The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding

The wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton took place on Friday, 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey, London. Prince William, second in the line of succession to Queen Elizabeth II, first met Catherine Middleton in 2001, while both were studying at St Andrews University. Their engagement, which began on 20 October 2010, was announced on 16 November 2010.

The build-up to the wedding and the occasion itself attracted much media attention, with the service broadcasted live around the world, and with it being compared and contrasted in many ways to the 1981 marriage of William’s parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. It was watched by a global television audience of over two billion. Much of the attention focused on Middleton’s status as a commoner (i.e., not of royal blood or a part of the aristocracy) marrying into royalty. Hours before the service, William was granted the titles of the Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus by the Queen. Upon her marriage, Middleton therefore became Her Royal Highness Princess William Arthur Philip Louis, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness Carrickfergus, but is not styled as ‘Princess Catherine’.

As William was not the heir-apparent to the throne, the wedding was not a full state occasion, with many details left to the couple themselves to decide, such as much of the the guest list of about 1,900. It was, however, a public holiday in Britain and featured many ceremonial aspects, including use of the state carriages and roles for the Foot Guards and Household Cavalry. It was attended by most of the Royal Family, as well as many foreign royals, diplomats, and the couple’s chosen personal guests.

Middleton wore a white dress with a 270-centimetre (110 in) train, by British designer Sarah Burton, as well as a tiara lent to her by the Queen. William wore the uniform of his honorary rank of Colonel of the Regiment for the Irish Guards. William’s best man was his brother, Prince Harry, while the bride’s sister, Pippa, acted as her maid of honour. The wedding ceremony began at 11:00 am BST (UTC+1). The Dean of Westminster officiated most of the service, with the Archbishop of Canterbury conducting the marriage ceremony itself and the Bishop of London giving the sermon. A reading was also given by the bride’s brother, James. After the ceremony, the newly married couple travelled in procession to Buckingham Palace for the traditional appearance on the balcony and a fly past before crowds assembled in The Mall.

Following the wedding, the couple intend to continue residing on the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales, where Prince William is based as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot.

Engagement announcement

On 16 November 2010, Clarence House announced that Prince William, elder son of the Prince of Wales, was to marry his long-time girlfriend Catherine Middleton “in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London”.They were engaged in October 2010 while on a private holiday in Kenya; William gave Middleton the same engagement ring that his father had given to William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales—an 18-carat white gold ring with a 12-carat oval sapphire and 14 round diamonds. It was announced at approximately the same time that, after their marriage, the couple will live on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, where Prince William is based with the Royal Air Force.

The Prince of Wales said he was “thrilled .they have been practising long enough”, and Queen Elizabeth II said she was “absolutely delighted” for the couple, giving her formal consent to the marriage, as required by the Royal Marriages Act 1772, in her British privy council on the morning of the engagement. Congratulations also came in from the Queen’s prime ministers, including Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, who has moderate republican leanings.The suffragan Bishop of Willesden, Pete Broadbent, who has known republican views, published a critical reaction to the wedding announcement on Facebook. He later acknowledged that his words were “offensive” and subsequently apologised, but his superior, Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, instructed him to withdraw from public ministry “until further notice”.

Following the announcement the couple gave an exclusive interview to ITV News political editor Tom Bradby and hosted a photocall at St. James’s Palace. On 12 December 2010, Buckingham Palace issued the official engagement photographs; these were taken on 25 November, in the state apartments at St. James’s Palace, by photographer Mario Testino.

The original engagement announcement stated simply that the wedding will be “in the spring or summer of 2011”. On 23 November 2010 the date of Friday 29 April 2011 was confirmed. It was later announced that the day will be declared a public holiday throughout the United Kingdom, formal confirmation being made by the Queen in Council on 15 December 2010.The wedding date has also been declared an official public holiday in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, the Falkland Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos.

As 29 April falls six days before elections for the Scottish Parliament and the Alternative Vote referendum, this has attracted political comment.John Curtice, a professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, stated for the Scottish elections that the date was “unfortunate” and was “likely to see the Royal Family getting caught up in political debate”.

Couple

Prince William is the elder son of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. As such, he is second, behind his father, in the line of succession to the throne in 16 independent states known as the Commonwealth realms. William was educated at Ludgrove School, Eton College, and the University of St Andrews, after which he was commissioned as an officer from Sandhurst in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry. He later transferred to the RAF and went on to become a full-time pilot with the Search and Rescue Force at RAF Valley, Anglesey.

Catherine “Kate” Middleton is the eldest of three children born to Michael and Carole Middleton. She was educated at St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne, Marlborough College, and the University of St Andrews.After graduating, she worked in retail and then as an accessories buyer/catalogue photographer at her parents’ business. She is primarily of English descent, but with a few distant Scottish and French Huguenot ancestors. Her paternal family came from Leeds, West Yorkshire,while her mother’s maternal family, the Harrisons, were working-class labourers and miners from County Durham.

The couple met while undergraduates at the University of St Andrews, where they both lived at St Salvator’s Hall during their first year,after which they shared accommodation in the town for two years. They are fifteenth cousins—having Sir Thomas Fairfax and his wife, Agnes, as common ancestors—and are possibly twelfth cousins once removed, circumstantial evidence suggesting that they are both descended from Sir Thomas Leighton and Elizabeth Knollys.

On 23 November 2010, Clarence House announced the date for the wedding as 29 April 2011 (Feast Day of Saint Catherine of Siena) and the venue as Westminster Abbey, a Royal Peculiar founded in AD 960. Although the abbey has been the traditional location for coronations since 1066, it has only recently been the church of choice for royal weddings; prior to 1918, most royal weddings took place in the royal chapels such as the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace and St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The abbey, which has a usual seating capacity of 2000, has been the venue for recent royal weddings, including those of Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) to Prince Philip (1947), Princess Margaret to Anthony Armstrong-Jones (1960), Princess Anne to Mark Phillips (1973), and Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson (1986).

Westminster Abbey is the place of coronations and many royal weddings

It was also announced that the costs of the wedding itself will be met by the Royal Family and the Middletons themselves, while the costs of security and transport will be covered by the British treasury. The couple have also asked that donations be made to charities in place of traditional wedding gifts; to that end, they established The Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund, which focuses on assisting charities such as the New Zealand Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and the Zoological Society of London. The most prominent accoutrement inside the Abbey for the ceremony was roughly a dozen 20-foot tall field maple trees arranged on either side of the main aisle.

Timings

At 6.00 am roads in and around the processional route were closed to traffic. From 8.15 am, the main congregation, governors-general, prime ministers of Commonwealth realms, and diplomats, all arrived at the Abbey. Princes William and Harry then left Clarence House at 10.10 am in a Bentley State Limousine, and arrived at 10.18 am, followed by representatives of foreign royal families, the Middleton family, and, lastly, the Prince’s own family (the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice of York, Princess Eugenie of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall). By tradition, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were the last members of the Royal Family to leave Buckingham Palace, arriving at the Abbey for 10.48 am. The bridal party then left the Goring Hotel in the former Number one state Rolls-Royce Phantom VI at 10.52 am, in time for the service to begin at 11 am. The service finished at 12.15 pm, after which the newly married couple travelled to Buckingham Palace in a procession consisting of other royal family members, the parents of the groom and bride, the best man, and the bridesmaids. At 1.25 pm, the couple appeared on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past consisting of Lancaster, Spitfire, and Hurricane aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, followed by two Typhoons and two Tornado GR4s.

Ceremony

Route of the bride and groom to and from the wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey

Route of the couple

The route of the bride and groom went between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, by The Mall, passing Clarence House, by Horse Guards Road, Horse Guards Parade, through Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, the south side of Parliament Square, and Broad Sanctuary.

Wedding service

St James’s Palace announced on 5 January that the ceremony was to start at 11:00 local time and that the bride would arrive at the Abbey by car rather than by carriage (the latter is the traditional transport for royal brides.) The route was along The Mall, through Horse Guards Parade, and down Whitehall to the abbey. After the ceremony, the bridal couple returned along the same route by carriage to a reception hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. The Prince of Wales hosted a private dinner in the evening, not attended by the Queen.

In a break with royal tradition, the groom had a best man—his brother, Prince Harry—rather than a supporter, while the bride chose her sister, Pippa, as maid of honour. There were four bridesmaids—Lady Louise Windsor, the seven-year old daughter of the Earl and Countess of Wessex; The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones, the eight-year old daughter of Viscount and Viscountess Linley; Grace van Cutsem, the three-year old daughter of the couple’s friend Hugh van Cutsem (who put her hands over her ears during the Prince and Princess’s kiss on the balcony, due to the crowd noise), and Eliza Lopes the three-year old granddaughter of The Duchess of Cornwall. Two page boys participated: William Lowther-Pinkerton, the ten-year old son of William’s private secretary Major Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, and Tom Pettifer, the eight-year old son of Princes William and Harry’s former nanny, “Tiggy” Pettifer.

The Dean of Westminster officiated for most of the service, with Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, conducting the marriage ceremony itself and Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, giving the sermon. It has long been traditional for the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church of England‘s most senior bishop, to officiate at the weddings of England’s monarchs and future monarchs, but as Chartres is a close friend of the Prince of Wales  he was invited to take part in the ceremony.

Liturgy and bridal vow

Kate did not promise to “obey” her new husband in her vows but instead to “love, comfort, honour and keep” him. The bridal couple used the Series One (1966) Book of Common Prayer ceremony.

The Lesson from the New Testament, Romans Chapter 12, verses 1–2 and 9–18, was read by the bride’s brother, James Middleton.

Music

The bride processed down the aisle to the anthem “I Was Glad,” written by 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.As the choir sang, the bride made her three-and-a-half minute procession through the Nave and Quire on her father’s arm, to meet the Prince. The recessional music was the orchestral march “Crown Imperial” by William Walton,which was also played at Charles and Diana’s wedding.

Choral compositions featured in the service were Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens during the signing of the register, Paul Mealor‘s Ubi Caritas et Amor as the motet and a specially-commissioned anthem “This is the day which the Lord hath made” by John Rutter. The young Welsh composer Paul Mealor said he was thrilled to find out that his motet had been chosen for the ceremony. In the weeks before the wedding, there was some discussion in the music press of how Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the Master of the Queen’s Music, was upset to have not been commissioned to compose for the service, although two of his instrumental pieces “Veni Creator Spiritus” and “Farewell to Stromness” were included in the music performed before the service.

Two choirs, one orchestra and a fanfare team performed the music at the wedding service of Prince William and Middleton at Westminster Abbey. These were the Westminster Abbey Choir, Chapel Royal Choir and London Chamber Orchestra, and a fanfare team of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.

The choirs were directed by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey. The Abbey’s Sub Organist, Robert Quinney, played the organ. The Organist, Choir Master and Composer at Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal is Andrew Gant. The London Chamber Orchestra was conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, who is its Music Director and Principal conductor.

The fanfares were performed under the direction of Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs,whose own composition, Valiant and Brave, was performed as the royal couple signed the wedding register. Preux et audicieux (which translates from French as “Valiant and Brave”) is the motto of 22 Squadron, in which Prince William is serving as a search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley in North Wales.

Hymns

William and Kate chose three of their favourite hymns: “Jerusalem”, and two others with a strong association with Wales. The first was the rousing “Guide me, O Thou Great Redeemer”. It is also known as the Welsh rugby anthem “Bread of Heaven,” and the Duke of Cambridge is the vice-royal patron of the Welsh Rugby Union. It was sung at the funeral of Princess Diana, and is associated with Welsh Male Voice Choirs and Eisteddfodau, having been originally written in Welsh by 18th-century Methodist preacher William Williams.

The words to their second hymn, “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” were written by 18th-century Methodist evangelical preacher Charles Wesley. Its tune – Blaenwern – was composed by a Welshman, William Penfro Rowlands, during the Welsh Christian revival of 1904–5. This hymn was sung at the Prince of Wales’ 2005 marriage to the Duchess of Cornwall.

The third hymn, also considered as an anthem, is “Jerusalem”. Based on the Romantic Era poem by the visionary 19th-century poet William Blake and music written in 1916 by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, it is “a favourite at Last Night of the Proms, the Women’s Institute and weddings.” The hymn’s triumphant final line urges building a new “Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land”.

Clothing

Couple sitting in a decorated horse-drawn open-top carriage, with two well-dressed guards sitting behind the newly-weds. The carriage is flanked on the far side by excited well-wishers

The couple return from the Abbey to the Palace in the 1902 State Landau

Bridal dress

The bridal dress was designed by English designer Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen.It was made of satin and featured a lace applique bodice and skirt. The lace bodice design was hand-made using a technique that originated in Ireland in the 1820s called Carrickmacross, which involved cutting out the detailings of roses, thistles, daffodils and shamrocks and applying them to the ivory silk tulle individually. These lace appliques were hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace.

The bridal train measured 270 cm (8 ft 10 in), and along with the lace, all other fabrics used in the creation of the dress were sourced from and supplied by British companies. The lace motifs were pinned, “framed up” and applied with stab stitching every 2–3 mm around each one. Workers washed their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours, to keep them sharp and clean.

Bridal tiara and veil

The veil is held in place by a Cartier Scroll Tiara, made in 1936 and lent to Miss Middleton by the Queen. It was purchased by the Queen’s father, the Duke of York (subsequently King George VI) for his Duchess (later Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother) three weeks before succeeding his brother Edward VIII (Duke of Windsor) as King. Princess Elizabeth (now the Queen) received the tiara from her mother on her 18th birthday.

Designed by Shane Connolly, the bride’s shield-shaped wired bouquet contained myrtle, Lily of the Valley, Sweet William and hyacinth.

Groom’s uniform

Although William is a serving Royal Air Force flight lieutenant and also holds the equivalent Royal Navy rank of lieutenant and Army rank of captain, he chose instead to wear the full dress uniform of the Irish Guards displaying the rank of colonel. William has been entitled to wear this uniform since 10 February 2011 when he was appointed the honorary colonel of the Irish Guards.Additionally he wore the peaked hat of the Irish Guards, rather than the bearskin. As a Knight of the Order of the Garter, he wore the order’s blue riband, to which was affixed his RAF wings and Golden Jubilee Medal. The uniform was made and fitted by Kashket and Partners. William did not wear a sword as he was entering a church.

Family celebrations

The Queen hosted a lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace, starting after the arrival carriage with the married couple. It was a private gathering for guests drawn from the congregation who represent the couple’s official and private lives. During the reception, the couple made an appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony. The East front of the palace contains this well-known balcony on which the Royal Family traditionally congregate to greet crowds outside. Canapés were served at the reception. The Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales, Claire Jones, performed.The reception finished mid-afternoon.

After the reception, at 3.35pm William drove his new bride out of the palace back up the Mall for the short distance to Clarence House, his official London residence. The car, a two seat Aston Martin DB6 Volante (MkII convertible), had been decorated in the customary ‘newly wed’ style by the best man and friends; the rear number plate read “JU5TWED”. The Prince had changed out of his uniform; his wife was still wearing her wedding dress. The car had been given to Prince Charles by the Queen as a 21st birthday present. In a surprise organised by RAF Wattisham, the car was shadowed by a yellow RAF Sea King helicopter flying the RAF Ensign from its winch cable, marking William’s current service as a pilot with the RAF Search and Rescue Force.

The newly married couple and family appearing on the Buckingham Palace balcony

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.

Guest list

On 16 and 17 February, three sets of guest lists were sent out in the name of the Queen. As William is not the heir apparent, the wedding is not a “state occasion”. Thus protocol has dictated that many guests (or their successors in office) who were invited to the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer on 29 July 1981 need not be invited to William’s wedding. More than half of the guests will be family and friends of the couple, though there will be a significant number of Commonwealth leaders (including the governors-general who represent the Queen in Commonwealth realms other than the UK, prime ministers of the Commonwealth realms, and heads of government of other Commonwealth countries), members of religious organisations, the diplomatic corps, several military officials, members of the British Royal Household, members of foreign royal families, and representatives of William’s charities and others with whom William has worked on official business. Although St James’s Palace declined to publish the names of those invited, a breakdown of guests was published by category−the list made no mention of foreign heads of state, though it was announced that about 40 members of foreign royal families had been invited.

The first list, consisting of about 1,900 people, is of attendees to the ceremony in the abbey. The second list of approximately 600 people is of those invited to the luncheon reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Queen. The final list, containing about 300 names, is for the evening dinner hosted by the Prince of Wales.

On 19 April Sean Cardinal Brady, Primate of All Ireland said he will attend. The invitation to the event and its acceptance, have been described as “unprecedented” by a spokesman for Ireland’s Catholic bishops. The spokesman attributed the invitation to Cardinal Brady’s contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process.

Wedding cake

The wedding cake had a strong British floral theme, using elements of the Joseph Lambeth technique. It was a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake decorated with cream and white icing. The Lambeth technique is based on 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. The cake designer Fiona Cairns was chosen in February 2011 to create the wedding cake. Furthermore, McVitie’s created a special cake from chocolate biscuit for the reception at Buckingham Palace. The chocolate biscuit cake was made from a Royal Family recipe and was specially requested by Prince William.

Broadcasting

The wedding was widely broadcast on television, internet, and radio. It was estimated that the coverage would be watched by two billion people worldwide. ITV, BBC,and CNN covered the ceremony and associated events live through the combined pool of footage from the BBC, Sky, and ITN to help cover the overall cost.In North America, which is five to nine hours behind British Summer Time, the wedding occurred during the time usually taken up by network breakfast television programmes, which expanded their normal length to allow for full coverage. NBC‘s Today began coverage at 4 am Eastern Time and partnered with ITV. ABC partnered with BBC, CBS has its own live London affiliates, and Fox partnered with Sky News. The CBC carried BBC coverage, while CTV had live coverage. Cable networks and radio also had live coverage. In Mexico, the wedding aired on Televisa and TV Azteca; all television stations in Mexico carrying the ceremony stayed on the air during the late night hours instead of normally signing off. The ABC also took the BBC feed in Australia, in addition with Pay TV UKTV. Coverage was also provided on the Seven Network, Nine Network and Network Ten. The ABC had planned to produce alternative commentary with The Chaser, but in response to these plans, the BBC barred the use of its footage for such a purpose, on orders from Clarence House. The royal wedding was also streamed live online on YouTube via The Royal Channel. In Serbia the wedding was broadcast on Radio Television of Serbia and B92 Info, while in China CCTV News and Phoenix Info News did so. In Portugal, the wedding was covered by RTP and TVI. The wedding was also widely followed through various cable and local channels in India and Pakistan.

Viewership of the wedding was recorded by electricity use in Ontario, where, at the approximate moment Middleton arrived at Westminster Abbey, the Independent Electricity System Operator recorded a 300 megawatt drop in electricity use, which was attributed to “people going about their normal morning routines [stopping] whatever they were doing, rather than make breakfast or shower, and watch the TV”.

Tributes outside the United Kingdom

In the United States, the Empire State Building in New York City will be lit in red, white, and blue, the colours of the Union Flag, which are also the colours of the United States, at sunset to mark the wedding. This will mark the second time in less than 12 months the Empire State Building will honour a member of the Royal Family; the previous July, it honoured the Queen and Prince Philip during their visit to New York City. The international Peace Bridge across the Niagara River between the U.S. and Canada at Buffalo, New York, and Fort Erie, Ontario, was lit in red, blue and gold, the colours of the royal crest.

Wedding ring

The wedding ring of Catherine is made from Welsh gold. The ring was created by the royal warrant holder Wartski, a company with roots in Bangor, Gwynedd, north Wales.Since 1923, it has been a tradition in the royal family to use Welsh gold for the wedding ring of the bride. This ring was made from a small amount of gold that had been kept in the royal vaults since it was presented to Queen Elizabeth II. It was mined from the Clogau Gold Mine in the Welsh mountains, not far from Anglesey, where the couple live. The Clogau Gold Mine had its heyday in the late nineteenth century, was abandoned in the early twentieth century, was reopened in 1992 and finally closed in 1998. The Queen had “given a piece of the gold that has been in the family for many years to Prince William as a gift,” a palace source stated.[104] Unlike Middleton, Prince William did not wear a wedding ring.

Title upon marriage

On the morning of the wedding, William was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus. This is in line with the practice of granting titles upon marriage to royal princes who did not already have one (for example, Prince Andrew, who was created Duke of York when he married in 1986.)In a break with precedent Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex; at the same time it was announced that he will be given the title Duke of Edinburgh when that title, currently held by his father, reverts to the Crown. A December 2010 article in The Daily Telegraph suggested that William did not wish to receive a dukedom, preferring to remain simply “Prince William” while also wanting Middleton to become “Princess Catherine”. It was suggested that this caused a dilemma for the Queen because princesses traditionally receive such titles through birth instead of marriage. Prior to the announcement, other possible dukedoms it was thought William might receive included Sussex, Windsor, Clarence, Kendal, Avondale, and Strathearn.

Official merchandise and currency

Prince William and Kate Middleton have personally approved an official range of china (including handmade plates, cups and pill boxes) to be made for the Royal Collection and sold as souvenirs from December 2010.The items are decorated with the intertwined initials of the couple, under the prince’s coronet, and include the wording “To celebrate the marriage of Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton 29 April 2011.” The Lord Chamberlain‘s office approved a longer list of memorabilia, including official mugs, plates, biscuit tins and porcelain pill pots. The document also clarified the use of William’s coat of arms and pictures of the couple on such memorabilia. Initially, the Palace refused to sanction official tea-towels, which, along with aprons, T-shirts and cushions, were deemed, ‘in poor taste’. However, the restriction on tea towels, though not the other items, was later reversed.Sales of merchandising are expected to reach £44 million.

To mark the engagement of William and Catherine, the Royal Mint produced an official £5 coin, showing the couple in profile, while the Royal Australian Mint issued a series of circulation and collectable coins designed by Stuart Devlin.The Royal Canadian Mint will release a series of coins and Canada Post will be issuing a stamp, approved by Clarence House, in commemoration of the wedding.

Reactions

Union Flags on Regent Street

An April 2011 poll of 2,000 British adults found that 35% of the public intended to watch the wedding on television while an equal proportion planned to ignore the event altogether. According to their reported plans, women were more than twice as likely (47%) to watch the event as men (23%).

There were over 850 applications to hold royal wedding street parties in London, and about 5,500 across England and Wales.The anti-monarchy campaign group Republic held an alternative street party in Holborn.The event had initially been blocked by Camden Council.

Threats

The royal wedding has been subject to threats of violence and disruption. In February, security agencies, including MI5, identified “dissident Irish republican groups” as possible threats. The group Muslims Against Crusades announced plans for a “forceful demonstration” at the wedding, calling the Royal Family “enemies to Allah and his messenger”. They later announced the abandonment of their planned protest.

Arrests

Sixty people arrested at the TUC rally on the March for the Alternative have bail conditions that prevent them entering central London over the wedding period.

On 28 April 2011, Chris Knight and two others were arrested “on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance and breach of the peace”. The three were planning a mock execution of Prince Andrew in central London on the following day, to coincide with the wedding.

On 29 April 2011, the police made “pre-emptive” strikes, applying blanket stop and search powers and arresting 52 people. This included 13 arrested people in possession of climbing equipment and anti-monarchy placards. 5 were arrested entering Starbucks, “on suspicion of planning a breach of the peace”.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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