As a Wedding Planner I can just imagine the buzz, excitement and quiet frenzy, present in London this week.
The British Royal Wedding Planning.....
It has been estimated that 2 billion people around the world will be watching the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday 29th April. Sadly our invitations must have got lost in the post. But I am consoling myself by taking a professional interest in the seating arrangements.
Ceremony to be at this glorious church - Westminster Abby!
1,900 guests are invited to the wedding ceremony, at Westminster Abbey.
660 guests are invited to the luncheon reception, at Buckingham Palace.
300 guests are invited to the evening dinner, hosted by the Prince of Wales.
46 foreign royals will be in attendance, including 6 Kings and 5 Queens.
King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain and The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister of Canada) declined their invitations.
The seating arrangements are going to be delicate, (I'm glad I don't have the task of mapping the seating for this one) as:
The guest list includes a mix of royals, family, friends, military personnel, politicians, religious figures and celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment. The couple have invited 4 ex-girlfriends and 2 ex-boyfriends. Westminster Abbey is essentially 2 churches. Guests seated in the Nave will see very little. The family of the late Diana Spencer (Prince William's mother) are not exactly on friendly terms with the British Royal Family.
Like many cash-strapped brides and grooms, Prince William and Kate Middleton are skimping on the reception food. Instead of a traditional sit-down meal following their Friday nuptials in London, the prince and his new princess have arranged for finger food at their lunchtime wedding reception. The reason for the toothpick cuisine isn’t clear, but it may be more politically correct to forego a lavish feast when so many English commoners are suffering economically.
With so many heads of state and other VIPs in attendance, it also may be a way to sidestep sticky diplomatic wickets created when a pecking order-based seating chart comes into play. Or, it simply may be a matter of logistics. Buckingham Palace doesn’t have room for a sit-down dinner for the 650 reception guests.
Times are for the UK, with Eastern Standard Time and Pacific Standard Time noted in parentheses.
Starting at 8:15am (3:15am EST/12:15 PST): The general congregation will begin arrive at Westminster Abbey.
9:50am (4:50am EST/1:50am PST): Governors-General (the Queen’s official representatives in her realms) and Prime Ministers of realm countries, diplomats, and other distinguished guests arrive at the Abbey.
10:10am (5:10am EST/2:10 PST): TRH Prince William and Prince Harry leave Clarence House for Westminster Abbey. They should arrive at the Abbey about 5 minutes after departure.
10:20am (5:20am EST/2:20 PST): Foreign royal families arrive at Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace.
10:20am (5:20am EST/2:20 PST): Kate’s mother Carole Middleton leaves their hotel for Westminster Abbey. They should arrive 7 minutes after departure.
10:25am (5:25am EST/2:25 PST): Less senior members of the royal family will leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey 5 minutes later.
10:35am (5:35am EST/2:35 PST): The following royals will leave the Palace for the Abbey: HRH The Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, HRH the Duke of York and his two daughters TRH the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and TRH the Earl and Countess of Wessex. They arrive at the Abbey at 5 minutes after they leave.
10:38am (5:38am EST/2:38 PST): The father and step-mother of the groom, TRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall leave Clarence House for Westminster Abbey. Again, it is a five minute trip.
10:40am (5:40am EST/2:40 PST): HM Queen Elizabeth and her husband HRH the Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey.
10:48am (5:48am EST/2:48 PST). The bridesmaids and groomsmen (pages) leave the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey.
10:51am (5:51am EST/2:51 PST): The bride, Catherine Middleton will leave the Goring Hotel with her father Michael Middleton.
11:00am (6:00am EST/3:00 PST): The official marriage ceremony begins.
12:15pm (7:15am EST/4:15 PST): The carriage procession of TRH the Prince and Princess William escorted by the Household Cavalry, followed by the Queen’s procession with a sovereign's escort of the Household Cavalry, leaves Westminster Abbey for Buckingham Palace.
12:30pm (7:30am EST/4:30 PST): The bride’s carriage procession arrives at Buckingham Palace.
12:40pm (7:40am EST/4:40 PST): Members of the royal family and members of foreign royal families arrive at Buckingham Palace. Other guests will trickle in from here until 1:25pm.
1:25pm (8:25am EST/5:25 PST): HM the Queen, the Prince and Princess William, together with their families, appear on the Palace balcony.
1:30pm (8:30am EST/5:30 PST): Fly over by the Royal Air Force and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Continue reading on Examiner.com: William & Kate’s royal wedding schedule
Fiona Cairns, designer of this royal cake!
WEDDING CAKE -
Believe it or not, Prince William had a big hand in planning the wedding cake! Although he and Kate Middleton both chose luxury cake designer Fiona Cairns to create the royal wedding cake, the couple opted to have another dessert for their guests. They approached McVitie’s Cake Company and asked them to create a humble chocolate biscuit cake for the Buckingham Palace reception. According to news reports, the recipe of the chocolate biscuit cake is a guarded secret of the Royal Family and was a special request from Prince William. The royal wedding cake will be a traditional fruitcake with cream, white icing and a British floral theme.
Floral Themed wedding cake, with hours of meticulously hand sculptured edible flowers!
Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, Kate's choice of vehicle to get her to the church!
But while horse-drawn coaches have been the typical mode of transport for royal brides arriving for their weddings, Kate Middleton has decided to travel to church by car. Middleton will arrive at Westminster Abbey in a claret and black 1977 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI .
But if the weather is fine the return journey from the abbey will be an altogether different spectacle. After the ceremony, William and Kate will ride in an open-topped 1902 State Landau horse-drawn carriage for the procession back to Buckingham Palace, officials say, allowing crowds to get a better view of the newlyweds.
There is something very special about this sort of occasion. It only happens once in somebody's lifetime. It could well be the wedding of the century. So don't miss out on the days regal festivities. I'll be watching right along with you!
AGATHA SOROS, Kelowna, B.C.
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