CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If Monte Durham were going to design the wedding dress for Kate Middleton, it would be sleek and modern.
The neckline would be bateau -- straight across -- like the classic style favored by Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. The skirt would be slim, with maybe lace trim on the neckline and hem. Sleeves would be three-quarter length with "a good cathedral train."
Durham knows his wedding dresses. He is fashion director at Bridals by Lori and for the reality show "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" on the TLC channel.
Just after an appearance on CNN to talk about the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Oak Hill native was asked by TLC to go to London this week as its correspondent for the wedding that millions will watch on television April 29.
Durham has been doing his homework. He's learning the royal protocol, such as when Prince Philip can walk beside Queen Elizabeth (when it's a social event) and when he takes a back seat (when it's a state function).
Durham will be staying at the Four Seasons Hotel in London -- "I think I will be able to handle this assignment." On April 29, he plans to station himself outside the hotel, where Middleton will be dressing for the wedding.
"Unless she doesn't sneak out a service entrance," Durham wrote in his blog, "I plan to get the first glimpse of her in her dress!"
He is most interested in seeing if the bride's headpiece will include a pearl love-knot tiara the queen gave the late Princess Diana. Although she wore a tiara from the Spencer family for her wedding, he said, Diana did wear the pearl tiara that once belonged to Queen Mary on other state occasions.
If Kate is wearing the tiara, he said, that will be a sign that she may receive the title Princess of Wales.
The titles in the immediate family are William, Prince of Wales, and his father, Charles, Prince of Wales. Charles' wife, Camilla, elected to have a lesser title. She is the Duchess of Cornwall.
"The queen has a treasure trove of jewelry, her own, not state jewelry," Durham said. She could give Kate another tiara, as she did for Princess Sophia, wife of Prince Edward.