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Kate to use car damaged in protest

Kate Middleton will travel to Westminster Abbey for her wedding ceremony in the Rolls-Royce limousine that was attacked and damaged by student protesters.

The luxury car is being repaired for Kate's big day after an angry mob targeted the vehicle as it carried the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to the Royal Variety Performance last December.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, a present to the monarch from the famous car manufacturer to mark her Silver Jubilee in 1977, was splattered with white paint and had a rear passenger window badly cracked by the group campaigning against increases to student fees.

After the ceremony the wedding day will be given a "fairytale" feel when the newlyweds travel past the crowds in an open-topped horse-drawn carriage - the 1902 State Landau - as part of a Captain's Escort mounted by the Household Cavalry.

Crown Equerry Colonel Toby Browne, who runs the Royal Mews, said the Rolls-Royce would be repaired in time: "It's not extensive, it's just minor damage following the incident before Christmas, it will be ready in time," he said. "One of the problems (is) it's such a special car there are details that have to be reproduced and are not available off the shelf.

"The claret paint is specific to (all royal) cars and certain bits of glass had to be made, but it's really a minor detail you won't notice."

Details about the travel arrangements on the wedding day were released by senior staff from the Royal Mews who allowed the media through the gates of their historic stables close to Buckingham Palace.

Prince William and Miss Middleton, senior members of the royal family, Kate's parents Michael and Carole Middleton and her supporters will travel in a total of eight state cars to the Abbey on April 29.

The newlyweds will ride in the 1902 State Landau - the carriage used by Prince William's parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, when they left St Paul's Cathedral after their wedding in 1981 - to Buckingham Palace. If it is raining the couple will use the Glass Coach built in 1881, which has a permanent roof.

Prince Harry, William's best man, and Pippa Middleton, Kate's maid of honour, will follow in two separate Ascot Landau carriages with the young bridesmaids and page boys.

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