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Kate prepares to become a princess

She is set to become a princess, her every move watched by two billion people.

But on her last day as a commoner, Kate Middleton showed no sign of nerves, smiling broadly as she ran through the meticulously-planned ceremony one more time.

Meanwhile, her husband-to-be delighted crowds waiting patiently on The Mall by embarking on an impromptu walkabout. Looking relaxed and happy, William chatted with fans on both sides of the street and took time to pose for pictures.

He repeatedly leant in to the crowd to chat and listen to the young and old wishing him well.

Details of Friday's ceremony were released along with a message from Prince William and his future bride revealing they have been "incredibly moved" by the affection shown to them since their engagement. In the message, in their official wedding programme, the couple say they are touched by people's reactions as they prepare for "one of the happiest days of our lives".

Those preparations included a final pre-ceremony visit to Westminster Abbey for Kate, best man Prince Harry, bridesmaids and pageboys and members of the princess-in-waiting's family. All will play key roles in the wedding service, a traditional affair with a strong flavour of "Britishness".

William and Kate's message reads: "We are both so delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives. The affection shown to us by so many people during our engagement has been incredibly moving, and has touched us both deeply."

While the final preparations were completed, the guest list for the event continued to generate controversy, with the Foreign Office announcing the last-minute withdrawal of the Syrian ambassador's invitation in the wake of a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in his country.

Further questions were also raised about why former Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were not invited while Tory counterparts Sir John Major and Baroness Thatcher were. But Mr Blair said he did not mind, insisting it was "not a problem at all".

But political controversy was the last thing on the minds of the growing throng of well-wishers from across the UK and around the world who converged on central London ahead of the wedding.


From Belfast Telegraph