A to Z of Britain's royal wedding

27th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, from A to Z:

A FOR ABBEY: William and Kate will marry in Westminster Abbey, a London church steeped in royal history.

The funeral of Princess Diana, William's mother, took place there in 1997, and the first king William was crowned in the abbey in 1066 after the Norman conquest of England.

B FOR BEST MAN: William's brother Prince Harry will be his best man, while Kate's sister Pippa will be her maid of honour.

Harry, dubbed the "Party Prince" by the British press, has promised some amusing stories in his best man's speech -- but nothing too colourful in front of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.

C FOR CARRIAGE: Kate Middleton will travel to the wedding in a Rolls Royce limousine that was damaged when student protesters attacked Prince Charles and his wife Camilla in December.

If the forecast rain falls on the wedding, it may see the appearance of the famed horse-drawn Glass Coach used by William's mother Diana at her wedding in 1981.

D FOR DIANA: The spirit of Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, will hang over the wedding, which is taking place 30 years since her own marriage to Charles in 1981.

E FOR EATING: The menu for the wedding lunch is a closely guarded secret, but one thing is assured: it will feature the best of British food.

F FOR FERGIE: The black sheep of the royal family, William's aunt Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of his uncle Prince Andrew, has not been invited to the wedding after a series of tabloid revelations.

G FOR GIFTS: No food mixers or bath towels on this wedding list: the royal couple have asked for charitable donations to 26 organisations they have chosen. Queen Elizabeth II received more than 2,500 presents at her wedding.

H FOR HONEYMOON: Kenya? Australia? Speculation is rife about where the newlyweds will spend their honeymoon before returning to the cottage in Wales where they have lived before their wedding.

I FOR "I DO": It will be the most hotly anticipated "I do" of the year, witnessed by a global TV audience of some two billion and hundreds of thousands of spectators in London.

J FOR JUBILEE: Addicts of royal pageantry need not despair after the wedding, for Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her diamond jubilee in June next year.

K FOR KATE: But not for long. After the wedding she will be officially known as Catherine.

L FOR LOVE: The couple fell in love while studying at St Andrews University in Scotland.

M FOR MIDDLETONS: Kate Middleton is the first commoner to marry a prince in close proximity to the throne for 350 years. Her parents, Michael and Carole, met while working as airline staff in the 1970s but made a fortune by starting a children's partyware business, called Party Pieces, in 1987.

N FOR NIGHT: While most of the 1,900 guests will go home after the ceremony, a select group of 300 will head to Buckingham Palace for dinner and dancing late into the night hosted by Prince Charles.

O FOR ORCHESTRA: William is a Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot and an RAF band will lead the musical entertainment at the wedding. Musicians from the Household Cavalry, a chamber orchestra and two choirs will also be involved.

P FOR PUBS: The traditional pubs beloved of Britons will be open several hours later on the wedding day, allowing revellers to down a few more pints of "Kiss Me Kate", a beer especially invented by one brewery for the occasion.

Q FOR QUEEN: Queen Elizabeth II will hope the marriage of her grandson to Kate will turn the page on the royals' turbulent recent past, from the divorce of Charles and Diana to Fergie's embarrassing escapades.

R FOR REPUBLICANS: Anti-monarchists from across Europe are flocking to London for the wedding to try to boost their republican cause.

S FOR SCOTLAND YARD: London's police will lay on a massive security operation in a bid to prevent trouble at the wedding, following riots in London last month during a huge rally against government cuts.

T FOR TRAIN: Kate's wedding dress will most likely have a train trailing behind it. But like all the details about the garment, it will be top secret until the wedding day.

U FOR UNIFORM: William is likely to wear his RAF helicopter pilot's uniform when he weds Kate.

V FOR VOMIT: British artist Lydia Leith has produced souvenir sick bags for those who find the hype around the wedding too much to stomach.

W FOR WEATHER: Despite a spell of unseasonably warm and sunny weather in recent days, forecasters have warned that rain and thunder is highly likely on the wedding day.

X FOR EXES: William and Kate have reportedly invited several of their old flames. William is said to have asked former girlfriends Rose Farquhar and Jecca Craig, while Kate has invited Rupert Finch.

Y FOR YOUTUBE: The video sharing website will offer live streaming of the wedding. The royal couple also used microblogging site Twitter to announce their engagement in November -- alongside an old-fashioned press release.

Z FOR ZARA PHILLIPS: The second royal wedding this year will see William's cousin Zara wed England rugby union captain Mike Tindall on July 30. She has reportedly dubbed William and Kate "Ken and Barbie".

© 2011 AFP

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