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Central African Rep
Must Watch Videos
The Royal Wedding 2011: Liveblog
Viantha Naidoo & Kerry Wright | Fri, 29 Apr 2011
The big day has finally arrived - join us for up-to-the-minute gossip, trivia and... is it too early for Pimms?
And now we leave the new Duke and Duchess to their happy celebrations with friends and family. Thanks for joining us! *regal waves*
There are approximately 5000 street parties scheduled for this afternoon.
The pride of the Royal Air Force flies over Buckingham Palace and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The tradition of the balcony kiss began in 1923 with Queen Elizabeth's mother.
The Middletons, as well as Charles and Camilla, appear on the balcony with the happy couple.
The Queen appears, with the Maid of Honour and Best Man flanking the Duke of Edinburgh further down the balcony.
And there's the kiss.
They've emerged on the balcony and they look exquisite, regal in their wedding wear.
The RAF pilots are currently in the official aircraft and in flight.
Five minutes to go til the eagerly anticipated balcony kiss!
Fiona Cairns has been commissioned to prepare today's wedding cake. Princess Catherine presented her with mood boards for the cake's design, which will be a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake with floral adornments.
On William's personal request, there will also be a chocolate biscuit cake, specially prepared according to a private recipe for the royals.
At the wedding of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, the cake stood alone at a towering 2.7m tall.
The festivities kick off with a canopy reception this afternoon for 650 personally invited guests. Then, this evening at 20:00, 300 private guests will attend a second reception.
In preparation, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip will be leaving Buckingham Palace this afternoon for a private weekend, so as not to inhibit the closer guests as they get their reception on.
The official photographs of the newlyweds are currently being taken by Hugo Burnand in the State Apartments at Buckingham Palace.
He has photographed the Prince before, and was the official photographer at the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla.
The RAF are now preparing for their ceremonial flight over the palace at 14:30 CAT.
What do you get the couple that's got everything? Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip received roughly 2500 wedding presents, which included two pairs of bed socks and... erm.. a tea cosy.
Hyde Park, behind Buckingham Palace is seething with a crowd of some 200 000, all starting the party early with many girls dressed in bridal dresses themselves. Pundits anticipate it to top the 500 000 that the last Windsor wedding between Charles and Diana drew.
Of the 5000 strong police force that were assigned to today's security, dozens of them will be patrolling the Park in anticipation of the wedding day madness.
The wedding parties enter Buckingham Palace and prepare for photographs before the balcony appearance.
The carriages enter Buckingham Palace, include the Queen's sovereign transport. Prince William helps the bride out of the carriage with great care.
Prince Harry and the page boys, and Phillipa Middleton and the bridesmaids, are transported back to the Palace in two of the most adorable carriage rides of all time.
Despite predictions there isn't a drop of rain as the Duke and Duchess greet the crowds, smiling and waving.
Meanwhile, the Queen and Prince Phillip enter their classically prepared carriage to transport them back to Buckingham Palace.
The couple approach the ceremonial carriage. William puts on white gloves and holds Kate's bouquet as she climbs in. And they're off, to thunderous cries and applause.
The bells of Westminster ring out and the streets of London erupt, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge emerge from the entrance of the Abbey.
The newlyweds make their way down the red carpeted aisle, smiling modestly at guests. There's some very careful stepping going on from William, so as not to squash Kate's dress.
The clergy procession now leaves the Abbey.
The streets are now being prepared to welcome the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they ride through in their carriage.
And with perfect timing, the sun comes out in London.
The bridal party now moves to the most sacred part of Westminster Abbey, which has housed the shrine to Saint Edward since the Middle Ages. This area holds the marriage certificates of both the Queen and William's parents.
The congregation sings God Save the Queen, as Phillipa Middleton rises to the stage and presents Kate with her bouquet. Next, the signing of the registers.
The congregation sings
, and the crowds outside join in while waving flags.
The hymn currently being sung by the choir is
Ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est
which translates as "Where charity and love are, there is God."
Tweets tagged with #royalwedding are now coming in at over 300 per second.
The Lord Bishop of London is now addressing the congregation with a moving and poetic sermon. His address begins with a quote from St Catherine of Sienna - "Be who God meant you to be and you'll set the world on fire."
So. Here's everything you need to know about the dress:
Individual flowers were hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle. The organic design incorporates the traditional British flowers - rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.
French Chantilly lace was combined with English Cluny lace to be hand-worked in the Irish Carrickmacross needlework tradition.
The veil features layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers. It is held in place by a Cartier halo tiara, lent to Miss Middleton by The Queen.
Princess Catherine's earrings are diamond-set stylised oak leaves with a pear shaped diamond set drop and a pavé set diamond acorn suspended in the centre. Inspiration for the design comes from the Middleton family's new coat of arms.
The wedding shoes were hand-made by the team at Alexander McQueen and are made of ivory duchesse satin with lace hand-embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework.
Brother of the bride James Middleton does a Bible reading from Romans.
The couple have been pronounced husband and wife.
It's been months of speculation and anticipation. This is the dress.
Queen Victoria's was the first white wedding dress, sparking the tradition of brides wearing white at their weddings.
The train of Princess Diana's dress was 7.62m.
Images courtesy of Getty.
The service begins.
The hymn that has been selected to be sung by the congregation is
Guide Me O Thy Great Redeemer
, which has previously sung at the Abbey at the funeral of Princess Diana.
As the choirs sing, William chats quietly to Catherine and her father at the stage area of Westminster Abbey.
Escorted down the red carpet by her father, Princess Catherine is received with hymns from the resident choir, accompanied by glorious orchestration.
The procession begins as the Princes enter the hall. William smiles happily to guests as he approaches the main altar.
Defying pundits, Princess Catherine's hair is partly up and partly down, with a conservative veil and a glimpse of tiara beneath. The Princess arrives as ceremonial bells toll.
Confirming speculation, she emerges in a breath-taking Sarah Burton gown with a severe train and Chantilly lace. Burton is currently creative director at Alexander McQueen.
Maid of honour Phillipa follows with the train as Catherine and her father greet the Archbishop.
Maid of honour Phillipa Middleton and a cluster of tiny bridesmaids totter down the red carpet in adorable white dresses and white flowers in their hair.
The traditional lace bodice has taken many by surprise, as the new Princess waves happily with a broad smile from her car.
The queen, Prince Charles, Prince Phillip and the Duchess of Cornwall, gather at the entrance, chatting cheerfully.
We get our first glimpse of Princess Catherine as she enters her vehicle in a white, romantic dress carefully shrouded. Father Michael Middleton joins her and the procession begins.
The reigning British monarch arrives at Westminster Abbey with Prince Phillip, he in a scarlet military jacket and she in a buttercup yellow jacket and hat. The pair married in 1946.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and bishop meet the pair at their vehicle and escort them up the red carpet, as regal trumpets ring out.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are en route to the Abbey, as a carful of adorable bridesmaids emerge, skipping, out of the vehicle.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall enter the Abbey. Charles appears in a deep blue military coat with boxed pleats.
The first sighting of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, both waving happily from their windows. The throngs of on-lookers lining the streets are delighted.
Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, daughters of the Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson, are making their way to the Abbey.
The elder Miss Middleton's outfit has been designed by Catherine Walker, a favourite designer of the late Princess of Wales.
Carole Middleton, mother of the bride, arrives at the Abbey in a deeply elegant silver gray suit. Her and son James greet the Archbishop, and are ushered down the red carpet by her husband. Kate really is the spitting image of her mom.
In accordance with tradition, the royal family are the very last to arrive. The Princes have been ushered into a private room, as Prince Albert of Monaco arrives.
The mother of the bride has left for the Abbey with her son James, Catherine's brother, who will be doing a reading at the service.
Scruffy-haired Prince Harry is wearing two military badges, in contrast to the groom's one, as he has fought in Afghanistan with his unit. Harry wears the Blues and Royals uniform of a Captain of the Household Cavalry.
And they've arrived. The bells of Westminster Abbey begin to ring, and will do so for three hours after the wedding in ceremony. The Princes now enter the Abbey and immediately greet the hosting clergymen.
Images courtesy of Getty.
The Princes have now left Clarence House for Westminster Abbey, with William beaming from the escorted royal vehicle in red military regalia and Harry uncharacteristically stoic. The crowd is deafening.
More on the Beckhams, now seated in their pew: Victoria designed her own dress, but those spectacular shoes are courtesy of Christian Louboutin. The striking piece on David's lapel is an Order of the British Empire pin, given to him by the queen in 2003 for his services to football.
To an enormous cheer, British Prime Minister David Cameron emerges with his wife on the red carpet. Cameron recently presented the wedding couple with a book of photographs of Whales as a wedding gift.
Film director and ex-husband of Madonna, Guy Ritchie, has appeared on personal invitation.
The Spencer family, William's late mother's party, is being ushered to their seats.
Sir John Major has now arrived. The former Prime Minister was appointed a guardian to William after his mother's death.
Endearing British comedy legend Rowan Atkinson is now seated in the Abbey.
And the new fathers, Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish have now arrived, with Elton in a lilac tie and yellow vest. The last time the family friend entered the Abbey was for Diana's funeral, at which he memorably performed.
Images courtesy of Getty.
The ambassadors from international countries are all making their way through in beautiful traditional wear.
It's a long way to the top, we realise as the guests arrive, as the red carpet is 97m long at full stetch. This means Kate and her father will take approximately three and a half minutes to enter the hall in her much-anticipated bridal gown.
And they're off. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have officially left Buckingham Palace.
Princess Catherine's 18-carat sapphire and diamond engagement ring was of course inherited from William's mother, but it turns out that neither Charles or Diana had any say in its selection. It was actually chosen by Queen Elizabeth. Meanwhile, Prince Harry inherited Diana's exquisite Cartier watch, which is not to be sniffed at either.
The wedding route (which has been scrubbed all week by hired hands) is lined with speakers, which will broadcast the service to those guests who weren't lucky enough to make it inside the Abbey.
Once crowned king, the 6'3" Prince William will be the tallest monarch in 704 years. The last lanky leader was King Edward I, who reigned from 1272 to 1307. King Edward stood at 6'2", which incidentally is the height of Prince Harry.
According to a Hyde Park supervisor, approximately 35 000 have already lined the London streets despite the dreadful gray weather.
When Princess Catherine marries, she will be the oldest royal bride in British history at 29. Which isn't necessarily a problem - studies indicate that marriages closer to age 30 are much less likely to end in divorce. BTW: Diana was 20.
Posh and David of Beckinghamshire have arrived in matching fare. David's hair? Think Ricky Gervais. And Posh's hat is on her forehead.
Images courtesy of Getty.
Just FYI, Oscar winner
Colin Firth played the Duke of Cambridge in
Shakespeare in Lov
- remember him? The grumpy one who tried to buy Gwyneth? Ah Colin, we'd forgive you anything.
Ooh - Prince Harry's on-again-off-again ex-girlfriend Chelsea Davy just arrived... wearing something particularly bizarre. Twitter is a-buzz.
Websites like the
and E! are carrying live streams of the event, with coverage straight from inside the Abbey. The first time cameras were allowed into Westminster Abbey was for the wedding of William's grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.
Roughly 750 million people watched the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles on the box. It's estimated that today's wedding will play to an audience of 2 billion.
The hats are spectacular, and it's only getting better from here. Protocol dictates that the general congregation is to be seated first, with the more famous faces arriving later on and the Royal family being the very last to arrive.
Church pews are not renowned for cushy comfort, but as the some 1900 guests arrive at Hat Central, we're told that every one is to be seated at least one hour before the ceremony starts.
Westminster Abbey tweets
: Excitement is building as the Great North door is opened ready to receive the first guests #rw2011
And the music rings out at Westminster Abbey as the first guests begin to arrive, two hours ahead of the ceremony.
So here's the official order of curtsying, as it'll stand after today's nuptials. You curtsy only to those above you, and never to those below. This means Kate will have to bow to the Queen, but not to William's step-mom Camilla, who will be compelled to bow to Kate if Charles isn't in the room.
Duchess of Cornwall
Countess of Wessex
Lady Louise Windsor
Lady Sarah Chatto
Lady Davina Lewis of Gloucester
Lady Rose Gilman of Gloucester
Lady Helen Windsor
It's 10 minutes until the first guests arrive at Westminster Abbey. Let's celebrate with some
Royal Wedding cupcakes
Courtesy of E!
This just in: The Queen will be bestowing the titles Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the happy newlyweds.
Heathrow Airport took it upon themselves to roll out almost half a kilometre of red carpet in the arrival halls this week, giving international passengers a proper royal reception. Twinings also donated thousands of cups of White Earl Grey tea to passengers free of charge.
Apparently no less that nine grey horses who were specially chosen for their "calm temperaments" will be escorting William and Kate to Buckingham Palace after they marry.
We're seeing a lot of horses in the streets of London. Did you know: despite William being an avid polo player, Kate's allergic to horses? How's that going to affect her relationship with Camilla?
The wedding party's been announced, and we can look forward to the following faces:
Maid of Honour:
Philippa Middleton (Catherine's sister)
Lady Louise Windsor (William's first cousin, daughter of his uncle, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex)
The Hon Margarita Armstrong-Jones (William's second cousin, daughter of Viscount and Viscountess Linley)
Eliza Lopes (Granddaughter of Prince Charles' wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall)
Grace van Cutsem (Godchild of Prince William)
William (Billy) Lowther-Pinkerton (Son of the Princes' private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton)
Tom Pettifer (William's godson the son of his former nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke)
Royally-themed programming today includes:
Live: The Royal Wedding on CNN International at 07:00
William and Kate: A Royal Engagement on BBC Knowledge at 08:05
The British Royal Wedding: Live on BBC Knowledge at 09:00
The Royal Wedding Special with Mishal Husain on BBC World News at 09:00
Live from the Royal Wedding on E! Entertainment at 10:00
Live: The Royal Wedding on CNN International at 11:00
Untold Stories of a Royal Bridesmaid on BBC Knowledge at 14:40
Britain's Royal Weddings on BBC Knowledge at 15:32
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