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  #16  
Old 04-29-2011, 06:43 AM
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Is this picture proof that Alexander McQueen's successor Sarah Burton is designing Kate Middleton's wedding dress?




With an extravagant furry hood hiding her face, she ducked down and dashed at full tilt from the car into The Goring hotel – doing everything in her power to avoid being identified.

But there were several clues that the mystery woman who ran into Kate Middleton’s hotel in Belgravia yesterday afternoon was Sarah Burton, creative director of the Alexander McQueen label and very likely the wedding dress designer.

The late McQueen’s 36-year-old protégée has previously been tipped for the most coveted fashion commission of the decade.


Could Kate Middleton's wedding dress really be McQueen? A woman fitting designer Sarah Burton's description was spotted entering the Goring Hotel today with her face obscured by a large fur hat


Like the woman who arrived at the hotel at 3pm, three hours before Kate, Mrs Burton has a slender build, fair skin and favours loose-fitting, cropped blue trousers and flat ballet pumps.



More...

  • A regal wave: Kate arrives with sister and mother at their London hotel to spend final night as a single woman... and as a commoner
  • Let the rip-offs begin: Meet the designer in a royal rush to copy Kate Middleton's wedding gown
  • Here comes the groom: William goes on a final walkabout as a single man as he greets fans on the eve of his wedding
  • When to see that dress and where to watch that kiss
  • The skateboarding, punk-loving boy from Harlem, New York, who will protect the Queen at the Royal Wedding
  • Her 'meticulous' Majesty: Queen fusses about every detail of wedding bash... says royal cousin charged with planning party
  • Beatrice is the star of royal red carpet in white tulle and sequins at the Queen's pre-wedding gala dinner

She also owns an identical silver-studded belt, and her designs at Paris Fashion Week this year also included oversized fur hoods.
Kate's style secret? The woman entering Miss Middleton's hotel looked very like Mrs Burton

An onlooker said: ‘She ducked right down and ran in as quick as you like. The whole thing was in under half a second. It was very odd. If that’s not Sarah Burton, I’ll eat my hat.’

Kate, 29, has been determined to keep her designer and gown under wraps to ensure maximum surprise when she emerges from her Rolls-Royce outside Westminster Abbey at 11am today.

The designer is understood to be British and rumours have suggested he or she is a relatively little-known, upcoming couturier.

Sophie Cranston, Alice Temperley and Bruce Oldfield have also been mooted as possibilities.

Cheshire-born Mrs Burton was assistant and confidante to McQueen for 14 years – and was devastated by the East End designer’s suicide last year at the age of 40.

Kate is thought to have chosen Mrs Burton after being impressed by a £10,000 silk strapless wedding gown worn by her friend Sara Buys, who married the Duchess of Cornwall’s son Tom Parker Bowles in 2005.

She has also created dresses for Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Bjork.
Reports earlier this year claimed that McQueen’s chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd had told a colleague that the label had secured the commission.

Mr Akeroyd, Mrs Burton and a spokesman for the label all hurriedly insisted the story was untrue.

But Kate’s chosen designer is understood to have been sworn to secrecy, and royal aides did not deny the speculation.

One said: ‘Catherine genuinely wants to keep her dress and designer a secret until the day of the wedding, in line with tradition.

'The details are top secret – even high-up Royal Household staff aren’t being told, especially the men.’

Kate is contributing her own design ideas to the process but if the designer is Mrs Burton – who lives in north London with her photographer husband David – we can expect dramatic tailoring, clinging fabrics and a flowing veil.





Last day as a commoner: Miss Middleton gave waiting fans a wave as she arrived at the Goring Hotel today






Setting a trend? Miss Middleton is believed to have been inspired by the Alexander McQueen dress worn by fashion editor Sara Buys for her wedding to the Duchess of Cornwall's son Tom Parker-Bowles

Last year’s spring/summer collection included thousands of feathers, pagan-inspired corn dolls and Japanese silk. She has also been inspired by McQueen’s references to ***, fetishes, religion, politics and death.
The Alexander McQueen label failed to respond to inquiries this evening. St James’s Palace declined to comment.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:25 AM
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AP Live from the Royal Wedding 5am ET / 9am GMT

Tune in to AP Live for live coverage of the Royal Wedding - from the ceremony inside Westminster Abbey to the crowds of wellwishers along the way, to the much anticipated balcony kiss at Buckingham Palace, AP Live captures all the excitement.
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CBSNew.com takes you to London for Prince William's wedding to KateMiddleton. See the wedding pictures! Watch the video! And get round-the-clock news! Tune in for live anchored coverage from 5a et- 12pmET on Friday Apr. 29th.
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UK Press Association Live from the Royal Wedding See Schedule

Join the Press Association as they capture key moments from the Royal Wedding in addition to live shots of all the excitement in London.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:56 AM
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A regal wave: Kate arrives with sister and mother at their London hotel to spend final night as a single woman... and as a commoner

  • Couple trying to 'block out terror' of wedding watched by two billion
  • Syrian ambassador told he's not invited after uprising slaughterings
  • Rain and thunder could disrupt Royal wedding, forecasters say
  • Kate's younger brother James will do the ONLY reading during the service
  • Royal pair broke with tradition by writing own message in official programme
  • Queen to miss evening reception at Palace and Harry's best man speech
Kate Middleton awoke this morning at the Goring Hotel after spending her final night as a single woman with her family.

Wearing a polka-dot dress, the bride-to-be, accompanied by her sister Pippa and mother Carole, waved to the huge crowd which has gathered outside the hotel in Belgravia last night.
A beaming Kate showed no sign of nerves ahead of her marriage today to Prince William.

And royal fans had an extra treat last night as her husband-to-be greeted well-wishers along The Mall.
Now scroll down to see the video

Here come the Middletons: Pippa, Kate and mother Carole smile to the crowds as they arrive at the Goring Hotel ahead of Kate's marriage to Prince William tomorrow


Almost there: Kate Middleton and her family receive huge cheers in Belgravia this evening ahead of her wedding at Westminster Abbey






I'm getting married in the morning: The bride-to-be waves to the crowds as she prepares to spend her final night as a single woman and a commoner


A family affair: Kate outside the Goring Hotel with her sister Pippa and mother Carole this evening

Prince William, accompanied by his brother Harry, shook hands and chatted with the crowd near Clarence House.
Earlier yesterday, Kate was greeted by cheers at the abbey as she was joined by best man Prince Harry - as well as the bridesmaids and pageboys and members of her family - for one last run-through of the big day which will be watched by 2 billion people round the globe.
The practice took place as it was revealed Miss Middleton will not promise to 'obey' Prince William in her vows.




It's really happening: Kate reacts to well-wishers outside her hotel

Yesterday thousands of royal fans had set up tents outside the Abbey where there was a carnival atmosphere.
As Kate arrived this morning, a huge cheer went up from the royal fans who have been arriving from round the globe.
Waving their Union flags, the crowds greeted the passing Household Cavalry yesterday morning before the bride-to-be arrived for a last run-through.
It is the last time Miss Middleton or a member of the Royal Family will be at the abbey before the service gets under way, St James's Palace said.

Prince William greets well-wishers along The Mall ahead of his wedding



The happy prince: Kate's husband-to-be clearly enjoyed chatting with his fans



Best man: Prince Harry joined his brother on the stroll near Clarence House


One more night: The bride-to-be and her sister Pippa were all smiles as the big day approaches



Soon to have a prince in the family: Pippa and Carole in Belgravia this evening



Later on, the Duchess of Cornwall went out onto the Mall to meet well-wishers and those camping out ahead of today’s event during an impromptu walkabout.

When asked how she was feeling ahead of the big day, the duchess said: 'We’re all ready for tomorrow - it’s wonderful and all very exciting!
'There’s a great atmosphere out here and it’s so nice to meet people and see how the celebrations are getting underway.'


Flying the flag: The Duchess of Cornwall greets royal fans as she arrives at Clarence House earlier today

Walkabout: The Duchess of Cornwall spoke to royal fans who are camping overnight on The Mall

New picture: This portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton by celebrated photographer Mario Testino was published in the official programme

Today the journalist who carried out the couple's engagement interview said they were attempting to 'block out the terror of having two billion people' watching them.
In a personal message to well-wishers, the couple said they were 'incredibly moved' by the affection shown to them since their engagement in the official wedding programme.
Today modern-thinking Miss Middleton will pledge to 'love, comfort, honour and keep' William.

Kate Middleton and Prince Harry at the Abbey this morning for the last run-through. Two billion people are expected to watch the ceremony tomorrow





Mike Tindall, who is due to marry Zara Phillips in July, arrives at Clarence House

The soon-to-be royal is following in the footsteps of the Prince's mother Diana who also opted not to 'obey' the Prince of Wales during their wedding ceremony in 1981.

The Queen, Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal all said they would obey their husbands.

More...

  • Here comes the groom: William goes on a final walkabout as a single man as he greets fans on the eve of his wedding
  • Will rain stop play for Kate and Wills? Forecasters say 'real risk' of heavy showers and thunder
  • When to see that dress and where to watch that kiss
  • The smiles that say the waiting's over: Two billion will watch William marry his middle-class girl and make her a princess
  • Keep it under your hat, but this could be wedding dress designer: Mystery woman dodges into Kate's hotel
  • A day after the outcry, William Hague bars Syria's envoy from Royal Wedding
  • Police swoop on squatters 'planning to disrupt Royal Wedding' as central London is locked down
  • We are not amused! German magazine condemns 'overhyped' Royal Wedding
  • A modern service for a modern girl: The order is straightforward, safe and tasteful
  • Order of service: The marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales K.G. with Miss Catherine Middleton
  • Royal knees-up: Princess Beatrice steals the show in a white tulle at pre-wedding dinner for European royalty
  • So which Royal bride spilled perfume all over her dress? Try our quiz as you wait for the wedding

William and his fiancee have selected the Series One Book of Common Prayer ceremony, from 1966, which allows the bride to drop 'obey him' and 'serve him' from the religious proceedings.
With William choosing not to wear a wedding ring, only the prince will say 'With this ring I thee wed' as he places the golden band on Kate's finger.

Last practice: Kate Middleton, with her mother Carole and Prince Harry, gets into a Jaguar and leaves Westminster Abbey this morning after a final run through. The next time she will be back there will be for the wedding




Grinning bride: A smiling Kate Middleton, right, arrives at Westminster Abbey for the last run through. Left, her sister Pippa enters with bridesmaid Grace van Cutsem

Page boy: William Lowther-Pinkerton, 10, arrives at Westminster Abbey for the rehearsal this morning

The task of writing a message at the start of the official programme usually falls to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The wrote that they were deeply touched by people's reactions as they prepare for 'one of the happiest days of our lives', they said.
A St James's Palace spokesman said: 'The couple felt that they wanted to put in a message from themselves.'

The signatures 'William' and 'Catherine' can be seen underneath the heartfelt message.
The programme also contains a hand-drawn colour map of the carriage procession route, as well as the history of the abbey and details of William and Kate's coats of arms.
It includes a brief history of past Royal Weddings at the abbey, where William the Conqueror was crowned in 1066.

It declares: 'More than a millennium after the first William made his solemn oath, the abbey hosts another William and his bride for a further moment of great solemnity, but one of great joy as well.'

Some 150,000 copies of the A5 booklet, costing £2 each, will be made available along the processional route on the wedding day by a team of military cadets and Explorer Scouts.

By Royal Appointment: Page boy Tom Pettifer, eight, and Lady Louise Windsor arrive for the rehearsals this morning

Last hours: Kate Middleton and Prince Harry leaves Westminster Abbey with family and friends this morning just a day before the ceremony after the final run through

Enlarge Official programme: William and Kate said in their message at the start of the keepsake that they would like 'to thank everyone most sincerely for their kindness'

The royal wedding procession has been planned down to the finest detail

As final rehearsals are carried out, the Syrian ambassador was told he is not invited after the slaughterings.
The dramatic announcement came amid mounting fury that a representative of Middle Eastern despot President Bashar Assad was to attend.

Tomorrow the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams will conduct the vows, before pronouncing the couple 'man and wife'.
There will be one Lesson during the service, which the couple have asked Miss Middleton's younger brother James to read.

In the mood: David Cameron takes a stroll along The Mall and meets well-wishers



Happy memories: The Prime Minister also re-visited the spot where he camped out at for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981

After a lunchtime reception, the Queen will leave Buckingham Palace - and miss Harry's best man speech and the evening party.

She will head out of the capital with the Duke of Edinburgh for a private weekend, leaving the newlyweds to party the night away at a black tie evening reception with their friends.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen would hear a number of speeches at the lunchtime canapes reception for 650 guests, including family, friends, foreign royals, dignitaries and charity workers.

She will see the bride and groom cutting their lavish multi-tiered wedding cake.

A message from the royal couple in the souvenir programme says: 'We are both so delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives.
Wellwishers: Susanna Buckman, from Maryland, U.S. and Jessica and Chelsea Spence from Zimbabwe in the tented village outside Westminster Abbey this morning


Royal father: Prince Charles arrives at Clarence House this morning hours before his son marries Kate Middleton tomorrow








Wedding guide: Kate will not vow to 'obey' William it was revealed in vows printed in the official guide this morning. Pictured right, Kate Middleton leaves the final rehearsal last night ahead of the big day




The seating plan in Westminster Abbey for the families and guests of Kate Middleton and Prince William

'The affection shown to us by so many people during our engagement has been incredibly moving, and has touched us both deeply.
'We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone most sincerely for their kindness.'
However, as final preparations get underway, rain was threatening to put a dampener on the big day.
Alison Cobb, a meteorologist with Meteogroup, said there was a 'real risk' of Kate Middleton being rained on as she steps from her limousine at 11am to enter Westminster Abbey on her father's arm.
The keepsake souvenir, which includes the full Order of Service for the marriage ceremony tomorrow, also features a new black and white portrait of the couple by the celebrated fashion photographer Mario Testino.
In a close-up shot, both the Prince and Miss Middleton are wearing matching open-necked white shirts and are smiling broadly, with Kate leaning towards William.
In the much anticipated service, the music of famous classical favourites by Elgar, Britten and Vaughan Williams will all sound out around the ancient abbey.
From the popular hymn Jerusalem to the quintessential English melody Greensleeves, the couple have embraced the nation's musical heritage in their choice of choral pieces and compositions.
St James' Palace said many of the 'stunning' pieces were picked by the bride and groom for their 'theatre'.


Final preparations: The household cavalry ride past Westminster Abbey early this morning on the day before the Royal Wedding

Clock ticking: Kate Middleton arrives at Westminster Abbey with Prince Harry for today's rehearsal ahead of the wedding tomorrow

Final rehearsal: Prince William and fiancee Kate Middleton leave Westminster Abbey together last night after a last wedding run through



Catering staff are scanned as they enter Westminster Abbey this morning

Tom Bradby, ITN political editor and William's friend, told ITV's Daybreak that the couple were trying to foget so many people will be watching.
'I think there has been a really concerted attempt to block it out and just concentrate on their marriage,' he said.

'The church is going to be full of many, many people, a lot of whom they've never met, and they just want to think about themselves and what it means to them.'

Mr Bradby, a former royal correspondent, will attend the wedding as a guest.

Mr Bradby said William was determined to protect his fiancee from intrusion into their lives.
'I have really been struck over the last 10 years about how determined he has been to protect,' he said.

'He looked at his mother and what happened to her and it didn't take a genius to draw the lessons that he's obviously drawn from it - which is he doesn't want that sort of chaos in his life.

'He's tried to effectively create this iron wall around his friends and his girlfriend. You kind of worry for them that this is the moment the world gets let in.'

Mr Bradby described the young couple, who met as undergraduates at the University of St Andrews, as 'sophisticated' media operators.


Beaming: Bride-to-be Kate Middleton as she leaves Westminster Abbey this morning

The security arrangements for Friday's event include sniffer dogs and road closures







Final countdown: Tents line the street outside Westminster Abbey this morning where William and Kate will wed in a service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury



Celebration: Buntings are seen hanging across No 10 Downing Street today in readiness for the street party for the Royal Wedding


Royal celebration: Bucklebury Church of England Primary School, in Kate Middleton's hometown, hold a wedding party today for the bride

William's father the Prince of Wales and stepmother the Duchess of Cornwall and Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton and sister Pippa will all act as witnesses and sign the historic marriage registers during the ceremony on Friday.
It also emerged that the bride will walk up the aisle to the dramatic sounds of a coronation anthem - the soaring choral masterpiece 'I was glad' by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry from Psalm 122.
It was composed for the crowning of Prince William's great-great-great grandfather Edward VII at Westminster Abbey in 1902, but is also popular at weddings.
As the choir begins to sing, the bride will begin her three and a half minute procession through the Nave and Quire to meet her Prince on her father's arm.
The newlyweds will leave the Abbey to the sounds of the well-known rousing orchestral march Crown Imperial by William Walton, which was also played at Charles and Diana's wedding.
The three hymns - 'Guide me, O thou great Redeemer', 'Love divine, all loves excelling' and Jerusalem which begins 'And did those feet in ancient time' - are all favourites of the couple.




Run-through: Sophie Wes***, left, arrives at Clarence House this morning and, right, Kate Middleton's mother Carole leaves for Westminster Abbey


Official programme: 150,000 copies have been printed of the A5 booklet, costing £2 each, which will be made available along the route on the wedding day by a team of military cadets and Explorer Scouts




Royal bride vows to 'love, comfort, honour and keep' William


Here is the full Solemnization of Marriage conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury from the Order of Service:

The Archbishop says to Prince William:

William Arthur Philip Louis, wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?

He answers:

I will.

The Archbishop says to Catherine:

Catherine Elizabeth, wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?


She answers:

I will.

Royal fans: Enthusiasts sleep on the streets - one of them in a tent adorned with a Union Jack - outside Westminster Abbey as they guarantee themselves the best spots for tomorrow's ceremony

The Archbishop continues:

Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?

The Archbishop receives Catherine from her father's hand. Taking Catherine's right hand, Prince William says after the Archbishop:

I, William Arthur Philip Louis, take thee, Catherine Elizabeth to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse: for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy law; and thereto I give thee my troth.

They loose hands.
Catherine, taking Prince William by his right hand, says after the Archbishop:

I, Catherine Elizabeth, take thee, William Arthur Philip Louis, to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse: for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy law; and thereto I give thee my troth.

They loose hands.

Tent city: Hundreds of campers were set up outside Westminster Abbey this morning and cheered as Kate Middleton and senior members of the Royal family arrived for a run through

Exclusive entrance: Workmen erect a screen at the front of The Goring hotel which Kate Middleton has chosen as a base for herself and her closest family ahead of the royal wedding

The Archbishop blesses the ring:

Bless, O Lord, this ring, and grant that he who gives it and she who shall wear it may remain faithful to each other, and abide in thy peace and favour, and live together in love until their lives' end.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prince William takes the ring and places it upon the fourth finger of Catherine's left hand.
Prince William says after the Archbishop:

With this ring I thee wed; with my body I thee honour; and all my worldly goods with thee I share: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Congregation remains standing as the Couple kneels.

The Archbishop says:

Let us pray.

O eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, giver of all spiritual grace, the author of everlasting life: send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy name; that, living faithfully together, they may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, whereof this ring given and received is a token and pledge; and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The Archbishop joins their right hands together and says:

Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.

The Archbishop addresses the Congregation:

Forasmuch as William and Catherine have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth either to other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce that they be man and wife together, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Archbishop blesses the Couple:

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you; and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:58 AM
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Beatrice and Eugenie get into the Royal Wedding spirt with Union Jack flags as they leave the Queen's pre-wedding gala dinner




The world is waiting with bated breath to catch the first glimpse of Prince William and Kate Middleton today in what is undoubtedly the biggest wedding of the decade.
And it it's not only the public who are excited about the big day, as Princess Beatrice and sister Princess Eugenie showed last night.
Leaving London's Mandarin Oriental Hotel after the Queen's pre-wedding gala dinner, the sisters teamed their stunning long dresses with wide smiles and waved Union Jack flags for photographers.
Getting into the spirit: Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie left London's Mandarin Oriental hotel after the Queen's pre-wedding dinner carrying Union Jack flags





Beatrice looked stunning as she arrived at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge, central London
While Beatrice wore a white and silver sheath dress covered with sequins and tulle Rachel Gilbert fishtail dress, Eugenie stepped out in a stunning black asymmetric number.
The girls, the daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, stole the show at the dinner that was held for royals from across Europe and the Middle East.



Full-length glamour: Eugenie opted for a black corseted gown which showed off her curves to perfection


Smiles all round: Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, waves for photographers as he arrives with daughter Princess Eugenie

Their father, the Duke of York, attended along with his sister, Princess Anne, and brother, the Earl of Wes***, Prince Edward.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall missed the dinner but attended a drinks reception beforehand.





One's here now: The Queen was fashionably late in a long lilac dress with silver swirls


Instead they dined at Clarence House, their official London home, with Princes William and Harry.
Less than a minute's drive away, Kate Middleton was with her family at the exclusive Goring Hotel in Belgravia.

More...

  • Kate arrives to cheers from thousands camped outside Abbey for final rehearsal as order of service reveals she WON'T 'obey' Wills
  • Hymn from Diana's funeral to be sung at the Royal Wedding as Kate and Charles chose the music for marriage ceremony
  • Here comes the groom: William goes on a final walkabout as a single man as he greets fans on the eve of his wedding
  • Their last day of freedom: Biker Wills has a game of five-a-side with pals before his final rehearsal with Kate
  • Will rain stop play for Kate and Wills? Forecasters say 'real risk' of heavy showers and thunder ruining Royal Wedding
  • DOMINIC SANDBROOK: Why 1981 was the year that forged modern Britain
  • Let the rip-offs begin: Meet the designer in a royal rush to copy Kate Middleton's wedding gown





Royal guests arrived through the five-star hotel's back entrance, overlooking Hyde Park and hundreds of eager waiting fans.
Sophie, Countess of Wes***, accompanied by her husband, the Earl of Wes***, stunned the crowd with a red floor-length dress.




Couples night out: Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wes***, and Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall (right)

Prince Charles went along to the hotel but left before dinner so that he could eat with Princes William and Harry
The Queen was fashionably late in a long lilac dress with silver swirls and was met by Lady Anson, the evening's host and the Queen's cousin and was greeted with a kiss on both cheeks outside the hotel.
Earlier, the Princess Royal arrived by minibus along with Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly. Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Lord Freddie Windsor and Lady Gabriella came in a separate coach.
Family portrait: Spain's Queen Sofia, Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia arrive for the dinner






Departure: The Queen and Prince Philip leave the Mandarin after their evening out

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall, who will be getting married next later this year, also made an appearance, with Zara looking stunning in a gorgeous asymmetric black dress.
Other royal guests included Prince Pavlos of Greece and Princess Marie-Chantal, Queen Sofia of Spain, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain, Queen Margarethe of Denmark, Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and Princess Katherine, the Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg, King Harald of Norway and Queen Sonia.






Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, left, and Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Prince Philip of Belgium










Regal waves: Britain's Princess Alexandra, left, and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark






Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and the Duke of Vastergotland, left, and Luxemburg's Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Teresa


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Tents, tiaras and more than a few happy tears: Thousands line the route to cheer the Royal newlyweds



A cold night had failed to dampen the spirits of thousands of well-wishers who turned the Royal Wedding route into a sea of red, white and blue.

Waving flags and clutching umbrellas against the predicted rain, the crowds waited with mounting excitement to celebrate Prince William and Kate Middleton's big day.

Miss Middleton was said to be nervous but calm as she made her final preparations for a ceremony that will be watched on television by two billion people worldwide.

The world is watching: Crowds gather in front of the international media at Westminster Abbey



We wish them well: The Union Jacks were flying as thousands gathered near Big Ben


Catching a glimpse: Crowds were hundreds deep as revellers took advantage of their 'Blighty' view-finders

Flying the flag: Royal enthusiasts out in force along the Royal Wedding route

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who is conducting the service, told Sky News: 'I think she will be quite calm, as a matter of fact.
'She seems to be very much in control of herself and looking forward very much to the day.


More...

  • Kate arrives to cheers from thousands camped outside Abbey for final rehearsal as order of service reveals she WON'T 'obey' Wills
  • Keep it under your hat, but this could be wedding dress designer: Mystery woman dodges into Kate's hotel
  • When to see that dress and where to watch that kiss


'After the final rehearsal when William and Catherine came on Wednesday evening, they both seemed to be very happy. I'm sure they will be a little bit nervous but I'm sure they can cope with that.'
Queen for a day: A Royal fan dressed up like Elizabeth 1 waits outside Buckingham Palace this morning







Little Britain: Fans used the Royal Wedding to show their sartorial flair






Fan base: Youngsters enjoy the celebrations and make the most of the day off


Many had their faces painted with Union Jacks while others displayed banners on the metal barriers put up to keep the crowds in. One read: 'Congrats from every broken-hearted girl in the USA.'

Some braced themselves against the cold with sleeping bags while others had brought camping stoves and had started cooking sausages as they waited for the Royal couple.
Tina Pittock, 52, from Aldershot, had camped outside St Paul's to see Charles and Diana marry.
She said: 'The Royal Family is an institution, we love them. I think William was very wise to leave it so long so he could show Kate the ropes.'
Get me to the palace on time: Molly Thorne (R) and Clarissa Marston from Bedford take their cue from Kate on The Mall

At Green Park station, the nearest to Buckingham Palace where William and Kate will kiss on the balcony later today, the platforms resembled rush hour as early as six am.
Tents littered the length of the barriers and were scattered around St James's Park behind The Mall. There was a festival feel as well-wishers cleaned their teeth using bottles of water and queued outside rows of portable toilets.
Some of the crowd burst into a rendition of Rule Britannia as they waited for the first glimpse of William.

Westminster City Council said today's wedding was the capital's largest ever event and was 'miles ahead' of last year's Papal visit.
Paul Reid, the authority's head of operations, said he estimated nearly a million people were on the streets of London, with the crowds outside the abbey ten deep by seven am.


Superfan: A Royal supporter from Houston, Texas poses with a replica of Kate's engagement ring



Dressed for the occasion: An enthusiast talks to a bemused policeman at the junction of The Mall and Horse Guards Road







Proud to be British: London is a sea of blue, white and red as spectators get in the spirit





A group of female students from University College London wore charity shop wedding dresses.

Sophie Foan, 19, from Devon, said: 'We thought it would be fun. We thought we'd keep an eye out for Harry as well.'
She said they had taken care not to upstage the bride by wearing boots and suspenders under their dresses.

Jan Maletzke, 66, a retired nurse from Maine in the U.S. was soaking up the atmosphere with her two daughters, Dana Maletzke, 39, and Amy Moore.
She said: 'It's so very exciting and people have been really friendly. People are introducing themselves to each other and everyone's smiling.'
Royal camp: Fans wake up to the big day on The Mall



Sprucing up: Bernadette Christie from Alberta, Canada, brushes her teeth as she wakes up in a tent on the Royal Wedding route



On the throne: Jordan Lee from Jackson Mississippi emerges from a Portaloo stationed along the procession route



Capturing the moment: A member of the public and a policeman take photographs of each other outside Westminster Abbey

Joy Martin, 67, and her daughter Lindsey Crompton, 42, from Solihull, Birmingham, were giddy about getting their first look at the newlyweds.

Mrs Crompton said: 'There's a real atmosphere and it has been brilliant so far. Last night people were even cheering the toilets arriving on The Mall.'
At Heathrow Airport, the national anthem was played as passengers waited on flights this morning.

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