Prince William and Kate Middleton honor Diana’s memory


Prince William and Kate Middleton honor Diana’s memory

By Piper Weiss Yahoo! Shine staffThu, Apr 28, 2011 5:06 PM GMT+00:00

(Prince William, screen shot; Princess Diana, Peter Skingley/AP/pool)

Five months ago, when Prince William first announced to the world he’d given a ring to Kate Middleton, he made it clear that only one other woman mattered as much to him.
“It’s my mother’s engagement ring,” he told the press of the sapphire and diamond engagement heirloom. “Obviously she’s not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all — this was my way of keeping her close to it all.”

Princess Diana.  (Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

During every step of their path down the aisle, Kate and William have made a point to keep Lady Diana’s memory alive. Today’s wedding was no exception. They recited their vows at the Westminster Abbey, the historic church where Diana’s memorial was held for 3 million mourners in 1997. Then, William was just a teenager, and his solemn march behind his mother’s coffin was in stark contrast to the beaming stride he took down the aisle today.

But the church itself wasn’t the only reminder of Diana’s parting. Bishop of London Richard Chartres, who also spoke at Diana’s memorial, gave the wedding sermon. And during the musical portion of the ceremony, the first hymn sung was “Guide Me Thou, O Great Redeemer,” the same song that concluded Di’s funeral service and memorial service, 10 years after her death.

The focus wasn’t only on Di’s absence, but on the memory of her vibrant life. As Kate walked down the aisle in Alexander McQueen , every bit the breathtaking bride her mother-in-law was in 1981, she clutched a bouquet of Sweet William dotted with Lily of the Valley, a staple of Diana’s wedding bouquet. And when it was time to say her vows, she again summoned Di’s independent spirit, by omitting the term “obey”. It was the one battle Diana Spencer picked when she agreed to marry Prince Charles. At the time, the break in tradition caused outrage among royal-watchers. Today it’s a testament to Di’s courage and trail-blazing choices.

Princess Diana smiles at a charity event in 1995 (Mark Lennihan/AP Photo)

Perhaps the biggest homage to Di’s legacy has been the subtle nods to lessons she taught both her immediate family and the royalty she’d forever be linked to. Diana’s tragic death, often blamed on a stalking paparazzi, may have influenced the couple and the royal court to keep their guard up with both paps and press during the wedding planning.  When Di’s bridal dressmaker was announced, reporters famously rifled through the designer’s dumpsters hunting for information.  Lesson learned, Kate kept her dress a secret despite pressure from media outlets and with souvenir factories at a standstill. It helped to have the firm backing of Clarence House, the royal press office, which closely guarded information in accordance to Will and Kate’s wishes. They’ve also accommodated the couple’s desire to have Diana’s favorite fashion photographer, Mario Testino, snap their engagement photo.

For Diana, whose outspoken voice was sometimes muffled by royal etiquette, fashion as a way to communicate with the public. Today, Carole, Kate’s mother, stood in solidarity with her fellow mother-in-law. Her sky blue shantung dress was designed for the occasion by the house of Catherine Walker, Di’s favorite designer. Walker, who died last year, designed at least 1,000 looks that defined Diana’s style in her lifetime, including the black dress she was buried in.

Just skidding off of her teenage years, Diana became a figurehead the instant she said her vows. “At the age of 20 she has renounced forever spontaneity and privacy, freedom and independence, her red Mini Metro and her Chelsea apartment, past friendships and future intimacies other than those deemed appropriate for royal confidences,” a reporter wrote in the New York Times, the day after her July 29 nuptials. Both William and Kate, nearing the end of their 20s, were able to come into their own as individuals before they settle down with children, as they’re swiftly expected to do upon marriage.  Their decision to wait, and to forge a 10-year bond, was no doubt a reaction to young Diana’s marital struggles which she claimed in Andrew Morton’s biography, started by “day two.”

For her wedding in 1981 Diana had little say in the guest list. But after her divorce, the people’s princess kept herself surrounded with a close-knit circle, some of them in attendance today, including dear friends Tessa Green and Elton John, who refashioned his song Candle in the Wind in her memory. John, along with over 1,000 other official guests, were asked by the couple to make charitable donations in lieu of gifts. Of all the bricks that built Diana’s legacy, her humanitarian work was a cornerstone.

Nine days ago, while the rest of the world fixated on every last detail of their impending nuptials, Will and Kate took a boat to his mother’s final resting place. The couple spent a quiet day at Lady Di’s remote burial site, and walking the grounds of the nearby arboretum where Will and Harry planted trees alongside their mother as boys. “It was very important for William to take Kate to visit his mum just before their wedding day,” a royal insider told the Daily Mirror. “Diana is still a huge part of her boys’ everyday life and always will be.” This was particularly true today, as William bit his lip nervously, standing at the altar with his bride, just as his mother did on her wedding day. It was a reminder to the millions of viewers who’ve watched the prince become a man, he’s still his mother’s son.

Advertisements

Pippa Middleton Wears White


Pippa Middleton Wears White

posted by Michael Krumboltz – Fri Apr 29 2011, 6:49 AM PDT

(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Etiquette experts consider it bad form for anyone but the bride to wear white on the wedding day. Not the Middletons. Kate’s sister Pippa wore a white maid of honor dress on the world’s biggest stage.

Pippa Middleton walks at Westminster Abbey in ...

[Photos: See more of Pippa’s dress]
Like Kate’s wedding dress, Pippa’s gown was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. The gown featured short sleeves, a low-cut neckline, and was form-fitting. Immediately following Pippa’s appearance at Westminster Abbey, web searches soared.

Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton, the sister of ...

Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton

Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton (R), the sister of Kate Middleton, leaves The Goring hotel with the Bridesmainds ahead Kate’s wedding to Prince William at Westminster Abbey , in London April 29, 2011. (BRITAIN-WEDDING/VIP) REUTERS/Joel Ryan/Pool 

 (BRITAIN – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS)

A blog from the “Today” show explains that a white dress for non-brides isn’t as rare as it used to be. Bridal designer Reem Acra told TODAY.com: “I like the idea that (Kate’s) sister is wearing white… It makes the whole thing more thematic and looks clean and modern.”

Bridesmaids Grace van Cutsem and Pippa Middleton ...

Pippa Middleton

Bridesmaids Grace van Cutsem (L) and Pippa Middleton ride in a limousine to the Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey

 (BRITAIN – Tags: SPORT SOCCER ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT PROFILE)

Tom Mora, J.Crew’s vice-president for bridal wear, told TODAY.com that “there is something quite beautiful about it… there’s a purity about her sister wearing white.”

Pippa Middelton, sister of the bride Kate Middleton ...

Pippa Middelton

Pippa Middelton, sister of the bride Kate Middleton arrives to the wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton in central London April 29, 2011. (ROYAL-WEDDING/VIP) REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

 (BRITAIN – Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY

Pippa’s dress had the same button detail and lace trim as Kate’s wedding gown, according to PopSugar. In addition to looking beautiful, Pippa also did an excellent job with the young bridesmaids and took good care of her sister’s train.

Maid of honour Pippa Middleton arrives with ring ...

Westminster Abbey at Royal Wedding in London

Maid of honour Pippa Middleton arrives with ring bearers Westminster Abbey at the Royal Wedding in London Friday, April 29, 2011.

 (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Kate Middleton is escorted by her father Michael ...

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton is escorted by her father Michael (R) and sister Pippa (L) at Westminster Abbey for her wedding to Prince William in London April 29, 2011.REUTERS/Tom Pilston/POOL 

 (BRITAIN – Tags: SPORT SOCCER ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT PROFILE)

Kates sister Pippa becomes surprise Internet ...

Maid of honor Philippa Middleton

Maid of honour Philippa Middleton, welcomes her sister, Kate, to Westminster Abbey ahead of her marriage to Britain’s Prince William. She has become a fast Internet sensation.

(AFP/Carl de Souza)

Kate Middleton arrives with her father Michael ...

Kate Middleton (top R) arrives with her father Michael (top L) at Westminster Abbey followed by her sister and Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton (R) and bridesmaids

 (BRITAIN – Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)

Kate Middleton and her father Michael arrive ...

Kate Middleton and her father Michael, arrive at Westminster Abbey, followed by Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton, Bridesmaids and Page Boys, for Kate’s

 (BRITAIN – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS)

Michael Middleton, second left, Kate Middleton's ...

Michael Middleton, second left, Kate Middleton’s father, lifts her veil as she and Britain’s Prince William, 2nd right, are flanked by best man Prince

 (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)

Britains Prince William and his wife Catherine, ...

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk up the aisle, followed by Prince Harry and Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton,

 (BRITAIN – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS)

Britains Prince William and his wife Catherine, ...

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk up the aisle, followed by Prince Harry and Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton,

 (BRITAIN – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS)


Kates sister Pippa becomes surprise Internet ...

Philippa Middleton

Philippa Middleton, sister of Kate Middleton and maid of honour, arrives with the bridesmaids and page boys at the West Door of Westminster Abbey in London for the royal wedding. Her striking dress made her an immediate Internet sensation.

 (AFP/POOL/Paul Rogers)

Kates sister Pippa becomes surprise Internet ...

Maid of honor Philippa Middleton

Maid of honour Philippa Middleton smiles as the travels in a Semi-State Landau in London after the wedding service for Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

 (AFP/Paul Ellis)

Pageboy Billy Lowther-Pinkerton, bridesmaids ...

Pageboy Billy Lowther-Pinkerton

(L to R) Pageboy Billy Lowther-Pinkerton, bridesmaids Grace van Cutsem, Margarita Armstrong-Jones and Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton travel to Buckingham Palace along the Procession Route, after the wedding of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in central London April 29, 2011. Prince William married his fiancee, Kate Middleton, in Westminster Abbey on Friday. (ROYAL WEDDING/ PROCESSION) REUTERS/Eddie Keogh 

 (BRITAIN – Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)

Maid of Honour, Pippa Middleton (L) holds the ...

Pippa Middleton

Maid of Honour, Pippa Middleton (L) holds the wedding dress of her sister Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, after her she married Britain’s Prince William at Westminster Abbey, in central London April 29, 2011. Prince William married his fiancee, Kate Middleton, in Westminster Abbey on Friday. (ROYAL WEDDING/SERVICE) RREUTERS/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool 

 (BRITAIN – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS)

Pippa Middleton and Bridesmaids, travel to Buckingham ...

Maid of Honour, Pippa Middleton

The Maid of Honour, Pippa Middleton and Bridesmaids, travel to Buckingham Palace in an Ascot Landau, along the Procession Route, after the wedding of Britain’s

 (BRITAIN – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS)

Britain's Prince William bows and his wife Kate, ...

Britain’s Prince William

Britain’s Prince William bows and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, curtsies in front of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as they leave Westminster Abbey accompanied by his best man Britain’s Prince Harry and her maid of honour Pippa Middleton after the wedding service at the Royal Wedding in London Friday, April, 29, 2011.

 (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess ...

Britain’s Prince William

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, accompanied by her maid of honour Pippa Middleton leave after wedding service in Westminster

 (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess ...

Britain’s Prince William

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, accompanied by her maid of honour Pippa Middleton leave after wedding service in Westminster

 (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)

Britains Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton ...

Britain’s Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton

Britain’s Prince Harry (R) and Pippa Middleton stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, following following the wedding of Prince William and KateMiddleton at Westminster Abbey in London April 29, 2011. REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool 

(BRITAIN – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS)

Britains Queen Elizabeth, her husband Prince ...

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth

(L-R) Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, her husband Prince Philip and Pippa Middleton stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, following the wedding ofBritain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London April 29, 2011.

 REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool (BRITAIN – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS)


Buzziest moments from the royal wedding


Buzziest moments from the royal wedding

By Yahoo! News

Fri Apr 29, 10:30 am ET

By Erin Carlson

William whispers to Kate (ABC)

This morning, an estimated 2 billion people tuned into watch Prince William marry Kate Middleton (now Princess — Duchess, rather — Catherine). As the grand affair unfolded on TV and social media, the conversation focused on everything from the dress (Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen!), to Maid of Honor Pippa Middleton’s dark tan, to the fancy cars, to the newlyweds’ balcony kiss(es). There was also a highlight on what we didn’t hear in the broadcast. Behold, the Royal Wedding’s biggest, buzziest moments:

What William said to Kate: When the bride and her father joined the groom at the altar at Westminster Abbey, the Prince mouthed these words to Middleton: “You look beautiful.” According to some lip readers, he then quipped to Papa Michael, “We were supposed to have just a small family affair.” Cheeky! Meanwhile, tweeting observers could not resist rewriting history with jokes at William’s expense, such as this one: “We should have gone to Vegas.”

What Prince Harry told William: As Middleton walked slowly down the aisle, Wills — visibly nervous — gazed stoically ahead, avoiding the urge to sneak a glimpse of his future wife. Not Harry. The flame-haired best man peered backward at his sister-in-law, informing his brother: “Right, she’s here now.” Flashing a roguish grin, he added: “Wait ’til you see her.” Cue swoons from lovestruck Harry Hunters.

The kiss(es): The bride and groom smooched not once but twice on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. The crowd roared. Princess Catherine blushed, and Prince William beamed.

What Princess Catherine wore: As widely expected, McQueen’s Sarah Burton, who took over for the late designer following his tragic suicide, scored major sartorial bragging rights as the bride’s No. 1 pick to craft her gown. It’s safe to say Burton has entered new levels of celebrity, thanks to the high-profile gig, and her creation will no doubt be copied the world over. The demure creation wowed wedding watchers who declared it a throwback to the timeless elegance of legendary princess Grace Kelly. Everyone oohed and ahhed over the long sleeves and lace bodice with the subtly sexy V-neck, the full skirt with embroidery that took hours to stitch. Middleton’s Cartier “halo” tiara was on loan from Queen Elizabeth, and her earrings (in the shape of the Middleton family crest) were a gift from the bride’s parents.

Hats galore: Forget love and tradition. Friday’s theme might as well be “Hats, Hats and More Hats.” All varieties of festive and colorful toppers popped up at Westminster, nearly stealing thunder from the newlyweds. Honorable mentions: the Queen’s canary yellow hat with handmade silk roses, Victoria Beckham’s dramatic black headpiece and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson’s royal blue fascinator.

And so 4/29/11 will go down in history as one of the most important dates in the young couple’s life. Amid all the buzz and pomp and circumstance, for one ecstatic moment the world soaked up the fairytale. Thirty years from now — if the monarchy still exists! — the cycle will begin anew with the next wave of Young Royals.

Wild hat lands in spotlight


Wild hat lands in spotlight

by Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo! staffFri, Apr 29, 2011 10:15 AM GMT+00:00

In a morning full of roaring ovations as royal family members and other VIPs arrived at Westminster Abbey, few received such loud applause as Princess Beatrice, 22, and 21-year-old Princess Eugenie, daughters of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York.

Perhaps it was because the pair wore gravity-defying hats, as is the custom. But one of the hats has taken on a life of its own, with adedicated Facebook page that now has 25,000 followers at last count, and more than a few cries of “ridiculous.”

The tan Philip Treacy creation stood apart, in height as well as form, from the 36 other hats the designer made for the royal wedding. “British women are gutsy…I take my hat off to them,” wrote one fan.

The two are fifth and sixth in line for the throne and are rarely seen in public. According to the BBC, Beatrice served as an extra in “The Young Victoria,” a film about her her great-great-great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria. Eugene, who describes herself as shy, doesn’t like discussing her life as a princess. She is currently a student at Newcastle University and also gives time to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Photos: Click for more of the best hats from the royal wedding ]

According to Us Weekly, Beatrice may be the next royal to marry. She is dating Dave Clark, “the son of millionaire Richard Clark, who works for Richard Branson at Virgin.”

Eight-tiered cake wows guests at wedding reception


Eight-tiered cake wows guests at wedding reception

AFP

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110429/lf_afp/

britainroyalsmarriagefood

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, waves next to Britain’s Prince William as they travel to Buckingham Palace in the 1902 State Landau, along the Procession Route, in London April 29, 2011. More photos »

– Fri Apr 29, 2:11 pm ET

LONDON (AFP) – A magnificent eight-tiered wedding cake took centre-stage as Prince William and Kate Middleton celebrated their marriage with friends and family at Buckingham Palace on Friday.

Eight-tiered cake wows guests at wedding reception

Fiona Cairns

Fiona Cairns stands next to the Royal Wedding cake that she and her team made for Prince William and Kate Middleton, in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace in London.

 (AFP/WPA POOL/John Stillwell)

With the formalities of the wedding at Westminster Abbey completed and the much-anticipated kiss on the balcony of the palace out of the way, William and Kate were able to relax a little at a reception for 650 guests hosted by Queen Elizabeth II in the palace’s picture gallery.

They snacked on some tasty treats among the 10,000 canapes prepared by a team of 21 chefs led by Royal Chef Mark Flanagan, palace officials said.

But it was Fiona Cairns-created cake, covered in cream and white icing and decorated with up to 900 delicate sugar-paste flowers, which was the focus of most attention as it was cut by the newlyweds.

The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are fans of Cairns’s fruit cakes, while Beatles legend Paul McCartney orders one for Christmas every year.

Cairns, 56, spent five weeks working on the project after being contacted in February to ask if she would make the cake, which consisted of 17 individual fruit cakes, 12 of which formed the base.

Speaking at Buckingham Palace, Cairns said: “The picture gallery has high ceilings and is an imposing room so I wanted the cake to have presence but not to be imposing and I think it worked.

“Catherine did not want it to be seven feet tall, she didn’t want it to be towering and thin, and I think we succeeded.

“We reflected some of the architectural details in the room so the garlands on the walls were reproduced loosely on the fourth tier.”

Kate wanted elements from the Joseph Lambeth technique of cake decoration, where intricate piping is used to make three dimensional scroll work, leaves, flowers and other adornments.

“I could not believe I finished it in time but we were all really pleased with it,” Cairns added. “I worked at the palace for two days before the wedding, setting it up with my team.

“The hardest part was transporting the cakes from Leicestershire to the palace — we were worried they would get damaged – then we had to assemble them.”

Kathryn Boyden, Buckingham Palace’s royal pastry chef, added: “I was speechless, this cake made me speechless, and I think it is exactly what the bride wanted – it’s just perfect.”

There was plenty of choice for the hungry guests as the lavish spread of canapes featured British-themed specialities.

They included pressed duck terrine with fruit chutney, roulade of goat’s cheese with caramelised walnuts, quails eggs with celery salt, bubble and squeak with confit shoulder of lamb, grain mustard and honey-glazed chipolatas and miniature Yorkshire pudding with roast fillet of beef and horseradish mousse.

As well as the cake, guests with a sweet tooth could try blood orange pate de fruit, rhubarb creme brulee tartlet, passionfruit praline and dark chocolate ganache truffle.

Pol Roger NV Brut Reserve Champagne — regarded as a relatively austere choice compared with more exclusive champagnes — was served with other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Kate wears second Sarah Burton dress for evening party


Kate wears second Sarah Burton dress for evening party

AFP

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110429/en_

 Fri Apr 29, 4:00 pm ET
Kate wears second Sarah Burton dress for evening party

LONDON (AFP) – Kate Middleton changed into a strapless white satin gazar evening dress by designer Sarah Burton for the evening party at Buckingham Palace following her wedding Friday, royal officials said.

Kate changed out of the stunning dress she wore for the wedding ceremony, also designed by Burton of the Alexander McQueen fashion house, and put on the evening gown which had a circle skirt and diamante embroidered detail round the waist.

St James’s Palace revealed details of the garment as Kate and Prince William left Clarence House, the official residence of William’s father Prince Charles, to head to the palace.

“I am glad the weather held off. We had a great day,” Kate said as she headed to the evening do with William, who was dressed in a black dinner jacket and bow tie.

Looking happy and relaxed, the newlyweds were accompanied by Charles, who is hosting the evening party, and his wife Camilla.

Kate’s dress for the wedding ceremony earlier at Westminster Abbey was of ivory satin and lace, and her face was covered lightly with a hand-embroidered veil held in place by a tiara borrowed from the queen.

Burton, the 36-year-old creative director of the fashion house created by the British designer who committed suicide last year, had long been tipped for the commission, but palace officials had remained tight-lipped right up until the moment Kate stepped out of the car.

About 300 of the couple’s closest family and friends have been invited to the black-tie evening party, which is expected to stretch into the early hours and reportedly has an informal theme including a disco.



John Stillwell/Pool

Queen Elizabeth II has left the palace and headed for a private weekend elsewhere in Britain to let the younger generation celebrate.

Prince Harry, William’s younger brother and best man, is due to give a hotly anticipated speech to guests before the newlyweds spend their first night as a married couple together at the palace.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves Clarence ...

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves Clarence House to travel to Buckingham Palace for the evening celebrations following her wedding to Prince William in London April 29, 2011. (ROYAL WEDDING) REUTERS/.

 John Stillwell/POOL (BRITAIN – Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT)

Britains Prince William, Catherine, Duchess ...

Britain’s Prince William (L), Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (C), Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (UNSEEN) and Prince Charles leave Clarence House to travel to Buckingham Palace for the evening celebrations following the wedding between Prince William and Catherine, in London April 29. (ROYAL WEDDING) REUTERS/.

 John Stillwell/POOL (BRITAIN – Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT)

Britains Prince William, Catherine, Duchess ...

Britain’s Prince William (L), Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (C), Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (UNSEEN) and Prince Charle leave Clarence House to travel to Buckingham Palace for the evening celebrations following the wedding between Prince William and Catherine, in London April 29. (ROYAL WEDDING) REUTERS/.

 John Stillwell/POOL (BRITAIN – Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves Clarence ...

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is accompanied with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) as she leaves Clarence House to travel to Buckingham Palace for the evening celebrations following her wedding to Prince William in London April 29, 2011. (ROYAL WEDDING) REUTERS/.

 John Stillwell/POOL (BRITAIN – Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT)





Royal wedding mysteries, solved


Royal wedding mysteries, solved

By Lylah M. Alphonse, Shine Staff

By Thomas Kelley

Why didn’t Prince William watch his bride walk down the aisle? Who was that little girl covering her ears and frowning while the newlyweds kissed on the balcony? Where can I get those gorgeous earrings Kate wore to her wedding? The last remaining mysteries of the royal wedding are solved, right here at Shine.

Who was that adorable little girl frowning and covering her ears on the balcony during the big kiss? That’s Prince William’s goddaughter, 3-year-old Grace van Cutsem, who was one of the official bridesmaids (there are no “flower girl” roles in traditional British weddings, so children are often included as bridesmaids or pages). She is the daughter of Lady Rose Astor and Hugh van Cutsem, and great-great-great-granddaughter of William Waldorf Astor, a New York-born lawyer and politician who later became a member of the British Aristocracy. (The Waldorf Hotel was one of his pet projects.) Little Grace was also pouting for part of the carriage ride; apparently, the crowd of adoring fans got a little too noisy.

Are there usually trees in Westminster Abbey? Kate loves the outdoors and, according to the Daily Mail, she ordered more than four tons of foliage to create an English country garden setting inside Westminster Abbey, including pyramid-shaped ornamental Hornbeams to frame the choir and a “living avenue” of 20-foot-tall, 15-year-old English Field Maples through which guests walked to their seats. The cost? About 50,000 pounds, or $83,335.

What music did Kate walk in to? It didn’t sound like the wedding march. The princess walked down the aisle to “I Was Glad” by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, who composed it for the coronation of Prince William’s great-great-great grandfather Edward VII in 1902.

Why didn’t Prince William watch his bride walk down the aisle? Tradition. The groom is the last person to see the bride, and can only do so after she has completed the long walk down the aisle and is at his side. Since the aisle at Westminster Abbey is about 300-feet long, he had at least a four-minute wait at the altar.

What did Prince William whisper to Kate? According to some lip readers, he told her that she looked beautiful—and then looked at his father-in-law-to-be and quipped, “We were supposed to have just a small family affair.”

Where did the bride and groom go in the middle of the ceremony? They went to the Shrine of Saint Edward the Confessor, a room inside the Abbey, to sign the wedding registers.

Why was Prince William wearing red? Prince William holds an honorary rank of Colonel of the Irish Guards, and he opted to wear an Irish Guard’s officer uniform instead of his Royal Air Force uniform. He also wore his Garter sash and star, Royal Air Force “wings,” and Golden Jubilee medal.

Was the bride’s dress inspired by Grace Kelly’s? It seems that way; in fact, Kate’s dress looks very much like the one worn by the American actress when she wed Prince Rainier III of Monaco in April 1956. Both Kate’s gown and that of Serene Highness the Princess of Monaco had long sleeves, a cinched waist, a figure-hugging bodice, short veils, medium-length trains, and lots of delicate lace.

What was in the bride’s bouquet? According to the official royal wedding website, the bouquet was a shield-shaped collection of Myrtle, Lily-of-the-Valley, Sweet William, Ivy, and Hyacinth. The Myrtle sprigs were from plants grown from the Myrtle used in the wedding bouquets of Queen Victoria in 1845 and Queen Elizabeth in 1947.

Any hidden messages? Each bridesmaid had her name and the date of the wedding hand-embroidered into the lining of her dress. The bride and groom could not customize their vows, but they did write their own prayer, which was read by Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, during the ceremony (download a copy of the program here). It was: “God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage. In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy. Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.” And of course, each of those flowers in the bride’s bouquet had a special meaning: Lily-of-the-Valley represents the return of happiness, Sweet William stands for gallantry, Hyacinth is for the constancy of love, Myrtle symbolizes marriage and love, and Ivy is for fidelity, marriage, wedded love, friendship, and affection.

What are the full names of the newlyweds? Prince Williams of Wales got another set of titles in time for the wedding, according to an announcement on the official royal wedding website. His full name is now His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge, Early of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Master of Arts. (According to the official website of the British Monarchy, those who have the title of HRH Prince or Princess do not need to use a last name, though theirs is Mountbatten-Windsor.) As his wife, the former Miss Catherine Elizabeth Middleton is now Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, but most people will probably call her Princess Catherine or Princess Kate (unofficially, of course).

Was Kate wearing Princess Diana’s tiara? No. Diana wore the Spencer Tiara, a family heirloom of ornate, stylized flowers decorated with diamonds in silver settings. The halo-style tiara that Kate wore was Cartier creation belonging to the Queen. King George bought it for the Queen Mother in 1936; the Queen Mother gave it to the Queen on her 18th birthday.

What about her earrings? The bride’s earrings were designed by Robinson Pelham, according to the official royal wedding website. They are diamond-set stylized oak leaves that frame a dangling diamond-set drop and pave-set diamond acorn. The earrings, which are a wedding gift to Kate from her parents, were made to match the tiara lent to her by the Queen, and were inspired by the Middleton family’s new coat of arms.

Why did the Middleton family get a new coat of arms? What happened to their old one? They didn’t have a coat of arms before, because they weren’t members of the British aristocracy. The new coat of arms features three oak-leaf-and-acorn sprigs representing the three Middleton children—Catherine (Kate), Philippa (Pippa), and James. A golden chevron honors Carole Middleton, whose maiden name was Goldsmith, and two thinner, white chevrons represent the mountains and stand for the family’s love of the outdoors.

Who got to be on the balcony at Buckingham Palace with the royal newlyweds? The bride and groom took center stage, of course, but also appearing before the public were the Queen and Prince Philip, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla (Duchess of Cornwall), Carole and Richard Middleton, the couple’s siblings (Pippa and James Middleton and Prince Harry), the pages (Tom Pettifer and William Lowther-Pinkerton), and the bridesmaids (Eliza Lopez, Grace van Cutsem, The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, and the Honourable Margarita Armstrong-Jones. Yes, even some children have titles in England.)