Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Royal wedding: London comes to a halt as wedding fever goes global

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Catherine Middleton waves to the crowds as she arrives at The Goring Hotel after visiting Westminster Abbey on April 28, 2011 in London, England. With less than 24 hours to go final preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton are in place. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Catherine Middleton;
Catherine Middleton waves to the crowds as she arrives at The Goring Hotel after visiting Westminster Abbey on April 28, 2011 in London, England.
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Catherine Middleton, arrives at the Goring Hotel where she will spend her last night as a unmarried woman ahead of the Royal Wedding on April 28, 2011 in London With less than 24 hours to go final preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton are in place.(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Catherine Middleton;
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: An Italian tourist extends her hand over her idea of the Royal Jewels next to a cardbaord mock up of Prince William and Kate Middleton outside Westminster Abbey a day ahead of the Royal Wedding on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Millions of people the world over are expected to watch live broadcasts of the wedding on television in what is becoming the most talked about event of the year. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Two women display a British flag bearing a portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton from a balcony of The Sanctuary next to Westminster Abbey a day ahead of the Royal Wedding on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Millions of people the world over are expected to watch live broadcasts of the wedding on television in what is becoming the most talked about event of the year. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Catherine Middleton arrives at The Goring Hotel after visiting Westminster Abbey on April 28, 2011 in London, England. With less than 24 hours to go final preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton are in place. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Catherine Middleton;
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: A couple strolls the Mall while wearing Prince William and Catherine Middleton masks ahead of tomorrow's marriage ceremony of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in Westminster Abbey on April 28, 2011 in London, England. With less than 24 hours to go final preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton are in place. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: A couple strolls the Mall while wearing Prince William and Catherine Middleton masks ahead of tomorrow's marriage ceremony in Westminster Abbey on April 28, 2011 in London, England. With less than 24 hours to go final preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton are in place. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Workmen rake gravel on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace on April 28, 2011 in London, England. With less than 24 hours to go final preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton are in place. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Spectators draped in British flags stand next to Westminster Abbey the day before Prince William and Kate Middleton are scheduled to marry there on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Millions of people the world over are expected to watch live broadcasts of the Royal Wedding on television in what is becoming the most talked about event of the year. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: An ardent fan of Prince William and Kate Middleton lets himself be photographed with another fan along the procession route a day ahead of the Royal Wedding on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Millions of people the world over are expected to watch live broadcasts of the wedding on television in what is becoming the most talked about event of the year. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 28: Larry, the Downing Street cat, gets in the Royal Wedding spirit in a Union flag bow-tie in the Cabinet Room at number 10 Downing Street on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Prince William will marry his fiancee Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey tomorrow. (Photo by James Glossop - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 28: Larry, the Downing Street cat, gets in the Royal Wedding spirit in a Union flag bow-tie in the Cabinet Room at number 10 Downing Street on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Prince William will marry his fiancee Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey tomorrow. (Photo by James Glossop - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 28: Larry, the Downing Street cat, gets in the Royal Wedding spirit in a Union flag bow-tie in the Cabinet Room at number 10 Downing Street on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Prince William will marry his fiancee Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey tomorrow. (Photo by James Glossop - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Spectators wearing masks to represent Prince William, the Queen and Kate Middleton camp out along the procession route a day ahead of the Royal Wedding on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Millions of people the world over are expected to watch live broadcasts of the wedding on television in what is becoming the most talked about event of the year. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall returns to Clarence House after an impromptu walkabout on The Mall on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Millions of people the world over are expected to watch live broadcasts of the wedding on television in what is becoming the most talked about event of the year. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall;
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Royal family fan William Willis walks along the Mall wearing a suit covered in images of Prince William, Catherine Middleton and other members of the royal family on April 28, 2011 in London, England. With less than 24 hours to go final preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton are in place. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** William Willis;
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Royal family fan William Willis walks along the Mall wearing a suit covered in images of Prince William, Catherine Middleton and other members of the royal family on April 28, 2011 in London, England. With less than 24 hours to go final preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton are in place. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** William Willis;
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Fans of the royal family wait on the Mall for a sight of Prince William and Catherine Middleton returning to Buckingham Palace following tomorrow's marriage ceremony in Westminster Abbey on April 28, 2011 in London, England. With less than 24 hours to go final preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton are in place. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Pippa Middleton
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Workers carry in sections of the red carpet at Westminster Abbey where Prince William and Kate Middleton are scheduled to get married tomorrow on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Millions of people the world over are expected to watch live broadcasts of the Royal Wedding on television in what is becoming the most talked about event of the year. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Workers carry in sections of the red carpet at Westminster Abbey where Prince William and Kate Middleton are scheduled to get married tomorrow on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Millions of people the world over are expected to watch live broadcasts of the Royal Wedding on television in what is becoming the most talked about event of the year. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
LONDON - JUNE 27: Kate Middleton attends the 46664 Concert In Celebration Of Nelson Mandela's Life held at Hyde Park on June 27, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
LONDON - JUNE 27: Kate Middleton (R) and guest attend during the 46664 concert in celebration of Nelson Mandela's life at Hyde Park on June 27, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Union Jack flag bunting decorates a shopping street in sight of Windsor Castle on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. Prince William will marry Catherine Middleton in seven days time at Westminster Abbey in London. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: The badge for a limited edition Royal Wedding celebration ale brewed by Fuller's on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The ale will go on sale next week to be served in the run-up to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011 in Westminster Abbey. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: The badge for a limited edition Royal Wedding celebration ale brewed by Fuller's on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The ale will go on sale next week to be served in the run-up to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011 in Westminster Abbey. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: A woman admires a cake featuring Prince William and Kate Middleton at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22-25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: A woman admires a replica wedding cake for Prince Albert, Duke of York (King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother) at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22, 2011 to April 25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
A cake featuring figurines of Prince William and Kate Middleton is displayed at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: A woman admires a cake featuring figurines of Prince William and Kate Middleton at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22-25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: General view of wedding cakes on display at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22-25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: A cake of Buckingham Palace is displayed at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22-25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Detail of a replica wedding cake for Prince Albert, Duke of York (King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother) at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22, 2011 to April 25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
UNDATED - UNITED KINGDOM: In this handout photograph provided by Woolworths, a souvenir plate is seen to mark the anticipated engagement of Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton. Beneath the portraits of Prince William and Kate Middleton is the message ?Celebrating the Royal marriage of William and Kate," with a space left for the date. The leading high street store has designed a range of memorabilia including traditional china plates, thimbles, mouse mats and Will and Kate shaped pick and mix sweets in anticipation of the event. (Photo by Woolworths via Getty Images)
UNDATED - UNITED KINGDOM: In this handout photograph provided by Woolworths, a souvenir mug is seen to mark the anticipated engagement of Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton. Beneath the portraits of Prince William and Kate Middleton is the message ?Celebrating the Royal marriage of William and Kate," with a space left for the date. The leading high street store has designed a range of memorabilia including traditional china plates, thimbles, mouse mats and Will and Kate shaped pick and mix sweets in anticipation of the event. (Photo by Woolworths via Getty Images)
LONDON - JUNE 27: Kate Middleton attends the 46664 concert in celebration of Nelson Mandela's life at Hyde Park on June 27, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Master Tailor Lance Sergeant Matthew Else inspects the uniforms of members of the Irish Guards during an inspection at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Matthew Else;
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: An Irish Guardsmen comes under close inspection at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Matthew Else;
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: An Irish Guardsmen is helped from the parade ground after feeling faint during an inspection at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 21: The 'Instrument of Consent', which is the Queen's historic formal consent to Prince William's forthcoming marriage to Catherine Middleton, is displayed at the Crown Office at the House of Lords on April 21, 2011 in London, England. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, Queen Elizabeth signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed, in transcribed calligraphy, consent to the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton". (Photo by Clive Gee/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 21: The 'Instrument of Consent', which is the Queen's historic formal consent to Prince William's forthcoming marriage to Catherine Middleton, is displayed at the Crown Office at the House of Lords on April 21, 2011 in London, England. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, Queen Elizabeth signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed, in transcribed calligraphy, consent to the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton". (Photo by Clive Gee/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 21: The 'Instrument of Consent', which is the Queen's historic formal consent to Prince William's forthcoming marriage to Catherine Middleton, is displayed at the Crown Office at the House of Lords on April 21, 2011 in London, England. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, Queen Elizabeth signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed, in transcribed calligraphy, consent to the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton". (Photo by Clive Gee/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 21: A detail of the 'Instrument of Consent', which is the Queen's historic formal consent to Prince William's forthcoming marriage to Catherine Middleton, is displayed at the Crown Office at the House of Lords on April 21, 2011 in London, England. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, Queen Elizabeth signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed, in transcribed calligraphy, consent to the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton". (Photo by Clive Gee/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 21: A detail of the 'Instrument of Consent', which is the Queen's historic formal consent to Prince William's forthcoming marriage to Catherine Middleton, is displayed at the Crown Office at the House of Lords on April 21, 2011 in London, England. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, Queen Elizabeth signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed, in transcribed calligraphy, consent to the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton". (Photo by Clive Gee/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Irish Guards ceremonial uniforms await collection in a stor room at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Irish Guards ceremonial uniforms await collection form a store room at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Irish Guardsman Bortnill St'Ange is measured for his ceremonial uniform by Master Tailor Lance Sergeant Matthew Else in the store room at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bortnill St'Ange;
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Irish Guardsman Bortnill St'Ange tries on his ceremonial uniform in the store room at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bortnill St'Ange;
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Irish Guardsman Bortnill St'Ange is fitted with his ceremonial uniform by Master Tailor Lance Sergeant Matthew Else in the store room at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bortnill St'Ange;Matthew Else;
ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Kate Middleton smiles as she meets members of the public during a visit to the University of St Andrews on February 25, 2011 in St Andrews, Scotland. The couple returned to the university where they first met to launch a fundraising campaign for a new GBP 13 million scholarship and students support. The couple will marry in a much anticipated ceremony at Westminster Abbey on April 29th. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kate Middleton
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 08: Kate Middleton arrives at City Hall on March 8, 2011 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Royal Couple are visiting Northern Ireland as part of a tour of the country that a couple of weeks ago took them to St Andrews University in Scotland and Anglesey in North Wales to launch a lifeboat. This day-long trip to Ireland has been kept top secret due to security issues. They will marry on the 29th April at Westminster Abbey in a much anticipated ceremony. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kate Middleton
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: Herald Painter, Robert Parsons, sketches the new Coat of Arms for Catherine Middleton's family at the College of Arms in London on April 18, 2011 in London England. Catherine Middleton will use this Coat of Arms until her April 29th royal wedding to Britain's Prince William, when it will be merged with his Coat of Arms. (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: Herald Painter, Robert Parsons, sketches the new Coat of Arms for Catherine Middleton's family at the College of Arms in London on April 18, 2011 in London England. Catherine Middleton will use this Coat of Arms until her April 29th royal wedding to Britain's Prince William, when it will be merged with his Coat of Arms. (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett - WPA Pool / Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Robert Parsons;
TEMPLATE OUT LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: Garter Principal King of Arms and Senior Herald in England, Thomas Woodcock, holds the new Coat of Arms of Catherine Middleton's family at the College of Arms in London on April 18, 2011 in London England. Catherine Middleton will use this Coat of Arms until her April 29th royal wedding to Britain's Prince William, when it will be merged with his Coat of Arms. (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett - WPA Pool / Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Thomas Woodcock;
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Clarence House handout photo, issued April 19, 2011, of the front (right) and back covers of the official souvenir wedding programme for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The wedding is due to take place on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Royal Household - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Bunting is reflected in a bus window on Regent Street on April 19, 2011 in London, England. Preparations are underway across the city as the Royal wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton draws nearer. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Members of the Scots Guards kick up dust during the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on April 20, 2011 in London, England. Soldiers guard Queen Elizabeth II and other royals at Buckingham Palace in a 24 hour rotation with a ceremonial hand over at 11.30 in the morning. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: A member of the Scots Guards exhales in an attempt to cool himself during the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on April 20, 2011 in London, England. Soldiers guard Queen Elizabeth II and other royals at Buckingham Palace in a 24 hour rotation with a ceremonial hand over at 11.30 in the morning. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: A member of the Scots Guards has his duties read to him during the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on April 20, 2011 in London, England. Soldiers guard Queen Elizabeth II and other royals at Buckingham Palace in a 24 hour rotation with a ceremonial hand over at 11.30 in the morning. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: The Band of the Coldstream Guards form up around the main gate of Buckingham Palace during the Changing of the Guard ceremony on April 20, 2011 in London, England. Soldiers guard Queen Elizabeth II and other royals at Buckingham Palace in a 24 hour rotation with a ceremonial hand over at 11.30 in the morning. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: A media stand is erected outside Westminster Abbey on April 20, 2011 in London, England. With only 9 days until the Royal Wedding stands and media facilities have been created along the Royal Route. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: An Irish Guardsmen comes under close inspection at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Matthew Else;

Royal wedding excitement hits fever pitch this morning as people across Northern Ireland, Britain and the world make their preparations for the most anticipated nuptials in decades.

The bunting has been hung, flags put out, the sandwiches made and the drinks put on ice as people get ready for the festivities.

In London last night hordes of expectant Royal watchers crowded pavements along the wedding procession route, with many from Northern Ireland having camped out for days to stake their claim to a prime vantage point.

Up to two billion people around the world will watch as 29-year-old Kate Middleton from Reading marries into the British Royal Family.

Much of the UK is expected to grind to a halt as the nation enjoys another bank holiday, with many taking up position in front of television sets from 10am to savour a display of pageantry, pomp and circumstance not seen here since the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer 30 years ago.

Click here to watch live online, interact and download the official programme

Miss Middleton will marry Prince William in a spectacular and extravagantly patriotic ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London. More than 5,000 street parties are planned, with many more impromptu celebrations likely, amid reports of a nationwide shortage of bunting. But surveys suggest a goodly proportion of the populace remains underwhelmed – with the latest concluding that for every person who watches, another will be steadfastly ignoring the live coverage.

Last night, police made three arrests after they uncovered a suspected plot to disrupt the celebrations by beheading effigies with a guillotine. One of those held was thought to be Chris Knight, 68, leader of the anti-royal anarchist group The Government of the Dead.

Thousands of well-wishers have been sleeping out on the pavements of Westminster and around the abbey, in the hope of getting a good view of the bride and groom. But weather experts have forecast thundery showers.

Ms Middleton will make the three-and-a-half minute procession up the aisle on her father's arm to the choral work "I Was Glad" by Sir Hubert Parry, which was composed for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902. The identity of her dress designer is still unconfirmed but a woman bearing striking similarities to Sarah Burton was spotted entering the hotel where the Middleton family was staying yesterday afternoon.

Prince William, 28, will wear the red tunic of an Irish Guards officer and will place a slim band of Welsh gold, made by royal warrant-holder Wartski, on to the finger of his bride. She in turn will follow a modern tradition set by William's mother, Diana, by promising to "love comfort, honour and keep" rather than "obey" her new husband.

Prince William, like previous heirs to the throne, will not wear a ring. Kate's sister Pippa will act as bridesmaid and witness, while her brother James will make the only reading, from Romans 12: 1-2, 9-18. The newlyweds will leave the abbey at the end of the 90-minute service to the sounds of "Crown Imperial" by William Walton, which was also played at the Prince's parents' wedding.

Ms Middleton spent her last day as a commoner taking part in a dress rehearsal before staying at the Goring Hotel. Prince William joined his father and stepmother at Clarence House with his and brother best man, Harry. The Queen will host a lunchtime reception for the newlyweds, although neither she nor the Duke of Edinburgh will attend the black-tie reception for the royal couple this evening, where pop singer Ellie Goulding is among those expected to perform.



Watching and listening: an armchair wedding guest's guide

Television coverage of the wedding will be harder to avoid than to find. None the less, the following information may help you to plan your day. You can also click HERE to watch online.



BBC 1



Live coverage 8am-4pm; plus highlights at 8.30pm



Coverage will be anchored by Huw Edwards, Fiona Bruce and Sophie Raworth, with on-the-ground contributions from Fearne Cotton, Chris Hollins, Alex Jones, Jake Humphrey, Anita Rani and others.



ITV 1



Live coverage, 6am-4.05pm



Early coverage by Adrian Chiles and Christine Brinkley gives way at 8.30 to Julie Etchingham and Phillip Schofield as anchors, with Alastair Stewart, Mary Nightingale and Mark Austen prominent at street level. The channel is reported to be forgoing £8m in advertising revenue in order to provide coverage uninterrupted by commercial breaks.



Sky News



Live coverage, 6am until late



Eamonn Holmes is the main anchor; Kay Burley reports from Westminster Abbey; and political editor Adam Boulton is expected to buttonhole VIPs at the Abbey doors.



Radio 4



Radio buffs may prefer to tune into Radio 4 (10am-1pm), where James Naughtie and Edward Stourton oversee the coverage. Stourton, sacked from Today for being too posh, will be the only reporter actually inside the Abbey.



Getting there...



The thousands expected to descend on London will put pressure on public transport and roads, particularly in the centre of the capital. RMT general secretary Bob Crow warned it would be "travel lottery" as the capital struggled to cope. But the authorities insist that all guests and well-wishers will be able to arrive on time.



Car and bus



Those who do venture into the capital by car will not have to pay the congestion charge, given that it is a bank holiday, but they are being urged to avoid central London, where a number of roads will be closed. Those out of action will include The Mall, The Strand, Whitehall, Victoria Street and Millbank. Buses will also be re-routed to avoid the closures.



Underground



All Tube lines are open today with no engineering works taking place.



Bicycle



Transport for London is encouraging visitors to make use of "Boris bikes".



"We have thousands across London so they are catered for if they need it," a spokesman said. However docking stations in the immediate vicinity of the celebrations will be closed, so cyclists will need to plan ahead.



Trains



About 400,000 people are expected to travel into central London by train, according to the Association of Train Operating Companies. There are no major line closures expected and bosses from all the major rail firms were keen to stress the service could cope.

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