- Everyone loves a wedding but a royal wedding with a handsome young couple - Prince William
and Catherine Middleton
- who radiate romance and style held the world's attention early this morning. In about an hour Kate, in a gorgeous gown by Sarah Burton
of Alexander McQueen
, became Catherine, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge among other titles bestowed to she and her now-husband Prince William by Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth
. As the party begins in London here is the snapshot of the wedding, the procession, and the first, and second, kisses.
Prince Harry smiles along the way to Westminster Abbey. (Courtesy Photo: Press Association/The British Monarchy)
Almost a thousand years ago in 1066, William The Conqueror
was crowned King of England on the very spot where Prince William and Catherine vowed to love each other in Westminster Abbey. History and stately reserve were part of every moment then and now.
Starting early at Clarence House, Prince William and Prince Harry
dressed in their military best.
Every bit the dashing prince, Prince William chose to wear the uniform of Colonel of the Irish Guards and Forage Cap, a Garter Sash with the Wings of the Royal Air Force as well as the Garter Star and the Golden Jubilee Medal. The uniform in rich Guard's Red was fitted by Kashket and Partners. As explained on the official royal website, "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 Prince of Wales and The Dutchess of Cornwall enter the Abbey. (Courtesy Photo: Press Association/The British Monarchy)
The jovial Prince Harry wore a Blues and Royals officer's uniform in Dismounted Review Order with the Wings of the Army Air Corps and Golden Jubilee and Afghanistan Campaign medals. His Forage Cap included the badge of Blues and Royals and the insignia of the Most Noble Order of the Garter with The Queen's cipher.
As the young Princes strode together into Westminster Abbey a quick thought to the sad day they entered for the funeral of their mother, Princess Diana
, could not be helped. The change of the pair from little shy boys to proud young men was dramatic and resonated with the masses that have followed every moment of their lives.
HRH The Prince of Wales
and the Duchess of Cornwall
arrived followed shortly by HRH Queen Elizabeth and her prince, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh
. Many speculated on the color of the Queens dress, as she favors bright colors and statement hats. She did not disappoint in an Angela Kelly
designed yellow primrose dress with matching hat by the same designer. When it comes to jewels, the Queen wore the Queen Mary's True Lovers Knot brooch, clearly a sign of her support of the couple.
Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth, greeted by The Dean of Westminster as she arrives at Westminster Abbey.(Courtesy Photo: Press Association/The British Monarchy)
As the Queen arrived the then-commoner, Kate Middleton
alighted into a sleek Rolls-Royce clutching a small bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth, with her father, Michael Middleton
, to begin the short ride to Westminster Abbey.
Crowds cheered and snapped photos of the blushing bride in a sheer ivory silk tulle veil and glittering tiara, on loan from the Queen. The "halo" tiara crafted by Cartier
was a gift from the Queen Mum
, then Duchess of York, to her daughter, then Princess Elizabeth, on her 18th birthday. The tradition of "something old, something new" resonates with every bride and to see that even royal brides appreciate the sweet sentiment was lovely.
And then the moment the world was waiting for since mid-November after the engagement was announced, the revel of "the dress." Created by Brit Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, the gown worn by Kate was a vision in lace. As noted on their official website, "Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterizes Alexander McQueen's work. Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress." Kate's sister Pippa Middleton
, as Maid of Honor, also wore a dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
It was clear to anyone curious that Kate had a hand in the design that flattered her figure and while regal, was dramatic and fitting for the grandness of the venue. The French Chantilly lace was combined with English Cluny lace and was hand-worked in the Irish Carrickmacross needlework tradition. The Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace painstakingly toiled to craft every inch of the soon-to-be copied lace and stitched the wedding shoes designed by Alexander McQueen. She looked, as the world hoped, every inch a modern princess.
A friendly chat between William, Catherine, and Michael Middleton before the vows. (Courtesy Photo: Press Association/The British Monarchy)
Prince Harry stole a peek of his brothers' bride as she walked down the long aisle and whispered to his brother before the moment Prince William turned to see his bride. William's broad smile and quiet exchange to his bride of "you look beautiful" brought tears to royal watchers across the globe. As he greeted his future father-in-law he is said to have remarked, "I thought this was going to be a small family affair" with a smile. From the comfort of many a living room the historical momentum of the day was culminated as William and Kate exchanged their vows followed by the angelic sounds of the choir. Readings and addresses by the Dean of Westminster, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the brides' brother James Middleton
spoke of love and hope.
After signing the registry and with a court curtsey and nod from the Queen, sweet Kate became Princess Catherine
, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William was bestowed the titles of Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus. The ravishing royals exited the Abbey to deafening cheers and peals of bells through London and began a journey to Buckingham palace in the 1902 State Landeau flanked by the 2nd Division of the Captains Escort of the Household Calvary.
The regal event ended with not one but two kisses from William and Catherine on the balcony of the palace as nearly one million well wishers roared outside the palace gates while nearly two billion watched across the globe. After a reception hosted by the Queen the thoroughly modern pair stunned the masses leaving the palace, with Prince William behind the wheel of his father's royal blue (of course) convertible Aston Martin, for a break between parties at Clarence House.
Cheers to the newlyweds, their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!
As the bride and groom head to Buckingham Palace, nearly one million well wishers roared along the way. (Courtesy Photo: Press Association/The British Monarchy)
Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com