Royal wedding: guests start arriving

The crowds are gathered outside, the red carpet in Westminster Abbey is laid, and the first of the 1,900 guests are started to arrive for the royal wedding.

Thousands of people have camped out overnight on the procession route between the church and Buckingham Palace.

The day has started off dry and cloudy in London but the Met Office says there is a risk of heavy showers developing later on. However barring any downpours the couple are expected to use an open-topped 1902 State Landau carriage, the same used by Prince William’s parents in 1981.

The prince will wear the red tunic of an Irish Guards colonel but the bride’s dress design is being kept secret.

Prince William has been given the title of the Duke of Cambridge by the Queen, and Miss Middleton will become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge on their marriage.

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Up to 5,000 people are thought to have camped overnight in The Mall and around Westminster Abbey. Large speakers will broadcast the wedding service, and it is anticipated the event will be watched by hundreds of millions of people worldwide on television.

Around 650 guests have been invited to the palace for lunch and about 300 close friends and relatives will stay on for a formal black tie dinner and disco in the evening.

But the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will leave for a weekend away after hosting the lunchtime reception and will miss Prince Harry’s best man speech and Michael Middleton’s father of the bride address.

In their official wedding programme released on Thursday, the royal couple said: “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.”

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