A spring morning in 2011 heralds the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, who emerge from their nuptials titled the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Well wishers have camped out overnight along the wedding route in order to see the Royal Couple, the Royal Family and their guests. Clouds dot the sky as wedding guests approach Westminster Abbey.
This is a good day for British fashion. The bride’s dress has been kept a secret from the press and public until the time she leaves the Goring Hotel where she has spent the night with her family. Her father, Michael Middleton – a Yorkshire born son of an airline pilot, accompanies her in the bridal car. Kate’s dress has been designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. It is ivory and white satin, simple and striking. Her hair is gathered at the front, falls in soft curls at the back. The veil is held in place by a diamond tiara made in 1936 which has been loaned to the bride by the queen.
The Queen, who was eighty-five on 21 April, is resplendent in a yellow Angela Kelly primrose dress and matching coat. She enters the Abbey with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh who will be ninety in June. Princess Beatrice’s outfit has been designed by Vivienne Westwood. Sarah Armstrong-Jones wears Jasper Conran.
Guests include the Prime Minister David Cameron, David and Victoria Beckham and members of Royal Families worldwide including representatives from Greece, Denmark, Norway and Monaco.
In a wonderful procession down the aisle the beaming bride, train following stately behind her, hand held by her father, is followed by her sister, four young bridesmaids and two pageboys.
The service is rich in music including Parry’s coronation anthem I Was Glad (Psalm 12) and the hymn Guide Me O Thy Great Redeemer – as she sings this hymn the bride’s veil is lifted. The newly married couple turn their heads towards the choir as they sing This Is The Day – a haunting anthem composed for the service by John Rutter. The patriotic Jerusalem and God Save The Queen are sung with gusto by the congregation.
This wedding signals the start of a new royal dynasty. William is second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles. Kate is a future queen. The couple met at the University of St Andrews whilst students, and their relationship has developed over the years since then. Both have been conservative, discreet and consistently polite in their dealings with the press. Their future is bright. Their wedding a glowing icon of hope for the future in a troubled world.