Beckhams lead celebrity presence at royal wedding
David and Victoria Beckham were among the first celebrities to arrive for Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding at Westminster Abbey on Friday.
Former England football captain Beckham, wearing his OBE medal pinned to his grey Ralph Lauren suit and with slicked-back hair, queued with wife Victoria outside the abbey as the estimated 1,900 guests waited to take their seats at the biggest royal event for 30 years.
Singer-turned-fashion designer Victoria, pregnant with the Beckhams' fourth child, was dressed in a midnight blue piece from her Autumn/Winter 2011 collection and Philip Treacy hat.
Beckham, given time off to attend the wedding by his club LA Galaxy, got to know William, the president of the English Football Association, when they worked together to promote Englands's unsuccessful bid to win the right to hsot the 2018 World Cup.
Other early arrivals seen filing through the abbey's Great North Door were "Mr Bean" actor Rowan Atkinson and Chelsea Davy, the on-off girlfriend of William's younger brother and best man Prince Harry.
The guest list features a host of celebrities also including singer Elton John together with his partner David Furnish, Guy Ritchie, who directed the cult 1990s film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and the singer Joss Stone.
Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe and England's World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward were among the first to arrive.
Woodward, best known for England's 2003 World Cup triumph and now working for the British Olympic Association, invited William to join the British and Irish Lions' squad for their 2005 tour to New Zealand.
"I'm just so glad to be British because the whole country's clearly behind this wonderful couple and it just should be a wonderful day," Woodward told the BBC.
"He will be very nervous, and I'm a little bit nervous for him."
Thorpe met William when he visited the swimmer's home country last year and the Prince has since supported the Australian's charitable organisation.
Also due to attend from the sports world were Sir Trevor Brooking, an English Football Association colleague of William and Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas have also been invited.
There were some less famous faces among the guests, who began lining up outside the abbey before the doors were opened at 0715 GMT.
Hash and Chan Shingadia were among a group of shop owners invited from Kate's home village of Bucklebury in Berkshire, west of London, with local butcher Martin Fidler and wife Sue, and John Haley, owner of the Old Boot Inn in nearby Stanford Dingley also on the guest list.
"They come into the shop all the time so the family have sort of become friends," said Mr Shingadia, whose wife donned a traditional sari for the occasion.
"She (Kate) would come in about two or three times a week, she'd buy all sorts obviously, but does like Haribo sweets."
© 2011 AFP