On 29 April 2011, all eyes will be on Prince William as he weds his future princess Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey.
William gave Kate his mother’s sapphire and diamond ring while in Kenya on vacation in November 2010.
Both 28, they first meet while studying together at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and have known each other for 8 years.
This wedding is the first major wedding in the royal family since the high-profile wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981, with Prince Charles second marriage being a low key event.
This week we look into the customs for royal weddings, what preparations are in place, the traditions on the wedding day and also after the wedding.
Now you think your future husband has a task at hand asking for permission, listen to this:
Prince William, 28, had to ask the Queen’s consent to marry because of a law dating from the 18th century.
His grandmother will have signed an elaborate notice of approval, transcribed in calligraphy, and issued under the Great Seal of the Realm.
Under the Royal Marriages Act 1772, all descendants of George II must obtain the sovereign’s consent before they wed, otherwise the marriage would be invalid.
And this is all before the proposal!
This practice began in 1923 with the late Queen Mother. The wedding ring is to include a piece of Welsh gold.
The wedding rings of Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana were all made with a piece of gold from the same nugget.
The Queen was presented with another large nugget some years ago to use for future weddings as only a tiny piece of the original remains.
Location, Location, Location
The beautiful Westminster Abbey is the traditional site for royal weddings with its 1,000 years of royal history. The Abbey has a capacity of 2,000, although it can accommodate up to 8,000 people with installed seating. Other Royal weddings that have taken place here to name a few are, Prince William’s grandmother and great grandmother, Prince Albert, later George VI, married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, and the Queen Mother, in April 1923. The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, later the Duke of Edinburgh, on 20 November 1947. Princess Margaret, the Princess Royal and the Duke of York all married here. It is also the final resting place of 17 kings and queens and has become known for its burials as much as its weddings.
A Royal Bouquet
Ever since Queen Victoria wed in 1840, a sprig of myrtle, the proverbial “herb of love” has been added to royal bride’s bouquets.
The Royal Gown
Only a handful of insiders know which designer Kate Middleton has chosen to create her top-secret wedding gown.
Kate will most likely choose a British designer for her wedding dress.
When it comes to royal bridal wear, she’s contending with 171 years of tradition, some experts say the dress will be white, her shoulders covered, there will be lace, probably antique.
All the materials will be locally sourced. They say she will have a long train – although not as long as the 25’ train Princess Diana wore, but there will be some fabric trailing behind her.
Kate’s New Title
“Princess of Wales” imagine being pronounced that at your wedding ceremony!
This will be Kate’s new title once she marries William.
She can however refuse the title (why would you ever want to) just like Prince Charles’s wife, Camilla who goes by Duchess or Cornwall of Duchess of Rothesay rather than Princess of Wales because of the association with the late Princess Diana.
William and Kate have already been living together long before the engagement, this wouldn’t have be allowed until recently.
The couple will move into a house that Prince Charles had specially built in Herefordshire after Prince William’s service is up. There will also be an apartment available for them in the royal residence.
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Parfait your day!