEN
Showstopper: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, wearing the dress in all its glory, emerge from Westminster Abbey on their wedding day
Amid the pomp and splendour of a truly unforgettable day, The Dress was undoubtedly the star of the show.
And just like the most gracious stars, the Duchess of Cambridge’s stunning wedding gown is returning for an encore.
Those of us who admired it from the comfort of our sofas at home, can now see the £250,000 Alexander McQueen dress right up close – if we can get our hands on what is rapidly becoming the hottest ticket in town.
Fit for a Duchess: Kate Middleton's stunning wedding gown is going on display at the weekend, alongside other items from the big day
The dress is to take pride of place at Buckingham Palace’s annual summer exhibition this year, ensuring we can bask in the afterglow of Kate and William’s wedding day just that little bit longer.
While most brides carefully wrap their bridal gowns in tissue paper and store them away with their memories, Kate’s will be shared with the nation all over again.
Beauty in the detail: 58 gazar buttons run from the collar to the waist on the gown, while Kate's veil is made of soft ivory silk tulle and stitched with flowers
In fact visitors can relive every joyful moment of the day, with everything from the Duchess’s veil to her shoes and even the royal wedding cake on display.
Record demand means advance ticket sales are more than double on last year’s summer opening, with 600,000 people paying £17.50 per ticket to troop through the doors over the next ten weeks.
That would comfortably beat the palace’s previous highest attendance of 420,000 in 1994.
Here, the Daily Mail, which was offered an exclusive tour yesterday, can reveal the treasures in store for the first visitors this Saturday.
Something borrowed: This 1936 Cartier tiara was loaned to Kate by Queen and contains 1,000 glittering diamonds
Icing on the cake: The top three layers of the cake are replicas, with two saved for the couple's first child's Christening, as tradition dictates
The first cut: The mark made by the couple using a ceremonial sword is clearly visible on the bottom tier of the cake
Twinkle toes: The duchess's hand-stitched shoes were designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen and are size five-and-a-half
Bouquet of memories: A silk replica of Kate's flowers include sweet william, myrtle, lily of the valley and hyacinth
Little acorns: The Duchess's diamond earrings were a present from her parents for the wedding, and bare acorns as a nod to her family's new coat of arms
Spectacular: Pippa Middleton carries the train of her sister's gown, which was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen and described as being sized 'small' by the exhibition's curator
However, look closely among the sugary flowers on the bottom tier and you can see the mark left by the ceremonial sword the couple used to cut it – an unbroken link to a magical day.
The Royal Wedding Dress: A Story of Great British Design runs until October 3 at Buckingham Palace. Tickets are priced at £17.50 and can be obtained from www.royalcollection.org.uk or 0207 766 7300.