The public will have ample opportunity to catch a glimpse of Prince William and Kate Middleton during a royal carriage procession through central London on their wedding day, April 29, according to details published on Wednesday.
Buckingham Palace confirmed the couple would be married by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, at a Westminster Abbey service, which will be followed by a reception given by Queen Elizabeth II at the palace.
In the evening, there would be a dinner-dance for family and friends, also at Buckingham Palace, which will be hosted by Prince Charles, William's father and current heir to the throne.Unconfirmed reports said the newly weds were also likely to make an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. Buckingham Palace was, however, keen to stress that, in a break with tradition, William and Kate would travel to Westminster Abbey by car, and take the royal carriage only on their return journey as newly weds, along Horse Guards Parade and The Mall.
They were "keen to strike an appropriate level" and avoid the appearance of lavishness by making only one part of the journey in the carriage, commentators said. The sermon during the Abbey service, for which up to 2,000 guests are expected, will be held by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, who counselled William when his mother, the late Princess Diana, died in 1997.
Middleton, who turns 29 Sunday, has been William's girlfriend for eight years. The prince, who has a June birthday, will still be 28 on his wedding day. The couple announced their engagement in November. Buckingham Palace has been keen to find the "right blend" between the "public and the private" in its planning, commentators said.
The young couple, too, were determined to merge the traditional with the modern and also wanted the ceremony to reflect the "economically tough times" in which the event is taking place.