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All about the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William

A royal wedding with worldwide repercussions. So was Kate Middleton's wedding to Prince William, held on April 29, 2011. After Princess Diana's wedding to Prince Charles, Kate and William's ceremony was the most anticipated in British royalty. The ceremony was reproduced by television networks around the world and was watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people.

The religious ceremony started at 11 am local time in London and was held at Westminster Abbey. The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, while the Archbishop of Canterbury was responsible for marrying the bride and groom. The Bishop of London, who was a friend of the groom, said a prayer. The duration of this ceremony was 1 hour and 15 minutes.

During the ceremony, a crowd gathered in the streets to greet the bride and groom. Around 1 million people gathered near the Abbey and Buckingham Palace, or went to watch the ceremony on the big screens installed in Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square.

Kate's dress: the most awaited secret of the ceremony

Considered "a state secret", the bride's dress was revealed only on Kate's arrival at Westminster Abbey. The designer was Sarah Burton, chief stylist for the British brand Alexandre McQueen. The emblematic dress began to be made months before by a team of 50 people and was only ready the night before. Everyone involved had to keep it a secret even from the closest family members. Made in white gazar satin and ivory, the dress had a “v” neckline, defined the waist and was padded on the hips, referring to the traditional corsets of the Victorian era. On the back, 58 buttons lined with satin and organza. Lace flowers were manually applied to the ivory tulle silk. The bodice and skirt of the gown were cluny English and French Chantilly lace. The blooming flower shape was present on the skirt and the train measured 2.70 meters.

wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William

wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William

The tiara worn by Kate was a 1936 Cartier Scroll, a gift from Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The bride's bouquet was designed by Shane Connolly and the hairstylist was Jaime Pryce. The makeup, amazingly, was done by Kate herself.

The groom's military attire was the full dress uniform of an Irish Guards officer.

The ceremony had a total of 9 pages and bridesmaids, including Pippa Middleton, sister of Kate and Henry of Wales, brother of the groom.

The guest list had 1900 people, including relatives of the bride and groom, friends, members of foreign royal families, British authorities, diplomats and leaders of institutions. Famous like Elton John, David Beckham and his wife Victoria, Joss Stone and Guy Ritchie were on the list.

The soundtrack was provided by the Westminster Abbey Choir, the Chapel Royal Choir at St. James, the Orchestra of London and the fanfare of the Royal Air Force Music Band. The bride entered to the sound of “I was glad”.

A curiosity is that the groom decided not to wear it after the wedding and preferred only to offer a ring to his future wife. The wedding band that William gave Kate was made of Welsh gold.

Among all the celebrations, Queen Elizabeth hosted a reception for 650 guests at Buckingham Palace, where hors d'oeuvres were served. Harpist Claire Jones played during the reception, which she ended mid-afternoon.

At 7 pm, Prince Charles hosted a dinner for 300 people, followed by dancing. Finally, breakfast was hosted by Prince Henry of Wales the next morning.

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