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04 March 2024

Archbishop, procession for William-Kate wedding


Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton on Wednesday released hotly-anticipated details about their April 29 wedding, including that the Archbishop of Canterbury will marry them.

Clarence House, the prince's office, also announced that the newlyweds will make a procession by horse-drawn carriage to Buckingham Palace for a private reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.

"Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton have made more decisions on their upcoming wedding," Clarence House said in a statement, which was first released in a series of messages on Twitter.

Middleton will travel to the service at Westminster Abbey by car through some of London's most historic sites including The Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and Parliament Square, it said.

The service will start at 11:00 am (1000 GMT).

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the head of the Church of England and leader of the world's Anglicans, will marry the couple. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, will give the address.

The Dean of Westminster, John Hall, the abbey's senior cleric, will conduct the service.

After tying the knot, William and his bride will proceed by horse-drawn carriage from the abbey to Buckingham Palace where the queen will host a private reception, Clarence House said.

William's father Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, will host a private dinner in the evening "followed by dancing", it added.

There was no immediate comment from the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lambeth Palace office.

Other details including who will make Middleton's dress and where the couple will spend their honeymoon are yet to be released.

The wedding is the biggest royal event in Britain since William's parents Charles and the then-Lady Diana Spencer married in 1981 at St Paul's Cathedral.

William and Kate, both 28, announced their engagement on November 16 after an on-off, eight-year courtship that began at St Andrews University in Scotland.

The prince, second in line to the throne and the supreme governorship of the Church of England, gave Middleton the priceless diamond and sapphire engagement ring belonging to princess Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

There have been security concerns about the ceremony after Charles and his second wife Camilla were attacked in their car by student protesters during riots against a rise in university tuition fees in December.

Prime Minister David Cameron said earlier Wednesday, however, that the wedding was one of a series of major events in 2011 and 2012 that would "see the eyes of the world focused on Britain as never before."

"A royal wedding, her majesty's diamond jubilee and of course the London Olympic and Paralympic Games offer us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, not just for national pride and celebration, but also to promote this country as the perfect tourist destination," he said as he announced a new tourism drive.