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Royal Watch
Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 04/29/2011

Royal wedding 2011: How it unfolded (photos, video)

Please note: The live video stream of the wedding has concluded.
Britain's Prince William kisses his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. (Matt Dunham - AP)

Highlights:

The kiss: Brief, handsfree, reluctant
Couple arrives at Buckingham Palace
The royal wedding processional
William and Kate leave the Abbey
The exchange of vows
Kate wearing Sarah Burton dress
Pippa Middleton makes appearance
Video: Elton John arrives
Who designed Middleton's dress?
Video: The Beckhams arrive
The Kate Wait
William and Kate get new titles
Guests begin to arrive

8:50 a.m.: A royal good time

We hope you enjoyed following the live blog as much as we did writing it. Stay with Royal Wedding Watch for ongoing coverage and be sure to join our post-nuptials chats.

Live Q&A, 12 p.m.: Wedding recap

Live Q&A, 1 p.m.: The TV Column

Live Q&A, 2 p.m.: Photographer’s perspective

8:32 a.m.: Instant kiss analysis

Brief, handsfree, reluctant. Every commentator referred to William's alleged misgivings about having to comply to this public display of affection. See also his inherited Di-like shyness. OK, he may be getting the hang of it, and went in for another. Followed by a royal blush.

8:30 a.m.: Queen gets the most crowd love

The composure of the crowd is so subdued that they almost seem solemn, but London can be like that, in a city where folks line up on the sidewalk to await a city bus. Our colleague reported that of all the carriages that passed, the Queen's received the most resounding applause.

Video: Queen Elizabeth II parades to Buckingham Palace

Video: Crowd moves toward Buckingham Palace

8:10 a.m.: Dress brings sad reminder

The wedding dress, designed by Sarah Burton for the label founded by Alexander McQueen, will have special resonance. McQueen's 2010 suicide reminded many in the fashion industry of  the 2007 suicide of his dear friend Isabella Blow, herself a Londoner and fashion muse and champion of millinery. (At her funeral, attendees wore hats in tribute.)  Both British style icons will be much in mind during the Met's Costume Institute ball, hosted by Anna Wintour on Monday night, This year's gala celebrates an exhibit of McQueen's creations.

7:50 a.m.: Married couple arrives at Buckingham Palace

7:43 a.m.: Riding in style


Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left, wave as they leave Westminster Abbey. (Alastair Grant - AP)
Our colleague Mary Jordan, who enjoyed a triumphant term as the Post's London correspondent, notes that the whole pageant has featured vehicular excellence. Each open carriage, for sure, gave young passengers an epic joyride. The carriages that were enclosed had amazing gleaming detailing too, and of course, the fleet of Rolls Royces that have been employed were opulent without being mammoth. Note: enormous windows allowed a hearty exchange of waves along the routes.


Londoner Stuart Welton and his 5-year-old daughter Grace watch the royal wedding processional. (Linda Davidson - THE WASHINGTON POST)
7:33 a.m.: The view from the crowd

Washington Post writer Monica Hesse reports from London: The People Who Could See And Hear Nothing are now engaged in a tremendous mass push to Buckingham Palace where we will continue to not see or hear the balcony appearance.

7:21 a.m.: Harry rides with the kids

Prince Harry rides with the kids on the way back to the palace. Prince Edward, as the younger brother, had to do this at previous weddings, before his own. Someone's gotta do it, and he makes it look a little more fun than it has in the past.

Photos: Prince Harry grows up

Video: The processional

7:20 a.m.: William and Kate leave the Abbey

Interactive: Take a tour of the parade route

7:15 a.m.: Chin up, William

All morning, but especially during the depature down the aisle (I hate to use "recession" for a happy occasion), Prince William has been looking down more than up. It's clear Catherine has the beaming bride role down pat, and Will is more reserved. He has the delicate footwork to master of avoid any steps on her gown. But his downcast eyes reminded me of the "Shy Di" photos of his mother, whose head was often down with her eyes peeking up fleetingly.

7:05 a.m.: Beatrice brings it


Britain's Princess Beatrice, right, and Britain's Princess Eugenie arrive at Westminster Abbey. (Gero Breloer - AP)
Attention: Princess Anne looks a lot like what the late Princess Margaret used to look like. And Beatrice, daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, also is demanding some attention in the category of millinery innovation.

6:55 a.m.: Unfamiliar faces

As in tune with British culture as American audiences are, there are surprisingly few familiar faces in the crowd. We who have known Maggie Smith and Ian McKellan long before their Hogwarts employment see no one of their ilk. (And all this is from televised perusal-- not from scanning an actual guest list.) It's a family wedding and you can't enter aristocracy without being born or married into it, we understand, but British culture has so many champions and innovators and institutions in arts and sciences and letters that it's surprising not to see Lucian Freud or Martin Amis or Richard Rogers or Stephen Hawking or Tom Stoppard. Is it an American impulse to show off a nation's brainiac wares in this way? Have I covered too many state dinners?

Royal Wedding guest list: Who was invited? Who wasn’t?

6:40 a.m.: On the choice of Sarah Burton


British fashion designer Sarah Burton. (Christophe Ena - AP)
More sartorial data from the officials: The lace applique for the dress’s bodice and skirt was hand made by royal school of needlework. The dress design harkens to the British arts and craft tradition, and the bride chose the design house because she wanted the dress to combine the tradition and modernity of Alexander McQueen's work and she worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the dress.

Photos: Latest scenes from the wedding

6:35 a.m.: Music hits the right note

The music is sublime, even over the TV. The selections were chosen by the grooms father, according to various BBC commentators, and were sung by choirs of various generations in different, no doubt significant, uniforms. Frankly their voices adding more to the moment than the three celebrants sonorous blessings have so far.

Live Q&A, noon ET: Royal wedding recap

6:30 a.m.: The exchange of vows

6:30 a.m.: All eyes on Pippa


Pippa Middleton, the sister of Kate Middleton, walks to escort Kate at Westminster Abbey. (TOBY MELVILLE - REUTERS)
In an ultimate act of sisterly love, Pippa Middleton was allowed to look hot. She is, in a way, announced as the next most eligible bachelorette in the UK. And you now have a vision of what she will look like as a bride. Which marriage-ready British lad is deserving? Keep her away from that creepy Alex Pettyfer.

6:25 a.m.: Reminded of ‘Sound of Music’

My colleague Marie Elizabeth Oliver points out how much The Dress resembles the Maria von Trapp outfit at her iconic "Sound of Music" wedding. Judge for yourself.

6:20 a.m.: Down to business

Troth is pledged pretty briskly. The minutes between arrival and vows are few. The lines are delivered accurately, with no flubbing of the string of names. We'd like to know what mnemonic devices were employed.

Video: The exchange of vows

Video: Kate walks down the aisle

6:17 a.m.: Phillip Treacy rules the wedding hats race

The star hat designer, Phillip Treacy, is the choice for Camilla Parker-Bowles and mother-of-the-bride Carol Middleton. Victoria Beckham opted for a Beetlejuice inspired hat, also by Treacy.

6:14 a.m.: New, borrowed, blue

Issued from the authorities: Something new is her earrings, something borrowed is her tiara, something blue sewed into dress.

6:10 a.m.: Trees in the nave

Will every bride demand trees in the nave of their house of worship? Somehow it's a grand and handsome gesture.

6:07 a.m.: Kate wearing Sarah Burton dress

The bride emerges in a dress by Sarah Burton, in the dress of ivory and white satin. The tiara is borrowed and topped with Chantilly lace veil. Her shoulders are covered in diaphanous lace. She takes very little time to emerge from her car door, compared to Diana.

Photos: Royal Wedding 2011

6:05 a.m.: The bouquet

Catherine Middleton's bouquet is far smaller than the cascade of white flowers that Diana carried. Her dress is whiter than Diana's creamier color.

6 a.m.: Pippa Middleton makes appearance

Pippa Middleton's maid of honor attire is a hint at Kate's preferred style. Fitted mermaid with scoopy pretty cowl-neck. Surprisingly white, by American standards, as it could be it's own wedding dress.

5:55 a.m.: Who’s wearing who

For anyone keeping track: Queen Elizabeth is wearing Angela Kelly, single crepe wool primerose dress beaded at the neck in the shape of sunrays. Camilla is wearing an outfit by Anna Valentine, a champagne silk dress and duck egg blue and champagne coat, which is hand embroidered. Hat by Philip Treacy, bronze shoes by Jimmy Choo.

5:52 a.m.: A glimpse of Kate’s dress!

Lacy v-neck! Long sleeves! Substantial train, now resting on her dad's lap. Her preferred silhouette. You'll see when she's out of the car.

5:50 a.m.: The matching coat-dress

Did the Queen first introduce the matching coat-dress to public pagentry? Do we have her to thank or to blame?

5:45 a.m.: Victoria’s hat

Jen Chaney over at Celebritology asks readers to rate Victoria Beckham’s hat.

5:25 a.m.: Princes, laid back

Somehow the two princes look about as comfortable as it's possible to look without seeming pompous, and still with traces of self-consciousness, especially when each removed their hat in the vestibule and did quick, rearranging tugs at their hair.

5:20 a.m.: David Cameron arrives

5:17 a.m.: ‘Crunchy gravel’

Favorite stylistic detail: the little crown on the roof of the Princes' Rolls, and how the two-toned sedan rolled on the unpaved driveway, making this an updated episode in what our colleague Lisa de Moraes calls "crunchy gravel" British TV shows.

5:14 .m.: Harry looking regal

Holy brocade! Prince Harry is laden with golden ropes. Prince William looks more stately in regal red.

Photos: Prince Harry grows up

5:10 a.m.: Kate's mother

Think of it as an appetizer: Kate's mother is wearing a sky blue wool crepe coat dress with matching satin piping and pawsementerie at the waist and cuffs made by Catherine Walker and hat by Jane Corbett.

5:07 a.m.: Univision’s take

Channel-flipping to Univision, whose cameras are briefly transfixed by the deputy prime minister's gorgeous wife, whom Piers Morgan has identified as Spanish.

5:05 a.m.: False alarm

Quelle dommage: The dress news that's about to released pertains to the bride's mother, not the bride.

5:02 a.m.: Dress news?

Stay tuned: Dress details will apparently be released in mere minutes.

Follow live tweets at @poststyle

4:55 a.m.: A view of mini-spaceship

Imagine getting the invite, walking into the hallowed house of worship, taking your seat, and being able to see nothing except a wide-brimmed mini-spaceship of periwinkle taffeta and plumage right in front of you.

4:50 a.m.: Elton John arrives

Crowds hail Elton John and his spouse David Furnish (they entered into a "civil partnership" in England in 2005) as the men arrive in morning suits. CNN's Piers Morgan asserts that Sir Elton has not been in the Abbey since the groom's mother's funeral.

4:45 a.m.: The ‘unknown warrior’

A solemn visual: The "unknown warrior" marker is not covered over by the red carpet, and the words are ringed with poppies in the middle of the aisle.

4:40 a.m.: Fashion photographer in the Abbey

Spotted in the Abbey, via ABC: Mario Testino, who photographed the couple at the time of their engagement, and in another joint portrait released last night. He's a Peruvian fashion photographer who has done glorious portraits of celebrities, especially the groom's mother. He shoots for Vogue and Vanity Fair and has done many ad campaigns.

Interactive: Take a 3-D tour of Westminster Abbey

4:38 a.m.: Woman's hat gets a laugh

The CNN hosts are having a communal chuckle about one woman's hat. She's all in royal blue, appropriately enough, but her chapeau rests on her forehead, and comes to a point between her eyebrows with the constant threat that it will all avalanche down her face.

4:32 a.m.: Sarah Burton rumors

Among the Sarah Burton rumors are tantalizing clues that she may be the mystery woman who visited the Goring Hotel yesterday. Here's a photo and stylistical forensic analysis from The Telegraph.

4:30 a.m.: Who designed Middleton’s dress?

We have three reporters on the scene in London, and one reports that the word on the street is that the dress has been designed by Alexander McQueen's label. The designer, who died last year, has a creative heir of sorts in Sarah Burton, who carries his spirit and designed Michelle Obama's red gown for the most recent state dinner, honoring the China delegation. This is NOT confirmed, just passed along among spectators.

Photos: Kate Middleton, princess to be

4:28 a.m.: Coincidence on ‘Today’

On the "Today" show, a commercial coincidence, it would appear: Footage of David Beckham's arrival at the abbey was followed by an ad of some kind featuring David Beckham.

4:25 a.m.: The Beckhams arrive

Posh and Beck look understated and charming, even with his neck tattoo peeking out of his high collar. Anomaly alert: Garish celebs outdo actual aristocrats in looking classy. OK, there are doubters near me now about Mrs. Beckham's hat.

Celebritology: Victoria Beckham at the royal wedding: Rate the hat

4:20 a.m.: Millinery feats

The feats in millinery have a sense of engineering peril. I don't know how the concensus emerges to have hats perched on the right half of each woman's head, with some exceptions. And one hat seemed to go full-tilt up and down, turned 90 degrees from what it's supposed to be. Like that 80s trend in stacked "vertical presentation" in restaurant cuisine.

Story: Examining Britain’s obsession with haute headwear

4:15 a.m.: The Kate Wait

Will the Kate Wait outside the Goring Hotel make it the new bridal ideal in hotels, supplanting Carrie Bradshaw's stay at the Ritz? Seems more discreet, even with the idling Rolls on a closed street.

4:13 a.m.: Men leave hats at home

To top hat or not to top hat? That is the question. Survey, by eyeball, of the headgear of arriving guests suggests that most men have left their heads open to the elements.

4:10 a.m.: America joins the party

The American broadcasts have now begun. Watch for intrigue between Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters, famous accomplished ABC infighters. But consummate pros.

4:07 a.m.: Gray chairs

As the guests file in, it's interesting to note the gray chairs. Glad that the beautiful Westminster Abbey floor is not burdened with permanent pews, but the grey comfy chairs seem a little drab and Dilbert-y.

4:05 a.m.: Viewing spots still available

The crowd seems sparse, the weather a tad grim, and our reporter on the ground said good watching spots along key parts of the route are still available.

4:03 a.m.: Royal-themed China

The BBC has an Aussie visitor who claims she has 12,000 pieces of royal themed China. Add to the Queen's realm, a dust mite colony down under.

4:00 a.m.: William and Kate get new titles

The titles bestowed on the couple sound appropriately regal, original, and yet familiar: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Of course, the queen has conferred additional titular blessings: He's also Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus. Levels of geographic diversity , especially with orthographic complication, connote power, we are left to assume.

3:56 a.m.: BBC’s coverage

The BBC has had better, longer segments all week, but by now the odd up-close-and-personal video of Kate and William flipping pancakes in a very small pan while clad in trenchcoats outside some official building can be put away in a vault.

3:50 a.m.: Guests begin to arrive

Guests attending the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton have started entering Westminster Abbey.

The doors to the abbey opened Friday morning nearly three hours before the ceremony is due to begin. — Associated Press

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By  |  09:00 AM ET, 04/29/2011

 

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