Kate's wedding dress to go on public display

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Kate Middleton's £250,000 wedding dress is to go on display to the public.

A Clarence House spokeswoman said plans were being drawn up to show the gown, created by Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton, but she could not confirm when or where.

She said: "The Duchess of Cambridge is considering a number of options to give members of the public the opportunity to see close-up the skilled British craftsmanship that went into the making of her wedding dress by Sarah Burton and her team as well as the Royal School of Needlework."

Meanwhile, dress designers in the United States have been working around the clock to produce replicas of the dress.

Knock-off versions are expected to be in the shops within four weeks. For brides who cannot wait that long, David's Bridal, the largest US chain, is promoting a strapless look from Oleg Cassini, paired with a lacy bolero jacket as a fill-in substitute.

Allen Schwartz, co-owner of ABS, which is known for pumping out copies of celebrity dresses, started sketching as soon as the gown was revealed on TV. He said his team had arrived at 5:30am local time at his Los Angeles showroom, ready to cut the pattern. He unveiled the gown at a charity gala on Friday night and on Saturday, one of his ABS stores in the area had a sample on display for customers.

The gowns, which will be produced in local factories, should be in department stores by late next month. They are expected to sell for $900 (540).

TV home-shopping channel QVC said shoppers would be able to pre-order earrings inspired by the diamond drops worn by the new Duchess of Cambridge as early as tonight. They will sell for less than $50 and will be available to shoppers in two months.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed 22.7 million Americans watched live coverage of the wedding, despite it taking place before dawn in most of the US. Some 33.2m watched the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997.

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