Middleton royal dress bargain! Prince not included

Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:45pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - British supermarket Tesco has come to the rescue of bargain-hunting royal wannabes with a cut-price version of the dress Kate Middleton wore to announce her engagement to Britain's Prince William.

Tesco will put a replica of the elegant blue designer dress on sale this week at its stores for just 16 pounds ($25.50).

Tesco Buying Director Jan Marchant told Reuters in an e-mailed statement that the supermarket is expecting sales of the dress to be brisk.

"We are delighted to offer a look-a-like Kate dress for just 16 pounds and expect it to sell out fast as it hits Tesco stores at the end of the week," Marchant said.

The elder son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana revealed his engagement to Middleton on Tuesday at a flashbulb-popping press appearance.

Middleton wore the dress by designer Daniella Issa Helayel and the large blue oval sapphire and diamond engagement ring William's mother once wore as Charles's 19-year-old fiancee.

William proposed to Middleton with Diana's ring so his late mother would not "miss out" on the celebrations.

William and Kate, both 28, have so far revealed only that the wedding will take place in either the spring or summer next year, with bookmakers tipping July and August as favourites.

Fashion magazines and newspapers reported this week that the Issa dress sold out after the engagement announcement.

A quick trawl through a selection of Issa dresses displayed on the websites of online fashion retailers Net-A-Porter (www.net-a-porter.com) and Matches (www.matchesfashion.com) showed they carried price tags in the hundreds of pounds.

(Reporting by Paul Casciato; Editing by Steve Addison)

<p>Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton pose for a photograph in St. James's Palace in central London.</p>