Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…
While we don’t quite yet know the details that are going to make this little tale-as-old-as-time rhyme true, we do know quite a bit already about the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton, which takes place exactly a month from today.
The glorious Westminster Abbey will witness the exchange of vows between the Royal lovebirds.
Around 1,900 people have been invited to the service at Westminster Abbey, while around 600 have been invited to the lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace given by The Queen. Finally, an even more intimate affair is planned for dinner at Buckingham Palace given by The Prince of Wales, where only 300 people have been invited. Most of the guests are friends and family members of William and Kate – over a thousand of them. There will also be more than 50 Members of The Royal Family, over 40 Members of Foreign Royal Families, as well as over 200 Members of Government, Parliament and Diplomatic Corps and approximately 80 guests drawn from Prince William’s charities. The rest is made up of Governors-General and Realm Prime Ministers and Members of the Defence Services.
Two choirs, one orchestra and a fanfare team will perform the music at the Wedding Service. The London Chamber Orchestra, the longest established professional chamber orchestra in the UK, will consist of 39 musicians located in the organ loft of the Abbey. The couple have both reportedly taken a great deal of interest and care in choosing the music for their service, which will include a number of well-known hymns and choral works as well as some specially-commissioned pieces. At the Reception, Claire Jones, the Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales will perform.
More information on the music is expected to be released. But in the meantime, rest assured, you will be able to hold onto the event long after it has happened. For the first time ever, the ceremony will be recorded and immediately released digitally by Decca Records, and then via stores from the 5th of May. The physical album will include a special collector’s booklet featuring the complete order of service, the readings, vows, hymns and blessings, and all the music from the event. For those old skool fans who have probably witnessed a Royal Wedding or two in their lifetime, there will also be vinyl and cassette releases!
The Wedding Party:
Catherine’s sister Philippa Middleton will be her Maid of Honour, while Prince William has asked his brother, Prince Harry, to be his Best Man.
How is this for an impressive list of young Bridesmaids and Page Boys:
The Lady Louise Windsor
(Aged 7 – daughter of The Earl and Countess of Wessex)
The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones
(Aged 8 – daughter of Viscount and Viscountess Linley)
Miss Eliza Lopes
(Aged 3 – daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lopes)
Miss Grace van Cutsem
(Aged 3 – daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh van Cutsem, and also the goddaughter of Prince William)
Master William (Billy) Lowther-Pinkerton
(Aged 10 – son of Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton)
Master Tom Pettifer
(Aged 8 – son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pettifer , also Prince William’s godson)
Miss Grace van Cutsem and Master Tom Pettifer are godchildren of Prince William.
Details about the Bridesmaids’ dresses and the Page Boys’ uniforms will be made available on the Wedding Day.
Kate and William will travel separately to the service using State Cars from the Royal Mews. The State Car collection includes two Bentleys, three Rolls-Royces and three Daimlers. Afterwards, the 1902 State Landau, specifically built for King Edward VII’s Coronation, will carry the Bride and Bridegroom on their way back from the service at Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. It’s the same vehicle that carried the Prince and Princess of Wales past cheering crowds after their wedding in 1981.
Okay, so this is one of the big details that will only be revealed when Miss Middleton steps out of the carriage. Rumours have ranged from Alexander McQueen to Bruce Oldfield, to the idea that it’s a little-known name that will be spun into fame after the big reveal.
Leicestershire-based cake designer Fiona Cairns will create a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake. The cake, which will be decorated with cream and white icing, will have a strong British floral theme. Plus, McVitie’s Cake Company will also create a chocolate biscuit cake for the reception at Buckingham Palace. The chocolate biscuit cake will be made from a Royal Family recipe and was specially requested by Prince William. Let’s hope he actually gets to have a bite on the day!
An official coin by The Royal Mint commemorating the wedding showing relaxed, modern portraits of the couple. The obverse bears a portrait of Prince William’s grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen.
Prince William and Kate’s engagement portrait will also adorn a new set of stamps released by the UK Royal Mail service. Also, commuters in London can celebrate the wedding with a commemorative travel smartcard featuring a picture of William and Kate. Around 750,000 of the special “Oyster” cards are being made available.
The Wedding Gifts?
The couple has set up a charitable gift fund for those who want to donate to help the couple celebrate their wedding. If you’re touched by the happy affair and have the pounds to splurge, donations can be made through the website www.royalweddingcharityfund.org which includes a full list of the charities to benefit, personally chosen by Prince William and Miss Middleton. There’s a section dedicated to animals and the conversation of the black rhino and African forest elephant.