Royal Wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton - 29 April 2011
The Royal Wedding 2011
The wedding of Prince William of Wales and Catherine "Kate" Middleton is scheduled to take place at Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011 at 11am. Prince William, who is second in the line of succession to Queen Elizabeth II, first met Middleton in 2001, while both were students at the University of St Andrews. Their engagement, which began on 20 October 2010, was announced on 16 November 2010.
After the wedding, the couple intend to continue residing on the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales, where Prince William is based as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot.
On 16 November 2010, Clarence House announced that Prince William, elder son of the Prince of Wales, was to marry his long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton "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.
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 as an officer from Sandhurst in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry. He later transferred to the RAF and went on to become a full-time pilot with the Search and Rescue Force at RAF Valley, Anglesey.
Catherine "Kate" Middleton is the eldest of three children born to Michael and Carole 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 family came from Leeds, West Yorkshire, while her mother's maternal family, the Harrisons, were working-class labourers 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.
Timings/Schedule of The Royal Wedding Day
- At 6.00 am roads in and around the processional route close to traffic.
- From 8.15 am, the main congregation, governors-general, prime ministers of Commonwealth realms, and diplomats, will all arrive at the Abbey.
- Princes William and Harry are then due to leave Clarence House at 10.10 am, and arrive by 10.15 am, followed by representatives of foreign royal families, the Middleton family, and, lastly, the Prince's own family (the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice of York, Princess Eugenie of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall).
- By tradition, the Queen and the 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 the former Number one state Rolls-Royce Phantom VI at 10.50 am, 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 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 a fly-past consisting of Lancaster, Spitfire, and Hurricane aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, followed by two Typhoons and two Tornado GR4s.
Important Things and Information about The Royal Wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton
Archbishop of Canterbury
Meet Dr. Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church of England who will officiate William and Kate's wedding. A published poet and Simpsons fan, Dr. Williams follows in a long line of archbishops (he's the 104th) who've traditionally married the monarchs-to-be. Another claim to fame: Dr. Williams shares a birthplace (Swansea, Wales) with an Oscar winner, Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Once the royal manor of 11th-century king Edward the Confessor and a station for troops during World War II, the quaint but affluent village 55 miles west of London where Kate Middleton grew up last made headlines in 2008, when Prince William landed a helicopter there to visit his girlfriend. Watch a guided tour of the place Kate calls home – and meet some of the town folk, who weigh in on its most famous resident's upcoming wedding to the future king of England.
Though she goes by Kate, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton shares a name with an illustrious group of women, including five previous queens of England! The name (meaning pure in Greek) gained popularity during the Crusades and since then, many great Kates have made their mark on history – among them Catherine de Medici, Catherine the Great and Catherine of Aragon, a wife of Henry the VIII.
If tradition is to be carried down, William will receive a new title on his wedding day – a royal protocol observed when his uncles married: Prince Andrew became Duke of York when he said "I do" to Fergie in 1986, while Prince Edward earned the title of Earl of Wessex when he wed Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999. Many titles are still up for grabs – from the Dukedom of Sussex ( a front-runner) to the Duke of Cambridge – and it will be up to William's granny, Queen Elizabeth, to determine where he presides.
With friends and hangers-on vying for an invite to what's to be sure the wedding of the year, the beloved talk show queen has a legitimate claim for an invitation: She's related to Kate Middleton! Sure, they are distant cousins – 15th! – but family is family, so says The New England Historic Genealogical Society, who traced their ties.
The much-maligned dessert has a storied history, reportedly dating back to ancient Egypt, when it was placed on the tombs of loved ones going into the afterlife. Filled with fruits and nuts – symbols of fertility – it was even outlawed briefly in the 18th century for being sinfully rich, but the ban was short-lived as Victorian-era Britons demanded their cake during tea hour. Now, the sweet treat has become a wedding reception favorite among English couples, and Will and Kate could be the next to bite into it!
Good Luck Charms
Kate Middleton may be allergic to horses, but the princess-to-be could very well carry a horseshoe charm sewn onto the hem of her dress as a symbol of good luck – just as Diana had onto hers – when she weds Prince William. Or perhaps she'll carry a silver sixpence, as in "something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in your shoe," a practice that originated in Victorian times.
Now the most eligible royal bachelor on the market – and third in line to the British throne! – Prince Henry Charles Albert David Windsor is not only William's brother but also his best man. And he's been living up to both roles, in championing Kate Middleton ("I get a sister," he's said) and in continuing his late mother Diana's charitable works, all while serving his country as a lieutenant in the British Army.
The London-based designer of Kate Middleton's must-have, blue engagement dress has always maintained she designs clothes for real women – and apparently, for real-life princesses-to-be! Ten years after launching her label, Brazilian-born Daniella Helayel's signature draped jersey dresses have won over a Hollywood fan base that includes Madonna, Gwen Stefani and Scarlett Johansson. But it was Middleton's blue dress, which sold out almost instantly, that turned the label into an international household name.
Since the reign of Queen Victoria more than 160 years ago, Garrard has been the official crown jeweler. Though Queen Elizabeth distanced the royal family's ties to the esteemed London jewelry house in 2007, reportedly after being less than impressed with the company's racy new image, William and Kate could have their wedding rings made by jewelry house. After all, Garrard made the late Princess Diana's iconic sapphire engagement ring – the one that's now sparkling on Kate Middleton's finger.
The country where William popped the question to Kate Middleton during a romantic fishing trip on Lake Rutundu is near and dear to the future king. "Africa is my second home," he has said of the continent where he spent his gap year and took his fiancée on safari early in their courtship.
Traditionally friends or relatives, ladies-in-waiting serve as a right-hand woman to a royal, and for Kate, it seems her sister Pippa would be the perfect choice. The younger sibling, 27, will be Kate's maid of honor on the big day, but her responsibilities would expand once Kate becomes a princess, including traveling and attending official engagements with her. If Kate does secure Pippa as her lady-in-waiting, she'll be in good company: Both Princess Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles enlisted their sisters for help.
Will and Kate's favorite nightclub for Polynesian fun was once managed by the Prince's wingman Guy Pelly, who's also planning the royal bachelor party. But the Dover Street nightspot isn't the only exclusive London club frequented by the couple – they've partied till the wee hours at Chinawhite, Volstead and Boujis, the club in which the pair went on a secret date following their brief split in 2007.
Instead of one of the many royal residences at his family's disposal, Prince William and Kate Middleton have made their home in a four-bedroom farmhouse in this quaint, sheep-laden region complete with a gastro pub and a Tesco supermarket where locals often catch a glimpse of the down-to-earth couple. And they'll be seeing more of the young newlyweds – the Prince has another two years to complete his duties as a helicopter pilot with the Royal Air Force.
A front-runner to design Kate's wedding dress, Bruce Oldfield is an established name among the royal and high society set. Plus, the 60-year-old couturier to William's late mum Diana has been backed as the perfect choice to design Kate's gown by none other than Elizabeth Emanuel, who outfitted the Princess of Wales on her wedding day 30 years earlier. Further fueling rumors that Oldfield could be The One: Kate's mum Carole and sister Pippa were spotted at one of his stores.
For two decades, the Irish milliner has enchanted Hollywood and real-life royalty, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga, Kate Middleton and Princess Beatrice, with his fanciful headpieces. While William and Kate will be the main event on April 29, the side show will most certainly be the parade of head-turning hats – from futuristic discs and a riot of floral toppers to a butterfly colony – adorning the heads of their wedding guests, a custom still observed by Britons for weddings and worship.
Queen Elizabeth II
At 84, she is Britain's oldest monarch, having ruled the throne since February 1952, when she was just 25 years old. But don’t be fooled, the octogenarian – who is known for her ingeniously discreet communication tactics – is very much in touch with modern times. You can find Her Majesty social networking on Flickr, YouTube, and yes, even Twitter.
The Royal Mint
Not invited to William and Kate's wedding? The average commoner can still celebrate the occasion – with the first-ever Royal Engagement coin issued by the Royal Mint to commemorate the young couple's betrothal. While critics argue the likeness of Kate Middleton on the £5 coin bears little resemblance to the actual princess-to-be, the design received the royal seal of approval from Prince William and Her Majesty the Queen. Luckily for Kate, it's a limited-edition coin.
Known as the U.K.'s "top match-making university," is it a wonder the future king and queen fell in love there? The Scottish burgh is where they spent nights out at local pubs and a pizza joint, and also enjoyed dates under aliases at a boutique hotel restaurant. That occasion had Kate playing by the rules of many a college girl: Despite dating a British royal, when it came time for the check, the couple went dutch!
When Kate Middleton walks down the aisle of Westminster Abbey to marry Prince William, she will certainly look the part of royalty. But no royal wedding attire is complete without a crown jewel befitting a princess-to-be. Queen Elizabeth and William's late mum Diana both wore stunning tiaras on their wedding days – and it's likely William's granny will at the very least loan (if not gift) one of the many glittering headpieces in the Windsor vault to his future wife.
Prince William has been an usher at some of his best friends' weddings, but sadly for them, they won't get the chance to return the favor. That's because the role of helping ceremony guests to their pews at Westminster Abbey will go to a 10-member group of paid Gentlemen Ushers, a tradition that dates back to the 15th century.
For the ultra-modern among us hoping for self-penned vows in which William and Kate utter intimate, personal promises to one another, there will be disappointment. The couple will pick one of two sets of traditional vows on their wedding day: old verses from the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 or the not-so-old ones in The Book of Common Worship, which is widely used today in the Protestant Church of England.
The Abbey has held close ties with the British monarchy since the days of King Edward the Confessor, who founded the 11th-century Gothic church. It's been the site of many glorious royal coronations, burials and weddings, with the earliest dating back to 1100, when King Henry I married Princess Matilda of Scotland. Queen Elizabeth, her daughter Princess Anne and son Prince Andrew all married at Westminster, so it's fitting that her grandson, Prince William, will follow in Windsor suit.
Kiss Me Kate Beer
Xoxo! With the biggest royal wedding since Charles and Di taking over London, leave it to Nottingham, England's largest beer company, Castle Rock Brewery, to toast the happy occasion in its own way – with a new, limited-edition ale! The royal tipple is described as "elegant, tasteful and British to the core" – much like Will and Kate. We'll drink to that!
Don't call her that! When Kate becomes an official royal on her wedding day, the proper way to refer to her will be Her Royal Highness, or HRH – a "style" that commonly precedes the names of princes and princesses in the British monarchy. So, as of April 29, Kate will take on a much longer name: HRH Princess William of Wales, while informally, she'll be Princess Catherine. Here's hoping she registers for some new stationery!
It was here that William and Kate debuted their PDA during a weeklong Swiss Alps ski vacation at the resort town Zermatt in March 2007 – but just a month later the couple split. Relive the pair's famously private courtship and brief public breakup and see how, eight years after meeting as coeds at St. Andrews University in Scotland, they're making it all official.
Courtesy: http://www.people.com, http://en.wikipedia.org
Photos of Royal wedding dignitaries and VIPs
Photos of the royal wedding crowds
Photos of the royal marriage ceremony
Photos of Royal Couple Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton