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Globe celebrates William, Kate

2011-04-29 13:22
London - An elegant, tiara-bedecked Kate Middleton swept down the aisle to marry Prince William at Westminster Abbey as fans packed the streets of London, hoping to snatch a glimpse of a historic royal wedding expected to revitalise the British monarchy.

Some 2 billion people across the globe were believed to have tuned in as the future king and queen of England started their lives as husband and wife with the two simple words "I will". The couple looked nervous but happy and recited their vows without stumbling before Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

A million well-wishers - as well as some protesters - flooded into the areas surrounding Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and other London landmarks. Crowds were up at dawn waving flags for television cameras under steely gray skies and cool temperatures. Cheers erupted as huge television screens began broadcasting at Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park.

"Will, it's not too late!" said one sign held aloft by an admirer dressed as a bride.

Maid of honour

Middleton's ivory wedding gown with lace appliqué was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, while her hair was half-up, half-down and decorated with a tiara. William wore the scarlet tunic of an Irish Guards officer, sending a strong signal of support for the armed forces and reinforcing his new image as a dedicated military man.

Against all odds, the sun came out as Middleton emerged from the Rolls-Royce in her wedding gown.

William and Kate received their first royal wedding present from the queen on Friday: the titles duke and duchess of Cambridge.

Maid of honour Pippa Middleton wore a simple column dress and naturally styled hair, while best man Prince Harry was dressed in formal military attire. The flower girls, in cream dresses with full skirts and flowers in their hair, walked down hand-in-hand with Pippa.

Airy and calm

The iconic abbey was airy and calm, the long aisle leading to the altar lined with maple and hornbeam trees as light streamed in through the high arched windows.

Plumage of Amazonian variety filled the cavernous abbey as some 1 900 guests filed in, the vast majority of women in hats, some a full two feet across or high. Some looked like dinner plates. One woman wore a bright red fascinator that resembled a flame licking her cheek. A BBC commentator noted there were some "very odd choices" in fashion walking through the abbey door.

Most men, however, looked elegant and suave in long tails, some highlighted by formal plaid pants and vests. Others wore military uniforms.

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