William and Catherine now husband and wife
Prince William and Catherine Middleton have completed the fairytale, marrying in an elegant ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
MAN & WIFE: Prince William and Kate Middleton leave Westminster Abbey following their royal wedding in London on Friday, April 29, 2011. (AAP Image/Jeremy Selwyn)
A beaming Catherine Middleton captivated the world after stepping out at the Abbey in a stunning ivory silk dress for her wedding to William.
Her transformation from a commoner to a future queen was complete on Friday in London as she entranced a global audience of two billion people.
The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were declared man and wife at 11.20am.
The cool, overcast weather failed to put a dampener on the biggest royal event in three decades as hundreds of thousands turned London red, white and blue for the big day.
In a time of economic uncertainty and the fallout from savage budget cuts, Britons enjoyed the chance to forget about their troubles and wildly celebrate the nuptials of Britain’s future king and queen.
Catherine delighted romantics across the world in a Sarah Burton-designed outfit which will set the trend for brides for years to come.
With a full veil, deep v neckline, laced sleeves and teardrop diamond earrings, she cut a spellbinding figure in the Alexander McQueen dress.
She wore a Cartier halo tiara lent to her by the Queen.
View photos: Aussies celebrate the royal wedding
In his scarlet tunic and navy blue trousers of the Irish Guards, Prince William, 28, cut a dashing figure, his arrival at the church announced by the sounds of bells ringing out in central London.
He waved to the crowds before entering alongside Prince Harry, who himself made a regal appearance in his Blues and Royals uniform at the scene of their at their mother, Diana’s funeral in 1997.
With a nail-biting final 50-minute wait for his bride on his hands, William shared some quiet time together with his younger brother and best man away from the cameras to pass away the time.
The Queen provided a dash of colour under grey skies, wearing a daffodil yellow single crepe wool primrose dress with hand-sewn beading at the neck in the shape of sunrays.
Nobody does pomp and pageantry like the British with the grand military displays reviving memories of the British Empire’s once vast grip on the world.
They are also brilliant at queuing and waiting – handy traits for many of the 1900 guests that had to wait almost three hours in the abbey for the bride.
Wearing a morning suit, Ian Thorpe had the chance to rub shoulders alongside Elton John and David Beckham on the red carpet as part of the general congregation.
There were squeals of joy from the excited crowd on sighting the handsome Beckham, in a Ralph Lauren morning suit, with his pregnant wife Victoria radiant in a navy suit from her own collection.
As the Beckhams and the champion swimmer made themselves comfortable, Prime Minister Julia Gillard graced the abbey in a oyster jacket by Perth designer Aurelio Costarella, a navy skirt by Anthea Crawford and a Carla Zampatti navy camisole.
Not surprisingly, the Governor-General Quentin Bryce was elegant in a two-piece silk suit by Brisbane designer Pia Du Pradal, the fabric being a hot pink, red and orange silk brocade.
But for the rest of the world, the Australians were just faces in the crowd in the gothic church which resembled a British garden with six-metre high trees and countless white blooms.
Catherine made a life-changing trip next to her father Michael Middleton down the parade route in one of the Queen’s Rolls Royce Phantom VI limousines just before 11am.
Despite the overcast conditions, she received the warmest of receptions, clearly having been taken into the hearts of her future subjects.
The world had waited for that first glimpse of her dress and it did not disappoint.
That it remained a secret is testament to the royal family’s ability to run a tight ship at major events and her discreet nature.
The 29-year-old woman from Bucklebury looked every inch a future Queen, waving a little frantically by royal standards, clearly excited by the crowd’s response to her on this life-changing day.
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