Prince William married Kate Middleton in regal splendor at London’s Westminster Abbey Friday as huge crowds and a global TV audience watched Britain’s biggest royal celebration for three decades.
Kate, wearing a stunning ivory and white satin wedding dress with long lace sleeves, a veil and a flowing train, stood composed at the altar with the second in line to the throne who wore a smart scarlet military tunic.
“I will,” the future king and queen each pronounced solemnly in turn, before William put a ring fashioned from a nugget of Welsh gold on her finger and then Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams pronounced them man and wife.
It is the richest display of pageantry since William’s late mother Diana married Prince Charles in 1981 and offers Britain’s royal family a chance at renewal after Charles and Diana’s bitterly public split.
The absence of Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, will be keenly felt throughout the day, and music played at the wedding 30 years ago and at her funeral in the same abbey were played during Friday’s service.
Two billion people — a third of the world’s population — are expected to watch Diana’s eldest son wed the commoner he began dating at St Andrews university in Scotland eight years ago.
As a sea of hundreds of thousands of people waved Union Jacks in London, Kate waved to the crowd as she arrived at the abbey with her father Michael in a Rolls-Royce limousine.
She took four minutes to walk down the aisle, which was lined with trees specially brought in to create the feel of an English garden.
William Arthur Philip Louis — as Diana’s eldest son and the second in line to the throne was called during the service — arrived at the church 45 minutes earlier accompanied by his younger brother and best man Prince Harry.
Kate however did not promise to obey her husband in her marriage vows — following in the footsteps of Diana, who married Charles on July 29, 1981 at St Paul’s Cathedral. Charles and Diana divorced 15 years later.
Palace officials confirmed her dress was by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, the iconic British designer who committed suicide last year.
Kate Middleton is a class act! She has a beautiful mom and a handsome dad too! For a former so-called “Commoner” she sure does have “Aristocratic” taste! I absolutely love her sense of style which is she was born with and she looked magnificent as always on her wedding day! Her wedding dress reminded me of Grace Kelly’s wedding dress–stunning!