09/07/2011

Kate's 'creepy' dress exhibit setting a record pace for profits

Dress

Queen Elizabeth and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge view the exhibition before its official opening in July. The headless display of the dress prompted the Queen to call it "creepy." (Getty Images)

Photo gallery: Wedding dress exhibit

When it comes a battle of wardrobes, it looks like the Queen will come in a distant second to her granddaughter-in-law.

Buckingham Palace’s summer tour had one of its best years in 2010 when 413,000 visitors toured through a special exhibition of the Queen’s wardrobe that is used for her various ceremonial duties.

However, with a month left in this summer’s exhibition featuring Kate’s wedding dress, the Palace will easily surpass last year’s total attendance. Since opening July 23, about 360,000 have passed through the Palace’s doors and its star exhibit, the wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.

At $28 per adult ticket, the exhibit is expected to pass $12.6 million in sales and also easily topple the record of 430,000 visitors set in 1994, a year after the Palace first began offering the summer tours to help pay for Windsor Castle restorations. Ticket sales are already running 20 per cent ahead of last year.

Not bad for an exhibit which the Queen’s had called “creepy” because of the headless display of the wedding gown.

Aside from the silk dress, the exhibit also features the wedding cake and a selection from the Royal Faberge collection.

Proceeds from the ticket sales will go William and Kate’s wedding charity fund as well as toward the maintenance of the Royal Collection, which takes in all the treasures and art collections from the royal palaces.

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