News / Europe

Britain's Royal Wedding: From Cake to Clergy

Cake designer Fiona Cairns poses for a photograph with a tray of decorations for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding cake in Fleckney
Cake designer Fiona Cairns poses for a photograph with a tray of decorations for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding cake in Fleckney

St. James's Palace in London has published a detailed review of all the aspects of the April 29 wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Here are some of the highlights:

Who Is Paying?

The Royal family, with a private contribution from the millionaire Middleton family, is paying for wedding including the service at Westminster Abbey, the flowers, dresses, carriage procession, reception and dinner. Britain's government is picking up the tab for all other costs associated with the wedding.

When Does it all Start ... and End?

07:15 UTC:
the general congregation will start arriving at the Great North Door of Westminster Abbey.
09:15 UTC: the bridegroom arrives at the Abbey. Half an hour later, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive.
09:51 UTC: the bride is to leave the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey.
10:00 UTC: the marriage service begins, and will be relayed by audio speakers along the procession route.
11:15 UTC: the wedding procession leaves Westminster Abbey for Buckingham Palace.
12:25 UTC: the queen, and the wedding couple appear with their families on the balcony of the palace.
12:30 UTC: fly past by the Royal Air Force.

Who Made The Invite List?

An invitation card for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is seen at Buckingham Palace in London
An invitation card for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is seen at Buckingham Palace in London

Around 1,900 people have been invited to the service at Westminster Abbey. Around 650 people have been invited to the lunchtime reception for the new royal couple at Buckingham palace, hosted by Queen Elizabeth. Some 300 people have been invited to dinner at the palace, hosted by the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles.

In case you didn't get one, the invitations were die-stamped in gold, with gilded edges.

How Are They Getting There?

Carriage restorer Dave Evans cleans the 1902 State Landau coach at the Royal Mews in London March 21, 2011.
Carriage restorer Dave Evans cleans the 1902 State Landau coach at the Royal Mews in London March 21, 2011.

Middleton and Prince William will travel separately to the service. She has chosen a Rolls Royce Phantom VI, and he will arrive in a Bentley. After the wedding, the couple will travel in the gold and crimson 1902 State Landau -- the same carriage used by Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981. If it rains, they will use the Glass Coach, built in 1881, followed by four more horse-drawn carriages.

Security

Metropolitan police officers carry out security checks on drains and lamp posts along the Mall ahead of the Royal wedding in London, April 26, 2011
Metropolitan police officers carry out security checks on drains and lamp posts along the Mall ahead of the Royal wedding in London, April 26, 2011

It has taken 22 weeks to plan the security for the event, which will be provided by some 5,000 officers, including 911 officers along the procession route. Some 11,000 barriers will be set up and 35 specially trained sniffer dogs will be on duty. In comparison, there were 5,213 officers deployed for the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

The Service and The Clergy

The Dean of Westminster will conduct the service,  the Archbishop of Canterbury will marry the royal couple, and the Bishop of London will give the address. The Bishop is a personal friend of the Prince of Wales and has known Prince William for years. He also officiated at the memorial service for Prince William's late mother, Lady Diana.



The Music

There will be some specially commissioned pieces, but what they are is still a mystery. What is known is that there will be two choirs, one orchestra and two fanfare teams performing the music at the wedding.

With This Ring ...

The wedding ring that Prince William will place on Catherine Middleton's finger is made of Welsh gold, given to the prince shortly after the couple were engaged. There will be only one ring.  The wedding rings of the late Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth and the late Princess Margaret were all made from the same nugget of Welsh gold.

Wedding Gifts!

No crystal, dishes or vases for the royal couple. They have asked that anyone considering giving a gift to instead contribute to a number of charities personally chosen by Prince William and Middleton.

Let There Be Cake

The wedding cake is a multi-tiered fruit cake designed by Fiona Cairns, who started her baking business out of her kitchen 25 years ago. The cake will be decorated with flowers made of cream and white icing. A second cake for the reception at Buckingham Palace will be made by McVitie's, and is a chocolate biscuit cake made based on a royal family recipe.

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