We'll do it our way

By admin
04 March 2011

In a fireproof cabinet in a tucked-away office in London’s St James’ Palace are the plans for the wedding. The only courtier entrusted with the key is Prince William and Kate Middleton’s private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. With his firm handshake, warm smile and eye for detail the former British Army officer is in charge of the big day.

Lowther-Pinkerton is under a simple brief: this may be a royal wedding but it’s also William and Kate’s big day and the couple want to put their stamp on it. “They are very much in charge and are giving us firm direction on all aspects,” Lowther-Pinkerton says.

In calling the shots William (28) and Kate (29) are shaking things up. While the late Princess Dianahad comparatively little say about her wedding to Prince Charles, Kate has been allowed to oversee the minutiae of the planning from the guest list to the table plans.

She has been given a choice about where she spends the night before the wedding and she doesn’t have to stay at either Buckingham Palace or Clarence House, William’s London home where suites have been reserved for her. While Diana spent the night before her wedding alone at Clarence House, then the official residence of the late Queen Mother, Kate may choose to be with her family.

She has pre-booked every room at the five-star Goring Hotel in Belgravia, which backs onto Buckingham Palace, for her family and friends travelling to London for the wedding.

Unusually the middle-class Middleton family has been consulted on all the wedding plans and in another departure from tradition they are being allowed to contribute a six-figure sum which will more than cover the cost of Kate’s bridal gown.

It’s not how things are usually done – those marrying into the royal family are expected to cut ties with their own. It was something Diana’s father, the late Earl Spencer, complained bitterly about. William is determined Kate should feel none of the alienation his mother did.

By including Kate he’s making sure she feels in control of their wedding day. Together they’re deciding on every detail and they’re so intent on keeping everything a secret they haven’t appointed a wedding planner.

Itineraries are being drawn up and courtiers are under strict instruction to sign nothing off without the couple’s consent.

Lowther-Pinkerton is in daily contact with William and Kate and has made several trips to Anglesey in Wales to the couple’s five-bedroom rented farmhouse. It’s here where the couple will begin their married life.

The house that looks onto the sea has a large dining room and comfortable lounge. There is also a housekeeper but the couple have already said they don’t want a team of staff.

While Charles is famous for having butlers and valets who lay out his clothes every morning William and Kate want to live alone. “Kate and William love to cook and chill at home. They’ve decided not to hire staff because they love their life the way it is,” a close friend says.

Read the full article in YOU, 10 March 2011. Katie Nicholl is author of The Making of a Royal Romance (R142,95,  Random House), which is available at bookshops or at www.kalahari.net).

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