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    Posted April 26, 2011 by
    London, United Kingdom
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Watching the royal wedding

    AlunHill and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Royal wedding
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    Royal Wedding - Behind The Scenes


    All you need to know about the Royal Wedding -  all the details, from invitations to carriages, from family details to the music - and the cake!



    The Service


    The marriage of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton will take place at Westminster Abbey on Friday 29th April 2011. The Dean of Westminster will conduct the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury will marry Prince William and Miss Middleton, and the Bishop of London will give the address. The Archbishop’s and the Dean’s roles are following precedent. The Bishop of London is a personal friend of The Prince of Wales and his family (as well as being Dean of the Chapels Royal). He has known Prince William personally for many years - he confirmed Prince William and officiated at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Service.




    The Royal Family, with a private contribution from the Middleton Family, will pay for all those aspects of the day that constitute the wedding (e.g. the Abbey service, flowers, dresses, carriage procession, reception and dinner).  The Government and other bodies will pay for costs that are consequential to the wedding. 




    The following timings have been released


    8.00 -10.00am        Main congregation arrive


    After 10.00am    Foreign Dignitaries and Royal Families arrive. The British Royal Family are – as protocol always dictates – the last to arrive, just ahead of the Bride.


    11.00am        Bride arrives, and the service starts


    12.15pm        Service ends and Carriage Processions begin


    1.25pm        Balcony appearance


    1.30pm        Fly Past




    Members of the Wedding Party


    Miss Philippa Middleton, Miss Catherine Middleton’s sister, will be her Maid of Honour.


    Prince Harry will be Prince William’s Best Man.


    The Bridesmaids and Page Boys will be:


    The Lady Louise Windsor
        Aged 7 – daughter of The Earl and Countess of Wessex; first cousin of Prince William.


    The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones
        Aged 8 – daughter of Viscount and Viscountess Linley (née The Hon. Serena Stanhope); second cousin of Prince William.


    Miss Grace van Cutsem
        Aged 3 – daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh van Cutsem (née Rose Astor); goddaughter of Prince William.
    Miss Eliza Lopes
        Aged 3 – daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lopes (née Laura Parker Bowles); granddaughter of The Duchess of Cornwall.


    Master William (Billy) Lowther-Pinkerton
        Aged 10 – son of Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (née Susannah Richards); no relation; son of Prince William and Prince Harry’s Private Secretary.


    Master Tom Pettifer
        Aged 8 – son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pettifer (née Alexandra [Tiggy] Legge-Bourke); godson of Prince William.


    The ages above are the Bridesmaids’ and Page Boys’ ages on the day of the wedding.


    The Bridesmaids and Pages will perform the traditional role of Bridesmaids and Pages on the day.  They will be with the Bride on the morning of the wedding, accompany her down the aisle and return with the newly married couple up the aisle.  The Bridesmaids and Pages will also have places in the Carriage Procession from the Abbey to Buckingham Palace.


    All the Bridesmaids and Pages were chosen jointly by the couple.




    Invitations to the wedding of Prince William and Miss Middleton have been issued in the name of Her Majesty The Queen.


    The following groups of people have been invited to the wedding:


    * Members of The Royal Family and their friends
    * Members of the Middleton Family and their friends
    * Friends of Prince William and Miss Middleton
    * Members of Foreign Royal Families
    * Representatives from the Defence Services
    * Representatives from Prince William’s patronages
    * Representatives from the Church and other faiths
    * Members of the Government, Parliament and Devolved Administrations
    * Members of the Diplomatic Corps
    * Governors-General and Prime Ministers from the Realms
    * Members of the Royal Household


    Around 1,900 people have been invited to the service at Westminster Abbey.


    Around 650 people have been invited to the lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace given by The Queen.


    Around 300 people have been invited to the dinner at Buckingham Palace given by The Prince of Wales.


    The invitations were posted in February.  The EIIR on the invitation is die-stamped in gold and then burnished. The text on the invitation is also die-stamped. The edges of the invitation are bevelled then gilded. The invitations were printed by Barnard and Westwood.


    Decisions on invitations were made by the couple jointly. They worked with Members of their own Household, and The Queen’s and The Prince of Wales’s Households to draw up the final list.


    A rough breakdown of numbers of guests is as follows (this includes spouses):


    * The vast majority of guests are drawn from Prince William and Miss Middleton’s Family and Friends – over 1,000
    * Over 50 Members of The Royal Family
    * Over 40 Members of Foreign Royal Families
    * Over 200 Members of Government, Parliament and Diplomatic Corps
    * Approximately 80 guests drawn from Prince William’s charities, including some individuals who are not in senior positions, who the Prince has known for some time
    * 60 Governors-General and Realm Prime Ministers
    * 30 Members of the Defence Services


    The only Heads of State invited are Members of Foreign Royal Families in accordance with the standard protocol for this kind of event.  No other Head of State has been invited.


    Lords Lieutenant have been invited as well as all Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to the Court of St. James.


    The Route


    The route between Buckingham Palace and the Abbey goes by The Mall, Horse Guards Road, Horse Guards Parade, through Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Square (the south side) and Broad Sanctuary.  A full map is available at: www.officialroyalwedding2011.org


    Cars and Carriages


    Miss Middleton and Prince William will travel separately to the wedding service using State Cars from the Royal Mews.


    Miss Middleton will travel in a Rolls Royce, accompanied by her father.


    Prince William will travel in a Bentley, accompanied by Prince Harry.


    The State Car collection includes two Bentleys, three Rolls-Royces and three Daimlers. Members of the Royal Family and Miss Middleton’s parents and siblings will travel to Westminster Abbey in cars and motor coaches organised by the Royal Mews.


    At the end of their wedding service at Westminster Abbey, Prince William and Miss Middleton will travel in the 1902 State Landau along the Processional Route to Buckingham Palace. The route will include Parliament Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade and The Mall. In the event of severely wet weather, the couple will travel in The Glass Coach.


    There will be five horse-drawn carriages in the Carriage Procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. The first carriage will be the 1902 State Landau or Glass Coach carrying the Bride and the Bridegroom. The second and third carriages will be Ascot Landaus carrying the Best Man, Maid of Honour and Bridesmaids. The fourth carriage will be a Semi-State Landau carrying The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. The fifth carriage will be a Semi-State Landau carrying The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Mr and Mrs Middleton.


    The 1902 State Landau, the Glass Coach, the Ascot and Semi-State Landaus are housed at the Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace.


    The 1902 State Landau was specifically built for King Edward VII in 1902 and was intended to be used at his Coronation. It is the carriage in most general use at the Royal Mews and is usually used by The Queen to meet Foreign Heads of State when they arrive on State Visits to Britain. The Prince of Wales travelled to St Paul’s Cathedral in the 1902 State Landau for his wedding in 1981, returning in it with The Princess of Wales after the service. The Duke and Duchess of York also used it for their return to Buckingham Palace at their wedding in 1986.


    The 1902 State Landau is painted in a lighter shade of maroon than the other coaches and richly adorned with gold leaf and upholstered in a crimson satin. It is normally used open, and drawn by six horses.


    The Glass Coach was built in 1881 and was purchased for use at King George V’s Coronation in 1911. The Glass Coach has carried previous Royal brides to their weddings – Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923, Princess Alexandra in 1963, Princess Anne in 1973, Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 and Miss Sarah Ferguson in 1986. It has also carried the bride and bridegroom from the church, as it did when Princess Elizabeth married The Duke of Edinburgh and again when Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips.


    The Glass Coach was built by A. Peters and Sons, as a sheriff’s town coach before being purchased shortly before King George V’s coronation. It is driven by a coachman from the box seat with two or four horses, has special interior lighting and is known as the Glass Coach on account of its large glass windows.


    There are five Ascot Landaus in the Royal Mews. Two of these will feature in the Procession. Ascot Landaus are always used for The Queen’s procession up the course at the Royal Ascot Race meeting and also for other visits of an official nature. They have been used for The Queen’s coronation visit to Edinburgh, the Investiture of The Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle, The Queen’s silver Jubilee visits to Glasgow and Cardiff, and on State Visits following the 1902 State Landau. They are also used to transport new High Commissioners of Republics within the Commonwealth when they are received by The Queen.  The Semi-State Landaus are used for a variety of Royal occasions.


    The Processional route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace runs from Westminster Abbey to Parliament Square and then on to Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade before The Mall to Buckingham Palace.


    The Royal Mews is part of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and is run by the Crown Equerry. The Royal Mews houses 30 carriage horses and has 38 staff including liveried helpers, coachmen and chauffeurs.


    There are two breeds of horses at the Royal Mews: Windsor Greys and Bays (the majority of which are Cleveland Bays). Eighteen horses will be involved in the Carriage Procession.


    There are over 100 carriages in the Royal Mews collection, although not all of them are kept at Buckingham Palace.


    For the Royal Wedding, 14 sides of State Harness will be used with matching appointments for outriders. All the harness requires regular cleaning and polishing, an activity undertaken by Royal Mews staff in addition to their other duties.


    Wedding Musicians


    Two choirs, one orchestra and two fanfare teams will perform the music at the Wedding Service of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29th. These are:


    * The Choir of Westminster Abbey


    * The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace


    * The London Chamber Orchestra


    * The Fanfare Team from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force


    * The State Trumpeters of The Household Cavalry


    Both choirs will be under the direction of Mr James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey.  The Choir of Westminster Abbey is made up of 20 boys, all of whom attend the Abbey’s dedicated residential Choir School, and 12 professional adult singers, known as Lay Vicars. In addition to singing the daily choral services in the Abbey throughout the year, the choir plays a central role in the many Royal, State and national occasions which take place at the Abbey.


    The Abbey’s Sub Organist, Robert Quinney, will play the organ.   


    The Chapel Royal Choir consists of ten Children of the Chapel, boy choristers who hold scholarships at City of London School, and six Gentlemen-in-Ordinary, who are professional singers. The Chapel Royal Choir has existed since at least the Norman Conquest. The Organist, Choir Master and Composer at Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal is Dr. Andrew Gant. The Choir’s duties are to sing the weekly service in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace and to perform for the Sovereign on other occasions, including at the weddings of Members of the Royal Family. The distinctive State uniforms worn by the Children date from the reign of Charles II.


    The London Chamber Orchestra will be conducted by Mr Christopher Warren-Green, its Music Director and Principal Conductor. The orchestra will comprise 39 musicians located in the organ loft of the Abbey.  The LCO is the longest established professional chamber orchestra in the United Kingdom, having been founded in 1921 by Anthony Bernard.  The Duchess of Cornwall is a patron of the orchestra. Mr. Warren-Green has conducted numerous concerts for the Royal Family.


    A Fanfare Team of seven musicians from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force will perform under the direction of Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs. The Central Band was established in 1920 and provides musical support to the Royal Air Force throughout the UK. In addition to their musical duties, Royal Air Force musicians also serve overseas in support of the broader Defence cause.


    The State Trumpeters of The Household Cavalry comprises musicians from both The Band of The Life Guards and The Band of The Blues and Royals. The Fanfare Team of eight Trumpeters will be led by Trumpet Major Grant Sewell-Jones of The Band of The Blues and Royals. In addition to their musical duties, all Army Musicians can be called upon to act as individual augmentee soldiers in support of operations across the world.


    Both Prince William and Miss Middleton have taken a great deal of interest and care in choosing the music for their Service, which will include a number of well-known hymns and choral works as well as some specially-commissioned pieces. Prince William has also sought advice from his father, The Prince of Wales.


    Following the Wedding Service at Westminster Abbey, Claire Jones, the Official Harpist to The Prince of Wales will perform at the Reception given by The Queen at Buckingham Palace.


    Further details will be released about music in due course.




    The Queen will give a lunchtime Reception at Buckingham Palace. It will be a private gathering for guests drawn from the congregation who will represent the couple’s official and private lives. During the Reception (see Timings), the couple will appear on the Buckingham Palace Balcony.  The Reception is expected to finish mid-afternoon. Guests will be served with canapés at the Reception.


    In the evening, The Prince of Wales will give a private dinner, followed by dancing, at Buckingham Palace for the couple and their close friends and family. Prince William and Miss Middleton are immensely grateful to both The Queen and The Prince of Wales for hosting these events.


    Wedding Cake


    Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton have chosen Leicestershire-based cake designer, Fiona Cairns to create their wedding cake.  The wedding cake will be a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake.  The cake, which will be decorated with cream and white icing, will have a strong British floral theme using elements of the Joseph Lambeth technique.  Ms. Cairns was chosen for her creative style and beautifully crafted handmade cakes using traditional British ingredients.  Prince William and Miss Middleton were keen to choose a British cake designer and they had seen and tasted some of Ms. Cairns’ cakes in the past.


    Ms. Cairns’ business, which started 25 years ago at her kitchen table, is now based at a state of the art bakery in Leicestershire, in the heart of the English countryside.  Ms. Cairns was first contacted by St James’s Palace in early February 2011.  Like any bride, Miss Middleton did her own research into the cake’s design and met Ms. Cairns to give her specific guidance on what she would like the cake to look like.


    The Lambeth technique is derived from a style of decorating that was popular in England where chefs and decorators would use a lot of intricate piping to create 3-D scrollwork, leaves, flowers, and other decoration.  The method is still popular today and is frequently used by wedding cake designers and decorators to create ornate wedding cakes.


    In addition, the couple have also asked McVitie’s Cake Company to create a chocolate biscuit cake for the reception at Buckingham Palace. The chocolate biscuit cake will be made from a Royal Family recipe and was specially requested by Prince William.


    Further details about the cakes will be released in due course.




    Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton have set up a charitable gift fund for those who very generously may wish to donate to charity to help the couple celebrate their wedding.


    Having been touched by the goodwill shown them since the announcement of their engagement, Prince William and Miss Middleton have asked that anyone who might wish to give them a wedding gift consider giving instead to a charitable fund.


    Donations can be made through the website www.royalweddingcharityfund.org which includes a full list of the charities to benefit, personally chosen by Prince William and Miss Middleton.


    Many of the charities are little known, without existing Royal Patronage, and undertake excellent work within specific communities. They are charities that have a particular resonance with Prince William and Miss Middleton and reflect issues in which the couple have been particularly interested in their lives to date. The issues are also ones where Prince William and Miss Middleton feel that maximum impact can be achieved through this support.


    The charities are grouped into particular areas, depending on the work they do, and individuals can donate to the group they particularly wish to support.  The areas are: Changing Lives through Arts and Sport; Children Fulfilling Their Potential; Help and Care at Home; Support for Service Personnel and Their Families; and Conservation for Future Generations. 


    The 26 charities include some based in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, to reflect the couple’s close ties to and affection for the three countries following visits by Prince William in the past.


    Donations, via the website, are possible in six currencies. Donations can also be made by telephone, by text message or by sending a cheque. The donations will be held in a dedicated account by the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry and grants will be distributed in partnership with the benefitting charities to ensure maximum impact.


    The website is hosted by BT, which is also providing the online, telephone and text services as well as the processing platform for charitable donations. The site was designed and built by GGMR. It will remain open for a short while after the wedding. All major mobile operators have waived fees for processing donations.


    Donations may be received via the website, via text message to the short code 70294, and via telephone by calling 0300 123 2904. Cheques can also be sent to The Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund, c/o St. James’s Palace, London SW1A 1BS.


    The full list of charities that will benefit from the fund is as follows:


    Peace Players
    Ocean Youth Trust
    Greenhouse Schools
    Oily Cart
    Dance United
    Venture Trust
    Beat Bullying
    A National Voice
    Association for Children’s Palliative Care (ACT)
    Youth Access
    Community Foundation in Wales
    Community Foundation in Scotland
    Community Foundation in Berkshire
    Combat Stress
    Cruse Bereavement Care for Children of Forces’ Families
    The Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund
    Irish Guards Appeal
    Army Widows Association
    Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
    The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
    New Zealand Government’s Christchurch Earthquake Appeal
    Royal Flying Doctor Service – Australia




    Prince William


    Prince William is the elder son of The Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales.
    He was born at 9.03pm on 21st June 1982, at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London. A bulletin announced that the Royal baby weighed 7lb 1 1/2oz.
    On 4th August 1982, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie, in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace.
    After attending Mrs Mynors School, Prince William became a pupil at Wetherby School in London, from 15th January 1987 until 5th July 1990.


    From September 1990, The Prince attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire, for five years until 5th July 1995. He then attended Eton College from July 1995 and studied Geography, Biology and History of Art at A Level. 


    Prince William was 15-years-old when Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris on 31st August 1997. Prince William and Prince Harry walked behind their mother’s cortege at her funeral which was held at Westminster Abbey on 6th September 1997.
    After a gap year in which he visited Chile, Belize, worked on British dairy farms and visited countries in Africa, Prince William chose to study at St Andrews University in Fife, Scotland. He graduated with a 2:1 in Geography in 2005.


    After a period of work experience, Prince William joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an Officer Cadet.


    He was commissioned as an army officer in front of Her Majesty The Queen at Sandhurst in December 2006 and joined the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals) as a Second Lieutenant.


    On St George's Day (23rd April 2008) The Queen appointed Prince William to be a Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.  Click here to read more.  He was installed at The Annual Garter ceremony held at Windsor Castle.


    Although still a Lieutenant in the Household Cavalry, Prince William is a fully operational Search and Rescue Pilot with the Royal Air Force, based at Anglesey, Wales.


    At the same time, Prince William is President or Patron to a number of charities and organisations whose work he wishes to support.


    Catherine Middleton


    Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born to Michael and Carole Middleton at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, on 9th January 1982.  Catherine is the eldest of three children.


    Catherine was christened at the parish church of St Andrew’s Bradfield in Berkshire on 20th June 1982.


    In May 1984, at the age of two, Catherine moved with her family to Amman in Jordan, where her father worked for two and a half years.  Catherine attended a nursery school in Amman from the age of three.


    In September 1986, the Middletons returned to their home in West Berkshire, and Catherine started at St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne, where she remained until July 1995.  Catherine went on to Marlborough College in Wiltshire, where she studied Chemistry, Biology and Art at A-level.  Catherine also took part in sport on behalf of the school, playing tennis, hockey and netball and participating in athletics, particularly high jump.  Catherine completed her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award at Marlborough.


    Leaving Marlborough College in July 2000, Catherine undertook a gap year in which she studied at the British Institute in Florence, undertook a Raleigh International programme in Chile, and crewed on Round the World Challenge boats in the Solent.


    In 2002, Catherine enrolled at the University of St Andrews, Fife, from where she graduated in 2005 with a 2:1 in History of Art.  Catherine continued with her interest in sport at University, playing hockey for the University team.  Catherine first met Prince William when studying at the University.


    Since completing her degree, Catherine has worked for Party Pieces, a company owned and run by her parents.  Alongside her work for the family business, Catherine worked in London as a part-time buyer for the clothing company Jigsaw Junior.


    In 2008, Catherine launched First Birthdays, a junior brand to Party Pieces.  Her role within the family business included catalogue design and production, marketing and photography.


    Catherine’s hobbies include recreational sports such as hill walking, tennis, swimming, sailing, and the arts such as photography and painting.


    Wedding Website


    The official Royal Wedding website celebrates the marriage of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton. The website, www.officialroyalwedding2011.org, is the official information service for anyone interested in the forthcoming Royal Wedding. Regular announcements of wedding details in the run up to the wedding day will appear on the site.


    The website will be regularly updated with exclusive content, including photo galleries, features, videos and links to important information for visitors on the day.
    The website will bring together all of the official social media around the event, including the Clarence House and Buckingham Palace Flickr account, Twitter (@Clarence House), The Royal Channel on YouTube and the British Monarchy Facebook page, providing direct easy access to all channels of communication. Subject to further planning work, the website may feature a live web stream broadcast of the wedding itself.
    As well as regular updates on the wedding details ahead of the event, on the day itself the site will be the first place to view information such as the details of Miss Middleton’s wedding dress.


    The website is hosted by Google App Engine, which is designed to handle large, global peaks in web traffic, and was built by Accenture. Design and creative advice was offered by Reading Room.


    Another specific Royal Wedding site, www.direct.gov.uk/RoyalWedding, contains practical information for members of the public whether they’re planning to visit London to take part in the celebrations or organising their own event within the local community.

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