Royal Wedding: Big day out

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Old 01-May-2011
Royal Wedding: Big day out

UNP ImageIt was a who's who of royalty, power and fame: David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John, royalty from across the world, prime ministers from across the realm and the cream of British nobility were among the nearly 2,000 guests inside Westminster Abbey for Friday's royal wedding.

Olympic swimming legend Ian Thorpe was among the first to arrive. Soccer star Beckham, hair slicked back, looked solemn in the great medieval building, with wife Victoria, a dark dress hiding her baby bump, at his side.

Chelsy Davy, Prince Harry's on-again-off-again girlfriend, was watching as the prince stood with his brother at the altar. Tabloids have speculated endlessly about the state of her relationship with the younger royal and her invitation to the abbey was seen as a sign the pair were still close.

Other guests: Actor Rowan Atkinson, a friend of Prince Charles best known for his Mr. Bean act, Guy Ritchie, director of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, photographer Mario Testino, who snapped the official engagement shots, and singer Joss Stone, who performed at a tribute concert for William's mother in 2007.

John, who sang a version of Candle in the Wind at Princess Diana's funeral, was not in his usual eye-grabbing style: He wore a morning coat and (relatively) discreet lavender tie. He was in some ways the exception: For the three hours ahead of the start of the ceremony, the abbey was the place to mingle, see, be seen, and show off.

There were hats and fascinators by the bucketful Ritchie's girlfriend Jacqui Ainsley sported a big black piece of headgear that looked like an ebony radar dish. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson had nearly vertical hats that looked liked sculptures had been drilled into their heads.

Socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson arrived decked out in royal blue: dress, hat, and heels.

Celebs, sports stars and other invitees wandered the aisles, chatting amiably and shaking hands.

The chatter began dying away as Princes William and Harry arrived for the ceremony. They were followed by their father, Prince Charles, who arrived at the abbey in a claret-coloured royal Rolls-Royce along with his wife Camilla.

The Duchess of Cornwall wore an Anna Valentine champagne silk dress with a matching hand-embroidered coat.

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