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William and Kate at abbey rehearsal

Prince William and Kate Middleton made a rare pre-wedding appearance as they attended a rehearsal for their nuptials at Westminster Abbey.

With less than two days to go to their marriage ceremony the couple were put through their paces in the hallowed setting.

Excitement around the wedding has grown over the last 24 hours, with hundreds of tourists flocking to the abbey where die-hard royalists have pitched around 30 tents in a bid to claim the best spot on the big day.

The roads around the ancient place of worship had a bustling atmosphere with dozens of broadcasting crews, photographers and journalists from around the world and at home covering events.

Miss Middleton's parents, Michael and Carole, took part in the rehearsal after leaving their Berkshire property and driving to London to stay at the exclusive Goring hotel in Belgravia - their home for the next three nights.

They were joined by their daughter Pippa, who is Kate's maid of honour, and son James.

Prince Harry, William's best man, was also present, along with all the senior churchmen involved in the ceremony.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is marrying the couple, the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, who will give the address, and the Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev Dr John Hall, who is conducting the service, were all part of the rehearsal.

The couple will have seen some of the abbey's floral decorations in place, including the eight English field maples and two hornbeams designed to form an avenue of trees along the nave.

They have held rehearsals before but not inside the abbey and will have practised everything to ensure the ceremony runs smoothly despite possible nerves on the day.


From Belfast Telegraph