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What REALLY happens when you create a royal wedding dress? The Countess of Wessex's bridal designer speaks out

Read what happened when Sophie said yes to the dress...

Laura Sutcliffe

Do you remember the Countess of Wessex's wedding dress? If you don't, let us remind you. Her stunning coat-style gown was unique, yet breathtaking, with a high fashion edge. We loved the bell-sleeves and embossed V neckline in an exquisite snowy white. She topped it with a stunning tiara and pearl crucifix. The directional look was perfect for the stylish royal and impeccably designed by Samantha Shaw. The designer revealed to Tatler magazine that she had to whip up the creation in just four months! Explaining how she felt when she discovered she would be taking on the momentous task, she explained: "I was obviously very happy when I found out I'd got it! I actually ended up designing clothes for other guests going to the wedding – including the bridesmaids and pages – so I had to be extra careful not to let any details about the design slip." Talk about stressful!

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Sophie looked incredible on her wedding day in 1999

What's more, security was incredibly tight, and extra measures were taken to insure no-one got wind of who was making the gown."Fittings were particularly tight due to Sophie's busy schedule," Samantha remembers.

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" Rather than get in extra help, I had to keep my team as small as possible for security reasons." The designer even enlisted her own bodyguard! "A friend of mine managed to find me a security guard who he personally trusted to stay at my studio, as someone did go through my bins and was hanging around there at night! The invasion of my privacy was very daunting," she remarked.

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The bridal designer also explained that Sophie had an evening number - like the Duchess of Sussex - and getting and it to the venue was quite the task. "There was an evening dress under the coat dress, which was to remain super private for the evening dinner, and I had to get the fabric perfectly dyed to colour-match the beautiful stone of St George’s Chapel. Getting up there without being noticed was fun – and also a huge challenge."

READ: A look back at Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's wedding

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