EVERYTHING you need to know about the Royal Wedding
EVERYTHING you need to know about the Royal Wedding
There was a flurry of excitement when Buckingham Palace confirmed invitations for Prince William and Kate Middleton's April 29 wedding had been sent out. A whopping 1,900 invitations to the ceremony were sent to lucky guests, all chosen by Prince William and Kate Middleton themselves. The couple have made their own decisions about who to invite, with input
from the Queen and Prince of Wales,' a senior courtier revealed.
'Prince William has led a fairly ordinary life in the military and the
couple's guests reflect this.'
Amid much speculation, the pair announced the royal wedding will take place on Friday April 29. The date was said to have been a favourite with Prince William - who has been hard at work as a search and rescue pilot in the welsh mountains - from the beginning. Appropriately, the special date is St Catherine's Day, Catherine being the name William's beautiful bride-to-be will officially take when she marries. Kate and William were said to be 'over the moon' and 'on cloud nine' after confirming the date and beginning plans for their special day.
Kate and William will become husband and wife during a ceremony at London's famous Westminster Abbey. It's thought the pair consider the venue 'intimate' and 'like a chapel' and are keen to fit as many people as possible inside the Abbey for the traditional' nuptials. The venue has long associations with the Royal family - 'it is in many ways the Royal family's church - and of course with Prince William personally,' said William's private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. 'For Miss Middleton, the associations she has with the Abbey are quite simply the same as any British person would have for such a glorious and holy place.'
There's no doubt the royal wedding day will run like clockwork, with the ceremony due to begin at 11am, and a balcony appearance at 1:25.
Clarence House have confirmed the timings will be as follows:
8.00 -10.00am Main congregation arrive
After 10.00am Foreign Dignitaries and Royal Families arrive. The British Royal Family are - as protocol always dictates - the last to arrive, just ahead of the Bride.
11.00am Bride arrives, and the service starts
12.15pm Service ends and Carriage Processions begin
1.25pm Balcony appearance
1.30pm Fly Past
Clarence House has confirmed plans to release an official royal wedding programme, which will be available to download online, 24 hours before the big event. The special souvenir - adorned with both William and Kate's Coats Of Arms - will feature an sneak peek inside proceedings on the day, including an Order Of Service, a special message from the royal couple, and a never before seen picture of the pair, taken by celeb snapper Mario Testino.
In what's set to be one of the most talked about weddings of the century, William and Kate's glittering 1,900-strong wedding day guest reads like a who's who of royalty, foreign dignitaries, and celebrities. Clarence House has confirmed attendees at the special ceremony will include a 'small number' of A-listers, and a 'good proportion' of soldiers and pilots. Sports star David Beckham and wife Victoria have been invited, along with TV presenter Ben Fogle and wife Marina, Elton John and film director Guy Richie. Friend of the royals Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, comedian Rowan Atkinson, singer Joss Stone and photographer Mario Testino have also made the list. However, among those not invited are Sarah Ferguson and President Obama.
On the big day, Prince William's brother Prince Harry will play Best Man, while Kate's sister Pippa Middleton has been confirmed as Maid of Honour. The couple will have four young bridesmaids - seven-year-old Lady Louise Windsor, Margarita Armstrong-Jones, eight, Eliza Lopez, three and Prince William's goddaughter Grace van Cutsem, also three. They will also have two page boys - ten-year-old William Lowther Pinkerton, son of Prince William's private secretary, and his godson Tom Pettifer, aged eight.
In the run up to the big day, speculation over Kate's wedding dress has reached fever pitch, with everyone from Bruce Oldfield to Jasper Conran and McQueen successor Sarah Burton being bandied around as possibilities. Currently, the rumour mill is abuzz with whispers that Kate is having not one, not two, but three gowns made, in an attempt to ensure her designer of choice is not leaked ahead of the big day.
Kate Middleton will travel to her wedding in a Rolls Royce - the very same that Prince Charles and Camilla were traveling in when they were targeted by student protesters in December 2010. The car has not been used since the incident and is currently being repaired ready for the big day. Kate will be accompanied by her father, Michael on the way to the wedding, while Prince William will arrive at the ceremony in a Bentley, joined by Prince Harry.
It'll be an early start for the blushing bride-to-be, as the wedding service will begin promptly at 11am. The ceremony will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster, while the couple will be married by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Bishop of London will also give an address. The royal couple have chosen a selection of hymns and music to be played during the ceremony, including the Choir of Westminster Abbey, the London Chamber Orchestra and the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry.
Kate Middleton will make her first journey as a princess in suitable style, riding alongside her new husband in an open-topped 1902 State Landau, the very same that carried the Prince and Princess of Wales from their wedding ceremony in 1981. The carriage will take the newlyweds from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace for their reception. Should it rain, the couple will travel in the famous glass carriage that gave the world its first glimpse of Diana as a bride, as she made her way to her wedding thirty years ago.
Expect the streets of London to be packed on 29th April, as following the service, William and Kate travel in their open-topped 1902 State Landau in a procession along the Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and Parliament Square. The newlyweds will be followed by four open-topped coaches, carrying the Best Man, Maid of Honour and Bridesmaids, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Kate Middleton's parents. Their route will end at Buckingham Palace, where Kate and William will hopefully please the public with an all-important kiss on the famous balcony.
The official royal wedding photographs will be taken by celebrity snapper - and royal favourite - Hugo Burnand. The famous photographer, who has captured Lucien Freud, Lady Thatcher, Victoria Beckham and Prince William in the past, and took Prince Charles and Camilla's wedding photographs, will be responsible for snapping the royal couple throughout their special day. No pressure there then!
After the ceremony, two lavish receptions will be held for the newly married couple, with 'guests drawn from the congregation representing the couple's official and private lives.' Clarence House has confirmed the Queen will host a lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace for around 600 of the 1,900 guests. In the evening, it's thought Prince Charles will give a private dinner for the couple and 300 of their closest friends and family, followed by dancing and music.
Mark Flanagan, the Queen's head chef, will create a menu of hot and cold canapés for the lunchtime wedding reception. Although he has given away little detail on what will be served, he has revealed that he'll be incorporating the best of British produce and will source many of the ingredients from the Queen's gardens and estates. Revealing that staff were 'excited' to be part of the big day, he added: 'For a lot of people it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.'
Leicestershire-based cake designer Fiona Cairns has been tasked with creating a cake fit for a King, after earning a commission to design something extra special for the big day. It's thought the cake designer, with 25-years experience, was chosen for her 'creative style' and use of British ingredients.'The wedding cake will be a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake,' a royal spokesman revealed. 'The cake, which will be decorated with cream and white icing, will have a strong British floral theme.' Prince William has also requested an extra special sweet treat for the evening celebrations. 'In addition, the couple have asked McVitie's Cake Company to create a chocolate biscuit cake for the reception at Buckingham Palace,' the spokesman continued. 'The chocolate biscuit cake will be made from a Royal Family recipe and was specially requested by Prince William.' Yum.
Instead of wedding gifts, Prince William and Kate Middleton have asked that guests consider helping them celebrate by donating money to charity. The list, chosen by the royal couple themselves, includes a host of little-known funds, including Beat Bullying, Army Widows Association and Earthwatch. Visit royalweddingcharityfund.org for more information.
The day after William and Kate's wedding news was announced, royal memorabilia producers swung into action. Cups, plates, keyrings, t-shirts and even knitted figurines commemorating the occasion have already swept throught the production line, and are already adorning shelves around the country. The official wedding china - three piece plate, mug and pillbox collection - is on sale now, and would have been approved by the royal couple themselves.
The Post Office has confirmed plans to issue stamps to commemorate the royal wedding, featuring the couple's official engagement portraits, taken by Mario Testino. The stamps will be on sale from 21st April 2011, the Queen's birthday.
When Prince William and Kate Middleton return from their honeymoon, the newlyweds are expected to move into a suite at Clarence House, where William and Harry both currently reside when in the London. They are reportedly undecided on where they will live permanently after their marriage, but it's thought an array of London Royal residences are being considered for their base in the capital, including Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and St James?s Palace. Alternatively, it's thought the couple could move into the newly-renovated Harewood Park estate - owned by Prince Charles - in Herefordshire. The 900-acre site - which is currently being re-built, will feature an eco-friendly farmhouse, chapel, stable block and walled gardens.
Every inch the model boyfriend, Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton during a 'romantic' break at a luxury South Africa lodge in October. 'I'd been planning it for a while but as any guy out there will know it takes a certain amount of motivation to get yourself going,' he told Royal reporter Tom Bradby. 'I was planning it and then it just felt really right out in Africa.'
It was the moment thousands had been waiting for. Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement in an official statement, at 11am on Tuesday 16 November 2010. 'The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton,' an official statement from the Royal Household read.'The wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London. Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton's father.'
After making the announcement and braving the cameras, the newly engaged pair faced the music, and gave an official television interview. Prince William looked at home in front of the cameras, while Kate shifted nervously, as they were quizzed on everything from the proposal to whether William ever cooks dinner. Kate - who will now be known as Catherine - joked her future hubby is 'very romantic' and they both agreed it was a relief to have the news out in the open. 'We're like sort of ducks, very calm on the surface with little feet going under the water,' William revealed. 'It's been really exciting because we've been talking about it for a long time so for us, it's a real relief and it's really nice to be able to tell everybody.'
As soon as the happy news was announced, the royal congratulations began pouring in. Prince Harry revealed he was 'delighted' his big brother had 'popped the question,' adding: 'It means I get a sister which I have always wanted.' And the Queen was equally thrilled, releasing a message on the Royal Twitter account. 'The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are absolutely delighted at the news of Prince William and Catherine Middleton's engagement,' it read. In his usual style, Prince Charles quipped: 'They've been practising long enough', while Camilla described the engagement as 'wicked'.
Beaming for the cameras, the newly engaged pair posed for a series of official pictures to commemorate their engagement. Kate and William were snapped by celebrity photographer Mario Testino - a favourite of Princess Diana - and were taken in the impressive Cornwall Room at St James' Palace. 'They are in their prime and brimming with happiness,' Testino revealed of the magical moment he captured the snaps. 'I have never felt so much joy as when I see them together.'
Prince William celebrated the end of his bachelor days with a low-key stag do on a private Norfolk country estate. The Prince partied with 20 of his closest friends during the weekend-long event, including childhood pals James Meade, Thomas Van Straubenzee and Hugh Van Cutsem, and of course his brother Prince Harry. It's thought Harry - who was reportedly in charge of proceedings - had originally planned an action packed water-themed celebration in Devon, but changed it at the last minute, after the details were leaked.
The bride-to-be reportedly enjoyed a low-key hen 'do with a handful of close friends in late March, organised by her sister - and maid of honour - Pippa. The Telegraph claims that the girly night took place at a friend's home, quoting a source close to future royal: 'She has already had her hen night, but it was certainly very low-key... It was done privately. Not all of Kate?s friends were there, and she will be catching up with other friends over the coming weeks.'