Duchess of Cambridge leaves Tussauds visitors waxing lyrical
Source: Guardian.co.uk Date: (2012-04-05)Category:
As a likeness it is an undoubted improvement on the Royal Mint\'s £5 coin effort to mark her engagement. And that must have been something of a relief to the Duchess of Cambridge as she notched up another royal milestone by becoming a waxwork.
Photographers and camera crews jostled for position on Wednesday morning as Madame Tussauds in London unveiled its Catherine and William engagement tableau.
It owes much to the skill and expertise of the Tussauds modelling team – around 30 people worked on the two models, which each cost £150,000 – that the duchess is so faithfully recreated. They were forced to work from photographs alone as, unlike previous royal subjects including the Queen, Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall, neither the duchess or the duke was available for the traditional three-hour sitting.
\"We created the engagement scene, that press call when they both looked a little bit nervous but so happy,\" said Louis Wiltshire, responsible for the duchess\'s head.
\"We started by using as many pictures as we could get hold of from all sort of different occasions and we pieced the head together from different photos to get the structure right – likeness is important but so is the expression.\"
As for the duchess\'s vital statistics, they remain a secret. St James\'s Palace obligingly provided the couple\'s heights, leaving the Tussauds team to deduce the rest through comparing their proportions with other royals from photographs.
Unlike his wife, Prince William has long been on display at the central London attraction. But he has been flatteringly upgraded, including re-sculpted features and a head of hair created strand-by-strand – with, at cursory glance, a few strands more than actually adorn his real head.
Stephen Mansfield, who made the prince\'s head, has previously worked on waxworks such as David Cameron, the Duchess of Cornwall and David Beckham, said: \"Visitors have been demanding this for ages, we do marketing work and the duke and duchess were right at the top of what people want to see.\"
Michiels Ralfons, a teacher from Belgium on holiday in London with his wife and two children, was among the first members of the public to see the new additions. His verdict: \"There were many people around the models so it was not easy to get close and have a look. But we thought Kate looked much better than William.\"
Waxworks of the couple were also unveiled at Madame Tussauds attractions in New York and Amsterdam.
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