1. ITV Report

Pippa Middleton's first TV interview: Attention over bridesmaid dress was 'completely unexpected'

Pippa Middleton has opened up in her first ever TV interview about life as the famous sister of the Duchess of Cambridge and the "completely unexpected" attention her bridesmaid dress garnered at her sister's 2011 wedding to Prince William.

In a sit-down chat with Matt Lauer from US network The Today Show, the 30-year-old party planner talks about how she went from having a "very normal life" to being catapulted to international fame.

She said that during her role as bridesmaid at the high-profile wedding she kept attention firmly focused on looking after the younger bridesmaids and pageboys and on helping her sister into the church.

The scale of the event did not hit her until afterwards, she explained.

Pippa Middleton's flattering bridesmaid dress at her sister's wedding saw her shoot to international fame in 2011. Credit: PA

We saw it as a family wedding and I didn't realise the scale of it until afterwards...We really saw it as a family getting together and doing their bit.

– Pippa Middleton

She admitted that elements of the wedding were "surreal" and it was only when she saw the huge crowd of well-wishers gathered outside Buckingham Palace following the couple's service at Westminster Abbey that the reality of the event hit home.

"Suddenly I was like 'wow, this is pretty special'," she recalled.

When asked by host Matt Lauer about the form-flattering bridesmaid dress that captured the world's attention, Pippa smiled and said "it was completely unexpected - the plan was for it not to be a significant dress and really for it to blend in with the train [of the Duchess' gown]".

I suppose it's flattering...embarrassing, definitely.

It wasn't planned - the dress was almost meant to be insignificant.

– Pippa Middleton on her famous bridesmaid dress

She said the Alexander McQueen gown is now hanging in her wardrobe at home and hasn't been worn since the big day.

"If my children one day want to see it, I'll show them but it's tucked away," she added.

The Duchess' sister also discussed her recent 3,000-mile charity bike trek across the US in aid of the British Heart Foundation and the Michael Matthews Foundation, which raises money for childhood education in honour of Matthews, who died after climbing Mount Everest.

Pippa Middleton and her brother James undertook a 3,000-mile cycle trek across America for two charities Credit: NBC/Today

She said that when the "ultra-endurance" challenge became a struggle, she would think about Matthews, whose brother James was a member of the team who took part in the trek alongside her.

Pippa, who said she "loved sport and health," has recently become an ambassador for the British Heart Foundation and highlighted statistics that show three times more women die from heart disease than breast cancer.

"I don't think many people know much about that," she explained. "I wanted to, as a woman, support it and be behind it."

Asked of her view on fame, Prince William's sister-in-law reiterated a speech she once gave which said: "Fame can have an upside, a downside and a backside."

She said that the upside to her high profile was "amazing opportunities."