Royal wedding: Preparations begin for William and Kate

Posted on Nov 17, 2010

Royal wedding: Preparations begin for William and Kate

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Prince William said Kate would be "in big trouble" if she lost her engagement ring

Detailed preparations are under way for the royal wedding next spring or summer of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Clarence House confirmed meetings were taking place before the prince returns to his RAF squadron in Anglesey.

Miss Middleton said joining the Royal Family was "daunting" as the couple, both 28, announced their engagement at St James's Palace in London on Tuesday.

The news triggered congratulations from around the world and widespread news coverage in America and elsewhere.

The wedding will take place in London and the couple will then live in North Wales, where the prince, who is second in line to the throne, is serving with the RAF.

Speculation about the wedding venue has focused on Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and the smaller Guards Chapel, where the 10th anniversary memorial service for Princess Diana took place.

Family ties

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said Buckingham Palace would be "very sensitive" to the economic times when making its plans.

He said: "They will want to send a very definite signal that it is not on the lavish scale of the Charles and Diana wedding of 30 years ago, that it will be a royal wedding suitable and appropriate to the times."

Kate Middleton's engagement ring Jewellers say they have already had orders for copies of Miss Middleton's engagement ring

Anti-monarchy group Republic said taxpayers should not have to pay any money towards the event as the wedding should be "private".

The engagement made front page headlines globally, with The Times describing the pair as "the new romantics".

One TV news programme, Good Morning America, opened with a trumpet fanfare.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper passed on his nation's best wishes and urged the couple to visit.

While Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she wished them well personally and on behalf of her nation.

Speaking in a joint television interview, the prince revealed he had proposed while on holiday in Kenya in October.

He also said he gave her his mother Diana's engagement ring having carried it in a rucksack for three weeks.

Analysis

Two venues - Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral - will be hoping that bride and groom will marry in their place of worship.

But both have the potential to re-kindle unfortunate memories - St Paul's as the place where William's parents began their unhappy marriage, Westminster Abbey as the venue of Diana's funeral.

Yet the challenge will be to put together an event which will meet the wishes of the bride and groom, the expectations of a country wanting to celebrate the marriage of a future king and queen, plus the sensitivities of a country enduring economic hardships.

It all seems to point to a royal wedding on a rather smaller scale than in the past.

That could take them to smaller venues such as the Guards Chapel where the memorial service for Diana was held in 2007, or at the (even smaller) Chapel Royal at St James' Palace.

Prince William said giving Kate the distinctive sapphire and diamond engagement ring was his way of keeping his mother close.

"It's my mother's engagement ring so I thought it was quite nice because obviously she's not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all - this was my way of keeping her close to it all," he said.

He said the timing was right for the pair but stressed that no-one was "trying to fill my mother's shoes".

His bride-to-be called the late princess "an inspirational woman" and said that joining the Royal Family was a "daunting prospect" but something she hoped to take in her stride.

They refused to say whether the prince proposed on one knee but Miss Middleton did say: "It was very romantic and very personal."

Prince William said: "You hear a lot of horror stories about proposing and things going horribly wrong - it went really, really well and I was really pleased she said yes."

He revealed he had asked Kate's father for her hand in marriage after he had asked her, and said the pair had found it difficult to keep their big news a secret.

"We've been talking about it for a long time so for us, it's a real relief and it's really nice to be able to tell everybody," he said.

The two said they were looking forward to having children but planned to take everything one step at a time.

The Queen said she was absolutely delighted for them both, while Prince Charles joked: "They've been practising long enough."

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Prince Charles told reporters he was ''thrilled'' about news of the royal wedding

Prince Harry said he was delighted and that it was like gaining a sister.

Miss Middleton's parents, who run a mail-order business and are from Bucklebury, Berkshire, said they thought the pair made a "lovely couple".

David Cameron said he had been given a note containing the news during a cabinet meeting, and that his colleagues reacted with "a great cheer".

Labour leader Ed Miliband described the couple as "lovely", while Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Of course, this was a match made in St Andrews."

The announcement ends months of speculation for the couple, who have been together for eight years after meeting while students at St Andrews University, Fife.

Clarence House announced the news in a formal statement and via a post to the social networking site Twitter.

Miss Middleton, who is six months older than her fiance, is the eldest child of Michael and Carol Middleton, who run a mail-order business selling toys and games for children's parties

The prince and Miss Middleton shared their university accommodation with friends and were revealed to be dating in 2005 where they were photographed on the Swiss ski slopes of Klosters.

They split briefly in 2007. During the television interviews, Miss Middleton touched upon their separation and said: "I think at the time I wasn't very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person, you find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realised."




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