- Associated Press - Friday, April 29, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Royal officials say Catherine Walker has designed the dress for Carole Middleton, the mother of Kate Middleton.

The mother of the bride is wearing a sky blue wool crepe coat dress with matching satin piping and trim over a sky blue silk shantung “Sydney” day dress with short pleated sleeves and pleated pockets.

At 11 a.m. (1000 GMT, 6 a.m. EDT) Friday the world will know who designed he bride’s dress, when Kate Middleton arrives at Westminster Abbey to marry Prince William.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

LONDON (AP) _ It’s all about the dress _ and the hats.

Floppy, feathered, flouncy and expensive _ hats were in full force Friday as guests streamed into Westminister Abbey for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.

Some looked like dinner plates. Others were so large they covered faces. One woman wore a bright red fascinator _ a hairpiece attached to a clip or a comb _ that resembled a flame licking her cheek.

Irish designer Philip Treacy made most of the hats for royals attending the wedding _ 36 in all that included creations for Prince Charles‘ wife, the duchess of Cornwall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Princess Michael of Kent, Queen Anna-Marie of Greece and Princess Mathilde of Belgium.

He also designed a hat for Hollywood royalty: Victoria Beckham wore a midnight blue Treacy hat. And dozens of less famous guests wore his creations as well.

“These hats are the ultimate accessory,” Treacy told The Associated Press. “And there’s no more of an occasion than a royal wedding.”

Treacy has spent months making royal wedding creations that can cost more than 1,000 pounds ($1,600). He joked that he planned to take a short break now.

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew’s daughter Princess Beatrice was wearing an ensemble of Valentino couture and gloves by Cornelia James. Her sister, Princess Eugenie, was wearing an outfit by Vivienne Westwood, Treacy said.

Zara Phillips, the queen’s granddaughter, was wearing Paul Costelloe. The couple’s friend, Tara Palmer Tomkinson was wearing Deborah Milner.

The wedding presents a golden opportunity for designers. Many replica hats and dresses are expected to be in shops this week.

Victoria Beckham wore a dress of her own design: the dark tones of the smock-like maternity gown had a slightly funereal look. Husband David, the football legend, wore a top hat with tails and the medal signifying that he is an officer of the order of the British empire.

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