In a statement released on Wednesday, Prince Charles' representative said that the Most Rev Rowan Williams--Archbishop of Canterbury--will officiate and marry the royal couple on their wedding day which is set at 11 a.m. on April 29 this year.
Several other prominent clergy will celebrate the ceremony with him, including the Very Rev Dr John Hall. The Dean of Westminster Abbey who will conduct the service, and the Bishop of London, and the Rt Rev Richard Chartres--who consoled the young prince when his mother, the late Princess Diana, died in 1997--will give the address.
Messages sent out by the royal family on Twitter also mentioned that unlike her predecessors, Kate will not travel to Westminster Abbey in the traditional horse-drawn carriage. Instead, she will arrive at the back of a royal car. Although this has been reported to have been the decision made by the couple, many royal experts have expressed their disappointment towards such a decision with a few vocalizing their suspicions and theories as to why the couple arrived at this decision.
Ingrid Seward from Majesty magazine said :“The carriage is one of the loveliest traditions of royal weddings. But the whole point of it is also that the public get to see the bride.
“That’s what happened with Diana and Sarah Ferguson, and it’s one of the sights people travel from all over the country for.
“The decision could have been made for austerity reasons but the carriage is already sitting there so that doesn’t make much sense.
“Or it could be because Kate is apparently allergic to horses.
“Maybe she is nervous of being so on display, but either way it seems a shame.”
The Associated Press
, however, mentioned that Middleton will only arrive to the church in a car. After the ceremony, the newlyweds will be taken down a processional route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace in the traditional horse-drawn carriage to greet the huge crowd of well-wishers expected to line either sides of the processional route on their wedding day. The route will take the couple through the heart of London, passing famous landmarks including Parliament Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade and The Mall.
Upon arriving at Buckingham Palace, the newlyweds will be appearing on the same balcony where Prince William's parents kissed after their wedding in 1981 to do the same.
Queen Elizabeth II will be hosting the reception at Buckingham Palace
, which is said to be attended by about 2,000 guests. Distinguished artists such as former Beatles member Paul McCartney
and Elton John--who performed during Princess Diana's funeral--have been reported to be among those in the list.
A dinner for family members and close friends of the newlyweds will be hosted by Prince Charles at the palace at the night of the wedding.
Other details such as who have been invited to attend the wedding, the designer of Middleton's bridal gown, and where they will be spending their honeymoon have not yet been revealed.
Prince William--a young Navy helicopter rescue pilot, and second in line for the throne--and Kate Middleton met nine years ago when they were students at St Andrews University. They announced their engagement on November 16, 2010. Royal experts forecast that their wedding will likely draw a huge worldwide audience who will watch the ceremony on television and via the Internet.