Kate Middleton to take car, not carriage

2011-01-06 10:04

London – Kate Middleton will travel to her wedding service at London’s Westminster Abbey by car, rather than a carriage.

Other details about her wedding to Prince William revealed this week include that the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the Anglican Church, will marry the couple later this year.

William, son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, announced his engagement to long-term girlfriend Middleton last November after a courtship lasting nearly a decade.

They have already disclosed that the wedding will take place on April 29 at the 1?000-year-old Westminster Abbey, where Diana’s funeral was held.

The prince’s office, Clarence House, said the ceremony would begin at 11am and be conducted by the Dean of Westminster.

Williams would marry the couple, while the Bishop of London Richard Chartres would give the address, it added.

Dickie Arbiter, the queen’s former press secretary, said Chartres had close connections to William.

“He was an executor of the late Diana Princess of Wales’ will; he confirmed William when William was 12; he listened to Diana when she was troubled,’’ he told Sky News.

“(He is) the right person to be making the keynote address at the service.’’

After the service, the couple, both 28, would return in a carriage in a procession to Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth would hold a reception for guests from the couple’s official and private lives.

In the evening, Prince Charles would host a private dinner at the palace followed by dancing for close friends and family.

With Britain facing sharp cuts in public spending, officials said the royal family and the Middletons would jointly pay for the service, reception and honeymoon and that the couple were mindful of the economic situation.

Royal commentators said the decision for Middleton to arrive at the church by car, rather than by carriage, was an example.

Retail researchers have estimated that the wedding could give a $1 billion (nearly R7 billion) boost to the British economy through the sale of mementos and increased tourism.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who revealed he had camped out in London the night before Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981, has said that April 29 will be a public holiday in Britain.

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