Royal newlyweds leave palace by helicopter

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Prince William and his new bride Kate left Buckingham Palace by helicopter on Saturday to start their married life together.

The small commercial helicopter took off from the palace's back garden the morning after their fairytale wedding, which was watched by an estimated one million people on the streets of London and two billion on television around the world.

The couple spent the night at Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II's official residence in London, following a party that went on until 3:00 am.

Pictures showed the couple holding hands as they strolled through the palace grounds, then shaking hands with royal staff before leaving.

The new Duchess of Cambridge wore a belted short blue dress, with a cropped black jacket and black wedge heels, while the Duke was dressed in an open-necked white shirt, dark blazer and beige trousers.

William is a helicopter search and rescue pilot in the Royal Air Force but it is not known whether he was at the controls.

The prince has two weeks off from his RAF duties on the island of Anglesey, northwest Wales, but no information has been released by his household as to where the couple are spending their honeymoon.

© 2011 AFP

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