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A Londoner's Guide to the Royal Wedding

By London Expert: Gavin, United Kingdom, April 2011

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London is getting ready for the event of the year – the marriage of the Queen’s eldest grandson and second in line to the throne, to a “commoner” on 29th April at Westminster Abbey.

Prince William met Kate (or Catherine as we have to call her now) Middleton in 2001 at St Andrews University where they were enrolled on an Art History course. The university was founded in 1413 as is the third oldest in the English speaking world. William later graduated in geography. 

After a 9 year courtship, Prince William proposed when they were on holiday in Kenya. The engagement ring is the 18 carat sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds that his father, Prince Charles, gave to Princess Diana in 1981. Clarence House announced the engagement on 16th November.

Kate was born on 9/1/1982 so is 5 months older than her fiancée. She was born and brought up in Berkshire and went to Marlborough College. Her parents run a successful mail order business.

The wedding will take place in the historic setting of Westminster Abbey where every monarch has been crowned (apart from 2) since 1066. It was also where Princess Diana’s funeral took place. I have had a lot of requests recently for tours of this magnificent building!

Prince Harry will be best man and Kate’s sister, Philippa, will be Maid of Honour. The bridesmaids and page boys range in age from 3 to 10.

The London Chamber Orchestra, trumpeters from the Royal Air Force and the choirs of the Chapel Royal and Westminster Abbey will provide the music. For the first time, it will all be recorded and immediately released digitally.

Kate will arrive at the Abbey in a Rolls Royce but the happy couple will travel from the Abbey back to Buckingham Palace in the 1902 State Landau carriage which you can normally see at The Royal Mews. The Household Cavalry will provide the escort with almost 200 horses and soldiers involved.

The wedding cake will be a traditional multi-tiered fruit cake decorated with cream and white icing. Did you know the shape of the wedding cake was inspired by the spire of a church in London?

The day has been declared a national holiday so there will be street parties across the country. We wish them every happiness! 

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