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    Default 29th April 2011: Prince William & Kate Middleton Wedding

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    We know that Kate Middleton won't promise to 'obey' at Westminster Abbey, but it seems the couple may have written their own vows for the royal wedding.

    When Kate was photographed leaving her family home in Bucklebury today there was a sheaf of paper visible in the back seat of the car that included a passage from an unrecognised work.

    While many of the words were obscured, it read in part: 'With so much love within our hearts.'
    While the passage could be from a separate reading, it opens the possibility that they have followed the example of many young couples and written their own vows for their special day.


    Departing from tradition? A sheet of paper visible in the back seat of the car as Kate Middleton drives away opens the possibility the couple have written their own vows

    Especially for you: Kate's marriage vows appear to be revealed on the back seat of her car as she drives to London

    Kate and Prince William were back together today to hold last-minute rehearsals as the final countdown to Friday's Royal Wedding got under way.
    Miss Middleton drove from the family home in to Clarence House, where the couple were said to have met the Dean of Westminster Abbey for a run-through of the wedding service.
    Showing no sign of nerves, the 29-year-old bride-to-be, dressed in a demure cream suit, set off from Berkshire at 8.45am -- the last time she will leave home as a single woman -- with only her police protection officer for company.
    She greeted her fiancé, 28, at his London residence for the meeting with Dr John Hall, who will conduct the service and be the first to welcome her when she arrives at the abbey with her father on Friday.
    The couple are also expected to rehearse their vows at the abbey before the big day.

    A royal spokesman said: 'There will be final preparations happening over the last couple of days.'
    With less than 48 hours to go, preparations are now at fever pitch, with family, military and security staff making last-minute adjustments.





    What's in the bag? Kate Middleton carries a dress bag into the rehearsal at Clarence house, stopping for a last-minute chat before heading inside







    Final preparations: Kate Middleton arrives at Westminster Abbey this evening for the last rehearsal involving the Royal couple before Friday's wedding



    All smiles: Prince William beams happily as he arrives at the Abbey tonight. He was joined by his best man Prince Harry and senior clergy


    As hundreds of members of the Armed forces had a dress rehearsal of the drill ahead of the ceremony, Kate's family was also on the move today, heading for the capital - together with all the essentials for her wedding to Prince William.
    A suspiciously long dress bag, together with hat boxes and other finery, belonging to the Middleton family were seen moving into the luxury Goring Hotel.
    Just around the corner from Buckingham Palace, the five-star establishment will be home to Kate's family and friends, who will decamp there for the wedding.

    Kate's mother, Carole, and sister Pippa, were seen driving out of their £1million home, seeming in high spirits, smiling at photographers and both dressed in classic navy outfits.

    But for Her Majesty the Queen, it was business as usual.
    Nervous? Kate Middleton leaves her family home with a protection officer



    Two days to go ... Kate's sister Pippa and mother Carole drive away from their family home in Bucklebury





    Father of the bride: Kate's dad Michael Middleton leaves The Goring Hotel in London with a little help from what appear to be bodyguards


    Looking dazzling in bright blue ensemble, and a hat with jaunty red trim, she went to Cambridge for a lunch and reception to mark the 500th Anniversary of St John's College.

    Most of rest of the Royal family were keeping under the radar, with Prince Andrew preparing for Friday at Royal Lodge in Windsor with daughters, Eugenie and Beatrice.

    The Duchess of Cornwall is believed to be at Clarence House, while her husband, Prince Charles, is up in Scotland.
    He is opening the newly refurbished Dumfries House for the 2011 season in Ayrshire.

    The Princess Royal is set to attend a Joint Services Dinner in London while the Earl of Wessex has a series of engagements in Oxford.






    Careful with that: The Middletons wedding wardrobe is moved into their temporary home ahead of the wedding celebrations while, right, one a royal fan makes clear her feelings about the royal wedding with this T-shirt paraded outside Westminster Abbey





    There's more? Bags and a hat box follow the wardrobe into the hotel

    What's this then? The Middleton family wedding wardrobe, including a suspiciously long dress, arrives at the Goring

    An early morning rehearsal, timed to the minute, saw soldiers, sailors and airmen parade through the streets of London.
    With a worldwide audience of billions, military leaders know the eyes of the world will be on them.

    A music rehearsal is scheduled to be held today with clergy and broadcasters due to take part in a full dress rehearsal tomorrow at the abbey.

    St James's Palace confirmed today that Prince William will spend the eve of his wedding having a private dinner with his family.
    The second-in-line to the throne will enjoy his last night as a free man in the company of the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and best man Prince Harry.
    By the time the royals sit down around the table on Thursday evening at Clarence House, their official London home, all the preparations should be in place for William's big day.

    More...


    • Dress rehearsal at dawn: Hundreds of servicemen stage spectacular trial run for Kate and William's big day
    • So why are oiks like Kate's uncle invited to the royal wedding while Brown and Blair aren't? Fury grows over snub to former Labour PMs
    • Call for special branch! Workmen create Kate's indoor forest at the Abbey as bride and her sister leave home, possibly for the last time


    Charles and Camilla will miss a dinner being held for British and foreign royals at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hyde Park, central London, but will attend a drinks reception beforehand.
    The private pre-wedding event will be a chance for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to catch up with their royal counterparts from overseas.
    Those said to be attending include the Duke of York and his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Zara Phillips and her fiance England rugby star Mike Tindall.
    A St James's Palace spokesman said: 'The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be having a private dinner with Prince William and Prince Harry on Thursday evening at Clarence House.

    'As such, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be able to attend the drinks reception at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, but not the dinner.'
    David Cameron sent his best wishes to Prince William and Kate Middleton today, telling MPs the 'whole world' was looking forward to the ceremony.
    'People across the country and indeed across the world are getting excited about the events on Friday,' Mr Cameron said.
    'I'm sure the whole House will want to join me in sending our best wishes to Prince William and Catherine Middleton ahead of their wedding this Friday and to wish them a long and happy life together.'
    However, in a stark reminder of the scale of the security problems faced by the services, a bomb scare saw an area of Whitehall near to the Abbey cleared.


    Prince Harry arrives at Clarence House in the back of a Range Rover with two protection officers







    Taking no chances: The bomb squad search The Goring Hotel in preparation for the Middleton family's arrival








    Taking stock: Vans laden with fine food arrive outside The Goring Hotel for Kate Middleton and her family









    Radiant: The Queen arrives at St John's College Cambridge for a lunch and reception to mark its 500th Anniversary, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh


    In addition, radical group Muslims against Crusades staged a protest against Prince William.

    They held up 'wanted' posters proclaiming the second-in-line to the throne as a 'modern day Nazi'.
    However, the extremists who had threatened disruption at the Royal Wedding said today they have agreed to stay away amid fears they could be targeted by attacks.

    Tornado GR4 aircraft take off from RAF Coningsby station in Lincolnshire for a fly-past rehearsal ahead of the big day



    Military planes rehearse their fly-past for the Royal wedding





    Lancaster crew cram into a gun turret before the wedding flypast rehearsal; and right, a workman cleans the fountains in the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace


    Muslims Against Crusades announced they have abandoned protest plans as they were heckled by passers-by in an impromptu press conference outside Parliament.
    Campaign spokesman Abu Abbas, 22, called on all Muslims to stay away on the big day.
    'We believe the main issue is security for our people,' he said.
    People walk through a security gate barrier on the pavement near Westminster Abbey in readiness for the Royal Wedding


    Scare: A bomb scare near to the Abbey in Whitehall





    A worker cleans the Cenotaph along Whitehall during the run-up to the Royal Wedding; and right, television news crews report from a temporary stand in front of Buckingham Palace


    • Workers complain flag is a 'threat to their dignity'

    Flag ban: The McVitie's factory in Glasgow which has banned the Union jack from the canteen

    Bosses at one of the Royal Wedding cake makers banned staff from putting up the Union Flag to celebrate the marriage - because of its links to football and sectarianism.
    Workers at the McVitie's factory in Glasgow were told it was 'not acceptable' to fly the British flag.
    In central London the Union Jack is already flying along Regent's Street and the Mall in preparation for William and Kate's big day.
    But at McVitie's, management ordered the flag be taken down after some employees complained that it was 'offensive' and a threat to their 'dignity at work'.
    The firm has been making cakes for Royal events since 1893 and is creating one of the two cakes for the wedding on Friday.
    However, the company later backtracked and the flag which had a picture of William and Kate on it was put back up.
    They had also taken down streamer in Union colours and two rosettes.
    A security guard outside the biscuit and cake factory in Tollcross, Glasgow, said he had been bombarded with calls from the public voicing their disapproval at the flag being taken down.

    A source at the plant said staff were stunned that sectarianism would stop the flag flying just days before the Royal Wedding.

    They said: 'You really couldn't make this up - the Royal baker banning the Union Jack.
    'It's a symbol of national pride. Everyone is flying the flag and putting up Union Jack bunting for Friday.
    'There's a feel-good factor everywhere. But what happens in Scotland? It gets linked to the whole Rangers-Celtic sectarian madness.'


    More...


    • Bums like this ARE invited to the royal wedding as fury erupts over snub to Brown and Blair
    • Dress rehearsal at dawn: Hundreds of servicemen stage spectacular trial run for Kate and William's big day
    • 'It's a strange colour': Piece of Queen Elizabeth's wedding cake found in filing cabinet 64 years past its best-before date
    • Call for special branch! Workmen create Kate's indoor forest at the Abbey as bride and her sister leave home, possibly for the last time


    Another insider said: 'A group of staff were putting up bunting and a Union Jack in the canteen at lunchtime when one woman shouted that it was offensive.
    'She said she would be bringing in an Irish tricolour if the Union Jack stayed up.

    Banned? Union Jacks have been taken down in the McVitie's factory for causing offence - but they are hanging in Regent Street, central London

    Royal bake: William and Kate are having two cakes made for their wedding on Friday

    'Several staff then went to complain to management. They say it was affront to their dignity at work.
    'The guy putting up the decorations was one of the gaffers but he was shot down by the big bosses. They steamed in and said the flag had to come down.
    'A lot of staff were upset. they've said it would have been acceptable years ago, and that many have died fighting for the flag.'
    A spokeswoman for United Biscuits, which owns McVitie's said the flag had later been put back up - and added that they were a proud British company.

    'We had complaints about the flag From some employees given the current sectarian tensions,' he said.

    'Bosses decided, given the complaints, to take it down and to stick with a more neutral theme for the Royal Wedding. Pictures of the couple and bunting remained.
    'It was not a case of us being heavy-handed, just trying to make sure people enjoy the wedding celebrations without football associations.
    'The Union flag was not banned and is now back up and staying up for the wedding.
    'McVitie's is a proud British brand and has just launched a promotion featuring the Union flag on a number of its products to highlight the fact that it sources its wheat from the UK.'
    United Biscuits said more than one person had complained but would not say how many.
    The cake for William and Kate will be unbaked and include dark chocolate and crushed Rich tea biscuits as an alternative to the traditional wedding fruit cake that will also be served at their Buckingham Palace reception.

    Forbidden? The Mall is adorned with Union Jacks this morning during a dress rehearsal for the Royal Wedding


    Royal baker: McVitie's has been making cakes for Royal events since 1893 and is creating one of two cakes for the wedding on Friday
    ...being a human...



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    Kate’s dress designer may still be a mystery. But one thing’s for certain — whoever she’s chosen will be deluged with attention. However if history is anything to go by, that doesn’t always translate into long-term success and riches...
    THE NEW ROMANTICS
    Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding to Prince Charles
    July 29, 1981, St Paul’s Cathedral
    Designers: David and Elizabeth Emanuel
    The Emanuels are the most high-profile example of the extraordinarily bad omens that can emanate from a virginal-looking meringue.
    One minute they were a quirky, studenty couple of unknowns and the next they had been commissioned to design Diana’s wedding dress. They’d only been out of college for a year before they received the telephone call that would change their lives.

    A vision in taffeta: Emanuel's creation was a vast sea of creased silk taffeta with sleeves the size of small sheep, golden horseshoes sewn into hems and puffed-up frills

    Their creation was a vast sea of creased silk taffeta with sleeves the size of small sheep, golden horseshoes sewn into hems and puffed up frills.
    Once they had acquired the right to label themselves By Royal Appointment, everything changed for the designers. They were inundated with requests to design everything from bed linen to ready-to-wear.
    But their fundamental problem was their lack of business acumen. Try as they might, they never seemed to manage to translate the newfound global interest into profit. And by 1990, the souffle had well and truly collapsed. Their joint business ran into trouble (in spite of charging up to £40,000 for a dress) then their marriage followed suit.
    Sadly, Elizabeth’s plans to turn herself into a Ralph Lauren-type fashion-to-lifestyle global brand failed to float and her career went from bad to worse, involving bankruptcy after falling out with her backers. Eventually, she gave in to the siren call of Bhs in 2008 and designed people’s princess dresses at £495 a pop.
    David, meanwhile, discovered his inner minimalist. He ditched all the ruffles when he started designing celebrity wedding dresses for the likes of Jane Seymour (at her fourth wedding), and producing ranges for Bonmarche.
    The Emanuels forced themselves to co-operate on a book a few years later, but two sets of gritted teeth were clearly visible through the veils. They’re both still staggering gently along.
    Medieval: Princess Anne's tudor-style dress had a high collar and pointy wizard-like sleeves

    THE SENSIBLE SEAMSTRESS

    Princess Anne to Captain Mark Phillips
    November 14, 1973, Westminster Abbey
    Designer: Maureen Baker
    A surprise appointment, Maureen Baker had already been chief designer for a ready-to-wear label called Susan Small for 30 years when she bagged the prize of designing a wedding dress for glamorous young Princess Anne, who then looked like a slightly equine British version of Catherine Deneuve. Maureen was unknown then, and unknown she was to remain.
    Introduced to Princess Anne by Princess Alexandra, Maureen created a Tudor-style dress, with a high collar and pointy wizardy medieval sleeves. Maureen made no attempt to seize either the day or the limelight after her royal appointment, instead loyally trotting out around 250 outfits for Anne before she retired in the Nineties, ever the discreet royal dressmaker.
    Frugal Anne and modest Maureen were a good match, largely because the latter had no delusions of turning herself into a brand.
    In fact, it has to be a credit to Maureen that Anne wore one of her dresses 23 years after its first outing (many of her frocks outlasted Anne’s marriage to Mark Phillips) and Maureen happily ‘altered her maternity clothes so she could wear them again when she was slim’.

    Anne favoured matching jackets over dresses because ‘she felt you got two looks for the price of one — jacket on or off’. A permanent size 10, Anne also ‘paid her bills promptly and never asked for a discount,’ said Maureen, who was described as a ‘good finisher’. What a practical pair.

    More...


    • Dress rehearsal at dawn: Hundreds of servicemen stage spectacular trial run for Kate and William's big day
    • Call for special branch! Workmen create Kate's indoor forest at the Abbey as bride and her sister leave home, possibly for the last time
    • Bums like this ARE invited to the royal wedding as fury erupts over snub to Brown and Blair
    • Armed police among royal wedding congregation as 5,000 officers turn the Abbey into Fortress Westminster
    • Pippa Middleton's party plans peeve the Palace as courtiers 'shudder' over glitterballs in the throne room




    THE DEVIL FOR DETAIL
    Sarah Ferguson to Prince Andrew
    July 23, 1986, Westminster Abbey
    Designer: Lindka Cierach

    We haven’t heard much from designer Lindka Cierach in the intervening years between being photographed adjusting Fergie’s dress as she walked up the steps of Westminster Abbey and having a rather embarrassing scrap with Carole Middleton over what she’s wearing on Friday.
    Fergie found Lindka, who was born in Lesotho to Polish parents, through her mother Susan. For Sarah, the svelte blonde designer came up with an ivory duchess satin number designed to ‘showcase her love for Andrew’.

    Duchess satin: Sarah's had padded shoulders, a letter 'A' embroidered into the train, along with an anchor and a bumblebee, which was to Fergie's coat of arms what the acorn is to Kate's

    It had padded shoulders (it was the Eighties — even brides couldn’t escape), a letter ‘A’ embroidered into the train, along with an anchor (for Andrew’s naval career) and a bumblebee, which was to Fergie’s coat of arms what the acorn is to Kate’s.
    After the initial fuss, Lindka went on, quietly and meticulously, to make well fitting suits and dresses for smart women from Cherie Blair (Linda feistily banned Carole Caplin) to Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Rania of Jordan.
    Herself a striking figure, she even inspired a Jilly Cooper character in Pandora, but she didn’t pop back onto the news radar again until it emerged that Carole Middleton had commissioned an outfit from her for her (daughter’s) big day. Both took umbrage — Carole, when Lindka wouldn’t send the unfinished outfit for a trying-on session with her Berkshire pals, and Lindka when she discovered she was part of a beauty parade rather than the winner.
    Now Carole’s got the outfit, but she’s not wearing it on Friday. And poor old Fergie isn’t even invited.
    THE CREAM OF CORNWALL
    The Hon Serena Stanhope to Viscount Linley
    October 8, 1993, St Margaret’s, Westminster
    Designer: Bruce Robbins
    Nicky Clarke did Serena’s bouffant blonde beehive, Philip Treacy made her going away hat, but the honour of making the dress fell to . . . Bruce Robbins.
    Then 28, obsessed with Wallis Simpson and the son of a Cornish pig farmer (there’s the germ of a Billy Elliot-type movie in there somewhere), Bruce had a strong start when he left the Royal College of Art and his first collection was bought in its entirety by Liberty.


    Wholesome: Bruce Robbins chose the groom's mother Princess Margaret's wedding dress as the inspiration for Serena's dress

    He went on to work for Courtauld’s textiles, as a cutter for Bruce Oldfield and Edina Ronay.
    When it came to his royal job, Bruce employed a tactful approach — choosing the groom’s mother Princess Margaret’s wedding dress as the inspiration for Serena’s wasp-waisted, big-skirted dress over his previous favourite royal fashion plate, the naughty Duchess of Windsor.
    Luckily, Serena was far too wholesome-looking to resemble the royal nemesis anyway.
    Robbins’s career didn’t seem to be electrified though and, unromantically, the Poltimore tiara Serena had borrowed from Margaret was eventually flogged at Christie’s for the princely sum of £1 million after her death. Bruce, meanwhile, went quiet, although he does pop up on occasion, designing for Jesire among others.

    THE DRAMA QUEEN
    Sophie Rhys-Jones to Prince Edward
    June 19, 1999, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
    Designer: Samantha Shaw
    The Director’s Oscar at this wedding belonged to Prince Edward rather more than it belonged to society favourite Samantha Shaw.
    It was said that the Queen’s most thespy son had stage-managed the medieval pageant vibe of the event, for which he’d appropriately location-scouted St George’s Chapel at Windsor.


    Drama queen: Sophie wore a pretty silk and organza coat dress by Shaw

    The pageboys and bridesmaids were dressed as ‘miniature knights and dames’ in breeches and feathered caps, and Edward himself designed some Gothic black and white pearl jewellery for his new wife that was made up for him by Asprey & Garrard. Very Maid Marian.
    Luckily, the theme didn’t stretch to Edward wearing the funny Dark Ages outfit he’d once sported on It’s A Royal Knockout.
    Sophie, soon to become (fittingly enough) the Countess of Wessex, wore a pretty silk and organza coat dress made by Shaw (who has a theatrical streak herself having studied costume design), which gave a nod to the medieval theme without getting too Blackadder about it all.
    Shortly before the wedding, Samantha got married herself (to Dave Keswick, a son of Prince Charles’s friends from the Hong Kong Jardine Matheson dynasty). She closed her studio for four years when she had children, but reopened in Paddington in 2007, making pretty dresses for society women again.
    And that suits her fine — at no point has she shown any indication that she was itching to become the next Galliano.
    Avant-garde: For Camilla, Anna made two dresses, instead of one

    THE STYLE TRANSFORMERS
    Camilla Parker Bowles to Prince Charles April 9, 2005, civil ceremony at Windsor Guidhall
    Designers: Robinson Valentine
    The situation at this elegant Kensington label was already a little awkward before duo Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine were invited to make both of Camilla’s coat and dress ensembles for her marriage to the heir to the throne.

    In the run-up to the wedding, the designers had been credited with softening Camilla’s image with some flattering outfits, but by the time of the commission, Antonia Robinson was said to be in Cornwall, ‘taking a break from the company to spend time with her young family’, leaving Anna Valentine wielding the pinking shears on her own.
    Unfortunately, Antonia never returned from the West Country, choosing instead to go native and make rings, which meant that Anna had no choice but to carry on the label alone.
    Both were self-taught, but knew what women like them wanted to wear. With a plush (and slightly intimidating) studio behind London’s Kensington High Street, they would scan English women with an honest eye, and find a cut to suit.
    For Camilla, Anna made two dresses, instead of one: a white chiffon dress with beige coat, and a porcelain blue gown and coat.
    Since she went on to design Camilla’s daughter Laura’s wedding dress the following year, Anna’s outfits must be considered a success — just not a game-changer in terms of raising the label’s profile.
    That said, her studio, now in Marylebone, is still described as ‘one of London’s best kept secrets.’

    Onlookers would be forgiven for thinking the Royal Wedding was being held two days early.
    But the regal bride and groom posing for pictures were in fact taking part in a William & Kate lookalike contest.
    Orsola Rossi and Simon Watkinson UK were flown to London for the competition final, organised by EasyJet.


    And the winners are: Orsola Rossi from Italy and Simon Watkinson from the UK win the William & Kate look-a-likes competition


    Hot competition: Ten couples took part to win one year's worth of flights with EasyJet


    The pair - dead ringers for the future King and Queen - were the obvious winners and went home with one year's worth of flights with the budget airline.
    Besides being a mirror image of the Royal love birds, they had to impress judges by waving like a Royal, acting out a romantic wedding proposal and throwing the bridal bouquet.
    Simon Watkinson said: 'I’ve often been told that I look like Prince William, particularly since the Royal engagement was announced, but I can’t believe that I’ve been crowned the winner.


    On bended knee: Couples were judged on romantic proposal...




    Flower power:...and bouquet throwing skills



    'I’m so excited to have won a year’s worth of free easyJet flights and to be in London for the big day.'
    His partner was equally pleased.
    Orsola Rossi, 30, from Milan, said: 'To be voted the best double to one of the most famous women in the world is very exciting.

    This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity and there isn’t a better place to be to enjoy the celebrations.'

    Standing tall: Hundreds of people from Europe entered the contest but only ten finalists were chosen




    Royal wave: The panel judged William look-alikes on their waving abilities



    The duo were among ten couples, from all over Europe, to take part.
    The contestants were judged on resemblance, curtseying, throwing of bouquets, and proposal speeches.


    The contest is just a small part of the Royal Wedding fever gripping the nation ahead of Friday's nuptials.

    Swept off her feet: Orsola and Simon, from Italy, will stay in London to watch the real Royal Wedding celebrations



    Simon and Orsola will stay in London to watch the real Royal wedding celebrations and take in the sights of the city with a friend courtesy of the low-cost airline.
    Paul Moore, Communications Director at easyJet said: 'The competition has been fierce with hundreds applying to be crowned the best Will and Kate look-a-likes Europe has to offer.

    'However, Simon and Orsola stood out as they bear such a striking resemblance to our future King & Queen.

    'It has been great fun to fly look-a-likes from all over Europe to London to enjoy the wedding celebrations and crown our very own easyJet Royal couple.'


    Helping hand: A bride forgoes her competitive streak to help another to pin her veil back
    ...being a human...



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    Armed police officers will be in the congregation for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, it emerged last night.
    Members of Scotland Yard's elite firearms squad will mingle with guests as Westminster Abbey is turned into a fortress for Friday's ceremony.

    In addition, dozens of unarmed foreign protection officers – who will accompany royals and VIPs from overseas – will be stationed 'very close' to the church.

    Altogether, around 5,000 Met officers will be deployed to guard the royal procession on April 29.

    That includes mobile squads of 1,000 expected to rove around the West End to prevent a repeat of the TUC march trouble last month, when thugs attacked businesses and shops, laying siege to the Ritz hotel and Fortnum & Mason.

    The Mail understands that members of the SAS have been put on standby to deal with potential terrorist threats.

    At least three Chinook helicopters are on notice to move to deploy the elite troops. SAS teams were deployed in the aftermath of the July 7 attacks in 2007.

    The 5,000 police will include close protection officers, firearms squads, PCs from boroughs, territorial support officers, mounted police, specialist search officers and sniffer dogs.

    There will also be 350 volunteer police cadets at key crossing points to help the crowd.

    Police 'spotters' from forces around the country will also be looking out for those intent on causing trouble.

    More...


    • Bums like this ARE invited to the royal wedding as fury erupts over snub to Brown and Blair while former Tory PMs get invites
    • STEPHEN GLOVER: I'm no fan of Blair, but this is an insult to democracy that damages the monarchy
    • Little girl hooligan: Shameful new face of football thuggery as ponytailed schoolgirl joins violent pitch invasion
    • English wine on the table for Kate and William's big day... and it only costs £8.50 a bottle


    A handful of loners and royal stalkers identified by the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre have also been spoken to and warned not to enter the City of Westminster.

    Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has ruled no expense should be spared to ensure the wedding goes off peacefully.


    Covered: As well as armed officers at strategic points inside Westminster Abbey there will be snipers at key locations along the wedding route



    Fortress: The preparations for Friday will make this the most protected royal wedding in British history


    It means that as well as armed at strategic points inside Westminster Abbey there will be snipers at key locations along the wedding route while riot squad 'spotters' will mingle with the crowds in an attempt to identify known troublemakers.

    Senior officers have received intelligence reports suggesting that anarchists could cause trouble along the wedding route.

    Yesterday it also emerged that a protest group with links to the Middle East has warned police that it plans to target the Royal Wedding.

    The exact number of firearms officers who will be inside the Abbey is a closely-guarded operational secret but security sources confirmed Prince William and Miss Middleton's marriage will be the most protected royal wedding ever.

    Even junior members of the clergy will have to go through security arches before entering the Abbey.

    The Abbey will be checked by sniffer dogs before a full dress rehearsal takes place on the eve of the ceremony.

    In charge of security is Commander Bob Broadhurst. He will report to the new head of Central Operations at the Met, Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens. She promised 'to act robustly, quickly and firmly' in the face of a threat.'


    Present arms: Royal Air Force personnel, who will line the route, on a break from a rehearsal drill ...

    Hundreds of soldiers, sailors and airmen today had their last chance to practise for Friday's Royal Wedding in a dress rehearsal that started before dawn and continued into daybreak.
    The full-scale walk-through was timed down to the last second - with military leaders well aware that the world will be expecting them to make sure everything goes smoothly on the big day.
    So nothing was left to chance with the dry run which began at around 4.50am - after soldiers had gathered as early as 2am - and continued for hours.
    Scroll down for video

    All the Queen's horses: Soldiers of the Household Cavalry cross Horse Guards Parade in London as they take part in the Royal Wedding dress rehearsal

    Military precision: The full-scale walk-through was timed down to the last second early this morning

    Here comes the bride? A carriage is escorted across Horse Guards Parade in a cloud of dust, accompanied by soldiers and mounted police


    Meanwhile: Dressed in a demure cream suit, Kate drives from her family home in Bucklebury, West Berkshire, with a protection officer beside her

    Only two days to go ...Kate Middleton's sister Pippa and and mum Carole Middleton drive away from their family home in Bucklebury, Berkshire, today as preparations for the wedding reach fever pitch


    All the participants wore uniform - but the cavalry were in olive green jackets instead of the red and silver they will wear on the big day - and the Rolls-Royce that will carry Kate and her father to Westminster Abbey was involved.

    Forces left Westminster's Wellington Barracks shortly before 5am to begin their way along the route.


    More...


    • Call for special branch! Workmen create Kate's indoor forest at the Abbey as bride and her sister leave home, possibly for the last time
    • Bums like this ARE invited to the royal wedding as fury erupts over snub to Brown and Blair
    • Armed police among royal wedding congregation as 5,000 officers turn the Abbey into Fortress Westminster
    • Pippa Middleton's party plans peeve the Palace as courtiers 'shudder' over glitterballs in the throne room
    • By royal disappointment? Being a royal wedding dress designer can prove to be more of a curse than a blessing
    • Slice of Queen Elizabeth's wedding cake found in filing cabinet 64 years past its best-before date
    • Royal Wedding cake baker bans Union Jack from factory because of 'sectarian' links


    Some of the soldiers, sailors and airmen practising their duties were Prince William's colleagues.
    First to arrive at the abbey were two of the royal fleet of Rolls-Royces which pulled up at about 4.50am.

    Kate Middleton drives away from her family home in Bucklebury with a protection officer beside her


    Here comes the bride: The Royal Rolls-Royce that will carry Kate Middleton and her father is seen with police escort as it arrives at Westminster Abbey

    Practise hard, marry easy: A carriage followed by a cavalry soldier leaves Westminster Abbey



    Farewell: It is likely Kate Middleton will not return to her family home until she is a married woman

    Shortly after 5am, the action began.
    The sounds of orders being barked out emerged from the final stretch of the route running down from the Houses of Parliament to the abbey.
    Several companies of the Royal Navy lined the end of the route, preceded by the Army lining Parliament Street.
    Soldiers filed along the route up to the Cenotaph outside the entrance to Downing Street.
    From there, the RAF lined the road up to Horse Guards Parade which the royal convoy will pass through on Friday.

    Dawn patrol: Two mounted officers ride past sailors lining the route to Parliament Square




    Members of the Royal Navy march towards Westminster Abbey (left), while a mounted officer waits outside Westminster Abbey



    An RAF officer walking the line said to the troops: 'On the day, you'll have your heels on the white line (of the road markings),' making sure they knew to take an extra step back closer to the crowds.
    When the couple leave the abbey as man and wife, two groups of 12 military personnel will line their route as they make their way to their horse-drawn coach. The tribute is traditionally performed at many military weddings.
    Dozens of soldiers on horseback from the Household Cavalry made their way to Westminster Abbey via a different route from the wedding cars this morning.
    The cavalry, who led the cars and carriages back to Buckingham Palace through the arch of Horse Guards Parade and along the Mall, performed a loop, parading down Buckingham Palace Road and along Victoria Street to get them to the Abbey.



    Dedicated followers: Royal fans who are already camping out ahead of the wedding awoke to the spectacle

    All present and correct: Sailors stand to attention as a mounted officer passes


    As the horses walked through the parade ground at Horse Guards, clouds of dust kicked up covering the Welsh Guards, who were lining that part of the procession.
    Organisers said the dry-run went without a hitch and forces personnel were slightly ahead of time.
    The walk-through came after Westminster Abbey closed its doors to the public yesterday to prepare in earnest for the wedding.
    The first of the floral decorations that will adorn the abbey began arriving last night including a 20ft-high English field maple.
    The tree, which weighs more than half a ton and is 18 years old, will be part of an "avenue of trees" which will line the aisle leading to the altar.

    Royal Navy sailors march from Westminster Abbey during the run-through





    A sailor looks to the sky as he stands guard by Westminster Abbey, while a Naval officer waits outside earlier this morning

    A music rehearsal is scheduled to be held today with clergy and broadcasters due to take part in a full dress rehearsal tomorrow at the abbey.
    At some stage, the prince and his fiancee will hold their own preparations with senior clergy at the abbey.

    Kate Middleton drove from her family home in West Berkshire this morning dressed in a demure cream suit. It is likely she will only return to her parent's house as a married woman.

    A Scots Guards officer checks his troops are immaculately turned out





    RAF volunteers from stations across the UK, who will be acting as the lining party during the Royal Wedding, lay down their guns after practising drills (left). Up to a thousand members of the Army, Navy and RAF participated in the full-scale walk through

    Meanwhile, detectives leading the security operation for the royal wedding have appealed for the public to be the 'eyes and ears' of the 5,000 officers tasked with maintaining law and order on the big day.
    Scotland Yard's appeal to the hundreds of thousands of people expected in central London to celebrate came as officers revealed another protest group with Middle Eastern links has warned it plans disruptions at the royal wedding.
    The Metropolitan Police is already negotiating with extremist campaign groups Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) and the English Defence League over proposed protests.

    To the Palace: A sergeant major looks on as three mounted officers make their way towards Buckingham Palace

    Eyes front: A soldier is instructed by a sergeant major outside Horse Guards

    All their finery: On Friday the cavalry will don their ceremonial red jackets

    High security: Anti car-bomb security barriers have been installed outside the Goring hotel where Kate Middleton will stay before the wedding



    Last minute checks are performed on Typhoon aircrafts at RAF Coningsby Royal Air Force station in Lincolnshire before a fly-past rehearsal for the Royal Wedding


    Two Typhoon aircraft take off during the flypast rehearsal today



    MORE FOLLOWS
    ..DESIRULEZ...

    ...being a human...



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    nice thread ..tfs


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    Some People saying they dont care about Royal Wedding But i mean come on its their day

    Sooo Best Wishes


    Edit :- http://www.desirulez.net/showthread.php?t=554743

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    Showbiz royalty: David Beckham, wearing his OBE on his lapel, centre, and his wife Victoria arrive at the west door of Westminster Abbey as guests arrive for the 11am ceremony

    The Royal procession make their way down The Mall to Buckingham Palace after the wedding ceremony





    THE COMMONER BECOMES A DUCHESS ON HER WEDDING DAY


    The Queen has made William the Duke of Cambridge to mark his wedding day and Kate Middleton a Duchess, Buckingham Palace announced.

    William also became the Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus, which means Kate will become the Countess of Strathearn and Baroness Carrickfergus.

    As well as a duchess, Miss Middleton is also technically Princess William of Wales.

    According to protocol, she is not officially Princess Catherine as she was not born a princess in her own right.

    Instead she adopts her husband's first name, in the same way as Princess Michael of Kent, who married the Queen's cousin Prince Michael of Kent.

    All titles are in the gift of the Queen and it was up to the monarch to choose which one to bestow on her grandson and his new wife.

    But William's thoughts will also have been taken into account by the royal matriarch in a private discussion between the Prince and his grandmother.

    Tradition dictates that royal men receive a title on their wedding - and often more than one.


    The festivities started at around 8.15am when the first guests - including royal figures, leading politicians and top names from the showbiz world - made their way to the Abbey for the wedding of the century.
    At 10.10am Prince William and his brother Harry left Clarence House, both in full military uniform for the short drive. He was later followed by his bride who had successfully managed to keep her wedding dress a secret from the world.

    Kate Middleton today left behind her commoner roots to become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge after marrying Prince William.
    The royal couple officially became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after tying the knot. Prince William has also become the Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.
    David and Victoria Beckham, Guy Ritchie and Chelsy Davy were among the 1,900 guests in Westminster Abbey this morning.
    There were squeals of joy from the crowd when Beckham waved to the crowd as he arrived. He was wearing a Ralph Lauren morning suit with the OBE he received in 2003 pinned to the right lapel, with his hair slicked back.

    His wife, who is pregnant with their fourth child, wore a dark blue dress she designed herself accessorised with a hat by celebrated milliner Philip Treacy.
    William's close Eton friend Harry Meade was seen queuing to get into the abbey, as guests waited to take their seats.
    Kate Middleton arrives at Westminster, adorned with trees, as the congregation sing


    Prince Charles and Camilla followed by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip walk down the red carpet at Westminster Abbey
    Cameras click as Kate Middleton arrives and walks into Westminster Abbey





    Kate walks up the aisle, holding her father's hand, with Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton supporting her dress, left. Right, a smiling Kate waves to the crowds outside the Abbey






    Royal arrivals: Princess Eugenie, blue dress, and Princess Beatrice arrive at Westminster Abbey (right) while Prince Charles and Camilla smile as they walk in for William's wedding



    Celebration: Royals fans in Hyde Park watched the wedding on a big screen

    On The Mall crowds waved flags and cheered when the Band of the Coldstream Guards marched down toward the Duke of York Steps.

    Playing hits such as Barry Manilow's Copacabana, the 44-member band got spectators moving their feet.

    The band was directed by Lieutenant Colonel Graham Jones alongside Drum Major Scott Fitzgerald. The historic band has been in existence for more than 200 years.





    Wedding guests: Chelsy Davy, wearing a green outfit, leaves her home to head to the Royal Wedding, left, and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson walks into Westminster Abbey, right



    Pippa Middleton arrives with the bridesmaids and pageboys ahead of the wedding


    They came in their thousands: Royal fans lining the route cheer as guests arrive before the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton



    Bridesmaids and page boys: Tom Pettifer laughs as he arrives with Master William Lowther-Pinkerton, Lady Louise Windsor and Margarita Armstrong-Jones


    The Queen and Prince Philip take their seats


    The day is here: A military band perform as they march on the Mall this morning hours before William and Kate marry at Westminster Abbey

    Pippa Middleton walks into Westminster Abbey with three bridesmaids and two page boys


    The nation's grandmother: The Queen arrives at Westminster Abbey for the Royal Wedding


    Waiting time: Prince William and his brother Harry walk into the Abbey to wait for the commoner bride Kate Middleton to arrive


    Proudest moment: Kate's mother Carole Middleton walks into Westminster Abbey after a last minute change of outfit

    Samantha Cameron, centre, wearing a figure-hugging green outfit stands next to her husband Prime Minister David Cameron, left, and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, right

    Wedding greetings: Prince William and his best man brother arrive at the Abbey





    After weeks of rehearsals, the ceremonial guards perform prior to the Royal Wedding today

    Earl Spencer talks to guests inside Westminster Abbey where guests were mingling ahead of the 11am ceremony



    Guests arrive: There was almost a party atmosphere inside Westminster Abbey as guests mingled before Kate arrives later

    The couple passed the cheering crowds in The Mall after their wedding ceremony in a 1902 State Landau that was used by Charles and Diana 30 years ago.
    Bridesmaids Lady Louise Windsor, seven, and Margarita Armstrong-Jones, eight, arrived five minutes later, accompanied by pageboy Tom Pettifer, eight, were among the first to arrive at the Abbey.

    Last night, wearing a polka-dot dress, the bride-to-be, accompanied by her sister Pippa and mother Carole, waved to the huge crowd which has gathered outside the hotel in Belgravia last night as she enjoyed her last night as a single lady.

    5,000 people camped out along the Mall hoping to get a good sight of the couple when they pass in the open topped vehicle later this morning.

    More...


    • Keep it under your hat, but this could be wedding dress designer: Mystery woman dodges into Kate's hotel
    • The skateboarding, punk-loving boy from Harlem, New York, who will protect the Queen at the Royal Wedding
    • Let the rip-offs begin: Meet the designer in a royal rush to copy Kate Middleton's wedding gown
    • Beatrice is the star of royal red carpet in white tulle and sequins at the Queen's pre-wedding gala dinner
    • Kate arrives to cheers from thousands camped outside Abbey for final rehearsal as order of service reveals she WON'T 'obey' Wills
    • Police swoop on squatters 'planning to disrupt Royal Wedding' as central London is locked down
    • Pride of Britain! The two Princes don full military uniforms for the big day
    • Here comes the groom: William goes on a final walkabout as a single man as he greets fans on the eve of his wedding
    • The little ones with big roles to rehearse
    • When to see that dress and where to watch that kiss
    • Highest rank for Wills the Duke, as Kate becomes his Duchess


    With showers forecast for the wedding day there had been fears an enclosed carriage would be used. But the decision meant tens of thousands of spectators were able to get a good view of the couple.

    If it had been raining the couple would have travelled along the one-and-a-half mile route to the palace in a Glass Coach.
    Prince Harry, William's best man, and Pippa Middleton, Kate's sister and maid of honour, followed to the Palace in two separate Ascot Landau carriages with the young bridesmaids and page boys.




    Princes William and Harry arrive in Westminster Abbey for the wedding








    Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam, wearing a dazzling polka-dot dress, arrive at Westminster Abbey, right. Inside, left, some guests mingle



    Early start: Spectators line the route the royal carriage will take from Westminster Abbey to the Palace later. There will be 1,900 guests at the ceremony

    Here come the guests: The first of the 1,900 people with invitations to the service arrive. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown will not be there




    The second procession was the Sovereign's Escort mounted by four squadrons from the Household Cavalry.

    The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled in a semi-state Landau as will Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, who will be joined by Kate's parents Michael and Carole Middleton.

    The horses leading the coaches were Cleveland Bays, the only British breed of carriage horse, but for the Queen and the newlyweds Windsor greys were used - traditionally reserved for the monarch.
    Last night a beaming Kate showed no sign of nerves ahead of her marriage today to Prince William.

    Prince William, centre, and his brother, are greeted by Receiver General Stephen Lamport. They walk up the aisle together where they wait for Kate

    And royal fans had an extra treat last night as her husband-to-be greeted well-wishers along The Mall.
    Prince William, accompanied by his brother Harry, shook hands and chatted with the crowd near Clarence House.
    Yesterday morning, Kate was greeted by cheers at the abbey as she was joined by best man Prince Harry - as well as the bridesmaids and pageboys and members of her family - for one last run-through of the big day which will be watched by 2 billion people round the globe.
    Later on, the Duchess of Cornwall went out onto the Mall to meet well-wishers and those camping out ahead of today’s event during an impromptu walkabout.


    Huge support: Royal supporters wait along the processional route hoping to catch a glimpse of the couple as they make their way to the Abbey




    First people arrive: The 1,900 wedding guests are arriving at Westminster Abbey ahead of the service scheduled for 11am





    A BRITISH FEEL TO THE CEREMONY


    The bride will walk up the aisle to the dramatic sounds of a coronation anthem - the soaring choral masterpiece 'I was glad' by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry from Psalm 122.
    It was composed for the crowning of Prince William's great-great-great grandfather Edward VII at Westminster Abbey in 1902, but is also popular at weddings.
    As the choir begins to sing, the bride will begin her three and a half minute procession through the Nave and Quire to meet her Prince on her father's arm.
    The newlyweds will leave the Abbey to the sounds of the well-known rousing orchestral march Crown Imperial by William Walton, which was also played at Charles and Diana's wedding.
    The three hymns - 'Guide me, O thou great Redeemer', 'Love divine, all loves excelling' and Jerusalem which begins 'And did those feet in ancient time' - are all favourites of the couple.


    When asked how she was feeling ahead of the big day, the duchess said: 'We’re all ready for tomorrow - it’s wonderful and all very exciting!
    'There’s a great atmosphere out here and it’s so nice to meet people and see how the celebrations are getting underway.'
    The journalist who carried out the couple's engagement interview said they were attempting to 'block out the terror of having two billion people' watching them.
    In a personal message to well-wishers, the couple said they were 'incredibly moved' by the affection shown to them since their engagement in the official wedding programme.
    Normally it falls to the Archbishop of Canterbury to write the introductory message, but the couple broke with tradition.
    A St James's Palace spokesman said: 'The couple felt that they wanted to put in a message from themselves.'
    Following in the footsteps of Diana, Miss Middleton did not promise to 'obey' Prince William in her vows.
    With William choosing not to wear a wedding ring, only the prince will said 'With this ring I thee wed' as he places the golden band on Kate's finger.

    David and Victoria Beckham talk to Guy Ritchie inside Westminster Abbey as they wait for William and Kate to arrive


    There was one Lesson during the ceremony read by Miss Middleton's younger brother James.
    William's father the Prince of Wales his stepmother Camilla, Kate's parents Carole and Michael and her sister Pippa all acted as witnesses and sign the marriage registers during the ceremony.
    After a lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace, the Queen will leave - and miss Harry's best man speech and the evening party.
    She will head out of the capital with the Duke of Edinburgh for a private weekend, leaving the newlyweds to party the night away at a black tie evening reception with their friends.




    Arrivals: His wife Sally towering above him in her high heels, House of Commons speaker John Bercow arrives at Westminster Abbey, right. left, Ben Fogle and Marina Fogle






    Family arrive: Kate's uncle Gary Goldsmith leaves his west London home in a £280,000 Rolls Royce Phantom convertible, left, and Miss Middleton's brother James leaves the Goring hotel, right




    Security operation: A man is restrained by police officers outside Westminster Abbey this morning as a huge ring of steel is thrown up around the capital


    Waiting is over: Union Flags in The Mall this morning ready for the newly-married William and Kate to marry later


    Tent city: 5,000 people slept on The Mall to guarantee the best spots along the wedding route, including this man curled up in his sleeping bag


    Buckingham Palace said the Queen would hear a number of speeches at the lunchtime canapes reception for 650 guests, including family, friends, foreign royals, dignitaries and charity workers.
    She will see the bride and groom cutting their lavish multi-tiered wedding cake.

    As final preparations get underway, rain had been threatening to put a dampener on the big day. However, it stayed dry throughout - despite being grey and overcast.



    Beatrice and Eugenie get into the Royal Wedding spirt with Union Jack flags as they leave the Queen's pre-wedding gala dinner




    The world is waiting with bated breath to catch the first glimpse of Prince William and Kate Middleton today in what is undoubtedly the biggest wedding of the decade.
    And it it's not only the public who are excited about the big day, as Princess Beatrice and sister Princess Eugenie showed last night.
    Leaving London's Mandarin Oriental Hotel after the Queen's pre-wedding gala dinner, the sisters teamed their stunning long dresses with wide smiles and waved Union Jack flags for photographers.
    Getting into the spirit: Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie left London's Mandarin Oriental hotel after the Queen's pre-wedding dinner carrying Union Jack flags





    Beatrice looked stunning as she arrived at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge, central London
    While Beatrice wore a white and silver sheath dress covered with sequins and tulle Rachel Gilbert fishtail dress, Eugenie stepped out in a stunning black asymmetric number.
    The girls, the daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, stole the show at the dinner that was held for royals from across Europe and the Middle East.



    Full-length glamour: Eugenie opted for a black corseted gown which showed off her curves to perfection


    Smiles all round: Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, waves for photographers as he arrives with daughter Princess Eugenie

    Their father, the Duke of York, attended along with his sister, Princess Anne, and brother, the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward.
    The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall missed the dinner but attended a drinks reception beforehand.





    One's here now: The Queen was fashionably late in a long lilac dress with silver swirls


    Instead they dined at Clarence House, their official London home, with Princes William and Harry.
    Less than a minute's drive away, Kate Middleton was with her family at the exclusive Goring Hotel in Belgravia.

    More...


    • Kate arrives to cheers from thousands camped outside Abbey for final rehearsal as order of service reveals she WON'T 'obey' Wills
    • Hymn from Diana's funeral to be sung at the Royal Wedding as Kate and Charles chose the music for marriage ceremony
    • Here comes the groom: William goes on a final walkabout as a single man as he greets fans on the eve of his wedding
    • Their last day of freedom: Biker Wills has a game of five-a-side with pals before his final rehearsal with Kate
    • Will rain stop play for Kate and Wills? Forecasters say 'real risk' of heavy showers and thunder ruining Royal Wedding
    • DOMINIC SANDBROOK: Why 1981 was the year that forged modern Britain
    • Let the rip-offs begin: Meet the designer in a royal rush to copy Kate Middleton's wedding gown






    Royal guests arrived through the five-star hotel's back entrance, overlooking Hyde Park and hundreds of eager waiting fans.
    Sophie, Countess of Wessex, accompanied by her husband, the Earl of Wessex, stunned the crowd with a red floor-length dress.




    Couples night out: Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall (right)

    Prince Charles went along to the hotel but left before dinner so that he could eat with Princes William and Harry
    The Queen was fashionably late in a long lilac dress with silver swirls and was met by Lady Anson, the evening's host and the Queen's cousin and was greeted with a kiss on both cheeks outside the hotel.
    Earlier, the Princess Royal arrived by minibus along with Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly. Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Lord Freddie Windsor and Lady Gabriella came in a separate coach.
    Family portrait: Spain's Queen Sofia, Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia arrive for the dinner






    Departure: The Queen and Prince Philip leave the Mandarin after their evening out

    Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall, who will be getting married next later this year, also made an appearance, with Zara looking stunning in a gorgeous asymmetric black dress.
    Other royal guests included Prince Pavlos of Greece and Princess Marie-Chantal, Queen Sofia of Spain, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain, Queen Margarethe of Denmark, Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and Princess Katherine, the Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg, King Harald of Norway and Queen Sonia.






    Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, left, and Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Prince Philip of Belgium










    Regal waves: Britain's Princess Alexandra, left, and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark






    Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and the Duke of Vastergotland, left, and Luxemburg's Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Teresa


    ...being a human...



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    Now here's the showbiz royalty... Victoria goes for minimalistic navy for Royal Wedding while David looks sharp in black suit

    Everyone has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Prince William and Kate Middleton for their big day.
    But before the couple of the moment made an appearance, first it was time for the showbiz royalty - David and Victoria Beckham - to arrive.
    Pregnant fashion guru Victoria wore a stunning midnight blue boat neck tunic dress from her latest AW11 collection, which she unveiled at New York Fashion Week in February.




    Stylish: Victoria and David Beckham arrive for the Royal Wedding today. Victoria wore a dress of her own design while David looked sharp in a Ralph Lauren suit



    Victoria had her hair tied back in a long ponytail and accessorised the outfit with a Phillip Treacy hat and a pair of specially customised Christian Louboutin heels.
    Sky-high: Victoria wore a pair of specially customised Christian Louboutin heels

    However, the outfit was a lot more minimal than some had expected Victoria to wear for the occasion.
    And there was no hint the dress may have been a specially-designed maternity outfit, as Victoria's bump was barely visible under the dress.
    Meanwhile, husband David cut a sharp figure in a smart dark Ralph Lauren grey suit with a light grey cravat, and opted to proudly wear his CBE on his right lapel for the occasion.
    He teamed the suit with black crocodile accented braces and personalised DB cufflinks worked in sterling silver.
    But the effect of the smart outfit was somewhat ruined by the fact Beckham's neck tattoo was clearly visible underneath the collar of his shirt.

    What a trendy pair: David chats to guests as he and Victoria make their way inside


    Famous friends: The Beckhams talk to Guy Ritchie and girlfriend Jacqui Ainsley inside the Abbey

    Victoria has been associated with numerous designers over the years, famously taking to the catwalk for Maria Grachvogel at London Fashion Week, and has been a champion of Roberto Cavalli.

    Like other guests the Beckhams contributed to the couple's wedding charity rather than offering a gift.
    Beckham spoke recently about the build-up to the wedding, admitting the couple were feeling a little nervous about being part of such a massive event.
    He said: 'We are very proud of our Royal family and to be invited to it, we are both excited. Victoria is a little bit worried because she will be a few more months pregnant by then.'

    Suited and booted: Sir Elton John arrived with partner David Furnish, both looking smart in suits





    Support: Sir Elton waves at the crowds eagerly awaiting a glimpse of the celebrity guests outside the Abbey

    Sir Elton John, one of the most esteemed celebrity guests at the ceremony, arrived with civil partner David Furnish at just before 10am.
    While Sir Elton wore a black tail coat and grey trousers with a purple tie, Furnish went for a black suit and grey waistcoat.
    But despite a lot of the celebrities going for darker colours for the ceremony, there were some who stood out from the crowd in bright outfits.



    Brights: Tara Palmer-Tomkinson went for an all-blue outfit, while Joss Stone opted for a tight red dress and shoes

    Waving away: Ben Fogle looked smart in a navy suit and blue tie, while his wife Marina was blooming in a green dress



    Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, who yesterday stepped out in a white dress, went for an all-blue outfit - a royal blue dress, shawl, gloves, hat and shoes.
    And Joss Stone, usually famous for her bare-footed hippy style, looked smart in a tight red dress, with matching shoes, bag and a cream-coloured hat.
    Film director Guy Ritchie, who is actually related to Kate Middleton, arrived with his pregnant girlfriend Jacqui Ainsley, and enjoyed a chat with the Beckhams as they waited to be seated inside the Abbey.
    TV presenter Ben Fogle also went for a bright addition to his outfit with a bright blue tie to complement his navy suit, while his pregnant wife Marina opted for a bright green dress with beige coat and matching hat.



    Kate’s dress designer may still be a mystery. But one thing’s for certain — whoever she’s chosen will be deluged with attention. However if history is anything to go by, that doesn’t always translate into long-term success and riches...
    THE NEW ROMANTICS
    Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding to Prince Charles
    July 29, 1981, St Paul’s Cathedral
    Designers: David and Elizabeth Emanuel
    The Emanuels are the most high-profile example of the extraordinarily bad omens that can emanate from a virginal-looking meringue.
    One minute they were a quirky, studenty couple of unknowns and the next they had been commissioned to design Diana’s wedding dress. They’d only been out of college for a year before they received the telephone call that would change their lives.

    A vision in taffeta: Emanuel's creation was a vast sea of creased silk taffeta with sleeves the size of small sheep, golden horseshoes sewn into hems and puffed-up frills

    Their creation was a vast sea of creased silk taffeta with sleeves the size of small sheep, golden horseshoes sewn into hems and puffed up frills.
    Once they had acquired the right to label themselves By Royal Appointment, everything changed for the designers. They were inundated with requests to design everything from bed linen to ready-to-wear.
    But their fundamental problem was their lack of business acumen. Try as they might, they never seemed to manage to translate the newfound global interest into profit. And by 1990, the souffle had well and truly collapsed. Their joint business ran into trouble (in spite of charging up to £40,000 for a dress) then their marriage followed suit.
    Sadly, Elizabeth’s plans to turn herself into a Ralph Lauren-type fashion-to-lifestyle global brand failed to float and her career went from bad to worse, involving bankruptcy after falling out with her backers. Eventually, she gave in to the siren call of Bhs in 2008 and designed people’s princess dresses at £495 a pop.
    David, meanwhile, discovered his inner minimalist. He ditched all the ruffles when he started designing celebrity wedding dresses for the likes of Jane Seymour (at her fourth wedding), and producing ranges for Bonmarche.
    The Emanuels forced themselves to co-operate on a book a few years later, but two sets of gritted teeth were clearly visible through the veils. They’re both still staggering gently along.
    Medieval: Princess Anne's tudor-style dress had a high collar and pointy wizard-like sleeves

    THE SENSIBLE SEAMSTRESS

    Princess Anne to Captain Mark Phillips
    November 14, 1973, Westminster Abbey
    Designer: Maureen Baker
    A surprise appointment, Maureen Baker had already been chief designer for a ready-to-wear label called Susan Small for 30 years when she bagged the prize of designing a wedding dress for glamorous young Princess Anne, who then looked like a slightly equine British version of Catherine Deneuve. Maureen was unknown then, and unknown she was to remain.
    Introduced to Princess Anne by Princess Alexandra, Maureen created a Tudor-style dress, with a high collar and pointy wizardy medieval sleeves. Maureen made no attempt to seize either the day or the limelight after her royal appointment, instead loyally trotting out around 250 outfits for Anne before she retired in the Nineties, ever the discreet royal dressmaker.
    Frugal Anne and modest Maureen were a good match, largely because the latter had no delusions of turning herself into a brand.
    In fact, it has to be a credit to Maureen that Anne wore one of her dresses 23 years after its first outing (many of her frocks outlasted Anne’s marriage to Mark Phillips) and Maureen happily ‘altered her maternity clothes so she could wear them again when she was slim’.

    Anne favoured matching jackets over dresses because ‘she felt you got two looks for the price of one — jacket on or off’. A permanent size 10, Anne also ‘paid her bills promptly and never asked for a discount,’ said Maureen, who was described as a ‘good finisher’. What a practical pair.

    More...


    • Dress rehearsal at dawn: Hundreds of servicemen stage spectacular trial run for Kate and William's big day
    • Call for special branch! Workmen create Kate's indoor forest at the Abbey as bride and her sister leave home, possibly for the last time
    • Bums like this ARE invited to the royal wedding as fury erupts over snub to Brown and Blair
    • Armed police among royal wedding congregation as 5,000 officers turn the Abbey into Fortress Westminster
    • Pippa Middleton's party plans peeve the Palace as courtiers 'shudder' over glitterballs in the throne room




    THE DEVIL FOR DETAIL
    Sarah Ferguson to Prince Andrew
    July 23, 1986, Westminster Abbey
    Designer: Lindka Cierach

    We haven’t heard much from designer Lindka Cierach in the intervening years between being photographed adjusting Fergie’s dress as she walked up the steps of Westminster Abbey and having a rather embarrassing scrap with Carole Middleton over what she’s wearing on Friday.
    Fergie found Lindka, who was born in Lesotho to Polish parents, through her mother Susan. For Sarah, the svelte blonde designer came up with an ivory duchess satin number designed to ‘showcase her love for Andrew’.

    Duchess satin: Sarah's had padded shoulders, a letter 'A' embroidered into the train, along with an anchor and a bumblebee, which was to Fergie's coat of arms what the acorn is to Kate's

    It had padded shoulders (it was the Eighties — even brides couldn’t escape), a letter ‘A’ embroidered into the train, along with an anchor (for Andrew’s naval career) and a bumblebee, which was to Fergie’s coat of arms what the acorn is to Kate’s.
    After the initial fuss, Lindka went on, quietly and meticulously, to make well fitting suits and dresses for smart women from Cherie Blair (Linda feistily banned Carole Caplin) to Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Rania of Jordan.
    Herself a striking figure, she even inspired a Jilly Cooper character in Pandora, but she didn’t pop back onto the news radar again until it emerged that Carole Middleton had commissioned an outfit from her for her (daughter’s) big day. Both took umbrage — Carole, when Lindka wouldn’t send the unfinished outfit for a trying-on session with her Berkshire pals, and Lindka when she discovered she was part of a beauty parade rather than the winner.
    Now Carole’s got the outfit, but she’s not wearing it on Friday. And poor old Fergie isn’t even invited.
    THE CREAM OF CORNWALL
    The Hon Serena Stanhope to Viscount Linley
    October 8, 1993, St Margaret’s, Westminster
    Designer: Bruce Robbins
    Nicky Clarke did Serena’s bouffant blonde beehive, Philip Treacy made her going away hat, but the honour of making the dress fell to . . . Bruce Robbins.
    Then 28, obsessed with Wallis Simpson and the son of a Cornish pig farmer (there’s the germ of a Billy Elliot-type movie in there somewhere), Bruce had a strong start when he left the Royal College of Art and his first collection was bought in its entirety by Liberty.


    Wholesome: Bruce Robbins chose the groom's mother Princess Margaret's wedding dress as the inspiration for Serena's dress

    He went on to work for Courtauld’s textiles, as a cutter for Bruce Oldfield and Edina Ronay.
    When it came to his royal job, Bruce employed a tactful approach — choosing the groom’s mother Princess Margaret’s wedding dress as the inspiration for Serena’s wasp-waisted, big-skirted dress over his previous favourite royal fashion plate, the naughty Duchess of Windsor.
    Luckily, Serena was far too wholesome-looking to resemble the royal nemesis anyway.
    Robbins’s career didn’t seem to be electrified though and, unromantically, the Poltimore tiara Serena had borrowed from Margaret was eventually flogged at Christie’s for the princely sum of £1 million after her death. Bruce, meanwhile, went quiet, although he does pop up on occasion, designing for Jesire among others.

    THE DRAMA QUEEN
    Sophie Rhys-Jones to Prince Edward
    June 19, 1999, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
    Designer: Samantha Shaw
    The Director’s Oscar at this wedding belonged to Prince Edward rather more than it belonged to society favourite Samantha Shaw.
    It was said that the Queen’s most thespy son had stage-managed the medieval pageant vibe of the event, for which he’d appropriately location-scouted St George’s Chapel at Windsor.


    Drama queen: Sophie wore a pretty silk and organza coat dress by Shaw

    The pageboys and bridesmaids were dressed as ‘miniature knights and dames’ in breeches and feathered caps, and Edward himself designed some Gothic black and white pearl jewellery for his new wife that was made up for him by Asprey & Garrard. Very Maid Marian.
    Luckily, the theme didn’t stretch to Edward wearing the funny Dark Ages outfit he’d once sported on It’s A Royal Knockout.
    Sophie, soon to become (fittingly enough) the Countess of Wessex, wore a pretty silk and organza coat dress made by Shaw (who has a theatrical streak herself having studied costume design), which gave a nod to the medieval theme without getting too Blackadder about it all.
    Shortly before the wedding, Samantha got married herself (to Dave Keswick, a son of Prince Charles’s friends from the Hong Kong Jardine Matheson dynasty). She closed her studio for four years when she had children, but reopened in Paddington in 2007, making pretty dresses for society women again.
    And that suits her fine — at no point has she shown any indication that she was itching to become the next Galliano.
    Avant-garde: For Camilla, Anna made two dresses, instead of one

    THE STYLE TRANSFORMERS
    Camilla Parker Bowles to Prince Charles April 9, 2005, civil ceremony at Windsor Guidhall
    Designers: Robinson Valentine
    The situation at this elegant Kensington label was already a little awkward before duo Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine were invited to make both of Camilla’s coat and dress ensembles for her marriage to the heir to the throne.

    In the run-up to the wedding, the designers had been credited with softening Camilla’s image with some flattering outfits, but by the time of the commission, Antonia Robinson was said to be in Cornwall, ‘taking a break from the company to spend time with her young family’, leaving Anna Valentine wielding the pinking shears on her own.
    Unfortunately, Antonia never returned from the West Country, choosing instead to go native and make rings, which meant that Anna had no choice but to carry on the label alone.
    Both were self-taught, but knew what women like them wanted to wear. With a plush (and slightly intimidating) studio behind London’s Kensington High Street, they would scan English women with an honest eye, and find a cut to suit.
    For Camilla, Anna made two dresses, instead of one: a white chiffon dress with beige coat, and a porcelain blue gown and coat.
    Since she went on to design Camilla’s daughter Laura’s wedding dress the following year, Anna’s outfits must be considered a success — just not a game-changer in terms of raising the label’s profile.
    That said, her studio, now in Marylebone, is still described as ‘one of London’s best kept secrets.’

    ...being a human...



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    Chelsy Davy first off in the glamour stakes in turquoise off-the-shoulder suit as she joins guests at Westminster Abbey


    Early bird: Chelsy Davy departs for the wedding wearing a blue Alberta Ferreti skirt and jacket with grey lace hat, one of two outfits she has planned for today

    Parliament Square turned into a fashion parade this morning as the first of the Royal wedding guests arrive at Westminster Abbey.

    Dozens of colourfully dressed invitees joined the queue at the North door of the Abbey clutching their much-coveted tickets.

    Among the first to arrive was on-off girlfriend of Prince Harry, Chelsy Davy, who arrived at the Abbey wearing an aqua green Alberta Ferretti skirt and off-the-shoulder jacket with a bow at the back, one of two outfits she had made for her by the Italian design house for the day.
    Her taupe lace hat was made for her by milliner Victoria Grant.

    For the evening party, Miss Davy is said to have chosen an asymmetric midnight-blue satin gown.
    She was closely followed by David and Victoria Beckham, he in a bespoke Ralph Lauren morning suit, she in a navy creation from her own collection, paired with a pillbox hat by Philip Treacy and Christian Louboutin shoes customised for her by the designer himself.

    Wedding planners had managed to conjure up an intimate atmosphere within the immense Abbey, creating an extraordinary avenue of 20ft tall summer maple trees that contrasted with the austere slabs of stone and the incredible height of the building.

    Stepping on to the 300ft-long red carpet running the length of the Abbey, the first of the 1,850 guests filed quietly into the majestic Abbey to take their place in the pews, a three hour wait ahead of them before the ceremony was to begin.

    Amid the ever-growing crowd glimpses of vivid scarlet could be spotted as members of the Irish Guard, the regiment of which William is an honorary colonel, arrived wearing the red uniform which is said to be the one William has chosen to wear to say his vows.
    The last time the Irish Royal Guards suit was worn was in 1973 by Captain Mark Philips for his wedding to Princess Anne.

    Hats appeared to be big news at the Abbey, with almost every female guest wearing either a hat or fascinator.

    Doubtlessly this was partly as a mark of religious respect for the venue, but also thanks to the fact that Britain has two world class milliners in Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones, both favourite of the royals and their guests.

    Enlarge


    Controversial: Sally Bercow, arriving at the Abbey with her husband John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, revealed her ample cleavage in a dangerously low-cut dress with above-the-knee skirt with split

    Hats have enjoyed something of a revival in the fashion crowd of late, and with Victoria Beckham setting the standard in her chic navy pillbox and Chelsy in her subtle grey lace fascinator, we can expect a cornucopia of colourful headgear to follow.

    Tara Palmer Tomkinson stunned onlookers with eye-catching blue outfit. Perhaps taking her lead from the Queen, who is known for her matching top-to-toe outfits, Ms Palmer Tomkinson wore an off-the-shoulder sheath dress with jaunty blue Philip Treacy hat decorated with a matching bloom, leather gloves and studded platform shoes, all in an identical shade.

    Arriving at the same time, singer Joss Stone - a close friend of William - attended wearing an almost luminous coral sheath dress with matching cropped jacket, matching shoes and a broad-brimmed straw hat adorned with delicate flowers.






    Colour-blocking: Tara Palmer Tomkinson was a vision in electric blue, with a Philip Treacy hat topping off a clinging sheath dress and studded platform shoes in the same colour; right, Joss Stone shines in vivid coral



    Arriving on the PM's arm, Samantha Cameron hit the right note with her vivid emerald sheath dress with elaborate pleats, designed by British fashion house Burberry. The demure shoulders, high slash-cut neckline and on-the-knee length perfectly followed protocol for a guest at the royal nuptials, as well as SamCam's position as so-called First Lady of Britain.

    The PM's wife accessorised with a contrasting bright orange scarf, statement necklace and nude shoes - but in a move some will no doubt deem controversial, the PM's wife left her head bare.




    Chic: Samantha Cameron chose a vivid emerald sheath dress with elaborate pleats by British fashion house Burberry, with orange scarf, statement necklace and nude shoes - but the PM's wife left her head bare


    Hat-free: PM David Cameron and wife Samantha, he in morning suit, she in a silk teal Burberry dress, accessorised with orange scarf and nude heels - noticeably lacking any form of headgear



    Plunging: A blonde guest wears a daringly low-cut dress for the nuptials, perhaps revealing more than she'd planned to as she is captured by an unexpected overhead camera angle




    Hats off: Fancy headgear was the name of the game for female guests at Westminster Abbey today, with pillbox, wide-brimmed beribboned styles and dramatic feathered fascinators making an appearance





    Dizzy heights: Pregnant Victoria Beckham wore skyscraper 6in heels customised for her with a large platform by Christian Louboutin




    Looking Posh: David Beckham in Ralph Lauren morning suit and Victoria in a navy design from her own AW11 collection with a Philip Treacy pillbox hat


    Carole Middleton arrived at 10.30am sharp, wearing a simple elegant outfit in sky blue by Catherine Walker. The figure-skimming shift dress was paired with a longer dress coat embellished with beautiful detail on the cuffs, very structured with a nipped in waistline emphasising her slim figure. The quintessentially British label was a favourite of the late Princess of Wales.
    Looking nervous as they entered the church, the mother-of-the bride stopped to shake hands with church dignitaries before beginning the long walk down the aisle.
    Majestic: Scenes inside Westminster Abbey reveal 20ft trees reaching up to the high vaulted roof of the Abbey



    Arrivals: Guests file into the Abbey, including a member of the Irish Royal Guards wearing the distinctive red uniform William is to wear to say his vows

    Pride of Britain! The two Princes don full military uniforms for the big day



    Prince William will be married today in red - wearing the famous tunic of an Irish Guards officer rather than his RAF uniform.

    He holds the honorary rank of Colonel of the Irish Guards and honoured the regiment by walking down the aisle with his bride in the dashing scarlet uniform.

    He was also wearing his Garter sash and star, Royal Air Force 'wings', and Golden Jubilee medal.


    It's here: Prince William, left, and his best man Prince Harry arrive at Westminster Abbey in full army dress


    Prince William, dressed in red army tunic, arrives at Westminster Abbey


    Pensive: Prince William appears nervous as he is transported in a Rolls Royce to the Abbey



    The decision is unexpected as the prince is a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF working as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, and could have worn the uniform of the air force.

    The last major royal wedding to feature a groom marrying in 'red' was Captain Mark Phillips, at the time an officer with the 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards who married the Princess Royal in 1973.

    Captain Scarlet: The last major royal wedding to feature a groom marrying in 'red' was Captain Mark Phillips, an officer with the 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards who married the Princess Royal in 1973

    Prince Harry is a newly promoted Captain in the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals and wears the uniform of his new rank.

    William travelled to Westminster Abbey with his brother and best man wearing an Irish Guards mounted officer's uniform in guard of honour order with a forage cap.

    The prince wore a gold and crimson sash, and gold sword slings - both worn in the presence of a member of the royal family - but he will not carry a sword.

    The tunic, in Guards' Red, features the regiment's distinctive arrangement of buttons in groups of four.

    They feature the Harp of Ireland surmounted by the Crown Imperial and the arrangement of buttons on the uniform denotes the Irish Guards' position in the Order of Battle as the fourth regiment out of the five Foot Guards regiments - Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish, Welsh.

    The insignia of the Irish Guards on the forage cap is the eight-pointed Star of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, and features the Regiment's motto Quis Separabit? - Who shall separate us?

    The uniform was fitted by Kashket and Partners - military and civilian tailors who hold a royal warrant from the Queen.
    HRH Prince William of Wales entrusted tailor Mr Russell Kashket to make uniforms, headwear and clothing to be worn by the Prince and members of his wedding party.

    Mr Kashket said: 'We are greatly honoured to receive this order. We believe we are one of the finest tailors and hat-makers in the world, and this is the most momentous wedding the world has seen this decade.'
    Harry wore a Blues and Royals' officer's uniform in dismounted review order, with a forage cap.

    The prince wore aiguillettes, a cross belt and gold waist belt with sword slings, but no sword.

    He is a trainee Apache helicopter pilot and will wear the 'wings' of the Army Air Corps and his Golden Jubilee and Afghanistan Campaign medals.

    More...


    • When to see that dress and where to watch that kiss
    • Here comes the groom: William goes on a final walkabout as a single man as he greets fans on the eve of his wedding
    • Keep it under your hat, but this could be wedding dress designer: Mystery woman dodges into Kate's hotel
    • The skateboarding, punk-loving boy from Harlem, New York, who will protect the Queen at the Royal Wedding
    • The smiles that say the waiting's over: Two billion will watch William marry his middle-class girl and make her a princess
    • Kate arrives to cheers from thousands camped outside Abbey for final rehearsal as order of service reveals she WON'T 'obey' Wills
    • Beatrice is the star of royal red carpet in white tulle and sequins at the Queen's pre-wedding gala dinner
    • Police swoop on squatters 'planning to disrupt Royal Wedding' as central London is locked down


    The forage cap carries the badge of the Blues and Royals, which features the insignia of the Most Noble Order of the Garter with the Queen's cipher.


    So this is what Harry will wear: The gold brocaded uniform of the Blues and Royals is held up by Major Nana Twumasi-Ankrah

    The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of York, among other royals, wore full military ceremonial dress to the service at Westminster Abbey, Clarence House said.

    Charles wore his most formal military uniform when his son ties the knot.

    The Prince, who has held the title of Admiral of the Royal Navy since 2006, wore his blue Royal Navy number one ceremonial dress, a spokesman confirmed.

    Prince Charles, who has held the title of Admiral of the Royal Navy since 2006, will wear his blue Royal Navy number one ceremonial dress

    The uniform was embellished with a blue Order of the Garter sash, worn from his left shoulder to his right side.

    He will also sport a number of military decorations and carry his Royal Naval sword.

    To mark position in the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the Prince will also wear the Garter Star below a row of medals.

    Charles automatically became a Knight of the Garter when he became Prince of Wales in 1958, but was not installed until June 1968, at Windsor Castle. The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded by Edward III in 1348, is the senior British Order of Chivalry.

    As well as the Garter Star, he will wear the Order of the Garter Thistle Star and the badge of the Order of the Bath, the Order of Merit.

    The medals he will brandish include the Queen's Service Order (New Zealand) and the Coronation Medal - awarded in 1953 to commemorate the Queen's Coronation. He will also wear Silver and Gold Jubilee medals awarded for the Queen's time on the throne, a Canadian Forces Decoration and the New Zealand Commemorative Medal.

    Other royals who will wear military dress include the Duke of Edinburgh, who will wear his Grenadier Guards uniform with a Garter sash. The uniform boasts a scarlet tunic with blue facings and dark blue trousers with a red stripe.

    The Duke of York - Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy - will also sport a Garter sash, as will the Earl of Wessex, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent, who will all be wearing their military dress.

    Prince Michael of Kent and the Princess Royal's husband Admiral Laurence will also wear ceremonial military dress.
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    ...being a human...



  9. #9
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    A regal wave: Kate arrives with sister and mother at their London hotel to spend final night as a single woman... and as a commoner



    • Couple trying to 'block out terror' of wedding watched by two billion
    • Syrian ambassador told he's not invited after uprising slaughterings
    • Rain and thunder could disrupt Royal wedding, forecasters say
    • Kate's younger brother James will do the ONLY reading during the service
    • Royal pair broke with tradition by writing own message in official programme
    • Queen to miss evening reception at Palace and Harry's best man speech

    After a final rehearsal at Westminster Abbey, Kate Middleton arrived this evening at the Goring Hotel, where her family are staying ahead of her marriage to Prince William tomorrow.
    Wearing a polka-dot dress, the bride-to-be, accompanied by her sister Pippa and mother Carole, waved to the huge crowd which has gathered outside the hotel in Belgravia.
    A beaming Kate showed no sign of nerves as she prepares to spend her final night as a single woman - and a commoner.
    And royal fans had an extra treat tonight as her husband-to-be greeted well-wishers along The Mall.
    Now scroll down to see the video

    Here come the Middletons: Pippa, Kate and mother Carole smile to the crowds as they arrive at the Goring Hotel ahead of Kate's marriage to Prince William tomorrow


    Almost there: Kate Middleton and her family receive huge cheers in Belgravia this evening ahead of her wedding at Westminster Abbey






    I'm getting married in the morning: The bride-to-be waves to the crowds as she prepares to spend her final night as a single woman and a commoner


    A family affair: Kate outside the Goring Hotel with her sister Pippa and mother Carole this evening

    Less than 24 hours to go until Kate marries her prince

    Prince William, accompanied by his brother Harry, shook hands and chatted with the crowd near Clarence House.
    Earlier today, Kate was greeted by cheers at the abbey as she was joined by best man Prince Harry - as well as the bridesmaids and pageboys and members of her family - for one last run-through of the big day which will be watched by 2billion people round the globe.
    The practice took place as it was revealed Miss Middleton will not promise to 'obey' Prince William in her vows.
    Today thousands of royal fans had set up tents outside the Abbey where there was a carnival atmosphere.
    As Kate arrived this morning, a huge cheer went up from the royal fans who have been arriving from round the globe.
    Waving their Union flags, the crowds greeted the passing Household Cavalry this morning before the bride-to-be arrived for a last run-through.
    It is the last time Miss Middleton or a member of the Royal Family will be at the abbey before the service gets under way tomorrow, St James's Palace said.

    Prince William greets well-wishers along The Mall ahead of his wedding



    The happy prince: Kate's husband-to-be clearly enjoyed chatting with his fans



    Best man: Prince Harry joined his brother on the stroll near Clarence House


    One more night: The bride-to-be and her sister Pippa were all smiles as the big day approaches



    Soon to have a prince in the family: Pippa and Carole in Belgravia this evening



    Later on, the Duchess of Cornwall went out onto the Mall to meet well-wishers and those camping out ahead of tomorrow’s event during an impromptu walkabout.

    When asked how she was feeling ahead of the big day, the duchess said: 'We’re all ready for tomorrow - it’s wonderful and all very exciting!
    'There’s a great atmosphere out here and it’s so nice to meet people and see how the celebrations are getting underway.'


    Flying the flag: The Duchess of Cornwall greets royal fans as she arrives at Clarence House earlier today

    Walkabout: The Duchess of Cornwall spoke to royal fans who are camping overnight on The Mall

    New picture: This portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton by celebrated photographer Mario Testino was published in the official programme

    Today the journalist who carried out the couple's engagement interview said they were attempting to 'block out the terror of having two billion people' watching them tomorrow.
    In a personal message to well-wishers, the couple said they were 'incredibly moved' by the affection shown to them since their engagement in the official wedding programme.
    Tomorrow modern-thinking Miss Middleton will pledge to 'love, comfort, honour and keep' William.

    Kate Middleton and Prince Harry at the Abbey this morning for the last run-through. Two billion people are expected to watch the ceremony tomorrow





    Mike Tindall, who is due to marry Zara Phillips in July, arrives at Clarence House

    The soon-to-be royal is following in the footsteps of the Prince's mother Diana who also opted not to 'obey' the Prince of Wales during their wedding ceremony in 1981.

    The Queen, Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal all said they would obey their husbands.

    More...


    • NOW READ the Order of Service in full: See the official souvenir guide for the Royal Wedding of the century here
    • The Royal tent city: Thousands pitch camp outside Westminster Abbey in preparation for London event of the year
    • Wills' last day of freedom
    • Cat who got the cream: Loving the limelight, Philippa is the Middleton sister who doesn't know the meaning of self-doubt. Just don't call her Pippa!
    • DOMINIC SANDBROOK: Why 1981 was the year that forged modern Britain
    • By Royal apartment: Inside the £5,000-a-night room where Kate will stay the night before the wedding
    • How did Kate Middleton's family make their money?
    • Royal Wedding: Latest news on Kate Middleton and Prince William
    • Will rain stop play for Kate and Wills? Forecasters say 'real risk' of heavy showers and thunder ruining Royal Wedding


    William and his fiancee have selected the Series One Book of Common Prayer ceremony, from 1966, which allows the bride to drop 'obey him' and 'serve him' from the religious proceedings.
    With William choosing not to wear a wedding ring, only the prince will say 'With this ring I thee wed' as he places the golden band on Kate's finger.

    Last practice: Kate Middleton, with her mother Carole and Prince Harry, gets into a Jaguar and leaves Westminster Abbey this morning after a final run through. The next time she will be back there will be for the wedding




    Grinning bride: A smiling Kate Middleton, right, arrives at Westminster Abbey for the last run through. Left, her sister Pippa enters with bridesmaid Grace van Cutsem

    Page boy: William Lowther-Pinkerton, 10, arrives at Westminster Abbey for the rehearsal this morning

    The task of writing a message at the start of the official programme usually falls to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
    The wrote that they were deeply touched by people's reactions as they prepare for 'one of the happiest days of our lives', they said.
    A St James's Palace spokesman said: 'The couple felt that they wanted to put in a message from themselves.'

    The signatures 'William' and 'Catherine' can be seen underneath the heartfelt message.
    The programme also contains a hand-drawn colour map of the carriage procession route, as well as the history of the abbey and details of William and Kate's coats of arms.
    It includes a brief history of past Royal Weddings at the abbey, where William the Conqueror was crowned in 1066.

    It declares: 'More than a millennium after the first William made his solemn oath, the abbey hosts another William and his bride for a further moment of great solemnity, but one of great joy as well.'

    Some 150,000 copies of the A5 booklet, costing £2 each, will be made available along the processional route on the wedding day by a team of military cadets and Explorer Scouts.

    By Royal Appointment: Page boy Tom Pettifer, eight, and Lady Louise Windsor arrive for the rehearsals this morning

    Last hours: Kate Middleton and Prince Harry leaves Westminster Abbey with family and friends this morning just a day before the ceremony after the final run through

    Enlarge Official programme: William and Kate said in their message at the start of the keepsake that they would like 'to thank everyone most sincerely for their kindness'

    The royal wedding procession has been planned down to the finest detail

    As final rehearsals are carried out, the Syrian ambassador was told he is not invited after the slaughterings.
    The dramatic announcement came amid mounting fury that a representative of Middle Eastern despot President Bashar Assad was to attend.

    Tomorrow the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams will conduct the vows, before pronouncing the couple 'man and wife'.
    There will be one Lesson during the service, which the couple have asked Miss Middleton's younger brother James to read.

    In the mood: David Cameron takes a stroll along The Mall and meets well-wishers



    Happy memories: The Prime Minister also re-visited the spot where he camped out at for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981

    After a lunchtime reception, the Queen will leave Buckingham Palace - and miss Harry's best man speech and the evening party.

    She will head out of the capital with the Duke of Edinburgh for a private weekend, leaving the newlyweds to party the night away at a black tie evening reception with their friends.

    Buckingham Palace said the Queen would hear a number of speeches at the lunchtime canapes reception for 650 guests, including family, friends, foreign royals, dignitaries and charity workers.

    She will see the bride and groom cutting their lavish multi-tiered wedding cake.

    A message from the royal couple in the souvenir programme says: 'We are both so delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives.
    Wellwishers: Susanna Buckman, from Maryland, U.S. and Jessica and Chelsea Spence from Zimbabwe in the tented village outside Westminster Abbey this morning


    Royal father: Prince Charles arrives at Clarence House this morning hours before his son marries Kate Middleton tomorrow








    Wedding guide: Kate will not vow to 'obey' William it was revealed in vows printed in the official guide this morning. Pictured right, Kate Middleton leaves the final rehearsal last night ahead of the big day




    The seating plan in Westminster Abbey for the families and guests of Kate Middleton and Prince William

    'The affection shown to us by so many people during our engagement has been incredibly moving, and has touched us both deeply.
    'We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone most sincerely for their kindness.'
    However, as final preparations get underway, rain was threatening to put a dampener on the big day.
    Alison Cobb, a meteorologist with Meteogroup, said there was a 'real risk' of Kate Middleton being rained on as she steps from her limousine at 11am to enter Westminster Abbey on her father's arm.
    The keepsake souvenir, which includes the full Order of Service for the marriage ceremony tomorrow, also features a new black and white portrait of the couple by the celebrated fashion photographer Mario Testino.
    In a close-up shot, both the Prince and Miss Middleton are wearing matching open-necked white shirts and are smiling broadly, with Kate leaning towards William.
    In the much anticipated service, the music of famous classical favourites by Elgar, Britten and Vaughan Williams will all sound out around the ancient abbey.
    From the popular hymn Jerusalem to the quintessential English melody Greensleeves, the couple have embraced the nation's musical heritage in their choice of choral pieces and compositions.
    St James' Palace said many of the 'stunning' pieces were picked by the bride and groom for their 'theatre'.


    Final preparations: The household cavalry ride past Westminster Abbey early this morning on the day before the Royal Wedding

    Clock ticking: Kate Middleton arrives at Westminster Abbey with Prince Harry for today's rehearsal ahead of the wedding tomorrow

    Final rehearsal: Prince William and fiancee Kate Middleton leave Westminster Abbey together last night after a last wedding run through



    Catering staff are scanned as they enter Westminster Abbey this morning

    Tom Bradby, ITN political editor and William's friend, told ITV's Daybreak that the couple were trying to foget so many people will be watching.
    'I think there has been a really concerted attempt to block it out and just concentrate on their marriage,' he said.

    'The church is going to be full of many, many people, a lot of whom they've never met, and they just want to think about themselves and what it means to them.'

    Mr Bradby, a former royal correspondent, will attend the wedding as a guest.

    Mr Bradby said William was determined to protect his fiancee from intrusion into their lives.
    'I have really been struck over the last 10 years about how determined he has been to protect,' he said.

    'He looked at his mother and what happened to her and it didn't take a genius to draw the lessons that he's obviously drawn from it - which is he doesn't want that sort of chaos in his life.

    'He's tried to effectively create this iron wall around his friends and his girlfriend. You kind of worry for them that this is the moment the world gets let in.'

    Mr Bradby described the young couple, who met as undergraduates at the University of St Andrews, as 'sophisticated' media operators.


    Beaming: Bride-to-be Kate Middleton as she leaves Westminster Abbey this morning

    The security arrangements for Friday's event include sniffer dogs and road closures







    Final countdown: Tents line the street outside Westminster Abbey this morning where William and Kate will wed in a service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury



    Celebration: Buntings are seen hanging across No 10 Downing Street today in readiness for the street party for the Royal Wedding


    Royal celebration: Bucklebury Church of England Primary School, in Kate Middleton's hometown, hold a wedding party today for the bride

    William's father the Prince of Wales and stepmother the Duchess of Cornwall and Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton and sister Pippa will all act as witnesses and sign the historic marriage registers during the ceremony on Friday.
    It also emerged that the bride will walk up the aisle to the dramatic sounds of a coronation anthem - the soaring choral masterpiece 'I was glad' by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry from Psalm 122.
    It was composed for the crowning of Prince William's great-great-great grandfather Edward VII at Westminster Abbey in 1902, but is also popular at weddings.
    As the choir begins to sing, the bride will begin her three and a half minute procession through the Nave and Quire to meet her Prince on her father's arm.
    The newlyweds will leave the Abbey to the sounds of the well-known rousing orchestral march Crown Imperial by William Walton, which was also played at Charles and Diana's wedding.
    The three hymns - 'Guide me, O thou great Redeemer', 'Love divine, all loves excelling' and Jerusalem which begins 'And did those feet in ancient time' - are all favourites of the couple.




    Run-through: Sophie Wessex, left, arrives at Clarence House this morning and, right, Kate Middleton's mother Carole leaves for Westminster Abbey


    Official programme: 150,000 copies have been printed of the A5 booklet, costing £2 each, which will be made available along the route on the wedding day by a team of military cadets and Explorer Scouts




    Royal bride vows to 'love, comfort, honour and keep' William


    Here is the full Solemnization of Marriage conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury from the Order of Service:

    The Archbishop says to Prince William:

    William Arthur Philip Louis, wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?

    He answers:

    I will.

    The Archbishop says to Catherine:

    Catherine Elizabeth, wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?


    She answers:

    I will.

    Royal fans: Enthusiasts sleep on the streets - one of them in a tent adorned with a Union Jack - outside Westminster Abbey as they guarantee themselves the best spots for tomorrow's ceremony

    The Archbishop continues:

    Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?

    The Archbishop receives Catherine from her father's hand. Taking Catherine's right hand, Prince William says after the Archbishop:

    I, William Arthur Philip Louis, take thee, Catherine Elizabeth to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse: for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy law; and thereto I give thee my troth.

    They loose hands.
    Catherine, taking Prince William by his right hand, says after the Archbishop:

    I, Catherine Elizabeth, take thee, William Arthur Philip Louis, to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse: for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy law; and thereto I give thee my troth.

    They loose hands.

    Tent city: Hundreds of campers were set up outside Westminster Abbey this morning and cheered as Kate Middleton and senior members of the Royal family arrived for a run through

    Exclusive entrance: Workmen erect a screen at the front of The Goring hotel which Kate Middleton has chosen as a base for herself and her closest family ahead of the royal wedding

    The Archbishop blesses the ring:

    Bless, O Lord, this ring, and grant that he who gives it and she who shall wear it may remain faithful to each other, and abide in thy peace and favour, and live together in love until their lives' end.

    Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Prince William takes the ring and places it upon the fourth finger of Catherine's left hand.
    Prince William says after the Archbishop:

    With this ring I thee wed; with my body I thee honour; and all my worldly goods with thee I share: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

    The Congregation remains standing as the Couple kneels.

    The Archbishop says:

    Let us pray.

    O eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, giver of all spiritual grace, the author of everlasting life: send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy name; that, living faithfully together, they may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, whereof this ring given and received is a token and pledge; and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Amen.

    The Archbishop joins their right hands together and says:

    Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.

    The Archbishop addresses the Congregation:

    Forasmuch as William and Catherine have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth either to other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce that they be man and wife together, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

    The Archbishop blesses the Couple:

    God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you; and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen.
    ...being a human...



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    Here comes the groom: William goes on a final walkabout as a single man as he greets his fans on the eve of his wedding




    By David Wilkes
    Last updated at 11:09 PM on 28th April 2011


    • Comments (195)
    • Add to My Stories



    • There's no room left near the Abbey for people wanting to get the first glimpse of the married couple
    • Camilla went out to meet people waiting outside Clarence House earlier in the day

    Prince William delighted thousands of well-wishers in The Mall last night as he staged an impromptu walkabout.

    Joined by his brother Harry, the beaming prince stunned die-hard fans when he appeared from Clarence House at about 8.30pm to thank them for their support.

    A few burst into tears and a sea of hands rose up, desperate for the chance to shake hands with the prince and to wish him luck before the big day.


    The happy prince: Prince William greets well-wishers along The Mall ahead of his wedding



    Best man: Prince Harry joined his brother on the stroll near Clarence House

    Dressed casually in a pale shirt, black jumper and chinos, he looked relaxed as he cracked jokes with the crowd, echoing his mother Diana’s easy nature with the adoring public.

    He paid particular attention to the children who squeezed forward to peer over the barrier at the tall prince.

    His brother Harry kept his distance so as not to detract attention from the man of the hour – so much so that television cameras did not even notice he was there until he strolled back into Clarence House.

    Focus on the groom: William is captured on camera by a well-wisher



    Some of the crowd had been camped for several days to secure prime position for the wedding procession, but it was all worthwhile for a fleeting glimpse of the prince. One said: ‘I cannot believe he actually came out to meet us. That shows what a friendly, lovely person he is.’
    Earlier, the sense of anticipation had been growing among those who had already bagged spots outside Westminster Abbey.

    Among them were Sarah Trotter and Angela Davie, who as giggly schoolgirls in 1981 had made the trip to London to see William’s parents Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles tie the knot.

    The women, both 46, proudly paraded their patriotic credentials by wearing T-shirts specially printed for the occasion bearing the slogan ‘Back Again’ above a photograph of them as 16-year-olds at Charles and Diana’s wedding.




    A casual stroll: Prince Harry greets some fans - and William looked relaxed as he cracked jokes with the crowd

    ‘We love the pomp and ceremony of a big royal occasion. Nobody does it like the British,’ said Mrs Trotter, a married mother of two from Ashford, Surrey, who runs a wedding dress shop.

    ‘The Royal Family’s image is brought down a bit by some of its members but they are an institution and I think we should be more proud of them than we are in this country.’

    Also among the hundreds who have set up camp outside the Abbey was legendary royal fan Terry Hutt.

    The 76-year-old has been a supporter of the monarchy since he was four when the Queen Mother visited Holloway, North London, where he lived, to see the damage done by Nazi bombs in the Blitz.

    More...


    • By Royal apartment: Inside the £5,000-a-night room where Kate will stay the night before the wedding
    • Kate arrives to cheers from thousands camped outside Abbey for final rehearsal as order of service reveals she WON'T 'obey' Wills
    • Millions of will miss the Royal Wedding day fun as thousands of ********s will not be giving workers a paid day off
    • Syrian ambassador is told you're NOT invited: Despot's envoy told he's off wedding guest list after hundreds slaughtered in uprising
    • Cat who got the cream: Loving the limelight, Philippa is the Middleton sister who doesn't know the meaning of self-doubt. Just don't call her Pippa!
    • Royal Wedding: Latest news on Kate Middleton and Prince William
    • A right royal hat-trick: How William and Kate's Wedding celebration will be the third of its kind for one street


    He claims to have been to watch almost every significant royal occasion since.

    Mr Hutt took up his place on Tuesday and will have spent 72 hours waiting on the pavement by the time William and Kate tie the knot.
    ‘It’s true love,’ he said. ‘They met at university, fell out for a bit, and have had to get to know each other. I can’t wait to see them come out the Abbey a married couple.

    ‘They are the future King and Queen, I had to be here.’

    Others had travelled from New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. Joan Martin, 57, a sales rep from Wisconsin, said: ‘William is wonderful and Kate is so down to earth. It’s the wedding of the century, it’ll be awesome.’
    Earlier in the day the Duchess of Cornwall went out onto the Mall to meet well-wishers and see those camping out ahead of tomorrow’s event during an impromptu walkabout.

    When asked how she was feeling ahead of the big day, the duchess said: 'We’re all ready for tomorrow - it’s wonderful and all very exciting!

    'There’s a great atmosphere out here and it’s so nice to meet people and see how the celebrations are getting underway.'





    Meet and Greet: Camilla Duchess of Cornwall stepped out to meet people on the Mall on the eve of the wedding



    Royal tent city: Thousands camp outside Westminster Abbey for event of the year
    Anyone still hoping they can get close to the action outside Westminster Abbey had better think again because the area opposite the historic church has turned into a camp site full of Royal fans desperate for the best spot for tomorrow's wedding.
    The run-up to the nuptials, which are set to be watched by billions worldwide, has proved a quintessentially English affair - with tea, cakes, tiaras, bunting and flags all on show in and around Parliament Square.
    Thousands of diehard Royalists from across the world have descended on the patch of central London outside the Abbey as they vie to secure the best viewing position before Kate and Prince William marry.

    Many have already camped out for several nights and have come with their tents, sleeping bags and even gazebos as they attempt to cater for all potential turns in the weather.



    Royal fever: People camping in tents opposite Westminster Abbey have assured themselves a good view




    Red, white an blue: As well as the T-shirt, hat and the hair, this lady even painted her nails in the colours of the Union flag while, right, Terry Hutt 77, from Cambridge, is clearly a fan of the union



    What a pair of cards: Royal fans dressed as King and Queen of Hearts walk along the Mall





    Huddling together for warmth overnight, they passed around flasks of tea, shared crosswords and pinned reels of bunting to any surface available as they prepared for the Royal event of the decade.

    As dawn broke over the historic church, a sea of red, white and blue emerged as hundreds of tents lined the cobbled pavement.
    Bewildered tourists were left little space to squeeze past on their way to London's other sights, which have paled into insignificance by the most anticipated Royal wedding since Prince Charles married Lady Diana in 1981.
    Some onlookers even wrapped themselves in their Union Flags to beat the brisk morning air, which they will soon unfurl when Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive tomorrow.




    Crowning achievement: One hopes this lady's headwear isn't the real thing pilfered from Tower of London while, right, John Loughrey, 56, brought a replica of the official engagement ring, perhaps in the hope of finding his own princess with so many fellow royal fans in attendance



    Right royal celebration: Tents lining the cobbled pavement as the world's press do their rounds






    One girl takes a load off on an inflated pink sofa as they camp out in Parliament Square and (right) Royal fans wrapped up in sleeping bags to keep the cold out




    Britain's got passion: Amanda Holden quizzes campers outside Westminster Abbey today






    Christopher Farrow, 50, was propping himself up on the barricade, wearing a William and Kate tea towel and a Union flag round his waist, with two flags on sticks tucked into his waistband.
    Mr Farrow, from Nottingham, said: 'I can't wait. This is what makes Britain great. Because of people like us camping out, everybody else wants to get involved.'

    'There will be billions of people watching -- and I will be seeing it with my own eyes. I'm going to go absolutely mad -- cheer, shout and wave my flags.'

    A long night: Diehards stir as the sun rises with 24 hours to go before the Royal event of the decade




    Who will buy? A street vendor draped in a William and Kate flag sells his royal wedding souvenirs in Trafalgar Square and, right, there's a smart suit somewhere under the clingfilm and cut-outs combination belonging to Richard Firth from Reading





    Royal watchers wearing tiaras talk amongst the tents outside the entrance the historic church



    Nice lie in: A man sleeps in his open tent covered in a Union Flag duvet




    Some fans pitched camp as early as two days ago in a bid to get as close to the action as possible.
    John Loughrey, 56, was the first to arrive last night with only a sleeping bag and two carrier bags at the start of a week-long vigil to ensure a prime position for the event.

    He was dressed in a Kate and William T-shirt, emblazoned with the words 'Diana Would Be Proud' with the images of Kate and William tied round his waist and a Union flag hat.

    From across the pond; Four royal fans from the U.S. are show their own version of the red, white and blue outside Westminster Abbey




    Suitably attired: One supporter sports a suit made from pictures of the Royal family while, right, one wonders if this fan already wearing a ring on that finger - there'll still be one unmarried Prince in town after tomorrow's festivities




    Cold time: The royal watchers had camped out all night in a bid to get the best spot to see the event



    Carnival: Campers set up trellis tables and passed round sandwiches to get through the cold night




    The former assistant chef, from Wandsworth, south west London, a self-confessed 'super fan' of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, said he planned to stay in his position until Saturday.

    'I have always been loyal to the Royal Family,' he said. 'I think they are good for Britain and good for tourism. We have had them for more than 1,000 years and they make a great contribution to the life of this country.'


    Mr Loughrey said he had attended every single hearing of the inquest into the death of Diana, camping for three days outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London.

    He became so well-known at the inquest - with 'Diana' and later 'Dodi' painted on his face - that he was even given a special mention by the coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker.

    Oh, what a knight: Colin Bickers walked 55 miles from his home town of Worthing in his full suit of armor for the wedding - raising money for charity along the way




    Hat's entertainment: Tina Pittock from Aldershot with headwear created specially or the occasion but the event has brought visitors from across the Atlantic too





    Tired of the wedding festivities already? Two boys catch up on sleep on the pavement outside Westminster Abbey


    Tornado GR4 aircraft take off from RAF Coningsby station in Lincolnshire for a fly-past rehearsal



    Typhoon (top and bottom) and Tornado GR4 (left and right) aircraft rehearse their fly-past for the Royal wedding

    Mr Loughrey, whose partner Marion died of skin cancer in 2003, also spent four days camped outside following the death of Diana in 1997.


    He said he believed Miss Middleton and William would be together 'forever'.

    'They have taken their time over marriage, unlike the Prince's late mother - she got married maybe far too young,' he said. 'The Prince has learned from his mother to take his time.'

    The mass of well-wishers from all over the globe included Canadian hairdressing duo Cathy Shepphard, 50, and Isabell Mackey, 47, from Ontario. They arrived in the UK yesterday and said they were surprised that so many people were already camping at the abbey.


    Union Flag and George Cross flag bunting hangs outside the Lamb and Flag pub in central London


    'When we heard William and Kate were engaged we thought we'd never get the chance to see the royal wedding, but then we thought why not?' Ms Mackey said.
    'Just to see William and Kate will be exciting, we just want to enjoy all of it. 'It's always been my dream to see England, I'm fascinated by it,' she added.

    The duo have come prepared with Union flags and homemade royal hats which incorporate the Canadian flag. 'We know that the British wear fancy hats and you can't come to a royal wedding and not wear your hat,' Ms Mackey said.

    Union flag bunting and other brightly coloured flags adorn the metal barriers that line the busy main road. An array of red and white balloons hovered in the air above collections of wedding memorabilia.

    Street peddler Tony Mullarkey, 52, had travelled to London from Worcester with a thousand red and white rubber bracelets adorned with the royal couple's names.

    The trader, whose face was painted with a Union flag attracted a lot of media attention as he pitched up. He said he hoped to sell all the bracelets along with bunting and flags but had been warned he would not be allowed to set up a stand.
    ...being a human...



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    Is this picture proof that Alexander McQueen's successor Sarah Burton is designing Kate Middleton's wedding dress?




    With an extravagant furry hood hiding her face, she ducked down and dashed at full tilt from the car into The Goring hotel – doing everything in her power to avoid being identified.

    But there were several clues that the mystery woman who ran into Kate Middleton’s hotel in Belgravia yesterday afternoon was Sarah Burton, creative director of the Alexander McQueen label and very likely the wedding dress designer.

    The late McQueen’s 36-year-old protégée has previously been tipped for the most coveted fashion commission of the decade.


    Could Kate Middleton's wedding dress really be McQueen? A woman fitting designer Sarah Burton's description was spotted entering the Goring Hotel today with her face obscured by a large fur hat


    Like the woman who arrived at the hotel at 3pm, three hours before Kate, Mrs Burton has a slender build, fair skin and favours loose-fitting, cropped blue trousers and flat ballet pumps.



    More...


    • A regal wave: Kate arrives with sister and mother at their London hotel to spend final night as a single woman... and as a commoner
    • Let the rip-offs begin: Meet the designer in a royal rush to copy Kate Middleton's wedding gown
    • Here comes the groom: William goes on a final walkabout as a single man as he greets fans on the eve of his wedding
    • When to see that dress and where to watch that kiss
    • The skateboarding, punk-loving boy from Harlem, New York, who will protect the Queen at the Royal Wedding
    • Her 'meticulous' Majesty: Queen fusses about every detail of wedding bash... says royal cousin charged with planning party
    • Beatrice is the star of royal red carpet in white tulle and sequins at the Queen's pre-wedding gala dinner


    She also owns an identical silver-studded belt, and her designs at Paris Fashion Week this year also included oversized fur hoods.
    Kate's style secret? The woman entering Miss Middleton's hotel looked very like Mrs Burton

    An onlooker said: ‘She ducked right down and ran in as quick as you like. The whole thing was in under half a second. It was very odd. If that’s not Sarah Burton, I’ll eat my hat.’

    Kate, 29, has been determined to keep her designer and gown under wraps to ensure maximum surprise when she emerges from her Rolls-Royce outside Westminster Abbey at 11am today.

    The designer is understood to be British and rumours have suggested he or she is a relatively little-known, upcoming couturier.

    Sophie Cranston, Alice Temperley and Bruce Oldfield have also been mooted as possibilities.

    Cheshire-born Mrs Burton was assistant and confidante to McQueen for 14 years – and was devastated by the East End designer’s suicide last year at the age of 40.

    Kate is thought to have chosen Mrs Burton after being impressed by a £10,000 silk strapless wedding gown worn by her friend Sara Buys, who married the Duchess of Cornwall’s son Tom Parker Bowles in 2005.

    She has also created dresses for Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Bjork.
    Reports earlier this year claimed that McQueen’s chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd had told a colleague that the label had secured the commission.

    Mr Akeroyd, Mrs Burton and a spokesman for the label all hurriedly insisted the story was untrue.

    But Kate’s chosen designer is understood to have been sworn to secrecy, and royal aides did not deny the speculation.

    One said: ‘Catherine genuinely wants to keep her dress and designer a secret until the day of the wedding, in line with tradition.

    'The details are top secret – even high-up Royal Household staff aren’t being told, especially the men.’

    Kate is contributing her own design ideas to the process but if the designer is Mrs Burton – who lives in north London with her photographer husband David – we can expect dramatic tailoring, clinging fabrics and a flowing veil.





    Last day as a commoner: Miss Middleton gave waiting fans a wave as she arrived at the Goring Hotel today






    Setting a trend? Miss Middleton is believed to have been inspired by the Alexander McQueen dress worn by fashion editor Sara Buys for her wedding to the Duchess of Cornwall's son Tom Parker-Bowles

    Last year’s spring/summer collection included thousands of feathers, pagan-inspired corn dolls and Japanese silk. She has also been inspired by McQueen’s references to sex, fetishes, religion, politics and death.
    The Alexander McQueen label failed to respond to inquiries this evening. St James’s Palace declined to comment.


    When to see that dress and where to watch that kiss: Your essential guide to the Royal Wedding




    After six months of waiting since the announcement of their engagement, the day has finally come. And to make sure you won't miss a single moment of today's Royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, we've provided a handy guide.

    For those planning to brave the crowds and watch the ceremony and carriage procession, our detailed map has everything you need. If you are watching events from home, you will find details below of who is on hand in the studios and the key times to watch.
    Enjoy the festivities...











    The Royal arrivals: The Queen leads the way in a bright yellow outfit as the Windsors arrive at Westminster Abbey


    The Queen looked resplendent as she led the Windsors in arriving at Westminster Abbey today for her grandson's wedding.

    Adding a splash of colour to proceedings, she wore an Angela Kelly-designed single crepe wool primrose dress with hand-sewn beading at the neck in the shape of sunrays.
    Over this, she wore a matching double crepe wool tailored primrose coat.


    Resplendent in yellow: The Queen wore a primrose two-piece by designer Angela Kelly to the ceremony at Westminster Abbey

    Angela Kelly designed the Queen's hat too - a matching crepe hat with handmade silk roses and matching apricot-coloured leaves.
    The Queen also wore Queen Mary's True Lovers Knot diamond brooch.
    Spectators lined the streets as other members of the Royal Family made their way to Westminster Abbey, including The Prince of Wales who arrived with the Duchess of Cornwall in a Rolls-Royce.

    Royal greeting: The Queen met with Reverend John Hall, the Dean of Westminster, as she arrived at the Abbey


    Father of the bride: Prince Charles was one of the later royal arrivals along with the Duchess of Cornwall in an outfit by Anna Valentine

    In an unsurprising choice, the Duchess of Cornwall sported an Anna Valentine dress for the royal wedding.
    Camilla wore a champagne silk dress with matching duck egg blue and champagne hand-embroidered coat, both by the designer.


    More...


    • 'You look beautiful': What William whispered to radiant Kate as she arrived at the Abbey in a fairytale dress for a fairytale wedding . . .
    • Carole Middleton is every inch the Royal mother of the bride in sky blue dress after ditching specially-designed outfit at late minute
    • Tents, tiaras and more than a few tears: Thousands line the route to cheer the Royal newlyweds
    • This is Britain at its best, says Cameron as he tells of pride at seeing William overcome his mother's death to find love
    • Here comes the McQueen: Kate Middleton marries her Prince in stunning design by Sarah Burton


    She also carried an Anna Valentine clutch bag, and wore a Philip Treacy hat and shoes made by Jimmy Choo.

    Hats off to them: Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice both wore eye-catching headgear for the ceremony

    The decision will not come as much of a surprise - Camilla wore a dress by the British designer to her own wedding in 2005.
    And Valentine regularly produces outfits for the duchess, who has been known to wear five or more of her creations in a month.




    Bride Kate Middleton walks down the isle with father Michael at Westminster Abbey, central London, for her wedding to Britain's Prince William, Friday April 29, 2011.





    Britain's Prince William and his bride Kate Middleton exchange rings during their wedding service at Westminster Abbey, London, Friday April 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Andrew Milligan, Pool)






    Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge stand outside of Westminster Abbey after their Royal Wedding in London Friday, April, 29, 2011.




    In this image taken from video, Britain's Prince William and his bride, Kate Middleton, as they stand at the altar at Westminster Abbey for the Royal Wedding in London on Friday, April, 29, 2011.






    In this image taken from video, Britain's Prince William and his bride, Kate Middleton, as they stand at the altar at Westminster Abbey for the Royal Wedding in London on Friday, April, 29, 2011.






    Prince William of Wales arrives to attend his Royal Wedding to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding.




    Christine Peckham from London wears a fancy hat along the Royal Wedding route in London Friday, April, 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)






    Royal enthusiasts Molly Thorne, right, and Clarissa Marston, left, from Bedford, UK, wear bridal gowns as they cross The Mall next to Buckingham Palace along the Royal Wedding route in London Friday, April, 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)






    Inside tent from left to right, Michelle Berrisford, Storme Berrisford and Sommer Berrisford from Staffordshire camp overnight on the Royal Wedding route near Westminster Abbey in London late Thursday, April, 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)






    A royal enthusiast talks to a policeman at the junction of the Mall and Horse Guards Road for the Royal Wedding in London Friday, April, 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Bogdan Maran)






    Australian mint commemorative HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton coins are on display in the CBD of Sydney, Australia, Friday, April 29, 2011. The Australian mint exchanged 15,000 coins ahead of the royal wedding tonight with a further two million being put into circulation over a period of time.




    The commemorative figurines depicting the royal marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton created by the artisan Genny Di Virgilio at San Gregorio Armeno on April 28, 2011 in Naples, Italy. (Photo b



    This handout image provided by the US Postal Service shows The Royal Wedding Presentation Pack being sold by the Postal Service. Britain's Royal Mail issued a special commemorative stamp for the wedding and American postal authorities are offering it as part of a wedding commemorative packet. (AP Photo/USPS)






    A British army band marches for the Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace, in central London, Thursday April 28, 2011. Britain's Prince William and his fiance Kate Middleton will marry on April 29, 2011. ((AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)






    Royal enthusiast Anne Dalev from Cardiff, Wales, and her dog Camilla sit in front of Westminster Abbey in London, Thursday, April 28, 2011. Revelers are camping out outside the Abbey where Prince William and Kate Middleton are due to get married on Friday, April 29. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)






    A spectator dressed as a policeman laughs outside Westminster Abbey on the eve of the Royal Wedding between Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton in London, Thursday April 28, 2011.(AP Photo/Owen Humphreys-pa)






    Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, center, greets members of the public who have camped out on the Mall outside of Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday April 28, 2011, ahead of the Royal Wedding on Friday April 29. Prince William and Kate Middleton will seal their private love in the most public of spectacles Friday when they vow to comfort and honor each other in a wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey expected to be seen by a record global TV audience. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)






    Royal supporters Susanna Brockman, left, from Maryland, US, Chelsea Spence and Jessica Spence, right, from Zimbabwe show their T-shirts on the pavement near Westminster Abbey in London, Thursday, April 28, 2011. Royal enthusiasts are camping out on the pavement to reserve a spot to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton as they arrive to marry in Westminster Abbey on Friday, April 29. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)






    Wendy Davis, members of National Association of Flower Arranging Societies, smells the lilac flowers at Westminster Abbey in London, during preparations for the upcoming royal wedding between Kate Middleton and Britain's Prince William, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, Pool)





    This August 2002 file photo shows Balmoral Castle, near Ballater in the Scottish Highlands. In real estate, it's location, location, location. For royal honeymooners, it's privacy, privacy, privacy. Once they are man and wife, Prince William and Kate Middleton may combine the two by honeymooning at the queen's 50,000-acre Balmoral estate in Scotland, a family holding so vast that the couple could relax without worrying about their every movement being tracked by long-lensed paparazzi. They would likely combine a stay in Scotland, a beautiful spot but with iffy weather, with a visit to a reliably sunny locale, royal experts believe.(AP Photo/Martin Cleaver)






    As part of the preparations for the royal wedding between Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, a British Army tailor, right, adjusts uniforms for British Army's Foot Guards of the Household Division, in their barracks near Buckingham Palace, central London, Wednesday, April 20, 2011. Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton will get married on April 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)






    Choristers, front row left, Archie Buchanan, Hal Arnold-Forster and Edward Daly members of the Choir of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal, wearing their State Coats, rehearse in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace, in London, Monday April 18, 2011. The Choir are to perform in Westminster Abbey at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.(AP Photo/Dominic Lipinski-pa)






    (L to R) Princess Alexandra, Julia Ogilvy and James Ogilvy attend a gala pre-wedding dinner held at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on April 28, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)






    In this image taken from video, guests begin arriving inside Westminster Abbey for the Royal Wedding in London on Friday, April, 29, 2011. (AP Photo/APTN)






    Greece's Crown Prince Pavlos, and his wife Princess Marie-Chantal, arrive at a central London hotel for a pre-royal wedding dinner hosted by Lady Elizabeth Anson and attended by members of the British royal family and foreign royal families, in London, Thursday, April, 28, 2011. The dinner is on the eve of the royal wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)






    Sophie, Countess of Wessex arrives at a central London hotel for a pre-royal wedding dinner hosted by Lady Elizabeth Anson and attended by members of the British royal family and foreign royal families, in London, Thursday, April, 28, 2011. The dinner is on the eve of the royal wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)






    Queen Elizabeth II (C) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (2R) leave a gala pre-wedding dinner held at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on April 28, 2011 in London, England.
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