Abbey touted as royal wedding venue after Middleton visit

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Kate Middleton, fiancee of Britain's Prince William, visited Westminster Abbey late Wednesday, feeding speculation that next year's wedding would take place in the gothic church's grand surroundings.

"Miss Middleton paid a short, private visit to Westminster Abbey in order to be able to consider it as an option," a spokesman for William's office, St James's Palace, confirmed.

"The couple wish for a little more time to be able to consult family members and make a decision for themselves."

The London abbey, where Britain's monarchs are crowned, is the bookmakers' favourite, closely followed by St Paul's Cathedral, where Charles and Diana married in 1981.

Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip at the abbey in 1947 and the funeral of William's mother, Diana, was also held at the venue in 1997.

St James's Palace said the couple's plans would be mindful of Britain's economic plight, but Middleton's night-time visit to the abbey suggests the event will still be a spectacular affair.

© 2010 AFP

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