Monday, April 25, 2011



The wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton is scheduled to take place at Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011.Prince William, who is second in the line of succession to Queen Elizabeth II, first met Middleton in 2001, while he and Middleton were studying at the University of St Andrews. Their engagement, on 20 October 2010, was announced on 16 November 2010. After the wedding, the couple intends to continue residing on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, where Prince William is based as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot.


Clarence House announced on 16 November 2010 that Prince William, elder son of the Prince of Wales, is to marry Kate Middleton, William's long-time girlfriend, "in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London". They were engaged in October 2010 while on a private holiday in Kenya; William gave Middleton the same engagement ring that his father had given to William's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales—an 18-carat white gold ring with a 12-carat oval sapphire and 14 round diamonds. It was announced at approximately the same time that, after their marriage, the couple will live on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, where Prince William is based with the Royal Air Force.

The Prince of Wales said he was "thrilled ... they have been practising long enough", and Queen Elizabeth II said she was "absolutely delighted" for the couple, giving her formal consent to the marriage, as required by the Royal Marriages Act 1772, in her British privy council on the morning of the engagement. Congratulations also came in from the Queen's prime ministers, including Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, who has moderate republican leanings. Further, Pete Broadbent, suffrage Bishop of Willesden, who has known republican views, published his reaction to the wedding announcement on Facebook. He later acknowledged that his words were "offensive" and subsequently apologized, but his superior, Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, instructed him to withdraw from public ministry "until further notice". Following the announcement the couple gave an exclusive interview to ITV News political editor Tom Bradby and hosted a photocall at St. James's Palace. On 12 December 2010, Buckingham Palace issued the official engagement photographs; these were taken on 25 November, in the state apartments at St. James's Palace, by photographer Mario Testino. The original engagement announcement stated simply that the wedding will be "in the spring or summer of 2011". On 23 November 2010 the date of Friday 29 April 2011 was confirmed. It was later announced that the day will be declared a public holiday throughout the United Kingdom, formal confirmation being made by the Queen in Council on 15 December 2010. As 29 April falls six days before elections for the Scottish Parliament, this has attracted political comment in Scotland. John Curtice, a professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, stated that the date was "unfortunate" and was "likely to see the Royal Family getting caught up in political debate".


Prince William is the elder son of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. As such, he is second, behind his father, in the line of succession to the throne in 16 independent states known as the Commonwealth realms. William was educated at Ludgrove School, Eton College, and the University of St Andrews, after which he was commissioned from Sandhurst in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry. He later transferred to the Air Force and went on to become a full time pilot with the Search and Rescue Force. Catherine "Kate" Middleton is the first of three children born to Carole and Michael Middleton. She was educated at St Andrew's School in Pangbourne, Marlborough College, and the University of St Andrews. After graduating, she worked in retail and then as an accessories buyer/catalogue photographer at her parents' business. She is primarily of English descent, but with a few distant Scottish and French Huguenot ancestors. Her paternal families came from Leeds, West Yorkshire, whiles her mother’s maternal family, the Harrisons, were working-class laborers and miners from County Durham. The couple met while undergraduates at the University of St Andrews, where they both lived at St Salvator's Hall during their first year, after which they shared accommodation in the town for two years. They are fifteenth cousins—having Sir Thomas Fairfax and his wife, Agnes, as common ancestors—and are possibly twelfth cousins once removed, circumstantial evidence suggesting that they are both descended from Sir Thomas Leighton and Elizabeth Knollys.


On 23 November 2010, Clarence House announced the date for the wedding as 29 April 2011 and the venue as Westminster Abbey, a royal peculiar founded in AD 960. Although the abbey
has been the traditional location for coronations since 1066, it has only recently been the church of choice for royal weddings; prior to 1918, most royal weddings took place in the royal chapels such as the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace and St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The abbey, which has a usual seating capacity of 2000, has been the venue for recent royal weddings, including those of Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) to Prince Philip (1947), Princess Margaret to Anthony Armstrong-Jones (1960), Princess Anne to Mark Phillips (1973), and Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson (1986). It was also announced that the costs of the wedding itself will be met by the Royal Family and the Middletons themselves, while the costs of security and transport will be covered by the British treasury. The couple have also asked that donations be made to charities in place of traditional wedding gifts; to that end, they established The Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund, which focuses on assisting charities such as the New Zealand Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and the Zoological Society of London.


From 8.15 am, the main congregation, Governors-General, Prime Ministers of realm countries and the Diplomatic Corp will all arrive at the Abbey. Prince William and Harry are then due to arrive by 10.15 am. Further arrivals in turn will then consist of foreign royals, followed by the Middleton family, and lastly the Prince's family (the Princess Royal, The Duke of York, Princess Eugenie of York, The Earl and Countess of Wessex and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. As is tradition, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be the last members of the royal family to leave Buckingham Palace, arriving at the Abbey for 10.45 am. The bridal party will then leave the Goring Hotel in time for the service to begin at
11 am. The service is to finish at 12.15 pm, after which the newly married couple will travel to Buckingham Palace in a procession consisting of other royal family members, the parents of both the groom and bride, the best man, and the bridesmaids. At 1.25 pm, the couple will appear at the Buckingham Palace Balcony to watch the fly past consisting of Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight followed by two Typhoons and two Tornado GR4s.


The route of the bride and groom goes between Buckingham Palace and the Westminster Abbey, by The Mall, passing Clarence House, by Horse Guards Road, Horse Guards Parade, through Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, the south side of Parliament Square, and Broad Sanctuary.


St James's Palace announced on 5 January that the ceremony is to start at 11:00 and that Middleton will arrive at the abbey by car rather than by carriage, which is the traditional transport for royal brides. The planned route is along The Mall, through the Horse Guards Parade and down Whitehall to the abbey. After the ceremony, the bridal couple will return along the same route by carriage to a reception hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. The Prince of Wales is to host a private dinner that evening. In a break with royal tradition, the groom is to have a best man—his brother, Prince Harry—rather than a supporter, while the bride has chosen her sister, Pippa, as maid of honour. The couple will have four bridesmaids—Lady Louise Windsor, the seven-year old daughter of the Earl and Countess of Wessex; Margarita
Armstrong-Jones, the eight-year old daughter of Viscount and Viscountess Linley; Grace van Cutsem, the three-year old daughter of the couple's friend Hugh van Cutsem; and Eliza Lopes, the three-year old granddaughter of the Duchess of Cornwall. Two page boys are also to participate: William Lowther-Pinkerton, the ten-year old son of William's private secretary, and Tom Pettifer, the eight-year old son of William and Harry's former nanny, 'Tiggy' Pettifer. The Dean of Westminster will officiate for most of the service, with Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, conducting the marriage ceremony itself and Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, giving the sermon. It has long been traditional for the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church of England's most senior bishop, to officiate at the weddings of England's monarchs and future monarchs, but as Chartres is a
close friend of the Prince of Wales, he was invited to take part in the ceremony. Clarence House announced that two choirs, one orchestra and a fanfare team will perform the music at the
wedding service of Prince William and Middleton at Westminster Abbey. These are the Westminster Abbey Choir, Chapel Royal Choir and London Chamber Orchestra, and a fanfare team of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. The choirs will directed by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey. The Abbey’s Sub Organist, Robert Quinney, will play the organ. The Organist, Choir Master and Composer at Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal is Andrew Gant. The London Chamber Orchestra will be conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, who is its Music Director and Principal conductor. The fanfare team will perform under the direction of Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs.


Buckingham Palace with the palace balcony at the east front. The Queen will host a lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace. The reception will start after the arrival carriage with the married couple. It will be a private gathering for guests drawn from the congregation who will represent the couple’s official and private lives. During the Reception, the couple will give an appearance on the Buckingham Palace Balcony. The East front of the palace contains this well-known balcony on which the Royal Family traditionally congregate to greet crowds outside. Guests will be served with canapés at the Reception. The Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales, the well-known Claire Jones, will perform at the reception. The Reception is expected to finish in the mid-afternoon.


In the evening, The Prince of Wales will give a private dinner, followed by dancing, at Buckingham Palace for the couple and their close friends and family.


On 16 and 17 February, three sets of guest lists were sent out in the name of the Queen. As William is not the heir apparent, protocol has dictated that many guests (or their successors in office) who were invited to the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 need not be invited to William's wedding. More than half of the guests will be family and friends of the couple, though there will be a significant number of Commonwealth leaders (including the governors-general who represent the Queen in Commonwealth realms other than the UK, prime ministers of the Commonwealth realms, and heads of government of other Commonwealth countries), members of religious organisations, the diplomatic corps, several military officials, members of the British Royal Household, members of foreign royal families, and representatives of William's charities and others with whom William has worked on official business. Although St James's Palace declined to publish the names of those invited, a breakdown of guests was published by category−the list made no mention of foreign heads of state, though it was announced that about 40 members of foreign royal families had been invited.
The first list, consisting of about 1,900 people, is of attendees to the ceremony in the abbey. The second list of approximately 600 people is of those invited to the luncheon reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Queen. The final list, containing about 300 names, is for the evening dinner hosted by the Prince of Wales.


The wedding cake will have a strong British floral theme, using elements of the Joseph Lambeth technique. It will be a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake decorated with cream and white icing. The Lambeth technique is based on a style of decorating that was popular in England where chefs and decorators would use a lot of intricate piping to create 3-D scrollwork, leaves, flowers, and other decoration. The method is still popular today and is frequently used by wedding cake designers and decorators to create ornate wedding cakes. The cake designer Fiona Cairns was chosen in February 2011 to create the wedding cake. Furthermore, McVitie's will
create a special cake from chocolate biscuit for the reception at Buckingham Palace. The chocolate biscuit cake will be made from a Royal Family recipe and was specially requested by Prince William.


It has been estimated that the wedding will be watched on television and Internet streaming by some two billion people. ITV have picked Julie Etchingham and Philip Schofield for their coverage. On the day of the wedding Daybreak will be broascast from outside Buckingham Palace. BBC coverage will be hosted by Huw Edwards. CNN is to dispatch a crew of 125, including cameramen and reporters, to cover the ceremony. In the United States, which in the Eastern Time Zone is five hours behind British Summer Time, the wedding will occur within the time usually taken up by network breakfast television programmes. NBC will fold in coverage of the wedding into a special seven-hour edition of Today hosted by that programme's presenters, which will start at 4 am Eastern Time on the 29th and will be carried live across all time zones, and will use footage from ITV, which partners with NBC for UK news coverage. ABC will fold in wedding coverage into a six-hour extended edition of Good Morning America using video from partner BBC with evening anchor Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters, while CBS's coverage will be hosted by evening anchor Katie Couric as part of an
extended Early Show. Fox's plans are unknown as of yet (that network has no traditional national breakfast show and leaves the time to their affiliates for their own morning news), but it can be assumed that affiliates will be receiving Fox News coverage augmented by Fox's UK partner channel Sky News. In addition, the three major cable news networks, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC will also feature extended coverage, while the cable network BBC America will air uninterrupted coverage direct from BBC One. In Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will also carry BBC coverage hosted by National anchor Peter Mansbridge, while CTV will cover the ceremony with Lloyd Robertson and Lisa LaFlamme joined by comedienne Tracy Ullman; coverage on that network will also be simulcast on CTV News Channel and CP24.


Middleton will have a wedding ring, which will be made from Welsh gold. Since 1923, it is a tradition in the royal family to use Welsh gold for the wedding ring of the bride. This ring will be made from a small amount of gold that has been kept in the royal vaults since it was originally presented to Queen Elizabeth II. It was once mined from the Clogau Gold Mine in the Welsh mountains, not far away from Anglesey, where the couple live. The Clogau Gold Mine has been closed since the previous century. Other royals such as Queen Elizabeth II wear wedding rings made from that gold. The Queen has "given a piece of the gold that has been in the family for
many years to Prince William as a gift," a palace source says. An expert craftsman, unnamed by the palace but likely to be the Crown Jeweller Harry Collins, has been tasked with fashioning the nugget into a piece for Middleton.
Unlike Middleton, Prince William will not wear a wedding ring. He will not receive a ring from Middleton when the pair exchange vows during the wedding. The prince expressed his wish that only the bride's ring be presented on the day. Married males who stay ringless are not uncommon in royal families. For example, Prince Philip does not wear a wedding ring. Prince Charles wore his wedding ring on the 4th finger of his left hand under his signet ring when he was married to Diana, Princess of Wales, and with his current marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles, his wedding ring is under the signet ring on his 4th finger of his left hand as well.


There is only one case of the oldest surviving son of the Prince of Wales marrying before his father succeeded to the throne: the future George V who married Mary of Teck in 1893. He had already been created Duke of York a year earlier, shortly after the death of his older brother brought him directly in line of succession to the throne. In recent years, several royal princes who did not already have a title were given one upon marriage, including Prince Andrew, who was created Duke of York when he married in 1986. In a break with precedent Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex; at the same time it was announced that he will be given the title Duke of Edinburgh when that title, currently held by his father, reverts to the Crown. According to The Daily Telegraph, it is expected that William will be offered a dukedom on his marriage, allowing his wife to be styled as a duchess. In an interview with This is Sussex, Charles Kidd, editor of Debrett's, said that the title most likely to be bestowed on Prince William on the eve of his wedding was Duke of Sussex, although he added that other available dukedoms are Windsor, Clarence, Cambridge, Kendal, Avondale, and Strathearn.

In Letters Patent dated 21 August 1996 (shortly after the divorce of the Prince and Princess of Wales) it was acknowledged that "by convention the wife of the son of a sovereign of these Realms the wife of a son of a son of a Sovereign and the wife of the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales is entitled to the style title or attribute of Royal Highness". If William were not given a title then, after the wedding, Middleton would, by convention, be known as Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales taking her husband's first name on marriage (as with Princess Michael of Kent). If however William is given a title, she would be known as "Her Royal Highness the Duchess [or other rank if appropriate] of N". In December 2010, it was reported in The Daily Telegraph that William did not wish to receive a dukedom, preferring to remain simply "Prince William" while also wanting Middleton to become "Princess Catherine". It was suggested that this caused a dilemma for the Queen because princesses traditionally receive titles like that through birth instead of marriage. If the Queen does break tradition, royal biographer Kenneth Rose believes Princess Michael of Kent would then also ask for a non-traditional title like "Princess Marie-Christine" too.


Prince William and Kate Middleton have personally approved an official range of china (including handmade plates, cups and pill boxes) to be made for the Royal Collection and sold as souvenirs from December 2010. The items are decorated with the intertwined initials of the couple, under the prince's coronet, and include the wording "To celebrate the marriage of Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton 29 April 2011." The Lord Chamberlain's office approved a longer list of memorabilia, including official mugs, plates, biscuit tins and porcelain pill pots. The document also clarified the use of William's coat of arms and pictures of the couple on such memorabilia. Initially, the Palace refused to sanction official tea-towels, which, along with aprons, T-shirts and cushions, were deemed, 'in poor taste'. However, the restriction on tea towels, though not the other items, was later reversed. Sales of merchandising are expected to reach £44 million. To mark the engagement of William and Catherine, the Royal Mint produced an official £5 coin, showing the couple in profile, while the Royal Australian Mint issued a series of circulation and collectable coins designed by Stuart Devlin. The Royal Canadian Mint will release a series of coins and Canada Post will be issuing a stamp, approved by Clarence House, in commemoration of the wedding.


The royal wedding has been subject to threats of violence and disruption. In February, security agencies, including MI5, identified dissident Irish republican terror groups, such as the The Soldiers of Ireland (Óglaigh na hÉireann), as possible threats. The London police announced in March that they were considering tough measures to prevent disorder amid fear that anarchists will target the event following the protests against government budget cuts earier in the year. In April, Anjem Choudary, formerly leader of the banned group Islam4UK, warned that a terror attack at the wedding was "highly likely" and the group Muslims Against Crusades also announced plans for a "forceful demonstration" at the wedding, calling the Royal Family "enemies to Allah and his messenger".

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