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royal wedding Sunday, 20 June, 1999, 18:51 GMT 19:51 UK
Royal couple join waxworks
The wax couple are in the Great Hall with other family members
Prince Edward and his new wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, have been immortalised in wax at London's Madame Tussaud's museum.

Designers and dressers worked through the night to ensure that the wax figures were ready by the time the museum opened on Sunday - just 14 hours after the Royal Wedding.

Royal Wedding
The model of the bride, standing among other wax members of the British royal family, is clad in an exact replica of her ivory silk and organza bridal gown.

"This will be a unique opportunity for our guests to get right up close and examine every detail," said Martin Westwood, general manager of the museum.

The copy of the gown was made by designer Samantha Shaw, with the permission of the countess, during the six months over which she created the original.

The dress-coat style gown, which is full-length, with long sleeves, and covered in 325,000 cut-glass and pearl beads, has a full-length train and veil.

Hundreds of photographs and even a hair sample were taken
The dress will be removed at the end of the year and replaced with something from Sophie's own wardrobe.

The jewellery which the bride wore - a black-and-white pearl necklace and matching earrings, designed by Prince Edward and made by Asprey and Garrard as a wedding gift from the groom - was copied by the museum on Saturday night.

As it was a gift, Sophie had been unable to give the museum details beforehand.

The jewellery was copied by the team on Saturday night
The bride also wore a diamond tiara, from the Queen's private collection, designed and remodelled by the Crown Jeweller, David Thomas, at Asprey and Garrard.

Workers at the museum also copied Sophie's bouquet of blown ivory garden roses, scented stephanotis, clustered lily of the valley and ivory freesia.

Madame Tussaud's approached Sophie about the waxwork soon after her engagement to Prince Edward in January.

She sat for the museum's senior sculptor Stuart Williamson on three occasions.

Even the bouquet has been copied
Hundreds of measurements and photographs were taken by Madame Tussaud's artists, and the countess's hands were cast in wax for a perfect likeness.

Even a sample of her hair was taken, to be matched with supplies in Germany.

Mr Williamson said: "I really enjoyed modelling Sophie. She has a very interesting face.

"People say she looks like Diana, but the only thing I can see similar is the hair."

Mr Williamson said that, at first, the countess was a little overwhelmed by the experience of being modelled for a waxwork but seemed to be looking forward to her wedding day.

He said: "She often referred to Edward and the wedding."

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19 Jun 99 | royal wedding
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